Olympus have a great event schedule available for photographers to attend. Many of the events are free and others are available for a small fee, depending on the sort of event. If you're an Olympus photographer, or even if you're not, you can check out the Olympus Image Space website for the calendar of events and get your name on the list if you want to attend an event.
The great thing about these events is that Olympus usually have an Ambassador and an Olympus rep present on the day, so if you're curious about features and functions on your existing Olympus camera, or want to know more about the Olympus range you'll be in safe hands at an Olympus event. And yes - you can usually try out the cameras and lenses too!
Myself and another 13 other Olympus Photographers, who were in attendance by invite after applying to go, met up with Rob and Jez from Olympus in Reading at the newly (re-)opened Jessops store before setting off on our route around the Berkshire town of Reading, which is just a few miles away from where I live.
From the get-go it was easy to see why Rob was selected by Olympus as an Ambassador: Rob not only knows the Olympus cameras inside and out, he was also able to professionally demonstrate and explain his vision, settings and ideas as we walked. From reflections in puddles and the angles on buildings, to the colour filters available within the OM-D's and how they'll affect various scenes in the end result. Furthermore Rob explained these methods and techniques in such a way that all of the participants seem to understand the reasoning behind them. I was very impressed with Rob's aptitude for information sharing and enabling others.
Rob had us all switch our EVF's into Mono mode and then make some adjustments to the level so that we were seeing a nice contrasty rich view through our EVF's. It made the experience of shooting much more fun!
Being a local Rob also knew Reading pretty well too. It's a town I visit a couple of times a month with my wife and children, but usually for a spot of shopping or lunch. It was great to see what else Reading had to offer in terms of photographic opportunities. We walked through alleys and pathways I never even knew existed in a town I've been visiting for some 15 years now! As part of the walk we also stopped for at the Handmade Burger Co as well for a bite to eat and a catchup on all things Olympus. For many (myself included) this was a golden opportunity to ask our two hosts about forthcoming Olympus gear and releases. Rob and Jez remained tight-lipped though and refused to confirm or deny anything we were asking or suggesting, of course, but exciting things are coming by the smiles on their faces :)
Gear used on this shoot
I got caught up in conversation with Rob and Jez so much that I guess I was distracted somewhat from the scenes around me. Whereas I'm usually shooting the scenes and goings-on around me, I was more focussed on the conversation and the shapes and structures rather than the people and that reflects in the series of photographs below.
I spent the day with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 and trusty Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8. I tried the 25mm f/1.8 for a short while too (thanks Jez) as it was a lens I wanted to buy, but also wanted to play with before hand to see if it was as good as people say it it. I can confirm it's a great lens and as part of my move over to Olympus after selling all my Canon equipment, it was indeed one of the lenses I had in my shopping basket. Both of these primes are sharp and fast to focus! Which is exactly what is needed for Street Photography.
So, here is my small selection of photographs from the day. The EXIF and Camera / Lens details are below each shot. Comments are more than welcome, of course!