Death Valley with the EM1 By Goran Nikolic

Death Valley with the EM1

By Goran Nikolic

WARNING Long intro =)

I am one of those guys that bought a good (canon 1100d) camera when he got kids too make good pictures of them while they are growing up. However, I was not aware of the [email protected] possible photography addiction. They should come boxed with a clear warning, WARNING possible photography addiction (stage 1) followed by the more serious G.A.S. (stage 2) hehe :). I really liked taking pictures from the start and took the camera everywhere with me, everything was fine until I hit stage 2 of my addiction…

When I got struck with G.A.S. I told myself that I absolutely had to have a full frame camera, the main reason why my images were simply snapshots was because I did not have a fullframe camera with a 2.8 zoom and an awesome prime… So I saved up and got the Nikon D700 followed by a Nikon D800 (obviously! I mean come on… they were still snapshots I needed more Megapixels! That was the problem off course).

For some reason yet unknown to me I could not make a sharp picture with the D800 unless I used a tripod! It obviously was Nikon’s fault… so I switched to the Canon 6D because obviously Canon is far superior… I think by now you can image that I really had a bad case of G.A.S. and that my wallet was shrinking faster then that I could fill it up :). But it did not end here! Oh no… the next problem for my ‘dull’ images was obviously the big and heavy DSLR, so I got a Fuji XE-1 haha, yeah…. I know what you are thinking, dude what the…..?

So you would think thats it! He got the Fuji and this post would be full with Fuji pictures and those awesome fuji colours. Sadly no, I was used to some amazing DSLR’s and that little Fuji frustrated the hell out of me, it was a love/hate relationship because the images it chunked out were amazing! This was the first camera I was actually happy with the JPG images! If I could get the damn thing to focus… even with all the updates (why aren’t all companies like Fuji in this department?).

Luckily for me this was the end of the line and I saw that I was way to focussed on the equipment and not on the actual images that I made with them (or the experience!). I have had some great and amazing keepers from all of them but I went too far and had to stop (……. year right… by now you probably figured out that my wife got fed up with my gear obsession and told me to stop haha :). So I sold everything! I was actually quite amazed by the amount of money I was able to get back when I sold it all (except for the Fuji), the loss was actually limited to a few hundred euro’s (phew!).

I then spend almost three months to find the camera that would suit me best, and eventually ended up with the EM1, after having tried the camera a few times (even had it on loan for a few weeks) I decided to buy it with just one lens (the kit 12-40 zoom, probably should not call this a kit lens?), this report is my first experience with the camera (and next to that it is also the first time I am sharing my pictures outside of my friends and family too!).

Wow, now that was a large intro right? Well sorry for that πŸ™‚ but this was the path to ‘my style’ of photography. Through that process I learned that I was not a pro photographer, and it also is not my goal in life to become one. I just like to take pictures from time to time. So when a friend asked me whether I wanted to go to vegas with him (and leave our wifes at home) I obviously thought about the great pictures I could take with my new OM-D πŸ™‚ haha.

We took a plane from Amsterdam to LA (yes I am from the land of Heineken) and after a flight of almost 11 hours we rented a car to drive to Vegas. Not just any car….no no, a mustang convertable! Now I think that for Americans this is not really that special because they are quite common in the US, however Europeans love the idea of driving on the truly amazing roads (sorry have to exclude LA here….. that was no fun at all) in the US with either a Harley or a Mustang.


After a rather long drive mostly due to the some brutal LA traffic jams we finally made it to Vegas and checked in at our hotel. And Vegas was …. well yeah I did not make a lot of pictures in Vegas hehe. Man what a place!



But during the day I really had to buy a baseball cap for myself (I wear glasses and did not have my sunglasses with me) because the sun was really not what I was used to. Here in the Netherlands we are happy if we get 3 weeks of sun per year! It was a Yankees cap by the way which cause everybody to yell go Yankees at me, quite an experience :).

But what I did noticed was that the camera was actually handling itself pretty good! Both during the day was well as by night! That image stabilization is quite magical. The image of the new york new york resort was shot hand-held (1/60th @ 5000 ISO) and still looks pretty clean and sharp! I do not really use a lot of noise reduction because I also quite like the grain structure of the EM1, its pleasant, I think that maybe due to the high pixel density but I am not sure what contributes to the grain structure. Also when printed below A4 you see almost no noise at all.



