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Why I am with Olympus by Mikael Svenson

1 When and how did you first become aware of the Olympus system?

I took real notice at an online event that Olympus Sweden arranged. There, Claes Grundsten was one of the photographers who shared his experiences. Claes has been an ambassador Olympus for since 2017 and one of the real legends in landscape photography in Sweden. A photographer you have always looked up to.

Shortly afterwards, I contacted Olympus and got to try an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III camera body together with the lens M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mmF4 IS PRO for a couple of weeks.

2 What was it that convinced you to give it a try?

I was looking for a lighter system for going out cycling, skiing or hiking the mountains. At first, the idea was that the Olympus system would be a complement to my old full-frame camera but I got hooked on the camera and it's the one I used the most since.

Something I appreciate is the "community" among Olympus photographers and everyone plus digital events (although many may have their cause in recent times pandemic) from Olympus US, UK and Sweden. You always catch something new or get new inspiration. This is something I have not directly experienced from the bigger camera brands.

 E-M1 Mark III • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO • 38mm • 1.6s • F8.0 • ISO200

3 Why do you think it has the edge over what you were using before?

The weather protection available on the professional camera bodies and lenses is something I value highly. A couple of weeks ago I visited the island of the Blå Jungfrun “Blue Virgin” for a reportage job. During the second day, a heavy rainstorm drove in and lasted for a few hours. Despite this I carried on taking pictures during a hike around the island. I used the two different camera bodies in parallel. The Olympus camera felt very safe and I was not the least bit worried that it would crash.

However, my other camera body was not so happy about rain and moisture. After a couple of hours in the wet it stopped working while my Olympus continued to deliver pictures. For such assignments, it is invaluable to have a system that you can trust 100%.

4 What specific capabilities/functions do you use that let you get shots that you might have missed in the past?

Live-ND is a very flexible function to provide slightly longer shutter speeds. Previously I had to use traditional filters to achieve the same effect, the handling becomes smoother by using the Live-ND function. I do not photograph stars as much as I would like to do but to use "Starry Sky AF" simplifies the operation. High-Res functions, both handheld and especially with a tripod is a frequently used function when I want to get that last bit of detail from a image.

 E-M1 Mark III • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO • 12mm • 1.3s • F8.0 • ISO200

5 You have shared some of your favorite images with us for this interview, talk us through one of them, the background, the body and lens used and what you did to get the shot.

One cold February morning I was out looking for new ideas. I am working on a book with pictures from Mölndal (just south of Gothenburg in Sweden) and ended up at Lindomeån (Lindomestream). It had rained a lot so the river was flooded. I found some birch trunks standing there in the water and felt that this was the motif I was looking for. Graphic and minimalist.

Since I used the High-Res function, I could not use Live-ND so I put on a 3-stop ND filter to get a little longer time and some movement in the water. The image won the February MyOlympus competition and helped me purchase the 40-150 lens.

E-M1 Mark III with Olympus 12-100 lens.

6 What are the most important things for people to consider before they even leave home?

Thermos coffee, some good coffee bread and fully charged batteries.

 E-M1 Mark III • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO • 23mm • 1/4s • F8.0 • ISO200

7 What two tips can you give people once they are out that will help them get a better results?

Dare to experiment. Try different angles - usually the first cut you see is not the best.

8 Talk us through your style, what do you aim for in an image?

Is always looking for the clean, simple and graphic motifs. I like to put a person in the picture - to create an extra dimension and make it easier for the viewer to see size ratios in a landscape image. The little man in the great landscape. Maybe it can also awake a desire from the viewer that he also wants to be there.

 E-M1 Mark III • M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO • 23mm • 1/4s • F8.0 • ISO200

9 Where would you like to go that you have not been to yet and what would you try to photograph there?

You usually do not have to travel to the other side of the earth, you can find a lot in your immediate area. But if I should choose a couple of dream destinations, the mountain landscapes in Patagonia and the Himalayas are high on my bucket list.

10 What’s your go to camera and lens combination for landscape photography?

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with the lens 12-100 mm is an incomparable combo.
I am also very fond of the telephoto lens 40-150 mm and have the new one wide angle 8-25 mm on my wish list.

Featured products:

E-M1 Mark III

M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4 IS PRO

M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO

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