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Friday, November 26, 2010

Zuiko and Dramatic Tone for Landscaped Portraits

I am still warming up with the E-5. Though it is mostly based on the E-3, the technical jump has challenged my creativity to a new level. Notably on the technical improvements are the image quality ranging from ISO100 to ISO1600 with the excellent sensor pixel sharpness. With my collection of F2 zooms, this has opened a plethora of situations with regards to exposure value parameters (aperture, shutter speed, and sensor sensitivity). On the creative improvements, the addition of Art Filter 10 Dramatic Tone and Hi-Def video at 720p have pushed a new level of imaging possibilities.

E-5 with Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm F2.0 SWD
22mm, f/8, 1/100s, ISO200, -0.3ev

Recently, I have been focusing a lot on the Dramatic Tone art filter. And why not? This new filter beckons to be explored. I started with simple landscape shots during my E-5 review. The 3-day loan was not long enough for me to explore its creative possibilities. Only now do I have the time to explore the beauty of the E-5.

The previous blog entry showed how the Dramatic Tone art filter interacts with wireless TTL flash setup. The diffused lighting seems to bid very well with the filter. I really like the output. I am looking forward to explore different lighting setup with this filter.

In this entry, the exploration of the Dramatic Tone filter with portraiture against strong backlight; in this case direct sunlight, was done. It's simple, actually. I put my composition setup as shooting landscape, meaning small aperture (f/8 or something like that) and pseudo hyperfocal distance focusing technique (not that I use Manual focus, but during Auto Focus, I keep in mind the hyperfocal distance relationship towards the subject to achieve image in-focus sharpness across the frame).

And I purposely did not use the flash for fill-in, as I really wanted to explore the capability of the filter to lift the near silhouette subject, in this case my ever-willing son.

To my surprise, the filter did a very good job. No doubt there was still noise even at base ISO200, but considering that the filter lifted easily about 3 to 4 stops of exposure, I considered this to be very good indeed. I doubt whether the E-3 or the E-30 can deliver this quality (just take a look at the SAT output). The TruePic V processor really shines!

In case, if you noticed, the solar ghosting and flares were also tamed. With the Dramatic Tone tendency to exaggerate contrast, I was smitten with the clear and crisp output. This was practically due to the Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm F2.0 SWD lens. The optical properties for this lens was just phenomenal!

Hmmm.. what's next? Maybe shooting with the Circular Polarizer (C-PL) with wireless TTL Flash. That sounds interesting. The color saturating properties of the C-PL should produce more vivid output to the already eye-popping Dramatic Filter effect.

Now... where did I put my filter pouch?!!!

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