This image below I call arty farty, it was a bit of an experiment. We sat down for a moment to enjoy the awesome cars that were passing (camaro, mustang, charger, and more! Wauw!) that I just thought I would try something out, after freezing my brain with a slushy. So I stacked my ND filters (10 stop + 3 stop), set the camera to its lowest native ISO (200) and stopped down as far as I could (F22) and saw that still I only got a 5 second exposure (was hoping for 20+)… thats how bright the sun was that day! It was pretty easy to set the camera up and change all the settings without using any menus. I really love all the various dials and buttons that I can completely setup to my own preference.


After a few days started passing by we noticed that Vegas was quite EXPENSIVE! Yes you would think that we could have expected that, and we did, but a few ice-cold beers @ twin peaks can do strange things to your brain :). So we decided to do some sight-seeing. One day we decided to go to death valley, so we packed the car with water and were off. Again the roads, it is simply stunning to drive on roads with amazing views for hours with only seeing a few cars pass by. So I could not resist to stop from time to time to take some pictures of the road! Which drove my buddy to insanity since we kept stopping so I could take another picture of the road… again and again … and again haha






What really impressed me about the EM1 was also how it handled in the desert, and how it handled the images in the harsh sun (this is also dynamic range right?)! Wish I was as resilient as the EM1! When we first arrived in death valley and stopped for the first sight, I saw a small hill and thought ow man that looks amazing (actually that was what I said for the entire route because everything was amazing!). I decided to run up there to take some pics…. yeah people told me death valley was hot…. but damn… hot does not give it credit! I now know how a burger feels on the grill. Anyway, I made it up the hill but I felt like I was baking in an oven! I couldn’t breath and everything in front of me started turning white! So my first priority was to drink drink and get my ass back to the car and turn on the AC. My buddy was actually quite worried and told me afterwards that I really did not look so well haha but after some AC time and one of the best hot dogs I ever had @ Furnace Creek and about 6 or 7 liters of water I luckily felt much better. When we walked back to the car I saw the thermometer outside read 120 degrees! So I took it a bit easier from then on and took my time (and had even more water!) :).

We unfortunately did not have a lot of time in death valley itself, we had to get back in time, so we decided to pick a few points to go to and then drive back to Vegas. We stopped at Rhyolite (ok not really death valley but close enough) to see a real ghost town, and it was pretty cool to see how people in the area lived once. Images were made on a tripod.




After Rhyolite we stopped @ Beatty (errr did time stop there?) for some gas (GAS! you get it? probably not the best of jokes….) and then drove back through death valley. Up until Zabriskie Point I didn’t make a lot of pictures at all. The scenery was so amazing that I was enjoying every bit of it. It is such an amazing place that I really hope I can go back to one day and spend a bit more time there to see more of it.

By the time we got to Zabriskie Point the sun started to set and I started to walk around in search of different perspectives. At first I thought damn… how can I make some landscape shots without having all those tourist in my pictures! Haha great isn’t it… a tourist that is taking pictures that is saying that about other tourist that are also trying to get the same pictures :). Anyway after a few attempts I got these shots. A small warning though! I like colors! COLORS!!! I like them but I can imagine that some might find it a bit too much :).





But after making them I felt something was missing. I really liked the pictures even though I still think they did not do the scenery justice because that truly was AMAZING! Wow the colors and the mountains and patterns… just wow nothing more to say! Really have to go back there one day. But back to the pictures :), I felt something was missing, but then I saw a few girls sitting down near where I was taking shot nr. 4. And then I though but what if I include them in my shot? Would that be better?


And there it was…. my favorite shot of the day :). How such a small element can make such a big difference, I like the fact that one of the girls just made a picture and is showing it to her neighbour. Now most probably not everybody will agree with me here but I really thought that including them in the shot gave a totally new feel to the image. I also tried zooming in a bit and getting a closer shot of the amazing sunset and the four girls enjoying the view but I still thought the first shot worked better for me.


