The first of the year

Winter sunset, Morris, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Winter sunset, Morris, Connecticut © Steven Willard

January 1st, and I wanted to start off with something different, so I reached for a lens I don’t go to often, the odd little Olympus Body Cap lens for micro 4/3 cameras. It is a very simple two element design fixed at f8 and is zone focused, which all fits in a plastic body barely thicker than a regular body cap. Rated at 15mm it is a moderate wide angle (30mm equivalent). Critics rank on it’s poor performance, but I find that in the center it is surprisingly sharp (though it does degrade quickly toward the edges) and for the right subject, has just the feel I want.

I was determined to find a subject for this lens, but it was getting late in the day, and colder by the minute when I turned the corner and found this remnant of what looks like an old grape vine silhouetted against a bleak cloudy sky. As I walked from the parked car back to the vine I pictured the photograph in my mind, and amazingly, found just the angle I was looking for. There were no other decisions to make, f8 was already determined, and I guessed at the focus as I approached. Three exposures and I was hurrying back to the warmth of the car.

I opened the file on my iPad, and went straight to Snapseed, where I already had a plan in mind for how I wanted the final image to look and a pretty good idea of how I was going to get there. Sometimes, with patience, a plan, and good fortune, things come together just as we hope with very little effort. If only it were always thus.

Olympus OMD EM5 with Olympus Body Cap 15mm f8 lens processed with Nik Snapseed.















4 comments on “The first of the year

  1. WOW! I love this – so dark and intense. Sums up the dark and bleak days of winter. Superb 🙂


  2. Tim McGowan says:

    Steven, great Image. I think the element that “makes” this photograph is the post bisecting the “eye” image formed by the vines. To me it holds everything together. I tend to like most of your images. Good Fortune in this New Year.


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