Natural Exposures, Inc. https://naturalexposures.com Welcome to our world of wildlife, nature and travel Tue, 22 Jun 2021 16:06:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://i1.wp.com/naturalexposures.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/cropped-NE_Web_Avatar-1.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Natural Exposures, Inc. https://naturalexposures.com 32 32 90305722 Photo Thievery is Upheld by Texas Supreme Court https://naturalexposures.com/photo-thievery-is-upheld-by-texas-supreme-court/ https://naturalexposures.com/photo-thievery-is-upheld-by-texas-supreme-court/#comments Tue, 22 Jun 2021 14:40:10 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=28099 Many of you know I’m a staunch supporter of photographers protecting the rights of their pictures. Creating images does not come cheap. Cameras are expensive, and computers to process those images are equally expensive. The time, effort, and money spent to get to locations are additional costs. All of this…

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Many of you know I’m a staunch supporter of photographers protecting the rights of their pictures. Creating images does not come cheap. Cameras are expensive, and computers to process those images are equally expensive. The time, effort, and money spent to get to locations are additional costs. All of this adds up to substantial expenses needed for producing the photos we envision. Even so, photo thievery is upheld by Texas Supreme Court when they ruled that the University of Houston is protected by “sovereign immunity.”

Jim Olive’s Image Stolen by The University of Houston

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that it was okay for The University of Houston to use professional photographer Jim Olive‘s photograph of downtown Houston without permission. The case began back in 2014 when the University of Houston either right-clicked and copied or simply took a screenshot of Jim’s picture of the Houston skyline. They then added the image to their website to advertise the Bauer College of Business where “together, we rise, together, we soar” is their motto. Maybe they should add, “As a group we steal.”

Kathy Adams Clark Sounds the Alarm

My friend and NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association) colleague Kathy Adams clark brought this disgusting abuse of power to my attention. The following is text from her original blog post:

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the University of Houston is protected by “sovereign immunity.” This well-respected university that is charged with teaching our young people is allowed to use something without permission due to “sovereign immunity.”

I’ve followed Jim Olive‘s case since it began back in 2014. It’s made my blood boil and my heart race since day one. As photographers we do everything we can to protect our photos from unauthorized use. We embed metadata, we disable right clicks on our websites, we even pay companies to troll the internet looking for unauthorized use.

Yet, a person or persons affiliated with “Houston’s Public Tier One University” really did right click or screen capture one of Jim’s photos. Then they used it to advertise the Bauer College of Business where “together, we rise together, we soar”.

I suspect those student at Bauer have to take a class in ethics. Years ago I taught an ethics class to freshmen business students at Lone Star College. One of my favorite chapters introduced the concept that something might be legal but its not RIGHT.

Let me give you two examples: In the 1800s slavery was legal in the US but slavery wasn’t right. Before the 1970s, women in the US could be fired from their job because they were pregnant.

It’s Legal but it Ain’t Right published by The University of Michigan Press

Well, It’s Not Illegal! published by the University of Central Florida News

Olive sent the University of Houston a cease-and-desist letter when he found out his photo was being used without his authorization. The university took his photo down from their site. Olive invoiced them for the use . . . and the university essentially said “sue me” versus acknowledging their error and making it RIGHT.

It boils my blood even more that the University of Houston was willing to pay a team of lawyers to defend their stand versus admit they were wrong and pay Jim invoice. I wonder how much the UofH has spent to fight Jim’s claim?

Fellow Photographers: We should all be outraged! Our work is our work. That applies if we are a high-level professional like Jim Olive or a beginning photographer posting our photos on Facebook. Our photos are our property.

Please spread the word about this issue. Share it on social media, at your camera clubs, and in your newsletters. As photographer we should be outraged.

Write a letter to the University of Houston and let them know you disapprove.

Let Dr. Khator and Dr. Pavlou know your thoughts on this issue. I’ve written both to let them know my disapproval.

Maybe you’d like to let the Board of Regents of the University of Houston know your thoughts as well. (Notice they have their Code of Ethics posted on that website.).

I’ve been a professional photographer for the past 26 years. Client pay to use my photos in magazines, books, newspapers, calendars, and websites. Professional editors, graphic designers, book publishers and creatives all know that you have to get permission to use a photograph and there will be a fee involved. That’s the way the business works. Except if you’re the University of Houston.

Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting me in this issue. Jim Olive needs to know the photography community is behind him and his cause.

As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, you should always register your photos with the US Copyright Office to give yourself maximum protection.

Register Your Complaint with the University of Houston

Office of Compliance and Ethics
UH Chief Compliance Officer:
Susan Koch, J.D., CCEP
sfkoch2@uh.edu
1-713-743-7613

University of Houston President
Renu Khator

MEDIA CONTACT
Shawn Lindsey
Executive Director, Media Relations
1-713-743-5725
selindsey@uh.edu

Call and email Shawn Lindsey. Even though there’s no number or email for President Khator, I’m guessing Media Contact Shawn Lindsey will get her the message.

