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Forum: General Talk 09-13-2020, 10:15 AM  
The Joke Thread
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 3,414
Views: 273,896
Wouldn't that be "never dare an idiot until you have your camera ready"?
Forum: General Talk 10-19-2019, 01:24 PM  
The Joke Thread
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 3,414
Views: 273,896
ďA pun is the lowest form of humorówhen you don't think of it first.Ē ― Oscar Levant

DAZ
Forum: General Talk 09-01-2019, 07:49 PM  
The Joke Thread
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 3,414
Views: 273,896
It is a good thing he didn't bring his friend nine, but that would have been odd.

DAZ
Forum: General Talk 07-14-2019, 06:28 PM  
The Joke Thread
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 3,414
Views: 273,896
Your joking, right?

DAZ
Forum: General Talk 05-30-2019, 03:49 PM  
The Joke Thread
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 3,414
Views: 273,896
We all need to be less resistant and mho conductive like Siemens.


DAZ
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-12-2019, 10:47 AM  
drone for photography
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 13
Views: 1,003
The FAA is more like a Pitbull than a Bloodhound. What I mean by this is that the FAA is not very good at sniffing out the offenders but once they have found the offenders they can latch on without letting go and do a tremendous amount of damage. Once they have spotted an offender, depending on how egregious they believe the drone actions are, they can charge multi-thousand dollar fines per drone photo incident. One photo could have thousands of dollars infines with multiple incidents being into the tens of thousands of dollars. They could also seize all of the drone/camera equipment if they believe the incident is egregious enough. This risk and the potential cost is the primary reason that people hire somebody with a FAR part 107 license instead of doing it themselves under FAR part 48. Itíll cost a couple of hundred dollars under part 107 just to take the license test, not counting how much time required to study and learn the test. Even under part 48, there are many more restrictions than most people are aware. If you donít follow the part 48 rules, you still risk fines and the possible seizure of the equipment. I would highly recommend that if someoneís going to take drone photos that in anyway that will be used commercially that they get their part 107 license as the FAA can come back at you even years later. I would also recommend studying up under the part 48 rules to keep yourself out of trouble even if you donít intend to sell or use a single photo commercially. Itís the people who arenít studying up and learning/following these rules that you hear about closing down airports.

I donít entirely agree with the philosophy that you need to buy very expensive equipment to take good photos. It is the same whether youíre taking them with your handheld camera on the ground or with a camera drone in the air. It was somewhat true for the early generation of drones, but the cost of the drones has gone down considerably along with the quality of the photos that can be produced have gone up significantly. This is precisely the same argument that some make between amateur photo equipment and professional photo equipment. There are some aspects of the more expensive equipment that gives you more flexibility and possibly some increase intechnical quality, but it depends on what kind of photos you wish to take and how much effort it will be to take them. Iíve been using a DJI spark drone for about six months now and have managed to take some decent photos/videos. Iím doing this only as an amateur, so I do not have to meet some specific requirement of a client. As I am the client, this gives me the flexibility to take the photos that I want where and when I can within the limitations of the equipment. Hereís an album of some of my photos/videos that Iíve taken so far with my DJI spark. Https://www.flickr.com/photos/dazt/albums/72157688722912063


DAZ
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-17-2019, 11:55 AM  
Using monochrome to better note contrasts/tones/etc.
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 13
Views: 1,711
I too am very much in agreement with Wheatfieldís opinion on B&W. I have not shot anywhere near as much B&W as he has, but I did also start mostly shooting B&W. Color is mostly eye candy to the eye. It can very easily distract from some of the more important photographic compositional elements in the photo. This is part of the reason why it is somewhat difficult for photographers who start in color to transition to B&W. It can also make it more difficult for these photographers to progress beyond these limitations. There is some logic to saying that photographers should start with B&W and then progress to color, but thatís is not going to happen anymore.

Probably everybody here has heard the phrase; the photographer needs to see with the camera sees. In this case, the photographer needs to learn to see in B&W. Part of the problem is that even if we are born colorblind, we canít help but see in color. The other part of the problem is even though B&W is by definition no color; color is extremely important in B&W. What I mean by this last part is color is not in the final photo, but different colors in the real world have different contrast levels. A red and blue color may look sharply different to our eye but could have an identical gray level in the final product. If these two colors are side-by-side, you could end up with just one gray blob.

