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Forum: General Photography 6 Days Ago  
What single thing improved your photography the most?
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 59
Views: 2,023
The Single-In Challenges here on Pentax Forums. There was something about being forced into a single lens for a month and needing to shoot something every day that forced me to explore composition and technique in ways I hadn't. Commenting on everyone else's daily images exposed me to them and caused me to "deconstruct" their techniques which obviously led to more ideas, inspiration and learning. It's hard to be disciplined enough to do it, and many nights I found myself shooting things around the house at 11pm to get my upload done in time, but that was all part of the process and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Each of the months I participated in yielded several of my absolute favorite images.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 07-05-2019, 12:20 PM  
Game Stupid Camera Tricks (and Stupid Lens Tricks)
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 109
Views: 4,681
I love this thread idea! I haven't been around much lately, but over the years, I've played around with hings like holding Canon and Minolta lenses onto my Kr body by hand because they don't mount to shooting "macro" shots of bugs through a bunch of extension tubes by hand-holding the camera and rocking back and forth until the critter was in focus.

This one is a favorite of mine. It's the camera taking a photo of itself by using a couple of mirrors and a remote to fire the shutter.



This one involved a polarizer and an old school cross-filter screwed onto the lens to shoot some ice melting.


This was an old 50mm/1.4 with some of those screw on magnifier (close up) filters.


Shot an upside-down lens through another lens (which inverted it) and move the camera back and forh until the back lens was in focus.


I've tried the zooming while the shutter is open a few times and I never could get it right. It's neat seeing the variations on that theme int his thread. Great stuff!
Forum: Photo Critique 12-12-2017, 02:50 PM  
Abstract Please help me with my volleyball shots!
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 33
Views: 1,885
Do you have the Sigma with built-in stabilization? I don't know what other's have experienced, but I prefer leaving the lens OS off and only using the sensor SR in my K-30. I feel like I get sharper results that way.

I shoot a lot of youth hockey, in crappy rinks and often through the glass. I have found that I can get away with ISO 5000 and even 6400 which lets me stop down to f/3.2. I lean towards a shutter speed of 1/500 with varsity high school kids and that stops much of the movement, but there are elements that are still blurry.. sticks during a shot, snow coming off skates, etc... but I can see the kids faces in the helmets and that's what the parents like. Not sure if the K-50 has the same functionality but, I tend to use center point focus and set my ISO to auto from 100-6400 to let the camera manage that while locking in my shutter speed and aperture. I also set the AE metering to center-weighted. Basically, I want the camera to focus and set ISO based on who I'm pointing at. Then I just track my subjects in the center with a little room to spare and crop/compose in post. Not ideal, but it tends to be good enough to give memories to the parents.

Moral of the story... keep experimenting with settings and technique. Anticipating the play will allow you to eliminate much of the motion blur caused by sudden movements of the camera and let the wonderful Pentax SR do it's job.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-21-2017, 06:51 AM  
Got Squirrel Shots? (In memorial of Rupert)
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 2,509
Views: 178,061
These are from a while back as well... It took a bit of patience to earn trust...

Peek-A-Boo by HockeyDad77, on Flickr

but eventually we got there. I think this was my 18-135mm and EXIF shows it to be at 88mm for this. I was sitting on the ground and holding an off-camera flash in my other hand.

nom nom nom by HockeyDad77, on Flickr

Honestly, I was trying to capture birds, but this one kept stealing the bait. :-)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-19-2017, 09:28 AM  
Do we have any Topaz wizards here?
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 6
Views: 889
I'm no Topaz wizard , but when I've created images like what you're wanting, I use different tools. I'd suggest trying Topaz re-mask to separate the subject and the background into two layers. It's pretty easy to brush around the edges of that box with the compute brush and fill the inside with the CUT and tweak the sliders until the mask looks right. Then, once they're in separate layers, you can just reduce the saturation of the background elements.

