A New Year and a New Lockdown

Happy New Year.

I hope you managed to have a nice Christmas and New Year. Mine was uneventful except for my boiler breaking down on Christmas Eve. We spent the Christmas/New Year period without heating or hot water. After that experience, I’m quite happy to stay indoors and keep warm during the lockdown.

With the latest lockdown in the UK, I’m back to processing old images. I still have tens of thousands to get through and I don’t think I will run out any time soon. Here’s one from a shoot in November 2015 which I had completely overlooked and shared this shot earlier today on my Instagram account.

Lingmoor Fell, The Lake District. Olympus EM5 with Olympus 12-40 lens.

At the time I was shooting with a Sony A7R paired with Canon lenses, but this image was with my trusty Olympus EM5. After dragging myself and all that kit up a mountain in winter, I ended up shooting most of my images with the Olympus. Even now when I look at the detail in the EM5 shot the quality is excellent and it easily stands up to a 200% enlargement.

I remember this was a handheld exposure and I can see the metadata says it was 1/60” at ISO200 and f/7.1 on the Olympus 12-40 lens at 17mm. Unfortunately, I don’t have my notes about the filter used but I suspect it was a 0.6 ND Grad.

Exposure Blending or Filters

Something that I’m often asked is, which is better, filters or exposure blending. If you don’t mind the additional work involved in exposure blending, the results can be excellent, but then it’s not always a convenient to shoot bracketed exposures.

Because I cut my teeth shooting film, I tend towards using ND Grad filters most of the time and find them convenient. Despite this, I do use exposure blending in some circumstances and even combine the technique with filters, like in the image below.

Higger Tor, Peak District

To explain how I do my exposure blending I published this video on YouTube earlier today. It shows the entire process for this image from RAW conversion through to blended image.

I hope you like the image and video and have a great weekend.

7 thoughts on “A New Year and a New Lockdown

  1. Happy New Year. It’s been a rather long time that I have written a comment regarding one of your photos. The last couple of years have been a challenge for me undergoing bypass surgery and various effects during and after that event. One of those was suffering a post-surgical small stroke that has created a permanent blind spot in my vision. While I can still see around it and function well, it is something that any photographer would dread happening to them. As I viewed your recent shot of Lingmoor Fell taken with the EM5, I was reminded how much I have enjoyed using my EM5 over the years especially how portable and “friendly” the camera is in using waist level with the external viewfinder that allows one to view a magnified image through the eyepiece. I suppose that goes back to years of using medium format film cameras that excel with that design. As far as your image, it is beautiful and well composed. I do, however, have a question. At that altitude and rocky topography, what would prompt someone to build a stone wall there? Of course it is appealing to look at, but who or what was trying to keep in or out? Anyway, thanks for showing us that an old M43 camera image can still stand with the latest and so-called greatest cameras!
    John Marsh

    1. Hi John, I’m very sorry to hear about your problems but it’s good to know that you haven’t deserted photography despite your challenges. Yes, the old EM5 can still produce excellent images which is possibly something that swayed me to buy the Panasonic G9 recently. As for the wall… You may not know but I’m a member of the Dry Stone Walling Association and pre-lockdown would help build and repair dry stone walls. Despite this and calling on other members, we can’t agree exactly why this one was built. It’s a great wall though.

      1. It seems the G9 has had much success with photographers and with my vision challenges it could also benefit me with that highly recommended viewfinder. As for the wall, it is a thing of beauty and why not build one for just that purpose! John

  2. Hi Robin Happy New Year, I was sorry to hear about your problem with your heating, but I suppose you just added to the covid problem, let’s hope 2021 will be much better than the previous year. Regards Ian

    On Fri, 8 Jan 2021, 18:02 The Lightweight Photographer, wrote:

    > thelightweightphotographer posted: ” Happy New Year. I hope you managed to > have a nice Christmas and New Year. Mine was uneventful except for my > boiler breaking down on Christmas Eve. We spent the Christmas/New Year > period without heating or hot water. After that experience, I’m quite ha” >

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