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shooting pro for a week

Discussion in 'Other Genres' started by rkell, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. rkell

    rkell Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Aug 7, 2012
    I've been shooting professionally for longer than that :wink:, but I thought I'd share some images all taken during the span of one week earlier in August with the Olympus E-M5. Hopefully this will provide some information on how Micro Four Thirds cameras work in real life in a range of professional shooting situations. Of the 9 images shown, 6 were from paid gigs, 2 were in my capacity as the official photog for a local non-profit group, and one was on my own time.

    I grow weary of endless discussions and worries and hand-wringing about minute aspects of so-called "image quality" of various formats/lenses/etc. My shots are accompanied by technical details and some notes about the equipment in use and what I like about it - this might provide a different perspective or jumping-off point for discussion.

    Wine bottle in studio
    • 1/250 sec., f/7.1, ISO 200. lens: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II at 25mm
    • Used 5 strobes in manual slave mode triggered with the accessory flash: 3 Olympus FL-36Rs, 1 FL-50R, and 1 Metz 58 AF-2
    • With its close-focusing capabilities, flexible range, and sharpness, the 14-54 is my go-to lens for studio product work
    • Using the zoom-focus feature in manual mode, it is easy to get the focus exactly right for critical applications
    i-QtS4zwT-X2.

    Kitchen re-design
    • 1/3 sec., f/5.6, ISO 200. lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 at 10mm (with some cropping and rectifying)
    • Used 5 strobes in manual slave mode triggered with the accessory flash
    • I have found the 9-18mm lens to be very sharp and contrasty. A shot like this is all about balancing the desired exposure for the window views with the interior scene. I build up the shot with multiple strobes in manual slave mode
    • With the light anti-aliasing filter and a sharp lens, the camera is great for rendering the fine details architectural work. I've done large prints of images like this and they look stunning.
    i-kTR3sQ2-X2.

    Executive headshot in backyard
    • 1/500 sec., f/1.8, ISO 200. lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
    • Used 1 strobe triggered with the accessory flash in RC mode with Super FP enabled (high shutter speed synch)
    • The 45mm lens is an excellent portrait lens, and combined with the eye-detect of the E-M5 it is a dream lightweight setup. The small size is completely non-intimidating to the subject and one is able to quickly establish a rapport while the camera nails focus effortlessly
    • In this case I shot Super FP mode so I could use a higher shutter speed to darken the background
    i-xqjcBCZ-XL.

    Balinese bracelet in studio
    • 1/250 sec., f/4.0, ISO 200. lens: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II at 35mm
    • Used 1 strobe in manual slave mode triggered with the accessory flash
    • The 14-54 lens focuses in close and renders pleasing out-of-focus highlights
    i-QnQ7tjn-XL.

    Chemistry professor portrait in lab #1
    • 1/400 sec., f/1.8, ISO 200. lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
    • Used 2 strobes (one on subject, one on glassware in background) triggered with the accessory flash in Super FP Mode
    • The E-M5 nails focus on the near eye quickly and accurately, letting me concentrate on the alignment of the subject and the background. Controlling multiple strobes from the camera in RC mode is easy. Without leaving my shooting position, I was able to quickly dial in the correct amount for the 2nd strobe to illuminate the background.
    i-xRphkn2-XL.

    Chemistry professor portrait in lab #2
    • 1/2000 sec., f/1.8, ISO 200. lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
    • Used 2 strobes (one on subject, one on chalkboard in background) triggered with the accessory flash in Super FP Mode
    • Same story as the first. The E-M5 & 45mm combo works great as an on-location/environmental portrait setup.
    i-XfD9bws-XL.

    Restaurant at night
    • 1/20 sec., f/2.5, ISO 400. lens: Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7
    • This one wasn't shot as part of a job. But I had been admiring the new restaurant (built out of a remodeled gas station) for awhile, and pulled my car over momentarily one night, grabbed a few shots and left. M43 means the camera and a good assortment of lenses in a small bag are with me at virtually all times. Opportunistic shots like this are easy.
    • The Panny 20 is a great lens shot wide open and even better stopped down slightly as in this shot. I've shot handheld images at 4/10 with the E-M5 that are crystal clear, so this one at 1/20 sec. didn't stress its capabilities
    i-76bBb6T-XL.

