Sunday, July 05, 2009

More Vacation Shots

Pentax DA* 50-135 @ 50, F2.8, 1/20, ISO 100

This is another shot from the Hemlocks and Hardwoods trail. Yes, it was handheld at 1/20th of a second.

Look at the debris at the bottom of the tree. I don't think it all fell there naturally. I didn't pack a knife for the trek we took in the Seaside Adjunct park (though maybe I should've) but I did wear one for this hike. Why? There are black bears here.

Black bears rarely attack humans, but if and when they do playing dead doesn't help. Fighting back does. Maybe when I get back from Poland I'll post some macro shots of my knife collection. It includes an Arkansas Toothpick (that I made from a CVA kit), a flaked Obsidian blade (modern reproduction by a local craftsman) with a cactus handle and sinew binding, and a Groman knife with a horn handle. I used to have a Kabar hunting knife, but it disappeared around the same time the ex did.....I haven't seen it in a while. I took the Groman knife on this trip. Turned out I didn't need it.

Mind you, I view a knife against a bear (or any other large predator) as weapon of last resort. My best weapon in such situations sits between my ears...... :)

Pentax DA* 50-135 @ 135, F2.8, 1/125, ISO 100

Back at the Seaside Adjunct, we came across this frog pond. There must have been at least a dozen frogs in this pond. It wasn't big, not much more than six feet across. But clearly, it was frog central. These two were just sitting there, staring at one another.

Pentax DA* 50-135 @ 135, F4, 1/250, ISO 100
This little guy was sitting right by the pond. There were several there, and I almost stepped on a couple. They are sooooo hard to spot. This shot shows what the Pentax 50-135 can do. The depth of field is very shallow, even at F4. That lens just so rocks, but I think for wildlife I may need both the 200MM and 300MM primes. I am biased in favor of primes, though the 50-135 and 16-50 have been going out of their way to teach me that zoom lenses can be a very good thing. Some think, from the reading that I've done, that using them at the limits of their operating range is a 'mis-use' of sorts. I would say if you only ever use your zooms at the extremes, then yes. However, doing that sometimes? No problemo.

Pentax DA* 50-135 @ 55, F2.8, 1/90, ISO 100

If you haven't noticed by now, I like to shoot at ISO 100. Way back in the 'old days' when I shot film (I still do sometimes, I admit it) I really liked Kodak Royal Gold 25. Yeah, that was 25 ISO. As I understand it, 100 ISO is a 'native' setting for the sensor in my K10D. In the new K7 (and I think the K20) the 'native' setting is ISO 200, with ISO 100 being accomplished through software. I'm looking forward to it, because I will probably put the K7 on ISO 200 and leave it there most of the time. Though, that said, I've seen some kick ass shots from the K20 at high ISO when they were exposed 'to the right' to improve the signal to noise ratio. Early shots from the K7 suggest they will be even better....

Pentax DA* 50-135 @ 135, F3.5, 1/250, ISO 100

We came upon a porcupine on our hike. As you can see, wildlife doesn't always co-operate ('cause its wild). This is the south end of a north facing porcupine......For a porcupine he was really rushing. Lucky for him, we weren't really hungry, and I didn't have my knife......I'm kidding, I'd never hurt him, unless I was starving. This food group comes with its own toothpicks..... :)

Pentax DA* 16-50 @ 36, F6.7, 1/250, ISO 100
I just couldn't resist the rain drops. This was taken in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. We stopped there because I wanted to visit the Sherman Hines Museum of Photography. It was very, very cool. Apparently Sherman used Hasselblad cameras exclusively at one point, until he discovered the Pentax 6x7. That's one I don't have yet. I, too, like the rectangular image format (I own a Seagull 6x6) over the square 6x6 image. So, do I get a Pentax 6x7 on the used market, a 6x4.5, or the new digital 6.x4.5? Decisions decisions.....I predict that in 10 years it will be very expensive, and difficult to purchase color film. I have done a lot of B&W work as well (yes in the darkroom, with trays) and I may be biased, but I think B&W film will live forever. It is simple to use and develop. Color film, I think, is going to become increasingly exotic.

When APS film came out, we were promised a new breed of SLRs. They would be smaller, lighter, record more information about the shot on a magnetic strip along the bottom of the film, etc. That never really happened. As John Lennon said 'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'. That's exactly what happened here. I think the digital APS-C size sensor is here to stay. It seems to be 'good enough'. One of my favorite sayings is 'The best is the enemy of the good'.....

If you want to, and some always will, you can go full frame. Increasingly, you'll need 'new' lenses, as a lot of manufacturers, including Pentax, are fullfilling the promise of APS in a digital world with lenses that will not cover a 35mm frame. I will admit, I'm intruiged by the Canon 5D Mark II, but not interested enough to switch. Would I switch if Pentax came out with a full frame camera? I don't think so. I would probably buy one, as I have a lot of manual focus and FA lenses, but would I commit to it exclusively? I doubt it.

I'm personally a lot more interested in the 6x4.5 digital. That's a much bigger sensor, giving the option of fatter pixels (higher ISO performance) and more of them (lots more). Plus, any lenses I'd have for the 6x4.5 should work with my APS-C SLR, which I'm sure will be less kit to drag around.....we live, as per the ancient chinese curse, in interesting times.

Hell, people could upsize images from 6MP cameras and print 16x20 prints no problem. And that, in a nutshell is my threshold. If I can take an image, make a 16x20 print of it, and proudly hang it on my wall........I'm SET.

Pentax DA* 16-50 @ 31, F6.7, 1/350, ISO 100

What better way to celebrate Canada Day than sitting on the beach? If you don't live here, you might not get it. It ain't THAT cold out. So, why not go to the beach?

Warsaw here I come...has anyone warned them? Are they ready? I bet not...... :)

NOTE: I have not been able to secure a production K7 prior to my trip. They are arriving in North America, and there are places where one can buy one in Canada, but Henry's doesn't have them on the shelves here in Halifax yet.

So, Warsaw will get my K10D treatment. No K7 for you! If you know history then you realize what an incredibly awful 'joke' that is.

Just remember. A new camera will not make you a better photographer. Your eyes and your brain can do that. All a new camera can do is create a more faithful rendition of what your eyes and your brain see. I see alot, and I NEED a new camera..... :) Seriously, I do not own a K20. My K10 has impressed the pants off me (it is my first digital SLR) and I NEED a K7. To quote Dilbert, 'I gotta get me some of that'. :)


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