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Olympus Art Settings

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Robert Watcher, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. I’m going to give you an example of why I love the Art presets built into Olympus cameras - - - it has to do with expediency for the most part.

    Heading to a party with friends recently, I carried my compact Olympus E-PL5 in my shorts pocket - so that it would be discretely hidden as my wife and I walked through the dark nighttime streets of the city of Leon, Nicaragua. While we don’t consider Nicaragua a particularly dangerous place to live or travel - it is always best to not expose electronics or other valuables to the peering eyes of the community.

    So obviously I wanted to travel light, not carry my shoulder bag or force my wife to take her purse so I’d have a place to store my camera when not in use. I wanted to have fun - eat - sit and talk - dance - - - all of the things that work best when not holding a camera or keeping track of where I set my camera bag.

    OK - so far nothing to do with Art Settings right? Well kind of, in that the way I wanted to document the evening (a going away party for friends) was to present final images in a square format, using black and white processing - - - and out of necessity as a result of the terrible quality and amount of light, noise or grain would be part of the look I was after.

    So my camera would be in my pocket and from time to time I would pull it out to grab some story images during the evening - while I and all of the others were enjoying themselves.

    I’m getting there …
  2. TravelLiteShootHeavy-20150404-EPL55706.
    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    22mm    f/4.1    1/30s    ISO 1250

    Olympus E-PL5 w/14-42mm lens @ 22mm : f4.1 @ 1/30′th : 1250 ISO : NATURAL​

    This is how I started - with the small flash that comes with the E-PL5 attached and raised so that action would be frozen. Also my initial intentions were to shoot everything in Colour and then convert after in Lightroom.

    After a dozen shots or so, I decided that for my purpose of using these images, I might as well switch the camera settings from Colour to Monotone - to save me some processing time after. As well I switched the shooting format from the normal 4:3, to 1:1 Square for two reasons - firstly to save having to crop every final image manually - and as well to force me to frame in camera, exactly how I wanted the final image to be presented.
  3. TravelLiteShootHeavy-20150404-EPL55836.
    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    24mm    f/4.3    1/30s    ISO 1000

    Olympus E-PL5 w/14-42mm lens @ 24mm : f4.3 @ 1/30′th : 1000 ISO : MONOTONE​

    Much of the night was documented in this manner. However I remembered my shooting a previous event using the Grainy Black and White Art filter setting - and the appealing results. Also, after all the years of being aware of the filter, I had no idea until that night that by pressing the paddle to the right, that a whole new set of options were available to customize the Black and White look.

    Most interesting to me was the Frame. I have become accustomed to using Nik SilverEfex and Color Efex plugin (within LIghtroom), to apply interesting post processing and a Frame around this images. This Olympus one looked pretty good.
  4. TravelLiteShootHeavy-20150404-EPL55945.
    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    24mm    f/4.3    1/8s    ISO 8000

    Olympus E-PL5 w/14-42mm lens @ 24mm : f4.3 @ 1/8′th : 8000 ISO : GRAINY BLACK AND WHITE​

    So late into the evening, I took my flash off of my camera, set the Art setting to Grainy Black and White with the Frame, and set my ISO to 8,000 - - - for some of the most beautiful and interesting images of the night. Blur - movement - action - - - would all be part of the experience as shown in the set of images below, taken at these settings.

    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    14mm    f/3.5    1/8s    ISO 8000

    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    23mm    f/4.3    1/20s    ISO 8000

    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    29mm    f/4.8    1/5s    ISO 8000

    • Like Like x 1

  5. TravelLiteShootHeavy-20150404-EPL56117.
    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    14mm    f/3.5    1/15s    ISO 5000

    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    14mm    f/3.5    1/13s    ISO 8000

    So - I have a preset that I have made in Nic Silver Efex Pro that provides a filmic look as well as some contrast and structure adjustment - and a Film Frame to my colour and monotone images from the camera. It works fine and would have been satisfactory …

    • Firstly though, it does not look as good (shall we say cool) as the images taken with the Olympus Grainy Black and White Art Filters
    • Secondly, these ones took absolutely no extra time on my part to process - whereas even with a fast post-processing editing from Lightroom into Nik and applying the preset and returning to Lightroom - - - took probably 40 to 60 seconds for each image.

    NOW - I ended up shooting a total of 685 frames throughout the evening. Of course I didn’t process them all - but could not reduce my selection to nothing under 140 frames to include in the video slideshow.

    If I had to process each those 140 frames so that I had the unified Black and White look that I desired - - - at say 60 seconds each, would demand 140 minutes or 2 hours and 20 minutes, just for the post-processing.

    Thankfully I included around 50 of those final images from the files processed in-camera, and I probably was a little quicker than 60 seconds per each of the rest of the files. But it took a long time to process the remaining 90 images.

    All said and done - how I wished that I had simply shot all of the files for the evening with the processing in camera. I mean…

    • where are these images being used?
    • who’s seeing them?
    • what is the final output?
    • is there really a need to reprocess them at a future time?
    • am I getting the results I want and am I satisfied with that? YES
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  6. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    You didn't shoot RAW, process through DXO, modify in Photoshop with Nik or VSCO plugins and print 20x30 prints with an 8-color inkjet printer on Ilford super-gloss paper? That's not digital photography!


    YOU created some great images of some nice memories. The camera and art filters are just tools.

    Thanks for sharing.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    You and I may be in the minority, but I love many of the art filters (some I haven't used much). I agree with you that they are expedient and the results can be fantastic.

    When I was in Ireland last year, the skies were mostly gloomy, but Dramatic Tone really turned that into an interesting twist. Below are the Cliffs of Moher at sunset, and the shores at Black Head.



    I am not much of a street photographer, but on a recent trip to Pike Place Market in Seattle, I used the Key Line art filter and really liked the results.


    Diorama makes some cool effects on perspective with landscapes. This is Connemara National
    Park, in Ireland.


    Partial Color can be very cool as well. This was from a ruined monastic city in Glendalough, Ireland.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Sorry, there must be some way to make the last pic smaller.
  9. mpg01

    mpg01 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 21, 2012
    Yeah, Diorama is a guilty pleasure of mine. It's not unusual for me to have it on and not remember until I'm reviewing later. In this case I developed it in camera with the effect and liked it.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. drp

    drp Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Thanks for the continuing education. You guys are the best.

  11. All Colour and Black and White images were converted to have a look that somewhat matched the frames from the in-camera ART FILTER GRAINY BLACK AND WHITE processing - - - even with the hour and a half spent converting all that required Lightoom and Nik processing, they did not match the wonderful quality that Olympus has built into their cameras as far as I am concerned. As well, I really like the Film Frame from the Olympus camera.

    Here is one of the frames that was shot with my E-PL5 set to Monotone. It was taken in 1:1 square format, without flash at 1000ISO and 1/10'th second wide open. Underneath is my attempt (without spending a lot of time) at providing a close-enough look so that all 140 final images match somewhat:

    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    14mm    f/3.5    1/10s    ISO 1000

    E-PL5    OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R    14mm    f/3.5    1/10s    ISO 1000

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