Sunday, August 23, 2009

check me out mum!

I have been signed up with an online magazine called the Dwarf for probably about 2 years now. Every week or so they send out a list of gigs available to shoot or review and every week I think to myself "if you were only good enough to put your name forward" (translate that to: If I only had enough balls to put my name forward) so anyway, I (finally) asked and I received a gig which I shot last Friday at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, here in Melbourne.

The gig in question was Grafton Primary with supports from Cassette Kids and Neon Love - all of which I knew nothing about. I was expecting some kinda super DJ set but no, they all had instruments! the first band (Neon Love) had LOTS of instruments! the 2nd band, Cassette Kids, had lots of instruments and a singer with a short skirt and Grafton Primary had not very many instruments and no female singer with a short skirt... you can make your own conclusions from that.

Anyway, I wasn't sent to review, I was sent to take photos.....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Olympus Pen E-P1 review

I have been taking part in a competition run by Olympus Australia. They send you the new Pen E-P1 camera to have for 1 month and we take photos, upload them and people vote.

People seem pretty divided over this camera, some say it's slow to focus and process and had bad ISO and others would clearly marry it if it was legal (where it is in the United States of America).

I am going to offer my opinions on this camera after one month of extensive use, but please note:
  1. I never read the manual
  2. I only had the 14-48mm kit lens and the 17mm 2.8 lens
  3. I never read the manual
OK, it IS slow... slow to focus, slow to process the art filters and slow to process long exposures (although I have been told to turn noise reduction off and this fixes the long exposure processing time) and it's pricey - the $1399 price tag for the body alone with kit lens and ($1799) for the twin lens kit will always make me compare it to a dSLR and not a point and shoot.

Some specs taken from
  • 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • Two new kit lenses (M. Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 and 17mm F2.8 Pancake)
  • TruePic V image processor
  • 3.0" LCD screen (fixed, 230k dot resolution)
  • HD movies (720p) with stereo sound
  • Linear PCM sound recording
  • 3.0 fps sequential shooting
  • Built-in IS with max. 4 EV steps efficiency
  • Optional Adapters for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses
  • Dual control dials
  • Art Filters, multi-aspect ratios, multi exposure
  • In-camera raw conversion (including application of Art Filters)
The screen is MASSIVE and compared to my 20D it's quite lovely to view.

Movie mode seems pretty good too - I took it to a Flaming Lips show and it seemed to handle it ok (and it was LOUD) the stereo sound is a cool feature too... the video files are huge - I haven't had a chance to look at these files on a big TV but they look pretty good on my computer screen.

There are alot of dials and buttons (maybe even too many) it was easy to get confused and trying in vain to find the controls you wanted (obviously after a few months use it would all be good) I also found myself accidentally changing the aperture.

The Art Filters are ok, but take alot of time to process as mentioned before - if you shoot RAW like I do, it saves a JPG and a RAW file (the RAW being unprocessed) there is: Cheesy Soft Focus, Shitty HOLGA ripoff, Cool looking Grainy Black and White, Lotsa colour, Not so much colour, High Key, Low Key and the Key to my heart...

I also had the unfortunate 'opportunity' of having to use the Olympus software because my version of Lightroom could not read the RAW files. It did not install properly the first time and would quit randomly. I re-installed it and now it constantly is asking to register (even when I checked the 'do not ask again' box) this software, in a word, is shit and I will be happy to never use it again.

I have to say that I took some really great pics with this camera - and you can view them HERE but I would never tell anyone to buy it. Maybe when the new version comes out it could be awesome - but for the price I would buy a proper dSLR over this Super Point and shoot any day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

see how much i love you

there are things i should be doing, but ohhh no, i am writing this, so i figure the next best thing from actually doing what i should be doing, is writing about the things i should be doing (when instead i should be doing the things i am writing about).
actually, im not even going to write about the things I should be doing... they can get fucked.

Faith No More have announced shows in Australia today, how cool is that? apart from the fact that Jim Martin isn't playing with them I have heard great reviews on their shows they are playing overseas so will be going to that fer shure....

I saw them play in 1996 in Wellington, slightly skinnier and with more hair, but that goes for me aswell. How I would love to see Mr Bungle play!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

people rhythm

short movie made with the Olympus Pen E-P1 I have for a competition
- music from M Wards awesome album "Hold Time".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

competitions and being in one

So I managed to get myself into this competition with Olympus to win their new Pen E-P1, it was great to be chosen but it's a badly run comp - i'll speak more after it finishes on the 20th.. The Pen is not a dSLR and it's not a point and shoot, I think that's why I am having problems figuring out if I actually like it or not. I may have to split it into two sections...

Compare it to a point and shoot: You can change lenses, and that's awesome - you can also get adaptors for it and put your other lenseses on it, which is also awesome.
It's got a nice weight about it for it's size and a huge screen (compared to my 20D)
However, there is no viewfinder and no flash, two strange decisions I think: No flash - kinda limits the potential purchasers to people who know that they are doing and either don't like using a flash, or have an external they can use, but this is what also confuses me - no viewfinder now cuts the people who possibly own a dSLR out - people who own dSLR's usually (making assumptions here) like looking through a viewfinder (however the price tag of AUD$1,799 for the twin lens kit pretty much puts the camera into the hands of 'proper' photographers. In my mind it just doesn't comapre to s SLR so I'm not even going to go there...
It can be slow, painfully searching for focus and finally taking the shot long after the moment has gone - slow to process the 'art' settings and slow to process the long exposures. I really didn't like this camera when I first got it and now I kinda don't mind it so it would be fair to say that if I had it for a few months and learnt more about it, I may change my mind on some points I make here - I only have it for a month, but I am also using this camera every day.
I think that some of my negative feelings do come from the way this competition has been run, which has so far been a shambles.

when i clearly should be working

isn't it funny how appealing facebook and the like can seem awesome when you are supposed to be working? at home facebook looks like a giant piece of poo on a stick and I feel no need to have a look (although sometimes I do anyway) and see who likes me.. but at work it morphs into some amazing creature that shines a light brighter than the Holey Ghost itself. Why is that? I dunno? maybe because work sucks bananas? Sometimes I am so busy and buried under work, the ONLY option is to jump onto facebook and talk to people I went to school with that I don't really like.

Thoughts? comments? suggestions?

over and out big daddy