March 31, 2013

SLR Magic 26mm f/1.4 Toy Lens

SLR Magic 26mm f/1.4 on OM-D E-M5

Eric Flexyourhead lent me his most current acquisition, the SLR Magic 26mm f/1.4 Toy Lens. I want to thank Eric first before anything else because this post won't be existing if not for him lending me the toy. Also, I want to note that this is not a review of this lens. This is a blog of my experience using the lens and I have to say I had so much FUN! All images in this post link to flickr. Click any image and you'll be able to see EXIF data and a larger version if desired.

So what is it about the lens that made it fun to use. For me it was about the unique images you can produce from this toy lens, size & weight (it was very light) and ease of use. The lens reminded me of how enjoyable it is to make photos when your camera and lens combo is light and comfortable. I'm using it on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 and a quick google tells me that it only comes with a M4/3 adapter. I believe it is a cine lens or a CCTV lens with C Mount. The SLR Magic 26mm f/1.4 + OM-D E-M5 combo is swell!

SLR Magic 26mm f/1.4 Toy Lens

March 20, 2013

Subject Isolation

Trees BW

There are five ways to isolate your subjects, by:
  • Light
  • Depth of Field
  • Colour
  • Texture
  • Motion
You can combine all to increase visual impact. Subject isolation is important because it helps to direct your viewer's eyes to the portions of the frame to which you want them to pay attention. The better isolated your subject is, the stronger your composition becomes, and the less distracting any other potential unintended (or uncontrollable) elements in the frame are. Paying attention to subject isolation also makes you pay attention to the subject itself in the first place. You must know the subject of your photograph is, if not then you should really question why you are taking the shot in the first place.

March 16, 2013

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 ASPH

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux F1.4 on E-P1

This blog post is to show photographs made using the Pana-Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 lens. This is NOT a review of this lens. I've used the lens for about a year now and it is my most used lens on my Olympus E-P1 and OM-D E-M5. My goal for this post is to provide real world examples of:
  • How the lens produced bokeh
  • How it performed in low light
  • High ISO
  • Long exposure
  • Portraits
  • Flare
  • And some black and white conversions
All photos on this blog post link back to my flickr account where you can see the EXIF data. Enjoy!

March 9, 2013

Balance, Symmetry and Use of Empty or Negative Space

Vancouver Architecture and Buildings

Assignment 3 is done and it is getting more interesting and tougher. Ming Thein has been true to what he said since the beginning. No sugar coated comments and he is a very tough (extra tough, I'd say) critique with very detailed descriptions of why your submissions are good or bad. All that is great because it is meant for learning and nothing is personal. So what about the assignment, it is mainly to make conscious use of negative/empty space while maintaining balance. 

March 1, 2013

Fit the Frame to Subject and Vice Versa

Lines and shapes

I just finished my last assignment and it was a great one. As the title says it’s about fitting the frame to subject and vice versa. It sounds quite easy specially when you take the meaning literally but it is not as simple as framing your subject. For this assignment cropping is allowed but only to a non-native aspect ratio. This means one of the dimensions must always remain the same as that of the camera. Cropping smaller is both lazy composition and will change the perspective properties of your lenses. The primary goal of the assignment is to learn how to use space and essentially how to create a balanced looking image. Does it still sound easy? For me it wasn't quite so until I realized what I needed to do and the realization came from two things:

1. Looking at many photographs online, mainly of my teacher/mentor, Ming Thein. Photographs on flickr and also portfolios of professional photographers.
2. Two comments made by Ming through our email discussions. They were "It is about how you use space period." and "Ultimately...images are just a collection of shapes."