Carviçais 2019

Carviçais 2019

O famoso e ilustre Carviçais Rock, agora Carviçais em Torre de Moncorvo. Cartaz impecável para um dos mais antigos festivais de rock do Nordeste Transmontano – vivo e de boa saúde, recomenda-se…

Todas as fotografias © Município de Moncorvo

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Understanding Prejudice – How It Forms and How to Prevent It

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Prejudice can have a strong influence on how people behave and interact with others, particularly with those who are different from them. Prejudice is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of the group. While specific definitions of prejudice given by social scientists often differ, most agree that it involves prejudgments that are usually negative about members of a group.

The main disadvantage of Micro Four Thirds is prejudice. Keeping an open mind I challenge you all to read carefully:

1 – Bresson, Capa, later Meyerowitz and other masters of this craft early adopted what was in those days a very small “sensor”: 35mm. By that time “full frame” was, at least 120 roll film. Meyerowitz began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of color during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art…

2 – The enormous advances in digital photography allow MFT to mitigate alleged limitations of the format when compared to FF, much more than 35mm did when it was introduced, compared to 120 film.

3 – No other system provides better image stabilization (7.5 stops).

4 – No other system provides this level of portability. Even Olympus E-M1X weighs less 370 grams than Canon’s flagship 1 DX Mark II. Forget lenses size and weight…

5 – Only MFT delivers 18fps with continuous AF and 60fps with locked focus.

6 – No other system offers this level of performance at this price point, not even close.

7 – Olympus new E-M1X AF system focus down to -6EV.

8 – E-M1X specifications regarding weather, moisture and dust sealing are referential – there is no other camera on the market offering this level of protection against the elements. Have you ever tried to wash yours under the tap?

9 – AF “deep learning” is not available in any other camera on the market today (Sony a6400 path is similar, nonetheless).

10 – Integrated (electronic) ND filters with this level of accuracy, delivering fabulous results were unheard of until today.

11 – RAW Handheld High Resolution and RAW Tripod High Resolution modes are unique features, delivering stunningly detailed pictures.

12 – Panasonic GH5 is one of the best video tools the world has ever seen, unbeatable price/quality/features/results.

13 – The range of available lenses and accessories is huge – enough to satisfy the needs of the most demanding photographer.

14 – Noise levels are on par with many other systems until 12800/16000 ISO. Need more?

15 – Bokeh depends of many factors; moving your ass around the subject, changing lenses, walking further into/further away will deliver the results you need.

16 – Due to the size of the sensor, flange focal distance and thread diameter, MFT delivers pin sharp images across the entire frame. No other system offers this level of sharpness across the frame.

17 – Yes, you can print massive sized outdoors from an MFT file. Outdoors have been around for more than a century and photographs have been used for decades and decades on this medium.

What MFT will not do for you:

1 – It won’t turn you into a great photographer. If you’re photography sucks, it will continue to be bad like hell.

2 – It won’t make you look like the “great white” predator. If that is your scene buy those FF 600mm monsters, big and noisy FF cameras. It will be impossible not to spot you, even if you wish to go unnoticed.

3 – It won’t break the bank. If you wish to spend a fortune go FF instead.

4 – It won’t make you look like a “professional, seasoned and old fashioned photographer”; you will look like a clever person that saves money, weight and effortlessly walks for miles with a backpack full of hi tech gear… Using MFT gear you’ll look like contemporary photographer taking advantage of today’s technology.

5 – If there is something about you that needs to show off  big phallic objects you’ll be in trouble. Go FF.

6 – If you’re not an early adopter forget it. Innovators already bought the system many years ago. You’ll end buying it when everyone has it and uses it. Probably these clever users will be jumping on to the next big thing when you finally settle for MFT.

Final comment:

You need to be able to abstract yourself from your old beliefs and credos to really understand the benefits of MFT. Bresson’s photography was initially coined as anti graphic by the status quo… Get it? Prejudice cannot be part of the equation.

Photography is about photographers, about emotions, art, technique, sense and sensibility, about inspiration, about life, death, tragedy, joy, faith… Photography is about conveying emotions, passing on ideas and ideals. Photography is, essentially, an art form. Sorry, not everyone can be an artist, much less a great one.

When I switched from FF to MFT do you know what my clients said? Nothing. They didn’t spot the difference.

 

Photograph: Octopus, one of Chef André’s delicacies. What a cook he is!

 

 

No Surrender – Celebrating New Year!

_1011367-copiarFrom 2018 to 2019 – people having fun at Município de Viseu, Portugal.

