Low Light Shooting on Micro Four Thirds

I knew purchasing a 4/3rd’s camera that I would be limited when it comes to low-light situations, however having shot quite a few things under fairly unforgiving lighting, I have to say it is nowhere as bad as it was first alleged to be!

When I was asked to capture some images for a band during one of their live performances however, I was a little shaken to be bringing my G9 along..

The auto-focus completely failed me, and I abandoned it immediately (swiftly at that, thanks to the manual clutch on the 40-150). Flashes were used for a few on-stage shots and some behind the scenes stuff too, but I shot almost entirely with no flash due to some technical issues, and I stayed wide open at 2.8. Obviously I would much rather be shooting on a full-frame system and some prime 1.2 glass (and functioning flashes) - the results would be astonishing. Freezing motion and having a very contrast-y RAW image to begin with is practically essential for the style I go for - the lowest I could go on this evening, a mere 125th of a second.

Wide shots were few and far between, but I used the Lumix 12-60 for them. Thinking of nailing down a single wide focal length to use exclusively, and invest in a fast prime lens, as I really am not happy with the results out of this lens. I think it is essential to shoot wide shots to show context in a series of images but this lens is far from the best quality, and is due for an upgrade. The Olympus 40-150 is currently my go-to workhorse lens and performed fabulously on this occasion - as expected.

—- Contd.—-

I shot again for these gentlemen yesterday evening, last minute decisions were involved as usual with me but we made it work, and this time around I had both of my flashes working (even if I had left one behind the previous evening, and had to retrieve it before this next shoot!)

The lighting in general at The Grand Social is a lot more forgiving, but we were afforded practically no time to set up. No soundcheck, just thirty minutes for the guys to get their stuff going, and for me to do the same. After setting up both flashes and taking a few test shots - all concerns about the images turning out as soft and grainy as last time were alleviated.

From what I can see, I think this collection came out a heck of a lot cleaner despite still being shot at around 1000-1600 ISO for all images. I was even able to shoot at the highest speed my flashes will allow, 1/250th of a second. Still went with manual focus, I think I am getting too used to it now haha!

Stay tuned for more of these shots, these guys aren’t going anywhere.

Full galleries can be viewed here

Stay snazzy, ye pair of scrotes xo

Upgrading Equipment for Events!

Hello all, hopefully you are dealing with this heatwave better than I!

Just a quick post about some upgraded Event equipment that is going to make the quality of the images produced for my clients  go up exponentially! As if the new 40-150 telephoto from Olympus wasn’t enough..

Firstly I have invested in some gear from Rogue, namely the new FlashBender 2 with the softbox and reflector add-on. I have always thought these looked a bit silly being truthful, but after using them they really do get the job done like nothing else if you are stuck with a single on-camera flash.

The second piece of equipment I have decided to invest in thanks to the ongoing momentum from you wonderful clients, is a battery grip for my main camera, the Lumix G9.

No more changing batteries every hour and a half! It also has controls for easier portrait-oriented shooting. And it’s just as weather-proof as the G9 itself so this will certainly be accompanying me on my outdoor expeditions in future too.

All in all, a great addition to the mcardphoto Gear Vault! Thanks again to those who have chosen to work with me and help me to continue to grow the business.

Have a great day!

- John

*Anything I purchase new is purchased from Barker Photographic and I could not recommend them enough. Most helpful and knowledgeable staff out of any Camera Store I have been in here in Cork! 10/10

Changing Things Up!

Hope everyone is keeping well and looking forward to a great weekend!

I have decided to migrate the business to SquareUp and move away from SumUp’s services, which I have been using for a few months now to process payments and issue Quotes & Invoices.

The reason for this is due to an underlying issue with SumUp’s delivery model, but I am glad to let you know that I have been researching this for quite a few months, awaiting a resolution from SumUp, and the features & services available on SquareUp are far better anyway!

Paying deposits and accepting Quotes will be easier than ever, plus your Invoices will get a lot tidier and more informative. As well as this you are now able to save your payment information (returning clients will be extremely happy to hear this!) and apply a tip to your final payment if you would like to!  However the biggest benefit to this migration is that I am now able to offer Gift Cards which can be applied against any non-commercial shoot. These will be launched in the coming weeks and can can be spent either partly or in full, on as many shoots as the recipient desires - as they never expire. You can read more about them on SquareUp’s FAQ page here.

For those who have already booked a shoot with me and paid their Deposit, nothing will change and your final invoice will still be issued by SumUp. Any outstanding quotes issued via SumUp will no longer be valid as of Thursday 28/01/2022 unless re-issued and If you have a recurring invoice such as a monthly recurring licensing fee for one of your past shoots, these will be migrated to SquareUp once any outstanding invoices are paid. Your billing cycle will remain unaffected as well as any terms set out in the original invoice.

I think that this update will take some getting used to, but has a seemingly never-ending list of benefits for both the business and those I offer my services to!

So that’s the news this time around, I really appreciate those who have supported this business these past few months so your feedback is incredibly important too - if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions you can use the contact form on the Home page to reach out any time!

Thanks again,

- John