Creating a visual diary with Olympus

My name is Maddaluna and I am an architect. I live in La Morra, a special place in Italy known for the production of wine, especially Barolo. This is the environment where I was born and raised: both my parents are architects, my family produces wine, and I have always lived and worked in contact with wine and vineyards, and I love to immerse myself in this nature.

I have always approached the visual arts in many ways, both as a spectator and as an author (drawing and painting as a child, graphics and communication as an adult). As an architect, I love to find the right proportions, perspectives, colors, and the relationship of forms with the landscape. For this reason, my recent approach to photography has been a very fluid process.

I bought my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II in January 2020, basically to photograph my architectural works, with its supplied lens (M.Zuiko Digital 14‑42mm F3.5‑5.6 II) and a wide-angle (M.Zuiko Digital ED 9‑18mm F4‑5.6).

I immediately realized the difficulty of my inexperience and then I gave up, but I liked the contact of my hand and my face with the camera. Now I often say: “this is the only object for which I feel affection”.

The real beginning took place in the lockdown. Closed in my country apartment with my partner Momo, I decided to try to be an Instagrammer: I felt the need to relate in a different way to my physicality and femininity, to solve some insecurities, so I took my own Olympus and, armed with a tripod, I started taking selfies. For these photos, I have always used the wide-angle lens, as I liked the width of the image and the sharpness of all the details.

Once the lockdown was over, I decided to take photography lessons, and I was lucky enough to meet a talented teacher, Barbara, a photographer and psychologist. We started working on my self-timer photos, clearly changing the way of photographing myself: we decided to abandon the previous sharpness – a symptom of my need for control and perfection – to begin to immerse myself in the shadows, bringing to light only some details of me, always using natural light coming from the many windows of my apartment.

At this stage, I started using a Lumix G 20mm F1.7 II ASPH lens, a fixed focal length pancake that I immediately fell in love with, due to its brightness and depth. In this period I also started to change my way of exposing myself on Instagram, going from set photos to real “mirror selfie” made with my Olympus, in which I show myself and my outfits simply in front of the mirror.

My Instagram feed gradually started to change, going from an ego-centric profile to a sort of visual diary. I started taking my Olympus everywhere I went, and every opportunity was good to experiment and learn (How can I photograph my black boyfriend while doing a djset in the dark? How can I photograph people in the fog? How can I take portraits at sunset without making them yellow? Etc.).

The OM-D E-M10 Mark II is compact, easy to carry both over the shoulder and in a bag. Anything that I could not understand, I would go home and talk to my teacher, to correct and define myself – as I still do today.

Meanwhile, some family and friends have started asking me to photograph them and to study visual communication projects for their businesses. I immediately liked this type of work: I understood that working with people is a great stimulus for me, identifying their personality, but also their “unspoken”, fielding the Human Communication studies that I did in the past 5 years.

I always interview anyone days before photographing him, so that I have time to think about how to best represent that person. My first real job was for my cousin Enzo Boglietti’s winery and his family. For this job, I did the post-processing in Lightroom on a PC, but I usually use VSCO directly on my phone. I love the export function via Wi-Fi directly from my Olympus to my smartphone, it’s ideal for all photos aimed at Instagram.

I also photographed some events, and in these cases, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm lens came in very handy: people don’t always like to be photographed and the fact of being able to photograph them from afar, without them noticing, it makes everything easier.

Finally, since summer also came with some parties – albeit contained and always homemade – I found myself photographing people in these situations, and I must say that today, this is what I like best.

Given that my competence and my equipment are very limited for night photography (I always have and only used my Olympus with a Lumix pancake lens, without flash), I am very pleased with the results, I like to experience the party with the camera in hand, waiting for something that inevitably happens: a smile, a look, a hug, the spontaneity of people when they share a happy and joyful moment, perhaps a little uninhibited by wine.

“It is in the emotions that people find themselves in the same place” and I would like, thanks to my photos, for every observer to experience the emotions of those beautiful moments, be part of them, and smile as well.

" My name is Maddaluna and I am an architect. I live in La Morra, a special place in Italy known for the production of wine, especially Barolo. This is the environment where I was born and raised: both my parents are architects, my family produces wine, and I have always lived and worked in contact with wine and vineyards, and I love to immerse myself in this nature. I have always approached the visual arts in many ways, both as a spectator and as an author (drawing and painting as a child, graphics and communication as an adult). As an architect, I love to find the right proportions, perspectives, colors, and the relationship of forms with the landscape. For this reason, my recent approach to photography has been a very fluid process."

3 Comments

    1. Hello! I am still using my Olympus, but for personal use most of all. My first camera was a small Olympus and it was my first love. For work reasons I needed to take a more advanced machine and I wanted to experiment with another brand, but the Olympus OMD EM 10 mark II is the camera I would recommend to anyone to get started or for personal use ♥️

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