Beach Pano

Shooting an incredibly bright beach scene with a camera without a viewfinder is a tough thing to do, but shooting with manual exposure and focus helped. Although seeing detail in the camera’s LCD was impossible, I could see enough to make out the rough composition I needed for this panoramic.

I shot eight frames and merged them. A little extra saturation improved the colours. I used PhotoShop’s warp filter to take out the barrel distortion in the horizon: I’m sure there’s a better way, please feel free to leave a tip.

Hardware: Olympus EP-1, 17mm f/2.8
Settings: ISO 100, 1/250th @ f/16 Manual
Post: 8 frames merged in PhotoShop. Warp filter, increased saturation


Getting a dozen or so people in a shot – which needed to include me – was never going to be easy, especially as it needed to be shot at a time when the sun would be high in the Perth sky, and the group included ages from 2 to 75.
I put the camera (with a flash on the hotshoe) on a tripod, focussed manually, used aperture priority to ensure enough depth of field and asked another guest at the party to release the shutter.

Macro with no viewfinder…

Let me just say I like my Olympus EP-1, but it’s not a great camera for macro work. I’ve never tried a DSLR four-thirds kit for macro, but I reckon it would be excellent: it’s the smallest format being taken seriously in regard to high quality lenses, camera bodies and sensors, and the inherent extra depth of field offered by the smaller sensor would make handling a bit easier. Olympus has lots of experience building macro lenses and equipment too, so if I were looking at a kit for shooting close I’d be having a long hard look at the new E-5.

But I found myself on visiting family in Perth and the annual flower festival at Kings Park was on, so I went along for a look. Unfortunately the EP-1’s screen is difficult to use in bright, sunny conditions, and Perth is one of the brightest and sunniest places in the world.

So I had to trust the camera, the electronic viewfinder only really being visible enough for composition: I was essentially unable to check critical focus… but I still got some nice images. Here’s the first one, I’m sure a few more will make it into My Photo Today.

Olympus EP-1, Zuiko 40-150 with MFT adaptor @ 150mm (35mm eq. 300mm), ISO 400, 1/1500 @ f/9.5
Cropped, saturated, vignette, contrast boosted in Aperture 3.

Things you see…

I was on my way home and the local lake was bathed in this beautiful sunset. A lone swan was cruising around while a single fisherman was trying to catch dinner.

The composition of this shot could have been better, but the sunset lasted for just a few minutes…

Canon 5D Mk2, 300mm f/2.8 @ f/10, 1/100th, stabilised, cropped, saturation increased.