That was it! Our day in death valley with probably the biggest intro this blog has ever had! Sorry about that :), but I wanted to share my experiences and share that for me having better gear did not increase my joy in photography. I truly love making pictures, but I love doing it because it gives me the opportunity to freeze time. To hold a moment in my live that I wish to remember, to have images that can trigger my memories, that can take me back to the time when I made them and relive the moments I experienced. The gear I used to make the images with will most probably fade from my memory since they are not a real part of my experience (more of a supporting element). So what worked for me is to have a tool that is the most complete package for me. Good image quality, good build (I did not have a single speck of dust on my sensor using that 12-40 zoom lens!) but most importantly that I can operate with joy. I wanted a camera that I did not have to think much about when using it, and for me I found everything that I need in the EM1 and cured my G.A.S. to a certain amount as well. I say to a certain amount because I am looking forward to that 7-14 zoom from Olympus :).

I also do not really worry about the camera because it is built like a tank. I dropped it a few times (it has a few chips on the bottom), spilled some lemon water over it and banged it into several people while walking the streets. But I’m not really bothered with it because I know it will survive, which gives me piece of mind as well. And it was this blog that got this camera to my attention. Thank you both Steve and all of your readers for that because I found a piece of equipment that gives me a great deal of satisfaction and helped me to focus more on the images then on the gear I use to make them. I even shoot more pics with my phone now, which I never did before because of the ‘inferior’ quality of the photo’s. In the end it’s all about the moment and what that moment captured does for you, what feeling it gives you, and possibly even what memories it relives for you if it is a personal photograph. I got that now :).
I hope you will like (some of) my images, my style of editing and have enjoyed my first ever photography related article! I thought about also adding a few more details about how I processed my images but I think I will not bore you with those details :).

Now obviously while driving back to Vegas…. I still drove my buddy nuts (yes again… sorry mate!) by stopping constantly to take pictures of the road! Amazing roads!!!!

Thanks for reading!



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  1. It’s amazing to read a story that is almost a carbon copy of my own. Gear, gear, gear. Gotta get the newest gear. I need full frame. Nikon, Canon, which is better? My DSLR is too heavy, I need a micro 4/3’s. Bought an OMD EM1 and just love it. Best camera for me all around. Amazing images and amazing post processing Goran!! I despise post! Keep up the great work. Loved the writing style as much as the pictures!

  2. damn, that picture with the four girls is truly stunning. Look how they glow from the sunlight.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I had plenty of fun reading it. I think, like you, many of us cured their G.A.S. the hard way.

  3. You made me sick, GN :-). Running EM1 for a couple of months, great stuff! My M2 and M3 with a bunch of canon lenses are sitting in a closet. Except couple of occasions not used at all. Still, despite Oly EM1 being a fantastic and very flex camera, sometimes it is not enough… you realize it immediately when make the first shot, and compare. Well, will re-think it again and again. And kudos for the great pics! Been there, share your feelings and emptions about these places. Funny to mention, i was there in July, so it was damn hot.

    • Thank you Eugene!! Adapt those cool lenses to the EM1 sometimes! Otherwise they feel lonely hehe :D. But oly sure did make one heck of a camera there didn’t they!

      July is probably worse haha if I go there again I will check before what the best time to go is where the temperature is ‘doable’ haha.

  4. Well done Goran, the way you describe your two journeys is really well done. The trip to Death Valley has delivered some amazing picture (the middle of the road line, the Pacific cabin and the first one with the 4 girls). The trip away from the GAS addiction is rather typical; I’ve gone down the same route – even though I was clever enough to add an even more expensive Leica route to it. And like you I landed – thanks to Steve’s fabulous site – on the OMD EM-1. All you ever need and want and finally turning the addiction to making pictures instead of more purchases. So thank you. I wish you a lot more time and trips with the EM-1.


    ps how did you sell your other equipment – using eBay or some other channel?

    • Thanks Peter!!

      I would still very much like to own a Leica too one day, was able to loan one once for an hour, very different experience…. πŸ™‚

      I used which has been bought by ebay a while back but they kept the site online, a very similar concept to ebay but mostly you go to peoples homes to try it out first before you buy :). Holland is quite small so everything is pretty much within 2-3 hours driving distance.

    • I wonder if it was a coincidence for Steve to post it on that date :). Another thing high on my todo list, 4th of july celebrations in the US πŸ™‚

  5. Wonderful photos. Sometimes, too much color puts people off but I like these. One can see that the colors have been deliberately emphasized but in a tasteful way. Well done.

  6. The bottom line is to have fun with your hobby, no matter what equipment you choose.
    Wonderful shots.

    The article is as entertaining as the photos!

