Going ULTRA WIDE at a Biker meet with my Olympus EM1
by Christian Delbert
As photographers, we all become lazy and need motivation. Many times that means a new camera, new lens or viewing a photo book or someone else’s great photographs. Then we go out and do some shutter therapy!
Every father’s day, I head up north ( to New Hampshire ) to a place called Weir’s Beach. Big motorcycle get together. This year I decided to use only my Panasonic 7-14mm f/4-5.6 lens on my Olympus EM-1. Since I used it mostly at 7mm ( 14mm equivalent on full frame ), I had to get pretty close to get the portrait effects I wanted. Sometimes barely 6 inches away!
A couple of days beforehand, I let my beard grow a bit. On the day of the shoot I “wore” my “ Billy Bob” teeth placed my baseball cap on backwards . No problems at all with my getting really close and personal……..
The rest is history with my photographs. I included a “selfie” of myself and two willing subjects. And, a picture of the equipment I used. As I write this, I’m not sure if I’m better off turning the camera on and off before every shot to avoid shutter lag or leaving the camera on and hoping it starts up immediately upon pressing the shutter. After this e-mail I.m going to do a test to see which method works better.
Finally, I’ve decided to include a photo of my previous “street photographer” camera and my new rig for street photography.
If interested, check out the rest of my Biker Photos here: http://cdelbert.zenfolio.com/p700796808
Love the super wide images – but please tone down the HDR effect and ever editing. But of course that’s just opinion. But it would be cool to see the images in a more natural state – B&W with just a little bit of sharpening only
Finally a great and cool gallery of photos on this website (!!!). Great photos and excellent post processing! Great stuff! Something we should see much much more often. Make pictures and emotions! Not some boring ‘I took these with a 15 K€ Leica camera + lens- please like them…’. Ppfff… These really make an impression! You really have talent – not only nice camera! Not my style of life but very very cool photos and you’ve really got my respect as a photographer. Keep on publishing!
Thanks Peter! You and I are on the same wave length. Sometimes when reading the comments on Steve’s site, it feels like a little digital noise, grain or heaven forbid, HDR, ruins a photo totally, while a boring technical snapshot is perfect! Picasso, Monet and Matisse all had the same problem……….
ups. I love wide-angle. but I don’t like these HDR and computerized photos. some of them – wide-angle, artistic or not – look to me like as if them jumped out of a rocky horror picture show. but different tastes create different styles. not my cup of tea.
always good light,
Not normally the style of black and white photos I like but works for this subject matter .
Thanks for post.
I would usually not choose to go wide and purely B&W, but this was the perfect scenario to do so. The graininess from post-processing was a good choice for this event, lending it the raw look that is the feel of such events. Having been to similar events, I think you captured the feel and personalities quite well. For all photographers, regardless of your background, you will find it surprisingly enlightening to go to such an event with an open mind. You meet people from a wide range of life that is often missing from other large social events. I always feel more grounded after a good classic car or motorcycle meet. These are people the popular press typically doesn’t cover.
The trike is my favorite thing! Nice expressions from faces.
VERY FUN PHOTOS…I REALLY ENJOYED THEM!
The black and white give it such a big impression. Very nice.
Anyone have experience – comparisons between pana and oly versions of this lens?
Maybe doesn’t matter so much w this focal range but curious
I know the Pana is lighter to carry, but curious if anyone has opinions on quality comparisons
I don’t normally go in for this style of photography, but these are exceptional. They have an edge to them that that suits the subjects perfectly. I really got a feel for what these people are like, (a little scary, some of them). Great pictures.
I especially like the first two images! The wide lens captures unique perspectives here!
The 7-14mm is a great lens, as was and still is, it’s older 2006 (and forgotten) 4/3rds version. As for the shutter lag, I think the on/off option ‘seems’ faster, because with the button press you expect it to be faster but I don’t think there’s any difference between the two.
I really like the photos but am not a fan of so much post processing. Really nice nontheless.
What an insanely cool cigar !
Very effective images. You really capture the atmosphere of that gathering.
They’re enjoyable and fun, but suffer from usual wide-angle distortions of faces/bodies when close enough to fill the frame with a portrait. This is very effective in picture 2, less so in the others to my way of seeing.
John, these were not meant to be realistic portraits taken with either an 85 or 105mm. These people ( biker subculture ) see life in a different way and portray themselves as such. That’s why I used an extreme wide angle for close up and in your face. As I did with my selfie! ( did you like that? )
Point taken, Christian, and I can see now see them taken together as a fascinating portrayal of a subculture.
I like wide. You handle it very well.
Wow, there’s something quite dramatic and grungy about these photos that I like a lot. Exalted reality at the very least, but the tight shots worked brilliantly. Cool.