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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4 thoughts on “Online again

  1. Hi Frank, good to see you back posting!

    Yes, sometimes real life gets in the way of photography, and the amount of time for a classical raw-workflow cannot always be set aside. Btw, I am using AfterShot for my purposes (which was the only available good raw processor on Linux many years ago), and this did and does speed up my processing very much.

    And now I am curious what you get out of your new PEN-F – the only camera I would consider to replace my E-M5 cameras, but the two bodies still go strong. #2 and #3 of your images I find really appealing. But I do know, it’s not the camera but the brain 10cm behind it.

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  2. Hi Markus! I’m happy to see that you’re still there!
    You’re absolutely right, it’s the brain and not the camera that matters. But it helps a lot when the camera is an efficient and responsive tool for what the brain desires.
    Thanks for posting and for your support.

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  3. Welcome back, Fernão Magalhães—you have been missed.
    If you quit again, would you at least let me suggest which of your images you should stop with? I was having thoughts of converting one of my old Pentax cameras into a pipe bomb to send to you [grin].

    Cheers!

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  4. Hi Tyler!
    It was a sad way to end indeed. Next time I’ll be more judicious concerning the last post…
    Good to know you’re still watching. Following your blog has been a motivation for me to retake the camera in my hands. Finding a personal and distinctive photographic style, like you have, is a personal goal. I am still navigating aimlessly. And I’m afraid this “new” blog will still be just that: postcards from a guideless journey. Now that’s a good title for a blog, actually!
    Thanks for posting.

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