Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lippy Ladies - Lisa and Linda

Out early this morning for a shoot with Lisa and Linda in York City Centre.

Weather was much better than when we originally tried to get together, lovely and clear, the type of light that shows York at its best.

As there was hardly anyone around and no traffic were were able to position the bikes pretty much wherever we liked.

I shot predominantly on my Canon 5D2 with the 16-35mm f2.8 L, 24-70mm f2.8 L and the 70-200mm f2.8 L IS. I also did some with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro. Can you tell which one of these was taken with that camera?

As the sun was still low I used fill-in flash for all these images, the Canon 430 EXII Speedlite was in a Neewer softbox ably held by Hannah,  my assistant for the day, fired remotely by a Canon ST2.
When I used the OM-D I fired the same Canon Speedlite set manually remotely using an Ebay 2.4Ghz trigger, it worked perfectly.

Really enjoyable shoot and Lisa and Linda were a joy to photograph, very relaxed in front of the camera.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Kilpeck church Herefordshire

Some more images taken on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 14-42mm kit lens off my old PEN E-PL1.

I've moved the 14-42mm back the Oly PEn now that the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro has arrived for the OM-D E-M5. The Pen will now replace the Canon G10 Powershot that died as my keep in the bag/car/coat camera.
Processed in Lr CC

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 14-42mm

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 14-42mm

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 14-42mm

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 and hdew Cameras

Full disclosure: I have nothing whatsoever to do with hdew Cameras, and paid for the lens with my own money.
A quick big up to hdew Cameras who have just supplied me with an Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens.
I was looking at this lens for my OMD-EM5 and the best I could find was used in MPB Photographic (who I use a lot) at £499 + delivery. Then Google turned up the same lens new (but white box separated from a kit apparently) in hdew cameras.
I'd never heard of hdew Cameras so was wary and of course you hear all kinds of horrors around "grey" goods. However at £503 inc VAT it was too good an offer to at least not check out.
I contacted hdew Cameras by email asking if they were "grey" goods, they replied that technically they were but had their own 3 yr warranty with a manufacturer approved facility and that the goods were in the UK and not imported from elsewhere on demand.
I pressed the button and 5 working days later my lens arrived.
On opening the box I was pleasantly surprised to find not a white box but an official unopened Olympus box.
I logged onto MyOlympus and on entering the serial number the lens was detected and the 3yr warranty from Olympus applied together with a 6 month extension, so it was all good. The lens has the latest Firmware so its not been sat on a dealers shelf for months either.
I was kept up to date via email of my order status and any questions were answered very quickly. I was sent a VAT receipt by email as I had requested.
All in all a very pleasurable and easy buying experience. I would not hesitate to recommend them and they will be first on my list when needing any new kit.
And the lens? it looks and feels every bit Pro and fits on the OMD-EM5 beautifully and focusses super fast. Unfortunately is pouring down here this evening so I can't get out to try it, I'm not willing to test the weatherproofing just yet!
Images taken with iPhone 7 and Lr Mobile. Processed in Lr Mobile

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro

M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Kilpeck Church, Herefordshire

Visiting my Mum, this weekend and fixed her abysmally slow broadband, so able post.

We went out to Kilpeck church, weather was fine when we left Hereford, but turned overcast white-out sky and rain when we arrived. Still, I wanted to give the OM-D another test do went and took a few images anyway, it is weather sealed after all.

My M.Zuiko 12-40 f2.8 Pro lens has not arrived yet so still using the kit 14-42 from my old Olympus PEN EL-P1.

Processed in Luminar, for a change.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Obituary: Canon G10 Powershot - the last photos

Canon G10 Powershot of York. Expectedly passed away on 29th July in the Victoria & Albert Museum shortly after visiting the Pink Floyd  - Their Mortal Remains exhibition.

Here are the final images I shot with my lovely G10 that day.

Despite its small sensor it took a very respectable photo in good light and was also useful for panoramas.

It is survived by two Canon 5D2 and their L series lenses.

It delivered to the last. It will be sadly missed.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Lippy Ladies project - Ellie

Its been a busy two days on the Lippy Ladies Project (LLP), Alice yesterday and Ellie today in Chesterfield.
Strictly speaking Ellie is not a Lippy Lady, like Sharon she is a South Yorkshire Lady Biker, but all ladies who ride are OK with me and there is a lot of crossover between the tow clubs.

Ellie and her partner Nick have a nice garage of bikes but with a very interesting vehicle in the shape of a Can-Am Spyder.

As it was yesterday the weather was against up and it was raining, however the immaculate bike garage made for an excellent back drop.

Thanks to Ellie and Nick for another very enjoyable shoot, I'm getting to meet the most interesting people on this project.

Shot on the Canon 5D2 with Canon 24-70 f2.8 L and Canon 70 - 200mm f2.8 L IS, Processed in Lr CC

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Lippy Ladies project - Alice

I was down in Sheffield this evening to photograph another Lippy Lady.

