| TOP 14 + CAMERA SETTINGS |
Every year I try and do a recap of my favorite shots on Instagram and I love to share the accompanying camera settings and field notes to help others. Please enjoy my 2017 top 14 images with settings and feel free to ask any questions. 🌸🌏🌈🔥⚡️☃️✈️
Horse Head Rock, Bermagui
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- DE-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 7-14 mm PRO lens 🔹Olympus wired remote 🔹Gitzo Tripod 🔹Lee Filter: graduated 0.9 ND 🔹ISO LOW (64) 🔹F 11 🔹8 seconds
📝 I was incredibly lucky to see such amazing light at this popular photography location and I nearly didn’t know what to do with it! My composition was pretty straightforward; I split my horizon in half and used the rocks and water as a leading line to the main rock formation. Since the location is quite dark and the sky was quite bright I opted to use a graduated neutral density filter to help make my exposure more even. I needed a tripod as my exposure time was slow and I used the stock standard landscape photography settings of my lowest ISO and f11 for good depth of field.
Wave from above, Sapphire Coast N.S.W. Australia
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 40–150 mm PRO lens 🔹Hand held 🔹ISO 400 🔹F 5.6 🔹1/1000th second
📝 This image was shot out of a light aircraft on the Sapphire Coast and the plane itself was shaking around a fair bit. For this reason the first setting that I needed was a fast shutter speed and I also wanted enough depth of field to carry off the composition. I adjusted my ISO up to 400 to allow me to obtain the f 5.6 aperture and 1/1000th shutter speed. I’d consider this an abstract shot as not everyone can tell what it is at first. It’s a wave! I zoomed right in, as it was about to break, and then cropped it with a strong centered line before rotating the image anti clockwise to make the wave harder to recognize.
Reindeer, Niseko Village Japan
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 7-14 mm PRO lens 🔹Hand held 🔹ISO 200 🔹F 2.8 🔹1/800th second
📝 I was in Japan early in 2017 when I took this shot and it was a white out winter wonderland when I arrived. As much as I love the snow I find it challenging to photograph because I love colors so I was on the lookout for anything that could bring a pop of color to my feed. When I stumbled across the reindeer sled rides I knew I could get a pic but I decided to go for a first person perspective shot to add interest. I enticed the reindeer into the ‘office’ with a carrot and zoomed out as wide as my lens would go. My aperture was f 2.8 so I aimed for the reindeers eye and I was careful to push my exposure so that my snow would be super white. (If you underexpose a shot with snow you end up with grey snow)
Whale Shark, Western Australia
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 8mm fisheye prime 🔹Olympus Underwater Housing 🔹ISO 400 🔹F 4.5 🔹1/320th second
📝 I particularly love this shot because it was my first proper attempt at using my new Olympus underwater housing and I wasn’t expecting to get anything decent at all. I had opted to shoot with a fish eye lens as I wanted to get the whole whale shark in frame and because it’s a prime lens I wouldn't have to fiddle around zooming in and out. I was in aperture priority mode with a base ISO of 400 and the staff photographer told me whale sharks move pretty quickly and that 1/320 would be fast enough to freeze any movement. I adjusted my aperture to suit and shot away.
Sunset, Kaikoura New Zealand
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 7-14 mm PRO lens 🔹Olympus wired remote 🔹Gitzo Tripod 🔹Lee Filters graduated 0.9 ND 🔹ISO LOW (64) 🔹F 11 🔹1.6 seconds
📝 I don’t know how many people know this but I am actually really unlucky with light, as in I rarely see a good sunrise or sunset. That’s usually why so many of my favorite shots are good sunsets, because they’re rare to me. Haha. This was a pretty stock standard landscape composition, following the rule of thirds. I did use a graduated neutral density filter for the sky and one interesting thing I did was increase my ISO to 400 to speed up my shutter speed, I find that water looks more interesting when there’s still some movement in it.
Cradle Lake Tasmania
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 7-14 mm PRO lens 🔹Olympus wired remote 🔹Gitzo Tripod 🔹Lee Filters graduated 0.9 ND 🔹Lee Filters 4 stop ND filter 🔹ISO LOW (64) 🔹F 16 🔹10 seconds
📝 I came across this relaxing view of Dove Lake but knew I could improve on what nature provided with some creative shooting. First I wanted to add interest to the shot so Melissa waded out to the rock and sat very, very still for me. Next I wanted to flatten out the water as it was surprisingly windy and the wind was creating an unflattering effect on the lake. I used filters to darken the scene and opted for a small aperture and low ISO to stretch my exposure time out to ten seconds.
Vivid Sydney 2017
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 40-150 mm PRO lens 🔹Olympus wired remote 🔹Gitzo Tripod 🔹LIVE composite mode 🔹ISO LOW (64) 🔹F 11 🔹60 seconds x 15 (approx)
📝 Now this is an interesting scene as I created this shot using a feature that is only available on Olympus cameras; live composite. Basically how this works is that you set up your composition, (I wanted the Opera House to be the main focus with just enough of the Sydney Harbour in frame to surround it with boat trails) choose your settings in the live composite menu and the camera will continue to take photos and stack them in camera. The best part is that the camera only records new light so it won’t blow out the shot. I was doing 60 second exposures as it was quite dark and I left my shutter open for around 15 minutes to achieve this effect. When it had finished processing I had this image on my memory card, no further editing required.
