My lifework of photography in Mongolia spans 19 years. Despite its landmass nearly four times the size of Japan, I have visited almost every corner of the country. However, I had never visited Taiga (a coniferous forest region), an area in the northernmost part of the country. This area is home to a secluded group of reindeer herders, and is so far away that it is absolutely the most difficult place to shoot, requiring a number of troublesome means to finally reach my destination.
The most difficult part of the journey was travelling on horseback. With all of my equipment on my back, I crossed rivers, wetlands, scree, and many mountains. But when I arrived I was amazed at the richness of the natural environment, and I had never seen anywhere so beautiful. Daytime is hot with temperatures dropping so low from night to dawn that you can see your own breath. It rained day after day in Taiga, the only humid area in the country. The E-M1 Mark II and PRO lens series offered no trouble whatsoever despite the differences in temperatures and constant rainwater.
Thanks to the 5-axis image stabilization, almost all of my shots were handheld. The only time I decided use a tripod was to capture night sky shots and for High Res shots. I truly felt that I was saved by my equipment this time. I brought the new 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO and 25mm F1.2 PRO. I particularly liked the 25mm F1.2 PRO. I liked the focal length, but it also offers a brightness I've never experienced before which opened up new shooting opportunities. Subjects I focused on stood out beautifully with background defocusing effects I'd never imagined. It is also good at pan focusing. I think this lens will be useful in many creative shots to come.