If youíve ever seen photos of a director or art director from the old silent film days, you may have noticed some things hanging around their neck. One of these items you might recognize was something called the Directorís viewfinder. The Directorís viewfinder was a lens to help the directors frame his possible shots. But the other device you may have mistaken for a monocle. Monocles were a popular quasi-fashion item at the time. But more likely it was a device like this.


Tiffen #1 Black and White Viewing Filter BWVF B&H Photo Video


What you would do is hold this filter up to your eye and close your other eye. You would look at the scene for several seconds; this would allow your brain to adapt and somewhat mute out some of the colors. You would then quickly remove the device from your eye and look at the scene again. This would help you determine if there were items in the scene that would not have enough black and white contrast. For example, you would not want the actress sitting on the couch in her dress and the dress on the couch blend together. So the director could order up changes before the scene was shot and not need to waste miles of film. It could also be used to check out the makeup on the actors to ensure they did not look too ghostly.



http://hair-and-makeup-artist.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Elaine-Shepard-BW.jpg


The makeup artists at the time would apply makeup with highly contrasting colors without regard to how the actors might look if seen in color.

This helps explain why B&W photographers used to use different colored filters to help bring out the contrast between different colored portions of a photo. We donít need to do that now nor is it advised as we have much more control over the process by shooting in RAW and manipulating the colored filters in postprocessing. Wheatfield was probably very good at choosing his colored filters, but it most likely took him more than a few years to develop his eye for this.

Although the colored filter I mentioned above is one tool to help one see contrasting colors in B&W another way was what was mentioned in the opening post to shoot a JPEG in B&W. I donít recommend either of these methods. The use of the filter was mainly a last-minute check that there wasnít a contrast problem before shooting and wasting miles of film. It doesnít help you learn to see in B&W. Shooting a JPEG in B&W can very easily turn into a crutch, and one will never learn to truly see the scene correctly. One needs to follow the process from beginning to end concentrating on each step of the process.

I start by carefully looking at the scene. I then either imagine myself or move around until I found the perspective point I wish to photograph. I deconstruct each of the photographic elements to choose my framing. At this point, I start contemplating color and B&W. If I think that this is going to make a good B&W photo, I then contemplate what the scene might look like if I exaggerate the colors. I do this because that is most likely what Iíll end up doing in postprocessing. So in postprocessing, my 1st step is to process the photo as if I was trying to make a good color photo. My next step is then usually to start boosting the color contrasts all out of whack and then comparing this to what it would look like when I turn it into B&W. I might go back and forth a few times until I have a somewhat good contrasty B&W photo. Iím still not finished with this photo though. I now convert the photo to B&W, but I apply various color filters as I used to when I was shooting with B&W film. The advantage of doing all of this in the computer postprocessing is I can very easily go back and forth learning how one part affects another part. Other than the order is reversed from the way we used to do it in B&W it is very much the same process. I do have some photos that I can point to if anybodyís interested in seeing some of the intermediate steps.


DAZ
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 02-12-2019, 11:28 AM  
Thematic A Flair for Flare
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 991
Views: 82,309
It looks a whole lot better then what is out my door right now.

DAZ
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 01-06-2019, 07:20 PM  
Thematic A Flair for Flare
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 991
Views: 82,309
DAZ51095 -1 by Dean Zierman, on Flickr

From my drive home visiting the relatives.

DAZ
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-02-2018, 08:16 PM  
Thematic A Flair for Flare
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 991
Views: 82,309
I've been traveling quite a bit of late. Traveling by airplane is a bit like being a pack dog on a dogsled team. Unless you're the lead dog the view doesn't change much. All I get is the same old boring views out the window.


DAZ50827 -1-1-Edit by Dean Zierman, on Flickr

DAZ50756 -2-1-Edit by Dean Zierman, on Flickr

DAZ
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 10-07-2018, 03:44 PM  
Into the sunset together?
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 4
Views: 181
"At height of man!"?


