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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Zuiko and Taking it Easy


Beautiful photography is within painless reach with the E-30!!!

Sometimes pictures turn out better when I take things easy. This was the case just this late afternoon when I took the time to photograph my youngest kid. Instead of thinking too technical about it, such as depth-of-field and noise, I took the liberty to set my E-30 to P-mode. Yes, P-mode with the ISO stuck at 800. I could have chosen 100 or 200 for better image quality, but somehow I want it to stay at 800.

To make things much simpler, I used the only prime lens I own; the Zuiko Digital ED50mm F2.0 Macro. This lens is known for its slow focus notoriety; mainly due to the lack of a focus limiter. What this means is that if I miss focus, the lens will scan through its range from 24cm to infinity. This will take ages in Auto Focus world, and most of the time will be such a pain shooting fast moving objects. Somehow, I did not bother about this fact. Though my kid was moving fast around the porch, I paced myself to track his movements wisely so that the lens won't feel useless, and won't take away the fun of shooting him.

What do you see, daddy?

The day was quite cloudy, with the shadows muted as if it's not there. He was running about the terracotta tiled porch playing at the gate and on the rattan chairs. My goal was to catch him at his many varied facial expressions and movements. With this lens, I was able to be around 5 to 10 feet away. Both of us were comfortable.

As for composition technique, I automatically set the subject off center; somehow the rule-of-thirds was ingrained in stone every time I scan a subject in the frame. Next came leading lines, both visible and imaginary. Then it was the contrasting lights between the subject and background. Lastly came the negative and positive space relationship, that somehow loosely based on the Golden Mean.

What popped?

These were the things that came to me automatically, after years of learning and practice. Yes, it sounds laborious, but somehow it worked for me on many occasions. Some people say breaking the rule is the way, but somehow after so many images, I still yet to find one rule that I broke. It's tough learn it, and much tougher to break it.

That being laid out, the cat and mouse game began.

Come on, daddy. Give it your best shot!!

The first few shots I used plain P-mode on the E-30.

One of my many teachers told me to focus on the eyes,
and so I did

Later, I shifted to Art Filter mode that totally liberated me from the gear and made me focus more on photography.

Soft Focus had always been one of my favorites, as it highlighted the eyes and softened the background.

Woopsss... A bit too soft? I am sorry, but I like!

Grainy Film added the grittiness of the moment, and focused more on the inner dimension of the subject.

Do you see my profile, daddy?

Pinhole provided the added focus on the subject without being too constraining to the viewer.

Surprised? I was too! With the details and sharpness.

Pop Art just oozed the primary colors to bring more color to the already awesome subject.

Am I too fast for you, daddy?

What I liked most with the Art Filter function was that it didn't tie me down. I let the E-30 handle the magic, and I focused on the story. Both combine to produce telling results that left me gobbsmacked when I saw the results on my PC screen. Even more satisfying was the fact that I just hit the upload button in without the slightest concern of postprocessing. What I saw at the time of the shoot was all it needed.


Somehow I felt like I was shooting film, too.

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