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Mar 232017

Quick Shot: Olympus Pen-F

By Graeme

Hi Steve,

Here is my submission for the Quick Shot post.

Last year, I sold my entire pro Nikon studio and simplified my life with a Leica SL, an M9, and some nice primes. The SL is a marvel, and is my first choice when the purpose is explicitly photography… for example a photo trip, or a wedding, or a portrait session. However, the SL is big and expensive, and I found it a burden when on vacation or when the purpose is not explicitly photography… when photographs are secondary to actually living my life.

With this in mind, and based on reviews from this site, I bought an Olympus PEN-F and couple of the inexpensive primes. I have to admit, it is a revelation… so small, so fast. It just gets out of my way and lets me take pictures. For an everyday shooter, it is practically perfect.

The image below was taken this past month on vacation in Aruba, and was totally unplanned (the shot, not the vacation!). My wife shouted over to me that she was going to jump. I crouched. She jumped. ONE frame. We got lucky! I especially like the way her shadow is hugging my son.

For those interested in the details, the image is basically an OOC JPEG. I never shoot RAW for personal work… JPEG is perfectly acceptable for recording everyday life. In this case I did apply a very slight skylight filter in Color Efex Pro, just to compensate for the (very) blue skies. The lens is the very capable 17mm f1.8 (apparently set at f5). As far as I can tell, the little Oly’s autofocus nailed it. The same image with the SL may have had more pop and character, but I doubt it would have gotten the focus in just one frame. And the lack of noticeable shutter lag on the PEN gave me the confidence to time the shot quite well.



Mar 202017

QuickShot: RX100

By Mike

Hey Steve!

My family and I took a cruise to the Caribbean, which led me to purchasing Sony’s little pocket rocket. I cannot begin to tell you how much research I did prior to making the purchase; agonizing between the Ricoh GR II, Fuji X70 and finally the RX100 and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  Below is a shot after we disembarked our cruise back in NOLA and we were catching a shuttle back to the parking garage. Luckily I was to be in the right place at the right time to capture this image as the sun was rising over the morning fog.

This image is straight from JPEG, edited to taste within Snapseed. I hope to write up a short experience about the RX100 over the weekend for your site as well. IMO, it really is the perfect travel camera and cannot recommend it enough!



Mar 142017

Quick Shot:Olympus OMD EM5 W/ 25mm f1.8

By Johan

Went skiing with my son in Ramundberget, Sweden, a couple of weeks ago. One day the weather on the mountain plateau was very tricky; biting cold, strong gusty winds, thick clouds and blistering sunshine, changing back and forth. Just a few seconds before I took this picture the visibility was close to zero. Then, for a short moment, the sky opened up and the two skiers appeared.


OMD EM5 with Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens, 1/2000 f10 iso200.
Jpeg developed from raw file using the Olympus viewer software. Decreased the highlights a bit. Camera and lens bought after reading Huff reviews 

Feb 062017

QUICK SHOT: Fuji X-Pro 2

By Axel Friberg

Winter here in Uppsala, Sweden is pretty dull must days with gray skies and cold weather. However, the other day we had a beautiful sunny day with only a few clouds and it almost felt like spring. Naturally, I decided to take a walk and brought my camera with me. A Fuji X-Pro2. Not everything along the way makes for an interesting photo, but most times when I take a stroll there’s at least one interesting scene somewhere along the way worth capturing. Whenever I don’t bring my camera I often regret it afterward. Therefore I find that bringing my camera with me is worth it, even if it only results in one single “good” picture. Of course, having a mirrorless camera makes it a little bit easier to bring, compared to a DSLR.

The photo below was my favorite from the walk. I found the scene interesting thanks to the buildings and the tree branches working as leading lines toward the middle. I composed the shot, underexposed by 1 stop to retain color information in the sky, stopped down to f/5.6 focusing on the building, and waited for an interesting character to walk by and snapped a few frames in 8 fps burst mode. Then I selected my favorite and edited it.

Previously, I have only used Lightroom to edit my pictures. However, inspired by an F-stoppers video with Elia Locardi on Youtube, I tested out a new workflow to bring out more colors from the RAW file. Basically, the workflow looked like this:

Lightroom –> Photoshop –> Color Efex Pro 4 (Google Nik Collection)

(This next part might be a bit tech heavy)

In Lightroom I brought the exposure back up 1 stop and the highlights down -100. Also, I did some additional minor changes to the Shadows, Blacks, Vibrance & Vignette. Then I exported the edited RAW-file into Photoshop as a 16-bit file with ProPhoto RGB color space, to retain as much color information as possible.