_1011262-copiarIt was cold, but the party went on and on and on… Very special (micro) essay focused on one of the most iconic nights of the year.

_1011815.jpgThis will be part of my “No Surrender” series about Viseu – ongoing now for three years… Paying a tribute to the 40000 souls that celebrated New Year at Campo de Viriato.

16000 ISO e 1/60s a 300mm: E-M1 Mark II. Ruído?

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Insisto, insisto, insisto: a performance da E-M1 Mark II a ISO elevado é extraordinária. Esta fotografia, de um dos elementos da Crew da Carminho, é bem prova daquilo que tenho vindo a afirmar. Não só evidencia a performance e ausência de ruído da Olympus, bem como demonstra a eficiência do estabilizador da câmara: 300mm a 1/60s…?

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A fotografia da Carminho em cima foi tirada a 16000 ISO, bem como as duas seguintes.

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Notar que também a gama dinâmica é extraordinária; como sabemos à medida que o valor ISO aumenta a gama dinâmica reduz-se, passando de 13 ou 14 EV para sete ou oito, apenas. O processador True PIC VIII brilha, não deixando a imagem “empastelada”, sem detalhe, mas reduzindo de forma consistente o ruído gerado pelo sensor a ISO elevado.

Todas as fotografias © Município de Alfândega da Fé (Turismo de Portugal). RAW files (ORF) ACR converted, Photoshop to taste.

 

Mythbusters… Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II at ISO 20000… And fine bokeh…

_4250403-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @110mm (35mm equiv. 220mm). 1/80s@f2.8 ISO 20000, handheld.

One of these days I was asked if I was using Olympus professionally, if Olympus was my gear on the field. “Yes” I replied. Unfortunately some minds are still full of misconceptions and prejudice, stuck in a Canikon world where size, weight, noise and backache were synonyms to professional photography.  The pictures published today reflect the extreme quality, sheer performance and reliability of the Olympus Micro Four Thirds system. Image quality is second to none – in extreme situations, this is what this article is about – image stabilization (IBIS) is probably the best one can have and although there is the myth (another one) that with Micro Four Thirds it is not possible to have bokeh “layers” in any given photograph, these images prove otherwise.

_4250387-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @150mm (35mm equiv. 300mm). 1/160s@f2.8 ISO 20000, handheld.

Yes, all facts and distances, aperture and focal length being the same a smaller sensor will produce images with more depth of field. But how much more? For an image produced with a short telephoto lens (85mm FF equivalent), with the subject standing 2,5m away from the lens and background at a distance of 5,9m from the lens, Full Frame cameras will have a total of 6.8 centimeters of DOF, while APS-C will have 8.9 centimeters and Micro Four Thirds will have 10.6 centimeters. Peanuts, I dare say. Comprehensively, rendering is quite different. And bokeh “layers” will be rendered differently by any of aforementioned systems. Do you know how different they will look from each other? Do you know which one is softer/more or less feathered/more or less pleasant in any given scenario? No, you do not, neither do I, because the variables are so many that one cannot anticipate a specific result.

_4250286-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @150mm (35mm equiv. 300mm). 1/320s@f2.8 ISO 8000, handheld.

Micro Four Thirds systems offer what any other system cannot offer: considerable size and weight reduction, in a system capable of performing at a true professional level. Olympus cameras are absolutely remarkable – I believe that Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a true benchmark, a beast regarding performance, build quality, reliability, with resources and functions to spare, infinitely configurable to taste and capable of pleasing anyone looking for a truly professional camera. Olympus Pen-F is one the most, if not the most beautiful camera available on the market today. And yes, it is also a beast.

_4250166-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @85mm (35mm equiv. 170mm). 1/160s@f2.8 ISO 3200, handheld.

M.Zuiko Digital lenses, PRO and Premium range deliver stunning performance – Olympus has a very strong reputation regarding lens quality and this new collection, developed for the Micro Four Thirds system is outstanding. Looking carefully at some of the images published here easily we get to conclusions: at full aperture, extremely high ISO, resolution (MTF) is outstanding in the center and extremely good if not extraordinary towards the edges. Some of Olympus’ lenses so sharp that you’ll be hard pressed to see any difference in sharpness across the frame between f/2.8 and f/11 (https://www.ephotozine.com/article/olympus-m-zuiko-digital-75mm-f-1-8-lens-review-20557#Performance)

_4250361-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @142mm (35mm equiv. 284mm). 1/250s@f2.8 ISO 8000, handheld.

_4250450-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @40mm (35mm equiv. 80mm). 1/160s@f2.8 ISO 20000, handheld.

I use this zoom (M.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO) extensively, not only because of the covered focal length range (35mm equiv. 80-300mm) being very, very useful, but also because of outstanding optical quality.  The Olympus 40-150mm lens is not only stunningly sharp by zoom lens standards, but also sharp by prime lens standards. And this is wide open at ƒ/2.8 at practically every other focal length. Corner-to-corner sharpness is also tremendously good, with almost no change in sharpness from center softness at every focal length. The blur characteristics are very flat. For all intents and purposes, this lens is sharp, everywhere, all the time from ƒ/2.8 to around ƒ/11-ƒ/16, where we see minor diffraction softness coming into play (https://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/olympus/40-150mm-f2.8-pro-m.zuiko-digital-ed/review/)

And this is one of the biggest, although many times forgotten, advantages of Micro Four Thirds – given the size of the sensor light gets to the the extreme corners of the CMOS almost perpendicularly, as opposed to full frame cameras (specially DSLR’s) where light reaches the corners of the sensor with much less perpendicularity, therefore resulting in much less possible resolution in the image’ borders, and in the corners/extreme corners of the photograph. The practicality of this? I can compose and frame as I want, without having in mind that bigger apertures mean less resolution as a rule of thumb, or that “cornering” my subject will affect tremendously the resolution and the quality of the final image and therefore perception viewers have when they see my work in any given media, especially when enlarged significantly for exhibition. My artistic expression is not fenced by technical shortcomings.

_4250224-2-copiarM.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO @150mm (35mm equiv. 30mm). 1/200s@f2.8 ISO 8000, handheld.

To be continued (…)

 

All images Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO. RAW (ORF) files ACR converted and Photoshop CC 2018 to taste.

 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II – Performance excepcional a ISO elevado

Um dos mitos mais frequentes com que me tenho deparado desde que me tornei utilizador Olympus é a alegada performance da OM-D E-M1 Mark II em ISO elevado. Diz-se, lê-se, que este é o Calcanhar de Aquiles do sistema. Nada como testar, em situações reais de trabalho, quais os resultados que o sistema produz quando selecionamos um valor ISO elevado. Os exemplos publicados abrangem o espectro entre os 2500 e os 20000 ISO. O link no final do texto permite efectuar o download de 10 fotografias originais – de que foram extraídos os JPEG publicados – em formato TIFF, 350 dpi/16 bits (120MB/ficheiro).

Disponibiliza-se, igualmente, o ficheiro de configuração de todas as Mark II que utilizamos na Chappa (utilizado nas fotografias que ilustram este texto).

1 . M.Zuiko PRO 45mm f1.2, 1/320 @ f1.6 ISO 3200_3090061-copiar

Para muitos utilizadores de sistemas diversos ISO 3200 já é um valor “muito elevado”. Eu consideraria 3200 um valor médio, talvez médio-alto para os padrões actuais.

2. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/320 @ f2.5 ISO 10000_3100778-copiar

ISO 10000 é um valor elevado e muitos fotógrafos receiam não ser possível utilizar uma imagem produzida a 10000 ISO. Perfeitamente utilizável, conforme se observa.

3. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/1600 @ f2.5 ISO 20000_3090338-copiar

Grão visível, mas numa situação em que não haverá opção, uma imagem realizada a ISO 20000 é ainda utilizável (sem grandes ambições relativamente ao tamanho final se o meio a utilizar for impressão em papel). Há detalhe no cabelo da cantora, bem como noutras partes da imagem (em foco) e embora a gama dinâmica tenha diminuído consideravelmente, ainda é suficientemente extensa para garantir a reprodução da cena com tons agradáveis e muito realistas.

4. M.Zuiko PRO 300mm f4, 1/3200 @ f4 ISO 6400_3110680-copiar

Focal muito longa (600mm equivalente 35mm), movimentos aleatórios e muito rápidos do actor (Virgílio Castelo) obrigam a velocidade de obturação muito elevada para congelar movimento – a ISO 6400 imagem perfeitamente utilizável, com grão “controlado”, que não distrai, não estraga nem compromete.

5. M.Zuiko PRO 300mm f4, 1/160 @ f5 ISO 8000_3110560-copiar

A ISO 8000 os resultados continuam de elevado nível: pouca luz no set, distância focal muito longa, há movimento nas mãos do actor… Velocidade de obturação muito abaixo da lei da reciprocidade – excelente o trabalho do IBIS da Olympus, combinado com a estabilização de imagem da objectiva.

6. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/250 @ f4 ISO 16000_3090335-copiar

A ISO 16000, a Mark II consegue manter gama dinâmica suficiente para reproduzir a cena com verosimilhança e tons muito agradáveis. Ruído visível, mas aceitável para este ISO. Imagem perfeitamente utilizável.

7. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/50 @ f1.8 ISO 8000_3090178-copiar

Um dos problemas mais comuns de muitos sistemas é a falta de detalhe nas imagens registadas com ISO elevado. A redução de ruído produzida pelo processador da câmara acaba por tornar a imagem algo “empastelada”, levando ao desaparecimento de finos detalhes na imagem. A ISO 8000, 1/50 @ f1.8 (abertura máxima desta lente), nada se perdeu. Reparem nos finos pêlos da mão do fotógrafo, fielmente reproduzidos, já fora do centro da lente, numa zona do frame em que objectivas de custo muito superior teriam imensa dificuldade em reproduzir tanto detalhe. Esta imagem demonstra igualmente a vantagem do IBIS – absolutamente indispensável – bem como a precisão de foco do sistema híbrido da Mark II. Ruído?

8. M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8, 1/1600 @ f2.2 ISO 10000_3100795-copiar

Mais um exemplo notável a ISO 10000. O processador da Mark II consegue eliminar boa parte do ruído preservando detalhe na imagem. A gama dinâmica não permite ir buscar detalhe às mãos do músico, mas este é um trade-off aceitável quando precisamos de “esticar” o ISO. A f2.2 estamos ainda longe da resolução e recorte possíveis de atingir com esta objectiva da gama Premium da Olympus.

9. M.Zuiko PRO 300mm f4, 1/400 @ f4 ISO 2500_3110343-copiar

A ISO 2500 a fotografia produzida pela Mark II é limpa – com detalhe soberbo, ampla gama dinâmica, ainda que as condições de iluminação não sejam as ideais (para fotografia). Precisão de foco e IBIS sem mácula, objectiva a plena abertura.

10. M.Zuiko Premium 12mm f2.0, 1/160 @ f2.5 ISO 4000_3090561-copiar

Mesmo em planos abertos, com grande angular (esta lente 12mm f2.0 pesa 130 gramas), a ISO 4000 a imagem final tem excelente recorte (f2.5), pouco ruído, boa gama dinâmica.

11. M.Zuiko PRO 45mm f1.2, 1/150 @ f2.8 ISO 5000_3090468-copiar

ISO 5000, excelentes resultados. Completamente utilizável.

Todas as imagens ©Chappa/John Gallo e ©Município de Alfândega da Fé (peça de Teatro “O Último dia de Um Condenado, com Virgílio Castelo).

Todas as fotografias com Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, firmware 2.1

Ficheiros RAW (ORF) convertidos em ACR (nitidez, correção de exposição, correção de brancos e negros), Photoshop “a gosto” (níveis, brilho/contraste, equilíbrio de cores).

Link para download ficheiros TIFF:https://1drv.ms/f/s!AmnTXdi-o89xyB46R7QLhhZKXQcW

Link configuração Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, firmware 2.1: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AmnTXdi-o89xyCnWKYbehrzcRV7g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O Último Dia de um Condenado à Morte

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Estreou a 7 de Dezembro no Teatro Armando Cortez, em Lisboa. Paulo Sousa Costa é o encenador de um monólogo de Victor Hugo escrito em 1829, O Último Dia de um Condenado à Morte, obra à época criticada por ser deprimente e na qual o autor elogiou Portugal por ter sido o primeiro país a abolir a pena capital (há 150 anos, em 1867).

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O palco – convertido em corredor da morte – relata os tormentos na jornada (da condenação à execução da sentença) enquanto levanta questões éticas, criticando a sociedade do século XIX.

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Em Alfândega da Fé, a primeira representação fora de Lisboa pela mão da Yellow Star Company, aconteceu no dia 11 de Março.

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É um monólogo absolutamente contagiante, em que Virgílio Castelo nos coloca na pele de um condenado à morte, cujo estado de espírito reflecte o seu previsível destino, a esperança que morre com o personagem, o desespero de um fim anunciado.

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Fica o testemunho, 70 minutos muito intensos a que Virgílio Castelo empresta tudo o que tem, o que resulta numa interpretação deveras brilhante. Vão ver.

 

Todas as fotografias © Município de Alfândega da Fé.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II; M.Zuiko Pro 40-150mm f2.8, M; M.Zuiko Pro 300mm f4; M.Zuiko Pro 45mm f1.2, M.Zuiko Premium 75mm f1.8