NOTE: I've also done this by hand many times by duplicating the entire image into a second layer and then erasing the background from the top layer. Same idea.. it just takes MUCH longer but it gives you pixel-by-pixel level control over what ends up in each layer.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-07-2017, 06:13 AM  
Got Squirrel Shots? (In memorial of Rupert)
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 2,509
Views: 178,061
Photography has taken a backseat to the rest of life for a bit, so I've been away and didn't see this! I may have posted this image elsewhere years back, but it's one of my very first shots as a Pentaxian!

Squirrel by HockeyDad77, on Flickr
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-21-2015, 05:25 AM  
Game Single in October 2015
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 524
Views: 22,353
Well, looks like busy home and work life took over again and Ive missed several days. So, unfortunately, I'm out for October. It has been really nice shooting again and being a part of this GREAT group of people. If things ease up I'll jump back in. Thanks to all for looking and commenting on what I did manage to post
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-05-2015, 07:37 AM  
Game Single in October 2015
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 524
Views: 22,353
I know you're not looking for advice... and in spite of that, you got a fair amount. I guess that's because we're all friends here and just want to help. For what it's worth, 90% of the PP I do is with FastStone image viewer. I set it as my default viewer for .jpg images so that all I do is double-click on the image in Windows explorer to open it full screen in FastStone. Then I bump the left edge of the screen to reveal the menu and tweak levels and crop it. Occasionally I straighten and/or adjust contrast and saturation. Then SaveAs. That program also does browsing and folders and such... I ignore all of that and ONLY use the full screen viewer to edit. Actually, it also does clone/heal for when there's dust or something. It sharpens too, but the sharpening engine is crap YMMV.

For the other 10%, the ones that require more work or when I want to get extra creative in PP, well, then it's off to PhotoShop. But, like I said, 90% are covered in under a minute of quick tweaking in FastStone. I wouldn't call it intuitive though. It took a few images to realize how to work it.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 09-29-2015, 07:21 AM  
Game Single in October 2015
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 524
Views: 22,353
Hey everyone! It's been a while. Really haven't shot much at all since last October. I do miss it and a Single In challenge just might be the ticket to getting back into the swing of things. I've had this Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 M42 lens for a while (I think it was one of, if not THE, first lenses I purchased outside of my original K-r kit. I never really took to the focal length. I'm not sure why. It's a fine lens and I think I can push myself to learn the length and have some fun. So, I think I'm in with it for October.

I really look forward to seeing everyone's images!
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 10-07-2014, 06:10 AM  
K-r to K30 upgrade
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 15
Views: 2,330
Very cool! You'll have to let us know how you like it.
Forum: Site Suggestions and Help 10-02-2014, 08:15 AM  
Suggestion Neutralize the 'why I won't buy a k-3' thread
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 61
Views: 5,811
Personally, and I'm just spitballin' ideas here, I think the thread should have been renamed "The K-3 is the most awesome camera ever and you should definitely buy one." Because that would serve both purposes, it would mock the OP and cause a dramatic increase in sales from all those that are easily swayed by thread titles.
Forum: Site Suggestions and Help 10-02-2014, 07:56 AM  
Suggestion Neutralize the 'why I won't buy a k-3' thread
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 61
Views: 5,811
One would hope so. ...and stop calling me Shirley.

Based on the modified thread title, am I to understand that the K-3 comes in satire? Is that some new shade of blue?
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 09-30-2014, 09:26 AM  
K-r to K30 upgrade
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 15
Views: 2,330
Hi Tim, welcome to the forum!

The K-r was my first DSLR and I loved it. Once I got to understand my needs/wants a little better, there were some features I really wished it had. Then along came the K-30. It had TAV mode, user modes, 2 thumbwheels (well 1 thumb and 1 finger), and a switch for AFC/AFS/MF. Those usability features alone were HUGE for me. On top of that, I purchased mine with an 18-135WR so I now have a very good all-weather walkaround camera that makes rainy canoe trips and snowy sub-zero outdoor hockey tournaments more fun because I'm the only fool taking photos!

Others have mentioned improved IQ (Image Quality), which everyone always wants, and I'll add to that the tracking auto-focus in select-point mode. Those were things I was hoping would improve my "keeper" rate in youth hockey. Unfortunately, in my hands, the gains were not significant enough to warrant the upgrade based on IQ alone. However, the other things I mentioned make the K-30 the DSLR I've always wanted.

