Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Metal & Glass

GRD, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 100, JPG b&w

I did not take many pictures today, I did however like most of the ones which I did take. I decided to use this one because I do not take a lot of architecture shots but really like how this came out.
The GRD I might not be the best for landscapes but it certainly is the best for architecture photography due to the great lens it has. This picture is unprocessed, straight out of the camera.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Misty Morning

GRD, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 64, RAW

As much as I like the GRD I, it is not the perfect camera for landscape photography. It works great for b&w landscapes taken in high ISO but low ISO is no a strength and color even less. For this shot it would have also been good to have some moderate zoom.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Plain Lazy

LC1, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 100, JPG, 61mm

Took a short trip to the seaside and went to Whitstable today. It is a very strange place, a bit messy as if the people could not decide if they like or don't like the sea. Most houses look onto the main road instead of the sea. The harbour is also quite small and most of it is taken over by a big cement factory. It makes for a nice day out but I am not sure if I would really come back here.
This picture was not my favorite for the day but in the end I quite like the funny old chap with his hat in front of the boarded up beach hut.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sliding Doors

GRD, f2.8, 1/160, ISO 1600, JPG b&w

Every day we have so many brief encounters with different people. We pass someone when getting into the tube, people bump into us but we never exchange a word and sometimes even avoid eye contact. Life in a big city means you are always surrounded by people but rarely close to people.

Friday, 26 June 2009

After Work

GRD, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 200, JPG b&w

Took this picture after work. It was a nice and warm afternoon after a hazy morning.
I like the reflection and have cropped this to square because I think it works better.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Olympus E-P1 Launch & Hands-on

The official UK launch of the highly anticipated and long awaited m4/3 camera from Olympus was today. Judging from the high interest the camera generated in forums and on various photography websites and blogs I expected a lot of people to show up and so it was.
The people I spoke to all wanted the same, a compact camera capable of producing dSLR like image quality but also allowing them to swap lenses. The Olympus E-P1 certainly is the first camera to deliver on both counts.

Although it was busy and most people wanted some hands-on with the camera, I managed to try out a few samples and will try to give a quick summary of my impression or read the full report here.

The first thing I noticed was that the camera is actually a bit bigger than I expected, especially with the zoom lens attached and if you extend the lens it becomes even bigger. With the pancake lens it becomes a lot smaller though and it is jacket pocketable but you need solid pockets as the camera is heavy.

Speaking of the weight, you might have seen the pictures of the all plastic insides posted in various forums recently and while the insides might be plastic it surely weights a lot and the outside is solid metal. It feels very solid and I would say it is as solid as the GRD II and the Olympus dSLRs they had around. The feel of the camera is great, Olympus made sure the camera feels great to hold. The handgrip is also nice and does make holding it much easier and more secure.

There have been concerns expressed regarding the low resolution of the LCD screen. While the resolution is not really as important in my view as the refresh rate and the viewing angles, I found it comparable with the GRD II screen and so very good.

The controls are all intuitive and work very fast, having two wheels is a good idea although the 4-way navigation pad could be a bit bigger to avoid accidental presses.

The AF has also been highlighted as a potential problem in a few reviews. I have to say, it is not lightning fast but it is slightly faster then the AF on the GRD II. The zoom lens takes also longer to focus than the pancake lens. Overall I would rather get the E-P1 kit with the pancake lens as I was not overly impressed with the zoom lens.

I have also tried the OVF and it is ok though as good quality as the Ricoh OVFs. It feels a bit flimsy and it is not as bright as the Gv1 for example.

In the end, I walked out without buying a E-P1 although I was very tempted. The E-P1 looks and feels like a great camera and I really like the design but it is too early to buy. The camera is a bit too big and I would like to have at least one good wide angle lens available for it.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Mirror View

GRD II, f4, 1/250, ISO 80, RAW

Most photographers don't like shooting in the bright midday sun because of the harsh shadows. I take a big part of my pictures at that time though because this is when I usually get the chance to go out and take pictures. I do like the harsh shadows and have no problem with this but I also like high contrast pictures. The best thing about taking pictures at that time are the reflections you can get in Canary Wharf but also in other places.
I like this picture because it is washed out but the mirror image is well exposed and creates a contrast. The other reason is that the mirror image of the guy looks somewhat different, almost as it is another person.

On a side note, there will be a public hands-on event for the Olympus E-P1 at the Jessops near Tottenham Court Road tomorrow from 6pm. I will go there and will try to get some time with the camera and post my impressions. If you have any questions or want to know anything specific let me know and I will try to find out if possible.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Green Dress

GX100, f7, 1/400, ISO 80, RAW, 50mm

Took this during lunch today. We finally had some sun shining during the day so the shadows and reflections made photography more interesting. I decided to use the GX100 and thought the zoom will come in handy. It did not really and I usually preferred using 28mm and 24mm.
I really like this picture and while I can't exactly say why I like it so much, I did know that this is the picture for today after I took it.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Watch Out For The Fish!

GRD, f4.5, 1/320, ISO 400, JPG b&w

The weather has been mostly dull and grey today. Not really great for photography and I have not been overly inspired. I took a few picturs on my way home though and this is the one I liked best. I walked past this poster a few times but never saw anything intersting happening next to it so I was glad when I saw this today.

Sunday, 21 June 2009


LC1, f2.4, 1/1250, ISO 100, JPG, 90mm

Took this while out for a walk in a park nearby today. I have darkened the blacks and added some vignetting to make the white waterlily stand out more.
I really like the LC1 and how it handles, for color work it is great. It is a shame that Panasonic has not released a LC2 and I can only hope they will release a LC2 based on m4/3 but only with the same fantastic 28-90mm f2.0-2.4 lens.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Across the Field

GRD, f9, 1/1000, ISO 400, JPG b&w, 21mm

Went for a quick walk around Greenwich Park today. I took pictures with the 21mm lens and tried using the OVF but I still can't find the point if one has a big LCD available which is superior in every way.
I processed this picture to add more contrast and have the noise stand out more.

Friday, 19 June 2009


GRD II, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 80, RAW

When I processed this picture I wanted to give it a similar feel to my picture from yesterday. Something like a surreal or futuristic small series of Canary Wharf.
I wanted this to look a bit like a pencil drawing and have used a infrared b&w conversion.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Under a Grey Sky

GRD II, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 200, RAW

Took this picture after work today. The weather was again not very good and it was pretty grey for most of the day.
I wanted to give the picture a very surreal feel, the sharp and soft areas merge together with very bright colors and the grey sky with dark corners from the vignetting. Not sure if I went slightly over the top with this but I do like the result.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Ship

GRD, f3.5, 1/200, ISO 400, JPG b&w

Did not have much time for photography and the weather was not great either today. Took this picture on my way home and quite like it but I don't know why exactly. The light was more interesting in the evening, so maybe this is why I like it but I can't really explain why I chose this picture for today.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

White Shirt Gang

GRD, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, JPG b&w

While in HK I mentioned that I know exactly what I want in my next camera and what it needs to have. It was simple, a camera with the b&w image quality and fast AF from the Ricoh GRD I and the flexibility of the Panasonic LC-1 plus the bigger sensor and maybe interchangeable lenses while staying pocketable.
Today, Olympus finally announced their new m4/3 camera and it is (almost) exactly what I have been looking for. It is the new and highly anticipated Olympus E-P1 and it is the first proper serious compact with interchangeable lenses.
After reading the preview and having a look at the great b&w samples (taken with an Art filter), I can't wait till the camera is released. I already submitted my entry to review the camera for 1 week on the Olympus E-P1 webpage.

There are only a few things holding me back from rushing out and getting the E-P1. The lack of proper wideangle lenses for the m4/3 format and old lenses have to deal with a 2x crop but more importantly the reports about slow AF, this alone could rule the camera out for me.
Another reason is the rumor that Ricoh has something similar planned to replace the GRD II with. Knowing Ricoh, their camera will at least have a selection of wideangle lenses available and if the CX1 is anything to go by also a fast AF.
I sure hope Ricoh will announce something soon because the 25th is not far away and I don't know if I can resist getting a E-P1 ;) .

Monday, 15 June 2009

Standing Around

GRD, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 400, JPG b&w

Took this while out for a walk during lunch today. At first I did not even have my camera on but while crossing the street I turned it on and walked closer to him to take a picture. What made this interesting was the was he was just standing around on the road. After I took the picture I knew that this will probably end up as my picture for the day.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The Eye of the Dragon

LC1, f8, 1/800, ISO 100, JPG, 48mm

It was a quiet Sunday for me. I went back to the Bike & Kite festival and took some more pictures. It was not a very good day for kite flying since it was mostly windstill but people had a nice time nonetheless.
I took this picture at one of the stands there and wanted to get the sun to shine into the eye of the dragon while still providing a glow around the head. In post processing I have added some vignetting to bring out the glow more.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Blackheath Bike & Kite Festival 2009

The 2nd Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival was on today. The weather was great so there were a lot of people around. I went out to take some pictures with the Panasonic LC1 and ended up taking more pictures of kites than bikes but it was good fun and the LC1 performed just fine and I was quite glad that it did have a zoom.
You can see the full gallery here.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Going to Nam

GRD, f2.4, 1/60, ISO 400, JPG b&w

Did not have much time for taking pictures today. I took a few while walking around Canary Wharf but did not have many I liked. This is the one I like most but it did not come out as intended. I wanted to get some motion blur but it does not work very well thinking about it.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Talking With My Shadow

GRD, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, JPG b&w, 21mm

After the last days where the weather has been dull and grey we had a very nice afternoon with a lot of sunshine today. The nice thing about Canary Wharf is that all the steel and glass creates great reflections and nice shadows so it's great for photography.
I did try a different approach to process this picture and opted for very high contrast and very dark shadows. I wanted the texture of the floor to stand out a lot and show the reflections better. I cropped the image to get the guy to be fully in the corner and eliminate some visible stairs at the top.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Crossing the Heath

