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One year at mu-43 - Thanks everyone! Thanks Amin!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by WendyK, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Today marks my one year anniversary as a mu-43 member! It has been a little over a year since I bought the brand new Olympus OM-D E-M10, the first new camera I have owned a very long time. I had been using a 10 year old hand-me-down Canon DSLR, and when it lost the ability to autofocus, I knew it was time to buy a new one. This time I was determined to really learn all the features and capabilities of the new camera and to finally invest in better glass than a kit lens. In the course of my camera research I was introduced to the idea of mirrorless cameras and liked what I read. I explored the various types, and eventually settled on micro 4/3 when the E-M10 was announced and had all the features I wanted in a small size in the target price range, as well as a great lens lineup.

    If you had told me a year ago how many lenses I would purchase in the first year, I might have been scared off from getting started! On the other hand, I can honestly say that I have learned a great deal from every single lens I have purchased. There is a certain educational value to GAS for a newbie. I bought almost all my lenses used, refurb, or at least $100 off retail, so in most cases I can recoup most of my money if I decide to sell anything. Because my most photographed subject is my own garden, it is very easy for me to bring out my big camera bag that contains ALL my gear and use whichever lens suits the subject and situation at hand, so everything I have gets used.

    To say that my photography has improved in the past year due to a modern sensor/camera, good lenses and improving skills would be an understatement. I am still learning all the features of the camera, but I have come a long way. Last month I entered my first photo contest, the annual photo contest sponsored by my local gardening magazine, Washington Gardener. I figured it was a low risk place to start given my preferred subject matter. I found out a few weeks ago that three of the seventeen winning photographs were mine. They will be included in a photo exhibit at one of our local botanical gardens this summer.

    These were the photographs that were winners:

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    Trumpet lily in bud, aerial view

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    Two clematis

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    Autumn light shadows and light on switchgrass after the rain

    Anyway, here are just a few of the many things I have learned….
    • The mu-43 community is wonderful, inspiring, and kind to newbies.
    • I have learned a lot by shooting the same subject in my garden with different lenses, consecutively. It has helped me train my eye and understand perspective and composition much better.
    • Blinkies and EVFs are GREAT for helping one learn how to control aperture and shutter speed manually
    • IBIS is amazing and I don’t know how I lived without it
    • There is a reason they call it the golden hour!
    • I am no longer satisfied with a kit zoom. The Oly 14-42 EZ is the only lens I have had and sold. I did not need the extreme portability, so I sold it and put the proceeds toward my 12-40.
    • I regret that it took me so long to try prime lenses. I literally gasped when I opened Lightroom and saw my first shots with the Oly 45. It was a lot like falling in love.
    • There is a reason why good glass costs a lot. The Oly 12-40 was a yet another revelation. Enough said.
    • There are bargains to be had in the Oly refurb store if you are patient
    • The garden has been a wonderful subject for learning photography. I know its curves and angles and light and perspectives well, yet it is constantly changing. For most of the year there is always something interesting going on.
    • My Oly 60mm macro lens has allowed me to see parts of plants and insects that I couldn’t even see with my own eyes. There is a whole world there I didn't know about.
    • A monopod is a surprisingly useful thing (I use the MeFoto Road Trip tripod which converts to a monopod)
    Some of my photography goals for my next year with mu-43 include:
    • experiment with some of the features of my E-M10 that I haven't tried yet, such as live bulb and live composite
    • experiment more with slow shutter speeds and ND filters
    • print and display my favorite photographs
    • get more experience with low light conditions to learn the appropriate settings
    • take more pictures of people, especially my teenager, when he will allow it - he’ll only be at home for a couple more years
    • try to capture the flavor and personality of colleges we visit with our son, to help him remember the visits and what he liked about them
    • Acquire a second body if I find a good deal - I will be shooting many public and private gardens this summer as part of an ongoing project with some gardening friends, and the extra body would be helpful

