Last month we participated in a photo competition of our local veterinarian. The theme was "people/pet relationship". The winning photo may be used on cards/invites to pet owners to remind them of the yearly vaccinations of their dog or cat. The winner of the competition also gets a price.
My wife came up with the idea of us and the dog sleeping together in bed. I worked out a plan and thought it might be possible to pull of by making use of a tripod and the remote app on my phone. With te app we could see what the camera was seeing and trigger the camera when ready. We coached our dog into our bed (the sheets needed to be cleaned anyway). But she was very suspicious and a bit nervous as she didn't knew why would want her on the bed (that's normally not allowed), and was probably suspicious, because we wanted her laying in a specific position. Our first plan was to all leigh on our backs. But Nikki didn't want to do that.
Eventually we had her on the right spot. My wife and I then laid beside her and we pulled the sheet over us and the dog, and once I thought it looked kind of okay, I shot three pictures. Very soon our dog wanted to leave, she had enough. We didn't want to force her to stay, so we had to make do with what we had.
I'm often jealous of photographers who visit exiting new places or witness spectacular events, because they can afford to travel to far exotic locations or happen to live in a big metropolitan city (like New York or Tokyo). I live in a small Dutch town, which has nothing spectacular about it. Sure it has quite a lot of green, such as the nearby woods, parks, gardens and waterways. But that's more or less it. I can't afford to travel a lot. Even if I could afford it, I wouldn't have the time. Most of my photography takes place walking the dogs, or riding on my bike to work, seeing mostly the same environment time and time and time again. So, having photography as hobby forced me to look at my environment in new and different ways, so I wouldn't make the same old boring photos over and over again. I got closer to the subject, made photos on different times of the day, used a variety of lenses and played with the light. To give an example. The picture below shows that even a boring, sad looking, stretch of grass at the side of the road (top picture), can result in quite a nice picture when shot at the right time of day, up close and shooting into the light (bottom picture). Until now I haven't ran out of ideas and the "unspectacular" surroundings I live in made me a better photographer.
A couple of days ago my OM to M43 adapter arrived from Hong Kong after a journey of many weeks. I'm still amazed when I order something from the other side of the globe for a couple of dollars, with no shipping costs, and it arrives at my house :) Here's a pic with the Olympus E-PL5 with the OM to M43 adapter and 80 - 200mm F4.5 Sigma lens and the (analogue) Olympus OM10 with the 50mm F1.8. A view test shots seemed to deliver pretty good results with the 50mm F1.8. The small E-PL5 is not easy to handle with the zoom lens attached. The next day, on a short walk with the dogs, I took some more pictures with the E-PL5 and the 50mm 1.8 OM lens. The lens is not razor sharp, but the rendering is really great. It's sharp enough and it's already one of my favorite lenses. Focusing wasn't easy at first, because the camera doesn't have focus peaking. But after I discovered this post, with a work around for focus peaking I got better results. I also tried the Sigma zoom lens, but the quality of that lens is terrible and the pictures I made with that lens are not worth sharing. Here under you'll find some pictures shot with the Olympus E-PL5 and the OM 50mm F1.8.
The publication in the post below wasn't my first. My wife likes to write short stories about life, with me and our 2 dogs. The stories are sometimes funny, sometimes moving, but always great to read. Several years ago she had the stories published and wanted me to illustrate them, as I like to draw. It was great fun, but also hard work, coming up with ideas, than drawing them out on paper and than scanning and coloring them in photoshop. The last book she published is a best of. It's made available as e-book and paperback on bol.com. Click on the photo for a short preview.