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12-15-2010, 01:57 PM   #1
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Yet another lurking Pentax user coming out of the woodwork.

Heya,

I have probably been reading threads on here periodically for about the last 4 years - and you guys have done such a great job of posting info, that I've never really felt the need to post any threads.

I've been a pentax user for about 18 years now - I commandeered my father's pentax me super & lenses when I took b&w photography when I was 16. Pretty soon, he was helping me set up a b&w darkroom and life was good until my little brother got into high school and commandeered the ME super from me, and we did that for years until I went digital about 4 years ago. Because I had some old pentax glass (including a 50 mm f1.2), I went with the pentax k10d. I quickly upgraded that to the k20d. I thought I wouldn't buy lenses because I had the old glass, but I quickly got lens lust and bought a ton of lenses. I got into a lot of kayaking around then, and got the pentax optio w60 to have a little waterproof beater camera.

That optio's currently epoxied back together, but still going... The k20d just died from getting wet in the rain (ironically, my brother was shooting with his k100d in the same rain storm, and his camera body is fine). I think I'm going to fix the k20d to use as my kayaking/adverse weather camera and get the k-r body as a walking around/hiking camera. I've been pretty tempted by the new 4/3rds micro cameras (probably mostly because I still have a little olympus pen ft half frame camera and lenses and it appeals to my sentimentality), so I'm hoping the combination of the smaller lighter k-r with my limited lenses will be a good compromise.

So, all in all, I spent entirely too much time taking pics that aren't always all that good - but I have fun - and spend entirely too much money on my camera equipment. I'm fairly equal opportunity about what I photograph - it just has to exist, and then I'm quite happy to take 500 pics of it from 500 different angles. I'm running out of harddrive space again.

12-15-2010, 03:09 PM   #2
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Hi Immunogirl and welcome to posting. From all that you say, it would appear that you've come to a crossroads in your photography. You've got the cameras, the lenses and are taking plenty of pictures. What you don't appear to be sure of is in what direction your photography is going.

It's fairly easy to get caught up in technicalities when starting in photography - buying lenses and accessories that can become pretty meaningless. Also, one can read comments/opinions from experienced people and assume what they do and say is the norm. Photography is not and should not be like that. If you assume it to be an art form OR if you have a specific purpose for taking pictures, it should be what you want to do.

I would suggest you seriously think about what you want your photography to do for you. Using the experience you have gained thus far, try to create a plan/purpose for the future, set yourself aims amd goals, give yourself projects and challenges etc. You seem to have all the equipment necessary - why not go out and practice some of what you've read and seen in this forum and give it your version. Good luck!

Last edited by fotaki; 12-15-2010 at 04:07 PM.
12-15-2010, 04:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Immunogirl Quote
So, all in all, I spent entirely too much time taking pics that aren't always all that good - but I have fun
Welcome. Am so glad, I'm not alone.
12-15-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Welcome! :-)

12-15-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
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L\Silver Lining

Welcome Immunogirl.....................I'm glad you came out!
The old ME Super takes me back....................

Sorry to hear your Pentax broke down, but every cloud has a silver lining....................Like a new Pentax for Christmas..................

Postumus
12-16-2010, 11:29 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Postumus Quote
Welcome Immunogirl.....................I'm glad you came out!
The old ME Super takes me back....................

Sorry to hear your Pentax broke down, but every cloud has a silver lining....................Like a new Pentax for Christmas..................

Postumus
I spent about 5 days hinting and discussing which camera bodies I wanted with the BF before I gave up and just sent my k20d for repair. He is of course going to claim next week that he couldn't find anything to get me for Christmas because I don't need anything.

I'd rather not admit to family what I did, 'cause my one brother bought the k10d for me originally as a graduation present from grad school, and my Mother sat there during the panama canal saying "you really shouldn't use your camera in the rain" and I kept saying "it's okay, it's weather sealed" Now I can't actually admit I killed the camera So I'm either too proud or too embarassed to actually tell the other people that might be willing to spring for my upgrade.

I do have a k-r body backordered on amazon for myself, and will hopefully convince myself that this is not an excuse to upgrade soon Something a little lighter and better in low light is really appealing. I can't justify the k-7 or k-5 prices, but maybe a couple generations from now...
12-16-2010, 11:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fotaki Quote
Hi Immunogirl and welcome to posting. From all that you say, it would appear that you've come to a crossroads in your photography. You've got the cameras, the lenses and are taking plenty of pictures. What you don't appear to be sure of is in what direction your photography is going.

It's fairly easy to get caught up in technicalities when starting in photography - buying lenses and accessories that can become pretty meaningless. Also, one can read comments/opinions from experienced people and assume what they do and say is the norm. Photography is not and should not be like that. If you assume it to be an art form OR if you have a specific purpose for taking pictures, it should be what you want to do.

