Niagara Parkway Challenge

On occasion I like to create some photographic challenges for myself. Today I decided that I would venture out to a familiar area and allow myself only one photograph for each stop that I made. The challenge included being limited to one camera and one lens. I also set a time limit of one hour during which to capture all of my images. So… I grabbed a camera and headed out for my Niagara Parkway challenge.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 12 mm, efov 24 mm, f/4, 1/640, ISO-200, subject distance 4.1 metres

It was a strange afternoon in terms of weather. As I drove on the QEW highway towards Fort Erie I hit some periods of rain… then breaks of sunshine. Since my E-M1X has excellent weather sealing I decided that regardless of the weather, I’d complete my challenge for the day.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 20 mm, efov 40 mm, f/4, 1/800, ISO-200, subject distance 11.2 metres

I must admit after using my Nikon 1 gear exclusively for the past four years, it felt very strange not caring if my camera gear got wet.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 12 mm, efov 24 mm, f/4.5, 1/640, ISO-200, subject distance 1.7 metres

The Niagara Parkway runs along the Canadian side of the Niagara River which forms part of the border between Canada and the United States.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 12 mm, efov 24 mm, f/5, 1/400, ISO-200, subject distance 14.5 metres

I’m very familiar with the various pull-offs and parking areas along the route. As I approached each one I had to quickly decide whether I was going to use that spot for one of my designated photographs.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 26 mm, efov 52 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-200, subject distance 3.5 metres

I quickly scanned the river front looking for trees, foliage, benches and other subject matter that could be incorporated into a composition.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 40 mm, efov 80 mm, f/5, 1/400, ISO-200, subject distance 128 metres

It was also important to consider shooting perspectives along the river and the angle of the intermittent afternoon sun.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 12 mm, efov 24 mm, f/5, 1/400, ISO-200, subject distance 128 metres (this subject distance seems odd but it is what my E-M1X cites in its EXIF data for this photo for some reason)

As I was quickly working my way down the Niagara Parkway towards Niagara Falls, I kept a mental note of the types of compositions I had completed. I didn’t want my challenge to end up with a series of images that looked identical.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 12 mm, efov 24 mm, f/5, 1/640, ISO-200, subject distance 4.8 metres

As it turned out I finished my Niagara Parkway challenge 15 minutes early. Once I got to Niagara Falls I got back on the QEW highway and headed for home.

I find creating these little photographic tests like my Niagara Parkway challenge can be quite stimulating. They force me to rapidly assess subject matter and to compose my images quickly.

If you haven’t created these types of photographic challenges for yourself I heartily recommend giving them a try.

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held using camera equipment as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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4 thoughts on “Niagara Parkway Challenge”

  1. I enjoy your images and your writing very much. Thank you for what must be a considerable effort.

    I think this type of challenge can also be good preparation for some travel photography…as in deciding what to take and for me what to buy for a travel system.

    6 years ago, I almost went for the Nikon 1” system but instead chose the tiny GM-1. I was pleasantly surprised that it surpassed my IQ needs, with 3 near featherweight wee little primes.
    I note that you are using the biggest M4/3 body! I recently added a larger, more featured M4/3 body with significant IBIS… and I’m finally at peace with letting go of my FF gear.

    1. Thanks for your supportive comment Richard… much appreciated! It was good to read that you are happy with your gear and that it is serving you well!

      I did decide to move forward with some Olympus gear and added an OM-D E-M1X with four M.Zuiko lenses to my kit. While the E-M1X is the largest M4/3 camera currently available, it is very comfortable to use for extended periods of time. The primary reason I chose the E-M1X was its IBIS system. This allows me to shoot my industrial client videos hand-held. The E-M1X has a range of innovative photographic features that suit my needs extremely well.

      Tom

    1. Hi Ed,

      I am very much enjoying using the M4/3 format. It took a bit of time to get used to the 4:3 format compared to the 3:2 ratio used by APS-C and full frame cameras. I now prefer M4/3 for certain subject matter like birds, flowers and portraits.

      Tom

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