Friday, May 17, 2013

Olympus Art Filters

My digital photography workflow usually follows this general path:

  1. Shoot in RAW (Olympus files have the file extension .ORF)
  2. Import photos into Lightroom and convert RAW .orf  files into Adobe DNG. I do this to convert the raw file and it's sidecar file into a single Adobe file which is not vendor proprietary. I saw no reason to keep the .orf file around.
  3. In the import procedure, rename the file, add some metadata such as name and copyright info, maybe a few tags.
  4. Process and eventually share via Google+.
However when I got my new Olympus E-PL5 I gave the in-camera Art Filters a try. By selecting art-filtering bracketing, it is possible to take a single photo and get a group of processed photos each with a different filter.

I thought this was a gimmick, but I like the look of some of the photos and even if they can be created in Photoshop, this is just so convenient. My philosophy is that the photo image matters, not the labor in processing it.

However it gets cumbersome to edit which filtered photo is worth keeping. I'm not a fan of in-camera processing. Olympus comes to the rescue with their FREE Olympus Viewer 3 which can do RAW processing. This is great because it allows one to try various filters on a photo and export the one as a TIFF file or JPEG.

I'll be modifying my work flow a bit, keeping those .ORF files around as long as possible. For me it is all about the photos.


  1. Here is an in-camera processed shot of Redbud blossoms (Key Line Filter, my favorite)
  2. A post-processed shot of a local church (Key Line Filter)
  3. Finally the Olympus Viewer Application with filter choices ("Pop" art selected)