    Thanks to all of you for helping me find a photography home on the Internet! And special thanks to Amin for all he does. I have experience running forums and understand completely what an immense undertaking it must have been to switch us over to Xenforo. It is much appreciated.
    • Like Like x 48
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 11
    • Winner Winner x 7
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. DMLarson

    DMLarson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Nice work Wendy. Might I mention 40-150 PRO?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Great pictures and congratulations! The Trumpet Lilly is a beautiful shot. As another newcomer, I too have found the community here to be welcoming and kind. Much of the internet is full of attitude, judgement, anger and polarization. It's nice to spend some time in a place that is helpful and enjoyable.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Trying to feed the GAS, are you, Harvey? It might happen eventually, but at this point I don't think I can get past the size and price.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey
    Well done! I've been to and fro here for a long time but it was the first forum I joined and participated in. At the time there was a picture a day project and I found that it gave me the confidence and freedom to experiment with my little EP1/2 :) 
  7. marlof

    marlof Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I fought that too, especially since I don't like to use tripods. I caved in and received my copy this week. That 40-150 PRO is tons of fun. Handholding it is not a problem at all. Its price was, but once paid for, you tend to forget that.

    Congrats on your year at mu43!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Mr Moo

    Mr Moo Rocket builder, collector of vintage air guitars

    Sep 17, 2012
    SE Virginia
    I have been a member of numerous types of online forums for the last 15 years, and this one is the first one to which I have EVER subscribed. I think this is an outstanding community which is superbly moderated by Amin and his moderating team, which is why I renewed my subscription a few days ago. Thank you Amin for keeping this forum an excellent place for people to hang out.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  9. Exactly my experience.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  10. zethanos

    zethanos Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 20, 2013
    ZR Li
    Nice works there, Wendy :) 
  11. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Excellent write up. It was interesting to hear about your experiences getting to know m4/3. There really is so much to love, it's a great time to be a photographer.

    That last shot is really lovely. I can't pin it down, but there's something there that makes me just keep examining the details. You really captured a special mood with that one. Well done!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos looking back on the year, Wendy! And thanks for the kind words about the group. We've got a wonderful community here :) .
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  13. yorik

    yorik Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2013
    Scotts Valley, CA
    Great pictures, and a very well-written post. I see more awards in your future...
  14. jcm5

    jcm5 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 12, 2014
    I too am a fairly new member of the mu43 community (and a new owner of the EM10 at that), and I have to say, this site has been a fantastic resource. I've learned so much from so many people and have already sold/bought lenses with zero hassles from its members. Big thanks to the admin(s) who make this possible as well as to all the photo enthusiasts out there who have created this virtual community!
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  15. Sailorlad

    Sailorlad Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Congratulations, Wendy! Wonderful images and such a well written, informative and interesting post. Praise from someone who is also somewhat restricted to the garden and the locale.
    Look forward to seeing more of your very good work.
    Harvey, above, mentioned the 40 - 150 mm pro. After a long wait I have just received it together with the 1.4x extender. It truly is a magnificent lens (even for some macro work!) - I recommend it.
  16. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Thank you Sailorlad (and everyone else, too)! So far I have resisted GAS for that 40-150 PRO - I do not use my cheaper 40-150 that much, that is probably why I am not willing to entertain the idea of spending that much.
  17. robertk328

    robertk328 Going on a prime spree!

    Feb 11, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    Nice post, and great photos, Wendy!

    I picked my two favorite of the ones posted above and they were both 45/1.8 so that solidifies my thought that it's the next lens on my list (it already was, but this made it in pen vs pencil!). I followed you on Flickr to see more!
  18. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks, Robert! For a "portrait lens" the 45mm is one of my two favorite lenses for interesting garden pictures. The other is the 60mm macro. For the next month I will probably be shooting mostly tiny spring bulbs with the 60mm, but from mid-April on you will see lot more from the 45mm on Flickr. The 45mm sample image thread here really shows the versatility of that lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
  20. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA

    I'm new as well. Men tend to be more point and grunters. Your thoughts are well stated and your photographs beautiful. Wishing you continued growth and enjoyment. Hope I do half as well.

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