Michael Rammell

Olympus

London Photo Walk 2017 - An Update

Event, Audio, Meetup, Olympus, Photography, VideoMichael RammellComment

I've had a few emails and Facebook messages this past couple of weeks about my Photo Walk happening on April 30th, so today I've written/recorded this episode to give you all the details you'll need when you attend.

It's FREE to attend so if you want to join me and over 50 other photographers in London for a day of Street Photography and lots of laughter, just head on over to the signup page.

You have 3 ways to enjoy this post:

  1. Listen to the audio on iTunesStitcher Radio or using the audio player below!
  2. Head on over to YouTube to watch the video
  3. Read on below if you're in a place where you can't watch or listen...

Your Questions Answered

Q: When will I receive confirmation of my place on the photo walk?

A: If you've signed up successfully using the signup form with a genuine email address, then chances are that's how you're seeing this email. Your email address was added to my mailing list to ensure that you get all my updates, just like this one! If however you signed up, but you've found this post some other way and not as a mail in your inbox (or Junk), then be sure to re-register again at MichaelRammell.com/events.

I will be sending a direct mail to all those on the list the week before the walk to make sure that I know final numbers and to answer any final, last-minute questions that may have come through. To make sure you're on that list, be sure to register. If you're in doubt or unsure, simply register again. Don't worry, you won't start getting emails twice, the system is pretty smart and should detect if your email address already exists.

Q: Can I borrow a camera on the day?

A: Last time I was asked this question, my answer was a straight up 'no'. However, I have been working behind the scenes to see if I can get a representative from Olympus to come along and lend some gear for a few hours on the day. I spoke to a couple of the Olympus team members at The UK Photography Show and they were very positive about the idea. Now, that's not 100% confirmed right now, so please don't count, or rely on borrowing a camera. 

That said, I wouldn't rely completely on loan gear for the entire day and would suggest you bring your own camera. Not just because at some stage, you'll have to give it back, but mostly because I would recommend you use the camera you are most familiar with - Street Photography often calls for quick reactions - so you'll need to know your camera well.

In all seriousness - an iPhone (other phones are available) would be an absolutely fine camera to use for the day. I'll be using mine to compliment what I do with my OM-D E-M1, that's for sure.

Alternatively, you could also arrange to borrow an Olympus camera using the Test & Wow Service (Check it out online and be sure to make your booking as soon as possible to ensure the equipment you want is available). Basically, you can borrow a camera and/or lens for 3 days. Handy right!

Olympus-test-and-wow.jpg

Q: Are there details about the route anywhere online?

A: For those of you that have registered, you should already know about the route given that it's on the signup page itself. But, if you're reading this post for the first time today, then the route is pretty much as follows: Carnaby Street > Leicester Square > China Town > Soho > Covent Garden > Trafalgar Square > South Bank, where we will decide what we're going to have for dinner. The route we take between these locations will be determined pretty much by the group on the day and where we end up.

Q: What do we do if we get lost?

A: You will get lost and you will break from the group! I would suggest you use Google Maps on your phone to get yourself back to one of the points on the route as mentioned and wait for us to meander through that area. On the day of the walk I will be giving out sheets with some contact information on it, as well as places to wait to catch up / meet up with should (when) you break from the group. The fact is, with 50+ photographers attending, I would actually encourage people to take a random walk down a random street, rather than all staying together in a pack. Street Photography is often about being incognito. A large group of people with cameras isn't exactly subtle!

Q: Can you suggest any accommodation in London?

A: I've had a handful of emails about where to stay when in London that weekend. Well, naturally those who have asked have had varied budgets available. As such, I would suggest an Air BnB booking, where you can set your budget, choose from renting a single room or an entire home and there are plenty of locations. Perfect if you have a particular diet or food requirement as you would also be able to cook for yourself if you book a place with a kitchen too! Many of these locations will feature WiFi too, which is always a bonus if you're looking to get online and share the images you've made on the day

airbnb.co.uk.jpg

Q: What should I bring with me in my bag?

A: This is a very popular question! The temptation is to overpack and throw in everything except the kitchen sink. But, in truth, you simply need comfortable walking shoes, your camera, some spare batteries and perhaps a light waterproof just in case it rains (this is London after all!). If you want to pack your own sandwiches, then go for it, but we will be walking past a dozen small shops where you can buy sandwiches, or a panini or whatever it is that you fancy. Ultimately though, pack light and you can't go too wrong. Pay attention to the weather forecast in the days leading up to April 30th and pack what you think you'll need to stay warm, dry and comfortable. We'll be out on the street for a few hours.