On the drive there we had brilliant sunshine, wind, rain and then torrential rain followed by sunshine, it was a variable, to say the least!

the view from the end of Alice's street is spectacular, so much so that people seemed to be turning up just admire it while we were shooting. 

This is the view Alice seems every time she takes off on her bike for a ride, leaving the city and entering the countryside. So, this seemed like an obvious location for her shoot.

The sky was filled with fast moving clouds, occasionally revealing a brilliant sun, low in the sky but not yet near setting. this made of tricky exposures, so much so I had to resort to fill-in flash on some exposures.

We could see the rain making its way up the Rivlin Valley towards us and sure enough within no more than 10 minutes of starting we had to shelter in the car as it chucked it down. It was all over in 15 minutes but the light was very contrasty by now and the fast moving clouds allowed the sun to play hide and seek.

Despite all this Alice was very patient and put up with the weather and to a greater degree me asking her to look here and there.

I used my Canon 5D2's with the holy trinity of Canon L zooms, the 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 IS with a Canon Speedlite 430 EXII and Canon ST2 remote control.

Processed in Lr CC

Shooting into the sun as I was I was able to get some lovely lens flare, I've left this one in colour for best effect.

 Alice rides a stunning Triumph Street Triple R Dark Limited Edition.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Olympus OM-D EM5 micro Four Thirds

Before I had my Canon 5D2 DSLRs  was an Olympus user.
I started with the E330 4/3 DSLR which was OK for the time but not really useable over 800 ISO, then when Olympus dropped the 4/3 cameras and started with the Micro 4/3 I bought a Pen E-PL1 which with an adapter I could use my existing 4/3 lenses.

I really liked the images the little Pen could produce, especially from jpg, my preference was for the Vivid setting. I seldom shot RAW with this camera. 

I later sold my E330 and the lenses staying with two lenses, the standard Pen kit 14-42mm f 3.5-5.6 and a Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f4-5.6 which in actual fact is 4/3 lens with a MFT adapter.

I find both lenses fast to focus and pretty sharp.

What I don't enjoy about the Pen is that it does not have a viewfinder, call me old fashioned but I like to have the camera to my eye to shoot. A screen is very useful, but not for the majority of my workflow. Also with a the sun on it you can't see a bloody thing.

I tried the clip-on viewfinder for the Pen but didn't like it at all, and it stuck up very prominently and felt too fragile, so I persisted using the screen.

Then, recently whilst browsing the internet, I saw that the Olympus OM-D E-M5 were available used very cheaply.

I recalled my brother had one and had rated it. I asked him again what he thought of the M5 and he said that he had really liked it, so much so that when the Mk2 version was released bought that hoping for even more but was sadly disappointed as in his opinion the ergonomics were not as good on the Mk2 and so he swapped it for the Pen F.

So, to keep things brief, I pushed the button and bought a used OM-D E-M5 in excellent condition complete with original box etc from Wex for just over £200 with free delivery.

The day after it arrived I was due to shoot a graduation for a University department, the usual smiling graduates and their parents. The photos were destined for social media so I thought with its quick AF and accurate face recognition the OM-D would be perfect.

I was right, it was the correct tool for the job. Unfortunately I can't display any of the images here to prove it though.

I'll give the camera another test in the next couple of days and post those results and my further thoughts on this camera.

OM-D E-M5 with Olympus 14-42mm MFT and 40-150mm
I went out today for a stroll around a university campus, the weather was pretty much perfect.
I took the OM-D M5 with me with both the lenses.

The OM-D was a joy to use,  these are my observations:
  • The AF is quick and accurate.
  • The 5 axis IS is very impressive
  • EVF is good, fast, and accurate.
  • Super Control Panel menu system is very easy to use.
  • Its very well made and feels good "in the hand"
  • jpg OOTC are perfect for on-line and web use with little post production necessary.
  • The 14-42mm kit lens is not that bad, likewise the old 4/3 40-15mm with MFT adapter.
OOTC jpg on Vivid setting no Post Production Olympus 40-150mm

OOTC jpg on Vivid setting no Post Production Olympus 40-150mm

Processed to taste in Lr CC from Olympus ORF raw file

Processed to taste in Lr CC from Olympus ORF raw file

Processed to taste in Lr CC from Olympus ORF raw file

Processed to taste in Lr CC from Olympus ORF raw file
So far I'm very impressed with the OM-D E-M5, as a second system to the Canon 5DII kit it makes for a hight quality, lightweight solution.

To compare it to my previous other system the Fuji XPro-1.
The Olympus is smaller, definitely lighter, just was well built - with the benefit of being weather proof - has much faster AF that works. The EVF is much better. The whole camera just feels more "finished".
The Fuji did have a bigger sensor and certainly a better kit lens, perhaps not in terms of sharpness but aperture. I've not got any of the Olympus Pro f2.8 lenses for the OM-D so can't compare that aspect to the fantastic Fuji primes I had for the X-Pro1.
The biggest advantage that I can see for the OM-D over the X-Pro1 is that it is so much faster, to use, something I value highly in a second system.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

gps4cam App Canon 5DII

I like my canon 5DII an awful lot and am in no hurry to upgrade or change them.