DAZ
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 09-09-2018, 12:54 PM  
Into the sunset together?
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 4
Views: 181
DAZ59738 -2 by Dean Zierman, on Flickr
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-17-2018, 10:50 AM  
Sticky: Contest Rules, Procedures, & How to Submit
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 293
Views: 160,649
This is mostly just speculation on my part, but it could have something to do with JavaScripts. Javascripts, especially off-site Javascripts, have become the security bane of the Internet. They make it much easier for the writers of websites/forums to write more complicated things like polls and pull-down menus. They also allow the Internet sites to push down things like ads from off-site servers and thus alleviate both the server load and the sites bandwidth requirements. This is where the security problem starts to raise its ugly head. These off-site servers can, in turn, run a script that directs to an additional off-site server argumentum ad infinitum. I have personally seen sites call up between 30 to 60 other server sites in a chain. Anyone of these sites could end up running a malicious JavaScript. At my work, the IT department filters out many of these so that a great many sites will not even be displayed or run. The users at my level have no control over this filtering. Many sites will direct you to turn off your “ad-blocker” software. From their point of view, all you are trying to do is block ads. The blocking of ads may at one time been the primary use for such software, but this has not become the case anymore. Many, possibly most, are just trying to stop the security hole of running off-site JavaScript. That, for example, is what is happening at my work. On my home system, I have much more granular control over blocking these scripts. Pentaxforums is not near as much of a security hole as most other sites as Adam is much more conscientious about such things. But even so, my system tells me that Pentaxforums is running as many as 9 site/off-site scripts. Adam would know exactly which off-site scripts would need to be let through for things like the site itself, poles, and drop-down menus to work. Of the 9, I allow at least 6 to run but I suspect a minimum of 3 is needed for things like polls and drop-down menus.

DAZ
Forum: Post Your Photos! 02-03-2018, 10:23 AM  
Backyard Wild Animals Contest Crab apple squirrel.
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 5
Views: 768

Thanks, it truly was inspired by Rupert.

Normally yes, they aresomewhat difficult to shoot but in this particular case no. When I took this photo, it also helped solve a minor mystery. In my yard,there is a crabapple tree. Every year Iwould see it grow if you crabappleís, butI would never see them on the ground. Not that I one of the crabapples but the mystery was what was happeningto them? Part of the reason for metaking this photo is I wanted to see what it was eating. When I got the photo blown up on my computer screen, I could see that it was one of themissing crab apples. Otis and hisfriends were eating them all!

Rupert liked to point out that the best way to get Otis tohold still and not act so ďsquirrelyĒ was to give him something to do,preferably by bribing him. A lot ofpeople use something like peanuts, but Iwouldnít recommend that as itís not good for Otis. Just about anything that can hold theirattention for a moment or 2 and make them predictable can be used. Something like dried corn or fruit may be preferable to something like nuts. The corn or the fruit theyíre more likely towant to eat immediately whereas the nuts they may just scamper off and squirrelaway for later.

DAZ
Forum: Post Your Photos! 02-02-2018, 08:12 PM  
Backyard Wild Animals Contest Crab apple squirrel.
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 5
Views: 768
DAZ_2595 by Dean Zierman, on Flickr
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 01-21-2018, 10:46 AM  
Thematic A Flair for Flare
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 991
Views: 82,309


That is correct WPRESTO; it is the Barringe crater. For those that donít know it is named Barringe crater after the man who 1st correctly identified it as a meteor crater. And when I refer to it as ďreally really bigĒ it was not my intent to say it is the biggest. One of the things that is lacking in a photo,without something in the photo to give it a sense of scale, is the size of something. Other craters are larger and older, but this is considered the best-preserved crater. In this case, it comes down to that it is easiest to see that it is a crater. But even standing on the rim viewing it with your own eyes you donít even get a sense of its scale then. I used a Sigma 8-16mm at 8 mm on an APS C camera to try to capture the crater. And even at 8 mm (about 120į), I couldnít get it all in one frame. Iíve never had that problem before with this lens (said with a slightly sad and puzzled expression). Using your own eyes, you need to turn your head quite a bit to see the whole thing, and that is still not giving you a sense of scale. A few things to possibly help you put this into perspective. To the left of the lens flare on the crater rim is a large boulder. This is called ďhouse boulderĒ because is said to be the size of a standard American house. But even that only helps a little bit. If you look extremely carefully at the crater floor, you will see that there are a few abandoned structures. Near one of those, they have placed an American flag the same size as the flag that was placed on the moon. Next to this flag is a life-size (6 foottall) white plywood cutout of an astronaut. Without this being pointed out most people (without optical aids) can not identify these objects nor even notice them.



