Shops, Allentown, Women, Motorcycle, Street, World Wide Photowalk
Pedestrian by Krista Stevens (WordPress Daily Post)

Pedestrian or not? It’s up for your interpretation.

This past weekend I participated in my 4th Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk. I first started doing the World Wide Photowalk in 2011 just for fun. It’s a tribal event and even though every member of the tribe has a unique perspective on photography, I enjoy hanging out and talking about the craft. I get a chance to learn something new and explore a new location or further explore a place I have already visited. Seeing through another person’s perspective can bring renewed interested.

Photographer, Mark Krajnak, chose his hometown of Allentown, New Jersey to host the photo walk. We had about 23 participants. I car-pooled with a friend, Prasanna, who has accompanied me on other photo walks. My friend, Ed, met us at the rendezvous point, the Moth Coffee House. We took a group shot and spread out to hunt for images. Ed has some experience with Allentown so Prasanna and I followed him around. The weather was warm and the sun was high in the sky. The three of us agreed that perhaps early morning would have been best for the walk and the light. After Mark took the group shot, the twenty-three camera-equipped pedestrians expanded onto the streets of Allentown.

For the photo walk used an Olympus E-M10 that I borrowed from my friend Chris. Chris has been shooting with micro 4/3 for a few years and is a proponent of the standard. We exchanged a number of text messages about lens choices but since I intended to shoot mostly street photography I ended up using his Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 lens. This diminutive lens has an angle of view roughly equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full frame camera. Some of the people we met during the walk asked if I was shooting with a film camera.

Shops, Allentown, Women, Motorcycle, Street, World Wide Photowalk
The historic building of the [Old Mill](https://www.thehistorygirl.com/2012/08/reinventing-old-mill-allentown-nj.html), renamed the Allentown Feed Company in 1977, is now a mini indoor mall with craft shops and a coffee house.

Ed led us along the nearby lake toward the Allentown Presbyterian Church. We explored the cemetery which appeared to have many gravestones from early post-colonial times.
After walking around for a couple of hours we broke for lunch. Ed suggested a few places for lunch but we decided on pizza at the La Piazza.

After lunch, we returned to the starting point for the walk. But first, we stopped at Heavenly Havens Creamery. I had had low blood glucose on the walk to La Piazza. I wanted to be sure that my BG would be safe for me to drive. I had my first soft serve vanilla ice cream in quite a few years. Delicious.

We finished up our ice cream and wandered back to the Moth Coffee House. The parked cars had vacated the parking lot and I could get an unobstructed view of the customers were entering and leaving the restaurant.

Shops, Allentown, Women, Motorcycle, Street, World Wide Photowalk
The Old Mill, Allentown

E-M10 17mm f/2.8 ISO-100 1/4000sec Khürt L. Williams

I was attracted to the rustic and historic look of the Old Mill. The Old Mill evokes a feeling of the countryside a simpler way of life in Monmouth County, NJ; something that is increasingly being lost in New Jersey. Currently, the building is host to an eclectic mix of speciality craft shops, studios, and farm to table vegan cuisine at our event meeting place, the Moth Coffee House. The building also houses The Old Mill Crafters’ Guild. There is a small dirt patch parking area around the outside of the shops and Main Street runs between the southern wall of the Old Mill and Conines Millpond. We didn’t dine in the restaurant but I can imagine there is quite a view in the early morning and perhaps just before sunset.

Perhaps I’ll return in a few weeks when the fall colours are at their peak and explore more details of the Old Mill and more of the Main Street of Allentown.

signatiure

Each Wednesday, The Daily Prompt Photo Challenge provides a theme for creative inspiration. Participants take photographs based on their interpretation of the theme, and post them on their blog anytime before the following Wednesday.

I took advantage of a borrowlenses.com Independence Day deal to rent an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens (Equivalent to 24-70mm). Over 6 days starting July 1st I used the camera and lens in a variety of situations. I loved the kit and didn’t want to send it back. It took photos that looked excellent on a computer screen but still something felt lacking.

I had intended to use the kit to shoot some fireworks photos but is a rush didn’t read the manual. In my defence, I received the package from FedEx that same night. However, I didn’t get the OM-D E-M1 to pair with my iPhone via wi-fi and opted to shoot fireworks on my Nikon. I did get a few late evening photos of the open fields and my family which was a good test of the low-light ability of the E-M1. As you can see the camera performed admirably.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 + Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/400 sec at f/3.2
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm , ISO 200 , 1/3200s , ƒ/2.8 on 1 July, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Khürt Williams
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/800 sec at f/2.8
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 12mm, ISO 200, 1/160 sec at f//10

Since I had the camera the week, I got to experiment with the various features and menus. The E-M1 has an overwhelming number of menu options. It seemed daunting at first but the various on-camera prompts helped me find my way through them. Unlike the Fuji X-T1 which has a lot of manual control knobs, the E-M1 is more like my Nikon. Changing camera settings required me to stare at the read LCD while turning a camera dial. It’s not a failing of the E-M1. This is how most DSLR cameras work. I just like the knobs and dials of the X-T1 more.

I had a chance to shoot flowers, food, and people during the 6 days. The micro 4/3 12-35 mm lens gives the same viewpoint as a 24-70mm lens on a 35mm format. Just wide enough for some landscape and groups photos but close enough for portrait shots.

The lens and the camera took excellent shots but I felt that I did not like the quality of the background blur (booked). Something just didn’t feel right.

I experimented with the focus packing mode. The results were mixed but I think the failure was in my skill, not the camera. It’s something that if I had more time with the camera I could get better at.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm , ISO 200 , 1/2000s , ƒ/2.8 on 5 July, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Khürt Williams
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm , ISO 2000 , 1/80s , ƒ/8 on 3 July, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Khürt Williams
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm , ISO 200 , 1/200s , ƒ/2.8 on 6 July, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Khürt Williams

Most of the reviews I have read about mirror-less cameras complain that auto-focus isn’t quite up to par with a DSLR. While there is some truth to that, I think most of the criticism is hogwash. I used the continuous autofocus mode with object tracking and was able to nail action shots just fine. I didn’t test the camera in high-speed sports situations but in my experience, for most consumers, the camera will perform well.

These are action shots of my kids having fun at the Community Park Pool in Princeton.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 27mm , ISO 200 , 1/4000s , ƒ/2.8 on 6 July, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Khürt Williams
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm , ISO 200 , 1/200s , ƒ/9 on 6 July, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Khürt Williams
Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/160 sec at f/8.0

Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 @35mm , ISO 500 , 1/60s , ƒ/4 on 6 July, 2014 Copyright © 2014 Khürt Williams

As I mentioned the bokeh was not attractive.

As with the Fuji X-T1, the E-M1 has built-in wi-fi and iOS software. Using the Olympus Image Share app I connected the E-M1 to my iPhone. I was able to control the E-M1 and snap some photos as well as download images to my iPhone (or iPad). I don’t recall the details, but I feel the Fuji app was easier to set up and use, especially when it came to geotagging.

I think all new DSLR must include a Wi-Fi option. I loved taking photos, downloading to my iPhone, making slight adjustments in Photogene, and sharing them on social media. With my Nikon D5100, I use an Eye-Fi Mobi card to do the same trick but having it built-in to the camera means I can use any brand of SD card and access to higher capacity.

So … the OM-D E-M1 is a capable camera. That’s my opinion. With the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens, the entire kit gets quite expensive. More expensive than the X-T1 with a similar lens. The X-T1 body is slightly smaller and lighter (without lens) and, in my opinion, produces better results. However, the E-M1 would definitely be on my main camera if I owned micro 4/3 lenses.