Top five photos in May 2019

May has been a pretty stressful month, work-wise. I’ve been working hard, putting overtime in when possible. Photography has been a hobby though that I have thoroughly enjoyed though. Compared to the last few months, I feel like I have seen the most overall growth in May as a photographer compared to any month so far – an idea which is really exciting to me!

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Wildflowers at the trailhead

Panasonic Lumix G9 & Olympus 25mm 1.2 Pro | f/1.2 – 1/320 – ISO 100

Towards the start of the month, a few co-workers went out to a trailhead benefiting from the rainfall. I wanted to take pictures of some of the yellow wildflowers growing. We took some environmental portraits during lunch, which means we might have had to combat some pretty harsh sunlight. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it was a bit cloudy. I didn’t bring a flash which made some of the clouds blown out. Fortunately, the subject in this photo wasn’t blocking the sky, which made it much easier to fix in post. My other photos didn’t fare as well and I’ll likely go back to them at some point to re-touch.

You can view the color and black & white photo on Flickr.

Beach portrait

Panasonic Lumix G9 & Olympus 25mm 1.2 Pro | f/2.8 – 1/250 – ISO 200

While at the beach, I took the chance to shoot some portraits with an off camera flash. While the composition here isn’t best, I was really happy with the outcome of the flash against the bright, beach sky.

I used a DiCAPac WP-S5 DSLR Waterproof Case while at the beach. I tend to baby my gear compared to most other people because of how clumsy I can get at times which some may or may not agree with. I also threw on a Hoya 62mm Polarizer which combined with the waterproof case, cause some purple casting in the photo. The flash was triggered using the Godox X1 trigger. I put my Godox V850 in a ziplock bag and had a friend hold it to the side of me.

You can also view this portrait on Flickr.

Lifeguard station

Panasonic Lumix G9 & Olympus 25mm 1.2 Pro | f/1.2 – 1/320 – ISO 100

This was shot at the beach. I used the same equipment as the portrait above, but didn’t fire the flash. You can definitely see the purple hazing in this photo from the polarizer and the waterproof bag’s glass over the lens. While it detracts from the photo, after seeing it again since touching it up in Lightroom, I have to say I am really happy with hose the photo is composed.

Nam Ca Sý, T. Adam

Panasonic Lumix G9 & Olympus 25mm 1.2 Pro | f/1.2 – 1/125 – ISO 3200

I think this is a really important photo for me. The past month or so, I’ve really been struggling with gear acquisition syndrome – thinking about purchasing a full-frame camera to deal with some low-light situations. During an evening out to say farewell to a friend moving out of state, we went to karaoke which gave me some anxiety shooting in such a low-light situation. Low-light has been frustrating to the point where I have put in the cash for the 17mm and 25mm pro lenses.

This photo was a chance for me to flip back-and-forth between firing a flash and not firing the flash. I wanted to avoid killing some of the mood-lighting of the karaoke. While the photo is much brighter than what our eyes saw in the room, I was able to capture the ridiculousness of the karaoke lights. This was an important moment for me and micro-four thirds. It showed me with practice, I could get my technique to capture these candid moments that really mattered to me with the gear I had now.

View this photo on Flickr.

Cheers to the start of summer

Olympus PEN-F & Olympus 17mm 1.2 Pro | f/1.2 – 1/20 – ISO 4000

This was another attempt at some low-light photography, something with pretty similar lighting to the karaoke room. My friends and I were out in the downtown area when I snapped this photo.

I think seeing the two photos side by side reveals a really important aspect of black-and-white photography: it removes some of the most distracting elements from a colored photo to put more emphasis on the subject. In this photo, I noticed the lighting can be distracting due to the purple tinting (thought it was how I perceived that evening).

You can also view these photos on Flickr: color and black & white.

Best bonus: New York travel photo from my wife

Shot using iAuto on an Olympus PEN-F

My wife traveled to New York in May and tried her hand with my Olympus PEN-F. Here’s one of the photos we ultimately decided to print on a canvas. She was pretty proud of asking some people to move out of the way of her shot – something I wouldn’t really do!