• How Did You Get That Shot #6

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

    I have always wanted to do a shot from the roof of a car trying to duplicate the “warp speed” effect you might see in a space movie and knew we had a great place near me in Metro Detroit in the city of Rochester Hills. Each year the stores down Main Street in Rochester Hills decorate their store fronts with over 1 million points of light and this happens to be the 10th anniversary too, which means it should be spectacular. It only happens between late November and first week of January and the streets are always busy with shoppers and those just coming to drive by. So, some planning would need to take place.

    untitled_20151205_22_43_29_IMG_9467_©mikeboening_2015First the car I am in needs to be going at a somewhat slow and steady speed. It can’t buzz through the city because it’s only a few blocks long and it can’t just sit there in traffic at the busiest times because the light effect may get shaky. So, knowing that the show is open till midnight, I chose a Saturday night after 10:00pm to start the shooting. It doesn’t take much equipment at all. A sturdy tripod quick release adapter screwed onto a suction cup for the car, a cooperative assistant to drive back and forth till you are happy with the shots and of course an Olympus OM-D model camera with Live Composite and the 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye Pro lens. I hooked the suction cup just outside the sun roof so I could reach the camera while sitting. I could have also used the OI Share app with its new update has the ability to do Live Composite through the Wi-Fi connection. I went with the more manual set up with me depressing the shutter to activate and stop the LC.

    untitled_20151205_22_37_02_IMG_9460_©mikeboening_2015Once I had all those in place I started to have my assistant, wife actually, drive in the closest to middle lane which centered me as best as possible and I would start the Live Composite feature at a stop light setting the base image so as we started to leave the light I would commence taking the actual shot. With Live Composite, the best feature is the ability to know you likely will not be losing much detail because of blown out areas as the Live Composite only records the newest highlights over the base image I made while stopped at the light. With the car moving, these newest highlights would blur into a sea of color with the road staying static from the center line while my wife held her spot in the lane the best she could. If you start to swerve at all or switch a lane you will get those blurs in your image and they just don’t have the same effect as your car moving fast in a straight direction.

    I know many cities at this time of the year that have very decorative store fronts whether in lights or displays that when passed by in a car can make some amazing images you might not be able to get any other time of the year. In fact if you want to practice a bit, try it in your own neighborhood. Find that street that almost everyone decorates their home for the holidays and start to run some tests from your own sunroof. Technology like Live Composite can really spark your creativity and the best thing to do I found is when that spark hits, let it burn. Have fun and share your results.

    Equipment Used:
    Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
    8mm f/1.8 Fisheye Pro Lens
    Suction Cup Holder
    Manfroto quick release adapter

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 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 #3

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

    Olympus AIR with f/1.8 Fisheye Pro | 1/1000 sec at f/2.0, ISO 320

    For my third installment of “How Did You Get That Shot” I would like to discuss the above image captured with the newly released Olympus AIR.  The AIR is a new concept open platform Micro Four Thirds camera that has all the benefits of your interchangeable lens camera with the intelligence of a smart phone.  Benefits like optical zoom, high image quality, fast apertures and great low light performance is what makes this new camera so appealing when you can pair it with any Micro Four Thirds lens you have.  The creative limits are removed with a camera like this and being that it’s open platform makes it that much more exciting because there are developers out there right now working on new ways to make it even more awesome.

    FullSizeRenderLast week I was out at a local 4-H fair where they have a huge Motocross event to end the week long county festival.  It’s always a big deal and to give you an indication of that we had to mark our spot and place chairs that morning at 7am to be sure we would have an area to sit by the time it started at 7:00pm that night.  The races consisted of riders from 4 years old and up and of course differing levels.  I wanted to experiment with the AIR and thought this would be a perfect venue.  It’s fun to get close, really close, but it’s also very dangerous in these type of amateur events.  Sometimes, you just don’t know when the next rider is heading for the crowds going right over that photographer who might be leaning over the fence.  So, bring out the AIR, put on the new Olympus f/1.8 Pro Fisheye lens and see what you can get.

    I placed the AIR with the Fisheye lens just under the plastic fence, very close to a hay bail and pushed it deep into the grass.  The AIR and Fisheye lens were attached to my Manfroto PIXI Mini Tripod.  I use this tripod all the time because of it’s strength and it’s ability to fit into places my larger tripods can’t.  It has fixed stainless steel legs which make it very strong.  I think every photographer who I have shown it to has gone out and got themselves one right after.  I don’t like to leave without it and now with the AIR, it’s a perfect companion for getting the job done.

    With the AIR activated and hooked to WiFi through my iPhone 6+ I could watch the action from a safe distance, about 30 feet away.  I had placed it strategically at the end of the first turn and where the riders would launch off the first jump.  I had it pointed up and a bit to the left to capture the people sitting along the side to give the images a reference point.  If I were to just get the motorcycle rider high in the air it would leave out an important part of the composition, the crowd and excitement they were feeling watching these dirt daredevils.  As you can see in the image above, the crowd loves to sit right on the fence and capture these jumps with their smart phones.  I think that lends the human element to the image and just how high these riders are off the ground.

    Composition Tip:  Capturing views from a fan’s perspective will keep your viewer engaged in your image longer.

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The settings on the AIR were all manual, which is an awesome feature.  I had the focus, to manual as well.  I didn’t want the camera searching for focus before firing on all those fast moving bikes.  Plus, when using the fisheye, most of what’s in the frame will be in focus.  The shutter was set to sequential so all I had to do was wait for the motorcycles to launch and time it so I could get a good series of images in a row.  I was shooting at 10 frames per second and holding the shutter button on the iPhone through the jump.  My image quality was on high and I used the JPEGs for all of these images.  I had to choose the best images after in post but I was happy enough with them straight out of camera that twice that night I was able to go back, find a couple images and save them to my iPhone for sharing on social media during the event.  I love having that option.

    Overall, the shots I was able to get that night with the New Olympus AIR were very satisfying knowing that I didn’t want to risk laying on the ground with my arms under that fence with the riders going by.  I am very excited to have the AIR with me all the time now in my camera bag because I never know when something creative will come up on a shoot and I pull it out to try something new.  Also, one other benefit that night was as I shot the riders jumping I could also get them on the next series of jumps which followed with my OM-D E-M1 to capture more fun moments.  It was almost like having a second shooter there for me…

    The images below were all taken with my OM-D E-M1 and the 12-40 Pro as well as the 40-150 Pro lens.  My gear page is available here.

    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.com 

    Added clean up tip:  I use a shaving brush with big soft bristles to clean off any dust or dirt on the AIR or lens housing, not the glass.

     

  • Detroit Is a Phoenix

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

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  • Two New Amazing Lenses From Olympus

    Olympus today announced two new premium M.ZUIKO DIGITAL PRO lenses, available in June. The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 14-28mm, while the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm Fisheye PRO, the world’s first with an f/1.8 aperture, features a minimum working distance of just 2.5cm and offers excellent bokeh with wide-angle macro shots.  Check out some of these impressive stats on the lenses.  Links to purchase are below:

    M0714_stand(wideAF)_s

    • Focal Length 7-14mm
    • 35mm Equivalent Focal Length 14-28mm
    • Lens Construction 14 Elements in 11 Groups
    • (2 Aspherical ED lenses, 1 DSA lens, 1 Aspherical lens, 3 Super ED lenses, 1    ED lens, 2 HR lenses)
    • Dust & Splash Proof Yes
    • Focusing System High-speed Imager AF (MSC)
    • Angle of View 114 – 75 Degree
    • Closest Focusing Distance 2m
    • Number of Blades 7 (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
    • Maximum Aperture 8
    • Minimum Aperture F22
    • Dimensions Diameter 78.9×105.8mm

    Link to Pre Order the 7-14mm Pro Lens

    RV_M0818Fish_stand_s

    • Focal Length 8mm
    • 35mm Equivalent Focal Length 16mm
    • Lens Construction 17 Elements in 15 Groups
    • (1 Aspherical lens, 3 Super ED lenses, 2 ED lenses, 1 Super HR Lens, 2 HR lenses)
    • Dust & Drip Proof Yes
    • Focusing System High-speed Imager AF (MSC)
    • Angle of View 180 degree
    • Closest Focusing Distance 12 m
    • Number of Blades 7 (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
    • Maximum Aperture 8
    • Minimum Aperture f22
    • Dimensions 62 mm  x 80 mm

    Link to Pre Order the 8mm Fisheye Pro Lens