DAZ
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 01-19-2018, 05:55 PM  
Thematic A Flair for Flare
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 991
Views: 82,309
DAZ58860 -1_stitch by Dean Zierman, on Flickr


Crater. Really really big.



DAZ
Forum: General Talk 11-01-2017, 07:57 PM  
The Joke Thread
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 3,414
Views: 273,896
So 1+1=10?

DAZ
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 08-25-2017, 03:08 PM  
Contest 2017 Solar Eclipse Challenge!
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 99
Views: 13,320
About everything I took for the eclipse of interest is in this album.

Eclipse2017 | Flickr

DAZ
Forum: General Talk 08-23-2017, 05:27 PM  
The Joke Thread
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 3,414
Views: 273,896
I decided to go see the eclipse. As it was predicted that so many people would be going to see this eclipse I decided to go 2 days early so I could be rested on the day of the eclipse. After driving most of the day I finally set up camp just before the sun was setting. Too tired to do almost anything else I crawled into my sleeping bag and looked up at my tent thinking I would at least have all day tomorrow to relax and rest.

In the middle of the night as the wind was lightly blowing across my face I looked up and saw the most glorious sight. It was so dark I could not see my hand in front of my face but I could see the sky was full of stars. I could see the Milky Way and all the constellations.

With all the awe-inspiring splendor above me, one and only one all-encompassing question came to my mind. Where did my tent go?































The answer, to this important and relevant question, was the gentle breeze had blown the tent flap back that Iíd forgotten to zipper and my head was hanging out the door.

DAZ
Forum: General Photography 08-23-2017, 12:25 PM  
So you wanna photograph the Eclipse - what you need to know in (sorta) a nutshell
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 80
Views: 8,521
All that driving, the 3 days of waiting, the heat, the dust, the noisy neighbors so I couldn't sleep (not to mention sleeping on the ground for 3 nights), to top it all off a sunburn on the top of my feet (I forgot to put the sun screen on the top of my feet and I was wearing sandals) and all I have to show for it so far as this one photo. I think I'll take a break and see if I can come up with anything else later.

StarEclipse by Dean Zierman, on Flickr

DAZ
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-13-2017, 09:41 AM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 6,446
Views: 836,063
Don't get me started on purchasing furniture.

A little more on topic, let me get this straight, photographing photographers is a “thing”. And I thought it was just me.


DAZ



Photographers | Flickr
Forum: General Photography 07-30-2017, 12:04 PM  
On Crowd Candids & Etiquette OR How to Not Aggravate a Stranger
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 19
Views: 1,754
I have been out and about taking pictures of people for ongoing of 3 decades now. In my experience there mostly 5 kinds of people in regards to having their picture taken in public.

1. Those who don’t care or generally don’t care because they realize being out in public they can have their picture taken at any time.
2. Those who are out in public and are acting in such a way as to expect that their picture will be taken. Public performers, people in parades, or just acting in a way that they could anticipate that their picture might be taken.
3. People that for some personal reason don’t want their picture taken in public and mistakenly believe that they have a right to not have their picture taken in public.
4. General nut jobs that have some weird barely comprehensible idea in their head about photos, what you are doing, how the world works, what your motives are, etc. etc.
5. People who seriously don’t want their picture taken mostly because they are misbehaving (illegally for example) or are going to misbehave.

I will go with this from the reverse order of likelihood mostly because it’s the most serious even though unlikely and incidentally more interesting.

