Friday, December 25, 2015

Santa's Photographer uses an Olympus OMD EM1

For the last four season I have been the official photographer for Santa on the Polar Bear Express operated by the Indiana Transportation Museum. This is a great group of people passionate about trains and Santa.

Every year I try and ride several round trips with Santa getting the event in both day and night settings. Personally I like the night images more. They set the holiday mood much nicer. For the last several season I have been using the Olympus OMD EM1 as my camera of choice. I downgraded in size from Nikon gear. However I did not downgrade in image quality. The complete Olympus package works so well for this type of event. The gear size and weight are a huge factor for me. I am busy moving between five passenger cars bouncing along at 20mph. That does not sound fast but on an old rail line, it's fast enough. These cars are swaying.

The other feature where Olympus has an advantage is with the built in image stabilization. The night images would not come out nearly as good without this feature. Since the cars are so dark at night I am using the 17mm 1.8 lens opened wide. No flash at night, it ruins the mood. I will use a flash during the day as fill light.

Being the official photographer to Santa is a workout. After one ride, I am worn. It can be difficult being in the right place and time to get that magic moment. These images are used for the museums marketing. Both online and print. I do not take a picture of every child with Santa. Instead I am looking for that image that would be used for advertising. A moment that defines the event. Below are some of my favorites from this season.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A visit to the National Air Force Museum with the Sony RX100M3

This past week before the Thanksgiving holiday I had business to attend in Dayton Ohio. My meeting was in the morning leaving my afternoon free. The business was only 15 minutes away from the Air Force Museum. So by 12:30 that afternoon, there I was heading into a very cool museum. This was my third visit to the National Air Force Museum in two years. I have yet to see everything. One could spend an entire day doing nothing but reading all the presentations along the walls.

So this time, being on business, I wanted to travel lighter. The last two times I brought my full Olympus gear and tripod. This time I only brought my Sony RX100M3 and my Tamrac Zipshot Mini tripod. When folded this little tripod will fit in a coat pocket. It is perfect for the Sony camera.

In previous blog post I discussed creating art using the in-camera features. That was one of my main objectives during this visit. In the cold war section of the museum there is a series of bare aluminum aircraft with colorful insignia. Having shot in this section before, I knew black and white looked good with the directional lighting. So I setup the Sony RX100M3 with Black and White, Superfine JPEG and used the filter option based on what color I wanted highlighted.

So here are the results. These are straight out of camera. The first image was printed on my Canon Pro 100 printer. It looks fantastic printed. Not bad for a little 1" sensor!

So is this art? My answer, Yes. There is vision and intent creating these pictures. If ever in the Dayton area, do stop. The size of this place will blow you away. Take care and safe travels.