    Backyard concert at dusk
    • 1/60 sec., f/1.8, ISO 6400. lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
    • This might have been an intimate backyard show, but the performer played a big show in L.A. the next night.
    • I typically try to stay at or above 1/60 sec. for performances and the very good high ISO performance of the E-M5 allowed me to do that here. The OVF allows for easy metering in tricky lighting such as this.
    i-MxWdRRp-XL.

    Backyard concert at sunset
    • 1/100 sec., f/1.8, ISO 800. lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
    • The 45mm lens handled this backlit and very low-contrast scene well
    • Focus with face/eye-detect is easy. Shooting from a seated front row with the low-profile camera/lens profile does not interfere with the performer or the other audience members
    i-WNtxk4V-XL.
     
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  2. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    543
    Aug 18, 2010
    Rik these are stunning -- thanks so much for sharing them. There is no doubt that the E-M5 (as well as other m43 cameras,) is completely capable of pro work.

    Let me ask you this question. I have done some pay work in the past (kids portraits primarily and a couple of weddings,) using my Canon 40D. I sold all of my Canon gear and dove headfirst into m43 with the E-M5 and lenses. My concern with using my new setup for pay work is the perception of the client when you pull out a small camera. As stupid as it is, the general public thinks that a pro has to use a big camera. Have you had any pushback or questioning by clients regarding your setup? I have no doubt that once you do that first job and they see the resulting photos, any fears will be allayed, but that initial impression on that first job is what I'm concerned about.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    Oh I agree, absolutely stunning photos! I have to keep coming back to this thread to ogle them again and again. :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    453
    Jul 23, 2010
    These shots do look really nice. Not that you need me to tell you that. Would you mind to say what kind of strobes you used? It's something I'd like to experiment more with.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Very fine shots! This points to the :43: format really coming of age and finding a place in professional photography. There are still some areas where it is limited (action shots, sports) but there are many places where it is a legitimate tool.
    That being said, a camera is still a tool and it is the skill of the photographer that really matters. These shots showcase your skills nicely in a variety of modes/settings. :bravo-009:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. rkell

    rkell Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Aug 7, 2012
    Thanks for the kind words!

    To be honest, I did have a little bit of a concern about client perception when I started this endeavor about 1 1/2 years ago. But I haven't had any issues at all. Most clients are not as camera gear aware as the typical camera forum-goer, to say the least! The most I'll get sometimes are inquiries about the megapixels. And maybe comments on the retro look.

    Potential clients to whom I am pitching see my on-line portfolios and/or a print portfolio (on 11x14 paper with a 1" border), and I always get highly positive feedback even from folks who don't end up hiring me. I've never heard any image quality concerns.
     
  7. rkell

    rkell Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Aug 7, 2012
    Thanks! I have three Olympus FL-36Rs, an Olympus FL-50R, and a Metz 58 AF-2 (similar specs to the 50R but with a few added features). I'll probably pick up a FL-600R soon to be able to trigger flashes remotely from a longer distance (and in case the accessory FL-LM2 bugs out like it has once before already), and probably a couple more FL-36Rs to have around for complex multi-room architectural shots.

    All of these strobes are able to be triggered remotely in manual slave mode, Auto slave mode, RC manual mode, RC TTL mode (with Super FP mode (high speed synch) as an option in the RC modes). This gives me a lot of flexibility depending on the situation. And Olympus RC mode allows for individual settings for 3 different flash groups (plus separate hotshoe flash settings).

    The RC and Super FP modes are one of the key reasons why I need to use Olympus bodies rather than Panasonic. That, plus the sentimental reason that the camera I learned on way back when was an Olympus OM-1n (later supplemented with an Olympus OM-2S).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. PSimmons

    PSimmons Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Mar 24, 2010
    Central Florida
    you are a wizard
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. PSimmons

    PSimmons Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Mar 24, 2010
    Central Florida
    I grow weary of endless discussions and worries and hand-wringing about minute aspects of so-called "image quality" of various formats/lenses/etc.

    AFREAKINGMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    453
    Jul 23, 2010
    Thanks for the run down, that's a lot of gear and info.
     
  11. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Excellent work, and thanks for the detailed info with each image!
     
  12. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    +1

    That kind of detail is a great learning tool for me. :smile: