Collin J Örthner – Photographer

April 21, 2014

Prairie Minimalism

It’s not hard to make a minimalist image on the prairies as it is very flat in spots. Here, some grain, or maybe potash, cars wait on a sidetrack at Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan. Hopefully they are empty grain cars to be filled and shipped to the coast. The farmers need to empty their granaries of last years bumper crop so they have room again for this years harvest.




[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm]




April 6, 2014

Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan

Filed under: Abstract, Agriculture, Black & White, E-M5, Hand of Man, m4/3, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm, snow, Travel, Winter — collin j örthner @ 8:59 am




[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm]



April 4, 2014

Prairie Pride Motel

Filed under: Architecture, E-M5, Hand of Man, m4/3, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm, Travel, Vehicles — collin j örthner @ 10:11 pm

Springtime comes to the Prairie Pride Motel, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.




[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm]



June 3, 2012

Growing our Garden

Filed under: Agriculture, E-M5, Hand of Man, m4/3, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm, Plants — collin j örthner @ 10:45 pm

My family has not had our own garden for a few years now. It used to be we would drive to a friends farm about 25km south of town where he allowed us a small plot at the edge of a grain field. We would plant and weed and hill the potatoes, but we never watered it, instead allowing what nature would provide as being sufficient. We always had a good crop and some years a rather huge amount of extra, although neighbours and friends or a local soup kitchen would always help us to use everything up with no waste. Well, after a few years of doing without, we decided to rent a small plot from the city in one of the community gardens to see what we might be able to grow again.

The first onions and some peas along with at least one cucumber plant are poking their heads through the soil. I made this image with my E-M5 and the 12-50mm kit lens which has an amazing quality in it’s macro mode. This photo is a testament both to the sharpness it is capable of as well as the very pleasing smooth bokeh it can provide. Bokeh, for those unfamiliar with the term is a Japanese word used to describe the out-of-focus areas of an image, in this case a few garden stakes and a nice old barn at the edge of the garden plot.


[Olympus E-M5, Olympus 12-50mm]



May 25, 2012

Bower Woods in the Rain

Filed under: Abstract, Black & White, E-M5, m4/3, Movement, Nature, Night, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm, Trees, Water — collin j örthner @ 2:41 am

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]

April 20, 2012

Not exactly the Okefenokee, but….

Filed under: Abstract, E-M5, Nature, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm, Trees, Water — Tags: — collin j örthner @ 5:22 am

Yup, there is swampland in Alberta, granted this one may disappear by the end of summer depending on how much rain we get. Really it’s just a ditch along a very small and (Don’t read this part Laura)very muddy country road in Red Deer County. Actually got to lock my vehicle in 4WD! Haven’t needed to do that in quite some time.

Anyway , back to the swampland…. I came across this place just as the sun was setting tonight as I played with my new camera (Olympus E-M5) and was so worried about losing my light that I simply slammed on the 12-50mm kit lens and cranked up the ISO to 1250 and started looking for some compositions amongst all the tangle. I thought the lens performed admirably. I even took a couple of these files up to a 40″ print in PS and they look rather good still, even into the corners. This of course may change depending on the focus distance, but so far at least at middle distance work it seems to be just fine. A slightly more relaxed time out tomorrow or over the weekend will give me a better idea of all it’s character.

I don’t expect it to perform up to the standards of the great Olympus 12mm and 45mm prime focal length lenses, but it is weather proof and has a very nice range as a one lens carry around kit. The E-M5 camera is fantastic to handle. I absolutely love the size of it, so small! A full compliment of lenses ranging from a full frame Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye, right up to a Tamron 500mm mirror lens(which gives me the equivalent focal length of a 1000mm in 35mm talk) all fit in one medium sized gadget bag!!

These images were all made handheld, and obviously, just as all good photographers should (or do), I would have benefited by using one as I could have slowed down a bit and used a much lower ISO which would hve increased the quality of the files. These are also all jpegs even though I was also shooting in RAW at the same time, it’s just that Adobe has not given us Olympus shooters any RAW processing capabilities in CS5 yet. I will rework these images once they bring it out and I can then easily eliminate some bits of chromatic aberration that are creeping around in the corners and I should also then be able to remove some noise as well.


[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm]

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