    • Thanks allot CT! And you are really right πŸ™‚ the most important thing is to have fun, however sometimes vision is cluttered haha took quite some time for me to see that though πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Goran,

    Nice set of pictures, but wasn’t the SLR supposed to be the camera for the lazy people who didn’t want to carry the weight of a middle format camera. I carry a SLR (now DSLR) for more than 20 years on a daily basis with me. I guess I got used to the exercise πŸ˜‰ Damn, I have to confess I’ve got me a NEX 6 too, I must be getting old πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Erik thanks!!! Haha you got a good point there!!! Makes you think about what the future brings, google glasses for example is quite an amazing change and gives great photography potential!!

      • What I really want is a chip and USB implant in the temple, shoot when my brains says to, download later…

  8. Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed your intro and actually think such stories are very informative when it comes to understanding why one chose a certain system/camera over an other. It looks like what I would shoot myself so yours experience would certainly be very useful to me. I’m currently in the smaller DSLR (FF)/Fuji-camp but would love to try the E-M1 too. Must admit G.A.S. is a hassle. Never had a problem with it in the film days. Cameras are a lot like cars – there just isn’t one that fits all and they all have their own advantages.

    And I enjoyed the photos as well.

    • Thanks Iau!! I am very happy that you both liked the article and that it was informative as well! I was secretly hoping for that too, that I could give a bit back to Steve’s site after it has give me so much :).

      So true though not one camera is perfect unfortunatly, however for me personally the EM1 comes very close though. Fuji is quite amazing too though as well as those small FF Sony cameras. So much good stuff to choose from….. doesnt make it easier for peeps like you and me who just love all that amazing gear haha.

  9. I fully agree Michiel953, the D800 is not a beginners camera. I was extremely frustrated with mine which I bought to substitute the D700, but once you learn to use it, which requires a lot of pratice and improvement in shooting tecqnique, the results can be absolutely stunning.

    • I also agree with him πŸ™‚ very true, quite an amazing camera. However the force is not within me yet and I was not able to master it :(. Sometimes I miss the D800 RAW files too which were so extremely versatile. But I got sooooo many more keepers with the EM1, it makes the whole process so much easier (at least for me).

    • Ha ha; thanks Anders. My frustrated period was possibly a bit shorter. I learnt quickly to use in auto ISO a shutterspeed one stop faster than the inverted focal length of the lens you are using; the D800 allows you to do set that preference. Focus is very very critical, and over 2500 ISO things start to get a bit rough, although 3200 is very useable. And the files, if you get it right, are so good, so much better than the D700, so flexible. A “soft sharpness” I usually call it. I’m interested in the D810. Slightly better grip, slightly better high ISO, better AF, quieter shutter. All worthwhile improvements.

  10. You’ve given us all a case of GES. What? Gear envy syndrome. In this case, your gear! Bet you never thought that your own GAS would lead others to envy and their own GAS. That’s what happens when you see such nice images. I must need a M1 too, to make those kind of images. Fortunately, I already have a M1, so this new GES will not turn into another GAS. Unless I start envying my own gear! How nice that would be. Surely that would put an end to any further GAS. Frankly, I think it has. Now, get back to us soon an let us know if the M1 has killed off your case of GAS or not? Now, looks like I’m going to have to tie my M1 to Las Vegas too and even Death Valley as well. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Larry!!! This was like inception or something haha πŸ™‚ was hoping for the opposite but didn’t quite succeed there I guess hehe πŸ™‚

  11. Fun article. I enjoyed reading about our great wide open spaces from a European perspective. And your writing style is oh so, dare I say, American. I live in San Francisco, so Yosemite, Death Valley, and Las Vegas is well within striking distance. I also have had camera creep for oh so many years, currently with a Oly EM-1 a Nikon D600 and a soon to be converted Sony NEX-7 to IR. I figure that if I cut it’s nuts off, it will behave. It’s the EM-1 thats got my heart too, in part because of the 4/3 format.

    • Thanks Barry!! I worked for an american company for about 6 years, so my english is more american style hehe. But Yosemite! Wow that is also a truly stunning place! Have to high on my places to visit list, hope to be able to do a trip there soon too.

      Great set of camera’s though, IR photography really attracts me too, hope I can give that a shot soon as well, even plain images look cool haha. I wonder though which camera get’s the most use?

      • I grab the Olympus first. I have some IR photos done with a Nikon D40x, and the Nikon 16-85 VR zoom on my photo site. Click on the IR button. Start putting your guilders in your wooden shoe, because if you like Death Valley, you’ll go bonkers over Arizona and Utah. Stunning landscapes.

