((szene)) Wien has a series of summer events called Chill and Grill which utilizes the garden and the outdoor stage. As part of that, Gini Ernst played a set with her band and once again showed why she is one of Austria's favourites at the moment! I went lightly equipped with just the EOS M, the 22mm 2.0 pancake lens and the squishy Lensbaby Spark. It's not always easy to focus quickly but with a bit of practice I think it works quite nicely!
Eight days of family holiday within short driving distance of home was ideal for lots of hikes and visits to some stunning places. Even though we had the car I decided against any of the larger cameras and took only my EOS M with me. Together with a Gorillapod it really did everything I needed and most importantly did not give my family the feeling that they are secondary to photography...
Just for a bit of fun I formatted everything in 16:9 with added Cinemascope bars (measured and spaced correctly, thank you very much!) and went for a cinematic processing style. Let me know what you think!
Holiday with the family at the beach in Venice as well as a business trip to Washington DC made for a few photo opportunities with my beloved little EOS M. Of course I also had to ensure I would continue the great tradition of taking an Archetype Apparel picture wherever I travel...
The trip back to the Lido after a heavy rain shower allowed for a few quick pics from the boat:
The Washington Monument was the backdrop I wanted for my Archetype picture, so a place at the Lincoln Memorial was found for this shot:
We went up the Washington Monument later on and I took a pic out of each side, facing the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial in turn. We were kicked out a little early from the top since a thunderstorm was approaching and the Washington Monument regularly gets hit by lightning...
With the family having succumbed to jet lag I find myself with a bit of time to reflect on the 3 week family visit trip we just had and what it meant for me in terms of photography. As I mentioned in my last post I took only my travel kit (EOS M) with me and it certainly turned out to be a revelation in terms of ease of transport! I had a small crumpler bag with me at all times during the trip and the camera itself is completely unobtrusive.
The trip: 2 weeks in and around Melbourne (including a small Christmas party and a couple of outings), after which we travelled the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide over the period of 3 days.
Many, many babycinos were consumed on our trip. Having the small camera around makes it easy to have it ready during meals and snacks which make for great pics of the kids.
Urban photography is easy with the small camera but I found myself wishing for a wider lens at times. Remember I have only a fixed 22mm (translates to about 35mm on the crop sensor) lens on it.
I did get a few landscape shots in during the trip, but overall it was more in snapshot situations. This is definitely a weak point for the EOS M for me. Of course, I am comparing it to a 5DIII which is not fair. I found myself giving up a bunch of what looked like good landscape shots because I felt a tripod, ND filter or just higher dynamic range of the sensor was needed.
Where the setup was brilliant though was in having off camera flash with me at all times and being able to get fun pictures of the people around me in all settings. Most of all it shines in simplicity and lack of aggravation potential for my spouse! She would even willingly hold a flash or something because it was set up so quickly and the results were so nice. See the previous blog post for some of the quick portraits I took - there was a grand total of 20 minutes of time taken for those pictures. Here are a couple more:
About a month ago I posted what my travel kit would look like and I braved the jump and really took only that with me to Oz this year. I know I've said it before but I love the EOS M! While visiting my cousin's new house in Melbourne I convinced a couple of family members to have their picture taken in the alley around the back - Melbourne is full of these back driveways and alleys and I'm looking forward to exploring some more of them.
Anyway: two speedlight set up, one low camera right at 1/4 and one high camera right at the back as rim lighting at 1/16 for the alley shots. You can see the backlight in the landscape orientation. It was pretty much full sunlight at 11 am but luckily the alley provided for a bit of shade.
Moved to the carport to take a headshot of my cousin, needed to get a shallower depth of field so I had to up the shutter speed a little - lucky my flashes sync up to 1/250s!
Let me know what you think! Comment here, on facebook or twitter - I will definitely reply.
So, I finally have my travel kit together. The requirements were:
Here it is:
I haven't listed any pricing (go check on da Internetz) but I am super happy with value for money from all of these items. I have already sung the praises of the EOS M which I absolutely love, so let me say now that these two Yongnuo flashes are great. They feel sturdy and ready for action, have a bunch of nifty functions and built-in radio receivers which make them extremely cool for a very small price. Of course they don't compare to my Canon 600EXs, but since I really don't want to take my expensive flashes with me all over the World, the Yongnuos are a great investment (and a small fraction of the cost of the Canons).
So: on trips where photography is not the primary goal, this is what I'll have with me. And I'm thinking of carrying it around in my laptop bag pretty much all the time as well so if you run into me and want your picture taken... just ask nicely!
The EOS-M really has been a revelation for me. It has the manual settings I know from my larger Canon EOS cameras but is small and unobtrusive. Anyway, I have been shooting in jpg and with pre-defined picture styles recently in order to avoid processing altogether. I go for a contrasty monochrome in 16:9 - to me there is a certain movie-like quality in the pictures that I get. One from today which I particularly liked was shot at the Albertina museum in the Vienna city center. The escalators going down to the contemporary exhibition are so nondescript and clean at this point that I initially ignored them. I did notice a large white light wall at the top of them though and from the bottom I thought I could get a nice shot as long as there were no people on them. I then set the camera to overexpose and the live preview gave me the idea that this could look good if I overexpose extremely. Here's the shot, straight out of camera (SOOC):
Just a place to log my photographic activities and share some thoughts.