Archive for May, 2010

2010 personal project – my year in photos with Madame L – Month 5

Madame L and I went to the Olympia Wooden Boat Festival and walked around and took some photos.   This was an opportunity for more experimentation for me, using my old $100 Olympus e-1 5 MP camera body with some old Olympus OM 35MM film lenses and my new auto-focus confirm adapter.  It turned out to be a gorgeous day and it was a lot of fun.

Test shots with the Sigma 90MM f2.8 OM macro lens

I bought this lens 2 or 3 years ago and sold it to a fellow MyOlympus list member because I wasn’t able to manually focus with it and get in focus shots consistently.  I recently purchased an adapter with auto focus confirm that allows me to use 35MM lenses from the Olympus OM system on my DSLR bodies.  These are a couple of test shots I took with the Sigma 90MM f2.8 OM macro lens.  I love the sharpness of this lens, the shallow depth of field I can get, and the nice bokeh.  My next door neighbor’s cat, Noches, was kind enough to pose for me.

Noches

Coming in for a landing

I have some old lenses from the 35MM OM film cameras and recently purchased an adapter that has an auto-focus confirmation chip.  When I tried using these lenses in the past, I really struggled with them because they have to be manually focused and my eyes just aren’t that great.  They’re great lenses and a lot of nice ones can be found for $50-$100 on ebay and in the used department of KEH.com and some of the larger online camera retailers.  I was testing out the adapter with my Zuiko 200 MM f4.0 lens and happened to catch this guy coming in to spread pollen.

Degoede Tulip Farm

The Olympia Photography meetup group took a trip to the Degoede Tulip Farm which is located near Mossyrock Washington.  It’s a lot of fun to visit the tulip fields in Mount Vernon, but they can be quite crowded and getting shots of the tulip fields without a lot of people in them can be a challenge.  The Degoede Tulip Farm is closer to Olympia and much less crowded.  Gayle, the retail manager, was very accommodating to our group and very friendly.  In addition to the tulip fields there are greenhouses and a large retail store where you can buy beautiful flowers.

We had a small turnout for the event, I think partially because of the weather.  It was a gray overcast day and it was raining all the way from Olympia until just before we got to the tulip farm.  What some don’t realize is that an overcast day makes for fantastic shooting conditions!  The clouds act as a diffuser to help eliminate harsh shadows that you would have if you were shooting in harsh sunlight.  There was no rain the entire time we were there and there were a lot of beautiful shots taken by everyone in the group.

2010 personal project – my year in photos with Madame L – Month 4

Madame L and I visited Priest Point Park in Olympia for another outdoor shoot.

Ivy

Here are a few shots from a shoot I did a while back with traveling model Ivy.  She was great to work with, but I understand she has since “retired” from modeling.  These were all shot in my home studio using the Olympus e-620.

Boston Harbor

Here are a few shots from a meetup with the Olympia Photographers group.  All shots were taken with my $100 Olympus e-1 5MP camera.

2010 personal project – my year in photos with Madame L – Month 3

Madame L and I took to the streets and back alleys of Olympia for our March shoot.  We had a lot of fun shooting and ended the after with a wonderful lunch together at Quality Burrito (my first time there – good stuff!).  I shot these with my 5 MP Olympus e-1.  I’ve been having a lot of fun with this project!

Vassanta!

I’ve been so busy that I have a number of shoots that I haven’t had time to process.  Here are some shots from my session with traveling art model Vassanta.  She is originally from Russia and is one of the best models I have ever worked with.  I highly recommend her.

Newer isn’t always better!

The photography class I was taking helped get me out of my studio and outdoors to enjoy the local beauty of Olympia.  It also helped me focus more on the photography and less on the technology.  I frequent a number of online forums and there is often a lot of discussion about “the best camera” and “the best lens” as if finding that one piece of equipment will make a huge difference in your photography.  I believe in using the best tools I can afford to do the job at hand, but I also believe that the space between my ears is just as important to my photography as the gear I’m using.

One of the things I’ve been doing lately is using my Olympus e-1 5MP DSLR and pairing it up with a couple of inexpensive used lenses I picked up (a Sigma 18-125 and Sigma 55-200 zoom) for about $100 each.  I picked up the e-1 for $100 also.

These shots were all taken with that kit.  They aren’t works of art, but I hope they illustrate that you don’t have to have a $5,000 camera body and a foot long lens to take decent photos.

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GM Photography

My blog will focus on the "behind the scenes" aspects of photography, my thoughts and beliefs about photography, a chronicle of my shoots, and discussions about equipment and personal projects I'm working on. I hope this becomes an interactive page and look forward to your feedback.