I spent last week at Lakeland Photographic Holidays (LPH) in the Lake District – the third time I have been there this year. I’ve made several visits in previous years, but this was the first time I have been in the autumn, and the colours were superb. We were also very fortunate with the weather, which was excellent most days, and free of rain during the daylight hours every day. Many thanks to LPH and the other participants for making this a great holiday.
I took only Micro Four thirds cameras this time – the Panasonic Lumix GH2 and the Olympus E-P3 for the bulk of the work, and a Lumix GF1 with an Infra Red filter attached to use possibly for some IR work. The GH2 was used mostly with the 14-140 lens and the E-P3 with the 14-150 lens, though the Olympus 12mm was used a few times as well. The GF1 got quite a lot of use, but not by me – one of the other participants had an accident with his camera and borrowed the GF1 and 14-45 lens for a couple of days. I did take a few IR images with it, but they weren’t very successful, partly because I found it impossible to see what I was taking with the very dense filter in place.
With the latest firmware the E-P3 was much better behaved than previously, and did not lock up at all, so that problem has been solved. I did however find another issue which I would regard as a bug – if you choose the option to retain the same display brightness whatever exposure and compensation you select, the histogram shown while composing an image does not change when exposure compensation is dialled in, which makes it hit and miss making exposure corrections! In the end I disabled the constant brightness setting, but this is something that is essential when shooting with manual flash in card locations, which I sometimes do. The GH2 happily does not suffer from a similar ‘feature’ – with constant brightness the histogram indicates the exposure of the image, not the viewfinder brightness. I also find the E-P3 lower control wheel extremely difficult to operate – all too often one ends up changing the wrong thing using it, and it needs to be used for many of the changes – the additional control buttons and switches of the GH2 make it far more convenient and pleasant to use.
I shot a few very short clips in video, using the E-P3 for that for the first time. I used the E-P3 rather than the GH2 simply because it was the camera I had with me at the time – normally the GH2 would have been my preferred choice.
I’ve now consolidated the images from the previous 2 visits this year with the ones from last week, and put them into a slideshow (on YouTube), and I’ve also put together a Blurb book of all the images. Most of my image processing was done in Lightroom 3, with the mono images processed in Silver Efex Pro 2, and a small number of images receiving some additional attention in Photoshop CS5. The slideshow was put together using Final Cut Pro X, and unusually I created the Blurb book using InDesign CS3 rather than Blurb Booksmart.
This was certainly a most enjoyable week, even though my images were as mediocre as usual.