On my very first London Photo Walk, back in 2013, it poured down for about an hour. We go caught in the rain for a short while, but then we all went into Somerset House, had a coffee, compared cameras and images and discussed photography in general. Whatever the weather has in store for us on April 30th, we'll be sure to make some great images.

In the next post in my blog, I'll be sharing with you exactly what I'll be packing in my camera bag (and which camera bag I'm taking). Be sure to subscribe, if you haven't already, and you'll get that post direct to your inbox. Perhaps you can take a few ideas from me and what it is I'm bringing on the day.

viewofmybag.jpg

So, those are all the questions I've had so far. If you've not yet registered for the walk and want to come along, be sure to make your way to the sign up page and drop your details in the form. I'll be in touch the week before the walk to give you all a final update.

Otherwise, I thanks for stopping by! Be sure to subscribe here on the blog, over in iTunes to the podcast and also on YouTube too. I'm producing more and more videos at the moment and would love if you would hit that subscribe button to keep up to date with everything I'm up to.

Any other Questions?

Do you have a question that I haven't yet answered? Drop a comment down below or get in touch via email: michael@rammellphotography.com



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Win an OM-D E-M1ii and 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens With Olympus Magazine

Audio, Giveaways & Competitions, Olympus, PhotographyMichael RammellComment

I'm very humbled and grateful to have been asked to write another feature for the Olympus Magazine, particularly in this, the 50th Edition! As always, the magazine is bursting with features, including my contribution for '5 Of the Best'. Best of all, though, in this edition, you could be in with a shout of winning an Olympus OM-D E-M1ii + M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO. How about that for a giveaway!

Want to listen to this post instead of reading? Great! You have 3 options:

  1. Head on over to iTunes, Subscribe, Leave some feedback and a review
  2. Don't like Apple? Then check out the Stitcher Radio Podcast App!
  3. Listen right here on the blog: Click play below on the audio player. 

In my '5 of the best' feature, Olympus wanted me to share some of my thoughts on what it takes to be a wedding photographer as well as sharing my experiences in shooting with the Olympus range of cameras (hint: I love 'em! But you already knew that). I give a run-through of some of my kit and some tips on marketing and relationship building. So if you're thinking of getting started in wedding photography, this could well be the article for you.

The article features a picture of a rather chubby looking me too (of all the images OlympusUK had to choose from eh! ;) ) so if you want a laugh, be sure to stop by and take a look and have a read.

Oh, and whilst you're there why not enter the competition to win your own Olympus OM-D E-M1ii + M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens.

The UK Photography Show - March 18th - March 21st

This weekend (Saturday 18th to Tuesday 21st is) the UK Photography Show, the UK's largest Photography trade event. I will be there, of course. I'm heading up on the Tuesday to see David Alan-Harvey give his talk on the superstage. I'm excited about that! I will otherwise be having a mooch around the Olympus stand and the Guild of Photgraphers booth and getting my cameras cleaned for free :). I'll also be there to catch up with my good friend and fellow photographer Paul Griffiths. We'll be doing some blogging and vlogging.

It's become very much a social event too since it's inception. This will be the 4th time I've been to the show, missing a year.

If you want to meet up though and discuss photography, cameras or even cycling, then get in touch with me today by email: Michael@RammellPhotography.com. Or, use the contact form if you prefer

London Photo Walk - April 30th

Lastly, I just wanted to remind you that my totally FREE London photowalk is taking place this year on April 30th, starting out in Carnaby Street. Sign up now to make sure I have your details so that I can keep you posted about any possible changes to the plan or itinerary.

There isn't a limit to the number of people that can attend as it's a public place, however I would just ask that you register so I can contact you should I need to. You can register right here on the site 

On that note, I have had a few emails from people who have signed up asking when they would receive confirmation of their place on the photo walk. Well, if that's you and you've signed up and you're wondering if your place is secured - then yes! You're coming. Just turn up at the meeting place on the day and say hi, just so we don't leave you behind. Again, details on how to register, the route and the meeting place can all be found over on the events page

The Camera Aspects Show

Lastly, in my quest to produce as much content as time will allow me, I've joined forces with my good friend Paul Griffiths to get a project off the ground that we've been discussing for the best part of 18 months now. 'The Camera Aspects Show' is now live.

