Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Simplicity, Again

Sometimes, we (myself included) tried too hard, by taking numerous considerations on lighting control, camera settings, composition options and many other (fill in the technique of your choice) tricks to get the best image possible. Sometimes, I put all that aside, found a good subject, and just whacked the camera directly without much thinking. Sometimes, these shots work very well indeed, and one of them was this man in the unbrella hat. Simplicity works, because the umbrella hat and the friendly look in the man's eyes were compelling enough to make the shot happen. Why black and white? I did not like how the overly colorful umbrella did not match his shirt and the background colors. 

Rainy Days
E-M5 and M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Olympus Vintage Art Filter

With the introduction of the latest Olympus PEN E-PL7, and now made available to the OM-D E-M1 via firmware upgrade 2.0, Vintage Art Filter is one interesting new feature that I think many will find useful and enjoy using. I was never a huge fan of the original Art Filters, with the lack of blog posts of photos showing me using them here. Nevertheless, the new Art Filters really added something different this time, and I must admit they looked better than before. Vintage Art Filters may not be entirely original since they surely were derived from the many filters used all over the "Instragram" internet age. However, I find myself loving the Olympus Vintage Art Filters, all three of them, so much that I am shooting an entire shutter therapy session today with only Art Filters applied. 

Weapon of choice was OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 lens

Vintage Art Filter 3

Monday, October 20, 2014

Long Exposure Photography Fun with Oneplus One Camera

One of the stand-out built in default camera app of the Oneplus One (by Cynogenmod) is the ability to do slow shutter speed, up to 8 seconds long. I have explored the capabilities of the Oneplus One camera and found that it performs admirably well in general shooting conditions (please read here if you have not). In this blog entry, I shall explore the camera further by doing long exposure shooting. The choice of camera app this time was the default camera app, instead of Camera FV-5, because the slow shutter speed in the default app can capture full size 13MP images (while the Camera FV-5 is limited to 2MP, which is actually the direct live view feed from the LCD screen). 

I am going to be honest and start off by saying, in order to do long exposure photography you do need to have some fundamental understanding of photography basics. You need to know how to control shutter speed, aperture and ISO, and you need to know about metering and general available light circumstances. I can share all the settings and steps I took to produce the images shown here but they will not be much of a help if you cannot understand why and how I applied them. Please do read up on photography basics if you intend to pursue any kind of photography further, even if it is just mobile phone photography. 

And yes, I do intend to share my techniques and setup. 

Oneplus One in action, image taken by Olympus PEN E-PL5

Kuala Lumpur City Skyline
4sec, ISO79, F2

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shutter Therapy Goes On

It felt like it has been centuries since I last did any street photography. The previous few weeks were occupied with the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 Pro lens, and I had very specific purpose in mind when I went out to shoot. Obviously the long PRO lens was not a suitable street photography lens, so I decided to shoot other subjects, which worked out well for the lens. This weekend, I finally had some room to breathe, and I am glad I can finally do my shutter therapy, doing my own thing and just shoot whatever comes to me on the street without having "objectives" preoccupying my mind all the time. 

It was a solo photowalk, and I do miss the times when I roamed the streets alone. It is not exactly adviceable to do so in streets of KL, since we do have quite a high crime rate here now. Nonetheless, it was refreshing and just the session I needed to clear my head off the dramas and traumas in life. 

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 or PEN E-PL5 and Panasonic 14mm F2,5

Coffee after shoot.