Mastering Exposure using the Pentax K1000

A classic student camera

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 24, 2013

I began my film photography adventure with a plastic Holga camera, but I was unsatisfied with the lack of control on exposure settings. Later I purchased a second-hand Pentax K1000 due to its cheap price. Soon I found myself experiencing a very steep learning curve in the mastering of exposure.

The beauty of the K1000 is it simplicity. So simple that you need only to care about the fundamental aspects of photography - shutter speed and aperture settings. The K1000 keeps you focused on the subject, not fiddling with various camera settings. Because there is no automatic exposure, a K1000 user is forced (or encouraged) to carefully examine the light condition, choose the right shutter speed and aperture value combination, and then click the release button.

Aperture ring of my Pentax-M 50mm F2 on my Pentax K1000

Pentax DA* 300mm: Diamonds

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 23, 2013

A normal girl would feel like this if she got diamonds!

That was my immediate thought, after unwrapping the present my husband had given me and finding my DA* 300mm F4 inside. My first DA* lens: Smooth, solid, compact and beautiful with its gleaming gold band.

 

My love of nature is at least as old as my photography. My Barbie-doll was a nature photographer: I set up complicated dioramas with her and my wild toy animals, built her a little camera from a match box, and photographed the whole thing with my Instamatic. When I advanced to the Olympus-stage, I got hold of a 300mm lens at one point, and tried to sneak in on real birds and wildlife.

(I think you may have to be Danish to fully appreciate this, but our local birds and wildlife are NOT photo friendly. A dense population of Danes for millennia, basically eating anything within shooting range, has led to ridiculous flight distances in the survivors. Whenever I go abroad, I am surprised how CLOSE you can get to animals…)  

Taking the picture was the easy part...

Post-Processing in Lightroom

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 22, 2013

The "Good Old Days"

My first camera was a Pentax K1000 with a 50mm f/2 that I inherited from my uncle. I swear you could have run over that thing with a car and it would have kept on working. Each shot was carefully considered as there were only 12 or 24 available. It was, however, after shooting a roll that the real work began.

I have fond memories of working in the darkroom. Trying to get the film into one of those fussy canisters in pitch darkness. Making sure the chemicals were at the right temperature and used for the correct amount of time. And after all that work all I had to look at were negatives. Next it was on to the enlarger.  Focusing the image. Deciding how to crop it. Choosing a contrast filter. Experimenting on scraps of photo paper to figure out the proper exposure time. Maybe some burning or dodging was in order, and then on to the trays of chemicals.  I remember staring at the blank sheet of photo paper in the dull red glow of the darkroom as the picture slowly and magically appeared.  Once the paper had been properly baptized the in all the shallow rectangular pools it was time to take it back out to the bright lights of the over-world to see the results. If there was something wrong then the process started all over again.

What a different world we live in today. I can take hundreds of pictures at a time. View them instantly. Send them around the globe in a moment. At times I do miss the darkroom experience. For a while after I got into digital photography the photo making process ended with the shutter click.  However, as I have learned more about digital photography and post processing one of the most important tools in my workflow now is again the darkroom... well, it's actually called Lightroom.

My First Muse: The Olympus C-2100UZ

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 22, 2013

My biggest step forward in photography has been the transition from picture-taker to photographer, and the biggest impact in this transition came from an Olympus C-2100UZ. It provided me with the opportunity and gratification I needed to realize that there could be more to my photography than the classic tourist photos of standard memorable subjects. It had such an impact that, in time, I gave it to my sister in the hope that she would be equally inspired.

The C-2100UZ (Ultra Zoom) was one of the first digital long-zoom Point-and-Shoot cameras. For me its main features are:

  • an image-stabilized all-glass aspherical zoom (35mm equivalent 38-380mm)
  • f/2.8-f/3.5 lens system
  • a 2 megapixel, 1/2-inch CCD sensor
  • 1/2-1/750 sec. shutter speed
  • and 100, 200, 400 ISO.  

Panasonic FZ-28

Starting with a bridge camera

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 22, 2013

I've always liked photography but never really got hooked until about 8 years ago. I decided to sell my compact camera and bought a Panasonic FZ-28 bridge camera. It opened my eyes to photography and got me hooked line and sinker.

Why did this camera make such abig impact? Simple- it's a jack-of-all-trades camera. It fits in a jacket pocket, has a viewfinder, a ridiculously long built in zoom, good macro/close-up capabilities, good video recording.

It has 18x optical zoom, optical image stabilizer, decent LCD, full manual controls, good battery life amongst other features. Simple to use and with a 100% view electronic viewfinder.


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