The Making of "Alone With the Universe"

The winning image in our "Best of 2014" photo contest

By EarlVonTapia in Photo Contests on Mar 14, 2015

Editorial note: forum member EarlVonTapia's impressive starscape finished first in our Best of 2014 photo contest and earned him the Pentax K-50 grand prize.  Winning photos like these involve so much more than just being in the right place at the right time; they are the result of a carefully-crafted composition, sound shooting technique, and skillful processing.  Without further ado, let us proceed to the photographer's account of how this photo was shot and processed!

"Alone With the Universe" by EarlVonTapia - Click to Enlarge

Thank you all for voting in the PentaxForums "Best of 2014" contest, and a special thank you to those who voted for me in the finals. There were so many great photo entries, and it was an honor just making it to the final 15.

The contest called for people to submit their best photo of 2014, and for me it was this picture of me camping underneath the stars. I've taken several shots of this nature in the past couple of years, but they've been fairly typical astroscapes. I was thinking of a way to mix it up and decided that a fisheye lens might provide a nice spin from the standard ultra-wide angle view.

My friend and I were heading out on one of our winter excursions in the mountains of BC, Canada. We were trying to find a cabin that someone had said was in the area, but unfortunately we made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up at some random frozen lake. Thankfully the weather was quite clear and calm, and it was getting late, so we decided to just call it a day and set up camp instead of backtracking. My friend opted to camp within the trees, but because the weather was so nice and there was no wind at all I decided to camp out on the frozen lake itself.

The Benefits and Joys of a Superzoom Lens

Focus more on your activities and less on your camera

By EarlVonTapia in Gear Guides on Jul 9, 2014

This past May I hiked the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a 47km hike on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Having done similar hikes in the past, I knew to expect some gorgeous landscape scenes, as well as some wildlife if I got lucky. Weight and space for non-necessary items like cameras were an issue. With that in mind I brought along my Pentax K-30 and my Pentax DA 18-250mm so I could photograph anything interesting I came across to share later on with friends and family.

The extreme range of the lens paid off. On the second day, shortly after I had photographed the stretch of beach I had just hiked through, an eagle I spotted earlier in the distance was now flying in my direction. The eagle swooped almost overhead and I was able to get a good picture of it as it turned and accelerated back over the treetops. Getting that close to an eagle is something that will rarely happen to me, and I’m glad that the DA 18-250 was equipped so that I could capture that photo so soon after photographing a landscape scene.

Pentaxian Profile: Mike Oria

Landscape Photographer and 645 System User

By EarlVonTapia in Pentaxian Profiles on Jul 7, 2014

Mike Oria is a long-time member of PentaxForums (posting as mikeSF) based in the San Francisco bay area. During the day he works as a sales director for a medical lab. On weekends and his spare time, he is an avid photographer. His first digital SLR, a Pentax *ist DL, came from a garage sale. Now he shoots with a K5 and a 645D. Mike specializes in landscapes and seascapes.

In this interview we asked Mike about how he got into photography, what made him get into the Pentax 645 system, as well as some tips and tricks for how a budding photographer can take their skills to the next level.

Read on to find out his answers!

Pentax K-3 Mirror Flop Fix from Ricoh

Send your camera for service under warranty coverage

By EarlVonTapia in Pentax Announcements on Jun 13, 2014

If you are a Pentax K-3 DSLR owner and you have experienced issues with the reported "mirror flop" problem, there may finally be a remedy.

Forum member wtlwdwgn contacted Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (Pentax) recently about having the mirror flop fixed on his K-3 unit. He received a response indicating that there's a fix available, shown below.

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