Early Spring HHHR

This article shares some early spring HHHR (Handheld High Resolution) images of flowers captured earlier today in my yard. With the various restrictions and lock down measures that are in place, it is always good to get out in some fresh air to photograph whatever subjects we can find.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/4, 1/250, ISO-800, Handheld Hi Resolution, subject distance 280 mm

In the early spring we are often hard pressed to find interesting new growth. Sometimes some dried remnants from last year’s flowers and shrubs is the best we can do.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/250, ISO-3200, Handheld Hi Resolution, cropped to 7573 pixels, subject distance 260 mm

When I grabbed my camera this morning it was a bit breezy. I decided to try some handheld high resolution (HHHR) flower photography with my E-M1X anyway.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/250, ISO-3200, Handheld Hi Resolution, cropped to 7445 pixels, subject distance 260 mm

I haven’t been in an indoor facility to photograph flowers for about a year so it was quite enjoyable to create a few simple flower compositions. Even if I was limited to just a few early spring subjects in my front yard.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/4, 1/160, ISO-800, Handheld Hi Resolution, cropped to 6635 pixels, subject distance 210 mm

It was quite easy to capture some reasonable images this morning. My HHHR technique came back quickly, as did using the rear screen of my E-M1X to compose my photographs.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/4, 1/250, ISO-400, Handheld Hi Resolution, full frame capture, subject distance 250 mm

The biggest challenge was timing my shutter release in between flower movements caused by the intermittent morning breeze.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/250, ISO-1600, Handheld Hi Resolution, cropped to 7907 pixels, subject distance 250 mm

While I don’t often need a 50 MP high resolution file to produce large prints, I always enjoy using my E-M1X’s HHHR capability. This technology does a great job reducing potential noise at high ISO values, and also provides higher levels of dynamic range than when shooting in standard resolution.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/250, ISO-3200, Handheld Hi Resolution, cropped to 7742 pixels, subject distance 255 mm

The macro image of some heather blossoms above was shot using a camera setting of ISO-3200. According to the Photostophotos website this HHHR image has 8.95 EV of dynamic range.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/400, ISO-6400, Handheld Hi Resolution, full frame capture, subject distance 280 mm

Even when using Handheld Hi Res at its limit of ISO-6400, this technology delivers 8.03 EV of dynamic range with very low levels of noise.  This dynamic range performance is actually better than many full frame cameras at similar ISO values. Using Handheld Hi Resolution technology is great for flower photography, and other macro subjects.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/250, ISO-1600, Handheld Hi Resolution, full frame capture, subject distance 320 mm

I love using my E-M1X for macro photography. The IBIS performance is outstanding which allows for the use of shutter speeds of 1/250 or slower when shooting Handheld Hi Resolution macro images. Getting sufficiently deep depth-of-field for macro images is a pretty simple proposition when using M4/3 lenses. Stopping down beyond f/8 is seldom required.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO-200, Handheld Hi Resolution, full frame capture, subject distance 335 mm

In situations where a more muted background is desired, moving to an aperture of f/2.8 can create the desired effect , while still delivering good image detail, as we can see at the tip of this flower bud.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8 1/320, ISO-400, Handheld Hi Resolution, full frame capture, subject distance 270 mm

A slight shift in shooting angle can create even more shallow depth-of-field when desired. In my experience using smaller sensor cameras like M4/3 for handheld macro photography is an excellent equipment choice.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/4, 1/250, ISO-800, Handheld Hi Resolution, full frame capture, subject distance 275 mm

Back in my full frame days I owned a 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens and hardly ever used it. My handheld skills were simply not good enough given the size and weight of the lens and the VR performance it delivered. I also hated being restricted by tripods. My E-M1X’s IBIS performance delivers the handheld freedom I love. Combined with its Handheld Hi Resolution technology, I have more than enough image quality for my macro photography needs.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops of the original images are indicated where appropriate.

How you can help keep this site advertising free

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.

Article and images are Copyright 2021 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *