Well, there are only two weeks until my show (May 4 - 6, 2018) with David Buzzeo is on at Studio YEG Art and I am excited. We are each showing off different approaches to different landscapes as subjects.Read More
Sometimes the smallest things give you joy. For me, I love taking photographs and experimenting with new things. When I get the opportunity to do something new and it works that really makes thingsRead More
I sometimes get asked what is my favourite photo or subject matter. I would have to say that the answer to that question is a little bit complicated.....Read More
As many of my friends and family know, I take a lot of photographs. I also take snapshots. What's the difference?Read More
Well since switching to the Olympus system I haven't really looked back. I have been incredibly satisfied with the system and the results of the how the system all works together.
The quality of the lenses, the weather sealing and the functionality (wi-fi, mirrorless, fast lenses, and fast burst rates) were all things Nikon and Canon seemed unable/unwilling to do. As of the date of this blog, the two big guys (Canon/Nikon), still have not done anything significant in this area. Really the main things missing from the Olympus is the bigger sensor in full frame cameras that affects the bokeh in portraits and night time noise sensitivity (the Olympus uses a sensor called a micro 4/3 sensor has a crop factor of 2 relative to a full frame sensor). This means that the sensor is actually about 1/4 the area of a full frame camera sensor. I now have the OMD EM5 mkii (as my backup and carry around camera) and an OMD EM1 Mkii as my main system. The improvements have been significant on all of the them with really cool features.
Different manufacturers have different product specializations. Nikon has great still DSLRs, but have struggled as a smaller camera company. They also use (mostly) Sony sensors but aren't all that strong on video, Canon on the other hand is making lots of great Pro and Consumer DSLRs (they sell 3 x more cameras than Nikon) but they tend to resell the same sensor over and over again with limited incremental features. Panasonic cameras (also micro 4/3's) are incredible for video and set the standard and while also very good for stills, their strength is in video. Fuji cameras have hipster chic down pat and provide really top notch cameras with unusual features and a different senor configuration. Finally Sony has blasted out of the gate with really high resolution full frame still cameras with incredible great tech but they keep updating cameras at such a frantic rate that sometimes the replacement for a camera comes out while the old model was still doing well.
Olympus has focused on smaller lightweight cameras that can focus fast, have incredibly great lenses and produce great still images. What's also interesting is that Panasonic and Olympus lenses/cameras will accept each other's lenses.
One of the things I shoot a lot of is pets. Pets are incredibly fast moving and don't really listen to people. As a consequence, trying to get them in focus can be a challenge. Initially this was my biggest beef with Olympus. For sports or pet photography, the continuous tracking feature couldn't keep up and you would lose lots of great images due to being out of focus. With the new EM1 Mkii, this problem was solved. They redeveloped the camera so that the autofocus was reliable and quick. For my pet photography, I went from about at 40% in focus rate with continous focus to somewhere in the high 80's.
The other issue of bokeh relates to portraits. The concept of bokeh is that to create separation from the background (blur the background) you need really fast lenses on a big sensor. The smaller sensor in the Micro 4/3 system means that you lose the equivalent of about 2 stops of light for depth of field and ISO even though optically the lens operates the same (this is pretty technical). To accommodate this Olympus released a super-fast lens (25mm f1.2 prime). This has the equivalent bokeh, depth of field of a f2.8 portrait lens for a full frame camera. This is a big accomplishment. The depth of field is so shallow that a subject's eye may be in focus but their nose isn't. This new lens is a 50mm equivalent. The autofocus is great, it is super sharp and gives great bokeh.
What does it mean? Well, for all practical intents, it means that an Olympus system can do everything a pro photographer needs. While other manufacturers haven't been sitting still, the reality is that now these added features really don't do much for the everyday photographer. File sizes are too large; the equipment is too big and heavy; the features of so complex you need an degree simply to modify the menu system and all modern camera make great images.
Nowadays, the real limitation is the eye of the photographer. This, however, is why I shoot with Olympus cameras.
There are lots of great cameras out there. Pretty much any recent camera produced within the last three years are great at producing images. You pretty much can't go wrong. This blog post will give you an understanding of why I chose the cameras I use.Read More
For more than 100 years, photography has basically been the same. Capture light and shadows to create an image. Its all about the light....Read More
Nowadays with digital cameras and cell phones we create so many digital photographs we dont look at them, with millions of photos forgotten soon after they are taken. How many selfies does one actually need? The problem with modern photography is that the images taken tend to only exist in the ether. My camera will take up to 60 frames per second... that's a lot of photos. Seems like overkill for most applications. In the film days, that was almost 2 rolls of 36. In the past with film, the images were recorded on a medium (the negative and print) that was also served as the storage medium. Now you need hard drives and back ups to ensure your images are preserved. How many people print their images? Some of them? Any of them?
While I like printing images it takes time and is expensive (actually it was always expensive), almost nobody does it. This creates two dilemmas. One, you aren't going to accidentally come across your photos because they are buried in some long lost directory from long ago. Two, if you pass, what will those you leave behind have to remember you with?
On my recent trip to England, my aunt showed me lots of images of my dad and my grandfather, many of which I had never seen. They were awesome. I didn't have a scanner so I laid out a whole bunch of them and took images with my camera. They turned out well. A second generation image is better than none at all.
Even more interesteing was that earlier tonight my wife and I were going through a bunch of photographs from my wife's dad's house (we finally sold it) and were admiring all the photos. Promising to review them all but not really having the time or the inclination to go through all of them. They are fascinating products of a bygone era where our relationships with photographs were so different. For instance, people rarely smiled because photographs were serious stuff. These images were from when Edmonton was still a pretty new frontier town.
I really like fixing these images, which gives me insight into times long ago. I'm not ready to try colourizing a photo (that is way too much work) but I can fix colour shifts, scratches and blotches. I have gotten really good at it.
Maybe one of these days I will go through my own film photos......
Now that I'm back in Canada, the photos I take are a little different. More of people and animals, but still lots of fun. .....Read More
I got to do a lot of travelling in the past month. I visited Zurich (briefly), Portugal, England and Iceland. I put on a whole lot of kilometers over three weeks with over 1200 km in each of England and Iceland.....Read More
The final days of this trip are in Iceland. I chose to go along the south coast. ....Read More
Short update as I have to go get a plane to catch. Very busy few days will little time on a computer,....Read More
I left the sunny beautiful weather of Lisbon to arrive in London and.... rain. Regardless, it was to be expected. The adventure with my rental car was, however, unexpected....Read More
It has been a wonderful whirlwind time here in Portugal. I have so many lovely cousins who are without exception, incredibly generous and kind. Despite not having much of an ability to talk much in Portuguese...Read More
It's been a whirlwind past couple of days. Today is Friday, I arrived on Wednesday. Since then.....Read More
It has been a long day or is it two? As I write this I am sitting in my hotel room in Zurich almost ready to leave to catch my plane to Lisbon. I think I have sleep about 8 hours in the past two days, but I feel pretty good.Read More
Life is craziest when adventure begins.Read More
I think there are quite a few great ways to get better at photography. I've taken lots of courses and I find that courses are really useful to expose you to various techniques, styles of photography and different subject matter. There are also camera clubs, online photography challenges and competitions to help you improve taking images.Read More
I love shooting pets (with my camera). Some photographers absolutely hate it (because they move fast and rarely sit still) but I love it. I find it surprisingly low stress and love the way the photos turn out. Here are some of my tips on how to get better results from your images of your furry friends....Read More
My wife and I got a chance to spend a weekend away without our kid. It was a nice (but too short) break. I really enjoyed getting....Read More