Olympus has had this special camera, the Pen-F (talking/writing about the digital one here, not the original half frame film version from days long ago). And that digital Pen-F was special because no other camera did black & white as good as that one, in my humble opinion. They really should consider their decision not to continue it, it was simply brilliant, and lots of people loved it (at least those who bought and owned it).
Now a fellow photographer who has both the Pen-F as well as the OM-D E-M10 Mk2 (which I also have) has managed to get pretty close to the look of black and white images from the Pen-F when using his E-M10 Mk2. So here’s Rob explaining how he did that:
Of course I immediately had to try that, and I used the Mono-2 without grain settings to try. I also noticed that indeed applying a -0.3EV compensation helps with keeping a bit more infos in the highlights. Look:
That’s really very close to Kodak Tri-X if you ask me. And although this was at ISO 1250 it’s still much cleaner than film ever was – if you want to apply grain you can still do so with a few mouse clicks.
Cool. Thanks Rob, your tips help a lot. Really appreciated!
Here’s a nice and quick way how you can make interesting portraits of your friends and/or family (and I’d have everything shown except that I use Olympus cameras, not a Leica (but I have a Leica lens 🙂 )):
BAM! A very good explanation and demo, what Mark explains here in 10 minutes took me a bit longer… 🙂
And now try it on your own friends and family. Have fun! 🙂
Got my first film back from the lab, together with some prints (10x15cm), and scans on CD which aren’t very good or high-res (but we knew that already, doesn’t matter since these are cheap).
I’m not too convinced with the colours from their Kodak Gold colour negative film (200ASA), so I tried a black & white conversion using RawTherapee, and added a white border in Darkroom with the last image from that film. Looks like this:
Not too bad, my “full frame” camera from ca. 1972 or so, hm? Scaled down to your usual image height for screens like here (1080 pixels high), or even printed on 10x15cm paper, the results are very nice. And I’m sure that they’d be even better if I would scan the images myself (and maybe I’ll do that with a few prettier ones).
Edit: just converted another one to black & white, same method as above:
Having seen other high profile photographers doing their jobs via Youtube (like for instance David Bailey photographing beautiful models (in a BBC documentary about him), or Bettina Rheims taking some of her famous nude photos of other females in her studio in Paris), just reading about the experience from the side of the person being photographed is something different, but I think every portrait photographer should read it. Ok, you and me, we’re not Richard Avedon, but it’s still nice to have these stories of and about real artists doing their work, and how their subjects may have felt about it. Or that Audrey Hepburn might have had similar thoughts and feelings like Myla.
For a photographer, the most difficult part is to crack them up, figuratively speaking of course, to look behind the vain and the fear and the masks, and to find a real person. And the only way to achieve something like this is to be professional, aloof but not unfriendly, and to have enough patience and empathy and – of most importance – interest in the person you’re photographing. And it’s real hard to not let it be just a vanity fair, and at the same time, having your subject accept or even like the photograph – as you can also learn from Myla’s article.
So very interesting that I just had to link to it from here – and thanks to Myla for sharing her story with “Dick”.
And as always, thanks also for reading my thoughts.
With great sadness I read that Ara Güler died. In case you don’t know who he was, here are the German and English Wikipedia pages about him. And here’s a documentation in German which German TV made last year and broadcasted this year:
Yesterday I took a picture in the atrium. I had set the camera to square format, and later at home I used both Olympus Viewer 3 (to make a slightly desaturated .tif), and Nik Color Efex Pro to simulate Fuji Astia slide film. I called the result “Nature wins”, and it looks like this:
What I hadn’t noticed until I took that picture was that my colleague Arno caught me photographing, using his new Huawei P20 Pro phone (with a couple of Leica branded lenses, same as I used on my Olympus camera). So here am I taking the above picture, from Arno’s phone:
He took some more photos. Interesting what you can do with a phone these days…