I would suggest you seriously think about what you want your photography to do for you. Using the experience you have gained thus far, try to create a plan/purpose for the future, set yourself aims amd goals, give yourself projects and challenges etc. You seem to have all the equipment necessary - why not go out and practice some of what you've read and seen in this forum and give it your version. Good luck!
Oh, I may have slightly exaggerated how aimless my photography is. Most often, I'm photographing what I'm doing - lots of pics of the countryside while biking or photos while kayaking - lots of photos while traveling. I took lots of macro pictures of flowers and bugs for a couple years till I had no real desire to take pictures of another flower again or to look at any of the pics that I took of them again. Often times taking photos is something to do to not get bored if I'm doing something with someone slower than me or if I'm doing something I don't particularly want to do - sure I'll do such and such with you, as long as you don't care if I take photographs of anything and everything that I find remotely interesting while we're doing it.

After the first year, I stopped buying lenses for the most part. I got a lensbaby a few months ago, which I think I need to sell on, because while I know how it works, I don't have a clear vision of photographs that I want to take with it or how to use it to actually add to a photograph. I end up using my limited fixed lenses mostly now, but I still keep a couple zooms just for the convenience factor. People who are travelling or whatever with me tend to get annoyed when I change lenses constantly - changing lenses while kayaking is somewhat asking for something bad to happen.

Goals - I need to become one of those people that if you ask them "what's your best work?" can show you their 10 best photos. I can show my 2,000 best photos and not decide which ones I like best.
- I need to actually delete bad pictures and not just store 'em for posterity on my harddrives. 'cause raw's take up too much space.
- I need to actually kill my pentax optio w60 so I can get a better waterproof camera.
- I don't spend a lot of time taking pics of people, so I should really work on that.
- I really should use something other than picasa to look at my photos & edit my photos because I have a sneaking suspcion that it really doesn't do well with raw images.


I do pretty often decide to go for a hike or an excursion and just grab my camera and one fixed lens. It's somewhat challenging hiking in the woods with only an 80 mm lens and getting good pictures. It sort of forces you to photograph more creatively.

I've got some friends on an outdoor forum that we do photo assignments/contests every month - and that's generally been a really good way to working on or directing photography.


I haven't gotten around to posting anything to the gallleries on here, but here's photos:
picasaweb.google.com/immunogirl

That's not necessarily sorted as a showcase of best work, it's more of a this is what I've been up to repository. So crappy pics make it in if they're the only ones I have of something.
12-16-2010, 02:04 PM   #8
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Hi Catriona (forgive the informality - much friendlier to have a real name).

I take back a lot of what I said earlier. Looking through your Picasa pics. you've got a lot of very good stuff there and most seem very relevant to your interests. As you admit, a lot needs pruning and in my opinion that's often the hardest part. Of course if you are shooting in RAW all the time that will quickly fill any HD. Perhaps if you start to sort out the keepers and retain them as RAW for future use, then you have the option to convert the rest to jpeg 'just in case' which will save you a lots of space.

I have used Picasa myself and found it OK for very quick sorting etc. but I now use PhotoShop for detailed image work (can't afford any better) and FastStone Image Viewer. The latter handles RAW files very well and does a lot of the basic things - plus it's free.

I think every photographer agonizes over what to keep and throw away. I often take a lot of 'rubbish' - a sort of overkill, stuff that I know I will never be satisfied with. But I have also learned over the years to be ruthless and critical with my own work and stuff which I'm not happy with is deleted well before it gets to the computer.

12-16-2010, 02:31 PM   #9
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Maybe you should just move the pics to an external USB drive. I suppose a 2TB one can be had for around $120 these days and should hold quite a bit (100000-200000 snaps?).
12-16-2010, 05:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
Maybe you should just move the pics to an external USB drive. I suppose a 2TB one can be had for around $120 these days and should hold quite a bit (100000-200000 snaps?).
You don't understand the depths of my paranoia. I've currently got a 1.5 tb mirrored raid as my photo harddrive, it's got 136 gb free. I have a 2nd 500 gb raid that was supposed to be my documents and data drive, however the videos have been moved off the photo raid to live on the data drive.

I do have external harddrives backing up the photo raid. I am screwed if my house burns down (I haven't gotten that paranoid yet)

So I either need to suck it up and start pruning the last 5 years of photos and deleting stuff, which will take forever. Or I need to buy about 5 2 tb harddrives and go raid 5...
12-16-2010, 05:28 PM   #11
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Hey John,

I know when I was shooting in raw+ mode, what was coming out as the jpeg vs. the raw file was actually very different, which is why I've been hesitant to just shoot in jpeg or store in jpeg. This maybe an artifact of picasa in some way, however (things sometimes look different if I open pics up in something else) - another reason I'm hesitant to delete too much. I tried beta testing adobe lightroom, but it kept crashing while trying to import my photolibrary, and I couldn't be bothered.

