GET BEHIND THE SHOT:
WINTER SPIRIT

BY OLYMPUS VISIONARY PETER BAUMGARTEN
Olympus Visionary Peter Baumgarten

THE BACKSTORY

My wife and I were driving through a blinding snowstorm in Northern Ontario on New Years day. After a little too much white-knuckle driving, I decided to stop for a break at a small roadside park. I noticed a swingset and asked my wife if she wouldn’t mind going for a swing. The idea of photographing someone playing in a park during a snowstorm had some appeal and my wife is crazy enough to go along with anything. I grabbed my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens and began shooting. Unfortunately the snow was so heavy she couldn’t keep her eyes open. That’s when I noticed the park bench...

THE IDEA

The heavy snow had obliterated all of the obtrusive details in the distance leaving only the park bench and the thin maple tree. I’m am always on the lookout for the unusual and I tend to like minimalist images. I also like to use natural frames in my photographs when possible. That’s when the idea struck. I gave my wife specific instructions: “Sit just to the left of the back brace on the right side of the bench.” Off she went trudging through the snow. “Oh, and don’t knock any snow off the back!”

THE SHOT

The OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens were the perfect combination for this setting. Both could easily handle the nasty weather conditions, and with the rather poor lighting, the speed of the constant aperture 40-150mm would allow me to freeze the snowflakes and create the effect I was looking for. I decided to use a large aperture in order to blur most of the closer snowflakes and up the ISO in order to use a fast enough shutter speed. With the 2-by-2 switch on the back of the E-M1, I can do this without ever taking my eye away from the viewfinder.

I chose the following settings:

Shutter Speed – 1/2500

Aperture – f/3.5

ISO – 1250

Focal Length – 40mm

Shot with OM-D E-M1 and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO.

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