Texas just continues to prove they’re desire to be above the law and a US state that has no ethical morals.

You can read more about this fight Jim Olive has been fighting in the following articles:

Texas court says photographer has no recourse against university copyright infringement

UH can be sued for using photo, judge rules

Fstoppers Interviews Jim Olive, the Texas Photographer Whose Copyrighted Image was Stolen by the University of Houston

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Firmware Updates for Lumix and Olympus https://naturalexposures.com/firmware-updates-for-lumix-and-olympus/ https://naturalexposures.com/firmware-updates-for-lumix-and-olympus/#comments Fri, 11 Jun 2021 14:04:38 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=28072 There are new firmware updates for Lumix an Olympus cameras. For Lumix the updates are for the GH5S, G9, and G100 cameras. For Olympus the firmware updates are for the E-M5 Marklll and the E-M1 Markll. I installed the firmware update for the Lumix G9 and it worked without hitch.…

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There are new firmware updates for Lumix an Olympus cameras. For Lumix the updates are for the GH5S, G9, and G100 cameras. For Olympus the firmware updates are for the E-M5 Marklll and the E-M1 Markll.

Lumix firmware update for G9

I installed the firmware update for the Lumix G9 and it worked without hitch. I’m reading reports across the Internet that the G9’s auto focus capabilities have been improved dramatically with his new firmware update. I guess we’ll see. Either way I’m excited that both companies are releasing new firmware updates to keep our cameras current and working smoothly.

Download Firmware here:
Lumix Cameras
Olympus Cameras

Be sure to follow instructions to the letter including making certain you have a fully charged battery. Here are the instructions I give for Lumix creamers.

1). First step is to download firmware Zip file. Click on zip and it open to show a .bin file
2). Format SD card in camera.
3). Copy the .bin file over to the SD card from the compute.
4). Make sure you have a full charged battery in camera.
5). Shut camera off before inserting SD card into camera after copying .bin to SD Card.
6). Once SD card is inserted you can turn camera on.
7). Push the Photo Play button. The same one you use to review a photo. By doing this the camera should see the .bin file on the card and give you a message to start the updating process. Select YES

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Red Coat to the Rescue https://naturalexposures.com/adding-scale-to-your-pictures/ https://naturalexposures.com/adding-scale-to-your-pictures/#comments Sat, 29 May 2021 18:48:34 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=28007 Adding scale to your pictures On our recent trip to Iceland I had a chance to share with our NE Explorers the idea of adding scale to your pictures by including a person in the landscape. We were shooting the beautiful Hvítá River in overcast light which was perfect for…

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Adding scale to your pictures

On our recent trip to Iceland I had a chance to share with our NE Explorers the idea of adding scale to your pictures by including a person in the landscape. We were shooting the beautiful Hvítá River in overcast light which was perfect for the silky water look we originally set out to capture.

Add scale to your pictures
Looking down onto the the Hvítá River flowing through volcanic rock. Iceland

I framed the image as it was, shot a few pictures, and then thought to myself, “This needs a red coat.” My dear wife Tanya often travels with her red Canada Goose camp down hoody for these occasions where the effect of color and scale can be extremely helpful.

The Hvítá River flowing through volcanic rock. Iceland

Red adds interest

Add scale to your pictures by including a person in the frame.
Editorial Note: I typically don’t change ANYTHING in my pictures. But for this post I made an exception. I originally purchased Pixelmator exclusively to add my logo to photos posted on Facebook. It turns out that changing a color is extremely simple and for this educational lesson I felt the manipulation was justified. I’ve labeled it as an “illustration” like others should do when they manipulate their pictures.

Making your photo worth looking at

Adding scale to your pictures gives the viewer an additional element of interest to look at. It also gives a better sense of of how large the landscape is. Adding color and scale improved this image from mediocre to nice. Obviously this won’t be winning any Pulitzer prizes, but I thought others might enjoy seeing how I try to make a picture worth looking at.

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Medium Format Anyone? https://naturalexposures.com/medium-format/ https://naturalexposures.com/medium-format/#comments Wed, 26 May 2021 19:16:32 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=27999 I’ve had some requests to update my blog due to my last blog post being a bit sad and difficult for some people to look at. Since I’m on the road working in Iceland I don’t have a great deal of time to really come up with anything amazing. But…

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I’ve had some requests to update my blog due to my last blog post being a bit sad and difficult for some people to look at. Since I’m on the road working in Iceland I don’t have a great deal of time to really come up with anything amazing. But I did find this interesting piece on the medium format Hasselblad cameras which I’ve been toying with the idea of testing for quite some time.

Let me know what you think about me testing a Hasselblad or possible the new Fuji GFX100. When I’ve started dreaming about medium I have a hard time deciding which one I would want to go with. Would love to hear from my readers what they think about this whole idea. Am I crazy?

