About

For many years, I defined myself by my work – photojournalist, editor. Now I am neither, yet I still exist within those realms at some levels.

The entries here will touch upon that dilemma – that of a former photojournalist, a visual storyteller, who now trains others to do the same.

110804 scenes unschool 044I am on the faculty of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia teaching photojournalism and multimedia journalism courses. I still take shooting assignments, though not as many as I would like.

In an effort to keep my my visual chops sharp, I launched a project in late 2010 – 1-4-365-4-40, a photo a day for a year. (Sound it out and it makes sense. Sort of.) For three years, all of these images were shot on one camera – an Olympus E-P2 – that my wife gave me as a gift for my 40th birthday. I started shooting with the standard 17 mm f/2.8 lens, but later switched to a Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 lens. I loved the field of view and size of the Olympus, but it just wasn’t quite sharp enough and I wanted the wider aperture.

Along the way I also picked up a 30-year-old 50 mm f/1.4 Olympus lens and the necessary adapter. Which wasn’t quite sharp enough, so I splurged and bought the Oly 45 mm f/1.8 lens.

With one exception*, every image in that series was shot on that little Oly, carried at my side every day. As the year drew to a close, I had to decide what to do next. Momentum, it turns out, truly is a powerful thing and I went off on another 366 day visual adventure. (Yes, 366 – it was a leap year.) When that one ended in late 2012, what was I to do but start again?

As 2012 eventually turned into and ran through 2013, so started a fourth year. In early 2014, with that faithful little Oly well past 100,000 activations and the buttons starting to stick, I transitioned over to a Panasonic GX-7, another micro four-thirds camera that takes the same lenses.

In early 2015, after the fourth series faded into the fifth, a colleagues purchased a Fujifilm X100T and loaned it to me for a few weeks. In March of 2015, the Panasonic and associated lenses were sold off and I moved to the little Fuji. (In between, a few images were made on a Canon S100, a grand little pocket camera.) There are some other camera and lens combos here and there, but the lead photo has always come off of one of those four, small cameras.

You can also follow me on Twitter or read my other site, VisualJournalism.info if you want more industry-oriented posts.

(* I cheated once, with the S100. Sorry.)

2 Comments

  1. Hi Mark

    Very much enjoyed your review on the Olympus EP-2, and your beautiful photo’s.

    Previously,I Olympus film camera’s, (2) OM1, and a OM2. I have a 1.4 50 MM Lens as well as several telephoto lens’. I’m wondering, if I buy the EP-2 then you are saying that if I buy an adapter the lens will work on this camera? I asked a guy in a camera shop and he told me it wouldn’t work so I just want to be sure.

    I have shopped for a camera for months now and can’t make up my mind what I would like to purchase. After reading your review and seeing your fine photo’s I am inclined to buy this camera. I am waiting for black Friday to see if I can get a deal. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really love your work.

    Jerry

  2. It will work with limited functionality. You won’t get autofocus, obviously, and exposure options are limited to manual and aperture priority. There’s no auto indexing of the aperture on the lens, so you set it manually which means if you want to meter at f/8, you set it to f/8 and the lens, as you look through it, is at f/8 – not held wide open as we’re used to.

    It’s a workable situation. Olympus makes an adapter but if you search on Amazon for a Fotodiox OM-m43 adaptor you can get one for a lot less ($23 versus $160). That’s what I have and have been happy with it.

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