CameraAspects.com

If you're thinking you may have heard the name Paul Griffiths before, it's likely you've come across Pauls show and blog: Photography Live & Uncut

The idea behind the show is that Paul and I will meet on a weekly basis to discuss all things photography, from gear to business and everything in between. We'll be recording the episodes live on location in London, using the various bars and restaurants that we like. We've already recorded and posted episode 1 up online to YouTube. The audio version will also be available shortly through iTunes and Stitcher Radio too.

Don't worry though folks, the Camera Aspects Show doesn't mean that this blog is ending, it's just another feather in my cap.

Otherwise, that's all for now. Be sure to head on over to iTunes and Stitcher and subscribe, just search for my name 'Michael Rammell' or use the links right here in the post. Oh, and please do check out my YouTube channel too. I've finally got that into a decent shape and I'm posting VLOG's every couple of days, so if you want to know more about me and what I'm up to regularly, check out that channel:



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Video & Free Downloads - Lightroom Smart Collection Settings

Video, OlympusMichael Rammell2 Comments

[To listen to the audio hit play and then give it a second to buffer. The audio is high quality]

I'm just in the midst of preparing my annual 'Looking Back' post, where I review the images I made during the past year. Its the annual retrospective exercise that we should all be doing as photographers. It helps one to gain some perspective as to where it was we were back in January compared to just how far we've come in those 12 months to December.

This year I plan on doing more than just sharing 10 my favourite images from 2016 though. I'm going to revisit the 5 most popular blog posts as visited by you guys and I'm also going to give a complete break down of the gear I used for the year, including how much use each lens actually got.

In order to achieve this, I'm using Adobe Lightroom's Smart Collection feature to sort my images into folders (effectively) based on an the attributes of an image.

For example, I can set a smart collection to look through all of my images and pick out those that were shot with the 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO. I can repeat this for each lens and camera I own. This tells me just how I used each lens by simply showing me the number of images for each smart collection.

Whilst this isn't a hard thing to configure, it can be time consuming. So, I've saved all of my settings into files for you to download and import into your own instance of Lightroom.

This Smart Collection in Adobe Lightroom shows me how many images I shot with the 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens from Olympus during 2016

Given that the smart collections I have used look at images made between specific dates, I've gone ahead and made Smart Collections for both 2016 and 2017. Feel free to download them using the links below.

Various Adobe LIghtroom Smart Collection Settings Files available for download

For details on how to import the smart collections into lightroom, just watch the video below. In this I also go into a little detail as to how it is I made these smart collections (if you so wish to make your own for lenses I have not included). Alternatively, skip down past the video for the bulleted version of the instructions if you can't watch video where you are right now. 

 > Download Olympus 2016 Smart Collection Files here

 > Download Olympus 2017 Smart Collection Files here

Importing Smart Collection Settings into Adobe Lightroom (Video)

Importing Smart Collection Settings Into Adobe Lightroom

  1. Download the Smart Collection Settings Files from this post
  2. Save somewhere on your computer
  3. Open Adobe Lightroom
  4. In the Library Module Expand 'Collections' in the left pane
  5. Create a new Collection Set
  6. Name the collection set '2016'
  7. Right Click on the 2016 Collection Set
  8. Choose 'Import Smart Collection Settings
  9. Browse to the files I have made available for you that you saved back in step 2.
  10. Choose the Smart Collection Settings you wish to use
  11. Ta Dah!
  12. (repeat for the Smart Collection Sets applicable to you)

I hope you find these Smart Collection settings useful. I would love to know what your most used lens and camera was for 2016! Please do share a link to your own 2016 Look Back post if you have made one, I'll be sure to stop by and leave a comment on your post!

If you found these Smart Collection Settings useful be sure to share this post and subscribe to the blog today. My own review of 2016 will be out in just a couple of days. Subscribing is the best way to be sure you see that post first!



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Olympus Launch the OM-D E-M1ii

Olympus, Gear, MicroFourThirdsMichael Rammell8 Comments

At last! On the 19th September 2016 Olympus announced the long awaited OM-D E-M1ii.

When the original OM-D E-M1 was launched it was able to quite comfortably replace (and improve upon) so much of what a traditional DSLR offered. This attracted many to make the switch (including me as I waved goodbye to over £10K worth of Canon equipment!). In the time since that camera was released though we've seen Sony and the 'Big Two' in the DSLR market continue to iterate and improve with mark 2's of their own. Us OM-D E-M1 owners were all scouring the rumour sites for possible mentions and specs of the E-M1 mark ii, but Olympus kept us waiting for the official launch to play their hand.

