Ben the Thinker

By PF Staff in Favorite Photos on Dec 16, 2012

Forword: This blog post is best-enjoyed in tandem with Blog Post #1 ("The Iconic Pentax K1000", coming soon) as I have attempted to present a consistent theme for this contest.  

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 Equipment and Settings Used

  • Pentax K1000 Film Body
  • SMC Pentax 55 mm F1.8 Lens
  • Hoya Skylight 1A Filter
  • Kodak Gold 100 Film
  • Shutter Speed: 1/30s
  • Aperture: F1.8
  • Film scanned (low resolution) at     local photo lab.
  • Post-Processing Software: Adobe     Photoshop CS5

Four reasons why I chose this photo

  1. I tend to take the road less traveled. This is shot with my K1000. If you have read my other blog post then you already know how I feel about shooting film. I don't expect that this contest will receive many film entries!
  2. The subject matter. I'm a proud father of two boys (soon to be three), who have provide such great subject matter. This is Benjamin, my second son.
  3. This photo and the others from the summer of 2011 mark a special time for me: the time when 'point and shoot' style photography became a thing of the past.
  4. There's something about the lighting in the photo. I realize this isn't a mind-blowing photo by any stretch, but there is something about it that draws me in. Oh, and I think the film grain is pretty cool!

Post-Processing Techniques

Shooting wide open with my vintage 55 mm can be challenging. The ambient light coming in my living room window that particular afternoon was what caused me to grab my camera, but it wasn't sufficient for me to stop down to an ideal range. The positive result is the radiating soft texture of my son's skin but the drawback is the thin focal plane. Minor sharpening (unsharp mask) was applied to the photo because the eyes were a little less sharp than what might be considered ideal. A minor amount of soft-light effect was also applied to accentuate the vintage vibe of the photo. Finally the photo was cropped to square format, further keeping with the vintage theme.  

Photo Prior to Post-Processing

The Final Product

Final Words

I remember the day when I first loaded the photo-CD containing this image into the tray of my laptop like it was yesterday. I was completely shocked that I had taken this photo; that I had adjusted the metal knobs and switches of a completely manual and mechanical film camera, depressed the shutter button and ended up with this photo. For someone who had just very-recently learned the basic principles of photography, this was quite special. It definitely could be considered a “light-bulb moment” in my life. That moment sparked a life-long passion for photography and Pentax gear. That was the summer of 2011. I have to admit, looking at this un-edited photo a little more than a year later is a bit underwhelming, but in a strange way that makes me happy: happy to realize just how much I have learned in the past year. 

Thanks for reading.


Serge Allard (drumhead)

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