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The Death of a Single Snow Goose https://naturalexposures.com/the-death-of-a-single-snow-goose/ https://naturalexposures.com/the-death-of-a-single-snow-goose/#comments Thu, 15 Apr 2021 19:36:09 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=27936 The Death of a Single Snow Goose was first published on our Natural Exposures Facebook page. I decided to bring it to the blog, since a huge part of this image is the backstory. Unfortunately, Twitter and Instagram don’t allow for the amount of text to tell that story, so…

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The Death of a Single Snow Goose was first published on our Natural Exposures Facebook page. I decided to bring it to the blog, since a huge part of this image is the backstory. Unfortunately, Twitter and Instagram don’t allow for the amount of text to tell that story, so I’ve posted it here for our followers. The text below the image is what appeared with the original post to Facebook.

A single lone snow goose lies peacefully in the wheat stubble of a northern Montana field.

The Backstory from Facebook

Nature is not always sunrises, sunsets, and paisley clouds. One of the aspects I enjoy most about being a nature photographer is its ability to snap me back to reality. When you spend a lot of time with animals you become acutely aware of how easy we humans have it.

This beautiful snow goose died right before my eyes last month in northern Montana. There was initially a huge flock feeding in this field of harvested wheat. As I approached, the group took flight by the thousands, except for this lone individual. At first I was excited. There right before me was a single majestic looking subject. It was an opportunity to see the individual separated from the crowd. But it soon became obvious that something wasn’t right. I stayed back at about 50 yards and analyzed the situation. He was initially standing but shaky. He wobbled side to side and I could see his determination to not give in to the gravity tugging him down. Within minutes his legs gave way and he dropped to the soil beneath his feet.

I wanted to help. I got on my cell phone and called a local vet, explained the situation, and was promised a call back. They needed to get the OK from US Fish & Wildlife Service, since a snow goose is a federally protected migratory bird. There are strict laws on how these birds must be treated, even when they’re dying. Unfortunately whatever caused his death did so quickly. Within 10 minutes of my call to the vet this beautiful creature gave out a tiny little honk as his head shot back and to the side where it came to rest just over his right wing. It all ended that quickly.

I know many will not stop to view this image. Most folks have no interest in seeing anything but a Disney fairytale. So be it. Others will take the time to study and reflect on not just the image but the story of how it happened. Then there are others who will think I’m flat out nuts! You care about one bird out of a flock of several thousand that are part of a species numbering as high as 15 million? There’s so many snow geese they actually have hunting seasons on them in the spring. But this was not about the numbers. It was about the individual. An individual goose in need that succumbed to the circle of life in the wheat fields of northern Montana. This image was shot with the Micro Four Thirds Lumix G9 with the Leica 12-60mm zoom.

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Aki Murata of OM Digital Solutions (Olympus) Interview https://naturalexposures.com/aom-digital-solutions/ https://naturalexposures.com/aom-digital-solutions/#comments Mon, 12 Apr 2021 21:07:38 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=27899 OM Digital Solutions (Olympus) is off to a great start. In this recent interview by DPReview, Aki Murata talks about the new company being much more nimble. You can read why that’s an advantage in the future for not just still photography but video as well. I’ve been in contact…

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OM Digital Solutions (Olympus) is off to a great start. In this recent interview by DPReview, Aki Murata talks about the new company being much more nimble. You can read why that’s an advantage in the future for not just still photography but video as well. I’ve been in contact with folks at OM Digital Solutions since the sale, and I’ve been very impressed. In particular the transition has seemed almost flawless.

OM-Digital Solutions

I’m not going to rehash the entire interview. You guys and gals can do that for yourself by following this link, Aki Murata of OM Digital Solutions. But I wanted my readers to be aware that I’m feeling more and more confident about the world of Micro Four Thirds.

Key Points

  • New products coming in 2021
  • No interest in labeling their customers as pros or amateurs
  • Being a smaller company will make them much more nimble to changing trends
  • Tough compact cameras will continue
  • More AI & computational features will be used in their mirrorless cameras for advantages others don’t have
  • Continued development and improvement of Image Stabilization
  • 150-400mm has sold way, way more than they expected

Murata San was pretty vague with many answers, but then it’s impossible to be too descriptive since you give the competition the heads up. After my nearly four months with the new 150-400mm, I’m more and more confident in the professional quality products this company can produce, even if they don’t want to differentiate their user base.

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Panasonic & Olympus May Finally Start Getting Frisky https://naturalexposures.com/panasonic-olympus-may-finally-start-getting-frisky/ https://naturalexposures.com/panasonic-olympus-may-finally-start-getting-frisky/#comments Wed, 31 Mar 2021 03:50:46 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=27850 Micro Four Thirds system reborn? After a 13-year marriage, Panasonic and Olympus may finally start getting frisky based on an interview in DPReview. What the heck does that mean? Well, let me explain. Back in 2008 Panasonic and Olympus started a cooperative effort known as the Micro Four Thirds system.…

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Micro Four Thirds system reborn?

