There are times that I may have over-think before I shoot. In contradiction to that I have also always emphasized simplicity, which I do practise when it comes to composition and subject content, but not so much on the photoshoot execution part. When it comes to the technicalities of the camera, I usually set the ISO manually, watched the shutter speed all the time (when I shoot in Aperture Priority), fiddle with the exposure compensation all the time, taking multiple shots of one scene, you know, just to be sure that one shot out of many is the perfect one, and always left wondering what I have missed out or might have done wrongly. There is that hesitation of "what if I stand over there" and "if I have moved closer" or "hey this works with wide angle too". Too many possibilities to go through, to many variables to play with and certainly not enough time to consider everything. Being hard-wired into engineering background I struggle to control everything.
We know photography is never all about control.
Acquiring the Panasonic Lumix GM1 changes things for me. It is my way of simplifying my shutter therapy sessions. The following are my steps of simplification:
1) I ditched manual ISO control. I have ISO Auto with maximum ISO of 6400
2) I have shot everything in JPEG instead of RAW. What if I screw up my shot? Well, let the shot be screwed up. It is not a matter of life and death. If the shooting session was that important, I would have used my Olympus OM-D and PEN cameras instead.
3) Limited battery life to play with. I have always brought along spare batteries for my OM-D, in case one runs out, and sometimes after a long exhaustive day, it usually does. GM1 is known to have poor battery life. It does not matter, I won't go trigger happy. Make every shot count.
4) Chimp less. I have often admitted to chimping, and I do encourage that, reviewing your images after every shot to check the focus accuracy and make sure nothing went wrong. With the GM1, due to the limited battery life, I skipped chimping more and more.
5) I normally would change lenses if necessary, and if I do not, I would use two camera bodies with different lenses mounted on them. I stayed with primarily one lens, the Olympus 25mm F1.8 on the GM1 thoughout the whole session, and (yes I caved in) only switched to Olympus 45mm F1.8 twice.
6) I care less about the technicalities of my images, I have less worry about controlling everything, and just enjoyed the shooting process. Modern cameras are good enough to handle many photography situations.
7) No, I still do not trust the Face Detection AF. I switched that off. I manually select the focusing point, which was no biggie since I can use the touch screen to do so on the GM1.
Portrait of a Stranger
Bigger than your head
ISO6400 (NR set to -5 the weakest setting). 100% crop from previous image. JPEG processing is not as good as what we see from Olympus, but I still think the image is very good. Chroma noise is suppressed and good amount of detail is still preserved.
My Sunday was a slow, and restful one. Just a slow walk at a local market to do some quick shoot, and a few hours solo session at an overpriced coffee joint, playing DOTA 2. It was just the Sunday I needed. Not spending time with people this time around, I just wanted to have "me time".
Exciting times coming ahead. I will be super, super busy again.