Online again

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something on the web.  Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve used a camera with some regularity!

If you check the previous installment of this photoblog, hosted on Blogspot (here), you’ll see that the post before last dates from June 2013! Why such a long interruption? For several reasons. Post-processing photos to feed the blog was taking a big chunk of my spare time. This was becoming more stressful than pleasurable. On top of that, my inspiration (whatever that means) was diminishing. I was often posting mediocre images just to fulfill my “two posts a week” goal. The two “Orange” posts that ended the 2013 series are a pitiful example of this. So, on a week when professional work was particularly intense, I just stopped posting. And stopped taking photos also. And I felt fine.

I thought it would take only a couple of months to recharge my “photographic eye”. But I had somehow started to subconsciously associate photography with stress. For three years I didn’t feel the need to take photos. Every once in a while there was a longing for “visual stimulation”, but I wasn’t ready to grab the camera yet.

Last Summer, on a family trip to Azores, I took the Olympus PEN EP-2 with me and shot about a couple hundred photos. Even though I had a lot of fun doing that, I haven’t even downloaded the images from the card yet. The idea of having to select and process the raw files just wasn’t appealing at all.

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So why am I rebooting the blog? Well, I recently decided to take a look at what was new in the world of Micro Four Thirds cameras (yes, I had even stopped browsing digital cameras sites). And that’s how I found the Olympus PEN-F. It was certainly a beautiful object. But something else made me think that this camera was different from the rest, an actual game changer. In numerous reviews authors mentioned how they enjoyed using the in-camera JPEG modes. So much so that they didn’t feel any need to shoot raw! Film emulation profiles seemed to perform particularly well, from high-saturation color slide (how I miss Fuji Velvia!) to grainy and contrasty b&w (Tri-X style). Light-intensity curves could be adjusted, as well as separate color saturation levels. One could even use color filters in monochrome mode! Well, that’s exactly what I needed! An opportunity to renew my approach to photography, in a way closer to using film cameras. More emphasis on pre-shooting decisions, and less on eye-lash burning post-processing.

And that, kids, is why I bought a PEN-F.

And it’s everything I hoped it would be. The “first light” photos in this post are JPEGs straight out of the camera.  No in-computer corrections made whatsoever. They look pretty good to me.

The PEN-F has shown its potential. We’ll see what I can do with it.

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