After a 13-year marriage, Panasonic and Olympus may finally start getting frisky based on an interview in DPReview. What the heck does that mean? Well, let me explain. Back in 2008 Panasonic and Olympus started a cooperative effort known as the Micro Four Thirds system. Quite simply, they agreed to cooperate in building a camera system that allowed each other to share the lens mount. In other words, a Panasonic Lumix lens could be attached to an Olympus camera and vice versa. In theory it was a great idea and one I felt was essential for these companies to crack the Canon/Nikon juggernaut that has dominated the camera industry for decades.

Unfortunately as time went on it became clear that the Panasonic-Olympus relationship was not as cooperative as they initially planned. It started with image stabilization. Both companies offered a dual IS system for their own cameras, but neither gave the same capabilities to their partner’s equipment. Lumix lenses on Olympus cameras could only use either the lens IS or the camera IS. Not both. And the same went for Olympus lenses on Lumix cameras. It was the start of what seemed like disintegrating marriage.

Renewed cooperation?

Based on past comments from the folks at Panasonic it seems the relationship began to disintegrate due to a lack of enthusiasm on Olympus’ part. The marriage analogy was not my own. It actually came from an interview by three different Lumix engineers regarding the L Mount Alliance by DPReview. DPReview reported that the engineers spoke about the L Mount Alliance stating, “This alliance is like marriage. The previous arrangement [with Olympus] was more like we were just living together.” Based on this comment and ongoing issues with equipment not working across each brand, it became obvious the alliance was faltering. Now that Olympus has been sold to JIP (Japan Industrial Partners), there may be hope to resurrect the relationship for the benefit of those who love this system. I’m convinced it’s very possible the new OM-Digital Solutions will be much more nimble and able to react than the original Olympus camera company was able to do.

That hope was inspired by another interview by DPReview where they spoke to Yosuke Yamane, director of Panasonic’s Imaging Division. About the MFT future he says:

We will strengthen our product lineup in both full-frame and Micro Four Thirds in order to support all shooting opportunities for creators. We have full-frame for creators who want more power to capture images and videos with a shallow depth of field, and M43 for creators who want compactness, light weight, mobility, and an adequate depth of field. The product group consists of two systems with different characteristics, which supports various shooting scenes and demonstrates the creator’s imagination.

Last year, we introduced the Lumix DC-S5, which has a compact and lightweight body and high performance in both still images and videos. On the other hand, in M43, in addition to the GH5, GH5S, and G9 we introduced the Lumix DC-G100, which is highly portable and allows you to enjoy vlogging, and the box-style camera the Lumix DC-BGH1, which increases flexibility in video production and has excellent video performance and customizability. M43 has a wide range of uses, and many creators have high expectations for new M43 products. We will continue to strengthen the lineup from this year onwards.

The future of MFT lenses

In the future, we are planning to develop more lenses that meet the needs of creators regardless of whether they shoot M43 or full-frame.

FF versus MFT

Compared to full-frame sensors, M43 sensors are easier to read out quickly, and they consume less power. This is one of the reasons why we have been able to keep our video features one step ahead. The higher the speed, the better the high-speed shooting performance, the less rolling shutter distortion, and the more potential for autofocus performance improvements. We would like to take advantage of [the potential for higher-speed sensor readout in M43] and continue to take advantage of the unique features of M43 to create attractive products that will please our end users.

Other potentially good news comes from Olympus.

Olympus patent to support AF tracking

Along with this positive news from LUMIX there’s a new Olympus patent to support AF tracking with a dual/quad AF sensor. I’m not sure what this means since it’s an Olympus patent, not a JIP patent. But we can always hope. I’m rooting for MFT. I’m currently shooting both the Lumix and Olympus system along with a full frame Sony camera as well. Each has their strengths and I’m hopeful that Micro Four Thirds will gain enough users to keep them in the game. The following is a link if you’re interested in my additional thoughts on Micro Four Thirds.

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Imaging Resource Breaks Down Olympus 150-400mm Zoom https://naturalexposures.com/imaging-resource-breaks-down-olympus-150-400mm-zoom/ https://naturalexposures.com/imaging-resource-breaks-down-olympus-150-400mm-zoom/#comments Sat, 20 Mar 2021 14:06:50 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=27794 Dave Etchell from Imaging Resource has always provided great information on the newest photo gear. His latest Blog post titled “A deep look at the tech behind the Olympus 150-400mm super-tele zoom (Engineer interview!)” is just the most recent. For this “deep look” Mr. Etchell interviews OM- Digital Solutions engineers…

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Dave Etchell from Imaging Resource has always provided great information on the newest photo gear. His latest Blog post titled “A deep look at the tech behind the Olympus 150-400mm super-tele zoom (Engineer interview!)” is just the most recent. For this “deep look” Mr. Etchell interviews OM- Digital Solutions engineers and shares their responses.

As some of you know I’m also using the new Olympus 150-400mm. I was intrigued by some of the answers in this interview, since I’ve definitely noticed specific things the engineers mention they were trying to accomplish.

