Monday, January 26, 2015

Simplify

There are times that I may have over-think before I shoot. In contradiction to that I have also always emphasized simplicity, which I do practise when it comes to composition and subject content, but not so much on the photoshoot execution part. When it comes to the technicalities of the camera, I usually set the ISO manually, watched the shutter speed all the time (when I shoot in Aperture Priority), fiddle with the exposure compensation all the time, taking multiple shots of one scene, you know, just to be sure that one shot out of many is the perfect one, and always left wondering what I have missed out or might have done wrongly. There is that hesitation of "what if I stand over there" and "if I have moved closer" or "hey this works with wide angle too". Too many possibilities to go through, to many variables to play with and certainly not enough time to consider everything. Being hard-wired into engineering background I struggle to control everything. 

We know photography is never all about control.

Acquiring the Panasonic Lumix GM1 changes things for me. It is my way of simplifying my shutter therapy sessions. The following are my steps of simplification:

1) I ditched manual ISO control. I have ISO Auto with maximum ISO of 6400

2) I have shot everything in JPEG instead of RAW. What if I screw up my shot? Well, let the shot be screwed up. It is not a matter of life and death. If the shooting session was that important, I would have used my Olympus OM-D and PEN cameras instead. 

3) Limited battery life to play with. I have always brought along spare batteries for my OM-D, in case one runs out, and sometimes after a long exhaustive day, it usually does. GM1 is known to have poor battery life. It does not matter, I won't go trigger happy. Make every shot count. 

4) Chimp less. I have often admitted to chimping, and I do encourage that, reviewing your images after every shot to check the focus accuracy and make sure nothing went wrong. With the GM1, due to the limited battery life, I skipped chimping more and more. 

5) I normally would change lenses if necessary, and if I do not, I would use two camera bodies with different lenses mounted on them. I stayed with primarily one lens, the Olympus 25mm F1.8 on the GM1 thoughout the whole session, and (yes I caved in) only switched to Olympus 45mm F1.8 twice. 

6) I care less about the technicalities of my images, I have less worry about controlling everything, and just enjoyed the shooting process. Modern cameras are good enough to handle many photography situations.

7) No, I still do not trust the Face Detection AF. I switched that off. I manually select the focusing point, which was no biggie since I can use the touch screen to do so on the GM1.

Iron Men



Pink

Step

Long Hair

Paper

Portrait of a Stranger

Moving in

Bigger than your head

Legs

Heroes

Broom Stick

Chains

Little Girl

Morning Gathering

Bar. ISO3200

ISO6400

ISO6400 (NR set to -5 the weakest setting). 100% crop from previous image. JPEG processing is not as good as what we see from Olympus, but I still think the image is very good. Chroma noise is suppressed and good amount of detail is still preserved. 

Flat White

Water Bottle

DOTA

Sunday Sky

My Sunday was a slow, and restful one. Just a slow walk at a local market to do some quick shoot, and a few hours solo session at an overpriced coffee joint, playing DOTA 2. It was just the Sunday I needed. Not spending time with people this time around, I just wanted to have "me time". 

Exciting times coming ahead. I will be super, super busy again. 

20 comments :

  1. Very beautiful images as always!!! It seems the little GM1 is doing its job very well!!!

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  2. The signature Robin Wong Squeaky Clean Images always comes out, No matter what camera is used...

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    1. Not aware of me having signature. Then again most of the shots are taken by observing very basic photography guides/rules. simple and straightforward.

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  3. Too bad Olympus seems to be yielding that market segment to Panasonic by not planning to replace the E-PM2.

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    1. I see GM1 and E-PM2 as very different cameras. I would feel that with the existence of E-PL6/E-PL7 E-Pm is getting redundant, being too similar to each other.

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  4. If it helps, Face Detection on the GH4 doesn't seem to lock onto faces, either.

    Since I mostly photograph sports, I can't take the time to adjust everything. If I do, I might as well give up getting the shots that I normally get--those shots that other people miss.

    On Chimping--didn't know that there was a word for this. When I first got the E-M1, I was checking too frequently, and that tiny, tiny battery (you know how I feel now), was flat before I got too far into the day. Between the E-5 and the GH3, I could generally go hours on a battery. I'm sure I'll scream when I get the Panasonic GM5 and only have two batteries.

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    1. Oh wow, you are getting the GM5! I am sure you won't worry about the batteries to much, if it is the same as GM1. It did last me enough, but then again with the inclusion of the electronic viewfinder things could be going for the worse.

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    2. I looked at the GM1 just before the GM5 was introduced. I thought to get the 15mm f/1.7 ahead of the new body. I waited, and then, the GH4 was discounted, so I got that.

      The EVF will make it better, I think, because I won't use the rear display much and that takes more energy, unless the rear display is activated like the E-M1's display.

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  5. Great images! I find that face detection on these camera to be incredibly accurate especially Olympus' implementation.

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    1. The problem is, there are many times I have more than one face on the screen and the camera does not know who I want to be in focus.

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    2. If the frame gets not one face, what will be the focus? Which is in the center of the frame, or is closer to the lens?

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    3. I find it so unpredictable that I do not have an answer to this. I need for shooting.

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  6. Love your pics on this one. Makes me want to grab my 25mm and 45mm and hit the streets :-)

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  7. interesting patterns are showing up in some of the shadows and blurry areas of the ham picture, especially at the base of the lettuce.. Very nice pictures you have provided! Thanks for posting.

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  8. Are these 40MP handheld? I forgot to asked (or read).

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  9. I think Panasonic has much better transitions than Olympus 16mpx cameras. This mainly affects portraits, but not only. In older 12mpx Olympus cameras that was not true, but something wrong happened to the newer ones. They has low noise level at high ISO, but bad transitions with some kind of posterization effect. Can you confirm this, Robin?

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  10. Which ones were taken with 45mm?

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