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02-18-2018, 11:42 AM - 4 Likes   #16
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Excellent idea for a thread, Norm!!

My project is kind of gear related, but in a way that I think may be acceptable for the thread as it includes photography (if I'm off base, Norm, be sure to tell me so!)

I am slowly... very slowly... writing a book called "Soviet Lenses Today", sub-titled "A digital photographer's guide to using and choosing Soviet 35mm SLR and rangefinder lenses" (the titles may change). It's in two parts... the first will contain a tutorial on lens and body compatibility, adapting various lenses to different mounts of current systems, overcoming problems and pitfalls, what to look for when buying vintage lenses and various other relevant topics. The second part will be a reference of rangefinder and SLR lenses, bringing together data and useful information I've harvested from books, copious web-based research, questions I've asked on forums, and my own experiences using the lenses. The reference part will probably have a page per lens, and will include photographs - sometimes of multiple lens versions.

So, my project is one of collating and organising lots of information, writing entertaining and informative text, and taking high quality product photographs in a consistent style for illustration - and bringing it all together in a format suitable for e-book and printed publication.

I already took some test shots of a few lenses, using the Q7, a light tent and two flash guns. I won't be using the Q7 for the final shots, but this was a compact, quick-to-set-up choice for the draft photos. I ran into a few problems in that first shoot and wasn't especially happy with the results, but with the advice of some of our members, I have some ideas to overcome at least one of the problems, and I'll figure a way round the remaining difficulties somehow. I'm still thinking of ways to do angled and straight-on shots of the front elements whilst minimising reflections

These are a few of my first attempts...










Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-18-2018 at 02:51 PM.
02-18-2018, 11:51 AM - 1 Like   #17
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I keep reading posts on this forum from people who are dissatisfied with their Pentax gear and have major complaints about Pentax not releasing new cameras and lenses that address those issues. I think to myself: hey, I can understand that and can, to some degree, agree with them. Then, I think to myself: Wait a minute. I have a K-10D and a K-3ii, and a number of lenses (including the HD DA 16-85mm and the almost universally despised FA 28-80mm - which I actually kind of like!) and despite having shot pictures with Pentax cameras since the early 70s, I still havent learned how to get the best out of them. So, my current goal is to figure out how best to use the gear I have, together with post-processing, to get the best images that I can out of what I already own. This includes learning how to compose shots to convey something that viewers might be interested in seeing. Until I accomplish this, I dont have the time to worry about what Pentax might or might not do in the future. Heres hoping I have enough time left to accomplish this! I really like travel photography and well see where that takes me while trying to meet my goals!
02-18-2018, 11:57 AM - 1 Like   #18
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Projects for this year:
- castels (the ones in my area)/ monumental landlords residences (every season is good)
- nightscapes (every season)
- alpine lakes (from april to october)

Those themes involves the acquiring of a TS lens.

Last edited by bm75; 02-18-2018 at 12:10 PM.
02-18-2018, 12:05 PM - 1 Like   #19
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I tend to have an annual cycle - landscapes in the winter; macro in the summer; other wildlife when it presents itself; still life, sometimes when the rain sets in for too long; and street and travel when I, er, travel - but I'm honestly a bit bored by what I'm doing in most of those areas and looking for new inspiration - usually that takes visiting another country, but I'm planning to check back here to see what other folks are up to and maybe get some ideas

02-18-2018, 12:36 PM - 3 Likes   #20
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Always been a Pentax lover...first camera was an (already very old) Spotmatic that I took everywhere and photographed everything as a kid/teenager/20 something ...no working lightmeter...so many years of fine tuned trial and error!

I then bought a LX off a local photographer who had a mild alcohol addiction (I was working in my parents pub at the time and got myself quite a deal!).

Then made the jump to Nikon digital...paid a huge amount for camera that died just out of warranty...with only 10000 actuations... fell out of love with photography for a bit after that and life/work/extreme DIY took over...

So I changed career, decided I need to get back to my Art and photography to keep the evil wolf of depression from the door, I use my LX for film work and bought a cheap K10D to use my manual lenses on... which I take with me everyday whilst I drive around the beautiful South West of England...

