Photography has always been a hobby and interest of mine, but I was not into the technical part of it (dark room, chemicals, etc.). Now with digital photography, I can follow my path: making nice pictures, and giving a different perspective on reality through my pictures.
I mostly do free work. I have done several jobs as a photographer, for St. Pauls Anglican Church in Vancouver, for the foundation Stichting Christelijk-Sociaal Congres, and for the Eemlandhoeve, and I produce pictures when I need them for my design jobs.
I mostly do landscapes and city/architecture photography where I either look for dramatic wide views or try to isolate small details. Isolating details I might go so far that one cannot really recognise the object anymore, thus producing an seemingly abstract image.
Though I am not great with taking snapshots, I do like to take pictures at public events. In parades people know that their picture will be taken, and that gives me the freedom to do it.
I use the Olympus E330, with the 12-60/f2.8-4 zoom and the 40-150/f3.5-4.5 lens. This camera has had a mixed reception, from reviewers telling Olympus that they could do better, to a reviewer who saw it as a straitghtforward professional camera, even in some respects superior to a Canon 30D. I have always liked Olympus, and when they joined with Leica and Panasonic with the four-third standard, I trusted it would be a viable road. The big advantage of the system would be the Olympus glass -- as I had owned an OM10, this was for me the main reason to go for Olympus --, and maybe even the availability of Leica lenses.
Now that the four-third standard has matured, one can wonder how much Leica, Panasonic, and Olympus are committed to each other. Other than the mount, there is no standard: Panasonic uses an aperture ring and builds IS into the lens; Olympus puts everything in the camera. And Leica continues its rangefinder series, and lends its blessing to the lenses for the Panasonic. And then came the micro four-third, to muddle things more. I worry most for Olympus, because they do not make their own chips. My suspicion is that that is the main reason for Minolta to pull out of the camera business. If you do not make your own chips, you are always trailing behind developments. In this regard, it will be interesting to see what happens to Pentax, which cooperates with Samsung.
However, we are still dealing with rapidly developing systems. And I do think that a system without a mirror is the future. The modern EVF's are almost as usable as a mirror. With a good EVF, one will be able to focus precisely. And, on will be able to project a histogram on the image. My first digicam, the Minolta Dimage 7 had that ability, and that is the big thing I miss on the Olympus: the ability to put the camara on manual and than adjust exposure with the aid of the histogram.
The E330 is good for most of my photography. In normal light conditions the camera is responsive, and the Olympus lenses are sharp and crisp. With an extra flash, one has extensive control over exposure for all kinds of situations. It is, however, limited in its low light capabilities. Focussing is not fast enough and not reliable in these situations (e.g. conferences where there is no daylight in the room). Boosting the ISO is not a real alternative because noise above ISO400 is a problem.
Information on the Four-Thirds (4/3) system, a co-development of Olympus, Panasonic, and Leica.
Information on digital camera's, forums, picture galleries and 'challenges'. Highly recommended as a general source.
Interesting articles on photography and equipment, often rightly shredding hypes to pieces. Only DO NOT follow their ideas on waterfalls. The white vales they seem to like are just ugly.
Tests of new and old lenses for all makes of camera's Good technical information.
A website also with tests of lenses. Their interactive graphs of sharpness are very helpful.
Photographer Hans Lebbe. He always makes the pictures at the CSC in Doorn. He is able to get something decent from speakers who hide their face in their text.