I won’t make it subtle. I’m preferebly a 4/3rds shooter. It’s generally my chosen platform – I love how powerful my little Panasonic GH5 can be, and I love how light my potential setup can be when I’m out and about. My backpack can now fit a body, a handful of lenses, a lav and a shotgun mic, my laptop a couple of batteries and usually some accessories (usually my handy glass ball) and not have it cripple my back. It’s a great set-up to have and it gives me the fidelity of capturing a lot more than what I would normally be able to if I was hauling a 5D mk.iii & the equivalents around.
Im not here to bash other cameras, all have strengths and weaknesses – the 5D in my case would be size and video limitations, to others, the sensor size and the ISO performance would cripple the thought of ever using a Micro 4/3's system, or even APS-C cameras.
But let’s look past that. It’s easy to dismiss a camera based off specs. – I still don’t think the A7s.ii should be shooting S-Log with 8-bit colour (video wise) but that hasn’t stopped me and hundreds (...thousands?) of other people being able to create some great images from it. It always falls back to the creator behind the camera and their ability to produce images.
Limitations are what mould you into a better shooter – choosing glass more carefully, evaluating your lighting set-up, mic. Placements and space requirements...All this goes for when you shoot with the higher range cameras too – you end up utilising more of your brain to overcome some of the inevitable hiccups you’ll experience on a job.
Let me talk to you about some pictures I've shot.
London is large, scary and busy. But also, accessible, and very pretty. And having not lived properly in a major metropolitan city before, I decided in my days between jobs to go out and get some pretty shots.
Here was my kit list for the time I was out shooting:
Olympus 40-150 f/2.8
Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 (+ speedbooster)
And that was pretty much it. I had let a friend of mine borrow my 12-40 olympus pro lens, so I stuck to the Sigma. It’s a great lens anyway.
The whole project was to go through ‘old’ meeting ‘new’. The idea was to contrast images that were in a similar style between each other. Here’s 6 of the images you can find on my Instagram:
I love the colours from the modern buildings. RGB seemed very appropriate for a tech driven & electronic world. Would you believe that I didn't add them colours in? That was a result of a polarizer that I'd put on my Sigma. I don't know what influences the colours of the glass - maybe in how they're made or whether or not it's intentional - but it's a great look and it gives them all a very unique look.
But is it the modern lines or the old architecture that you prefer?
The archaic buildings are all fantastic to look at too - more so because of the intricate designs and detailed brickwork in the days of yesteryear. I've always been a nerdy guy, I've loved progression, colours and technology so I preferred the buildings of new - not to say I don't appreciate the old pictures. They have their own place in the world.
But this is my point - the bog standard tourist isn't going to capture these kind of images, nor are the selfie shooters - these photos boast a little more character than a point'n'shoot shot of the city. It's the mindset of a photographer, or videographer that shapes what the images turn into. The definition of these photos are quite extraordinary aswell - i'm still pretty taken back at how well they turned out, which is always a nice surprise to have.
But then again, I get that a lot. I expected to have hundreds of photos sorted when I cam back, but I only narrowed it down to maybe a dozen (which, is inevitable) but I tend to keep shooting and hardly review my images too much (that needs to change...) but it's great when you get even 1 spectacular image out of it all.
My trusty series of buildings isn't all I've shot on 4/3's systems. Check out the next 4 pictures below.
The photo of the girl in the picture is my flatmate, who very kindly allowed my to post this photo within my social channels - It's be far one of my favourite photos I've ever taken, the fall colours and her blue eyes really pop out! This was with a GH5 and the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 which is very quickly becoming my favourite combo.
The monkey photo was taken with the 14-140mm kit lens!
Do you think that image would work on a website? Or a big shot company's social media platforms? Because I totally think it does. and they do!
I recently did a commercial involving Bentley and you wouldn't believe what was used to shoot that. It was fantastically produced and it certainly looked the part, the point is they didn't hire in a £20,000 camera and a set of £10,000 lenses to shoot it. The response from the public wasn't focused on what the video was shot with, but more what was in it. And that's the key.
You'll get a lot of Youtubers who use phones for their content, and they'll hit millions of views. They want the tools to create engaging content, and they deliver on anything they get their hands on.
The point is, content these days is super fast, and as long as it's produced well, I believe that it can make an impact on your audience.
Whatever you shoot on, go out, get some shots, improve your game. Broadcast what you have, if you like it, if you hate it - it's all experience and it'll get you more in tune of what your tastes are and it'll improve your ability, and all in all - make you a better shooter.
Thanks for reading, and happy shooting.