Saturday, February 18, 2017

Black'nd Mine: An Adventure in Gray Tone.

Tone my expression in a gray world and I will be in the black of mine. Storyboard of my life is the témoignage of the despair of emotion. Click the instant desire of eternity and the full inspiration of the romantic soul.

Where are you my love, my muse, my perfect picture of the physical human art. Light is triking the edge of my insanity. And I hope some understand my deviance. That's only photoetry.

You must say something, you must show something so we want to see.








Saturday, February 4, 2017

Film "Odd"-ity

Going back to film is trendy but not particularly practical or futurist!
(Second Personal Splash of 2017!)



Antique Editing Table
Yes we have seen recently a new trendy attitude toward digital photographe proclaiming the return of the traditional film picture support as a growing alternative tool for the future of the medium. As an ex-emerging photo youngster from the film era I am fascinated by the "discovery" of those who want to experiment the ancient ways of creating picture expressions. And I fully respect them for creating their original photo projects on that technical base.

Exploring any expression medium can be a very exciting experience whatever if it is an ancient formulation or a contemporary technique. So we cannot discuss the real pertinence to use it or not. It is up to anybody to choose the medium and use it as he wish. No discussion there for sure especially considering the artistic point of view of it. Visual representation is an universal art with many avenues and meaning.


Good Old Artefacts of the Film Era
Photography is part of our modern surrounding by proposing the temporal extension and interpretation of the instant reality. The technical of doing photography have expanded for more than two hundred years.

Now you have to consider the digital revolution that have transformed the production and the diffusion the photographic medium. It is cheap, accessible, easily editable and  more easily shareable.
All these advantages contribute to push photography into new frontiers never imaginable even 25 years ago. Like it or not it transgress every attempt to control its flux to specific audiences. It like music. It is everywhere, every time for everybody with less and less limitations.

This is why the digital revolution of photography is so important. Yes I respect without discrimination every form of art expression and techniques used to do so. But you cannot really pretend that there is a return of evolution to the film era, an era that I have been issued both personal and professionally I must add.


Primitive Color Calibration by Eye Appreciation
Digital is becomed a superior technical way of doing photography at lesser price in term of ressources and processing time. The traditional film have strong limitations that can be properly use as selective options if you intend to do so. But it is still a difficult ways of doing photography and it will ask you a strong effort to apprehend the technique. The learning curve of traditional film photography is intense and often discoraging.

You have to be honest and admit that digital photography is now part of the future evolution of the medium.

Rolls of Pain and Pleasure!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Fail start on the Oly E-M1 Mark II, Green light for the Pan Lumix G85 (G80)

It was suppose to be the M4/3 format camera of a lifetime for myself, the fabulous Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. It last a bit more than a glimpse of the eye but not much very longer I must say. Oh yes it is a fantastic "pro" model contender without any doubt assorted with a very solid construction, a superb ergonomic design (the best from Olympus for its hand prehension), a very versatile interface and a significant captor upgrade. So it got all the ingredients of success (even a skyrocket selective selling price!) and it will probably shows it in the next few years.


But from the start the E-M1 II had never really connect with me to my disappear I must add. Thinks like that happens time to time since my early days in photography. It can be observed either with notative or traditional product. But it influences directly my motivation... and my output !

Let simply say that the Olympus E-M1 II is a big and weighty camera by my own standards in M4/3 format. It is also a complex device to handle properly and it will ask you a extended training investment except if you intend to use it on an intense basis. Even the fine "Pro" line of Olympus lenses will add a lot to that impression at a point that is recalling me the previous film SLR days. In one word it contradict in part the essence of the founding of the M4/3 format.





