Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk II (titanium body),
OM-D E-M1 Mk I (black body+grip),
OM-D EM-5 Mk I (silver body+grip),
M.Zuiko 12 mm, 17 mm, 25 mm, 45 mm Premium series prime lenses.
M.Zuiko 9-18 mm (not shown above), 12-50 mm, 12-40 mm PRO, 14-150 mm, 40-150 mm Zoom lenses.
Sigma 60 mm,
Samyang 7.5 mm,
Panasonic Lumix 14 mm, 12-32 mm, 12-60 mm (not shown above) and 35-100 mm (not shown above) lenses.
I use all sorts of software in my work including:
Skylum Software – Aurora HDR 2019 and Luminar 3.
DXO Labs – PhotoLab 2 and Viewpoint 3.
Anthropics Technologies – Landscape Pro Studio 3 and Portrait Pro.
Topaz Labs – Sharpen AI, A.I Gigapixel, AI Clear and various other plugins.
My lightest weight travel gear consisting of my E-M5 Mk 2 body plus M.Zuiko 9-18 mm and Panasonic 14 mm, 12-32 mm and 35-100 mm lenses weighs in at an amazingly light combined weight of approximately 900 grams (2 lbs) ! with battery and memory card fitted. Or, to put it another way, less than the weight of a bag of sugar!.
These lenses aren’t my fastest lenses but they are my lightest and cover 99% of my requirements. I don’t frequently require the “buttery” bokeh that is so often raved about nor do I often require a shallow depth of field as most of my travel works are landscapes and I like to stop-down, usually to about F5.6 or so. The exception to this are interiors where the light can often be poor thus I pack my 14 mm Panasonic f2.5 which does nicely.
I’m firmly of the opinion that one can pay a fortune for the “best” lenses which are faster and a bit sharper perhaps but it’s no fun carrying their extra bulk and weight around all day long and the monetary saving is substantial.
Panasonic Lumix 14 mm lens
Panasonic Lumix 12-32 mm lens.
Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18 mm lens.
Panasonic Lumix 12-60 mm lens.
Panasonic Lumix 35-100 mm lens.
Panasonic Lumix 35-100 mm lens plus Olympus MCON-P01, hand-held in available light f/5.6, 1/20s, 46 mm @ ISO 1000
With exception of being a member of Skylum Software’s Affiliate Programme and Topaz Labs Affiliate Programme, I have no other affiliations with nor do I receive any form of sponsorship from these manufacturers. I use all of these products because I’ve found them to be well-designed, of good quality and reliable.
When travelling away I take the following gear for battery charging and charging my devices. BUBM case – approx. width 23 cm, depth 16 cm, height 5.7 cm. Bottom compartment left to right, Anker 5-port USB charger in yellow case, Anker 3-port 20 AH USB power bank, Anker Astro 6.7 AH USB power bank (like the red or blue ones shown above) in a travel case with USB cable. Top compartment left to right : SDHC memory card case, Newer USB camera battery charger, mains lead, USB cable and spare lens wipes.
The large Anker Power Core power bank is capable of charging/running 3 devices simultaneously, has a very high capacity and two charging ports so can be charged faster by connecting two USB cables from the Anker USB charger. This provides a very flexible system for powering and charging my devices either from mains or USB power bank. Before travelling I fully charge both power banks.
The mains USB charger will simultaneously charge any five USB devices. In the event of there being no mains power available then the large power bank will do the charging and can be used to charge the smaller power bank if required. The small power bank is conveniently pocket-sized to carry around and charge/power a device on the go.
I’ve replaced most of my lens caps with center-pinch types as they are considerably easier to fit and remove with the lens hoods attached (Olympus please take note) :). The only accessories that I habitually take out with me are circular polarising and neutral density filters, spare batteries, memory cards, spare lens caps and occasionally my wired or JJC RM-UC1 wireless remote control and a small Slik Mini Pro DQ table top tripod/chest pod.
The beauty of the Micro Four Thirds system to me is that I can carry the EM-5 with, HLD-6 grip (both parts attached), and the E-PL5 and VF-4 electronic viewfinder, batteries and memory cards fitted and six (7.5mm,12mm,17mm,25mm, 45mm and 60mm) prime lenses and the combined weight is an astonishing 1.7Kg or, to put it another way, less than a two bags of sugar!!, something that my aging body very much appreciates :). If I don’t pack my heaviest prime lens the Samyang 7.5mm then the weight is reduced to approx 1.5Kg which is something that I find pretty darned amazing.
I’ve been taking photographs for nearly forty years and I know by now what works for me. A friend of mine once said to me “it’s not the camera, it’s the camera that you have with you” and I totally agree. I think that it all boils down to four things, focus, exposure, composition and processing and any half-decent modern camera and lens irrespective of manufacturer is more than capable of delivering the first two. I like to start off with sharp, well exposed shots and from there I can do whatever I want to in processing and go in whatever direction the mood takes me.. It’s child’s play to soften an in-focus shot, virtually impossible to retrieve anything from a badly out of focus one. As for exposure errors well I think that’s not quite so critical again providing that the exposure isn’t too drastically off. I sometimes like to under-expose a little, half a stop to one stop, but I can also do that in processing very easily. Basically I like to keep all my options open and have the greatest choice in processing.
My personal preference is for lightweight unobtrusive equipment that doesn’t stand out in a crowd and I do confess a deep-seated love of retro styling, most probably an age thing? :). Ideally I want to be unnoticed and blend in and nothing gets the attention of others better than a huge DSLR and zoom lens. I love the relative anonymity that my choice of camera equipment affords me.
What I love the most about photography is that there aren’t any rights and wrongs, no rule books. NEVER be afraid to experiment with new styles and processing techniques that’s the fun of it, it keeps things fresh and interesting. Sometimes I like to just experiment with processing and see what develops (excuse the pun) 🙂 and other times I have an end result in mind. I often think of a title for a work and/or spot something that I want to convey and that shapes the final result.
A few examples of my recent work, you’ll note a strong aquatic theme running through a lot of my work: