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Walking, Talking and Shooting

Hello again…

This week I'm going to share my experience of attending a group workshop lead by Robert Pugh, my views on the Olympus M. Zuiko 25mm 1.8 lens, and some photos that were taken with that very lens.

Last week I told you about the 1-2-1 workshop I attended with Gagan Sadana, and how important I feel it is in order to progress your own photography, you should look to continue learning and getting tips or advice from photographers whose work inspires you.

Well, to do just that, on Saturday, 5th December, nine keen photographers and I attended a street photography workshop, hosted by Olympus Ambassador, and top wedding and portrait photographer, Robert Pugh.

Being an Olympus Ambassador and Visionary, Robert’s workshop also had the added luxury of being able to test Olympus Cameras and lenses. I really wanted to use the Olympus M. Zuiko 25mm lens (50mm equivalent on the Micro Four Thirds system) with my E-M1, as I hadn’t used this focal length before. I also wanted to see how I performed with it on the street and whether it would be a valuable addition to my current kit (M. Zuiko 17mm and 45mm lenses).

The day began at Park Cameras, Rathbone Place, London, where Robert gave us a few camera setting tips, and told us what locations our route would take in: Soho, China Town, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Westminster, Southbank, and Tate Modern. Excellent, I was very happy with this route.

The group consisted of beginners, knowledgeable users, and featured artists. Between us, a number of camera brands were being used. Besides Olympus, there were Canon, Sony, and Pentax users.

We were now ready to go. It was then walking out of the store that it dawned on me, how the task of leading 10 people through a busy Central London is going to be no mean feat!

Throughout the day Robert spoke to us as a group, but also spent a great deal of time with us individually, to answer any questions and for general chat. Due to his vast knowledge and experience, he was able to assist each attendee with their camera settings, regardless of brand. He gave clear instructions and demonstrations on zone focusing, panning, composition, and subjects. One particular setting that Robert provided, benefited my photography instantly, and I now use it constantly on the street. It's a specific black and white setting for the electric viewfinder and LCD screen. He also has a Lightroom preset that matches this exact setting.

As the day was going along, I was getting more and more used to the focal length of the lens, and really enjoying using it. The images posted here were all taken with it, on this workshop.

Our day ended with a coffee and a discussion about the whole day, which enabled us to share contact details and links to our social website accounts.

With regards to my experience of Robert's workshop, I have nothing but positive feedback to give. Robert's openness and approachability makes everyone comfortable and willing to engage in the group. His wealth of knowledge and experience enables him to answer every question clearly and concisely, in a way the attendee is able to understand and then put into practice. The way he manages to share his time equally amongst 10 people is highly impressive, and makes what I thought would be no easy task, look very easy. Added with the opportunity to test Olympus cameras and lenses, this workshop is highly recommended to anyone looking to buy their first camera or thinking about switching to the mirrorless camera system. You can find more information on Robert's training academy workshops here, or view his wedding and portrait portfolio here.

On my thoughts of the M. Zuiko 25mm lens, I have to say I loved using it. The focal length was brilliant for street photography, and I can fully understand why it comes so highly recommended for this particular genre. Like my current lenses, this is built with the same high quality, produces brilliantly sharp images (not quite as sharp as the 45mm, but still very sharp), very light in weight and all at a very good price. A couple of things I would love to see on future Olympus prime lenses, is the pull back mechanism of the focus ring to switch between manual and autofocus (like the 17mm lens) and weather sealing. I was happy with quite a number of images that day, and can safely say this lens would rarely be off my camera once I own it. What with Christmas Day being a week away, who knows when that will be? (Family, friends and my darling dearest, that’s a hint!)

Talking of Christmas, there will be no blog next week, but there are some exciting things in the pipeline, that I hope to be able to share with you before then.

I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you have a wonderful time with your loved ones.

Thank you for reading, and happy snapping.

Craig