• How Did You Get That Shot #5

     

    For this installment of “How Did You Get That Shot” I am once again going back to the Olympus AIR.  The AIR has so many interesting and new capabilities available with its size and portability.  This time it isn’t so much a still photograph as it is video I shot with the AIR.  I am certainly out of my comfort zone when it comes to shooting video with the AIR or any hand held camera.  I normally only shoot stills but getting outside of your comfort zone can only help when you are trying new things.  So, the video shooting and editing in this blog post is likely not to professional standards, but I think the ease I was able to do it with the AIR shows that it can be done by anyone and that is what I am trying to convey.  Have fun and try something new.  You will not be disappointed!

    To start with, I have been doing a lot of biking lately and of course if I am doing something like that than I am bound to have a camera with me, or even two.  Biking is so much fun and when you can do it with friends it multiplies the fun factor, and when you can do it with 2,000 friends, well you get the idea…  I like to go out on Monday nights in Detroit and participate in the Slow Roll.  The Slow Roll is a group bicycle ride every Monday night in Detroit that has expanded into a global network of community rides.  Each week we meet at a different location in the D and take a unique route around the city.  Major and minor neighborhoods are all included and that is the best part.  Most people will normally drive around certain bustling areas of the city or walk around downtown, but this bike ride gets you into the neighborhoods and everyone loves it, riders and locals.  It gives you a very unique perspective on the city and the community outreach is awesome when people are sitting on their front porches or coming out to greet the riders.  This isn’t a race, it’s a Slow Roll, and we go slow, usually for a couple hours covering about 10 to 12 miles.  Check out the links within the blog post and see if your area might even have started its own Slow Roll, chances are they might have.

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com

    OK, back to photography and the Olympus AIR.  I wanted to document the ride because they are so much fun and I will always have an OMD strapped around my shoulder for stills.  What could be better than riding and street shooting:)  Knowing that I have the stills covered, I thought I would also try my hand at video and the Olympus AIR would be the perfect choice to give a rider’s view of what it’s like to be in the Slow Roll.  It’s sometimes hard to explain to people what it’s like so this will give you a great idea of what it would be like and gain the perspective of seeing it from the back of a bike.  My first thought was I needed to have the AIR mounted to the bike in a way it didn’t hamper my riding in any way and I didn’t want to be bothered by changing settings or anything during the ride.  I worked on all kinds of different methods to secure the AIR but ended up settling on the Peak Design Capture that I owned.  It wasn’t necessarily made for this, but that’s the fun with the AIR.  I find myself using equipment that might have sitting around to help secure or place the AIR in places I just can’t be, like the back of a bike on a carrier.

    File Sep 24, 12 39 42 PM       File Sep 24, 12 40 17 PM       File Sep 24, 12 40 32 PM       File Sep 24, 12 40 47 PM

    Once I have the Capture locked onto the frame of the carrier I just insert the plate on the AIR and lock it in.  Next I use the O.A. Central app to get the AIR going into movie mode.  I attached one of the most easy to use lenses around to get that wide perspective view, the 9mm f/8.0 Body Cap Fisheye lens.  It’s a manual focus lens but with the field of view I wouldn’t want spot specific focus.  I want to capture everything I can.  I started the video up about 5 or 6 times during the ride capturing 3 to 7 minute spots of video that I would later edit down to the 2 minute video you see above.  I edited the whole thing in iMovie making it very simple without much of a challenge as far as the process goes which helps when you just want to get some video to share of your biking.

    Overall, capturing the ride from the rear perspective was amazing fun because I had no idea some of the things happened the way they did behind me.  Next time you are out for a ride, try to hook the AIR up to something on your bike leave your comfort zone to try something new. You will not be disappointed.  I am also going to share some of the still photos taken during the ride.  Capturing images from a moving bike is a challenge and I could probably do the next blog post on that subject…

    Equipment used:

    Olympus AIR

    9mm f/8.0 Body Cap Fisheye lens

    Peak Design Capture

    In case you are wondering about the bike I ride, it’s of course a Detroit Bike.  What other type would you think I would ride?  This bike is manufactured right here in the Motor City.  It’s an awesome piece of urban machinery.  I urge you to check them out here and watch this short video about Detroit Bikes.

    Here are some still images captured while riding in the Detroit Slow Roll.

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.comPhoto by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com

  • How Did You Get That Shot #4

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com

    On my recent workshop in Toronto I was discussing and demonstrating the benefits of Live Composite mode which is available on all of the Olympus OM-D line of cameras.  We talked about how to choose compositions and what made an interesting image compared to a normal plain light streak image.  As usual, when you get a group of photographers together and talking, ideas continue to evolve.  The above image is an example of that.

    We had been walking for a couple hours around some very busy streets and found a few nice images but we wanted something different.  Something that made us say wow.  I remembered a busy intersection we had crossed earlier and wondered if we could view it from the elevated walk we were currently on.  Sure enough, when we got to the area we were quite pleased.  A busy corner with curve qualities.  Earlier the same day I gave a presentation that talked about the same point, curves in roadways when in a big city make for very interesting compositions.  The images below were taken with this in mind.

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com               OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    After some time spent capturing images on the corner I started to experiment with the zoom effect during the actual Live Composite.  Earlier in the evening one of the workshop participants had reminded me of this option and I was quite appreciative.  Workshops have a way of creating this type of atmosphere between the participants as well as the host.  I think that is why I feel so strongly that getting involved with a workshop will always give your photography a kick start if you let it.

    The zoom effect is essentially rotating the zoom on your lens while you are capturing the long exposure.  It creates an interesting motion effect that can add depth into your Live Composite images.  The key piece in doing this effect during a Live Composite is you are able to see it happen live and if you don’t like it, you can stop and start over again.  You aren’t waiting till the image is completed 40 or more seconds later, hoping you got something worth keeping.  So much of the guess work is taken out of the image by using Live Composite.