For number 5. Mostly these people won’t bother you if they haven’t already misbehaved because they don’t want to attract attention to themselves. At least not yet anyway. But if they did misbehave and they believe that you have caught a picture of this you now have a serious problem. Essentially no amount of talking is going to get you out of this. Nor will deleting the photo after the fact help you even if you are willing to offer such. You have become a witness (with or without the photo) and they are now going to treat you in one of 2 possible ways. The 1st would be to run away and hope that they will not be identified. The 2nd is they are going to take your camera (they wouldn’t believe that the photo was deleted anyway) and in the process are most likely going to at a minimum beat the holy’s snot out of you. That would be the lucky outcome. The unlucky outcome would be that you are dead and/or permanently maimed. So your options at this point are run and if that doesn’t/isn’t going to work defending your life. So if you are going to an event, where there is a likelihood of this happening and this is not part of your profession, seriously take this into account.

Number 4. I was in California with a friend of mine taking some photos at a cliffside beach. I was using a super zoom lens at the time which is not a particularly long lens but it is a very large looking lens. I call it a cliffside beach because this is precisely what it was. A cliff, which about 200 feet below it was a small strip of beach. To get down to the beach you had to take a winding trail. It was at the head of this trail that is the only place you could see that there is a beach down below. I and my friend were standing at the very top of the cliff. From there off in the distance, you could see the surfers but no part of the beach at all without seriously risking falling onto the beach. Mostly what I was taking pictures of were the seagulls that were catching the lift off the cliff and were only about 10 to 20 feet away. While I was doing this a man approached us and accused me of taking pictures of some woman which I at 1st presumed was his wife down on the beach in her bathing suit. As this guy was ranting and raving about supposedly violating her privacy we started to understand that this woman was not his wife. In fact, he did not even know this woman. He did not even have any particular woman in mind. It The fact that I had not been taking a picture of this imaginary woman nor could not have taken a picture of her even if she not been imaginary really did not matter to him. It occurred to both myself and my friend almost simultaneously that I was being accused of an imaginary crime to which there was not even an imaginary defense. At this point, the only real option was to smile politely, apologize, and move on. So if you run across a nut your best option is to just extricate yourself as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Number 3. These are people who have an almost pathological irrational fear of photos and photographers. The fact that you are taking these pictures in public and thus they have no legal right to complain doesn’t really come into their worldview. Sometimes it might be an extremely insecure woman in which case my answer is usually “sorry ma’am I did not take your photo but if that bothers you so much I will of course gladly take a photo of you and send it to you”. This usually confuses them and they will usually respond with “no I’m trying to say I did not want my photo taken” and I will respond with that I am so sorry I will then move along. This usually satisfies them that they have vented their spleen and accomplish their goal. The next is those that have a totally irrational fear of having their children’s photos taken. To them, I will say that I am sorry but their children are in a public space and if they believe a crime is been committed they are free to call the police and I will stay and personally talk to the police. If they threatened to get violent then I will offer to call the police myself. Many may disagree with this point of view as they believe that there are “children involved” and that this somehow makes it different. In reality, it does not, they are still behaving irrationally. This can be shown that these people are in fact irrational (and the rarity) that I have been taking photos for over 30 years in all kinds of situations and nobody has yet called the police on me. If you go to just about any public park in America there are people with children and people with cameras wandering all over the place. People with cameras in the parks are not the people that have children need to worry about. The police are well aware of this. The people they have to worry about are usually the people without cameras, like their coaches, teachers, babysitters, daycare workers, or other people that they would entrust their children with. And although this is a rarity that those people are a risk to their children that is the primary risk to their children. By the way, I’ve even been approached by people in the park and they have asked me to take photos of their children. There is a small subgroup of people who do have some personal and rational reason for not having their picture taken. Some religious belief for example. If this is the case they are bothered by your picture taking they will usually approach you and politely ask you to not take their picture and give you that rational reason. The polite thing, of course, at that time is to say “I understand, thank you very much for informing me of this” and point your camera in some other direction.

Number 2. This group is the ones you are most likely going to take a picture of. If you have a large DSLR they will sometimes approach you and ask you if you are a professional. Most often this is because they wish to separate you from a possible amateur. If you are professional they may want money for a signed photo release. They could also possibly want free photos for publicity. If you are possibly a photojournalist they are most likely interested in the publication so they can post in their social media network that they have been published. When they find out that you are just an amateur the mostly just relax and have fun with it. Getting attention out in the public is after all why they are doing this in the public in the 1st place. This group is the ones that are most likely to approach you and also less likely to have a problem with you.

Group number 1. This is the most boring group of all. They are for the most part just part of the background and as such won’t bother you or approach you. Not much to be said unless you need a photo release from any of them in which case you most likely have to make this just journalistic B footage of the background. And by the way chasing after somebody to get their “permission with all the associated information required” for a photo is more likely to be perceived as the weird guy with the camera than just letting them go. Unless you really “need” a photo release as part of the job it is usually not practical nor necessarily even desirable to chase after these people. This group, by the way, is the ones that most often approach me. They see my big camera and lens and assume that I know how to take good photos. I know this is kind of silly but that’s their perception. So more often than not they are asking me to take their camera to take a photo of them. I always politely agree and try to take the best photo I can.

A lot of people have made an issue out of taking photos of people in public. Truthfully this is rarely an issue. In 30 years I can barely count on both hands the number of times I’ve been approached by somebody that had an issue. In most of the time when I was approached it was just a friendly conversation about photography in general or because they did want me to take their picture and somehow get it to them later.

I’ve used most of the techniques described in this thread. Sometimes I’ve tried to have smaller wide-angle lenses with unobtrusive cameras. This usually does mean that you do have to get in their face. It is usually very difficult to get candid photos this way because of the observer effect. I’ve also used very long lenses. You can sometimes get very good candid portrait type photos that are isolated from the background this way. But my favorite technique is to use a medium length zoom lens and hang around the edges of the event. If you hang around long enough almost everybody starts to perceive you as just part of the background. This allows you to keep your head up, on a swivel, and your situational awareness at its maximum. You’re much more likely to see any trouble coming this way and simultaneously see a photo opportunity developing. You can take test photos to get your exposure, framing, and your focusing correct before the photo that you are anticipating. This allows you to get the snap photo much quicker and more assuredly. You can also usually get much more pleasing perspectives and perspective distortions.

If anybody does have a problem (which in my experience is extremely rare) then just point them to your very plain and benign Flickr site. This is one of the reasons I have a Flickr account. If someone wants the photo I just promised to put them up on Flickr and let them go get it. If someone needs to know what I do for my hobby I show them the Flickr account. This at the very least will usually bore them into a coma and people in a coma are usually harmless.

DAZ
Forum: General Photography 07-09-2017, 09:24 PM  
So you wanna photograph the Eclipse - what you need to know in (sorta) a nutshell
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 80
Views: 8,521
This is probably my final solar eclipse set up.


Pentax HD PENTAX D FA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6 DC AW mounted on a Zeikos 77" 3-Section Heavy-Duty Aluminum Tripod with 3-Way Pan Head. On the front of the lens is Cokin Z-Pro Series 100mm Filter Holder with the LEE Filters 100x100mm Solar Eclipse Filter. The camera is a Pentax K5 attached via the HDMI port out to a Lilliput 7" Field Monitor mounted on a Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod positioned near the lens tripod. 2-foot cable release and shake reduction turned off. I did not use mirror lockup as it seemed to be steady enough without it and would be one more thing to screw up when I switched in totality to bracket exposures.

I experimented with multiple different setups before I came to this final set up. The following are some of the things Iíve tried:

Crossed polarizers. Crossed polarizers can be used as a variable (kind of like a neutral density) filter. The problems that led to this being rejected were, not nearly enough stops of filtering and a blue tint that was almost impossible to get rid of.

Stacked neutral density filters. With my 3 darkest neutral density filters I could get up to about 16 stops. This was minimally adequate but still, has several significant limitations. The 1st being 16 stops is near the minimum needed. It still makes it very hard to not only focus but totally washes out live view. This is also not adequate (as in not safe) to use the optical viewfinder. Stacking the filters also resulted in image degradation.

