A DAY AT THE FAIR with my E-PL1

Robert Watcher

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The start of September is a time that I look forward to each year. Ever since my son Robert had his son Mason, 10 years ago - Anne and I have made a ritual of taken Robert and Michelle, Mason and Reegan - to the Western Fair in London Ontario. Fun is in the air and the colours are beautiful - especially at night.

All other years I have taken a camera or two with an assortment of zooms that cover wide angle to very long telephoto. . .

. . . this year however I decided that I wanted to go light and my camera of choice, was my Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42 kit lens. Granted it did limit me in some ways with regards to being able to get in tight from long distances as well the faster auto focusing of my DSLR's - - - but it was easy to carry around and provided me with video capability as well (of which I took lots).

I always use these opportunities to try out features that I never would on a paid job. And so I made good use of the Scene Modes (primarily Sport, Portrait, Landscape, and Night Scenes) for all shots - - - never once resorting to aperture priority or manual modes. I also made the decision to only use Auto Focus - even though I new that that would create a challenge in many scenarios - - - but I wanted to see how well the E-PL1 could handle them (or not).

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The reason that I am including this rather uninteresting image of us arriving, is because I am very impressed with the Image Quality and Dynamic Range from this SNAPSHOT. I was fully expecting burnt out highlights and burried shadows with this bright and direct midday lighting - as well as the white clothes that many had on - - - even in Michelle's really white top being hot by direct sun (in behind), there is detail throughout in the unresized image.

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 14mm : f5 @ 1/1250'th : 200 ISO (this is straight from the camera with one resample to web size)
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Robert Watcher

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A few of the action shots

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 14mm : f4 @ 1/640'th : 200 ISO
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E-PL1 14-42mm @ 14mm : f8 @ 1/320'th : 200 ISO
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E-PL1 14-42mm @ 29mm : f4.7 @ 1/500'th : 200 ISO
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Robert Watcher

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Inside the 'Progress Building", there was shopping including this massive wall of hats - that immediately caught Robert and mason's attention. I look for differenet perspectives to capture them - including this peek through a wall and the back of a hat:

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 14mm : f4 @ 1/20'th : 1600 ISO
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A tractor ride was required to get to the "Agriculture Building" - and while sitting there waiting to head off, a lady if front of me noticed me shooting video of the kids, and asked if she could take a picture of us all together - we obliged. I handed her my E-PL1 and she raising the camera up, placed her finger on the shutter without prompting - and took the shot as if she knew the camera inside out. Kudos to olympus for making that ease possible:

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 14mm : f3.5 @ 1/80'th : 200 ISO
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Inside the Agriplex, mason asked for my E-PL1 and fired off a bunch of shots - one of them being this portrait of his mother while watching a horse show. What is impressive is that he managed to fire off a decently sharp picture at only 1/15'th second:

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 42mm : f5.6 @ 1/15'th : 1600 ISO
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Robert Watcher

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I am including these 2 shots - because they are taken using 3200 ISO on the E-PL1. Shows just how decent the file can be at that setting.

The first is taken indoors in a little more decent lighting without heavy shadow - so it is expected that it would fare better:

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 24mm : f4.4 @ 1/50'th : 3200 ISO
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And one on our way home late in the evening - where dark surroundings, bright lights and heavy shadows are not idea:

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 34mm : f5.1 @ 1/30'th : 3200 ISO
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And here is a Black and White that I will throw in, just cause the rest are in Colour. It was shot at 2500 ISO:

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 14mm : f3.5 @ 1/30'th : 2500 ISO
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Robert Watcher

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OF COURSE - COLOUR IS WHERE IT IS AT - and what I love capturing at the fair. I do not take tripods, hand holding only. Sometimes that results in sharp pictures - other times in shots with movement that please me also. Here are a few of them:

The flowing motion at the base of this shot, is a result of people sitting in the seats of the ride, flying by at high speed;

E-PL1 14-42mm @ 24mm : f4.4 @ 1/10'th : 200 ISO
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E-PL1 14-42mm @ 19mm : f4 @ 1/4'th : 200 ISO
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E-PL1 14-42mm @ 24mm : f4.4 @ 0.3 sec : 200 ISO
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E-PL1 14-42mm @ 37mm : f5.3 @ 1/4'th : 200 ISO
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BBW

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First of all, Robert it is great to see you back on the forums!

Now for these photos.

I always use these opportunities to try out features that I never would on a paid job. And so I made good use of the Scene Modes (primarily Sport, Portrait, Landscape, and Night Scenes) for all shots - - - never once resorting to aperture priority or manual modes. I also made the decision to only use Auto Focus - even though I new that that would create a challenge in many scenarios - - - but I wanted to see how well the E-PL1 could handle them (or not).
I am very impressed. As a matter of fact, I am so impressed that I am going to try this out myself, though I don't have any fairs coming up, alas. From my eyes, the E-PL1 did wonderfully in these auto modes and made your day with your family at the fair, possibly even more fun.:2thumbs:

Let's face it, if most of us are honest with ourselves, there are plenty of times when one wants to take pictures but doesn't really want to have to think too much about the details...at least I'll confess this out loud.:wink: So why not give the camera's engineers some credit and try out the various modes?

I'm really glad you posted these Robert.:thumbup:
 
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