Image Composition: Converging Lines

Bringing it all Together with Converging Lines

By K David in Articles and Tips on May 10, 2017

In this ongoing series, we examine different photographic techniques, their use, and how to achieve them. This article looks at converging lines and discusses how to use them well, poorly, and to achieve different goals with your photography.

Image Composition Guide: Subject Isolation

Using Selective Focus to Define Subjects

By K David in Articles and Tips on May 5, 2017

In our ongoing series providing tutorials on photographic techniques, this article examines how to use your gear to achieve subject isolation. This article defines what it is, examines why it occurs, and presents creative examples that exhibit subject isolation in use.

Guide to Camera and Autofocus Settings for Shooting Sports

High-speed photography: horse show jumping

By beholder3 in Articles and Tips on Apr 26, 2017

We probably all try out new things in photography because that can be fun. But it can also be a hard thing to do with a DSLR and all the dozens of settings you can use. Often some initial guidance helps.

Here we want to share some experience on shooting a certain type of sport (contrary to popular belief, Pentax cameras can well be used for this purpose!), actually some outdoor horse sports: show jumping. This is intended to get interested users going quicker and to provide an easy reference if you want to try it yourself, either because you are a rider as well, or maybe your kids and relatives are, or you just enjoy the sports and the horses from a photography perspective.

Whether you use a Pentax, Canon, or Nikon DSLR, the tips in this article should help you out with shooting sports!

Pentax Camera Manual Downloads

Where to find manuals and firmware updates for cameras and flashes

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Mar 20, 2017

For reference, the operating manuals for Pentax cameras and select accessories are available for download on Ricoh Imaging Japan's site:

Pentax User Manual Downloads (PDF)

The page referenced above has camera manuals for all Pentax DSLR models, plus mirrorless, action and compact cameras, as well as select medium format film cameras.

The page also includes user manuals for all recent Pentax flashes, the O-FC1 Flucard, and Image Transmitter software.

The latest firmware for Pentax cameras and lenses as well as for Ricoh GR and GR II is found on this page which also includes updates to various Pentax software such as Image Transmitter and the Digital Camera Utility. PEF format RAW codecs are also available for select operating systems:

Pentax Firmware Updates and Software Updates

If you're wondering if an update is worth installing, or exactly what it contains, head over to our firmware update news category on the homepage, then see the firmware update guide.

Pentax Star Stream Mode Demystified

What exactly is Star Stream and how does it work?

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Mar 15, 2017


Regular star trail photo

Recent Pentax models, including the K-S2, K-1, K-70, and KP, have a new drive mode called Star Stream. It is located on the drive mode page together with interval shooting, but what does it do that regular interval shooting doesn't? We set out to find out.

Before delving into how to set it up let's show the end result of our little test:

This video was automatically generated from 30 individual exposures shot at 30 seconds each, using F4 and ISO 100. Star Stream mode simply makes a movie out of the stills by overlaying them one by one over time. Our example is marred by an airplane that got recorded on two images. As a bonus, though, the airplane track has a gap which illustrates the gap between the two exposures caused by the processing of the image just captured.

Being unsure if we would capture anything at all we just set the camera to record a brief sequence of 30 exposures so that we didn't have to wait too long for the result. The 30 exposures took about 15 minutes. The resulting movie clip thus shows 15 minutes of star movement compressed to about three seconds.

Star stream file in windows media player

By studying the resulting .avi file we noticed that each captured still image is inserted into three consecutive frames in the movie. The calculated length would be 30 frames times 3 divided by 24 frames per second which gives a length of the movie clip of 3.75 seconds. The actual length is a little bit shorter; it appears that some frames are dropped at the beginning and end.

The exposure time of the stills impacts the speed with which the trails progress over the sky in the movie since each still becomes three frames in a 24 fps movie: The shorter the exposure time the more still images you will get over a given time period. This means that there will be more movie frames to show and therefore the star stream will progress at a slower pace in the movie. For a shorter exposure time you may need to either bump the ISO or use a larger aperture on your lens compared to what we did in our example.

We recommend using a wide angle lens and include some foreground. We used the 28mm end of the D FA 28-105 on a Pentax K-1.

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