The main reason to use Photoshop is because of the sharpening tool called ‘High Pass…’ filter, which does not exist in Lightroom. The best way I can explain the result of the sharpening tool is that it makes the image look sharp when zoomed out, without being oversharpened at a pixel level. But before I did the sharpening, I brought the file into Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4. It’s owned by Google nowadays, and it’s free in a bundle together with Silver Efex Pro 2 which is excellent for B&W conversions.

Now, the main reason to use Color Efex Pro 4 according to Elia Locardi is because of the tool called ‘Dynamic contrast’ (found under Pro Contrast) and he’s right. It’s magical. What it does is increasing the contrast in the mid ranges only, leaving the contrast in the highlights or shadows un-altered. To me, it really brings the photo to life compared to anything I can do in LR or PS (It’s possible one could get a similar result in PS, but I lack the knowledge). Additionally, there’s a tool called ‘Polarisation’ which works like a digital polarizer. It gives the sky a deeper blue color. Once happy with the tweaking, I just pressed ‘OK’ and the edited photo was saved to Photoshop as a layer over the original file. Then, all I had to do was apply the sharpening, save, and export.

Below you will find the photo exported to 1500 pixels wide.

Fuji 16mm f/1.4 lens @ f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 400

Why bother go through these steps? For some photos, it is worth it I think. The file looks much richer in color and the sharpening method really makes the image pop. I’m very happy with the result and will continue to edit my favorite color images this way.

Best regards!

Axel Friberg

Jan 262017

QuickShot: Panasonic G7

By Keiron

This last weekend my girlfriend surprised me with a trip up to the North of Netherlands for a weekend getaway and since I did not know where I was going I took my normal array of fast MFT primes (14mm f2.5, 20mm f1.7, 45mm f1.8) and then the super cheap Olympus 40 to 150mm f4 – 5.6 which I got second hand for about 60 euros. I own the Panasonic 100 – 300mm which I love but it is a big and bulky lens to cart around if you are not doing bird or wildlife photography, plus we were on bicycles so travelling light was important.

Once we arrived to the beautiful Dutch countryside I realised that I made a mistake and should have asked my girlfriend for more hints because the plethora of birds and wildlife up there is just amazing. I did have the Olympus zoom so I put that on my Panasonic G7 and made do.

I think we all aim for tack sharp, noise free images and then spend a lot of time in Lightroom trying to push the RAW files to their limits but we don’t always need to. On our two hour cycle back to the train station we were presented with the most amazing scene. The sun was setting behind some trees and as we rounded a corner a windmill appeared in the fog which was just too perfect. It was -3 degrees (26 Fahrenheit) and every photo opportunity was a cold one but I got my G7 out and snapped a few pictures of the scene. I say snapped because I really did leap off the bike, ran to a clearing, took 3 or 4 shots and then ran back to bike to carry on the cycle.

The picture however was the best picture of the trip, and even with no tripod, my worst lens and a lack of time it was the kind of shot that sticks with you and brings a smile to your face. On the train back to Utrecht I sent the JPEG to my phone over WIFI, edited it a tiny bit in Snapseed and sent it to my friends and family.

I will edit the RAW file as I love the process but for this photo I felt like the JPEG was just perfect and I wanted to share that straight away, imperfections and all.

ISO 800 | 1/800 sec | f/8 | 92 mm (FF 184mm) | Minor adjustments made in Snapseed

Jan 122017

Quick Shot: Rievaulx Rainbow

By Keith Lewis

Of all the photographs I took in 2016 my favourite is probably this picture of a double rainbow “touching down” on Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire, England. This is one of the most famous and most intact Cistercian Order Abbeys, founded in 1132AD and largely destroyed in Henry VIII’s suppression of the monasteries in 1538.

We are very fortunate to live only about 5 miles from this beautiful and peaceful spot and it it is one of my favourite places in the North York Moors National Park. I took this photograph late one afternoon in October 2016 on my iPhone 6.

