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Shooting Transport

Transport, it sure covers a lot of things.  The way we move ourselves and our things around is certainly varied.  From the cars, trucks, motorbikes and bicycles we see every day on our roads to the rarer things like horses and donkeys and Rickshaws. Photographing such a variety can be both challenging and rewarding. 

Here are some of the questions to consider:

·      What do you need to have with you to photograph these modes of transport? 

·      What things do you need to look out for?

·      What are your objectives/goals?

I won’t attempt to tell you what kind of camera system you would need to successfully capture ‘transport’ on your memory card.  The options are just too many nowadays with high quality compacts, awesome MFT and CSC systems and of course DSLR setups that will all give you exceptional results if you know how to use them.  The choice comes down to your budget, the requirements of the image (publishing in a photo book? Facebook only? Instagram? Prints for your house?) and how much gear you want to be carrying around with you (that’s always a big consideration for me).
What I would like to talk about is different things to keep in mind when you are taking photos of your preferred mode of transport.   Things like lens selection, techniques to try, ideas for different photos and safety when you’re out and about. 

The most obvious thing to show when shooting transport is the movement.  You can show movement in an object by dragging your shutter (slowing the shutter speed down).  How slow it has to be to show movement depends on the speed of the object and how much movement you want to show.  If you want to record car headlights on a road at night you might want a very slow speed, a few seconds at least, but if you want to show a slight blur than you can use a shutter of around 1/40th of a second.  The other option is to pan with the subject resulting in a mostly sharp subject but a very blurred background.  Try this technique on a street corner and pan smoothly when a car turns the corner.  Remember to continue panning during and after you activate the shutter, this can take some practice but that’s the fun! 

One good technique for getting sharp photos of moving subjects is to pre-focus on the spot you think the subject is going to move into and then start shooting just before it hits the area, and hopefully one or more photos will be sharp.  This can be done with any fast subject including sports photography.

Selecting your Lens
Lens selection is another thing to consider, I like to use a wider angle lens when shooting larger vehicles to try and get in as much as I can.  This can also be a good lens for photos inside a vehicle, as normally you don’t have much space to play with.  Longer lenses are good for getting close to the action when you can’t access a better location, for example motorsport or aviation photography.  Longer lenses can also be good for portraits of travellers inside vehicles.

Try to look for a different perspective than the usual point and shoot crowd.  Things like overpasses or nearby buildings can get you a better vantage point and can help make your photos stand out from the crowd.   You can get some nice photos of car headlight trails moving through intersections, a mess of train tracks or highways merging and looping like spaghetti.  Keep your eyes open to the possibilities of changing your vantage point and you might just end up with a winner!

One of the best (or worst, depending on your perspective) things about public transport is the characters that share the space with you.  You see all kinds of people doing all kinds of things on public transport and they can make for some really great character portraits.  The light coming in through the windows can be very nice at times and this can serve you well if you learn to see it properly.

Safety First

The final thing to consider when working with transport is your own personal safety.  Cars move fast and it’s not a good idea to be taking chances around moving vehicles.  Be aware of your surroundings while taking photos and always consider the safety aspect. 
Lastly remember that the more photos you produce, the better you will get as a photographer so get out there and start shooting! And have fun!

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Event

Words by Reagan. Video and images by Daniel S

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a flagship micro four-thirds camera model that has received countless awards globally and rightly so. This compact gem is not only retro-styled in a tasteful manner, but also follows suit in packing a punch performance wise.
On Wednesday 8th, our team were privileged to partake in a special Pro Specialist Event held by Olympus at the Hatch Productions Studio in Sydney where they showcased the hot new features and improvements in their v2.0 firmware upgrade for the E-M1 as well as a hands-on play with the highly anticipated 40-150mm PRO Lens (stay tuned for a mini blog review).
Check out the video we’ve put together of the event with Olympus expert Quett giving a brief overview of the new v2.0 software.
Key Improvements found in the OM-D E-M1 v2.0 firmware
  1. Keystone Compensation
    Allows for the compensation of horizontal and vertical skew that is often encountered when using ultra wide-angle lenses. This is a particularly useful feature for architectural photography. 
  2. Complete Tethered Shooting
    Allows complete control of all of the E-M1’s fucntions through Olympus’ new and free
    ‘Olympus Capture’ app (available for both Mac and PC). This app can be integrated with Olympus Viewer 3, Phase One’s Capture One and the Adobe Lightroom workflow software. 
  3. Live Composite
    Capture a single exposure up to a maximum of 3hrs without risk of overexposure. This is a useful feature for star gazers wishing to capture the perfect star trail. Also performs well for fireworks or lightning photography. 
  4. Partial Colour & Vintage Art Filters
    The new Partial Art filter allows for the selective isolation of a particular colour while turning the rest of the image into monochromatic tones with three varying degrees of tolerance. This filter also works with video footage!
  5. Photo Story Mode
    Adds two new layouts for additional collage creation flexibility. A temporary save and resume function allows for collages to be completed at a later date when required.
  6. Old Film Effect
    Adds dust and scratches to your movie to give it an older classic look.
  7. Aperture Lock Function
    Allows for the depth-of-field preview to be maintained without the need to continually hold the assigned depth of field preview button.
  8. Panning Shot
A new panning feature has been added to the Scene Selection mode.
Here are a few images from the day.