I’m still working on a detailed review of the Olympus 150-400mm compared to the Sony 100-600mm. But I’m not done yet, so I thought many of you would enjoy seeing how this lens came to be. I’ve added a few insights of my own on specific details directly related to the post by Imaging Resource. Make sure you take in the entire blog post by Dave Etchell of Imaging Resource for an insightful breakdown of this amazing new lens.

Details I’ve noticed while using this lens

Built-in 1.2x teleconverter

How in the heck do they get the built-in teleconverter so small? There’s a bulge on the left rear part of the lens. That bulge is the space the teleconverter ducks into when not in use. But the space is tiny. Especially when compared to the same mechanism seen on the Nikon 180-400mm and Canon 200-400mm lenses.

Photo courtesy of Imaging Resource

8 Stops of Sync Image Stabilization

Handholding this lens and getting exceptional results is nothing short of amazing. I’ve even been shooting some video without a tripod, at the long end of the zoom range. In other words, video at 800mm. That’s unheard of. I’m shooting more and more video everyday, and to be able to handhold telephotos is very, very unusual. Not all the video clips are completely smooth but a simple run through Final Cut Pro’s stabilize tool fixes any shake beautifully.

This video of the Wapiti pack was shot handheld at 800mm. I backed the lens off to about 600mm as more members of the pack came over the ridge and the the group increased.

Weight and Balance are Superb

The engineers talked about making sure the balance of the lens was just right. And boy did they nail it! In my ongoing comparison of the Olympus 150-400mm and the Sony 200-600mm, the difference in balance of the two lenses is very noticeable. The Sony has so much more frontal weight. It’s a subtle difference that makes handholding the Olympus a very pleasant experience.

The following is a quote from the engineers to Imaging Resource, “One challenge in the optical design was finding the best position for the center of gravity for hand-held shooting. Thanks to the internal zoom mechanism, the change of the center of gravity as you zoom was reduced. In order to reduce the change of the center of gravity more effectively, we selected as small a lens unit as possible to move during zooming. We also designed the optics so that the position of the center of gravity can be as close as possible to the camera body for more comfortable handheld shooting.”

That’s it for now. I’ll be releasing my comparison report on the Olympus 150-400m and the Sony 200-600mm in the next few weeks. Hopefully this excellent piece by Imaging Resource will tide everybody over for now.

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Mylio Webinar Announced https://naturalexposures.com/mylio-webinar-announced/ https://naturalexposures.com/mylio-webinar-announced/#respond Sat, 13 Mar 2021 16:10:55 +0000 https://naturalexposures.com/?p=27738 Hey photo enthusiasts. My friends at Mylio are holding a webinar for learning about some of the new tools in their amazing photo program. I use Mylio to manage my 1.2 million image library on 10 different devices including my iPhone that has only 256 gigs of storage. Yes, I…

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Hey photo enthusiasts. My friends at Mylio are holding a webinar for learning about some of the new tools in their amazing photo program. I use Mylio to manage my 1.2 million image library on 10 different devices including my iPhone that has only 256 gigs of storage. Yes, I have 1.2 million images on my cell phone that are as organized as the same catalog on my monster iMac.

This program was developed for the average user, not professionals, but it’s so incredibly powerful. I’ve been using it to keep track of all my images for almost 10 years now. And it just keeps getting better. Here’s a link where you can Register for the Tuesday, March 16th program. I’m telling you Mylio is a sleeper program that works with Widows, Mac, iOS, and Android. And for those who think it has a funny name, Mylio stands for My Life Is Organized! Well at least my pictures are.

Sign up for the Mylio webinar here

Can’t wait to learn about Mylio?

Get helpful tips from the Mylio Tutorials and our Digital Declutter series.

We’re here to help on the Support Site or through the Support Team.

Join the conversation on the Mylio Community Forum to share ideas.

Sign up for other webinars.

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Bird Photography Tips with Rob Knight https://naturalexposures.com/bird-photography-tips/ https://naturalexposures.com/bird-photography-tips/#comments Mon, 08 Mar 2021 05:08:17 +0000 http://naturalexposures.com/?p=27722 Longterm learning One of the great things about birds is they’re almost everywhere. Even if you live in the heart of the city you can still find birds. So this presentation on bird photography tips by Olympus educator Rob Knight is a great opportunity to take a few notes and…

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Longterm learning

One of the great things about birds is they’re almost everywhere. Even if you live in the heart of the city you can still find birds. So this presentation on bird photography tips by Olympus educator Rob Knight is a great opportunity to take a few notes and improve your chances with our avian friends.

Mutual respect for Micro Four Thirds

I first met Rob during our time as Lumix Ambassadors. Our paths crossed due to our mutual conviction that Micro Four Thirds cameras had the ability to revolutionize wildlife and natural history photography. One of the huge advantages of Lumix and Olympus cooperating on the Micro Four Thirds lens mount is the potential to move from one manufacturer to the other and not lose the ability to use the lenses you’ve already purchased. Just one of the bird photography tips Rob discusses. Can you imagine how sweet that would be if Sony, Nikon, and Canon gave us this same capability?