I absolutely LOVE my K-30 and like Loco, I feel no need to upgrade again in the foreseeable future. That said, I think the K-5IIs incorporates everything I love about the K-30 with even better IQ (albeit in a larger and pricier package). So, that's a really good suggestion too.
Forum: Pentax K-3 09-10-2014, 11:25 AM  
why I won't buy a k3 (Warning: Satire Thread)
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 69,145
Views: 2,430,186
I have one in my desktop PC so that I can convert tapes to MP3!

You know... because the 80s was awesome... just not awesome enough to invest in re-purchasing LOL
Forum: Pentax K-3 08-27-2014, 09:14 AM  
why I won't buy a k3 (Warning: Satire Thread)
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 69,145
Views: 2,430,186
Me too! ...and homemade rye bread.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 05-04-2014, 07:30 PM  
Hello from Michigan
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 3
Views: 363
Welcome! This site is an awesome resource.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-03-2014, 03:51 AM  
People Merry-Go-Round
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 9
Views: 432
Wow. Thank you so much everyone for your kind words!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-02-2014, 07:47 AM  
People Merry-Go-Round
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 9
Views: 432
Hahahaha! You know, I still get a little queezy looking at it. I was fine looking through the viewfinder for quite a while, then I looked up and that's when it got bad...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-02-2014, 07:13 AM  
People Merry-Go-Round
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 9
Views: 432
I do NOT recommend trying to get a shot like this immediately after eating a big dinner!

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-30-2014, 12:57 PM  
Water resistant lenses aren't that water resistant
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 40
Views: 4,675
.. So now you're saying I should stop doing e-brake 180 parallel parking stunts to impress my better looking beer drinking friends?!?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-30-2014, 12:00 PM  
Camera storage in a car.
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 23
Views: 2,620
Usually in my camera bag on the back seat (Mustang) or on the floor (Tahoe). Both have tinted windows which keeps direct sunlight (and prying eyes) off of the bag but the cars are black so they do get warm. I don't think I've ever left it in there more than an hour though so the padded bag seems to insulate it enough.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-30-2014, 07:58 AM  
Water resistant lenses aren't that water resistant
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 40
Views: 4,675
There was a great thread a while back if you're interested in reading more opinions on both sides of this discussion: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/198996-water-resistant-my-ass.html

I'm certain my opinion is expressed in there somewhere but sum it up to say that one of the major reasons I upgraded from K-r to K-30 was to play in the rain. I never give any thought to rain ( or sprinklers or kids splashing in the pool or squirt guns ) and the K-30 with 18-135WR has never let me down.

If it should someday fail within the warranty period, I will switch back to my K-r and begin an epic battle with Ricoh / Pentax if necessary because they're the ones that set my level of expectation and I do not consider it inappropriate to use the features of the camera. Yes, I am firmly in the camp that considers WR to be a feature, not an insurance policy. Just as I consider the ABS brakes on my car to be a feature that should always work. Neither of these are features that may or may not work and should never be tested except in an emergency where I should consider myself lucky if they happen to work.
Forum: Site Suggestions and Help 04-29-2014, 06:07 PM  
Question Mobile platform
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 8
Views: 712
Having the option to choose the default
in settings would be great! ...or just adding it to the "skins" / "style selector" so that any user could select or deselect it as their default would work too.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 04-18-2014, 05:59 AM  
Macro Itchy
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 2
Views: 451
Playing with my poor man's macro setup. An old Vivitar 70-210mm "push/pull" zoom mounted to 3 extension tubes. I used a YN-560-II flash on an NPT-04 trigger. My wife was quite a good sport about "posing" for the shot! :lol:

Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 04-09-2014, 06:25 AM  
Game Single in April 2014
Posted By HockeyDad
Replies: 306
Views: 15,490
Well if that last image is an example of you "not feeling it", then I can't imagine what it'd be like if you were into this lens! Anyway, as my longest streak of continuous single-ins remains at 1, I completely understand needing a break. I do have to tell you that your images this month have me on the lookout for my first Helios!
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