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.
Here’s the lighting diagram. Main light was set at around f/8 with the snoot one stop lower so f/5.6.
Next shot is with Jodie against one of the urban backgrounds.
Same two lights set at similar f-stops as before but this time the post-processing (including added border) is done using Snapseed.
So, what are my first impressions of using a mirrorless camera like the OM-D in the studio? Some observations:
- 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.
- Being lighter means a two hour shoot is a bit less onerous on the old arms and shoulders.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.