Ever since reviewing the playful Olympus Air, I’ve experimented with the in-camera Art filters. While I returned the Air to Olympus, I still have my OM-D E-M5 Mark II, which has the same filters effects. Olympus had these for a while, on their various models, I just never used them. Thanks to the Air, I’m doing something different.
Drink and Click is always a fun, social event and perfect for non-serious photography. Perfect for playing with filters. Olympus also sponsored the event and brought along a large selection of OM-D cameras. They’ve done this several times and their popularity continues to grow.
I suppose Art Filters are gimmicky, kind of like Instagram filters. Though Ironically, on my Instagram feed, I rarely use them. But not all photography needs to be serious and these filters add a certain mood. Mundane scenes can become more interesting.
As usual, at Drink and Clicks, there are models to be shot. Profoto brought lights, a skinny model contorted and photographers snapped away. It was a cold night for Austin, in the low 40s, and I was amazed at Eugenia resolve — unfazed in her slight, white outfit. She seemed Eastern European, which if so, might explain her hardiness. To her this may have felt like a spring night.
I had my often used 17mm lens which gives me my favorite 35mm equivalent view. It’s a nice versatile lens but hardly ideal for shooting portraits. In retrospect, I should have borrowed Olympus’ well regarded 75mm f1.8. That would have been perfect.
I made the best of it with the 17mm and made this very unorthodox portrait. I applied the Diorama filter which gives this blurring and glowing effect. Hardly textbook but I like it. At least it looks unique.
Of course, models aren’t the only beautiful things to shoot. Juan took a picture that afore-mentioned luscious 75mm f1.8 lens. If I shot more portraits, this will be the lens to get. It’s pricy but, even with Micro 4/3, you can get shallow depth of field and smooth bokeh.
I spent the last hour, in doors, with the owners of Precision Camera and the Olympus reps. After 25 years in Austin, I no longer have a tolerance for the cold. The Irish pub was warm and inviting. Moody lights and a Christmas Tree enhanced by yet other filter.
I’m not going to use the filters all the time. Yet, the more I shoot, the more I realize that photography for me is less about realism and clarity rather it’s about mood and emotion. Digital excels at clean images, yet some prefer the imperfections of film. The Art Filters digitally manipulate, though they somehow soften the perfection. Perhaps that’s the attraction.
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