Bird photography tips
Bald eagle captured with the Olympus E-M1X and Olympus 150-400mm zoom with 1.2x teleconverter engaged for a total of 1000mm.

Micro Four Thirds is perfect for birds

Why is Micro four Thirds perfect for birds? Because all lenses are magnified by 2x. So the new Olympus 150-400mm actually becomes a 300-800mm. For those that have tried photographing birds, we all know, magnification is our friend. There never seems to be enough telephoto reach for our avian friends. Not only does Micro four Thirds give our lenses more reach but they’re much, much smaller than the full-frame equivalence. Add to that the benefit of being less expensive and considerably lighter to carry, and you get a tremendous system for taking bird pictures.

Freddy (right) is just way too confident with his baby Lumix system, and Peter (left) is most interested in the bird he just saw. Oh, by the way, Freddy is shooting 800mm with Micro Four Thirds and Peter is shooting 600mm. Cuiaba River, Pantanal, Brazil

Check Rob’s video out

Take a look at Rob’s video on bird photography tips, and then add a comment in his YouTube comment section about where you found it. I just want to make sure he knows about those of us rooting for the Micro Four Thirds camera system. And tell him Dan says hello.

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Robin Wong Shares 10 Things Needed for OM Digital Solutions to Succeed. I Agree! https://naturalexposures.com/robin-wong-shares-10-things-needed-for-om-digital-solutions-to-succeed-i-agree/ https://naturalexposures.com/robin-wong-shares-10-things-needed-for-om-digital-solutions-to-succeed-i-agree/#respond Sat, 06 Mar 2021 12:46:32 +0000 http://naturalexposures.com/?p=27719 The omnipresent Olympus guru, Robin Wong, shares his perspective on what it’s going to take for the new OM Digital Solutions to succeed. 1) New image sensor This has been my number one complaint of micro 4/3 for a very long time. The current Olympus and Lumix micro 4/3 sensors…

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The omnipresent Olympus guru, Robin Wong, shares his perspective on what it’s going to take for the new OM Digital Solutions to succeed.

1) New image sensor

This has been my number one complaint of micro 4/3 for a very long time. The current Olympus and Lumix micro 4/3 sensors are over four years old. We need a serious advance in the technology for the smaller sensors, and when it happens there’s no looking back.

2) Fulfill Olympus lens roadmap

This one I’m not quite sure about. Quite frankly, I have virtually every lens I can use. But building out a large and deep lens collection is imperative for any serious camera manufacturer to succeed. Both Nikon and Canon have a vast array of lenses to fill the need of just about any photographer. Thankfully since Lumix and Olympus have worked together on the lens mount, we have a abundance of lenses for micro 4/3 bodies. But it never hurts to have as many options as there are for Nikon and Canon. The new Olympus 150-400mm and the 100-400mm are a good start.

3) Upgrade camera LCD and EVF

This suggestion is imperative. Unfortunately looking through the EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) of an Olympus camera is a very disappointing experience. I often have to tell people that are new to Olympus that they have to trust the picture will be much, much better than what they see in the EVF. There are pluses and minuses to mirrorless cameras, and the EVF has always been one of the negatives. However, a quality viewing experience through the EVF is possible. Nikon, Canon, and now the new Sony cameras have proved that point.

4) Rework menus and user interface

This one is imperative. I have finally been able to find most items I need in the Olympus menu system. But… it’s a frustrating experience! The best menu system I have ever used is in the Panasonic Lumix bodies. A very close second and maybe equal is Nikon’s menu system. I would love to see the Lumix menu system in Olympus bodies.

5) Improve video features

This is another set of features that is an absolute must have. Like it or not, moving and still images are merging. I predicted over 10 years ago that stills would eventually be taken from video footage. That is now happening. Lumix pioneered 4K Photo Mode and eventually went to 6K Photo Mode. There are even newer cameras that have the capability for 8K and 12K video that can be used for even higher quality stills. I don’t necessarily believe still photography will go away completely. But the writings on the wall indicate soon all cameras will be just that, cameras. Neither still nor video camera. A camera will need to be both.

6) AI and computational photography

This has to be one of the most important items on the list. The iPhone has proved this almost to the point of no return. I recently purchased a new camera called Alice. I know, what a name, but it’s a micro 4/3 sensor body that attaches to my iPhone. All of my micro 4/3 lenses can be used on this camera. Its claim to fame is the fact they’re building a serious body that accepts micro 4/3 lenses but gives us similar iPhone AI and computational photography capabilities. If all camera manufacturers do not step up to this challenge, Apple will virtually replace them.

7) 1-inch image sensor for TG-Series (I don’t really care about this)

This would be a nice to have, not a need to have. Would I buy a camera with a 1-inch sensor that is as tough as the TG series? I think there would be a good chance. But only because I would take it underwater with me. Otherwise I would use my iPhone.

