by Joseph Linaschke
Mt. Shasta, California
On Monday, we took the kids up to the ski area on Mt. Ashland to play and sled and have snowball battles, as it was actually warmer up on the mountain than it was in town! The sky was as clear as could be, presenting a view of the big hulking volcano that is Mt. Shasta, moated by a heavy layer of mist in the basin beween us.
This may be one of those images that is best left alone in color, however extracting the detail hiding in the mist required a degree of curves manipulation that left the rest of the image in shadow. I went back and forth a few times, and ultimately decided on this fairly tame B&W conversion. I was able to show what was hiding in the mist, which is what I was hoping to do. There were no clouds in the sky to speak of.
This was shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5, with the 45mm ƒ/1.8 lens (a 90mm equivalent). I've been talking here and on my regular blog about shooting with the Leica S2 a bit, and I didn't have that camera with me for this shot so the Olympus had to suffice. I am absolutely in love with the Olympus for casual shooting (I've yet to take it anywhere exotic for the kind of street photography I adore, but I know it'll perform very well there). However one thing that this camera does seem to be lacking is resolution (detail) at the pixel-peeping level. Needles on the pine trees, for example, even in the RAW file really crunched up quite a bit. The sensor is small; a micro four-thirds. I'm finding that even for many photos, I'm not thrilled with the results at 1:1 magnification, however if the photo is going to be viewed smaller (as most are), then it's a marvelous camera. But of course shooting with the medium format Leica S2 is really making me appreciate and notice those extremely close details. Compared to a full frame Canon, the OM-D is lacking as well, as you would expect. But it all comes down to what we all already know—the right tool for the job. This scenic would have been better served by a bigger sensor, no doubt. But, it's what I had with me, and it's certainly not bad.
I found working with this photo that I needed to add a little noise/grain into it to break up the lack of image detail resolution I noted above. Which I found quite interesting—my love of grain in B&W photos has waned working with the S2 files, because they are so clean to begin with. But once again shooting on the smaller sensor, where the limitations of the camera and lens become more apparent, I find that I'm putting that grain in again.