The story behind the photograph is both interesting and a learning on the benefits of having both old and new technology at-hand. I was driving to Rievaulx Abbey for the specific purpose of taking a few test shots with a classic Leica iiig (1950’s) camera which at the time I was considering buying. As we turned towards the Abbey I saw the rainbow forming in the distance so I immediately pulled-over and set-up about taking some of my first photos with the old Leica. This was quite time consuming; getting used to all manual settings, changing screw mount lenses, slow winding film advancement and metering using an app on my iPhone that I had downloaded earlier in the day. At the same time my wife took a few quick shots with my regular digital camera, a Lumix GX7. After several minutes I decided I had enough shots because I wanted to save some film for the Abbey itself; I packed away my gear and I turned and saw that the rainbow, which had previously been well above the Abbey, had significantly moved and was now touching the Abbey. My wife was already back in the Land Rover and I knew the opportunity was fleeting so I pulled-out my iPhone to at least capture the scene and to have something to compare the Leica and Lumix shots to.

Unfortunately none of the Leica shots came out! It was my first attempt at the rather tricky film leader trimming and bottom-loading technique for the pre-M Leica cameras and I realised a day or so later that the leading tab of the film had torn and the film was not winding on properly. I also discovered that the Lumix shots were just not as dramatic as the quick iPhone snap, largely because of the position of the rainbow, the very wide angle view of the phone lens and the almost perfect symmetry between the rainbow and the hill side in this shot. The learning is that the synergy between old and new technology can be very worthwhile i.e., I wouldn’t have had the iPhone so readily available had I not been metering with it and that often the “best” camera is the one most readily at hand i.e., it is more important to get the shot than worry too much about which camera to use! I did later master the Leica and decided to purchase it, but that is another story……

Jan 112017

Hey Steve,

While visiting London I woke up early one morning and couldn’t get back to sleep but I noticed it was a foggy morning and might make for some cool pics so I hopped on the Tube and headed toward the Westminster bridge. Turns out I wasn’t the only one. The place was crawling with other street togs at six in morning! Here’s one in action. Shot with a Fuji X-Pro2 and 16mm lens. Thanks for taking a look!

Allen McDonald
Atlanta, GA


Jan 032017

Quick Shot: Hasselblad 501 W/ Zeiss 50mm

By Greg

Hi Steve,

Hope you’re well, merry Christmas and a happy new year!

I thought I would share this image with you for the Quick Shot section. It’s one image from a new project I’ve been working on since the summer. This particular image from that project was shot with a Hasselblad 501c/m with Carl Zeiss 80mm CFE lens on Kodak Portra 400. Other images from the series were made using a Leica SL and 50mm Summilux.

About two years ago my best friend, who I have known for 30 years, came out as transgender. She is now undergoing transition. We are all always in transition of some form but there are some stages in life that represent more meaningful or challenging transitions than others. I want to explore those transitions.
This first project looks at the challenges of transitioning from youth to adolescence and into adult hood by creating a series of formal portraits of the teenagers and young adults that frequent the skate park in my hometown. This location has served as a place to meet and engage with potential subjects, has provided a community connection for the project and served as a consistent backdrop that isolates the subjects and connects them aesthetically.

Best regards Greg

Dec 292016

Quick Shot: Leica M240 W/ 35mm Summilux FLE

By Patrick

Hey Steve, I wanted to share a shot from the Vancouver Aquarium that I took last week. The illumination from the Jelly fish exhibit makes for a great backdrop for a silhouette. Shot with a Leica M 240 + 35 Summilux FLE.

More of my work can be found on instagram @patrick_conaty



Do you have ONE shot you love and want to share with the world? Send it in to me as a QUICK SHOT! Just send one photo, JPEG, no smaller than 680 pixels wide with a description of the photo, why you shot it and what you used to shoot it with. Email to me HERE. 

Dec 162016

Quick Shot: Olympus E-M1

By Alex Stedman

Hey Steve,

What a great website you have, I check it most days. Keep to the great work! I’ve just got back from Iceland and did some landscape photography there with my e-m1. Who said micro 4/3 can’t do landscape? I’ve attached a shot if you’d care to show off the capabilities of the previous flagship and put the micro 4/3 haters to bed :) It’s of Bruarfoss Waterfall, a 30 minute trek off the beaten path through mud, streams and undergrowth. But the walk is worth it!

Thanks! I can be found on instagram with the handle @allmyfavouriteusernamesrtaken

Best regards,

Alex Stedman

Dec 152016

Quick Shot: Fuji TX-1 W/ Fuji 45mm

By Huss Hardan

Me an’ Pedro. We hang. We chill. We watch the rays dip into the bay. But sometimes, well, I worry about Pedro. Is this enough for him? Am I holding him back? Maybe I should let him get his own sweater, a pair of sneaks, a hair cut and a job. I dunno man, that just wouldn’t be Pedro..

