OM-D Studio Shoot Part I

I finally got around to trying out my Olympus OM-D in a studio with the Midlands based model Jodie at Tip Top Photography in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. Although I’ve been dabbling in studio work for a couple of years now I still feel I don’t do enough of it to be totally comfortable with overly complex lighting setups so prefer to keep things as simple as possible by using a maximum of three lights and a reflector with assorted backgrounds. Tip Top have a nice selection of both lights and backgrounds including the really neat Lastolite Urban Collapsible Backgrounds.

Here’s are a couple of images from the shoot with a brief description of lighting setups (for those who care about that sort of thing) courtesy of Online Lighting Diagram Creator. All images taken with an Olympus OM-D and Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 lens (that’s an equivalent field of view to a 24-70mm lens on a 35mm equivalent sized sensor so not as daft as it sounds for a portrait lens).

First is Jodie in front of a plain wall with two two lights, a softbox high and to her front left together with a snoot at her back, high and to her right to bring a bit of separation from the background. I did some post processing on this image to de-saturate it using one of the filter effects in Perfect Photo Suite.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s the lighting diagram. Main light was set at around f/8 with the snoot one stop lower so f/5.6.

Lighting Diagram 2

Next shot is with Jodie against one of the urban backgrounds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Same two lights set at similar f-stops as before but this time the post-processing (including added border) is done using Snapseed.

Lighting Diagram 3

So, what are my first impressions of using a mirrorless camera like the OM-D in the studio? Some observations:

  1. The OM-D is small, but you knew that! The point is though it does not get in the way as much as a digital SLR which makes for a bit less of a barrier between photographer and subject I felt.
  2. Being lighter means a two hour shoot is a bit less onerous on the old arms and shoulders.
  3. A digital viewfinder in the studio takes a bit of getting used to. You are seeing what the sensor ‘sees’ so if you don’t have some ambient light or model lights on your flashes you’re going to have a hard time.
  4. I really like to just use one lens as it can break the flow having to be swapping lenses too much. The 12-35mm f/2.8 seems to fit the bill though I was nearly always using it at the 30mm+ end. I suspect that for head and shoulders it might be nice to have a bit more focal length. I did have a 60mm lens with me but did not get around to trying that this time around.
  5. Finally, as Damian McGillicuddy says it’s not all about the kit and the only real way to improve your images is by education and practice, practice, practice. As Cartier-Bresson said “your first 10,0000 photos are your worst” so I definitely have some way to go still!

More examples to follow in my next post. Thanks for looking.

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