Shooting Anywhere, Anytime !!

Side Note: All images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1. All images were post-processed.

I feel liberated with the Olympus PEN E-PL1. I can bring it everywhere I go to. And most importantly, I do WANT to shoot with it !!

Who is to say that we can only take out the camera and shoot during paid assignment, or photography outings? As I walk the streets that I take to my work place, sometimes I chanced upon an interesting subject or moment that instantaneously had my hands searching my bag for the camera. If photography is your passion, you should live it as your lifestyle. Photography as a lifestyle means having the camera with you at all times, and you have the desire to come home with a handful (not necessarily many) of photographs at the end of the day.

Building Lights against threatening skies.
1/60s, F/3.8, ISO800

KL Tourists' Trap
1/30s, F/4.7, ISO1250

Street Portrait? Or Fashion Shoot on the Streets?
1/15s, F/5.6, ISO1600

After work today, I took the train down to the city to scout for a new camera bag that houses the cute little PEN. It was already approaching night, and the daylight was quickly dying. Sky was gloomy, and finally it did rain. Yet, the itchiness of my hands prevailed, and I just had to get the camera out there snapping some images. No, this was not exactly a shutter therapy session. This was too short to be anything therapeutic. I just walked around the Times Square and Bukit Bintang area and whenever I saw something that caught my attention, I pointed my PEN at it and "click". I did not purposefully hunt for subjects, I just let them find me. You will be surprised by how many photography opportunities passing you by even without you needing to forcefully find them. Often, the subjects are there and the most important thing is to really open your eyes, then be more aware of whats around you, and of course have the camera to capture them.

One of the main advantage of PEN over ordinary compact point and shoot camera is the ability to use higher ISO settings and still get away with reasonably good quality pictures. It was already dark at the time of shooting the images in this entry, hence there was no choice but to boost up the ISO sensitivity to gather more ambient light. The noise is very tolerable, well controlled even all the way up to ISO2000. I did not push further than that this session, and I find at ISO1600, the image is still very clean with little trace of chroma noise only. I set the Noise Filter to Standard, which took care of the noise issues and somehow produced very pleasing smooth images. If I was concerned about getting sharpness and details, I would be using the E-5 with the legendary 50mm that is so sharp you can get cut by just looking at it. With PEN and the humble kit lens, all I care about is getting the subject !! Lets worry less about technicalities, and just start making images happen.

I approached the three friends who sat by the roadside, and I asked their permission to photograph them. I must admit, it is easier to approach people with PEN.
1/20s, F/4.4, ISO2000

Playing with fire. There was a spotlight almost directly above the dude's head, hence providing a pleasing glow of light wrapping his head and shoulders.
1/25s, F/3.9, ISO1250

Unattended. Poor kid, as the parents run the fierce competitive restaurant business, the kid was left alone, not even with a proper room to rest or do his homework.
1/8s, F/4.2, ISO1250

I intended to find a camera bag of a really small size, just enough to fit the PEN and a kit lens. I have searched high and low at Bukit Bintang Plaza, Sungai Wang and also the IT center at Times Square, and I could not find anything I wanted. Gosh, camera shops in Kuala Lumpur are indeed hopeless. I know I could probably have more luck searching for the bag and purchase one online, but where is the fun of that? I want to hold, touch, and stuff my PEN in the bag before deciding if the bag is right for me. I want to feel the texture of the fabric, I want to feel the softness of the padding to protect the camera. I certainly cannot do that online. I shall probably continue hunting for bags again at other places around KL in the weekends.

Small is SEXY !! PEN is the way to go. From now on, do expect more and more postings from me, as I live my photography lifestyle with Olympus PEN.


  1. Bartosz Dawidowski4/21/2011 02:11:00 AM

    Well, i told you! :) You're taking your camera everywhere you go now. There is much more freedom compared to DSLR. Great pictures! I hope you'll find a nice bag (search for small video camera bags, E-pl1 should fit very nicely in them).

  2. Bartosz Dawidowski4/21/2011 02:12:00 AM

    Lowepro Edit 100 fits E-pl1 great. Try to find that one!

  3. Hi Robin,

    I just bought the Macro 50mm..
    will receive it in a few days.

    Have you see the Zoo pics...

    And.... DON't forget the E-5 !!!

    Very kind regards !!!

  4. I bought the lens because of youre experiences like this :

    thanks for that!

  5. Hello Bartosz,
    I agree it is an everyday camera, but it did not get me "better" pictures. It opens up more opportunities. I cannot have shutter therapy everyday, unless I do not have full time job.
    Nonetheless, E-5 has its place, so does E-PL1.
    I have searched high and low in Kuala Lumpur. the shops here are hopeless.
    I am not exactly a fan of lowepro. I find them overly priced, and oddly, ugly !!
    Oh well, thats just me I guess, hahaa.

  6. hello Rick,
    I wont forget the E-5. it is my main workhorse.
    The macro 50mm is a beast !! I am sure you will love it. The sharpness is incredible, even shot at wide open. You will love the macro capability, as well as the bokeh at F2.
    Dont worry, I have briefly seen your zoo pictures, Internet has been slow lately (Malaysian internet connection is terrible sometimes), I will get back to you when I can.

  7. In my opinion Lowepro produces the best camera bags - I have one and after 4 years of heavy use it is still going strong. Great bags :)

  8. You seemed to went through the Golden Triangle in search of a suitable camera bag but have you tried Low Yat since you didn't mention it among Sungei Wang and BB Plaza?

  9. Hello Rebirthace,
    In fact, I did search all around Low Yat too, I forgot to mention it ahahaha.