This latest OM-D feels long-overdue for many. But now it's finally here! And we all know what they say about good things coming to those who wait...

 #OMDRevolution - the Olympus OM-D E-M1ii has been announced! The OM-D E-M1ii will sit firmly at the top of the OM-D range and is Olympus' new flagship Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Camera.

#OMDRevolution - the Olympus OM-D E-M1ii has been announced! The OM-D E-M1ii will sit firmly at the top of the OM-D range and is Olympus' new flagship Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Camera.

Incase you missed it; Olympus streamed the entire launch in rather Apple-esque fashion by talking through each of the new features with an accompanying slide to detail the changes.  

If you want to watch the entire presentation just hit play below. Or if you are just looking for a summary of the features packed into the new E-M1ii, then scroll down a little further.

Spec Summary

In the announcement presentation Olympus provided two very useful slides. The first showed the new and impressive headline specs of the E-M1ii, with the other then showing how much each area is imroved upon vs the original OM-D E-M1:  

 The new E-M1ii spec, including a new 20Mp sensor from Sony, capable of 4K video, 18 frames per second and 121 focus points, all of which are on-chip phase detect and ALL of which are cross type! 

The new E-M1ii spec, including a new 20Mp sensor from Sony, capable of 4K video, 18 frames per second and 121 focus points, all of which are on-chip phase detect and ALL of which are cross type! 

 63% Faster EVF response rate...this new viewfinder is apparently pretty impressive! 

63% Faster EVF response rate...this new viewfinder is apparently pretty impressive! 

It seems that Olympus really have listened to what photographers were asking for. Countless times in the Olympus groups I've heard photographers demanding better AF tracking, two card slots and a bigger EVF.

All of these things find their way into the mark 2 with a series of other very welcome improvements too. In the presentation Olympus of course put a lot of focus (no pun intended) on the E-M1ii's focussing abilities. It was said that as well as being faster and more accurate to focus, thanks largely to the 121 all cross-type on-chip phase detect focus points, that this new mark 2 will also be able to maintain and track focus on a moving subject far, far better than before. I rarely heard any complaints about auto focus with the E-M1, but if there ever was one, this was probably it.

Olympus Pro Service

The topic of the the E-M1ii's focusing system was discussed for quite some time and it was after this that I thought they would draw the announcement to an end. What else could there be to add?

Well, as I've discussed and written about before, it's one thing to have a camera and a system capable of helping you to make professional-grade images, but it's something else entirely to have the support of the manufacturer when it comes to warranty, support and repairs. To this end Olympus announced the launch of their new pro level support plans too: 

 Standard, Advanced and Elite Service options will be available. Although not shown in this slide, it was mentioned in the presentation that next-day loan cameras would be available with a plan... 

Standard, Advanced and Elite Service options will be available. Although not shown in this slide, it was mentioned in the presentation that next-day loan cameras would be available with a plan... 

The E-M1ii and Pro Level Service offerings were not the only announcements today though. I've included some of the other details at the bottom of this post, such as the new battery grip and other accessories.

My Thoughts on the OM-D E-M1ii

In all honesty, in a bid to have this post released in as timely a fashion as possible I had much of it pre-written with the expectation I would just add a few images from the live stream. Much of what I had written still stands, but, the entire presentation - in combination with the E-M1ii's specs and the Pro Service plans - reveal so much more to me than just a new camera. There is a message being sent from Olympus here: Olympus are after the professional market in a big way and not just weddings, portraits, pets, landscapes and wildlife - we're talking top level sports photography too!

The original OM-D E-M1 was a camera ahead of it's time trying to muscle it's way into the world of sports and serious professional photography against a field full of mature DSLRs and big white lenses. Whilst some (myself included) felt it was good enough to seamlessly step into the arena's of wedding and portrait photography and that it was even capable of shooting motor sports with great success, it perhaps didn't ever quite cut it as a top-level sports camera for the professional sports photographer. The omission of dual card slots, limited (or at least a lack of) pro level support and it's ability to track a subject being lesser than that of a DSLR, meant that many pro sports photographers just thought of it as another fad mirrorless camera. This was all despite the original E-M1 having always been widely acknowledged to be the best of all of the mirrorless cameras when it came to auto focusing capabilities - even today! (sorry Fuji Shooters, but it's true!).

