In-camera black & white

Yes, the Olympus in-camera black & white mode is great. I also love the fact that with modern cameras of the “mirrorless” category you can have a preview of the outcoming image right in your viewfinder or on the rear display, in black & white. And if you use the camera makers’ raw converter program, you *could* still have it in colour, but you *don’t have to* even see colour once in the whole process. Which I’ll describe for this photo of our cat from today:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

So the first thing of course is to take a photo. For this one I used the black & white mode of my camera, and ISO 200 at an aperture of f/2 – which meant 2 seconds exposure time, and a tripod.

Then I loaded the raw .orf image into the Olympus Viewer 3 raw converter on a virtualized Windows 7 machine, but only to check exposure, sharpness and contrast, and then to convert it into a 16 bit .tif image.

This resulting .tif I loaded into Silver Efex Pro 2 (still on Windows) to use its “019 Fine Art” preset, and to create a white border (no. 14) around the image. Saved again as a .tif (Silver Efex makes this a .TIFF)

Back in Linux, I then use RawTherapee with my self-produced and saved midtoning, which leaves the blacks & whites alone but tones those mid grey levels to a brownish tone – looks much nicer than just grey. In RawTherapee I also set the title, correct some Exif error from Silver Efex, and add some keywords like “cat portrait”, or “b&w” (you can see those in Flickr).

Final step: I used The Gimp to add the image title to the white border as well – good for prints or if you’ll have the image out of context somewhere.

So this is my routine for black & white photos, which I still love since my brother Willi and me developed our own Ilford films and made “prints” with his Durst enlarger and some chemicals in our parents’ bathroom…

Thanks for reading.

Flickr statistics are still weird…

Have a look at my “recent activities”:

Screenshot from 2018-12-10 08-15-09

And then have a look at my stats:

Screenshot from 2018-12-10 08-23-29

So many different numbers, all for the same image.

How many views were it? 8002? 12999? 8072? Or – my favourite – 74% of 17489 (which would calculate to 12941,86)?

Strange, ain’t it? Our customers would nail us to the next tree if we’d come up with numbers like these…

Anyway, lots of views for a cat photo, that’s without question 🙂

Thanks for reading my short rant…

My new camera

My brother Willi reminded me that I now have shown some photos taken *with* my new camera – but none so far *of* it.

So I borrowed Mitchie’s Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark 2 once again to take a photo of my own one with it. Mitchie currently has the 45mm/1.8 Olympus lens on her camera, which is a small jewel in itself, and a must have for users of this system. My camera has the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1:1.4 mounted with which I took the latest cat photos:

My new camera, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

So this is how it looks – from this distance, it more or less looks like my older original model, tho some dials, knobs, and switches were moved.

Anyway – so glad I have this now. Thanks again to the customer service of Olympus Germany.

Thanks for reading.

Update from Sunday evening:

Here’s another photo *of* my camera – this time I used Mitchie’s together with two of my studio strobes:

Another photo of my new camera, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

Thanks again for viewing.


Well – I didn’t have that since a while. But the photo I took of Tuna (our cat) yesterday evening was somehow “explored” in Flickr today, which usually results in lots of views, and also “faves”:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

Somehow I find this cool – happening on the same day that I got my new camera. 🙂 And the fact that even with a cat photo you can become “explored” shows that it’s still both the subject and the photographer – tho the cuteness factor surely helps 🙂

As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.

Sunday morning photo, mixed light, b&w

Now that I finally have a camera of my own again, I’m always on the lookout for photo opportunities. So when Tuna the cat decided to lay down on a warm spot of our heated floor just in front of our kitchen entry, I took two quick shots. And in the first of the two she was looking directly into the camera with a very intense stare.

This was in mixed light – natural daylight from outside, and artificial light from our kitchen which sadly doesn’t have any window. And although Olympus cameras do a very good auto white balance, they can’t of course correct for two totally different light temperatures – so I knew the end result would have to be in black & white (the only sensible resolution if you don’t use flash on your background).

And this is what I did. First I switched to black & white with a simulated yellow filter in Olympus Viewer 3 (same as if I had done this inside of the camera before even taking the photo). Then I checked and compared with the “fine art” preset no. #19 in Silver Efex Pro2 (and sfx won). And the final touches and the midrange colour toning (from grey to brown) were done in RawTherapee 5 in Linux as always.

So this is the result, cropped to a 3:2 format:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

About these Flickr embeds: I decided to use the new “block” from WordPress 5’s “Gutenberg” editor from now on. The difference for you is that I can’t alter the resulting HTML code to let the photo open in another tab or window anymore, so if you simply left-click on such a photo you will be directed to Flickr (and away from my site). If you don’t want that, then from now on you’ll have to right-click the image and select to open it in a new frame yourself.

As always, thanks for reading and viewing. Have a nice Sunday!

Another photo of Tuna with my new camera

That Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark 2 is a terrific little camera. I only have it since a few hours, but I love it already. So when I saw Tuna on her favourite chair in our living room, I switched on two of my studio strobes, and took her photo again:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

As always, thanks for viewing.

An exceedingly generous offer

Almost a month ago, my camera stopped working. The technicians from its maker said it’s an issue with the mainboard which would have to be replaced, and the cost for that including work would be ~ 160€. Considering the cost for a replacement which was 3 times that amount, I agreed upon the repair offer.

But as it turned out, they needed a part for my camera which they couldn’t get anymore. And so they came up with another offer: for that calculated repair cost they would instead send me the camera’s successor (see above, usually 3x the repair cost).

Wow. Of course I just couldn’t refuse that. And after some waiting, today my shiny new toy arrived, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark 2. And of course I had to check it immediately, first with mixed daylight and artificial light:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

And a bit later with two of my studio strobes:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

So finally I can take photos with an own device again. Cool.

And wow, what a generous deal! Now I have to make the device mine, and set up everything like I had it before.


Still no camera…

I’m still waiting for my camera, so in the mean time I used Mitchie’s again today to take another photo of the cat. Used Rawtherapee on Linux only this time to “develop” it from the raw file:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

I’m writing this with the new editor in WordPress 5, new from this evening.


A photo of Tuna from yesterday

I still don’t have my camera back from repair, so yesterday I took Tuna’s picture with Mitchie’s E-M5 Mk2 camera. She had the 45mm/1.8 lens on it:


It’s an in-camera black & white picture with a simulated yellow filter, but I mid-toned it in post with RawTherapee.

Thanks for viewing.