        • WOW Barry!!! Awesome work!! Amazing pictures!! Your IR work is also really amazing!! I might buy a cheap second hand camera and convert it to experiment with, that really looks awesome!

          Arizona and Utah I absolutely want to go to as well, but I have a business trip to Dallas first in a couple of months. Any tips for Dallas? πŸ™‚

          • Yes, bring light clothing, nodoze to stay awake on the road, and a calendar because it takes two days to drive across. Great Tex Mex food. Good looking women.

  12. Understand fully where you came from, I sold a D600 for the EM1 no regrets at all, now I have added a RX100m3 as my on my hip camera, I believe I have the best of both worlds.

    • Aaaah the RX100M3….. another really great piece of gear! I also think you got the best of both worlds! Might consider getting one myself as well.

  13. Some cool images and another good showing with an OMD. As Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear describes rally driving as “sorcery and witchcraft” so there is a bit of that in how Olympus manages to get this fairly small sensor to perform.

    • Thanks Doug!!! And yes indeed, Olympus seems to have hired some amazing wizards haha. Its a great and complete package, and the image quality really stunned me too. It surpassed my expectations!

  14. Thanks …really enjoyed reading this story …. followed a similar route to you … and now the EM1 and Leica M9 are my favoured cameras …. the 5DII is still used occasionally for sport and long distance but seriously considering selling the Canon kit and adding to the glass for the Oly …. it is a great match with the new 42.5 F1.2 Leica lense from Panasonic too ….

    Lovely pictures I particularly like the road shots …

    cheers for now


    • Thanks Jonathan!!!! Aaaaah the Leica M9!!!! Awesome! Perhaps one day if my wife will allow it I will own a Leica as well one day hehe :), but I will keep the EM1 for a long long time!

      PS. The 42.5 F1.2 is on my wishlist! Perhaps Santa will see I was a good boy this year and bring me a present…… what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas right?… ^^

      • “..The 42.5 F1.2..” very fine detail, but not much contrast or “punch”, so the results – in my opinion – generally need a fair bit of manipulation afterwards to boost the “presence”. I find its results, straight out of the camera, rather dull and disappointing.

        That should save you a bit of cash ..but the 7-14mm (Panasonic) ..that’s really worth the money!

        • Hi David thanks for the tip! Guess it will be the 7-14 then πŸ™‚ however still waiting for the price, according to the rumor sites it is going to be very very expensive πŸ™

          • “..according to the rumor sites it is going to be very very expensive..”..? Huh? The Panasonic 7-14mm has been available for years! ..You’re thinking of a new Oly 7-14mm?

          • Sorry David I somehow misread πŸ™‚ I will also try the panasonic for sure before I decide what to go for.

  15. Wow.. nice work. Love your shots! I almost suffered heat prostration just reading about your experience in Death Valley. Looks like the plucky e-m1 served you well.

    • Thanks Richard! I feel the heat every time I think about the trip haha. It will keep me warm this coming winter :D.

  16. Great article and great shots. I enjoyed your long intro accompanied by your great sense of humour. I am pretty sure I had a smile on my face while reading it. You see, I can completely relate to your journey, moving from camera to camera, your need for a full frame camera then settling on the EM1. I recently purchased the EM1 and am thoroughly enjoying it and the photos I can produce with it. Who cares if these shots have been taken over and over by others? I don’t. That is not what is important. What is important is that you are passionate about your photography and clearly enjoyed taking them. Keep on doing what you are doing! PS I read Steve’s page daily, and made a few purchases based on his opinion, including the EM1 and have not been disappointed yet – thank you Steve for the work you – I appreciate it!

    • Thanks allot Alison! I was actually a bit scared to write the article and share my pictures. I’m really happy people are liking it! Inspires me to make more :).

      I had an absolute blast with the EM1, and from what I read you too!!! :). It just does what it has to do very good! Only wish I could set a two second timer when shooting aeb. Or perhaps I am missing the right menu, they are so extensive. If you have a tip for me let me know! Thanks!!

      Steve’s site is great, as well as all the people sharing their experiences here. Truly great content and very inspiring for peeps like me who are starting out trying to improve their pictures :).