Full Reset on the Panasonic Lumix G85 (G80)



Selecting a Panasonic product will be the natural alternative in M4/3 format. Over the previous years I had the chance to own some of their most recent models such as the GX7, GM5 and GX85 that I have found equally competent products into their respective speciality field. And many reviewers have been impressed by the D-SLR like mirrorless Lumix G7. The Panasonic approach in designing cameras and lenses remind a lot the Leica way. Pure lines, basic controls, low profile presentation have been appreciated among spontaneous photographers for travel, street or casual portrait shooting.  Furthermore many Panasonic Lumix products are lightweight. It is true to add that the initial physical touch of their products seems to feel less robust than the Olympus counterparts models but after the initial impression this perception tend to be forgotten in profit of the confort and the ergonomic of the Lumix products.

The Panasonic Lumix G85 is a D-SLR like mirrorless camera with practical virtues like a very secure handling (grip) along with control dials and fonction buttons that are easily reachable. Adding the optional power grip (DMW-BGG1) will simply give a longer battery life autonomy and a superior hand prehension when using larger lenses of external flashes.

Some aspects of the Lumix G85 have to be consider as inherent characteristics in parallel of the price point value of the model. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) for instance which very precise and handy for manual focusing is still more contrasty than the actual picture registered so appreciation can be falsely done. The LCD screen is a lot more accurate in that matter. The refresh rate frequency of the EVF is  on average and seems to slow down a bit in low light condition.

The Lumix G85 interface is reasonnabely intuitive et front forward as for the Quick Menu option. Controls dials and buttons are well located meanly on the right side of the camera and are configurable. The side door memory card access is also a nice touch. The LCD touch screen facilite the access to interesting fonctionnalities. Pivoting LCD screen is another practical option for videographers, macro photographers and photographers who like to simply protect and shut down the screen. As usual the custom camera configuration (C1, C2) allow you to program complex combinations and keep it for future frequent uses. Wifi interactions are also present with the Lumix G85 when you are using the appropriate Panasonic application for mobiles and tablets.


About the kit lens (12-60mm)
And dont prevent yourself to choose the Panasonic Lumix G85 kit that include the Lumix G Vario 12-60mm lens (Power O.I.S.). For the difference of selling price it is a steal. Although the Lumix 12-60mm is not particularly a fast lens it is a very versatile optic to carry all around. And the imagery results will surprise you considering the dollars you have spent to get it.





The Big Splash (Olympus fans please turn off...)

And now the the big splash over the Olympus E-M1 Mark II. Yes I was particularly pleased by the standard output issued from the E-M1 II both in colour and Black & White. And I must admit that I use almost exclusively Jpeg files over the RAW entertained option. It is a matter of personal choice to get fast and exploitable results to edit and share.

After working with the E-M1 II for a few weeks I did received my new Panasonic Lumix G85 and right from the start everything was falling in place. I can get pleasant and prévisibles colour rendering and most important B&W pictures were again very impressive and comparable to Fujifilm rendering which I consider as one of the highest level standard in mirrorless camera offer.

Another secret is the better interaction of the automatic white balance option of the Lumix G85 especially with mixed sources of domestic interior lightning and in particular with the new LED. In that cases the Olympus E-M1 II was really struggling to get a natural and balanced result. Automatic exposure accuracy of the Lumix G85 is asking less use of the manual exposure correction dial maybe because of its more general metering pattern nature. And automatic focusing of the Lumix G85 is snappy and repetitive. For sure the G85 is not a fast action camera such as the Olympus E-M1 II which primarily intend to be used for that task.

Not using the full potential (and investment!) of the Olympus E-M1 II started to bother me gradually. Sure I love to have a very pro oriented product with a considerable array of possibilities. But the complexity of it along with the amount of time and learning to consecrate to properly use the E-M1 II create a progressive aversion to natural pick of the camera and taking picture. The E-M1 II is primarily a professional tool for intensive active photography and it is designed for responding to these imperative criteras of journalism  in every circonstances.

Green Light for the Panasonic Lumix G85

A the end the Panasonic Lumix G85 is by far a more paisible instrument for the casual and expert photographer. It is a simpler package that give you fast and pleasant output with less fussy reconfiguration of the medium. It encourage you to bring the camera and experiment on the field by taking pictures. Photography has to be fun and rewarding and the Lumix G15 is perfectly adapted for that task. Dont prevent yourself to enjoy it.











Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Montréal Like It Like It Not: A Black & White Desire


Montréal is my born city even if I became a suburb boomer like many of us. Montreal is the essence of our cultural french identity the other places are simply anecdotical for us. When I walk in the streets of Montreal I am always strike by infinite nature of changes over the places, the people and the time. Montreal is a survivor in this very competitive world of North America.


You can see the buildings, the beautiful girls and boys as the ancients, the surroundings, the noise and  the music, it is the the dis-harmony of life. It is Montréal!





Are you with me ?



Saturday, December 17, 2016

New 2017 Year with Daniel M





 New Year Resolutions ... ! 



A fresh new year is coming and is almost already here, 2017. So it is time to forecast some blog projects for the months to come. But the big news is that I will be "free agent" starting April 1st, 2017. That life project has been planned since two years and at last it will be concretized in 2017. At this point of my modest evolution it may be the best thing that happens to me.

Now for more photo equipment oriented subjects, since I have just received the new "Pro" Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, a very personal review of the camera will be issued within the first months of 2017. An article on the lenses with fixed focal lenght is also on the way. Another subject that will be title "On Assignation" will be a kind of personal view as an ex-pro photographier regarding the preparation and the production of a specific photo project.











On the photo artistic side many subjects will be part of my attention. Since we are confronting the constant rapid changes of our surrounding, I want to explore the artefacts of the recent human remains of our society. Are we really documented of our recent evolution or just have burned it. Abstractions is another challenge to picture especially if you can extract it from the concrete reality of the object or the subject



Photography has never take such an important place in our everyday life and its constant presence is a strong témoignage of its current vitality. Yes the new photo taking-diffusing media are part of our personal surrounding and play a vital role of our life. It stay a modern form of expression in many ways including as an art by itself. Lets hope only that we are not only "consuming" photography but also take time to "contemplate" its various expressions.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Get in the "pro" side with the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8



Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8
The original (and first) Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lens actor on compact photo task with Daniel M.

We know already all the big advantages of using a so-called "Pro" lens. Better construction, larger controls and grip, better quality glasses, constant aperture (most of the time), all weather protection, etc. But "pro" lenses are also larger, heavier and... more expensive. Usually their variable focal length latitude is narrowed compare to the "amateur" counterparts.So it can be tricky to suggest or moreover to recommend such an exclusive product. And I am not a big fan of "bazooka" lenses that are intimidating the subject by their lack of discretion. The only add credibility you can expect from other people when using this type of lenses usually came from persons without real knowledge of photography (especially press credential personal).

So you can be rightly suspicious when I decide to bring you this specific and modest personal review about the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 lens.

On the Run (Olympus OM-D E-M5 II / M. 12-40mm F2.8)
The Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F\2.8 is in fact a big lens. It is true to say that it is a smaller lens compare to its equivalent in larger image actor format such as APS-C or 24X36mm so-called "full" frame format. Its focal length latitude offers a practical range starting with an interesting wide angle up to a modest telephoto setting. Its constant maximum aperture of F/2.8 is the usual standard for this kind of "pro" product.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II W/Grip / M.12-40mm F2.8 
The Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 is an impressive piece of glasses in particular if you apply the compactness standards of the m4/3 format. To properly use it you may need a camera model with a greater potential handle grip to be able to handle it with confidence and confort. But I must add that the lens is still usable  without add-on grip. As a "Pro" design lens its primary destination is without a doubt the Olympus OM-D E-M1 (in both variations). With the OM-D E-M5 (again in both versions)  the optional grip will help you  in certain situations like studio or action shooting sessions. That can be said also when you are using the OM-D E-M10 (again and again ... original or Mark II models).

