Andrew Fusek Peters: My OM Journey
Flower, bird, wind and Moon: who knew that my love of nature could only increase?
When I first came to OM System I had a moment of panic, and had to learn an entirely new language. But within weeks I began to recognise phrases: lightweight, silent, sharp, small and unthreatening to wildlife – and even time travel.
I entered the world of birds and so often cursed my luck, as I missed the moment of flight. But suddenly, Pro Capture showed me magic – as if the camera could look behind and in front of an instant. When siskins flared upwards in the green glade of my garden, what my eyes saw was only a blur. But in this new land, at 60 frames per second – then 120 – every millisecond was accounted for.
Look at these gladiators of the air, eyes and claws sharp as their intention!
I understood my camera’s capabilities, and it meant these extraordinary glimpses could be shared with the world.
Then I got ill, and had no knowledge of this ache deep in my guts. A wise doctor saw how pale I was and I slowly had to learn other new words - cancer, tumour, surgery.
In that calm before entering the hospital, all I could do was sit in my garden. The butterflies soared and swung around me, through the last sweetness of summer, and even in the depths of my despair the photographer in me was curious – and I wondered why there were so few photos of butterflies in flight.
I survived, I got an all-clear and dedicated myself to butterflies – and all the time, this system I had studied was happy for its abilities to be stretched to the limit.
Soon the media took an interest, and my photos became a book. With Focus Stacking and super-fast shooting, I had discovered flight and macro marvels, and the gold of these gilded-flutterers shone out bold and bright.
Later again I found the Moon to be a new acquaintance – and with my system’s Image Stabilisation and incredible reach, I got to see the Moon singing above autumn colours, with Hand Held High Resolution giving me the dynamic range to reveal details of our nearest neighbour’s surface, while the flames of autumn burned bright across the hillsides.
What did the 16th Century poet Moritake say? ‘The flower that drifted back to the branch, was a butterfly.
For me, OM System is about the joy of being in nature, and reflecting on it. There is an old idea about a ghost in the machine: my experience of working with this system has taught me that this has truth in it. With my camera as my trusted companion while I explore the wonders of the natural world, I am no longer alone on my journey – to achieve the best shots, capture the best moments, and experience the very best of what the outdoors can offer.
If we work hard, if we dive deep into nature, if we learn her language and her lessons, if we take her beauty – not for granted, but to show what we might lose if we are not careful – then we are transformed, and both glory and grace might be ours.
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