The “blood moon” or the red lunar eclipse brought out the apocalyptic in me.
According to Wikipedia…”A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra (shadow). This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon… the red colouring arises because sunlight reaching the Moon must pass through a long and dense layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, where it is scattered…Several cultures allude to the lunar eclipse as being a good or bad omen. For example, in some Chinese cultures, people would ring bells to remove wild animals that bit the moon. During the Zhou Dynasty in the Book of Songs, the sight of a red moon engulfed in darkness led them to believe the sign as a foreshadowing of famine or disease.” SPOOKY!
Thankfully we all woke up happy and well the next morning.
The weather conspired against me. I had planned my shoot using The Photographer’s Ephemeris, got my angles and location sorted out and then just half an hour before heading out I stuck my head outside and we have thick cloud cover. Bugger! What to do? I didn’t want to drive out to my location, walk to the point and stand in cold wind coming straight off of the Antarctic for nearly 3 hours with the chance of getting nothing. So I decided to set up my cameras on my deck and only start filming when there was a break in the cloud cover. So out of 3 hours and 20 minutes of potential eclipse action I got in total about 30 minutes. Ah well I shall wait until the next one on the 04/04/2015.
Filmed using the time-lapse movie function on the Olympus OMd EM-10 with a 75mm f2.5 Color-Heliar and a Zuiko 40-150mm f4-5.6 lens. Additional footage filmed on a Canon 550d with 70-200mm f2.8 L IS lens
Well here I am back with another look at the EM-10 now I’ve had it in my possession for a month. First I’d like to thank reader Mike Hendren who set me straight about the bracketing feature. Thanks to him I’ve found that if you go into the HDR function then you can find lots of bracketing features. The camera is capable of in camera HDR and it processes the images as a jpg. The camera shoots a burst of four shots each with a different exposure and you have a choice of two settings for the output – one is more “dramatic” than the other.
Not a lot of difference really, just a flatter image. Scrolling past the in camera processing you can choose to bracket your exposures and then process the images on your computer. You have a choice of 3, 5 or 7 frames at -/+ 2 stops, 3 and 5 frames at -/+ 3 stops. The picture below was 3 5 frames at -/+ stops and processed in Lightroom and HDR Efex Pro 2.
If HDR is your bag then I think you have a definite idea of how you want your photos to look and will choose to blend the images in software on your computer. However, the function could be just the ticket if you’re a confirmed jpg shooter. Speaking of bracketing and jpgs, then the Art Filter bracketing may prove to be a boon if you ever feel a little indecisive about how you want an image to look. You can choose as many of the filters as you like, but bear in mind that you will need a bit of patience while you wait for the buffer to be cleared.
I must say that I’m pretty impressed with the robustness of the files the EM-10 produces, they hold up to post processing very well.
Noise, both colour and luminance, seem very well controlled as this shot Diego my cockatiel shows.
Olympus has always had a good track record when it came to metering systems. The OM 3 and 4 introduced multi-spot reading with shadow and highlight priority, which made them very popular with adherents of the Zone System pioneered by Ansel Adams. The Om 40 saw the introduction of ESP metering which meters from several areas of the image and it is a more sophisticated version of this using 324 areas is present in the EM-10. Spot metering, high light and shadow spot metering are also present, but multi-spot metering is not present. The metering is very accurate and backlit subjects don’t fool it into under exposing.
A few readers asked questions about the capabilities of the camera. Several wanted to know whether the EM-10 was suited to BIF. Sorry the only biff I know about is jujitsu and aikido. Seriously I don’t have a lens long enough to attempt birds in flight, and when I try with my 40-150 they certainly take flight but can only be seen as tiny specks. I do have a sequence of Frida, my English Bull Terrier, doing a “bully run” .
I mentioned in the previous part of the review that I had used the EM-10’s pop up flash to act as a controller for off camera flash and several people asked how I did this. Well the video below should answer that question.
Another reader asked about using the inbuilt WiFi function. This is the first camera I have used with this function and I have to say I think it is really great. I used my iPad and it was brilliant to use it as a gigantic screen to aid with composition and focusing. The only downsides are that it uses up the camera battery real quick and you can’t use to in movie mode.
So, as I’ve got to know the camera have my feelings changed? Well I have to say when I first picked it up I felt that the camera felt unnecessarily complicated and frustrating to use. Four weeks on I have to say that we’re starting to establish a relationship, I’ve largely set the camera up so I don’t have to do much menu diving which means I can just get on and shoot. The metering is reliable and the files are great, so for still photography I think the EM-10 has the makings of good camera. As for video, well I’m still out to lunch on that one. As I said at the beginning of this entry it has been very wet here and so I’ve not had enough time to get out and shoot anything. I’m hoping to get out in the next week or two and shoot a small project with it, so when that is ready I’ll post my thoughts about it. Stay tuned for the next thrilling instalment.
I was driving home the other night and saw that the local farmers were burning off their fields in preparation for planting their next crop. The smoke and dust combined to give a spectacular sunset. I didn’t have my normal landscape kit with me, all I had was my EP-2 with a Voigtlander Color-Heliar 75mm f2.5. No filters, no tripod.