Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 49 … Investigating the Olympus Pen F … GASP!…Mode 2




Well, Serendipity and I just got back from a meeting of the “Intergalactic Raw Shooters United”, Planet Earth, Philadelphia Chapter.  I’m a long time member and I even eat it RAW. Hey, hey…. oysters and clams….ok, sheeeesh.  Serendipity felt nervous and clung to my chest. I told her to relax and all is ok. (It really wasn’t ok cause all the Raw shooters were looking at her cause they know she’s right now a JPEG’er. So I stood there with all eyes on Serendipity and got very protective. She said to me, Don….let’s split. (She is the first camera in photographic history to call me Don) The she said, Don…let me mentor you on some things I can do.



So she told me to work one Mode at a time and to really give it a shot. So I set her on Mode 2. Now there are some things that I need as a contsant in Photography. The one I’m discussing here is the PRINT!. I use that term to mean, the finished photo. Maybe it’s on the screen whatever but it’s a print if it’s in a finished state. So I normally shoot Raw and process in LR and find my vision. Well, Serendipity has me trying Mode 2 and getting a JPEG. (The HORROR).



I have a vision for many of my photos. It’s born in my heart years ago. Then The Heart sent it by courier to my Brain. So, whn I’m out there making photos, I have a preset in my mind and a few variations on a theme, that when I get to LR, I can find that vision and start from there. Some call this Presets. Well, I guess they are presets but they have to be a start to satisfy not preconceptions but, expectations. Serendipity has presets in her and I think all her brothers and sisters do too. Unfortunately, many of the Pen F’s will go unnamed, pity.

The thing is, many cameras have modes or presets whatever but I never ever liked any of them enough to stop using RAW. Now because, I don’t have Raw, I’m loving the JPEGs from Serendipity. Ilove them so much that I could just use her like this. More than likely I’ll do Raw when Adobe releases it but I will definitely use R+LF.







The files are very elastic and easy to work. I also find that for me, not much is required to get it right. Most of these are OOC and if it’s not marked, I did something to make what I feel.

Let me clarify something. The idea of a preset or a mode comes under fire by many. The general consensus is, using a preset is like mass producing the images. I understand that but definitely strongly disagree. It’s true that if we all use a same preset, like Mode 2 and keep the settings the same, well we end up with a similar look to the image….. That’s a load of crap.

“No eyes ever shall nor ever will, see what I see now”. (MBW) See, Margaret Bourke-White knew that even if she used the same Pen F Presets her work would be different because her time and place and subject is unique. So I thought about this for many, many um… well a log time. My conclusion is that yes modes and presets set up the concept of mass produced photos. The idea is destroyed because like Margaret, we all have  different Here and Now and everything, so we are all using similar things to get different results.

So lets all agree to disagee and just bear in mind that using the modes in the Pen F really will provide a freedom of vision and still be individual.

Serendipity calls me and I won’t keep the young lady waiting…………


4 thoughts on “Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 49 … Investigating the Olympus Pen F … GASP!…Mode 2”

  1. Good points Don. Just as no two snowflakes are alike … no two visions of how a photo will look or no two finished photos will be totally alike. Enjoying your blogs on Serendipity. My G.A.S. is acting up! Take care out there.

    1. Thanks Dave,
      She’s for sure a real pleasure to work with. Snowflakes is the perfect example. All made up of frozen water and yet since the dawn of time to the end, no two alike.
      I like that, thanks for the enlightenment Dave…. do not touch a Pen F. Trust me my friend…….

  2. Hey Don, long time no speak (since the course with Olivier way back in 2014…). I’m just wondering how you feel about switching brands so often. I am struggling to work with the Fuji X100S and with the Ricoh GR in rapid succession, the way one operates a camera needs to become an automatic instinct and this is impossible if every feature changes place or operates differently…
    As for presets, I’m with you on trusting presets to provide a certain consistency in one’s work. OOC JPEGs, well, I suppose most of the time they work, and some camera makers (notably the latest incarnations of Fuji) seem to nail theirs quite nicely. But I’m not sure I’d be happy to lose the control I get from working on a big screen and refine the images in full quality mode…

    Enjoy the end of winter, hopefully some spring will begin to show up soon.

    1. G, good to hear from you. I agree to disagree about the camera and stuff. My thoughts are that complacency is the killer of creativity. The idea of switching cameras, could be considered but not always considered to be an exercise in breaking the habit of automatic instinct. Maybe even just for a few minutes we are challenged to wake and think about what we are doing. Of course if the camera is a friend, then we get comfy quickly but there is a brief acclimation period that I thinks is important to break habits that are not conducive to creativity. I am in that zone now with the Pen F. I fins it taxing and stimulating at the same time.

      O am only using OOC stuff because I can’t process RAW til Adobe updates ACR. I will say this, I will more then likely use R+LF Jpeg and use the JPSG as a note when i process in LR. I am doing all the modes this week and will post my thoughts.
      Take care G, love seeing ya here my friend.

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