alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Olympus E-PL3’ category

Early morning walk by Chichester Harbour

Having really enjoyed the results of my visit to East Head last Friday, the next morning my wife and I walked our dog from Dell Quay to Birdham Pool along the footpath which adjoins Chichester Harbour.

When we arrived we immediately enjoyed the early morning light coupled with similar cloud formations to the previous day. The temptation was just too great – the little Olympus E-PL3 with its standard kit lens, had to come out of my jacket pocket and be fired up. A few quick shots later and the pick of the bunch is shown below. It works well in colour but the black and white conversion is my preferred choice.

By the time we had finished our walk and returned to the car, the clouds had lifted to be replaced by clear blue skies and the opportunity to photo the quiet stillness of the early morning had gone. “Win the morning and win the day” as my uncle used to say.

Chichester Harbour at Dell Quay
Olympus E-PL3 14-42mm kit lens @ 27mm f5.6 1/400 ISO200Early morning at Dell Quay

As we neared the end of our walk I spotted a Red Admiral butterfly basking in the autumn sunshine on a oak leaf. Its not my usual style or indeed subject. Firstly its a nature shot and secondly its in colour and not black and white! Nevertheless it was a shot worth taking in my view and I have to say I am pleased with the quality of the image produced by the 14 – 42mm kit lens on the Olympus E-PL3.
Red Admiral butterfly

Photo opportunities – always have a camera with you

So often when out and about, I see something and say to myself if only I had my camera with me. Every photographer will have uttered those words at some time and probably more than once! Well from now on I will try and avoid that mistake. I will also follow the saying which states – ‘the best camera, is the one you have with you’. How true is that! The next couple of images were taken on the way to somewhere else, with no intention whatsoever of releasing the shutter on the journey but on both occasions I did have a camera in the car.

The first is a shot of the late afternoon light on the South Downs in West Sussex between the villages of Amberley and Storrington. This was captured with the Olympus EM5 and 45mm 1.8 prime lens. Its not the best landscape photograph I have ever taken but I think its quite pleasing and I wouldn’t have it at all, if I hadn’t got the camera with me.

Afternoon sun on the South Downs


The second image is a sky scape taken on my way home from work. The dramatic clouds and light were crying out to be caught on camera. On this occasion the Olympus E-PL3 was in the car with nothing more than the standard kit lens and attached EVF (electronic viewfinder). An almost essential extra when in bright light.

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Once downloaded into Lightroom on the computer at home, I wondered how well this image would convert to black and white. Well here is that version using my favourite ‘plug-in’ for Lightroom – Silver Efex Pro.

Late afternoon sky on the south coast

Which one do I prefer? Well I’m not sure, they both have their merits, I think its down to personal choice. If I had to come off the fence then the ‘black and white’ version would win the day. All I do know is that had the little Olympus E-PL3 not been in the car, there wouldn’t be a choice, as there wouldn’t be a photograph to look at!

Olympus E-PL3 with 14-42 kit lens
The Olympus E-PL3 which started my love of the micro 4/3rds format. 

 

Festival of Speed 2012 – The Last Post

This is the third and last entry about the Goodwood Festival of Speed which took place at the end of July this year. The two earlier entries were about the Art of Design and The People respectively. This entry completes the series and is simply intended to show an overall picture of the event. There is no particular theme other than trying to capture the true essence of this remarkable event which draws thousands of spectators every year.

None of these images would win a photographic competition, but they were not taken for that reason. They are a record of the event itself which I enjoy visiting as often as can. It allows me to combine my interest in photography with my love of motor cars.

In a couple of weeks time I will be at the Goodwood Revival Meeting so expect some more images from that event but in the meantime here is my final selection of shots from the Festival of Speed.

Above each image I have added a short description and my customary Exif data. All the shots were taken with either a Nikon D90 or Olympus E -PL3.

