Switching to Plan B

It was a beautiful sunny day here yesterday. So, I grabbed my camera gear fully intending to photograph some small birds at Hendrie Valley. I forgot it was Family Day in Ontario and the trails at Hendrie were jammed with young families. Switching to Plan B made a lot of sense so I headed back to the Royal Botanical Gardens main building.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-200, subject distance 885 mm

It may seem a bit odd to go out intending to photograph birds but ending up capturing images of flowers with the same camera gear.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5, 1/200, ISO-200, subject distance 730 mm

One of the reasons that I purchased an M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom lens was to use it for flower photography. I’ve always enjoyed the flexibility that zoom lenses provide.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/3.2, 1/800, ISO-200, subject distance 1 metre

Using longer focal length zoom lenses for flower photography can be very effective. This is especially true when using smaller sensor cameras when we may want to create shallow depth-of-field in our images.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-200, subject distance 845 mm

As noted in a previous article, we can achieve shallow depth-of-field in a number of ways. One of which is to use a longer focal length.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-200, subject distance 765 mm

I renewed my membership at the Royal Botanical Gardens recently. Having bird habitat as well as a good selection of flower photography options close at hand makes switching to Plan B easy.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO-200, subject distance 750 mm

Photographing flowers in the winter does limit subject matter to whatever is available indoors. When switching to Plan B it pays to be flexible and to take advantage of whatever the Universe provides.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/100, ISO-200, subject distance 770 mm

Since I’m still doing field work for bird and flower photography eBook projects I imagine that switching to Plan B will be a frequent occurrence for me in the months ahead.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-200, subject distance 730 mm

I may have to start packing my M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens when I go out birding at Hendrie Valley. It would give me more creative options when switching to Plan B.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-200, subject distance 905 mm

Switching to Plan B also adds to our ability to be flexible when it comes to our photography. This is a great mental exercise… and of special importance to ‘old dogs’ like me!

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 284 mm, efov 568 mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-200, subject distance 770 mm

Towards the end of my Plan B visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens I took the opportunity to add the M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter to my camera set up.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 284 mm, efov 568 mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO-200, subject distance 1.1 metres

This gave me the chance to practice my handheld technique at slower shutter speeds using this gear. It also enabled me to get some of my best images of the day.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/6.3, 1/60, ISO-200, subject distance 1.1 metres

As I was descending the stairs to a lower level I noticed some interesting light. I ended up standing on the stairs and shooting through a fence-like structure in order to capture the following two images.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 158 mm, efov 316 mm, f/6.3, 1/60, ISO-200, subject distance 1 metres

These photographs were two of my favourites from my Plan B visit.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 170 mm, efov 340 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-200, subject distance 1 metre

Many of us have limited time in our schedules to go out to create images with our cameras. Having a Plan B is one way we can always make the most of our photographic time.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-200, subject distance 1.4 metres

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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2 thoughts on “Switching to Plan B”

  1. Tom:
    it appears that the M. Zuiko PRO 40-150mm f/2.8 lens with the MC-20 teleconverter is an excellent combination for obtaining excellent flower portraits. I was very intrigued with the first photo with the black background which is a result that I try to achieve when photographing flowers. Do you recall what was in the background when shooting this image? Your choice of a “plan B” was well rewarded with beautiful images!

    1. Hi Ray,

      The white flower in the first image was in a heavily shaded area. It jumped out at me as it was momentarily being hit by a strong ray of sunlight. I shot in Manual and used the highlight clipping warning in my E-M1X to get a good exposure on the white flower. The background darkened further which gave me the high contrast image I had in my mind.

      Tom

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