Green in colour
Abstract heaven indeed!
[Olympus E-M5, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7]
OK, so my new Olympus E-M5 camera is supposed to be weather resistant, soooooo, out I went last evening to do some exploring through a local park along Piper Creek in Red Deer. My wife refused to come along as it was rather cold along with the somewhat wet conditions claiming that it only takes one person to press the shutter button! I took the camera and the 12-50mm kit lens, which is also weather resistant. In fact, the only reason I bought the camera as a kit was so that I had at least one lens that I could take out into weather and not have to worry about it. To say it was wet in the Bower Woods would be putting it mildly. It had been raining all day and every tree was dripping water off it’s limbs and leaves along with the constant light rain. I never paid any mind to the camera being exposed to these conditions other than to keep the lens pointed down if at all possible to keep rain drops from getting on the front element. A few images were ruined because of raindrops painting out-of-focus highlights on my images, but that’s likely to be expected in these types of conditions. I use a Promaster HGX UV filter on the front of the lens which has some great coatings making it a breeze to clean and doesn’t streak so easily as some cheaper filters will.
Walking through the woods was an absolute joy and I feel very privileged to even have the ability to walk on these trails, listen to the raindrops, and smell the lushness!! By opening up my senses fully and taking in everything around me, I start to relax my mind and it didn’t take long to start finding situations that were inspiring enough to start making images. I found a small pond virtually covered in pollen from the spruce trees which created a fabulous abstract.
The normally very slow and small creek was flowing quite strong after a full day of rain and managed to find a few place that allowed a nice view. Using as long a shutter speed as the conditions allowed (note to self – buy a variable ND filter) enabled the water to blur a bit which adds a bit of drama to the scene.
The water was rather dirty(although it does remind one of a nice vanilla bean latte) so for this image I converted it to b&w (speaking of b&w, anybody notice Lomo introduced a b&w 110 film this week).
I continued walking through the park until it was quite dark, which adds a sense of mystery to images if you accurately translate the receding light levels in your image. Not only was it starting to feel a bit eerie in the low light levels, but my battery was on the verge of dying, so I headed back to my car and home. I have quite a number of images from this outing and will try and post a few more once I get them edited.
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus 12-50mm]
Marysville, B.C. is just south of the popular tourist town of Kimberley. The small Mark Creek joins the two communities and as the creek flows through Marysville it goes over a few very dramatic waterfalls. It is a short and easy trail, although it can be dangerous as some of the boardwalk is old and unstable and a few places have no guard-rails, so if you have pets or children, caution is strongly advised. I decided to try a new method(for me anyway) of showing water as opposed to blurring the water to make it appear serene. This method allows me(and now you) to see water as our eyes and minds are unable to. I wanted to capture the very fast motion of the raging currents without any blurring of details which shows the myriad of details of the workings of the laws of physics!! I needed to use shutter speeds of between 1/2000 and 1/4000 in order to accomplish the task and as it was a cloudy day this made it necessary to crank up the cameras ISO to 3200. This was even more necessary as I stopped my lens down far enough to keep the depth of field I needed as the lenses viewed over the water.
“… but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:14 ESV
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus 45mm f1.8]
Abraham Lake in southwestern Alberta has amazing colour as you can well see. The water level has been allowed to drop substantially in anticipation of the snowmelt to come off the mountains in the next month or so and it should be right back to full again. There seems to be plenty of snow to melt high up, even Bow Summit on Highway 93 still had maybe 2m or so of snow on the ground. My family stopped by the lake yesterday on our way home from Banff and Lake Louise. I used my Olympus E-M5 and the wonderful Olympus 12mm f/2.0 lens for both these images. Thankfully, this camera has amazing image stabilizer as the wind was screaming down the lake with nothing to stop it, which is pretty normal here, but non-the-less, it was buffeting me around and I really had to concentrate to hold steady.
My youngest son Alexander modelled for the second image with his armed outstretched in the wind. the two of us had a great time exploring the shoreline right down to the waters edge.
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus 12mm f2.0]
I had the great opportunity tonight to shoot some video of a tiny Northern Saw Whet Owl in Red Deer County thanks to Phil French and Jim Potter. Alexander and I headed out and we drove about half an hour SE of Red Deer onto a lease road as far as we could and then walked into the bush for a couple hundred meters to an old snag. Everyone was being very quiet as I set up the camera so as not to disturb the owl if at all possible. When all was set and ready to go, I started the camera and gave the sign that I was rolling. Jim rubbed a stick against the snag and almost immediately the owl poked her head out to see who was there. I shot about four minutes of video until the owl was satisfied we were not of any concern and hopped back into her hole. I packed everything back up and we left quietly and headed back to the vehicles after seeing an amazing little bird! This image is a still image grabbed off the video, so isn’t of very high resolution, but I wanted to share it.
[Olympus E-M5, Canon FD 800mm f/5.6]
I was fortunate enough to visit Slack Slough on Monday morning this week for a couple of hours. The avocets were around, but that was about it in my immediate vicinity. I would follow them around with my camera pointed towards them for long periods of time until they finally accepted me as part of the landscape and approached fairly close to where I was siting. One of the females then went into a beautiful courtship display where she would bow down with here bill on the surface of the water and her wings stretched up high. Needless to say my camera (Olympus E-M5) was in astroblast mode and I managed to capture about 5 images of the quick display of which this one tells the story best. Lighting was great and the reflection worked out fantastic. I had on my Tamron 500mm lens for this image and with the background far in the distance I was able to achieve a nice bokeh. I really like how the surface tension of the water is creating a meniscus up to her bill! I think that is how you would describe this, but if someone out there knows better, please let me know.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26 (ESV)
[Olympus E-M5, Tamron 500mm f/8]
I know the Black-Necked Stilts are there because I saw one as I was leaving the other day, but it was impossible to get an image as it was almost dark already. A good friend of mine caught them in good light the other day and talking with other birders, they are telling me that they are seeing them too. I just happen to get out when they aren’t around. Last evening I spent a couple of hours waiting patiently, but to no avail. It’s OK too, as I really just enjoy getting out and watching whatever happens to be there anyway. This past week our ball-team had it’s first game and I had a hard collision in the outfield(didn’t call the fly-ball!!!) that did some damage to my ribs making it very difficult moving around so I only took the little E-M5 and the Tamron 500mm lens as the big Canon 800mm was just too difficult for me to manoeuvre. I managed to get a few decent images and I hope you enjoy!
I am not completely crazy about the bokeh I get from the mirror lens. I may look for a similar focal length from maybe Canon or Nikon. Something like the Canon FD 400mm f/4.5. I would love to see Olympus come out with a 350-400mm telephoto, maybe f/3.5-f/4.5 and also a small 1.4x converter for this kind of shooting. Obviously my keeper ratio would go up with AF as well!
It was getting rather dark and the sky was still glowing pink and orange to the west and the Red-Winged and Yellow-Headed Blackbirds were still very active, so I stuck around for a bit and got a couple images which I wouldn’t consider “fine art”, but they do show the birds in their habitat nicely as opposed to a close-up portrait. I ended up using ISO 1250 at 1/60 sec, which really is going a bit far for this focal length of lens.
Otherwise known as an American Avocet. I think they look like they just flew off a Japanese painting! Man they are beautiful, and you can usually see them at Slack Slough without too much effort or waiting around too long. Again, I was using my Olympus E-M5 and a Canon FD 800mm f/5.6 lens.
[Olympus E-M5, Canon FD 800mm f/5.6]
A snap of what the outfit looks like –