Top five photos in April 2019

It’s the end of the month again and that means it’s time to review our top photos for the month. I stayed mostly in southern California this month around with almost no travel plans – so I created my own creativity for these shots.

In the making – chicken pot pie crusts

Olympus PEN-F & LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25/F1.4 | Taken on April 21, 2019

After writing about my top food photos from 2018, I got over my pretentious approach to food photography and decided to start using it as an opportunity to take more photos. Thanks to my friends, we’ve set up a dedicated viewing party for Game of Throne’s final season. With that came the awesome cooking and the photo opportunity to document it.

I used my Olympus PEN-F and the FL LM3 flash to take very simple and candid photos. Surprisingly, not too many of the photos were blown out as a result. I had never really thought much of the OEM flash, but the Olympus FL LM3 really holds its ground. I shot the photo wide open on f/1.4, on ISO 200, using the shutter speed 1/160. When I look closer at the file, f/1.4 does not keep most of the photo in focus unfortunately. If I could shoot this over, I’d try to shoot at f/2.8 or as far as f/4 if the light allows. Finally, a off camera flash would be nice to help clear out the shadows of the bowl caused by the flash and the kitchen’s lighting.

I’ve been loving overhead stills lately. I just can’t seem to capture the same magic as other photographers though, a day-to-day skill I hope to master someday. While it may seem like parts of the photo are cut off to some, I think it helps create a general emphasis of the entire picture, rather than placing the interest of the photo on a singular subject.

You can view full resolutions of In the making – chicken pot pie crusts on Flickr.

A meal fit for a season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones

Lumix G9 & OLYMPUS M.12-40mm F2.8 | Taken on April 14, 2019

This was the meal that kicked off our Game of Thrones viewings. The main course consisted of the Cornish hens hanging from the top rack, smoked using wood charcoal and apple-wood at 250° F.

I shot this photo at F/2.8, ISO 200 with a shutter speed of 1/60. There was no tripod involved in this photo. Despite that, the photo came out sharp. It’s one of the photos were I marvel at the wonders of in-body stabilization. I’m not the most disciplined photographer, so I often forget to keep my body in a stable shooting position – thankfully Lumix saves the day.

Composition wise, the photo may be seen as worse off since it’s not cropped in to show only the contents of the smoker. However, I enjoyed the lovely weather that day and I really think it adds to the composition, helping set the context of this delicious meal.

You can view full resolutions of A meal fit for a season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones on Flickr.

Overhead, Whitefox Aria 65% Keyboard with JTK Red on White

Lumix G9 & LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25/F1.4 | Taken on April 1, 2019

I frequent the subreddit /r/mechanicalkeyboards. Luckily for me, many other redditors subscribed to /r/mechanicalkeyboards are also photo enthusiasts. I’ve learned a few things from them and have always wanted to take similar photos found on the their front page.

This was one of the first photo from a light-box set-up. I purchased a relatively in-expensive option to just try it out. My overall goal is to eventually shoot food photography using the box. The lighting in my kitchen is pretty hard to control and I feel like some of the food photos would benefit from it. Thanks to the lighting, I was able to shoot at a F/6.3, on ISO 200 using a shutter speed of 1/125. I also used a tripod to help keep the photo as sharp as possible.

The composition is mediocre at best, but it was a fun experiment. Without the environment provided by the light-box, I don’t think I can get minimalist photos like this. One thing I’ve learned is that dust is your worst enemy with a white-backdrop. In Lightroom, the healing tool does a lot of heavy lifting to hide the imperfections when the lighting is on point.

You can view full resolutions of Overhead, Whitefox Aria 65% Keyboard with JTK Red on White on Flickr.

Police Department

Lumix G9 & LEICA DG 8-18/F2.8-4.0 | Taken on April 6, 2019

This is the recently renovated policed department in my hometown. I was attending an event across the street at the conference hall. I’ve never really noticed the architecture of the civic center.

I shot this at f/3.6 at 14 mm (28mm equivalent on full-frame). I kicked up the shutter speed to 1/1600 because of the lighting outside toward the end of the day.

It’s overall a pretty simple shot. One of the the genres of photography I want to get into photographing more local buildings and businesses.

You can view full resolutions of Police Department on Flickr.

ICE CREAM IS SWEET & SO AM I.

Lumix G9 & LEICA DG 8-18/F2.8-4.0 | Taken on April 6, 2019

This was a sign up in a matcha cafe, where they served soft serve and milk tea.

It was actually really light in the store. To get things looking darker, I did shoot a faster shutter speed but I still needed to push up the highlights.

The composition is pretty simple and minimal.

You can view full resolutions of ICE CREAM IS SWEET & SO AM I. on Flickr.