8) Enhance marketing strategy

OK so this one hurts a little. Robin is not happy that Olympus has been targeting wildlife and natural history photographers. I’m just joking about this hurting. But I do disagree with Robin on this one. Not because I’m a wildlife photographer, but because Olympus is targeting a niche market. Many successful companies today zero in on one particular area and then produce goods to fulfill that niche. Without a doubt, the micro 4/3 system’s smaller lenses are its biggest advantage. Micro 4/3 excels at taking large lenses and making them smaller. Full-frame manufacturers are producing camera bodies that are virtually as small as the micro 4/3 cameras. But it’s the lenses that make the difference.

9) Work more closely with Panasonic

This should’ve been put at probably number two. Ever since micro 4/3 came on the scene, I’ve been a fan of both Olympus and Panasonic. I’ve always said that they need each other to succeed. A couple of years ago a Panasonic executive was interviewed. He lamented the fact that the relationship with Olympus was like being married and sleeping in different rooms. Or something to that effect. This comment suggested to me that Olympus was less than enthusiastic about their relationship than Panasonic. At the time I could kind of understand that, but I still felt they should work more closely together. I think that’s even more important today than it was when they first started out. They need each other to break the stranglehold of the larger companies. If Nikon’s Phase Fresnel glass technology is adaptable across their entire lens line, micro 4/3 could be in serious trouble.

10) Be less conservative

I personally think this one mostly fits into the AI and computational photography category. But overall OM Digital Solutions needs to think outside the box. And when they get an idea, get after it. This is one of the reasons I left Nikon. It just took them forever to adopt new technologies and I finally got tired of waiting. Hopefully the new OM company can be more nimble and react much more quickly as a smaller entity.

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Lumix GH6 8K Powerhouse On The Horizon https://naturalexposures.com/lumix-gh6-8k-powerhosue-on-the-horizon/ https://naturalexposures.com/lumix-gh6-8k-powerhosue-on-the-horizon/#comments Tue, 02 Mar 2021 04:28:46 +0000 http://naturalexposures.com/?p=27711 LUMIX GH6 in Development There was some encouraging news in the world of Micro Four Thirds recently. 43Rumors reports that Panasonic announced at CP+ they are definitely working on the Lumix GH6, an updated version of the immensely popular GH5. Techradar has a great article about the coming GH6. Revolutionary…

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LUMIX GH6 in Development

There was some encouraging news in the world of Micro Four Thirds recently. 43Rumors reports that Panasonic announced at CP+ they are definitely working on the Lumix GH6, an updated version of the immensely popular GH5. Techradar has a great article about the coming GH6.

Photo by Panasonic

Revolutionary Zoom

They also announced they’re working on some sort of revolutionary new telephoto zoom to accompany the Lumix GH6. I have no idea what that lens might be, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s something to compete with the Olympus 150-400mm zoom. The new Olympus lens is getting rave reviews, and though I haven’t written about it yet, I’m seeing exceptional results from this lens. Olympus says they’ve received three times the number of orders for the 150-400mm—a lens that costs $7500US—than they initially anticipated. That would certainly get any competitor’s attention, including the folks working on the upcoming Lumix GH6. Here’s an article by Imaging Resource outlining the phenomenal attention to detail and cutting edge technology that has gone into this lens.

The new Olympus 150-400mm F/4.5 zoom. This lens is proving to be exceptional.

Yes, the 100-400mm is expensive! However, it’s proving to be worth the higher price tag due to the far superior sharpness, extended IS to 8 stops, relatively small size, and superb weather sealing. No other Micro Four Thirds zoom lens in this range comes even close to the minute details this lens produces. Only the Olympus 300mm F/4 is in the same league.

This is a 100% crop of of the new lens at 1000mm. 1000mm is accomplished by zooming to 400mm with the 1.2x teleconverter engaged.

Olympus Saves Micro Four Thirds

Congratulations to Olympus for very possibly saving the Micro Four Thirds category of mirrorless cameras. We all know that Lumix, for all practical purposes, abandoned Micro Four Thirds to jump into the full-frame market. I’m ecstatic to see them coming back into the MFT game with the coming Lumix GH6. Hopefully Olympus’ success in the high-end market has encouraged Lumix to rethink their strategy. Thank you Olympus! We need both Lumix and Olympus to drive this category of cameras into the future. I want to see them both succeed.

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National Geographic Image Collection Shuttered https://naturalexposures.com/stock-photography-is-dead/ https://naturalexposures.com/stock-photography-is-dead/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2021 03:53:04 +0000 http://naturalexposures.com/?p=27676 NatGeo Realizes Stock Photography is Dead One of the enjoyable things about being in the field is the chance to meet and talk to other photographers. Today I met a young man named Ronan Donovan. Ronan has produced some beautiful articles for National Geographic Magazine. In our short conversation, we…

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NatGeo Realizes Stock Photography is Dead

One of the enjoyable things about being in the field is the chance to meet and talk to other photographers. Today I met a young man named Ronan Donovan. Ronan has produced some beautiful articles for National Geographic Magazine. In our short conversation, we talked about the publication and how things have changed. He mentioned that National Geographic had recently closed their photo agency called National Geographic Image Collection, most likely due to the fact stock photography is dead. The Image Collection was the agency that marketed all photos shot for the magazine over the years. This was hard to hear but not completely unexpected.

