by Ian Burley
Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds photographers shine
It's been a long wait, sorry about that, but today the winners of the two autumn competitions run by this site and sibling site Olympus UK E-System User Group can be revealed.
Interestingly, the winning pictures were not produced with the latest and greatest gear. The Four Thirds winner was taken with an Olympus E-400 DSLR and kit zoom lens, while the Micro Four Thirds winner was taken using an Olympus E-P1 and m.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens. In fact the E-P1 dominated the short list for the Micro Four Thirds category.
We also received more than double the number of Micro Four Thirds entries in the Four Thirds category. This would seem to demonstrate that the Four Thirds DSLR community remains very active, while the relatively new Micro Four Thirds masses still have a way to go to match their Four Thirds cousins.
As usual, judging such a high quality of entries was very difficult and as you can see in the short-list galleries for Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds entries deemed head and shoulders above the average.
To be frank, a number of the short-listed images in both categories could have been winners, but in the end we had to choose just one in each category and here they are:
Four Thirds Category
"The Tree People" Olympus E-400, 17.5-45mm Zuiko Digital kit zoom
Winning photographer: Edd Parkins
Micro Four Thirds Category
"Rich Tynemouth" Olympus E-P1, 17mm m.Zuiko pancake lens
Winning photographer: Ulfric M.Douglas
Edd's photo was taken close to his neck of the woods in Wallsend, North Tyneside in the UK. Edd explains: "I was only just getting into night photography and playing with long exposures and light. This was shot using wire wool, that is set alight then spun in a circle. I climbed up the tree to around 6ft off the floor to a roughly pre focused point and with camera on tripod. I used an IR remote to trigger the shutter for 134sec on bulb mode with aperture set @ f/7. The only editing done was a slight crop to remove my bag out of the bottom of the shot. It was shot using the Olympus E-400 with stock 17.5-45 mm lens shooting at 17mm with ISO set at 100. There can be no denying the sheer visual impact of Edd's carefully prepared and conceived long exposure shot. It's all the more impressive considering it was taken using what is a budget category Olympus DSLR and lens.
Ulfric's image is a black and white connoisseur's choice. The range of tones is superb for a greyscale photo. This technical quality underpins the subject, an engaging portrait of a youngster enjoying a visit to the seaside. The overall result is very reminiscent of a medium format camera image. There is so much detail and dynamic range. Ulfric says: "This was taken with an E-P1 & 17mm lens making good use of the Olympus' ISO-bracketing feature to bring out cloud detail, some of which is lost to JPEGs normally. With ISO-bracket (which should be called JPEG-dynamic-range-bracket) I get all the highlights I would've had with RAW but in more easily swallowed JPEGs."
Well done Edd and Ulfric! Commiserations to all other entrants and especially to the short-listed photographers. You can see their work in galleries here:
Competition entry Photo Books
The winners have been revealed but the story is not yet over. We're now currently working on the selection of images for the planned Photo Books that will be exclusively illustrated with images entered for the competition plus others offered for publication by entrants. Once this has been completed, all those whose images have been selected for use in the Photo Books will be notified and in due course they will receive a copy of the Photo Book that their work has been featured in.