Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lake Eola Evening

Lake Eola Sundown
I'd intended to spend the early afternoon tramping a bit around Orlando, but a problem creating a software repository for my primary project forced me to head back on over to my office and correctly re-create it. I spent three hours of a glorious Saturday afternoon in an office without air conditioning (they turn it off on the weekends to save money). By the time I got out it was 5pm and the sun was headed back down again. In spite of only working three hours, it still felt like a regular working day.

I pulled off into downtown on the way home and headed towards Lake Eola. I haven't been there in well over a year. It's a great place for people to meet. The weather here in Orlando, in January, is high 70s to low 80s during the day, and low 60s at night. It's days like today that remind us why we live in Central Florida. The problem is they are far too few. As good as the weather is now it's a good 10 degrees too warm. I fear we're in for a hot dry spring to fall, and the strong possibility of a very bad fire season because of it. I'm reminded of 1998...
Lake Eola Sundown
Beautiful weather, soft evening light. Partly cloudy skies tinted golden by the setting sun and reflecting back down onto the city below. Orlando has a compact city center, with a lot of continuous sprawl, unbroken from the urban edges out through the surrounding suburbs. The lake is beautifully kept and provides large grassy areas for families to sit and enjoy the weather. There are a few activities to enjoy the lake itself, such as these pedal powered swan boats.
Lake Eola Sundown
Lake Eola Sundown
Unfortunately if I walk around long enough I see where societies little signs have gone up, restricting our movements bit by bit. The seats in front of the bandshell on Lake Eola used to be open. It was nice to go and sit alone, and to think. But you can't do that anymore. I don't know when signs like this went up, but it had to have been since the last time I took any photos around here, sometime after November 2009. Signs like this are all over the bandshell now.
Lake Eola Sundown
As I walk around I see more and more of this; couples physically together but mentally and emotionally separate. I don't know what they're doing; checking email, tweeting, playing Angry Birds. It doesn't matter. They're in their own separate little bubbles of reality. Welcome to dating in the second decade of the 21st century.Lake Eola Sundown
I also see the homeless. They're a lot more common than you realize. You have to look, to pay attention. They've discovered the hidden, little out-of-the-way spots to hang out during the day until the homeless shelters open up in the evening. In an ideal world they would have some small day job to go to, but in reality no one will hire them. So they take their possessions with them, usually in a backpack. They've usually got a book they read, and something cheap to snack on.

Or maybe I'm full of it. Maybe this is a regular tourist, taking a break from walking around Lake Eola. After all, he's got a really nice backpack. Sunglasses. And his t-shirt has "Oh Lord, Forgive Me My Zins." But I think not. I think all that was given to him. One big clue is the fact he's just across the street from Saint George Orthodox Church, where many of the homeless were gathering for the evening. All of them old males with stuffed backpacks. I didn't stick around to find out, it was getting late and I needed to head home.


Using the E-M5 completely now. Getting used to the camera and its many features as well as its quirks. All photos taken with the M.Zuiko 45mm, except Saint George's, which was taken with the Leica 25mm. All photos used with ISO 200 except the last of the man with his backpack, which "accidentally" was exposed at ISO 1000. I say accidentally because I didn't see any difference until I had them all in Lightroom, and I happened to look over at the ISO setting the camera had automatically chosen. Until then I couldn't tell any difference between any of them. This is the first time that has ever happened with any 4:3rds sensor based camera.

Best feature is its stealthiness. Small, dark, innocuous, especially if held away from the face. Nobody at Lake Eola paid any attention. Super-quiet shutter noise. Super-fast reaction, especially when using the touch-to-photograph feature on the rear LCD. Which leads to the biggest annoyance...

Biggest annoyance is the automatic sensor to switch between the eye-level EVF and the rear LCD. If I try to hold the camera at waist level, with the LCD pulled away from the body and pointed up and next to my body, the LCD goes blank intermittently because the E-M5's EVF sensor thinks it's going up to my eye. I finally configured the E-M5 to disable the automatic switch feature and use the button on the EVF to manually switch back and forth, just like with the older Pens with the VF-2 mounted.


  1. Wow good photos again Bill.

    Funny: when I was trying a Sony a57 in a store late last year, I was searching for the switch to turn on the viewfinder. I couldn't find it, and eventually put the camera to my eye. I think that would bug me too. Otherwise, a very nice camera.

    Can't wait to read more about the E-M5, especially because you also had the pro 43rds cameras. Result-wise, it seems to trump them all, so I assume all you're missing - like Robin Wong would - are the 12-60 and 50-200mm zooms?

    1. I've reached a point where I don't think I would buy any more of the larger E-series 4:3rds bodies, such as the E-3 or E-5. The E-M5 has the heft and feel of the larger bodies. More generally I'll never buy a larger DSLR body again after having gotten the E-M5. I compared the E-M5 to my old OM-4, and the OM-4 is larger, noticeably so on side of the body opposite the hand grip. On the side where you grip the camera, the two cameras are nearly identically proportioned, which means they hold the same for me. The fact that the E-M5 is US$950 body only vs. US$1,700 for the E-5 is significant as well.

      As for the 12-60mm and 50-200mm, the longer I'm without the less desire I feel to reacquire them. I'm back to what I had with film, a collection of useful primes ranging from 14mm to 45mm, the film equivalent of 28mm to 90mm. They're light, very small, and for what I want very good. Those zooms are very, very good, but I'm not so sure I want to re-purchase them any more.

      The E-M5 finally proves that you can have very high quality digital photography that is more than "just good enough", without the expense or the physical bulk. I am truly content with the purchase of the E-M5, as it fully rounds out the µ4:3rds system that I've been slowly collecting over the last two years since my first Pen, the E-P2.

  2. One of the very first things that I turned off was "Auto ISO". Everyone who reviewed this camera last spring said it had great image quality with ISOs all the way up to 3200. I quickly discovered that I didn't like much of anything it gave me above 1600, and I usually try to keep it at 1000 or lower - only raising it when I absolutely have to.

    I like the auto switching between the EVF and the LCD. Only occassionally confuse me - and it's when the read LCD goes black, due to one of my fingers, thumb, or camera strap fooling the sensor into thinking that I'm trying to look throught the EVF.

    Nice set of photos, and a nice story to go with them!

    1. I'm still using auto-ISO (obviously) and have it limited to ISO 3200 as well. So far the little I've gotten out of the camera at 3200 hasn't been a bother to me, but then that's my personal tastes. As they always say YMMV.

      >> Nice set of photos, and a nice story to go with them!

      Thank you.


All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.