GRD, f2.4, 1/540, ISO 400, JPG b&W

This was the first picture I took today and the one I liked most. Getting up early in the morning is great to get some very atmospheric shots, the light was again not very good today, the light rain in the morning just before the sun came out was really nice though and created a nice atmosphere. I enjoy walking to the office as it allows me to take pictures on the way and I find is very relaxing.
I see her every morning when I leave early, she is feeding the ducks by the pond and heading for Greenwich park after. A while ago I took a picture of her feeding the ducks with the CX1 but it did not end up as my picture for the day.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Gallery Visit

GRD II, f3.2, 1/160, ISO 400, RAW, 40mm

Took this during my lunch break while having a look at the MotoExpo and the new Getty Gallery at Canary Wharf. I liked how they were looking at the picture and wanted a very close composition and 1:1 crop that does not include the full heads, I think it works very well.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Fire & Smoking

GRD, f3.5, 1/160, ISO 400, JPG b&w

After the great light I had to take pictures yesterday it was rather grey and dull today. I took a few pictures during lunch but mot did not look that good, this is do quite like and think the grey metallic wall looks very good. Photography is afterall mostly influenced by the light available and not the gear.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Thames Barrier

LC1, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 100, RAW, 41mm

After the Ricohforum meetup yesterday I took a walk with the Panasonic LC1 today. I walked to the Thames Barrier to take a few pictures, the light was very good with some dark cloud and rays of sun in between. I did take a lot of pictures but like this one best.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

2nd Ricohforum Meetup

GRD, f2.4, 1/750, ISO 400, JPG sepia

Today was the 2nd Ricohforum meetup. The weather was grey and it started with some light rain, overall it did not look great for our planned walk.
There were not as many people attending this time but we had a great time and it stopped raining just when we went out for the walk.
We met a few people, who could not make it earlier, when we got to the bar at the end of the walk. We had some interesting discussions along the way and as expected took lots of pictures.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Yellow Roses

CX1, f4.4, 1/380, ISO 80, JPG, 66mm

There is something about the color yellow recently when I take macro pictures, I have quite a lot of yellow flowers or roses. While this is yet another flower macro it is something the CX1 is very good at.

Another reminder about the Ricohforum meetup tomorrow, hope to see some of you there.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

B&W Study

LC1, f2.4, 1/15, ISO 400, JPG b&w, 90mm

After my 500th post yesterday, I decided to post a different picture than my usual today. You can see the picture I initially wanted to post on Flickr.
I got the chance to take a few pictures of models during a photography workshop this evening. While I am generally not a big fan of studio pictures of models because they look a bit lifeless, I do like to take some shots in a studio environment when possible to see how they turn up. I never use the available flashes or the camera flash and think using the available light gives much better pictures.
I used the LC1 because it is very good for portraits due to the bigger sensor and fast lens and I have not used it for a while and wanted to use it again.

Having used the LC1, I know how I want the controls on the new Olympus m4/3 camera to be. I am looking forward to see what Olympus comes up with but more to see what Ricoh's response will be.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

500th Post :-)

CX1, f3.3, 1/32, ISO 1600, JPG, 28mm

Today, I reached my 500th post on my blog. I would not have thought I will get to 500 posts and certainly not by posting every day.

It was great so far and since starting the blog a lot has happened. I met some great people and fellow bloggers (see blogroll), have met some great people from Ricoh at Photokina 2008 and other occasions, had a factory tour kindly arranged by Ricoh and organized not one but two unofficial and one official Ricoh meet-ups in London and another one is coming up in just two days, I even started to write my own reviews about Ricoh cameras and accessories.

I really enjoy posting here and the comments I have recieved from people, both on the blog and via email, are what keep me going so thanks to all of you.

Everything started with the Ricoh GRD, that I carried around every day and just needed a reason to make use of it every day. This blog provides me with a very good reason to keep taking pictures and post here every day.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Yellow Flower

CX1, f4.8, 1/160, ISO 109, JPG, 177mm

I have been out during lunch and after work to take some pictures in order to update my CX1 Review Diary. I took a lot of macro pictures and used the continuous and DR modes. I will have more updates up soon.
The quality of the CX1 is great if only Ricoh could fix the excessive noise reduction or maybe add RAW, it would be so much better.
This is my favorite picture from today. I am not a great macro photographer but having seen a lot of nice macro pictures taken with the CX1, I thought I give it a try and see what I can get out of it.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Walking by the Fire

CX1, f5.2, 1/620, ISO 80, JPG, 200mm

On my way home I walked past a group of kids who were very excited about what they have done. It became clear o me after walking a few meters what exactly it was. They set fire to dry gras next to a path through Mudchute Farm.
I took this picture with the CX1 and found it quite funny that there were three people standing around or walking past and the only thing one of them did was to call the police. None of them actually thought of just putting out the fire which could not have been very big at that time. I did step on it and put a part of it out while walking past, the rest became too big by the time I got there and I was not dressed for putting out fires.