Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fire (II)

Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fire (I)

Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Red bug

Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

Monday, May 16, 2011

The hunter's prize

Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

I've never found insect close-ups  particularly interesting. But I must confess that I feel a great pleasure taking photos like the one above. Pressing the shutter at the right moment after a stealthy approach makes my ancestral hunter genes shiver with joy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

More pinhole

A few more experiments with the pinhole cap. Easing a bit on the vintage-horror theme this time.

Olympus E-P2 + Wanderlust Pinwide

Don't worry, in the next posts I will go back to using regular glass lenses!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The beginning of my Expressionist phase

Just last week I commented on being a bit sceptical about the photographic potential of my new Wanderlust pinhole cap. I did another experiment this weekend. Resisting the idea of carrying a tripod, I kept sensitivity at ISO 3200, to avoid too much camera shake. For "normal" photography the E-P2 is pretty much unusable at this high ISO, but pinhole photography is all about discovering the "beauty" (yeah, lets call it that) of images created with "low-tech" systems.  So I figured the otherwise demential amount of noise was actually appropriate in this context.

In Silkypix, I converted the images to b&w and adjusted the tone curve. The heavy vignetting was actually quite fitting for square format. I find the results quite amusing. Silent horror movie classics from the German Expressionism era (1920s and 1930s) come to mind. These could be frames taken from Murnau's Nosferatu or Dreyer's Vampyr!

Olympus E-P2 + Wanderlust Pinwide

This is all a bit gratuitous, and one can get tired really fast of this nightmarish imagery. But the fun I had processing these images has made the $39.99 I paid for the cap worthwhile.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Excuse me, but there is a mosquito on my flower!

Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One, two

Every once in a while I like to indulge into the visual pleasures of blurred backgrounds (a.k.a. bokeh). As I mentioned before, this is an entertainment for photo geeks, as the general viewer actually pays more attention to the in-focus subjects than to the supposed "creaminess" of the blurred areas. Nonetheless, maybe some of my readers will enjoy these (otherwise relatively boring) images.

In case you were wondering: the second photo does not show a reflection but actually two different plants.

Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wanderlust Pinwide - what to do with this.... cap?

I've always considered pinhole photography to be a mere curiosity, quite useless for any serious photographer. But when Wanderlust Cameras announced the Pinwide, a pinhole cap for micro 4:3 cameras, I just couldn't resist. What the heck, why not give it a try? People are using software on the iPhone to simulate trendy optical aberrations. I am going to do it the old fashioned way.

So now I have a funny looking cap with a precision engineered hole in it. It neatly generates images on the sensor surface, being roughly equivalent to a f/96 aperture on a 22 mm lens. Cool! Infinite depth of field! But this actually only means that the image is uniformly blurred, independently on the subject distance.  OK, sharpness has never been a characteristic of pinhole photography. The appeal of the whole thing is the unreal, dream-like quality of the images. Or so they say.

My first tests just confirmed the obvious: I need to use a tripod, even in daylight and at high ISO. Otherwise I'll just be adding a lot of shake blur to already very "lo-fi" images. The result is just more than I can handle.

I will keep testing the thing, in the hope that something interesting might come out. I'm not expecting much, though. But it will be refreshing to start looking at photos without questioning lens performance. The images will have to be powerful enough to stand by themselves despite the dreadful technical quality. Stay tuned, who knows what might happen?

Olympus E-P2 + Wanderlust Pinwide
(handheld, ISO 3200)