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January Photo Journal with Olympus

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Envy is not always a bad thing. Most of the time, it is a strong source of motivation, if you let it be. After seeing photo after photo on Instagram of these stunning underwater shots, I wanted to give it a go too. Underwater photography is one of those things where you think you’ll figure out how to do it soon enough, but when you actually try it, you realise it is a skill that needs to be earned. Nevertheless, I gave it a go so that I could try to be David Attenborough. I worked with Olympus, who supplied me with their OM-D E-M5 MKII camera and its corresponding underwater housing. This post is a photo journal, documenting my own personal experience in using these products for the first time.

 

Visibility is Key

 

Before I went on my trip to Boracay (the place where I thought I could get the most use out of the underwater housing during the time I had the products), I went to the Figure 8 Pool down at the Royal National Park. The 8 Pool itself was completely packed so we found a rock pool just off to the side to bathe in. I loaded the camera into the housing, which takes no time at all, and into the water I went. The sun was shining and the water was really clear which meant that the visibility was really good. As you can see in the photos, the detailing is just as crisp as it would be in above water shots.

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/1000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/2000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/1000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/2.0, Exposure time: 1/2000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/8000sec, ISO speed: ISO-160

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/4000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/250sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

I took the housing and camera to Boracay, Philippines, which is known for its crystal clear waters. Unfortunately, during my stay there, it was overcast the whole time. I took the Olympus into the water while we went snorkelling and although you can make out some fish and coral, the photos weren’t clear at all. I’m sure, given the right gear, you could make it work, but if you just want to point and shoot which additional lighting attachments, etc. then, to my knowledge, you’re out of luck (let me know if I’m wrong!).

F-stop: f/2.8, Exposure time: 1/250sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/2.8, Exposure time: 1/250sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/8000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/4.0, Exposure time: 1/500sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/5.6, Exposure time: 1/500sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/250sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/1000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/2000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/2000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/8000sec, ISO speed: ISO-160

Loading the camera

 

I was initially really worried I might load the camera into the housing all wrong and destroy the OM-D. But, to my delight, it was extremely easy. All you have to do is pull the lock lever (to unlock) on the side and turn the dial to open the case. Ensure the on/off button is pulled up and in the off position. Then, all you have to do it place the camera inside, lens first. Close the case and turn the dial back the other way and lock. You’re good to go!

 

Shooting with the OM-D

 

Shooting with the Olympus OM-D on its own was a treat too. Due it is compact size and ability to change between lenses, it was able to replace my full-size DSLR with ease whilst fitting into my bag. The level of detail this camera catches is fantastic (just look at that cat!) and the colour output is on point too. I would definitely recommend taking this guy on your travels as you still get great DSLR quality without having to carry the DSLR weight. The only thing that, as a fashion blogger, I find is missing is the lack of bokeh on subjects that are further away. But that is probably the only issue I had which may have been due to the lens I selected to take with me (25mm f1.8).

F-stop: f/1.8, Exposure time: 1/8000sec, ISO speed: ISO-200

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