So my goals for the year are:

- take a moment every day to look for the beauty in everyday scenes that I wouldn't have noticed before
-going into Charity shops, Auctions, car boot sales and internet sites to look for K lenses (pre M, post M42)
- try and take pictures of my kids (when they are not arguing).
- enjoy the simple joys of photography that made me fall in love with it in the first place..
-maybe even upload some pictures on this fantastic forum

Fun times ahead!

02-18-2018, 01:36 PM - 3 Likes   #21
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Interesting timing for this thread. I’ve spent the winter contemplating what I can do to have more time for photographing (what must I do to permit organized practice?). Of course I can get out and shoot at nice locations, but my life gets in the way - it seems constantly. My two best ideas are, shoot early in the morning and late in the evening when I actually have time open, and shoot in my yard (saving pre- and post-work driving time)..

My project since early Feb has been to critically view yard locations for repeated shots (the space is a sterile suburban yard bordered on the morning sun side by 250 feet of solid 6’ cedar fence; to imagine what changes will occur in the spaces over the course of a year; what fauna might be present (or could be attracted) in the photographing hours; and to set up whatever structure might be required to support this project before March 15. This step is the beginning.

THE PROJECT:
The real project (which will last many years) is to shoot every manual lens I own with a Pentax FF digital and a film camera, produce a catalog of images taken with each lens and print and display images taken with these Pentax manual lenses

Last edited by monochrome; 02-18-2018 at 03:11 PM.
02-18-2018, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #22
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I'm getting back into photography a bit like I used to, which was a lot of developing and printing, so now it's seeing what I can do with RAW files and Photoshop (don't have Lightroom.)

The current project is to photograph locations around my home town for a quiz show a recognisable view and ask some offbeat question, or use a selective view and ask if they can identify the building, monument or whatever. This could be very humdrum flat-lit views, but the fun is to work out a better view, more interesting lighting and make the best job of it. The Photographer's Ephemeris has been invaluable with this, since there's one view in particular which gets 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day, and if I want the moon visible in another view just before dawn... There's lots of historical stuff in the area, so I'm not short of subjects!
02-18-2018, 02:38 PM - 3 Likes   #23
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Doing my thing

I like to shoot shoot family members and events, traveling, architecture (my profession), club assignments, and try new things for fun. I shot Pentax film when kids were growing up and upgraded to digital when the grand kids started.

I joined a photography club that has monthly assignments. This month is "eyes". Here are some from my latest club assignment. Grandson model, challenging shooting an uncontrollable wiggling 16 month old. I wanted to shoot in available light from living room window for a natural look so I needed a some what fast f2.8 lens. Trying to emphasize the eyes a moderate telephoto 100mm was chosen for field of view on APSC. I had to keep the shutter speed up for the wiggles. I used TAV mode, 125 sec. f2.8 and 180 sec. f4.0 when I had more light, and let the sensitivity vary from 400 to 1100. The kid was moving so hard to catch in focus with narrow DOF. I wanted to get the eyelashes sharp so I used continuous AF mode with half shutter button. Center focus point aimed at one eye. I shot a little wide and cropped for final composition due to the unpredictable kid movement. Post adjusted exposure, got rid of blemishes and dirt. Where one eye was a little out of focus I Photoshop drew in a few eyelashes to sharpen. This was a fun assignment and love the model.

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Last edited by Bad Boy; 02-18-2018 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Switch from Photobucket
02-18-2018, 03:09 PM   #24
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Sorry Bad Boy, Photobucket doesn't share photos any more unless you pay - big time! Imgur is more obliging.
02-19-2018, 10:30 AM - 1 Like   #25
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I feel a little burned out and I think I need a project. Chances are I'll find some adventure travel but I'm on the lookout for others that can be more ongoing.
One idea I have toyed with is The Ranches of Gunnison County, documenting (and making them look good) the many ranches we have here. After last summer's western wear commercial shoot my desire has maybe waned a little.
I was also going to shoot more skiing this year but we don't have good snow this season so that one is on hold, or at least not moving forward like I had hoped.

