Follow up to the Olympus Art Filter Challenge

I came across the BCLmacro during the last few days of the Olympus Art Filter Challenge and composing the last three posts on this blog have distracted me from following up on it. Isolation and a bottleneck in subject matter on board the vessel I am on was the initiator of this project which you can read about here. In the aforementioned post I talk of a personal goal to be revealed once the challenge was complete. Each day after shooting and uploading 4-5 of my keepers to Flickr, I submitted them to Ming Thein's reader pool. The ultimate "test" was to have my photos admitted. Ming is quite critical (which is a good thing) and judges the photos submitted based on light, subject, composition and idea; anything with a 2.5/4 rating or higher is let in. I ended up submitting 54 photos and of those... three made it:

Dramatic tone

Light tone
Cross process
I fell a little behind the average 10:1 rejection rate but considering these had absolutely no out of camera processing done to them, I was thrilled when I saw these make it in!!! During the challenge it was very difficult for me to find subjects that would bring out the best of each of the filters. I also felt that they hindered me in a way because I felt there was strong subject matter and good light but the filter compromised the shot. Luckily I was shooting RAW+JPEG and below are examples which have processed to my liking. One thing I learned throughout the duration of this challenge was that I really enjoy the post processing part of my workflow. Skipping it was like being sent to bed without dinner...

I think most of all I missed processing in black and white! The only B&W filter on the EM5 is grainy film and one day certainly did not cut it!!! Examples of photographs rendered using the art filters can be found here: Soft FocusPop ArtDramatic ToneLight ToneDioramaPinholeCross ProcessKey LineGentle SepiaGrainy FilmPale and Light Color. My favorites were "pop art" and "grainy film" and I was not very fond of the "soft focus" and "gentle sepia" modes. Overall I think I got better at a couple of things including using my kit flash (I forced myself to leave it on the camera and use it everyday), composing, especially when it came to horizons, and exposure. I still think that I rely heavily on post processing but I think that processing is necessary for a photographer to develop his or her own style. I really learned a lot from doing this and it did help the time pass by forcing me to partake in photography on a daily basis!! Thanks for dropping by, as always hope you enjoyed a couple of these photos =)

Sam D