Archives For Panasonic

little angels

January 10, 2016
romantic ponder

Romantic Ponder

The world is full of advice whether you want it or not. One piece of advice is to “only photograph what you love.” The love I have for the little creatures in my life has grown over the years, much as the love for my wife and children has. The foundations for love might be inherent in us all, but it takes time for any kind of love to develop both breadth and depth. Once it starts growing, it never stops.

I’ve always considered all my animals little angels, but the Gingersnaps make my heart melt with their looks and their tiny meows. It’s the size of their eyes in comparison with the rest of their faces that helps tug at my heart. Yes, you could say I love the little guys. I’m now trying to find ways to express a bit of what I feel tempering what I see.

Today I came across Ponder sitting on my camera bag in the window box at the same spot where Lucy used to sit. He was doing the same thing, looking out at the world. I keep one of my OM-Ds in the room with the Leica 25mm for quick grab occasions such as this one. Unfortunately (or fortunately) by the time I swung around with the camera Ponder was looking in my general direction. So I composed and took several quick exposures, picking this particular one to work with.

Normally I don’t talk about all the steps I took to create a photo, but this time I’ll make an exception. First of all I’m using the Panasonic Leica 25mm on the OM-D E-M10. That combination is compact and quick. I’ve owned the 25mm for over three years; the more I use it the more I keep coming back to use it even more. I don’t use it wide open unless I absolutely have to, preferring to step down to f/2 to f/2.8. A lot of people say that’s a waste of a fast lens, but what folks don’t realize is that a fast lens helps to see and focus in dim light. You might not make the exposure wide open, but you certainly use it to help focus.

Once the exposures were made I transferred the JPEGs from the E-M10 to my iPhone using OI.Share. Once on the phone I post processed them a bit using Snapseed, where I converted the three color images to neutral black and white using the defaults. I applied a bit of vignetting (-60) to finish and then exported back to my camera roll. I then opened the black and white output from Snapseed in the Formulas app and applied the Ambrosia filter to get the result you see above. This enhanced the eyes even more while flattening and softening the lighter details around the eyes. It gives an old-fashioned warmth to the overall photo. And it helps make Ponder look like a little angel.

These are two more black and whites that have gone through just Snapseed.

Greebo

Greebo

ponder

Ponder

There’s a movement afoot in the photographic community these days to lament the passing of film, especially black and white. I think those lamentations are ill-conceived. Whenever anyone complains about the digital vs analog, the issues as I see them usually boil down to lighting and composition. Ignoring composition for the moment, in all three of these photos the light coming into the room from the window was soft and surrounding of my subjects, the kittens. Talk to any “old timer” and to a photographer they’ll emphasize how critical the quality of the light is. I had a classic north light, enhanced with an overcast day. The light coming through that window today was incredible. As were the kittens.

quiet contemplation

Resting in quiet contemplation after the big race.

It’s been 30 years this year since I moved away from Atlanta to Orlando. It’s been two years since I went back to visit my parents. My parents are now in their early 80s and two years is a bit too long between visits. So I decided to address the deficit a bit; I flew back to Atlanta early this morning.

I got up around oh-dark-thirty (4:30am to be precise) so I could fix a bit of breakfast, shower, dress, and head for OIA to catch my Southwest flight 424 to Atlanta. The flight was 20 minutes late leaving OIA due to an engine alarm in the 737’s cockpit. We taxied back to the gate, maintenance quickly board, solved the issue, and got us back on our way. Total time about 20 minutes.

When we landed I left and boarded Marta, headed for Doraville to be picked up by my younger brother. When I got on at Hartsfield I thought it was going to be a quiet ride, and it was, until we hit mid-town Atlanta. That’s when we were overwhelmed with a lot of sweaty, smelly Atlanta residents who’d just finished the 2014 Peachtree Road Race.

One minute, it was just me in a partially empty car, the next it was everybody trying to crowd in so they could get home. And I mean they were packed in. The aroma of so many in so little a space needing a shower was a reminder of why I’d left the Big City of Atlanta in 1984. I thought it was bad back then; it’s grown worse, well beyond my dark and tainted memories.

coming on board after the race

Streaming down to board.

crowed feet

Trying not to get stepped on.

bearded redneck

The bearded redneck runner…

Of course, what would a Marta ride be without rubbing elbows with the local hoi polloi? In this particular instance the Bearded Redneck Runner (above) decided he didn’t like me photographing his wife’s midriff (see below). I wanted a simple photo of the sign, a form of establishing content for this story. I guess that was too provocative of me; he got all Manly on me, telling me I might not like what he would do to “that camera” if I didn’t stop it. Of course, this was all after I’d taken the Dreaded Photograph.

Being in a car full of tightly packed sweaty unwashed, I had a brief Walter Mitty moment, a mashup of the movie “World War Z” combined with “The Walking Dead”, where I imagined some sort of redneck contagion spreading amongst the tightly packed, so I decided that rather than become contaminated by actually having to touch the idiot (as in punch out the redneck’s lights), it would be better if I just sat there and until he and his Chosen Mate left the car, which they did right after his bellicose statements. After all, the world doesn’t need yet another mindless, rude, cheap-beer-swilling belligerent Southern white male; there are way too many as it is. I’d left Atlanta 30 years ago to avoid that fate.

While the good news was that the Bearded Redneck and Wife left the car, the bad news was the majority of the other riders stuck it out with me until we all got to Doraville.

she who must not be photographed

… and she whose midriff must not be photographed.

exiting in doraville

Everybody out! Please!

I never felt more relief getting off a Marta train than when I finally got off at Doraville. I hung back until most of the crowd cleared out, taking my time getting out of the station and into Doraville proper.

“That Camera”

Everything taken with the world’s most intimidating camera, the Panasonic GX1, with the world’s most intimidating lens, the Panasonic 20mm pancake. And because I’m on travel, all the photos are SOOC, except for resizing with Shotwell on Ubuntu 14.04.