Iluka, N.S.W. Australia
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 40–150 mm PRO lens 🔹Hand held 🔹ISO 200 🔹F 4 🔹1/640th second
📝 I think I just like this shot because seeing all these soldier crabs was an incredible moment for me. Although I got plenty of wide-angle shots too I wanted some with more details and opted to lie down on my stomach to get to the same level as the crabs. From here I zoomed right in on the crab closest to me and I used a shallow depth of field (f 4) to zoom out the lines and lines of crabs behind him. So much fun!
Happy Socks, Niseko Village
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 7-14 mm PRO lens 🔹Hand held 🔹ISO 200 🔹F 8 🔹1/25th second
📝 Another one from Japan, I got a number of fave shots on this trip! I was due to go out for a sunrise shoot but it was a complete white out and I knew I wasn’t going to get anything worthwhile but didn’t want to waste my early start. I began playing around with some first person perspective shots with my colorful happy socks and ended up pushing my bed against the window for this. Although my shutter speed was 1/25th second I managed this hand held due to the awesome image stabilization of my camera and f 8 gave me decent depth of field. FYI. Japanese beds are HEAVY!
Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 7-14 mm PRO lens 🔹Olympus wired remote 🔹Gitzo Tripod 🔹ISO 3200 🔹F 2.8 🔹30 seconds
📝 This shot is by no means technically perfect but I’ve included it in my round up because I was pleasantly surprised with the end result despite knowing my Olympus is not really a low light camera. (Oh and I was also super tipsy at the time, oops!) Shooting the Milky Way is one of those things that really do require the right equipment and the right settings, as the sky is so dark at nighttime. You’ll need a wide-angle lens with a maximum aperture of at least f 2.8 to pull off a shot like this. I used infinity focus in manual focus mode rather than actually focusing it myself (remember, tipsy = lazy?! Lol). I also used the standard 30-second shutter speed and boosted my ISO to 3200 to make sure the exposure was bright enough.
Lighting over High Country Victoria
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM-D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 40-150 mm PRO lens 🔹Olympus wired remote 🔹Gitzo Tripod 🔹LIVE composite mode 🔹ISO LOW (64) 🔹F 11 🔹1 second x 600 (approx)
📝 This was another shot taken using Olympus’s live composite feature, it’s not perfect but I was more than happy with the result. Live Composite mode allows you to take a base image and then the camera continues to shoot and record ‘changes’ to the light to stack onto the base image. I don’t know how to better describe it; I’m a bit of a tech noob. Since it was still relatively bright when I started this shot my shutter speed was only 1 second and I wanted heaps of lighting so I left the exposure going for at least ten minutes, effectively taking hundreds of frames. The draw back was that there is visible movement in the clouds that looks unnatural but the pro is that I got this shot virtually straight out of camera.
Angry Bird, Kaikoura
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 40-150 mm PRO lens 🔹Hand held 🔹ISO 200 🔹F 2.8 🔹1/2500th second
📝 My favorite shot of 2017, mister angry bird! This shot is all the more significant to me as I had a blocked ear at the time, which resulted in severe vertigo on already rough seas. Basically I wanted to projectile vomit the whole time I was on the boat, lol. I don’t remember much about my creative thought process except that I needed the shutter speed to be SUPER fast to offset the hectic swell and fast moving birds. I was in aperture priority mode to make my life easier and I was rapid firing in continuous burst mode to make sure I landed something! I landed this.
Gold Coast Australia
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 12-40 mm PRO lens 🔹Olympus wired remote 🔹Gitzo Tripod 🔹Lee Filters graduated 0.9 ND 🔹Lee Filters Circular Polarizer filter 🔹ISO LOW (64) 🔹F 11 🔹1 second
📝 There wasn’t much to this shot except for the fact that it was a killer sunrise and I was in a great location. When this happens I generally opt for a classic composition and here you can see I used the rule of thirds with a leading line in the foreground. My settings were the standard low ISO and f 11 and I did have a couple of filters on my camera at the time, a graduated neutral density filter and my polarizer.
Gear and Settings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️ 🔹@Olympus_AU OM- D E-M1 Mark II 🔹M. Zuiko 300mm prime lens 🔹Hand held 🔹ISO 200 🔹F 5.6 🔹1/1250th second
📝 I actually LOVED photographing wild cranes in Japan and I don’t think people realize the significance of these birds in many parts of the world. At this sanctuary it’s easy to get a shot but not easy to get a good shot and I spent around three hours shooting to get one or two frames I was really happy with. I opted to shoot low here, to get to the same level of the birds, which meant a cold butt! Lol. I was super zoomed in with my Olympus 300mm prime lens. I chose f 5.6 to get some depth of field on the landscape and I bumped my ISO to 200 to increase my shutter speed as this lens is a little shaky, even though the image stabilization does an excellent job with it.