Lacey Car Show

The Olympia Photographers meetup group attended the Lacey Mid-Day Lions annual car show on June 19th.  It was a bit of a crummy day and had been raining most of the morning.  There were only two other members that braved the weather.  Fortunately the rain stopped and we were able to get some shooting in and check out the cool cars on display.  I had brought my Olympus e-1 5MP camera since it is weather proof.  All of the photos you see were made on a 5MP camera.  Not bad huh?!?

Night shooting with the Olympia Photographers meetup group

The Olympia Photographers meetup group got together to do some night shooting.  I recruited some local models from Model Mayhem and we went to the Olympia waterfront for some night shooting.  We met up at the South Bay BBQ (great food!) before the event.  Our models were Bryan,  Kenyatta, Stormy, and “The Man” (Bryan’s son).  There were also some interesting people in the area.  Two women were out on the pier doing some type of exercise.  A few of us brought speedlights and modifiers for some “strobist” style shooting.  It was fun to balance the flash with the ambient light of the setting sun, at least until the sun set and it got dark.

Others used on-camera flash and some used their tripods and made long exposures.  Bryan brought his street motorcycle, which made a nice prop.  I was able to get some nice shots of Kenyatta using a single flash (a Sunpak 383) and a brolly box on a stand.  We had some issues with the wind blowing over stands, but nothing got broken, we had a lot of fun, and some nice images were created. More photos from the rest of the group are online at the meetup.com page:  http://www.meetup.com/Olympia-Photographers/photos/950887/

Peggy’s Graduation

My sister recently graduated from college.  I just purchased an Olympus e-30 camera as an upgrade to my e-620 and was excited to use it in a low light setting.  The graduation took place at the Showare Center in Kent.  We were pretty far from the stage and it was almost dark.  I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get very good pictures.  I brought my 50-200 zoom lens and my FL-50R flash to give myself the best chance of getting good shots.  To my surprise and joy, the combination worked quite well.  I was able to get some pretty sharp images from where I was sitting and the FL-50R was able to cover the distance to the stage.  Most of the images were shot at 800 ISO and there was very little “noise” in the images.

Photo shoot with Sinful Desires

Sinful Desires (not her real name, obviously!) is a model I’ve worked with a few times.  She is a lot of fun, very pleasant to work with, and always puts her all into every shoot.  We did a couple of different looks in my home studio.  For the first series, we constructed a fake bed and I used my strobes at very low power so that I could shoot at a wide aperture and create a very shallow depth of field.  That’s why the images are so soft and out of focus starting almost directly behind the model’s face.  For the second series, I used only one light and created a lot of shadows to give her figure a lot of dimension and to create a bit of mystery.

Maghae and Denny’s Wedding

I recently had the honor of shooting Maghae and Denny’s wedding.  Maghae is a model that I have collaborated with a few times.  She is great to work with and a wonderful person.

Their wedding was at a community hall near Aberdeen.  I had seen photos of the interior of the facility prior to the event and was a little concerned that it wouldn’t be very photogenic.  When I arrived on the day of the event I was amazed at the transformation that had taken place.  Maghae and friends had spent the entire day before decorating and the place looked fabulous!  The wedding had a lot of traditional elements, but they also had a lot of fun.  It was one of the best weddings I’ve been to in a while and I was glad to be there both as friend and photographer.

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.

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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.