    To start you need to have your OM-D on a tripod with your composition selected.  If you haven’t used Live Composite or need a refresher please see my recent blog post on getting started here.

    TIP:  Look for tall buildings in the background that might have lights on in the windows.  (see image below)

    I would suggest that you shoot a few test Live Composites before you actually perform the zoom effect to analyze things like traffic flow and is the pattern of light pleasing with your frame.  Once you are happy with your selection it’s time to experiment.  Sample test shot before the zoom effect was used is below.

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com

    The lead image in the blog post was captured by watching the traffic flow and noticing when it slowed would be a good time to start the Live Composite working the zoom effect within the first few seconds of the image.  By doing that I ensured if I didn’t like the zoom effect then I could stop the Live Composite and start over instead of waiting for it to finish only to be unhappy with the results.  I start the first depression of the shutter of course to get the base image like in all Live Composite shots and then when the traffic slowed I would start the capture phase by clicking the shutter button a second time.  While doing that I had my left hand resting lightly on the lens barrel, over the zoom.  I would start turning the barrel slowly, but more important, consistently, all the way through the zoom from the front to the back.  This created the movement in the lights which were mainly the windows in the large office buildings at the back of my frame, see tip above.

    TIP:  When turning the zoom in or out be sure that it is done in one motion and at the same rate of speed.  If you start or stop too quickly it will leave jagged edges that may not be what you are going for.

    Now that I had the motion part of the image completed I would wait for the cars to start coming through the intersection around my already formed motion streaks from the zoom effect.  As soon as I felt I had enough light streaks I would depress the shutter one more time to stop the exposure.  That’s it!

    This effect is fun and creative.  It won’t work on every one of your Live Composite images but when used from time to time you will find that it opens an amazing creative ability in a function that’s already amazing in itself.  Give it a try the next time you are out shooting Live Composite and share the results with me.  I would love to see what you create.

    Gear used for the feature shot:

    OM-D E-M5 Mark II

    7-14mm f/2.8 Pro Lens

    Me-Foto tripod

  • The Look

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com

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  • Celebrate National Camera Day June 29th

     

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.memoriesbymike.zenfolio.com

    To celebrate National Camera Day I wanted to talk about my favorite camera/lens combo.  Like most photographers I have a certain passion within photography.  It’s where I feel most comfortable shooting and it’s the place I always gravitate to.  For me, that passion is Street Photography and the urban landscape.

    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com

    With minimal time to explore my passion on a daily basis because of life’s commitments I need a camera that is ready to go in an instant, pack easily for travel and is light to carry.  When I need this combo I am turning to my Olympus OM-D E-M10 coupled with the M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 prime lens.

    This combination is just about perfect for me from field of view, nearly 35mm in a full frame equivalent, which lets me capture what I naturally see with my own eyes.  Its super quick auto focus coupled with the ability to shoot in very dark situations makes it the tool of choice.  I can go from a bright sunny day in the streets to inside a museum and have the ISO range to capture it all.

    If you are into documenting or capturing life in the streets at home or when you travel the Olympus OM-D E-M10 with the 17mm f/1.8 prime is the combo for you.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.memoriesbymike.zenfolio.com    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.mikeboening.com    Photo by Mike Boening http://www.memoriesbymike.zenfolio.com

  • Small Town to Downtown Workshop

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    Mirrorless Minutes is proud to announce their first photography workshop called  Small Town to Downtown taking place Saturday and Sunday July 18&19, 2015.  Join Olympus VisionaryJamie MacDonald and Mike Boening as they travel to their favorite spots in the Michigan countryside and in Detroit.  This workshop will be kept small, only 10 photographers, so early registration is encouraged.   Knowing that we have some miles to cover from the city to the country, we will be including transportation in the workshop fee.  Our travels will be together in one vehicle so we can reduce the time between locations and parking in the city.

    Mike will take us to some very interesting spots to capture the feel of Detroit and its urban art scene.  Saturday morning will start by visiting the grand architectural magnificence of Michigan Central Station.  The train station is abandoned but we can capture images of the location from the outside, which can be amazing.  We will not be entering into abandoned buildings on this trip.  After the train station our travels will lead us to some of the coolest Urban Art locations in the city.   We will go to a few of the well-known urban art areas as well as a couple that are less known but offer some amazing views.  Next will be one of the coolest areas in Detroit, Greektown.  We will visit the area with some time to take pictures as well as dine in one of their many great restaurants.  Once full and rested we will head over to the People Mover for our next location, the Millner Center parking garage where we can capture amazing images of The Renaissance Center, GM’s World HQ, and other landmarks from atop the garage.  Following our nighttime session you will be taken back to the Workshop HQ.

    Sunday morning we will meet VERY early and head out to the country portion of our trip.  Jamie is putting together some amazing places to capture rural Michigan at its best.  We will explore farmlands to old country roads and points of interest in between.  After a full morning of shooting we head back to the Workshop HQ for our post processing session.  A room has been reserved for our class to select and process their best images of the weekend.  A couple hours will be spent on post processing and selecting your best 5 best images for our class slideshow to end the day.

    This workshop is expected to give you the chance to unplug from your daily routine and focus on the hobby you love, photography.  You will meet like-minded people and find that the camaraderie built during the weekend will last long past Sunday.  Give yourself the opportunity to experience a great time with some great people capturing great images.  An Early Bird Registration Fee is available for a limited time so act now.

    Click here for detailed information and registration

    www.mikeboening.comOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwww.mikeboening.com©2013 Jamie A. MacDonald