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The custom built display which is constructed on the front lawn of Goodwood House every year is always something special and can often be seen from miles around. This year the theme of the display celebrated Lotus racing cars through the years.
Nikon D90 35mm f6.3 1/1250 ISO200

Lotus Sculpture

Early on Friday morning The Earl of March gave his opening address and the Festival of Speed comes to life. This shot was taken shortly before he introduced Alain Prost.
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f2.8 1/500 ISO200
Earl of March

One person who is sure to attract the crowds is Lewis Hamilton. Here he is at the wheel of his McLaren MP4 – 26 Formula One car.
Nikon D90 70 to 300mm at 70mm f10 1/125 ISO160

Lewis Hamilton st the wheel of his Mclaren MP4-26

The Forest Rally Stage at the top of the hill climb is a great circuit and provides plenty of photo opportunities.
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f13 1/320 ISO 200

Skoda Fabia S2000 Rally car

The Skoda Fabia S2000 (above and below) makes its start. Cameras and flying dust are not a good mix, so after the shot is taken the camera is quickly hidden away!
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f6.3 1/1250 ISO200

Skoda Fabia S2000 Rally car

The Festival of Speed is not just about powered vehicles. This high flying BMX biker comfortably clears the high jump……..and it yes it was high, very high.  He also landed safely.
Nikon D90 70 to 300mm at 102mm f7.1 1/500 ISO200

High flying BMX

As well as the Lotus display there was another impressive ‘work of art’ by the rally stage. A ‘Stonehenge’ made up of several arches formed by scrap cars. Here taken with the ‘Goodwood Eye’ in the background.
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f7.1 1/800 ISO200

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There is always merchandise for sale. Far from being an official stall holder here a speculative trader was displaying his rather expensive books (or I thought so anyway). There was definitely no money in the hat!
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f5.6 1/160 ISO 200

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I thought this car looked superb. Its the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro which won the 24 hour race at Le Mans back in June.
Nikon D90 70 to 300mm at 70mm f14 1/125 ISO160

Audi R18 E-tron Quattro

……and a windscreen detail of the same car below after a rain shower.
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f5.6 1/1000 ISO200

Audi R18 E-tron Quattro detail

Wandering the pits also provides some interesting shots as these next two images illustrate.
Olympus E-PL3 20mm f1.7 1/320 ISO200

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Tyres, cars and crowds walk by in the pits. The wonderful thing about this event is the free access the public have to get really close to the cars, their drivers and the mechanics.
Nikon D90 35mm f3.2 1/250 ISO200

Tyres

…….and finally one of many stars of the show…….can you tell what it is yet?(!)
Nikon D90 35mm f5 1/160 ISO200

One famous number plate, one very famous car

……..and if you need another clue?
Nikon D90 35mm f5 1/500 ISO200

Ferraro 250 GTO - bonnet detail

I’ve photographed this magnificent piece of machinery on so many occasions but I still cant resist taking just one more. The Ferrari 250 GTO. No more to be said.
Olympus E-PL3 45mm f4.5 1/250 ISO200

Ferraro 250 GTO

So that completes my three part series about the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012. Doubtless I will back again next year.

I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of the E-PL3 and the prime lens. Not once did I use its kit lens, and the quality of the images I achieved compared very favourably with the Nikon D90. This post is though about the results and not the camera gear I was using but its an interesting observation all the same.

Festival of Speed – The People

This is the second post relating to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s been a busy summer so it has taken me a while to complete this entry and there may still be one more to come!

This event is wonderful for its cars but also for the people who drive them or indeed simply spectate. Hopefully these images give a flavour of ‘the people’ at Goodwood.

Its twenty years since the Festival of Speed came to Goodwood, courtesy of the Earl of March. It’s grown and grown, year on year, but one person who has regularly been invited but never come, made his debut appearance on this occasion – Alain Prost or ‘The ‘Professor’, the great Formula One champion of days gone by.

Alain Prost and the Earl of March
Olympus E PL3 45mm f2.5 1/400 ISO 200

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Rally Driver
Olympus E PL3 45mm f4.5 1/100 ISO 200

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My turn soon……
Olympus E PL3 45mm f 2.0 1/320 ISO 20

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No power steering……or silencers!
Olympus E PL3 45mm f2.0 1/320 ISO 200

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It’s behind you!
Nikon D90 35mm f8.0 1/250 ISO 200

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Father and son
Nikon D90 35mm f6.3 1/250 ISO 200

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Having a break
Nikon D90 35mm f4.5 1/250 ISO 200

