Whistler 2017

     Back in April I had the amazing opportunity to join Olympus in Whistler BC for the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. They brought myself and a few other photographers along for a few days of fun and we got to shoot with some of their newer gear while we were there. It was unbelievably fun and the time flew by! Here were some of the highlights...

     The weather there could have been better as it was cloudy and rained on us about 95% of the time. The 2 exceptions were our drive in on the day of arrival and the drive out of town at the end of the week. This shot is one of my favorites and was from the drive in when we stopped to check out Sharon Falls.

 Sharon Falls taken with Olympus E-M1 and M. Zuiko 12-40mm 2.8 Pro with a NiSi 6 Stop ND Filter

Sharon Falls taken with Olympus E-M1 and M. Zuiko 12-40mm 2.8 Pro with a NiSi 6 Stop ND Filter

     The next morning Olympus hooked us up with some gear to use for the next few days! We got our hands on the E-M1 Mark ll, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro, M. Zuiko 300mm f4 Pro, M. Zuiko 25mm 1.2 Pro, and the TG- Tracker. All of these items are fantastic but the headliner for me was the E-M1 Mark ll! After we had breakfast we packed up and went for a drive through the Squamish area. The first stop was along a river down at the base of the mountains known for birds and bald eagles. It was a steady rain at this point and we stayed out there for about 30 minutes. With a fully weather sealed camera system the only concern for me was how wet I was willing to get ;) I'm usually a fair weather shooter but I stayed out so the other guys wouldn't laugh at me lol. We didn't see many birds out there but here is one I snagged with the 300mm f4.

 Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 300mm f4 Pro

Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 300mm f4 Pro

     The next stop was at Train Wreck! Train Wreck is a hiking area near the Cheakamus River where old train cars are scattered through the woods from a wreck back in the 50's. All of the cars are covered inside and out by graffiti from local artists. We had to hike through the woods on twisting, wet,  and icy snow covered trails. It wasn't a bad hike but was more challenging due to the conditions at the time. At one point we came to a bridge to cross above the flowing river below. We stopped to shoot there and take pics of each other on and around the bridge. after crossing we came up to the Train wreck. It was such an amazing place to see. I spent most of my time there shooting with the E-M1 Mark ll and the M. Zuiko 7-14mm 2.8 Pro that I borrowed. The 7-14 was a perfect fit as l love to shoot wide! I've wanted that lens for quite some time and after shooting with it more on this trip it's moved to the top of my list. We were shooting in fairly low light and the E-M1 Mark ll shot beautifully with high ISO. All of the images were very clear with very little if any noise. Below are some of my favorites from the day...

 Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro

Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro

 Train Wreck taken with E-M1 Mark ll and 7-14mm 2.8 Pro 

Train Wreck taken with E-M1 Mark ll and 7-14mm 2.8 Pro 

 Train Wreck2 taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 7-14mm 2.8 Pro

Train Wreck2 taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 7-14mm 2.8 Pro

     That night we attended the Olympus 72 hour filmmaker showdown. The event was a lot of fun and there were some really good and entertaining movies shown. Olympus has been holding the contest for a number of years and you can find out more about the event here.  I ran around with the E-M1 Mark ll and 25mm 1.2mm that night. I didn't shoot anything that exciting but I was curious to see how the lens and high ISO on the Mark ll handled. I did an lot of people shooting and used a customer B&W profile setup in camera. I thought the combo did very well and that lens is CRAZY Sharp! Here are a couple shots from the evening...

 Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 25mm 1.2 Pro ISO 2000

Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 25mm 1.2 Pro ISO 2000

 Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 25mm 1.2 Pro

Taken with E-M1 Mark ll and M. Zuiko 25mm 1.2 Pro

     The next day we went to SuperFly Ziplines.  What an unbelievable rush! There isn't much more to say than they take you way up in the mountains and then you literally fly down! The epic views as you soar through the mountains were absolutely beautiful. I took the TG-Tracker up there with me and shot some videos during the runs.  We had a lot of fun that day! 

     Afterwards I went out during some down time to try the Pro Capture feature and focus tracking on the Mark ll. I went over to the ski hill and shot sequences of the skiers and snowboarders coming down the mountain. I have never been flat out amazed at a camera feature like I was with this. When Olympus introduced Live Composite a few years back I was stunned at how cool that was but Pro Capture and the speed of the E-M1 Mark ll will leave you speechless. Whether you're a professional sports photographer, shooting your kids sporting events, or playing with the kids in the backyard you can't miss the shot with this camera. It's very easy to use you will never be going through your images and say "man if I was a second sooner or later".  You will capture every frame and always get the shot you wanted. I didn't get a chance to shoot anyone doing anything really exciting but here is a set so you can see how sharp each and every frame is in the sequence. If you have been on the fence with this one just go get it and thank me later!

     After dinner that evening we went to the Olympus pro photo showdown which a another event they run each year. There were 5 contestants from around the world that shoot stunning action sports photos. Everyone of the slideshows were jaw dropping and inspirational. Seeing the shots those guys capture and what they must go through to get some of them is mind blowing! The night was a lot of fun and I personally left motivated and inspired after seeing the show. 

     I had to fly out the next morning and my whirlwind adventure was over like that. It was truly an experience that I will never forget and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go. I met a lot of great people and made some new friends out there that I will keep in touch with for years to come. Huge Thank You to everyone on the Olympus Team! I will never forget this!

 Leaving Whistler taken with E-M1 and M. Zuiko 12-40mm 2.8 Pro

Leaving Whistler taken with E-M1 and M. Zuiko 12-40mm 2.8 Pro