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Fun and Games with Art Filters

So I went out at lunch with the E-PL2, and after raising up a little cane with the Red Dots of Doom, I walked on to Jersey Mikes and got my usual #7 regular, on wheat, Mike's way no onions, with jalapenos. Along the way I grabbed a few photos of some green growth using the Pop Art art filter. I also checked the close focusing abilities of the 14-42mm II lens. It seems to be able to focus as close as the original 14-42mm that came with the E-P2. One observation about this lens and camera combination; it focuses fast and silent and always seems to lock on the target, no matter what.
These first two photographs were taken with the Pop Art art filter. The last time I tried any art filters was December 2009 when I got my first Pen, the E-P2. I went out walking with my daughter up International Drive. I wasn't all that pleased with the results, and I never tried to use that art filter again. On rare occasions I would play a bit with the Grainy Black and White filter, but nothing like the first days with the E-P2. Today when I went out and tried Pop Art I was particularly careful of subject and lighting, as well as color. I'm still not sure I like Pop Art, but I can see possibilities. Still and all, to me a little Pop Art goes a long way.
Dramatic Tone was another matter. I saw the results of Dramatic Tone when the E-5 was introduced, particularly when Robin Wong was reviewing the E-5 back in October 2010. So I turned it on and working with various aspect ratios went out and tried out my so-called street photography "skills". Since I was headed to Jersey Mike's for a sub that's what I wound up running with.
The lunch scene was pretty crowded at Jersey Mike's. The noise of the customers along with the silence of the lens and the all-black color of lens and body made for a great little stealth camera. The only sound was the shutter when it was tripped, but from what I could see nobody noticed, or if they did, they didn't care.
On the way back to the office with my sub I ran into my long-time friend Sam the sandhill crane. This guy's gotten so tame I can walk up pretty close and take his portrait with the kit lens. Of course, with a beak like his, I tend to not get too close.

Dramatic Tone tends to make, well, for dramatic tones in the photo. The problem with Dramatic Tone is that the contrast and tone are too dramatic for my taste. The one feature of this art filter I do like is how it pulls details out of both the shadows and highlights. But like Pop Art, a little Dramatic Tone can go a long way. I also noticed that Dramatic Tone tends to kill fine detail, something I spend a lot of time trying to preserve in post processing.

I'll try to work with Dramatic Tone a bit more, incorporating cloudy skies and some downtown architecture. That seems to be what everyone else uses Dramatic Tone for, so I'll give it a try. But after that I don't know. I wish I could get a Pen that allows much finer control over the art filter presets, especially Dramatic Tone. I would especially like a black and white version of Dramatic Tone.


Taken with the E-PL2 and the M.Zuiko 14-42mm using the art filters and various aspect ratios. Taken straight from the camera and posted here.


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