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Penelope Pitsop
Nikon D90 35mm f8.0 1/320 ISO 200

Penelope Pitstop

Top Gear – not so popular these days?
Nikon D90 125mm f5.0 1/500 ISO 200

Top Gear stand

Olympic Torch in Bognor Regis

16th July 2012 and the Olympic Torch arrives in the seaside town of Bognor Regis, West Sussex. Despite the prospect of rain the crowds turned out of force to line the High Street. The public gathered and waited; the torch bearer getting closer and closer, and so the rain came too and got harder and harder. What a summer! Union Jacks matched umbrellas in number as the torch finally came into sight. The crowd cheered, waved and I stood on a small set of steps, Olympus E PL3 in hand with the Lumix 20mm ready for the flame, still alight – well just.

The whole occasion was a great photo opportunity. The people of Bognor, colour and the sense of anticipation were very evident. I like street photography and this gave me some shots I enjoy. I hope you will enjoy them as well.

Olympic Torch bearer braves the elements
He’s here at last and everyone is soaking wet but enjoying themselves.
Olympus E PL3 20mm f1.7 at f3.5 1/320 ISO 320
Olympic Torch bearer braves the elements

Union Jacks for sale
Selling Union Jacks on the streets of Bognor Regis as the crowd get ready to greet the Olympic Torch Parade. Oh what a happy occasion!
Olympus E PL3 12mm f2 at f4 1/160 ISO 200
Union Jack for sale
The warm up act
The band play rock to entertain the growing crowd in Bognor Regis. The torch bearer is coming!
Olympus E PL3 12mm f2 at f2.5 1/400 ISO 200
Cheering up the crowd
GB forever!
A patriotic lady has come fully prepared to enjoy this once in a lifetime event.
The Olympics grab the heart of the nation.
Olympus E PL3 12mm f2 at f2.5 1/1600 ISO 200
GB forever!

No its not Christmas, but people arriving for the Olympic procession
It could only be Bognor Regis…….
Olympus E PL3 12mm f2 at f2.8 1/250 ISO 200
Is there a procession or something?

Union Jacks for sale
C’mon buy a Union Jack……..it will make us both happy!
Olympus E PL3 12mm f2 at f2.8 1/640 ISO 200
Union Jacks for sale

Will the torch be here soon?
It won’t be long now, we’ll wave our flag and then get a movie for you to watch.
Olympus E PL3 12mm f2 at f3.2 1/160 ISO 200
Will the torch be here soon?
Waving the flag outside Henry Adams 
An estate agent joins in the with the spirit of the event.
Olympus E PL3 12mm f2 at f2.5 1/250 ISO 200
Waving the flag outside Henry Adams
Union Jacks everywhere
This time they have a practical purpose as this couple shelter from the rain.
Olympus E PL3 20mm f1.7 at f2.8 1/250 ISO 200
Union Jacks everywhere
The flame stays alight
The crowd are loving this; smiles, applause, cheering and waving – if only the sun was shining.
Olympus E PL3 20mm f1.7 at f3.5 1/320 ISO 320
Olympic Torch runner

The torch moves on
All over so quickly. An hour or more of patiently waiting as the heavens open and the Olympic torch heads towards its next destination.
Olympus E PL3 20mm f1.7 at f4.5 1/320 ISO 320
Olympic Torch bearer runs on....
Apart from the photos of the torch bearer all the images were captured using the E PL3 and the Olympus 12mm prime lens. So sharp and fast, ideal for the conditions. It also allowed me to get quite close to my subject which is always necessary in a crowded situation. 
This type of situation again made me start to think about my camera of choice for the future. The Olympus OMD EM5 would make great use of the prime lenses I already have and if purchased with the standard 12mm to 50mm kit lens, it would offer a weather proof option with even better quality than the E PL3. It would be ideal for situations like these, but then the E PL3 does a pretty good job already. It can be a little difficult to grip at times and the controls are fiddly and easily changed unknowingly but the results are very good for a small and discreet camera. Alternatively do I really push the boat out and just trade in the Nikon DSLR gear and buy the new Canon 5D MkIII with a selection of L lenses? Full frame, great quality images and just about every feature I could ever want. A tough decision, so I shall continue to dither and for now I will just enjoy the images from today.