Wheels of Yesteryear

Shoom.Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
f/1.8
1/5000 sec
ISO 100

It was recently a long weekend here in Queensland (thank you, Queen, for letting us celebrate your birthday), so we went on a roadtrip across the border to New South Wales.  I realise that crossing these borders aren’t nearly as exciting as crossing into another country but, alas, such are the drawbacks of living in a waterlocked (is this a thing?) country.  Either way, it was still great to be able to escape to somewhere and leave all my worries behind.  It was pretty great, as we stumbled upon a bizarre fete/festival/vintage car display fusion that was actually pretty fun.  I still don’t know what it was but it brought out some brilliant cars like the one above, which obviously lends itself well to monochrome photos – perfect for Leanne’s challenge.

On a side note, every time I see a full-colour photo of anything pre-1950s, I’m often taken back.  I think my brain secretly thinks the whole world was in black-and-white back in the day.

Happiness Is a Glowing Puppy

SnoopyPanasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
f/5.6
14.o sec
ISO 100

Here’s everyone’s favourite beagle!  I can’t claim full credit for this one – it was Tiff who did the actual light painting in this case.  If you have never tried light painting, you really should give it a go.  All you need is a tripod, a dark room and a pen torch.  Put your camera into bulb-mode, press the shutter and start drawing in the air with light!  It can take a bit of trial and error, but when you pull it off, the results can be pretty darn cool.  Technically any light source would work, but I find that pen torches allow for the right level of brightness and dexterity to pull off cool art.

Maximising What You Have

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOlympus 40-150mm at 40mm
f/4.0
1/15 sec
ISO 100

So I’ve been meaning to shoot more portrait photos for a very long time now, but haven’t had the means or equipment to do so.  I always thought that good portraits need plenty of equipment, space and a dedicated area.  Oh how wrong I was!

The biggest challenge that I’ve had is lighting.  It just always seemed like good portrait photographers had reflectors, at least one flash, backdrops, studios, etc., so it felt out-of-reach.  In what I suppose was a flash of inspiration recently, I found out that none of that is actually necessary if you’re smart about your surroundings.  I remember reading tips about maximising natural lighting in any given situation, but none of that really made sense until I tried it myself.  I used zero special equipment in the above photo (featuring Tiff, my fiancee).  It was simply a bed, behind which was a large window with the sunlight streaming through.  I initially found the sunlight to be just a bit too harsh, so closing the sheer curtains behind her gave the light just that extra softness I was looking for.

To be fair though, we were in a hotel room on the 21st floor, with a floor-to-ceiling window but still, the same principle would work anywhere, so long as you try and make the most of your environment!  It took a bit of fiddling with the manual settings, but after a while I was able to get it just right, so that Tiff really stood out against a brilliant white background.

PS: I actually think my photo ended up looking a lot like a stock photo.  I’m not quite sure if that’s a good thing or not?

Yaaaaawn. Being a Dog Is Hard Work!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASMC Pentax 50mm legacy lens (adapted)
f/1.4
1/160 sec
ISO 250

“Why must life be so hard?!”
I love this photo to bits; it’s such a precious moment!  I love it when dogs do humanoid things, like yawn and sneeze.  I do wonder though… you know how people say yawns are contagious?  Do you think it works between dogs and humans as well?  Hmmmmmm I think I read a study that suggested yes, but I can’t remember.  Anyway, like I’ve said before, Phillip here will be heavily featured on this blog, on account of him being the cutest dog ever.
On a more serious note, this photo was taken with a gem of a lens that I found in my dad’s old collection.  It’s a K-Mount SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.4, and it looks like it’s packing some serious optics.  With an effective focal length of 100mm and an aperture that wide, it gives some super creamy bokeh that just ooooooozes.  All it took was a cheap K-mount micro four-thirds adapter off eBay and I was up and running.  It is a fully manual affair, like all adapted mounts, but that’s half the fun!

 

Bzzt bzzzzzzt (“This flower is delicious”)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA E-P5 50mm f 1.4Fujian C-Mount 50mm
f/1.4
1/1000 s
ISO 100

I got super lucky with this photo, actually.  I was in the process of framing and focusing the photo when, out of nowhere, a bee popped up!  It generously stuck around for a few seconds, providing the extra element I was looking for in the picture.  If it wasn’t for the fact that C-mounts are fully manual I may have missed this shot completely, but I guess photography is a bit like that, isn’t it?  And that’s why I love it.

C-Mount CCTV Micro Four Thirds Lens Review – Digital toycam funtimes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Two of the most common arguments used against mirrorless cameras (vs. DSLRs) is that there are less lenses and the sensor is smaller.  While both of these are true, one of my favourite accessories for my E-P5 addresses both of these complaints in one fell swoop.  As you’ve probably guessed from the title, I’m talking about the somewhat obscure C-Mount lenses.  These lenses, designed for CCTV (closed circuit television) have a flange distance that is way too short to be adapted for any current DSLRs comfortably (that I’m aware of).  That’s where the mirrorless cameras come in!  To cut a long story short, the compact nature of mirrorless cameras means that the C-mount lenses can be adapted, which is a good thing.   Continue reading

This way to the other side

This way to the other side

Olympus 14-42mm kit lens at 14mm
f/3.5
1/320 s
ISO 200

This was unashamedly another bokeh stress test for the kit lens.  As I mentioned last time, you can get some pretty creamy bokeh, even though the aperture only opens to f/3.5.