A Rainy Day Out with the Olympus OM1n

This post is about gaining inspiration on a wet, dark day. Sometimes simplicity is in itself inspirational, so leave the digital monster and zoom lens at home (it’s raining and it’s probably best not to get it wet) and just take out the most basic equipment and try to get some good shots.

In this case a 30 year old OM1n and a 50mm f1.8 lens, plus 2 rolls of film – Agfaphoto APX100 which is a great all purpose B/W film. As it turned out I only needed the 1 roll.  All  shots developed in Rodinal.

For those not familiar with old Olympus cameras, an OM1n is a small, all mechanical manual camera with just the basic controls –  shutter speed, aperture and focus. There’s the built in luxury of a needle exposure meter too powered by a battery, but if the power fails you can carry on shooting anyway, guessing the exposure.

Wet Day Shot 1

Anyway – back to the plot, Having wandered about aimlessly getting wet for a while, the first subject was this – a twisted, cut back tree above a roof. The ‘foggy’ effect was caused by condensation on the inner side of the UV filter on the lens. Instead of wiping it away – I was already quite soaked – it seemed best just to carry on anyway. This is an indestructible Olympus OM1n after all. Just a single layer applied in photoshop.

Rainy Day Shot 2

Shot 2 – the rain was puddling up on a church path so at maximum aperture to minimise depth of field a few ‘focus bracketed’ (ie move the focus ring about) shots were taken and this seemed the best one. Maybe I should straighten that horizon…

Finally – shot 3 of a cottage gate with that condensation really getting bad by now. The low contrast caused by the condensation has added a nice old-fashioned feel to the shot, so it could have been taken 50 years ago and aged in a frame.

I was really pleased with getting decent shots from such a poor day as I didn’t expect to take anything worthwhile. Hopefully this might get some of you to do the same thing.

For those worried about the camera – it’s fine having dried out on a bookcase overnight.


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