LOCATION :: A Different S FL Sunrise


Wakodahatchee Sunrise by Chip Bunnell PhotographyOver the last week I have been testing a new Olympus E-M1 4:3 mirrorless camera. While I am more than exceedingly pleased with my Canon 5D3 (okay, I pretty much love it), the thought of carrying less than 1/2 the weight, size, etc. is certainly appealing to my shoulders and back. Let’s face it, the ability to pack clothes for my many traveling adventure instead of all camera gear would be kind of nice as well.

When test driving a potential new car, you need to get off the boaring dealer-established 1 block x 1 block road path to see how it really handles the corners, accelerates and brakes. Sure, it may run good in 1st gear, but what about 4th…when the engine is revving high and the tires squeal around a turn? So too it is when test driving a new camera system.

My little foster-camera has been out with me long before sunrise, on the Miami Dolphin’s field under the bright cloudless sky, to the edge of the swampy Everglades and even seen the last light of day. All in all, it has performed without a complaint, well, once we learned how to communicate. Just like that new car, the radio controls and windshield wipers are always in a different place from your everyday driver. Yep – its the same between the fits-like-a-glove controls of my 5D3 and the potentially new Olympus E-M1. After breaking the highest cardinal rule of guy-code (reading the manual…but just barely), my foster Oly and I were finally communicating and working well as a team.

This image is one of the ones I made during one of my pre-dawn local excursions. I wanted to test the noise levels in the shadows and see how it would handle the harsh contrast to the bright sun ball. A little magic in Lightroom and a very pleasing result was received. I especially like the texture in the thick cloud ceiling hanging just above the single slot for the rising sun. The tranquil lake mirrored a stunning reflection of the tree line and sunburst. The raw color data was intact to allow the true richness to be shown. One other fun fact about this image – it was taken by holding the camera high above a fence and tilting the LCD screen down so I could see my composition. This would have been much more challenging with a larger, heavier system.

While there is no single tool that will accomplish all tasks equally well, I see a mirrorless camera as the perfect companion to my already awesome full frame beast. It’s portability and versatility allow for creativity to continue, even when there is not the time or space to carry a larger brother. While I must say a fond farewell to my borrowed system, it has opened my eyes to the possibility of a new permanent addition in our home.

Photo Stuff: Single Frame, Hand-Held. Processed in LR and Topaz Clarity

Copyright 2014 – All rights reserved

DESTINATION :: Sunrise over Cayman Brac


Chip Bunnell Photography | Sunrise over Cayman BracMy beautiful bride and I just returned from an amazing Caribbean adventure. Being avid SCUBA divers, we agreed the highlight of the trip was 7 days aboard the Cayman Aggressor. This 110’ vessel served as our mobile dive platform, transporting us to locations throughout the 3 Cayman islands most will never see. Manned by an outstanding crew, we explored incredible wrecks, dramatic 6,000’ walls and lush reefs teaming with brightly colored fish. Words, and sadly even photos cannot convey the full scope of true beauty we witnessed as we, for a brief time, were part of an oceanic treasure. This particular week, the weather gods even smiled upon us. Bright sunny days and star-filled nights made our time above the water just as incredible as out time below. (…well, almost that is….)

Each morning we were awoke to a wonderful sunrise and a warm tropical breeze. This particular morning we were moored off of Cayman Brac, about 90 miles northeast of Grand Cayman. At only 12 miles long and 1 mile wide, the island is an extremely small land mass in the middle of a big ocean. To bring interest and location to this frame, I made a slightly off-axis image with the starboard side of the boat used as a leading line to draw the viewer to the gorgeous sunrise. The reflection in the dark paint expands the sunrise throughout the frame. This seemed like the perfect image to start the series from a truly incredible journey.

3 Frame Hand-Held HDR, Processed in LR and Topaz Clarity