Winter photos from our garden

It’s been a hum-drum winter, I’ve said it before. It barely snows, and when it does, it melts right away. The temperatures hover between 0-10° Celsius, so it’s neither warm nor cold, just kind of annoying. I don’t know where the winters of my youth went, but I hope they come back at some point. I’m talking about snow that stays on the ground for weeks and months, big, thick, frequent snow that keeps the top layers fresh… Those kinds of winters are now only found in movies and fairy tales.

Fortunately, we humans are endowed with a little something called optimism. We can always call on that spirit and make the best of what we have. So the snow melts quickly. So be it. I’ll photograph the melting snow. The falling water drops make for great macro photographs.

This nifty lens I just bought, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm, has a Macro button on the side, which locks it in Macro mode and lets me get right up to the things I want to photograph, as you’ll see below. Not only is it a versatile 24-100mm (35mm equivalent) zoom, but it’s also a macro lens when I want it to be.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm Side View with Buttons
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm side view with buttons

I always shoot in RAW format, on any camera that’s capable of it, but with my E-P2, I forgot how good the JPG engine was. During my early morning outing a couple of days ago, I shot both RAW and JPG together (there’s an in-camera setting for that) and then I compared the photos in Lightroom. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the E-P2’s color reproduction is very good and the noise reduction algorithms built into the camera are actually better than Lightroom’s. Yeah, surprise! I pixel-peeped those images side by side and the JPG files were cleaner and had the colors I wanted, straight out of the camera. Guess what I did next? I switched my camera to JPG-only mode.

The photos you’ll see here are SOOC: JPG files produced by the camera, imported into Lightroom, where I added metadata and exported with no modifications to the colors, exposure, contrast, etc. Other than the metadata, I added nothing. Full disclosure: I bumped up the exposure on three snow photos that came out a little dark, but that’s it. I think you’ll agree with me when I say this little camera is pretty good!

Raoul using the Olympus PEN E-P2
Raoul using the Olympus PEN E-P2. Photographer: Thomas Hawk

Enjoy the photos!

 

Photos from the US Botanic Garden in DC

Should you find yourself in DC, the US Botanic Garden should be on your list of places to visit. It’s right next to the Capitol so if you want a break from the buildings and the politics, step inside to look at the flowers and the plants, they’ll make for a welcome change.

And if you should find yourself in DC during winter time and you have children, then you should definitely visit, because they put on quite the toy train show there, every winter. I even recorded a video of it for you, which you can see in this post.

Enjoy the photos, there are 50 of them below!

Water colors

Today’s post: water colors, and I mean that literally. 🙂

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

Ripples

More details

I love macro photographs and I’m glad to see that you do as well, judging by the wild success of my last published set of photographs on this subject. So why don’t I give you more of what you want? 🙂

Details, details, details

I love photographing details. It allows for so much creative freedom — much more than when photographing whole subjects.

Details on film

Here are several details captured on 35mm film. I love how film is readily nostalgic whereas digital photographs have to be edited heavily in order to make them so. I think what that says about digital sensors is that there’s plenty of work still to be done to them. Because to me, unless I feel a photo, it’s just a snapshot.

A few details

Here are a few macro photographs taken around my office a few years back. You’ll see a pair of jeans in one of the photographs. I used to love those jeans; they were the most comfortable pair of jeans I ever owned; and they were made by Donna Karan.