  17. Also from the land of Heineken here… Enjoyed the story and photos, the ones from the road itself were very original, but I did notice some artifacts, especially around the statue. Is this due to compresson online, or oversharpening? I had similar problems with my EPM 2 were the artifacts showed up in RAW strangely enough. Just check it out, maybe you should get a new camera….;-)

    • Bedankt Petra! πŸ™‚

      Might be my oversharpening, still have to find the best balance in editing the EM1 RAW files. My D800 editing workflow does not really apply anymore. But haha do not get me tempted! The great article Steve wrote about he A7s really got to me…. however…. I also know that my wife will start beating me with a stick if I actually buy one haha so no new camera’s any time soon for me helaas.

      However that 7-14mm oly lens….. thats not a camera right? πŸ˜€

      • Best tip for editing Olympus OM-D RAW files was given to me from an Olympus ambassador. He told me to do the initial conversion and development in Olympus Viewer software, export as a TIFF (which will contain piles of information) … and then open the TIFF in ACR or Photoshop for further adjustments and/or tweaking.

        As clunky as the Olympus, Nikon, et al developing software is, it invariably does the best job of initial development and conversion because the algorithms are specifically tuned to those camera’s sensors and have fine tuning elements that the third-party developers do not.

        • Robert, I hate complicated processes, but do you think the same goes for D800 raw files; as opposed to just importing them in LR4 and do your thing? That would be importing in Capture NX2, then proceeding to LR?

          • Michiel:

            Well, I have another friend who is a Nikon Ambassador, and the short answer is, yes, using Nikon Capture software — awkward though it may be — will do a better job of initial processing than anything else.

            He does it that way all the time, even if it means a bit of extra hassle. And I can’t argue with the results he gets.

          • Thanks Robert! Maybe I should give it a try. It’s not that I’m dissatisfied with LR4.4, but I’m always curious to improve.

            P.s.: what’s with shaving off the beard? πŸ˜‰

        • WOW Robert! Thank you so much! I tried it quickly and I do get much more detail then I get in LR! It is a bit cumbersome though, but the better results justifies the extra time for me.

          But thank you again for the golden tip!

          Will need some more time to get through the Olympus software though…. not very user friendly stuff hehe.

          • No, the camera manufacturer’s need work on their user interface, but their software is specifically designed to work with their sensors, and can process those native files more effectively than third-party suites.

            I can vouch for this for both Nikon and Olympus, but have no experience with other camera makers’ software suites. I would assume it would be the same, but that’s just speculation on my part.

        • I never touched the Olympus Viewer software until I read your post Robert, as it was just so clunky. Just compared an OM-D RAW file of a portrait converted to TIFF in Olympus Viewer to the same RAW file converted in LR5 and I’m shocked at the difference. The Olympus Viewer file has so much more micro contrast it’s not even funny. The LR5 one looks washed out and even slightly out of focus by comparison. I figured it might be that the Olympus software is beefing up the contrast so I adjusted the LR5 contrast and clarity settings, but whatever I do I can’t get it to match the quality of the output from the Oly viewer. Bizarre. Thanks for the excellent tip.

      • I just got the OMD EM10 for my birthday and I’m very happy with that, coming from the EPM2, but the Sony is at the back of my mind as well…….
        It’s Steve doing this to us, he’s the devil!;-)

        I’ve exchanged that EPM2 three times and all the cameras had the same problem; there were edge artifacts and the clouds looked like blocks. In RAW, and it could also be seen on the camera screen, so it had nothing to do with software. Also there were a lot of stuck pixels on the sensor that could still be seen after pixel binning. This wasn’t a great experience so going for another Oympus took some courage, but so far no stuck pixel, the rest I have to test.

        Just make clear to you wife you only need one wife, but multiple cameras to get the job done:-) I do, they just don’t have it all.

        • Hahahahaha good one Petra! Hope I dont mix those up when I tell her haha.

          But the EM10 is also amazing, is quite a bit smaller, the EM10 was not out when I got the EM1, but if it was I am not sure which one I would have taken, since the EM10 is so much cheaper, is quite a bit smaller and has identical image quality to the EM1. Very very nice camera πŸ™‚

          • By the way I dont notice any strange artifact in the RAW files, however I do see some weird pixels on long (night) exposures in the dark parts though, not really sure whats up with that… will have to investigate further πŸ™‚

          • Yes, size does matter in some cases and there are things I actually prefer small… like my cameras:-) The EM1 also was a bit too expensive;-)

            Your weird pixels worry me… not sure if I want to know;-)

  18. Well Goran, being solidly planted in that very same country, I might be allowed to make a few comments.

    First, if you find yourself unable to get a sharp image out of a D800 (I own one), start by looking at yourself instead of the camera. Burning money on camera after camera is easy; mastering a camera less so. The D800/E is not a forgiving camera. It requires care and forethought to get the best out of it, but if and when you do, the image quality is unsurpassed, whatever some people may tell you.