And in retrospect saying that I'm not completely unfocused 'cause I only take pictures of what I am doing doesn't seem like the best argument I will occasionally take 500 pics of my toes or the texture of some texture that takes my fancy. There are times when I'm just doing it to alleviate boredom (if I have to go to a wedding, I will pretend its a photography assignment even if there's already 4 professional photographers photographing it).

I'm not going to claim to be producing great artwork - generally I'll peruse other people's photography and go "wow, I suck as a photographer" and then happily take more photos. I can generally look back through my photos from however many years ago and see a lot of improvement in terms of composition and how many are good photos. IT's also easier to weed through older photos than ones I've recently taken - time gives distance.

When kayaking - I end up doing a lot of bracketing of photos, especially in challenging lighting. That has to do with, not having a lot of time to fiddle with my camera settings and with the type of kayak/kayaking I like to do - I like a fast maneuverable kayak, which is not big wide stable kayak that won't flip, and I like surf and challenging conditions, which doesn't quite go hand in hand with letting go of my paddle or stopping to take your time with composition and figuring out the lighting - so it's take camera out, bracket shots as quick as possible, hold camera in my teeth as I use the paddle to stabilize my position, take more shots, put camera away as soon as possible. I'm not great at looking at bracketted photos on my lcd and trying to figure out which is the best exposure and deleting them. Then there's the problem that generally if I've risked taking my good camera with me kayaking, it means I'm probably camping and kayaking for several days and don't have a way of recharging my camera batteries. So I keeping lcd usage to a minimum. So at the end of some trip, I'll have a gazillion photos x 5 bracketted copied on my harddrive, and I'll pretty up the ones I like and then not delete the others for some paranoid reason.

And then I spend entirely too long complaining about how much room they take on internet forums

QuoteOriginally posted by fotaki Quote
Hi Catriona (forgive the informality - much friendlier to have a real name).
I take back a lot of what I said earlier. Looking through your Picasa pics. you've got a lot of very good stuff there and most seem very relevant to your interests. As you admit, a lot needs pruning and in my opinion that's often the hardest part. Of course if you are shooting in RAW all the time that will quickly fill any HD. Perhaps if you start to sort out the keepers and retain them as RAW for future use, then you have the option to convert the rest to jpeg 'just in case' which will save you a lots of space.

I have used Picasa myself and found it OK for very quick sorting etc. but I now use PhotoShop for detailed image work (can't afford any better) and FastStone Image Viewer. The latter handles RAW files very well and does a lot of the basic things - plus it's free.

I think every photographer agonizes over what to keep and throw away. I often take a lot of 'rubbish' - a sort of overkill, stuff that I know I will never be satisfied with. But I have also learned over the years to be ruthless and critical with my own work and stuff which I'm not happy with is deleted well before it gets to the computer.
12-16-2010, 05:44 PM   #12
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Come now, you know better than to leave it to the BF, to get another camera!
You buy it for him to give to you...simple! How else will he know what you REALLY want
12-16-2010, 06:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Postumus Quote
Come now, you know better than to leave it to the BF, to get another camera!
You buy it for him to give to you...simple! How else will he know what you REALLY want
Hrm. I do have his credit card stored in my amazon account I do have this silly scruple that I don't use it without being told he wants something, though.

I think the email that I sent him with a link to the pretty red k-r with the comment "I want this" might have been too subtle for him though. Possibly I should have said "BUY ME THIS OR I WILL BE ANGRY WITH YOU NEXT WEEK"

He did start searching for low prices for the k-r for a while when watching me look up reviews and showing him the pic of the pretty red k-r on the screen, and then went back to staring with vacant eyes at the television. When prices on the KR body dropped on amazon a couple days ago, I called him up to say "oooh, look they dropped... I'm really really tempted now that it's only this much to buy one" Still nothing. And the black was cheaper than the red, so I cheaped out and didn't order red.

I have also learned my lesson to never ever trust him when he says "okay, buy that and I will pay you back" 'cause unless I grab his checkbook and a pen and glare at him till he writes a check, it isn't happening and I find it annoying to have to do that.

He does have redeeming qualities, I think. Possibly.
12-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #14
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Don't hesitate......you know you want it.........
.........you know how beautiful your images will be..................




12-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Postumus Quote
Don't hesitate......you know you want it.........
.........you know how beautiful your images will be..................




You know how much faster a red camera will be at taking photos than a black one.

Every time I open up a gallery on here and see photos that are better than mine, I think... If I just upgraded, really, my photos would magically be that good!
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