Portraits, ice hockey and some urban landscapes with micro 4/3s.

I’ll warn you now, this is going to be a longer post.  This past week I haven’t had the time to really do anything photography related.  Just when I thought it was hopeless, comes a flurry of photographic activity!  We had family over for my Dad’s birthday so I got some portraits done and my brother had an ice hockey game, so I did some sports shooting in as well.

As an experiment and test of the micro 4/3’s gear that I’ve been packing lately, I opted to leave the big Nikon gear on the shelf.  Don’t get me wrong, the full frame Nikon and fast glass produces some of the nicest work I’ve ever done and is way more camera than I need (or can even make use of).  I benched it today because I wanted to see what I could do with the mirrorless system I have.  I mounted up the G3 with the Oly 45mm f/1.8 lens, set up the backdrop and off I went.  I threw on a Nissin Di-466 flash on the G3 and used TTL bounced off the ceiling.  Not an ideal solution, but given the time constraint, it was the best I could do.  It worked out surprisingly well I think.

Panasonic G3, Oly 45mm f/1.8, 1/80, f/2, ISO 160, TTL flash

The only downsides I can see with the small G3 is the handling.  Switching various settings isn’t nearly as intuitive as on the D700, which is what I expected since the two camera’s are targeted towards opposite ends of the user spectrum.  Overall though, I was quite happy with what turned out.  I still am anxious to test it out once the replacement battery gets here for my flash triggers.

Right after the portraits, I drove to the local ice rink to watch my little brother play ice hockey.  This is normally reserved for only the big guns and fast glass, but I wanted to really see what the G3 can do in this challenging situation.  The light levels are low (it is not a pro rink) and the players are fast.

Panasonic G3, Oly 45mm f/1.8, 1/800, f/1.8, ISO 640

I was quite surprised at the continuous autofocus on the small camera.  It did fairly well, considering the conditions.  The AF performed very well when the players were moving laterally across the frame.  I did notice that it struggled when the players were moving directly toward me.  The percentage of shots in focus dropped drastically to probably around 30-40%.  While not the best low-light sports camera and lens combo, it did admirably well.

For the past few months I have been harping on this small mirrorless system, but I do believe that is a great solution for many people.  Below is a picture of my entire micro 4/3 kit, and behind the gear is the small bag (man-purse according to my lovely wife) that I carry it all in (Domke F-5XB).

Panasonic G3, P20mm, Oly 45mm, P14-42mm, P45-200mm, Nissin Di-466, batteries, etc.

Now we come to today.  The weather has done yet another 180 and the temperature rose to above 50 and the sun was shining, the snow and ice melted and the wind blowing.  So over lunch, I once again grabbed the camera bag, hopped on the bike and went off for a 45 minute ride.  I rolled down to the local trail which runs alongside a portion of Jacob’s Creek.  Below are a few shots from the ride.

Panasonic G3, 20mm, 1/4000, f/4, ISO 160
Panasonic G3, 14-42mm, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 160


Panasonic G3, 14-42, 1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 160

And we finally come to the close of this post.  It just all hit me at once, in the future I’ll try and spread things out a bit more.  Hope you enjoyed.

The blackout is over!

So the blackout of my site is over.  I believe I had about 26 people visit during that time.  To those who simply can’t get enough of my pictures and sub-par writing, I apologize.

This whole event (from real websites, not mine) does show how quickly causes can escalate.  I don’t think I have ever seen the proliferation of so much anger towards a bill in Congress before.  It’s good to see people starting to pay attention to what our government is doing.  I hope the next time they do something like this people will once again question them.

Anyway, to make up for the blackout and no new pictures for a week, here are a few of my past favorites that may or may not have ever been posted here.

A short walk

Going back to work on Monday’s when the weather is this nice is always a challenge.  Luckily I found time during my lunch break to grab a camera and take a short walk through town.  It was a bit chilly, but the sun was shining bright and I needed to get outside and take advantage of it.  So I packed up the Domke bag (G3, 14-42, 20, 45) and took off.  I ended up just leaving the 14-42mm kit zoom on the entire time though.

The back alleys on the main street (there is only 1 in Scottdale) are the most interesting.  The buildings are generally very old and a in some places a bit run down from the rear, but this only adds character.

And of course, when I returned home to log back into my work computer, I found this lying in wait in the bathroom sink next to my office…

Cats are weird.

Bike ride in January

The weather has done a 180 in the past few days to the point where it was above 50 and sunny today.  I couldn’t pass it up.  After a quick tune up of the bike, air in the tires and packed a small camera bag, I set off.

I ventured down to the local rail trail a mile from my house and set off at a pretty good pace.  The trail was rather soggy and it took quite the effort to keep a quick pace.  Soon enough I slowed down a bit and got the camera out.

Most of my shooting today was done around this set of railroad tracks.  The landscape was very drab and I was out during the worst time of day to shoot, so my options were limited. The texture of the track was interesting though, so I focused on that.

I was back home only after 10 miles, but it felt really good to just get outside.  The only thing on my mind was pedaling and photographing.  Once I got home, the legs were burning pretty good, but the wife wanted to go for a walk, so off the bike and into running shoes I went.

My place to share pictures and talk about gear