Today is World Photography Day! I know that because Facebook told me. That made me happy. But Facebook also told me that according to my “memories,” it’s been a year since my LYS closed. That made me sad. If I had never looked at Facebook at all, I probably would have experienced nothing other than happiness when my dog jumped on my face this morning, or contentment over my morning coffee. But, that’s not the world we live in.
Since we live in the world where it’s World Photography Day, I thought I’d show you my new camera, the Olympus OM-D E M10 Mark II.
So cute, right?
After lugging the Canon 7D through airport security, across England, and back again, I decided that I needed a lighter alternative. While my Project Life album is fueled nearly entirely with iPhone photos, I can’t ever see capturing an important family function or a vacation without a “real” camera. Although, in truth, I can’t see myself leaving the 7D home if wherever we are going called for that kind of beast. But, in any event, the idea that I wanted something lighter, smaller, and good had wormed its way into my daydreams, and there was no going back.
At first, I really wanted the Olympus PEN E-PL7 – a stylish retro white camera with brown leather accents and a flip down, front facing screen. Unfortunately, the white version was only available Internationally (and would therefore come with a rechargeable battery for European voltage), and the US version is plain black. Meh. But, there was still the flip down screen – fun! I watched lots of YouTube videos – this, after all, was marketed as the hipster blogging camera. And, bloggers seemed to really like it, but in the end, I couldn’t get past the lack of an optical viewfinder. How can you rely on the camera back in broad daylight?
So, I moved up the Olympus rack, and went with the OM-D E M10 Mark II, the next higher model. The Pen-F, a mirrorless rangefinder, was a little more up my alley, but out of my price range. So, this OM-D model, unlike the E-PL7, has a viewfinder, a better image stabilization system, and a wider range of autofocus spots. I made my final decision after watching This Week in Photo’s Review.
And, it’s still super retro cute!
And, I love it. While I use the viewfinder outside, as I anticipated, inside, I’ve been using the touch screen focus more than I thought I would. The filters are fun and easy. I love the wifi! I ended up subscribing to Adobe’s photography subscription plan, which is a monthly fee for Lightroom and Photoshop, and it allows you to sync your catalogue across your devices. So, I have many options for sending my photos off into the world. The kit lens is just ok – there’s a pancake version and the bulkier one – the difference between the two is $100, and the quality of the pancake lens (still a zoom, but sits flatter) isn’t any better, and according to reviews, may even be a bit worse. The lens is sharp, but not fast, and it really doesn’t give you any lovely bokeh when it’s wide open at 3.5. So, I have a 17mm prime lens on my wish list, as well as the 45 mm portrait lens as well.
To celebrate my new toy, I created a new playground for it – an Instagram feed just for my Olympus photos. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about creating a theme for your Instagram account, but after years of willy nilly posting on my teawithlemon account, there was no way I was going to delete everything and start over. So, instead, I created the lemonandolive feed, which is pretty much all still life photography shot on the Olympus.
Here are a few examples of the OM-D E M10 ii in action:
I struggle with still lifes. While I enjoy “faffing” around, as the flat layers call it, I really hate to invest in flowers just to pull them apart, so I’ve been scavenging in my back yard. Also, while we have a lot of light in our house, none of our windows is really in a good position relative to any white space, which is ok if I would just buy some kind of white backdrop, but I’ve been pretty lazy about setting up a “home studio.” I’m in serious like with Kim Klassen’s presets, if you click over there, she has a small taster set you can try for free, as well as a free Lightroom primer, which was very helpful. She’s relaunching her online studio, Studio 2.0, which I’m probably going to join because I really love her instagram community (see her hashtag, #mystillsundaycompetition), I just haven’t decided at what price level I want to commit. So, yep, I’m back on the photography kick.
So, hopefully, I’ll be sprucing up ye ol’ blog with some pretty photos – I was on a really good, productive, and inspired roll for awhile, but then it go sooooo hot, and my stone house is like a kiln, it was just so uncomfortable sweating it up just to get a few shots. I’ll leave you for a lovely weekend with a few gratuitous Olympus Olive shots, because everyone should start their weekend with some puppy love,