Spring has Sprung

The local flora are responded to rain and warm weather. I took the opportunity to try a few shots. For some reason 5×7 compositions were working for me today.

After almost a year with the Olympus OM-D, I am starting to understand the way it interprets colors on its small but mighty micro 4/3 sensor.

One of the best times to go out and capture potentially brilliant natural light images with this camera is on overcast days. Flat, diffuse sunlight generates a RAW file that falls fully within the range of the sensor and allows it to perfectly capture the color depth.

Once you get home, you can expand the contrast just a bit and bring back color saturation with only minor tweaks in either Aperture or Photoshop. Deep colors and sharp details are something the OM-D sensor and M.Zuiko ED 45mm f/1.8 lens reproduce extremely well.

Here is another picture, and although it didn’t make the cut for the small new photo gallery above, it is a useful example of what a quick and efficient processing workflow can generate from such a relatively flat starting point.

This first image is raw straight from the camera along with the associated histogram. Admittedly, maybe just a bit underexposed.

After exposure adjustment in Aperture and a little increase in contrast and saturation, the intensity has been turned up a notch or two – maybe a bit too much.

The final version was further adjusted in Photoshop to get the luminosity and color tone more balanced, a little sharpening was added and the final result was cropped for 5×7 printing.

One additional benefit to this type of camera, that took me a while to realize, stems from using a native 4:3 aspect ratio. It is equally easy to convert to a traditional 3:2 or 5:4 crop, with the loss of only a bit of resolution either horizontally or vertically. Because the native ratio is in between the two, either one is only a minor adjustment away.

To me, this seems very similar to the way a rangefinder camera with a slightly larger viewfinder image surrounding its framing lines allows you to see around your image as you capture it. Using the 4:3 sensor, you can think of it as either slightly wider than 5:4 or slightly taller than 3:2; and then frame your subject appropriately with the added space in mind. Rapid and effective composition decisions are easy to make, and it doesn’t require you to deal with the notoriously tricky calibrations that rangefinder cameras/lenses require.

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