Over the last few months I’ve been exploring new landscape photography options. Much of this has been driven by my growing appreciation of the Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14PRO lens which has really opened my eyes to the advantages of an ultra-wide angle lenses for landscape compositions.
I’d been holding off on purchasing the 7-14PRO lens for several years. However, I eventually bit the bullet in preparation for a family holiday to Spain and Italy in December. A fast wide-angle lens was going to be essential in photographing the famous European cathedrals and churches and it proved invaluable not only for these shots but also a lot of street photography in low light, where the super wide-angle perspective produced some really interesting compositions.
The Vatican Museum staircase showing the advantages of the M.Zuiko 7-14PRO lens in a confined space and low light. I used multiple handheld exposures and then recomposed these in Photoshop to give the illusion of a vacant staircase – it was actually quite crowded! (📷 OM-D E-M1 II, M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/6.3 1/8s ISO1000)
However, with the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic and travel plans now curtailed, over the last 6-8 months I’ve been doubling down on local landscape photography (often as part of early morning or afternoon walks in my local neighbourhood).
Living on Sydney’s northern beaches, provides lots of landscape photography possibilities, with the beaches and headlands offering amazing sunrise seascapes, the lakes and harbours providing sunset options, and with recent rains, I’ve also been re-discovering the local waterfalls which provide lots of options when the wet weather hits.
With the amazing in-body image stabilization (IBIS) on the Olympus EM1ii, I can regularly get away with handheld landscape shots of up to 1 sec exposure (which is very useful when you’re doing bracketed HDR exposures and getting too close to crashing waves!).
Capturing the movement of the ocean – and copped a good soaking for my troubles! This shot is composed from a 3 bracketed handheld exposures (📷 OM-D E-M1 II, M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/11 0.4s ISO200)
In situations where you need longer exposures or to utilize the amazing 80MP RAW high-resolution option on the camera then a tripod (and sometimes neutral density ND filters) are needed. Here I’m using my tried and trusted Sirui T-024X Traveler Light Carbon Fiber Tripod, the NiSi v5 100mm filter system and Phil Norton’s excellent filter adapter for the 7-14 lens. These all work very well together.
Where it all comes together. (📷 OM-D E-M1 II, M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/8 6s ISO200 high res mode with NiSi 3 stop ND filter and Sirui tripod)
The latest addition to this kit has been an L bracket to assist with portrait compositions on the tripod. Here I went with 3 Legged Thing’s Ellie PD Short L bracket which has proved to be invaluable and works very well with my Peak Design Capture (a brilliant idea which enables me to safely secure my camera on my waist belt when changing cameras or lenses in difficult outdoor environments.
3 Legged Thing Ellie L bracket on an Olympus EM1ii makes the portrait composition on a tripod much easier and that vibrant copper colour is really something!
If you’re interested in my reviews on any of these items, check out my Kit.co page with reviews of all my current photography gear.
With the gear now all sorted out, I’m looking forward to finding lots of new applications for my landscape photography in coming months!