However I quite fancied the idea of having the images geotagged but there is no easy way to geotag images on the 5DII Canon never made an add-on for the 5DII.

I could photograph the same location on my iPhone then reference this image to edit the metadata on the Canon files but this was going to be a pain in the arse.

Then I came across an App called gps4cam, it is available for iOS and Android but this I use an iPhone 7 so this is the App I've used.

There is a Standard and Pro version available, I bought the Pro version (as you would of course Mr Hill). the differences between the two Apps are minor, the Pro basically has Cloud/Dropbox abilities.

There is also a small App to download to your Mac or PC. 

The way it works is that you start a "trip" on the phone App and start photographing. When you are done you stop the App and it generates a QR code which you photograph on the same camera you were using.

Then, you copy the images, including the QR code, to a folder on your Mac/PC, and using the Desktop gps4cam App on your computer navigate to the file location, then specify an output location for the tagged files and press Start. 

In the tagged folder will be your files now geotagged.

I gave this a quick test and then imported the files into Lr CC.

It worked.

However, On my iPhone 7 with the latest iOS the App freezes and has to be killed. Not a good start but if you immediately restart the App, click on the "Trips" menu you trip will be there but "paused". Continue the "trip" and it all works perfectly. Obviously some bug fixing needs to be carried out by the developer. I have contacted them, lets see what they say.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Llynnau Mymbyr - Canon G10 Panorama and Canon Photostitch

I've been following Jason Jones in his Vlog as he photographs North Wales, around the area that I'm originally from. Its lovely to see the beautiful scenery.

In his most recent video  Jason makes an other attempt to get a successful image of Llynau Mymbyr.

This time its not wet socks that prevent him but the lack of decent light.

I can sympathise with him, I've tried on several occasions to get a decent image in that location, the best i've managed so far is one using the panorama setting on my Canon G10, stitched together in Canon Photostitch then tweaked in Lr CC.

I originally stopped for a quick piss behind the rocks in the layby, but spotted the light and quickly grabbed the only camera I had with me.

There is something a bit odd in the water on the RHS where the images have been stitched; strange as the G10 locks the exposure for the first image, I think its more likely the light changed significantly between image 2 and 3.

Canon G10 Panorama setting

Lippy Ladies project

A bit more progress with the Lippy Ladies project.
Sharon got in touch and we shot some images at Ashworth Barracks Museum in Doncaster.

Sharon was really easy to photograph, she was really relaxed and just kept chatting away as I worked. If only all subjects were this easy to work with!

It was a very warm sunny day and were working early afternoon so the sun was almost overhead and the lighting quite harsh, but I'm pleased with the results.

I used my Canon 5DIIs one with the 70-200mm f2.8 L USM IS and the other with the 16-35mm f2.8 L USM.

Processed in Lr CC as per the others in the series.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Old garage Llanrug North Wales - images revisited

unprocessed image

After watching this Youtube video by Jason Jones I thought I'd revisit the images I took at this location back in 2011. These were among the first images I took with my recently purchased Canon 5DII and 24-70mm f2.8 L.

Its a tricky subject to get a good image of, constant traffic on the busy road on which it stands, doesn't help but its mainly because each side of the main garage building is not really very photogenic in the same sense as the garage itself. 

I processed the same image in four different ways, all in Lr and Ps CC as usual. I've included the unprocessed image at the end for comparison.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Photo workflow exercise Lightroom vs Canon DPP4

I took a bracketed image and processed them in two different ways to see if it made an appreciable difference.

Workflow 1
Lightroom CC for HDR, lens correction, perspective correction and BW processing.

Workflow 2
Canon DPP4 for HDR, lens correction then Photoshop CC for perspective correction sing NIK plugins for BW processing

Workflow-wise, keeping everything in Lr CC is easy and the file is exported to your chosen destination.
With DPP4 the image can be sent to Ps CC and processed there, however it is not a "round trip" the image when saved within Ps gets saved way down in the folder structure on the Mac HD. I then had to find this and copy it to where I wanted it to be stored.

Concerning IQ, to my eyes, and this was when I was working on the CR2 files on a 27" Thunderbolt monitor, the HDR in Lr did a better job in masking the ghost images from the trees being blown by the wind whilst taking the 3 bracketed images, but DPP4 performed marginally better on the brickwork of the building. The sky was easier to process, in that greater adjustment was possible,  in NIK Silver EFX Pro than using the grad filter in Lr. Adjusting perspective in Lr required a Crop to afterwards, while in Ps it was all taken care of automatically. The two methods have produced a different result, which is interesting.