WARNING: Stay away from Olympus!

Back in 2015 I was excited to get my new camera: Olympus OMD Em5II. The decade prior to that I used different Canon cameras and before that again, when I started photographing, I used an old Nikon film camera. If it’s one thing I regret when it comes to photography it’s my decision to change systems from Canon to Olympus.

You should be glad that Olympus has pro service (?), because you’ll definitely be going to need service if you get an Olympus.

You can safely say that my initial enthusiasm for Olympus has died. In the beginning I was happy to make the transition from Canon to Olympus. Well, perhaps died is not the correct word to use: I guess it’s more correct to say that Olympus succesfully killed my enthusiasm.

In these past 4 years since making the change, my Olympus camera has been to service 3 times. Can you guess how many times my Canon cameras needed service during the decade+ I used them? That’s right: not once.

  • The first time my Olympus needed service was in June/July 2017: The on/off button stopped working. The camera didn’t shut off, but kept draining the batteries until they were completely dead.
  • The second time my Olympus needed service was in July 2018: Same shit happened again. The on/off button stopped working. The camera didn’t shut off, but kept draining the batteries until they were completely dead.
  • The third time my Olympus needed service was in May 2019: I opened the screen on the back of the camera and it fell off.

Yesterday when I went and got my camera back from service, the Olympus factory (the shop has to ship the camera from Oslo to an Olympus factory in Germany or something, so the process of getting the camera fixed takes several weeks) also sent me a pamphlet together with the camera. The pamphlet contained information on how to properly use the screen on the back of the camera.
I told the guys at Scandinavian Photo here in Oslo: perhaps someone from Canon or Nikon should send Olympus some information on how to make quality cameras?

Other problems with Olympus:
– Make sure to carry enough batteries, because they don’t last long.
– Save your favorite settings, because they’ll be reset to factory settings every time you have to deliver your camera for repair.

My initial enthusiasm for Olympus:


Travel Friendly Tripod

Because I’m going to Italy (my colleague is picking me up in an hour), I decided to buy a new tripod. The one I already have (Induro AKB1 | AT113)  is a very good and stable tripod, but it’s too large for travels and it ends up spending most of its time home alone.

So, this morning I went to the local toy store Scandinavian Photo and bought a Benro IT25. It can fit in a small suitcase, which means that it’s good for travelling. It’s made out of aluminium. They had some lighter carbon tripods there too, but the prices were too high. The aluminum one was something like 400 grams heavier and about 100 Euro cheaper.

In the camera bag I've packed:  
Olympus OMD EM5II
A 45mm, f1.8. Lens 
A 40-150mm, f2.8 lens
One ND8, plus one ND32 filter. 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 with a 12-32mm f3.5

Now I’m looking forward to try out this new tripod.

Specifications for Benro IT25:  
Sections: 5
Maximum height: 1545mm
Folded: 415mm
Weight 1,61kg
Load: 6kg

Enjoy your weekend!

Related posts:

star effects | double

A few weeks ago a fellow blogger asked me how you get the star effects on artificial light in night photos. That person thought it was a stupid question, but I disagree. I think it’s a good question and I think that it’s good to ask about stuff. Without asking questions, there would be no new knowledge.

In my two example shots, you can clearly see the star effect appearing when shooting at a small aperture (I shot at f/22).

Compare the two shot at 25,0 sec at f/22, ISO 100 and 2,0 sec at f/4,5, ISO 100.

The theme for #photo101 today is Double.

If you really want to get nerdy and dirty, here’s further reading on the star effect for you:

Long Exposure & Flash Photo Shoot

About a month ago I published some photos from a photo shoot with Tomer & Shanny. After we had been a while and shot a lot of photos at the location, I wanted to experiment a little bit – it gets boring to just do the same shots over and over – so, to get a more playful and artistic look, I mounted the camera on the tripod and set the camera to long exposure while I used the flash & zoom.

Check out the dailypost.wordpress.com for more photos for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge “Extra”.

Previous posts from this photo shoot: 

Forced Perspective

When I saw the theme for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge this week, I immediately thought of forced perspective – not cropping images.  


An example of forced perspective.

An example of forced perspective.

«Forced perspective is a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. It is used primarily in photography, filmmaking and architecture. It manipulates human visual perception through the use of scaled objects and the correlation between them and the vantage point of the spectator or camera.» (Wikipedia)

Get perspective here: 

Trying a Sigma lens at the Travel Exhibition

Sigma 85mm f1.4 ex dg hsm. photo: dslrphoto.com

Sigma 85mm f1.4 ex dg hsm. photo: dslrphoto.com

Last weekend we went to the annual Travel Exhibition (you can read about the previous one in the link section). The previous years this exhibition has been held in Lillestrøm in co-operation with the Photo Exhibition, which has (at least for me) been a perfect combination. This year they separated the two exhibitions, to my huge disappointment.

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Photoshop: Sharpen with High Pass

06 Finished Result

South African Penguin

Do you sharpen up your images in Photoshop? Perhaps you use one of the preset sharpen methods you find under the filter menu? (filter – sharpen).

Very often these presets are just exactly what you’ll need to enhance your photo, but sometimes you want to/need to have more control over the process. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to sharpen your image in just a few small steps using the High Pass filter.

The photo I’ve used in this tutorial is a scan from film. The star of the photo, the penguin,  was captured on a trip to Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Open your photo and copy the original layer (ctrl+j)
  • On the copied layer, choose the high pass filter (filter – other + high pass) (illustration 01)
    By default the radius is set to 10 pixels, which should be suitable.  Click OK.
  • Change the blending mode for the layer. Set it to Hard Light (illustration 02)
  • Play around with the opacity of the layer until you’re satisfied with the result.
  • If needed you can also add a Brightness/Contrast Layer, but this depends entirely on your photo.

Click on the gallery to see the process:

More tutorials:
The Alligator (add a lens blur effect to your photo)
Restore scanned photos in Photoshop

Negative Space – Akam Photo Challenge

There’s a Norwegian photography website (www.akam.no) that has a forum for photographers. Every second Sunday they have a theme (similar to the Weekly Photo Challenge on WordPress) and for the theme on Sunday the 25th of November they asked me to be the host. The theme I chose was Negative Space and this is what I wrote (and the photo I posted):

A form of negative space is silhouettes. In this photograph we see the silhouette of an earlier building.

A form of negative space is silhouettes. In this photograph we see the silhouette of an earlier building.

«Negative Space – the gap around and between the object / subject in an image.  

When you compose a photograph, there are a number of rules (or ‘loose guidelines’ as I prefer to think of them as) that you’re supposed to keep in mind. This is in addition to the purely technical aspects of photographing. Typical examples of such rules are: lines, shapes, colors, the Rule of Thirds and vanishing points.

A useful tool that is often overlooked when talking about compositions is what’s called ‘Negative Space’. Negative Space is, simply put, the air filling the picture. Such air / empty space can be useful to guide the eye, or to emphasize details in a picture.

So, now I hope many of you go out with your cameras to think really negative (pun intended) and record your contributions.»

– – – – – –

If you want to see how other Norwegian photographers interpreted «Negative Space», you can follow this link:


Feel free to come up with your own photographic interpretation of Negative Space and leave me a link here in blog.

Color VS B/W

The only thing I did here was to add vignette using the raw file in Photoshop

The only thing I did here was to add vignette using the raw file in Photoshop

I decided to try out Silver Efex for this black& white  photo. Normally I use Photoshop for my editing, but Jeff mentioned Silver Efex and then I suddenly remembered that I have a version installed. I’m not so familiar with the S.Efex software, so I can only do basic stuff, but it’s quite easy to maneuver and the GUI is user-friendly.
In my opinion both the results are pleasing and Silver Efex was easy to use (even for a Photoshopper like myself).

I chose a photo that I shot in the botanical garden here in Oslo. The color version has been edited in Photoshop and the only thing I did was to add some vignette using the raw file.
For the B/W version I changed the structure and contrast in Silver Efex Pro, then I Used Photoshop to add a brightness/contrast layer and a small touch of vignette with the Lens correction filter.

- Changed the structure and contrast in Silver Efex Pro. - Added brightness/contrast layer, plus a vignette with the Lens correction filter in Photoshop.

– Changed the structure and contrast in Silver Efex Pro. – Added brightness/contrast layer, plus a vignette with the Lens correction filter in Photoshop.

Now I’ll try to catch up on some commenting and blog reading 🙂

Panning a moving subject

Just after I bought the new camera my mother-in-law wondered why I shot so many pictures of cars as we were driving from place to place. I tried to explain to her that I was practicing the technique of panning a moving subject, but she didn’t understand what the fuck I was talking about.

This is what I was talking about:

If you want to try this technique, experiment with the shutter speed on your camera. Set it somewhere between 1/15 sec or 1/30 sec (sometimes even faster or slower). These are shot from a moving car, which makes it more difficult: it’s easier if you’re standing still, while the object you’re shooting is moving.

Musical Portrait

Just watched episode 310 on Kelbytv.com and picked up this awesome technique. If you’re into Photoshop I recommend that you check them out in one of their channels. These tips are not only for advanced photoshoppers – Kelbytv.com makes sure to incorporate easy tips & tricks as well.

Musical Portrait by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com

Musical Portrait by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com

To see how I made this picture, check out the program and you might learn something new as well. I promise you: it’s an easy technique.

You can also watch it on YouTube.


Tutorial: Restore Scanned Photos in Photoshop

Original, scanned photo.

Original, scanned photo.

This is  a detailed tutorial with screenshots. Many of you probably have old photos lying in a drawer or shoebox.
The first thing you should do if you intend to digitize these images, is to clean the surface of the images before scanning them. It’ll save you a lot of post-processing later. For this tutorial I’ve scanned a typical summer photo and I’ll restore the photo using Photoshop.

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Enjoying ice cream – scanned and restored photo

I’ve started to restore some old family photos that I’ve scanned. The saturation is corrupted in some of the images, many of them have scratches and some are discolored. A few of them even suffer from all of the above!

Old photo after scan.

Original photo after scan.

It can be time-consuming to scan your old photos, especially if the photos are very damaged and you want to restore them. I was working on this photo last night and here’s a very short summary of what I did with this photo:

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The Alligator – lens blur effect

I shot this photo two years ago, but I wasn’t pleased with the result so I had to take it to my digital darkroom. (Digital “darkroom” is the hardware, software and techniques used in digital photography that replace the darkroom equivalents, such as enlarging, cropping, dodging and burning, as well as processes that don’t have a film equivalent. – Wikipedia).
Here’s the result:

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Blogging Tips: Crop & Resize your Photos

These tips are intended for bloggers that enjoy sharing their photos online. Most bloggers out there have a digital camera and adds pictures to their posts. Many bloggers, like myself, also participates in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge. Some of you have pure photo blogs, while others add photos to a post – a trick that can help your readers make the text more easy to read.
This post is my attempt to help those who are interested in learning more on the subject.

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