The feeling of the 12-40mm F/2.8 lens reveals its high class all weather construction especially in comparaison with the kit zoom lenses such as the M.Zuiko 12-50mm or the diminutive 14-42mm. Control rings for zooming and focusing are fairly larger and can be easily distinctive by the touch. We appreciate that the lens hood is part of the included accessory packaged with the lens.

One of the big advantage of the M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 is surely its focal length variation starting with a real wide setting of 12mm (84 degrees of angle of view) up to an extended normal angle of view ( 30 degrees) at 40mm. I really consider that telephoto designation should start at 60-75mm focal length in M4/3 format which represent an angle of view of 20-15 degrees to make a visual difference. At that point you get a magnification ratio of 2.5-3X compare to your naked eye. The Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F/1.8 should be an excellent complement to the M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8.

Like I have said earlier the bigger dimensions of "Pro" lenses is often generating intimidating reactions from many spontaneous subjects. It is a price to pay and you may have to earn the confidence of the people you want to photograph prior to the shooting itself. Even the non-initiated person in photography will be aware of the "pro" level of your photo taking device.

The performance of the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm lens is on the upper lever flirting with the stellar performances seen on the prime (focal fix) lenses. It is a good substitute product to the 12mm, the 17mm, the 25mm and the 45mm prime lenses although all theses models offer a much larger maximum aperture (F1.8-2) which support a better depth of field control.

The extended focal range of the M.12-40mm qualify it as a good urban traveller optic to keep at hand. more than on your chest. And yes it can be a good action lens.



If you are looking for a basic "pro" setting the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 will be a strong contender to fill the task. And the image results will speak by themself.




Good Bye


Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Superior Lens: The Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F/1.8 ED

It sometime arrive that a new product is becoming a fetish item right from the start and it was effectively the case for the beloved Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, the "made in Japan" state of art optic for M4/3 format cameras.
It is a purely indecent and expensive piece of glass that everybody want to touch, try and ... adopt if they can afford to pay for this majestic device.
Carefully crafted the Olympus 75mm is also a beautiful collector jewel especially in its silver version. The short and fat design of the lens can be still assimilated as a compact design considering the fact it is a real telephoto with a fairly large maximum aperture. The focus is sumptuous and using it in conjunction of the Auto-focus/Manual option of the camera is a charm. When you turn manually the focus ring you will easily feel and ear the by-wire mecanisism of the lens coupled with a lighter turning resistance compare to some prime lens models. For my personal point of view I have seen it more as an avantage than an inconvenient.

Plumage (OM-D E-M5 II / M.Zuiko 75mm f1.8)
A short word about the lens hood
The dedicated and factory lens hood of the Olympus 75mm F/1.8 is not part of the included accessories that come with the lens. In fact the Olympus policy regarding lens hood availability is not really clear. It seems that most of the "polymer-made" hood are included with the lens and the "metal-made" ones are optional accessories. For the Olympus 75mm lens, the gigantic metal lens hood (and expensive) has to be bought separately. Considering the hood large dimension it is really an occasional  add-on accessory that will bother more than be practical. It's up to you to "invest" or not.

With 16 degrees of (narrow!) angle of view the Olympus 75mm F/1.8 is the first real telephoto that will give you an equivalent three time magnification compare to your normal eye sight. Combined with its maximum aperture of F1.8 it can be a very discriminating lens considering its reduced deep of field.
Because of its great selectivity the Olympus 75mm F1.8 is more an off-contextual lens than the others lenses doted with a wider angle of view. Perfect in doing portrait or such related subjects this small and fast telephoto can be also used in cultural (such in theatre or musical scene) and sport events.
You may consider the Olympus 75mm F/1.8 as a true "project" lens that will ask a greater sense of study of your subject. In fact working with the optic will allow you to really discover different aspects of your subject.

What to add more about that optical marvel from the Olympus M4/3 line-up except its outstanding performance. Yes this a superior optic even if it is a specialize piece of glass. But using the Olympus 75mm may transform you in an addict of this focal length with a narrow angle of view.
Urbascape with the Olympus M.75mm F1.8