    But in the end, the camera doesn’t really matter. Whatever feels comfortable to use is adequate. So on to the images.

    They’re great, but they also remind me of that time some twenty years ago, when I visited that same region. Nikon FM2n, 24, 35, 85? Fuji colour negative? It is so difficult to produce better than already done a thousand or more times images in those iconic urban and land scapes. So, they’re good, outstanding even, but they’ve been done so many times before.

    This is actually what turned me off photography in 1996. I got back on that bandwagon in 2008.

    • I partly agree. In these very tourist heavy locations, you might as well buy a postcard of the main sights. Finding something new, a new angle etc is next to impossible. The best photographs are usually to be found away from such places. Your shots of the roads are much more interesting in my view. All of your work is very well executed though, thank you for sharing.

      • Thanks Mark! I actually printed two of the road shots in a big print as well as my fav with the girls. It was quite an experience because the roads here are always so busy and thats all that I know. So to be able to stand in the middle of a road in such a magnificent place to take a picture was really a great experience for me. Loads of fun (however thats not entirely true for my buddy who had a different experience haha).

      • That’s exactly what I was trying to convey Mark. Frustrated by the postcard stereotyped images, I knelt down as well, getting my 24mm down as low as possible, experimenting with horizons etc. In the end I didn’t find it satisfactory and stopped taking photographs as a serious amateur and became a snapshotter. I’m back now and boy, would I like to go back to those same places with my newly found eyes. And yes, I would be tempted to take the exact same gear.

        And to Goran, again: these are mostly very very good.

        • Another solution that a lot of pros adopt is to stack the deck in their favor. And by that I mean find a location/vantage point you really like (whether it’s a unique intersection of lines, amazing architecture, whatever; maybe it’s been shot before, maybe not, doesn’t necessarily matter) and then determine at what time of the day the light is going to be most flattering/dramatic at that location.

          Go there a bit early and plant yourself. Now you’ve got your light and your lines in place. Then, wait for that serendipitous moment when a human element enters your viewfinder and snap some frames. Tougher to do in nature, but works very well in urbanscapes.

          Goran already captured something like this with his wonderful juxtaposition of those girls watching the majesty of Death Valley as the sun sets before them.

          Great image!

          • Hi Robert! You touched upon a sensitive subject there, which I conveniently neglected to mention: getting up early to catch the best light. I hate getting up early, so I was usually stuck with harsh midday light…

          • Doesn’t necessarily have to be dawn. If it’s strong intersecting lines that cast shadows, midday might be better.

            And there’s always dusk, too. πŸ™‚

          • Nothing wrong with harsh light, as long as film or sensor can cope and your exposure is correct. You do need shadows though. Not much of that around in Death Valley at noon. I just photographed the bleakness.

    • The problem with the D800 was totally my fault :), the camera itself is amazing. I bought the camera because a friend of mine had one too. And his shots were really something else, truly amazing. So I though hey I have to have one as well…… I forgot the little thing about the photographer though :), the D800 is amazing! I’m not however haha.

      You are right about the images too though, however the experience of making them (even though they look very similar to others that have made the same pictures) quite entertaining! It’s just too much fun that I can’t resist hehe.

  19. Very nice – both shots and the story. I like the intro especially because I had a similar experience coming from a Point & shot to a Sony NEX 6, A6000 / A7. I realised that I was stuck with a “Tripod camera” in the end because I wanted Full Frame so badly and didn’t have fun anymore, a combination of the EM-1 and the PEN E-P5 5 changed that. I’m very happy with Oly cameras and couple of Primes fitting in a small bag.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Pierre! I was hoping I was not the only one :), Olympus pulled a really great rabbit out of it hat πŸ™‚ really great gear! But the sony’s are also quite amazing too. So much great stuff that its really hard to choose these days πŸ™‚

  20. Hey! We can easly understand your excitement with that great camera! Beautiful pictures. Cheers mate

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