Stock photography is dead

The world of natural history stock photography has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. Earning a living by selling natural history pictures was the way I produced income for 35 years. But stock photography is dead. I’ve known that for some time. But hearing that the National Geographic has found it impossible to go forward says it all.

American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus), Yellowstone National Park, Montana

Cinematography is the key

I’m often asked, “How do you get started in the world of natural history stock photography?” And I explain that unfortunately there’s just no way to make a living producing still photos of nature. There is still money in cinematography but not in the still photography industry. If you want a good example of how difficult this industry currently is, take a look at this article by Jim Pickerell: Don’t Reveal Your Shutterstock Earnings To Anyone. Shutterstock is one of the most successful stock agencies in the world today. But it’s successful for its owner, not its photographers. Based on the article, Shutterstock has a clause in their contract that binds the photographer from discussing their Shutterstock earnings. The speculation is that they don’t want photographers really knowing how little money they might make.

Coyote shot with the new Olympus 150-400mm zoom lens.

Good thing I do my serious wildlife work as a hobby nowadays. I plan to be back in the field tomorrow enjoying my time self-isolating with the animals. I shot the photo above of one of my comrades in the wild.

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Olympus Camera Now OM Digital Solutions https://naturalexposures.com/olympus-camera-now-om-digital-solutions/ https://naturalexposures.com/olympus-camera-now-om-digital-solutions/#comments Tue, 05 Jan 2021 03:40:24 +0000 http://naturalexposures.com/?p=27671 On June 24, 2020, the photo world was shocked to hear that Olympus was throwing in the towel on their camera business. This engineering powerhouse had been producing cameras since 1936. But… between the iPhone and Covid-19, they just couldn’t make a go of it. Fast forward to today and…

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On June 24, 2020, the photo world was shocked to hear that Olympus was throwing in the towel on their camera business. This engineering powerhouse had been producing cameras since 1936. But… between the iPhone and Covid-19, they just couldn’t make a go of it. Fast forward to today and we now have a new company called OM Digital Solutions.

For me, the rebirth of Olympus Cameras as OM Digital Solutions is exciting news! I personally felt like Olympus had thrown in the towel too early. But then again I wasn’t the guy writing the checks to keep the camera division afloat. Obviously, you can only convince your shareholders to lose money for just so long. The good news is OM Digital Solutions is now their own entity and has retained much of the Olympus camera engineering staff. Their new president is Shigemi Sugimoto, former Olympus Imaging Division Head. So far so good. Along with the announcement of the deal finalization, they also announced their new website.

OM-Digital Solutions
In the field shooting the new Olympus 150-400mm zoom

I couldn’t be happier. I honestly think that the world of Micro Four Thirds has been a little bit ahead of its time. Having Olympus still in the game gives us another option for a truly professional system in a much smaller package. Congratulations Olympus. I for one am hoping you succeed. Here’s a PDF of the official press release.

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Olympus 150-400mm versus Sony 200-600mm https://naturalexposures.com/olympus-150-400mm-versus-sony-200-600mm/ https://naturalexposures.com/olympus-150-400mm-versus-sony-200-600mm/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2020 16:23:43 +0000 http://naturalexposures.com/?p=27664 Olympus 150-400mm versus Sony 200-600mm is starting this week. I’ve been waiting for this new Olympus lens for over a year. The development of the Olympus 150-400mm was first announced in January 2019 and my excitement has been hard to contain. Ultimate magnification The video above is a short introduction…

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Olympus 150-400mm versus Sony 200-600mm is starting this week. I’ve been waiting for this new Olympus lens for over a year. The development of the Olympus 150-400mm was first announced in January 2019 and my excitement has been hard to contain.

Ultimate magnification

The video above is a short introduction to the new Olympus 150-400mm zoom. I talk about how this new lens is comparable to the Sony 200-600mm. The Olympus has a bit more reach with a maximum telephoto of 800mm. And that’s without the built-in 1.2X teleconverter which gives this lens a maximum of 1000mm.

Olympus 150-400mm zoom
Olympus 150-400mm zoom

Light gathering qualities

The Olympus 150-400mm has a maximum aperture of F/4.5 across the entire 150-400mm zoom range. The Sony aperture is variable with F/5.6-6.3 with it being F/6.3 at 600mm. Add the 1.2X teleconverter to the Olympus and you get a 1000mm F/5.6. Do something similar to the Sony, add a 1.4X teleconverter, and you get 840mm at F/8. It all comes down to the Olympus having 150mm+ more magnification and a full stop more light-gathering power.

Sony 200-600mm

Stay tuned for an in-depth comparison

Over the next 10 days I’ll be shooting these two lenses side by side in remote areas here in Montana and Wyoming. I’ll be self-quarantining with just me, the animals, and my camera gear. Stay tuned for more information to come.

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