However, the E-M1, like every DSLR and mirrorless, had it's limitations. You wouldn't have any trouble convincing many wedding and portrait photographers that the E-M1 was a capable replacement for a DSLR when it came to their work. I certainly felt that it was more it was up to the task and it has proven to be great.

To me at least, as great as the E-M1 was / is, professional sports photography always felt just one step beyond its' reach. Shooting top level team sport events such as football (Soccer) or situations where the subject changed direction and distance rapidly presented the E-M1 with just a little too much to handle. As a result the E-M1 was never largely adopted by professional sports photographers and failed to garner recognition as a true replacement sports photographers' camera, which quite possibly hampered its' bid to be more widely recognised and acknowledged as a professional level camera. 

The OM-D E-M1 mark ii now sets out - backed by Olympus PRO service - to take that one final step that it's predecessor arguably couldn't quite make. With it's much improved auto focus system and array of features that any professional sports photographer would demand it appears well placed to do just that! Spec-for-spec the E-M1ii aims to stand toe-to-toe with those big old DSLRs and over-sized white lenses. This is a massively bold move from Olympus. It's something that Sony and Fuji just aren't attempting (or at least they don't appear to be attempting or advertising that this is something they want to achieve). Olympus have set out their stool. Can a camera seen by many professional sports photographers as 'plucky' and 'diminutive' really move in on what has traditionally been the home of those behemoth size camera bodies and lenses?

Even if the OM-D E-M1 mark ii can't do it yet - Olympus are the only company that appear to be trying to take mirrorless cameras in the right direction by attempting to break into that market. With the announcements on offer from Canon and Nikon at Photokina I'm left feeling incredibly un-inspired by those brands and the directions in which they are heading. If we see OM-D's at the next Olympics and pitch-side at Premier League football matches, I can see the perception swinging so heavily that it may just kick start a complete sea change in what it is photographers consider a mirrorless camera capable of being: a truly professional camera suitable for everything from weddings, macro, product, portraits and, the holy-grail; sports photography.

What do you think of the E-M1ii?

Are you going to be buying the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark 2? What do you think of the new model? Can you see this camera taking over in the field of sports photography? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Some more slides from the Olympus OM-D E-M1ii Announcement

 The front grip has been made larger, which makes sense considering the largest M.Zuiko lenses (the 40-150mm f/2.8 and the 300mm f/4 were released  after  the original E-M1 was first made. Dual card slots and improvements to battery longevity were also mentioned...hallelujah! 

The front grip has been made larger, which makes sense considering the largest M.Zuiko lenses (the 40-150mm f/2.8 and the 300mm f/4 were released after the original E-M1 was first made. Dual card slots and improvements to battery longevity were also mentioned...hallelujah! 

 A slide showing the layout of the new auto focussing system. Impressive! 

A slide showing the layout of the new auto focussing system. Impressive! 

 The E-M1 was ever-reliable. Olympus have recognised this and only seek to build upon that reliability. It was a staple of the success of the E-M1. 

The E-M1 was ever-reliable. Olympus have recognised this and only seek to build upon that reliability. It was a staple of the success of the E-M1. 

 4K Video, 1 stop of noise improvement, higher dynamic range and the 50 megapixel hi res shot are all features in the E-M1ii. 

4K Video, 1 stop of noise improvement, higher dynamic range and the 50 megapixel hi res shot are all features in the E-M1ii. 

 New accessories include a new vertical grip, which features a directional button pad all of it's own to mirror the same pad you would find on the camera body, making portrait-oriented shooting even easier than ever. Those who use flash will also be pleased to see news of a new FL-900R speed light as well! 

New accessories include a new vertical grip, which features a directional button pad all of it's own to mirror the same pad you would find on the camera body, making portrait-oriented shooting even easier than ever. Those who use flash will also be pleased to see news of a new FL-900R speed light as well! 

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to subscribe! 



Subscribe to this Blog to receive notifications when new articles have been released

I don't ever send SPAM and you'll only get an email once every 2 weeks or so. Here's a sample of what you'll receive every now and then If you don't like it I make it very easy to unsubscribe! Come on, join over 600 other subscribers today!

Are you a photographer in business, like me? I've put together this massively popular pricing calculator for my subscribers. Download it today for FREE