Dia de los Muertos with the Olympus E-PL1

Casey and Lisa, Dia de los Muertos Booth

Casey and Lisa, Dia de los Muertos Booth – Austin, Texas


One camera, one lens.

I think as a photographer, it is a challenge to use just one lens. I feel like it is a safety net to have more than one lens and sometimes I even bring more than one camera with me. However, to challenge my photographic eye and to travel lighter, I’ve been reducing the amount of equipment that I bring to photo events. Here is a bunch of photographs that I took yesterday at the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event that happened in downtown Austin, Texas. I took them all with the Olympus E-PL1 and the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f1.7 lens. The Lumix is a prime lens so it does not zoom, it only has one focal length at 20mm which on the Olympus it is equivalent to 40mm in the standard 35mm format. The fact that this lens does not zoom, I think, makes it even more challenging, but that is part of the fun.

Please click on an image to see a larger version

The E-PL1 is my newest camera and my current favorite. This small camera takes some fantastic photographs and the 20mm Lumix lens is one of my favorites. I’m working on my Olympus E-PL1 review right now and it should be coming soon. I’m also planning to write more about the Lumix 20mm lens. Until then, here are some photographs that I took with this camera and lens combo. In addition to candid action shots during the parade, I also took some portraits of interesting people who I met during the event. Asking strangers if I can take their photo is another one of the challenges that I currently taking. I wrote about his in a blog post called Overcoming the Fear of Photo Rejection about a year ago. Lately, I’ve been doing this more often as I see interesting subjects during my photographic travels.

The thing with the 20mm lens is that you have to be decently close to make an interesting image. It is considered a normal lens which means it’s neither a wide-angle or a telephoto. This 40mm equivalent lens is similar to what the human eye sees. it would certainly be easier to use a longer lens but I think, if you are willing to get close, the 40mm lens has a really natural look. You don’t get the image compression that a telephoto lens creates. I think it feels like you are right there within the parade. Consequently to get some of these parade shots, I had to “join” the parade and get in the middle of it. I was not standing on the side lines to shoot most of these images. I know I would not be able to do this in every parade however, this one seemed casual enough that I figured I can get away with it.

I hope you enjoy the images and remember, for a photographic challenge, you might consider. 1. bringing only one camera and one lens. Extra credit for using a prime lens instead of a zoom. 2. Get into the action, if the situation permits. 3. Ask people, strangers, if its ok to take their pictures.

Here are a bunch more photographs from this event.

Dia de los Muertos Parade

Dia de los Muertos Parade – Austin, Texas

Marcus, Ana and their Chihuahuas, Dia de los Muertos Parade

Marcus, Ana and their Chihuahuas, Dia de los Muertos Parade

Regina and Mariana, Dia de los Muertos Parade

Regina and Mariana, Dia de los Muertos Parade

16 thoughts on “Dia de los Muertos with the Olympus E-PL1

  1. It is easier to get distracted with multiple lenses and focal lengths.

    These are some great photos a truly wonderful event! We’ll meet up next time. I danced for a good while and was too tired to post anything last night 🙂

  2. Lovely photos, indeed. I used to own an Olympus PEN E-PL1 but I gave it to my niece a while back. I loved just about everything the E-PL1 had to offer except it didn’t feel as comfortable in my hand as the E-P2.

    Love the Olympus color.

    1. Hi Kris. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes the E-P2 is a great camera also. Much nicer looking with classic lines. As you can tell I’m enjoying my Olympus quite a bit. I haven’t shot with my big Canon DSLR in a while.

    1. Jake, Thank you. For most of the images, I sharpened them a bit, increased brightness via levels, warmed up the image by adjust white balance all with Apple’s Aperture 3. I also addd an vignette to some of them.

      1. Great info, and wonderful to see you didn’t do much (no heavy lifting post-processing, I mean). I think you finally helped me choose which micro 4/3 type camera to get. Gee thanks. 🙂

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