I just loaded some Velvia 50 in an old camera, maybe that will jog my creative neurons a bit...
02-19-2018, 10:59 AM - 4 Likes   #26
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My long term project was a book on Algonquin Park. Whether or not it's still a project, I am uncertain. I've shown first drafts to park staff. They aren't interested. Well they are interested if I pay the full cost of publishing and they just have to put it on their shelves. So for now I have a very nice personal album documenting all aspects of my time in the park, along with a couple of my favourite essays on various Canoe Tripping related topics. To print them as 1 offs is about $150 Canadian, occasionally I can get them printed at half price for about $80 CDN and if I ever do another order, one of my friends has asked for a copy, at that price. And she's in the book in 3 different places. I'm not seeing it as a big seller unless I can get the price way down. The price the park staff would like to see it at would be 39.95. They'd take $10 per copy, for selling it, I'd have to get them produced for $29 to make $1 a copy. I'm simply not going to like the IQ and paper weight of what I can get for that.

So it's sort of an on going project. Inertia says that even though I've already added two pages with new wildlife images, I'll probably never order another copy. It's sort of withering on the vine at the moment. During the last 10 years I've probably paid over $10,000 (much of it paid for by photographer clients I took out on trips) in park fees for over 300 days in the park , carried 20 pounds of camera gear over 200 km and paddled it for another 700 or 800 km. I've taken images in places where there's probably never even been a DSLR before. It's been a great ride, but I'm ready to lay it aside.

I'm looking forward to be able to go for a trip, and just enjoy the trip, with maybe my K-3, 18-135 and 60-250, and just be a tourist like everyone else.

I kind of feel like I'm retiring from my retirement job.

Last edited by normhead; 02-19-2018 at 11:56 AM.
02-20-2018, 12:58 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
The current project is to photograph locations around my home town for a quiz
I used to do that sort of stuff for a local volunteer-run newspaper - it's a great way to see things you've never noticed before in your own backyard, and get other people to look too - and a lot of fun
02-20-2018, 02:47 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
My long term project was a book on Algonquin Park. Whether or not it's still a project, I am uncertain. I've shown first drafts to park staff. They aren't interested. Well they are interested if I pay the full cost of publishing and they just have to put it on their shelves. So for now I have a very nice personal album documenting all aspects of my time in the park, along with a couple of my favourite essays on various Canoe Tripping related topics. To print them as 1 offs is about $150 Canadian, occasionally I can get them printed at half price for about $80 CDN and if I ever do another order, one of my friends has asked for a copy, at that price. And she's in the book in 3 different places. I'm not seeing it as a big seller unless I can get the price way down. The price the park staff would like to see it at would be 39.95. They'd take $10 per copy, for selling it, I'd have to get them produced for $29 to make $1 a copy. I'm simply not going to like the IQ and paper weight of what I can get for that.

So it's sort of an on going project. Inertia says that even though I've already added two pages with new wildlife images, I'll probably never order another copy. It's sort of withering on the vine at the moment. During the last 10 years I've probably paid over $10,000 (much of it paid for by photographer clients I took out on trips) in park fees for over 300 days in the park , carried 20 pounds of camera gear over 200 km and paddled it for another 700 or 800 km. I've taken images in places where there's probably never even been a DSLR before. It's been a great ride, but I'm ready to lay it aside.

I'm looking forward to be able to go for a trip, and just enjoy the trip, with maybe my K-3, 18-135 and 60-250, and just be a tourist like everyone else.

I kind of feel like I'm retiring from my retirement job.

Don't give up on the book.
Maybe an E book would be a possible cheaper alternative at some time in the future. Unfortunately this suggestion probably shows that I have even less insight into computers and software than I have with a camera, but if the park would be willing to endorse such a book (and the Forum as well?) maybe a quality book for the shelves could be an end result.
Having seen many of your park posts, I'm sure you would delight many readers / viewers.
02-20-2018, 02:53 AM - 1 Like   #29
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I'll be doing some work on my other long term photographic project today. I handle online sales of collectable classical vinyl records on behalf of a charity, and I've got another stack of them to get through today. So out comes the light tent and the living room becomes a mini studio for half the day. It's time consuming, but it's for a good cause.

On the technique side of this thread, photographing vinyl records can be surprisingly tricky. They need well diffused lighting from the sides only, and even with the light tent I still manage to end up with a reflection of myself in the vinyl all too often. It gives me a lot of respect for the skills that really good professional product photographers bring to their work.
02-20-2018, 05:20 AM - 1 Like   #30
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Would a polarizef cut out the reflection?
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