Vanilla Week Continues: WDW Fireworks

OM-1 | 32mm | 1/3sec | f/5.6 | ISO-200

As the sidebar says: “Fine Art Nudes, Erotica, Travel, Portraits, Cats.” Having featured Harrow yesterday, let’s continue vanilla week with this image from last Halloween Eve.

One of the things that I adore about OM System (formerly Olympus) cameras is their class-leading image stabilization (“IS”). In fact, their IS was the thing that sold me on the system. Back in March 2022 I was visiting my favorite local camera store, Southeastern Camera in Carrboro, prior to a trip to Disney World. In the used case was an eight-year-old Olympus OM-D E-M1 MkII for about $650. Every photographer in the world gets GAS (“Gear Acquisition Syndrome”) on a bi-weekly basis and despite being a Fujifilm fanboi, I have been fascinated by Olympus since my film days (circa 1987). But they are Micro Four Thirds cameras, and in this “bigger is better” world their sensors are “too small,” so I’ve always discounted them as an option.

But the GAS was strong and lately I had started eying them again. After all, they were technological monsters, despite the teeny sensor. So when I saw the E-M1 MkII in the case at a “why not?” price point, the GAS became too much to bear.

“Golly,” I said, “it would be really keen if y’all had a used 12-40mm f/2.8 on hand.”

“As a matter of fact, we do!” came the unexpected reply.

Well, shit. I guess I was buying an Olympus kit.

And sweet raisin danish, I’m glad I did! The next week I took both it and my Fujifilm kit to Walt Disney World. Over the next five days I captured 4,200 images and not a single one was with my beloved Fuji. The photo above is a big part of the reason why: I’m hand-holding this SOB and because of the fantastic IS I am shooting firework photos as if the camera is locked down on a tripod. As much as I love Fuji, there was no way in Hades I was going to be able to replicate this on a non-IS body. I may get lucky, but with the E-M1 I was nailing every shot.

And 1/3 sec is nothing for Olympus/OM System. This is hardly pushing the envelope: in my March 2022 tests I was shooting four to five second exposures just to see if I could do it, and sure as shit I could.

But that’s a story for another day.

I came back from that trip a convert and almost immediately upgraded to OM System’s new flagship, the OM-1, which which this shot was captured. I still have my beloved Fuji kit, which I use for about 95% of my studio and portraiture work, but the OM-1 is my go-to one-lens travel kit.

Ivy Sublime – Statuesque

OM System OM-1 | M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO | 1/250 sec | f/8 | ISO 200

Many thanks to Ivy for demonstrating that I do have two lights and I know how to use them. I’m such a one-light fanboi that even I will look at the results of a two-light setup and think, “Damn, why don’t I do this more often?”

Fitness and Faded Jeans

OM-1 | M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 | 1/250 sec | f/5.6 | ISO 200

This session had two objectives: show off Claire’s power lifting gains and do one (possibly) last session with a pair of jeans that have featured in many a session over the last half decade. The goal was to have one last hurrah with the jeans, which no longer fit the same way they did 5 years ago due to the aforementioned power lifting, but we may not quite be done with them just yet.


OM System OM-1 | M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO | 1/250 sec | f/8 | ISO 200

As hobbies go, mine is a bit more unconventional than most. “So what do you do for fun?” “I am a photographer specializing in art nudes and erotica.”

<awkward silence ensues>

In reality, I don’t give that answer very often. I’m not exactly shy about my hobby – after all, I have my work on Flickr, 500px, Tumblr, and this here website – but with anything tangentially adult you have to know your audience. You can totally drop a titbit like that while at a cocktail party, but you probably wouldn’t lead with that in most social situations (“Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”).

Which is a pity, because it is a fun hobby. It is challenging creatively, I’m work with fabulous people, and because of the subject matter you can’t help but feel like you’re walking in the shadow of Michelangelo or Rubens or Toulouse-Lautrec.

Jo + Pierrot

Fujifilm X-T3 | Fujinon 50mm f/2 WR | 1/60 sec | f/8 | ISO 160

I needed to get creatively unstuck. Jo needed to stick the landing. Y’all are stuck with the results.

The Pierrot mask is handmade and is a gorgeous addition to my kit. I was so entranced by the results I immediately bought another.