Peace out


“Pedro and Buddy”

Fuji TX-1, Fuji 45mm f4, Fuji NPS 160 (expired which explains the yellow tint)

Nov 212016

QUICK SHOT: People Watching at 4.25pm

By Ibraar Hussain

Dear Steve, I’m not much of a ‘Street shooter’, but at times I do indulge in this oft confused type of photography.

I was out with the Missus one day, we went for a traipse down the South Bank – so named as it’s the South bank of the River Thames! Very original I must say!

I’m not one for South London – anywhere South of the River, as we of the North side of the river don’t consider the denizens of the Southern Boroughs real Londoners, I mean the river cuts them off from us, and they differ in culture, traditions and accent!

Anyway, the closest I’ll usually go to their part of the world is along the South bank where there is much to see and much to do, this particular afternoon, at 4.25pm according to Big Ben opposites was by the Salvador Dali exhibition and I was lounging leaning against the building and people watching,

I had my trusty Contax G2 by my side, with perhaps the best ultra wide angle lens of any camera – the Carl Zeiss G Biogon 21mm attached, with a Red 25 Filter screwed on for maximum contrast and a roll of Fujifilm Neopan Across 100 loaded –

People were going to and fro enjoying the Summer and the light was superb – I saw this tourist with his camcorder doing what people usually do and lifting my camera with it set to f8 – composed, focussed and shot.

After developing and scanning I saw how good my shot actually was!

I was impressed to see how much of the activity of the people had actually been caught – wow I thought – the South bank frozen in Time. After some Digital darkroom work here’s the result – shot in July 2007, Contax G2, 21mm Biogon T* @ f8. Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100. Developed in Ilfotec ID11 and possibly the best ‘Street’ photo I’ve personally ever shot.

Nov 042016

Hello Steve & Brandon.

As a fan of the original Sony NEX series, I still an old 5 but also picked up the A6000 along the way. This past weekend the wife and I were in Boston and I had the A6000 with me along with the Sigma 30mm DC 1.4 for a moderately normal lens. As an admirer of the the futuristic artist HR Giger and the Alien films, the Boston T system was a great chance to replicate the feeling I get from them. Auto setting and some light work in post. Claustrophobic and macabre.

Thanks as always,



Oct 262016

QUICK SHOT: Boy from Nagar

By Ibraar Hussain

Sometimes an opportunity comes along when you pick up the camera and shoot an exposure, which no matter how many times you try and try again the results simply don’t quite match up to that first time.

In this case I was trekking in the Rakaposhi Range above the village of Minapin in the Nagar Valley of the Karakoram mountains. I was ill prepared (though I didn’t know it yet) and the trek resulted in a near disastrous retreat from the Rakaposhi Base Camp and a horrible arduous trek back to base.

We left in the morning and soon found ourselves amongst some villagers herding goats in a lovely high place called Bang-e-Das – we had stone shepherd huts storing fodder for the distinctive pygmy cows, goats and sheep in this rugged but awe-inspiring part of the world. A few kids were tending goats and playing around and one in particular was quite striking with his purple knitted sweater – after chatting to the people there I asked the kid if I could take his picture, he turned and look towards me and with the 45mm Planar T* G lens fitted to my Contax G2, I set Aperture to f2.8 (as I usually do for shallow depth of field with that 3D look) and snapped.

After getting back to England and getting the slides developed, I was astounded at how much of the boy’s personality I seemed to have caught, along with the soulful look in his striking eyes.

The Kodak Ektachrome e100vs was perfect for this, perfect – it brought out the colours of his sweater and his eyes, the features and colours of his face – the sleep in his eyes, the dirt on his face and his roguish boyish behaviour up there vanished for that instant when he looked into the camera – all with the softness of the Film which Digital would render too cleanly and too sharp.

Anyway, this is probably my favourite portrait for a multitude of reasons – so I thought I’d share it with you, and feel free to comment and agree or disagree with me.

Contax G2. 45mm Carl Zeiss Planar T* f2 @ f2.8. Kodak e100vs


Oct 232016

Quick Shot: One of these is not like the others

By Huss Hardan

There are three golden rules I try to live by:

1.Never get drunk and try to kiss a skunk.
2.Never pick a fight with someone who is missing teeth. They have less to lose.
3.Always always do a double take. It can save you some cash.

“One of these is not like the others”

Minolta CLE, Voigtlander LTM 28mm 3.5, expired Fuji Pro 160S rated at 100 ISO.


Peace out



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