When you’re standing on the shores of Lake Michigan in a torrential downpour, waiting to capture lightning strikes from an intensifying storm, the weather sealing of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko PRO lenses means the difference between getting the shot or not. Just ask photographer and Olympus Visionary Jamie MacDonald.
Based in Michigan, photographer and educator MacDonald finds beauty in nature’s fury and often can be found out in the worst weather. “I’m fascinated by the weather,” he explains. “I can be found outside during thunderstorms, in downpours, with crazy squalls coming off of the lake. I always quit before the camera does.” The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is perfect for MacDonald. “One night, I came in from a storm, put down the camera bag, and went to sleep. When I got up, I realized that the bag was soaking wet. I just picked up the cameras, toweled them off and went back to shooting.”
Once, when capturing Michigan’s Grand Haven Lighthouse during a major snowstorm, MacDonald was shooting with the Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens when he noticed something strange. “I noticed that I was having trouble focusing, and the images were foggy. I turned the camera around, and the front of my camera was solid ice. I had to go back to the car and defrost the gear. It wasn’t camera error; the gear had just kept working until it had been covered in ice.”
Between shooting the fury of nature, crafting fine-art monochrome landscapes and capturing lush, vibrant urban scenes, MacDonald uses all of the advanced features of his Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II to create his fine-art work for discerning customers: “Live Composite, Live Bulb and Live Time are capture modes I use all the time. Olympus really spearheads camera development these days.” In all of these modes, Olympus cameras help solve an endemic problem with most long exposures. “Normally you can’t see what your result is going to be, so you have to guess how long to leave the shutter open,” he says. This is a thing of the past with his Olympus gear. Live Bulb and Live Time work like classic bulb and timer exposures, but the LCD screen displays the image during the exposure. With Live Composite, MacDonald’s camera automatically takes a series of shots and composites them all in-camera, no complicated techniques or time-intensive editing software needed.
MacDonald also relies heavily on his Olympus camera’s 5-Axis in-body Image Stabilization, which compensates for all types of camera motion and provides up to 5.5 stops of correction, something particularly important when handholding a camera in gale-force winds.
All the features in the world wouldn’t matter without the excellent image quality Olympus is known for. MacDonald, who also teaches workshops, says that people are always asking him if “you can make big prints” from the Micro Four Thirds sensor images like they can with their DSLR gear. “I’ve printed as large as 40” wide for customers to put in their home or for businesses to display, and the images are incredible. Plus, the Olympus gear is smaller and lighter, which means it can do things DSLRs can’t.”
For MacDonald, a camera system that’s full of advanced features, able to withstand the abuses of a tough Michigan winter and lighter than DSLR gear without compromising image quality is the Olympus advantage.
Hear more from other photographers who have made the switch to the Olympus OM-D system at getolympus.com/neverlookback.