2012 ArtSpace After Hours Cabaret

I was glad to be back this year for Artspace Charter School’s After Hours Cabaret. The benefit was held at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, NC and many great acts performed, such as Sirius. B, Hobey Ford, Honeybee Democracy, and Underhill Rose. There was a silent auction with lots of cool items to bid on and even a raffle for an iPad.

exterior shot

Event in Asheville

Live music

Musician playing

Improv duo


Unique instrument

Blue lights


Indian dance

Photos by Derek Olson

Musician before concert

Hobey Ford

country singers

live music



Sirius B playing live



Through the tambourine

Photo of band

For the photography geeks: I shot this with a Nikon D4 using various Nikon lenses  – 24mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 45mm 2.8 PC-E, 70-200mm vrII – and the Sigma 50mm 1.4 & 85mm 1.4.

2011 North Carolina Mountain State Fair

I posted images from the 2010 NC Mountain State Fair and figured I’d post a few from 2011. These were taken in September 2011 on the last night of the fair at the WNC Agricultural Center.

Swing ride

Uncle Sam

Fair games

Ski lift


Concession stand


WNC Ag Center


Kid on bull ride

Fair at night


NC State Fair

Man with hat

Blindfold Magazine

Today I received the first issue of Blindfold Magazine. It’s a ‘socially conscious photojournalism quarterly’ focusing on important issues. According to their site it’s about people and companies doing things outside of the box with an emphasis on giving back.

There is a story about my hometown of Asheville, NC in this issue which features several of my photos. I was thrilled that the magazine’s print quality and paper is gorgeous.

Ian Somerhalder is on the cover; he was in Lost and currently stars in Vampire Diaries (which he “sucks” in) and they interview him about his charitable organization IS Foundation. Good stuff! I recommend ordering a limited edition copy, not just because my photos are in it, but because it’s a magazine with a great cause. You can order a copy right here:


Derek Olson holding Blindfold Mag

Asheville story in Blindfold

Cover of Blindfold Mag

I did not photograph the cover photo of Ian Somerhalder. Though I would do a photo shoot with him in exchange for a Vampire Diaries t-shirt

San Francisco, California

Sometimes it takes 2 years to get around to blogging personal work… I visited San Francisco a couple years ago to photograph a wedding (technically in Palo Alto) and spent one day downtown shooting for fun. All these shots are taken within a 4 hour period, and I particularly enjoyed photographing Chinatown.

San francisco streets
San Fran street
San Fran
On a bench
San Fran
Streets and sidewalks

Lady leaving store
San Francisco


San Francisco streets


San Fran
street vendor

Fall in Asheville

I sure am going to miss the beautiful fall colors here in Asheville. Here is a photo from a recent engagement shoot with a perfect autumn tree.

Asheville engagement photography

Photos Taken with iPhone 4S

Call me a sellout. Or, call me on my iPhone 4S and tell me that. I’ll admit I’ve silently made fun of people for taking images with cell phones cameras (mainly when they were about 1.2 megapixels). I’ve taken photos with my cell phone camera in the past, but never shots that I might want to print or have for archival purposes. The iPhone 4S has changed my view on that. I’ve been having lots of fun playing around with the camera. I am a professional photographer (i.e. – full-time) and have lots of great Nikon gear, but there is something very liberating about using such a small, simple device to take photos on. It’s great to always have a good camera (for most scenarios) in my pocket. For instance, I would never bring a big, full-frame camera into the grocery store to take random pictures of vegetables (see carrot shot).

I have been using the Instagram app, which forces me to shoot in a square ratio (1:1). It’s a lot different than just taking a 6:4 ratio shot and then cropping it. I rarely intend on cropping an image to square when I’m shooting with 35mm.

All these images were taken using an iPhone 4S (most of them with Instagram). I am amazed by the sharpness of the first picture of my cat, Pierre.

Picture of cat
Vivid iPhone 4S photo
stained glass
film camera
Sky and clouds