Trying to use the live view on the back of the camera was very difficult as you are facing into the sun. Even if you had an articulated screen it would still be very difficult as you want the tripod to be lower and it is still very awkward to view. Additionally, live view from the screen on the back of the camera eats up battery power extremely quickly.

Trying to mount the field monitor any place on the tripod that the lens was mounted on was very awkward and difficult. Essentially wherever I would try to mount it would always seem to get in the way. Mounting the field monitor onto the camera no matter which method I seem to use (tried several from mounting on top of the camera to using an additional bracket) was also awkward and caused additional problems that every time I would move the lens would also require a change in the field monitor. Also, the field monitor was too close to really view it while trying to move the lens-camera combination. Mounting the field monitor on a small tripod near the larger tripod worked much better and also reduced any wind sail affects/vibrations that the field monitor would produce onto the lens tripod.


Using the LEE Filters 100x100mm Solar Eclipse Filter was nearly ideal. This filter produces 20 stops of filtering. This allowed the lens to be stopped down to only f/5.6 at 450 mm with a shutter speed of 1/180 and ISO of 80. This produced an excellent exposure. I was able to photograph very small sunspots that were clear enough to make out and were approaching only a few pixels across.

Using the Cokin Z-Pro Series Filter Holder allows the filter pack to be taken off quickly and smoothly during totality. It can also be placed back on just as quickly and easily. The Lee solar filter also had an additional feature to the filter that helped with this. Around the backside of the filter on the edges is a little black foam gasket. This not only keeps out any stray light from the edges but also helps act like a little bit of a spring. The Cokin Filter Holder has a little bit of a spring action to it but this is mainly to hold the various filters snugly. Once you tighten up the screws there is very little additional spring action.

Some observations:

The Lee solar filter will get quite warm to the touch even in the anemic Northwest morning sun. I do not believe this will in and of itself hurt the filter but if youíre not aware you could be surprised and accidentally drop the filter when you pull it out of the filter holder pack. Additionally, it would probably not be wise to set it on a very cool surface until it has a chance to cool off.

Even with 20 stops of filtering the sun is so bright that there is still detectable reflective flair. This could be from 2 possible sources. The 1st being reflection of the front of the lens to the back of the solar filter and back in. As Pentax has put some of their best coatings on this lens I do not believe that this is the most likely source of the flair.


The next likely source for this a reflection is off the sensor to the back of the lens and back into the sensor. As even with these 20 stops the live view is still overexposed, I believe this is most likely the source of the flair. What this means is that it is best (in my opinion) to not shoot absolutely center of the frame. If all of the sun circle is off to the side of the center then the reflection will appear on the opposite side. This means that it will not only not interfere with the direct exposure but being off to the side can be dealt easily in PP if necessary.

With 20 stops of filtering, you may feel that you could use the optical viewfinder. Lee recommends against this and I concur. You might be able to get away with this for a few seconds but you wonít be doing this for just a few seconds. You will have to do this repeatedly for upwards of an hour. 20 stops are just not enough for this. Additionally, there still might be some leakage of ultraviolet light which you wouldnít detect until it has damaged your eyes.

With this set up with shutter speeds of 1/180 or 1/250 exposures appear to be very good. Exposures of 1/125 and 1/90 also appeared to be good and did not give any blinking warnings in the live view. Reviewing these later on the computer I could see that they had at least one blown color channel. Even one blown color channel will make it next to impossible to set your white balance lie for white. Additionally, you want a little bit of head room for later PP adjustments of things like contrast and brightness. So itís definitely better (if not imperative) to be a little underexposed.

I did consider going with a longer focal length than 450 mm. Early on I did experiment with an X1.4 and a 500 mm lens but concluded that the field-of-view was just too narrow on APS-C. It is too hard to keep the sun in the frame all the time and more difficult to have it off to the side and still in the frame (see above). Additionally, in totality, you probably will want to see much more around the sun so 450 mm appears to be about ideal.

When I mounted the lens on the tripod I found it worked much better to have the elevation handle forward. This not only kept it out of coming in contact with the center pole (in fact I didnít have to raise the center pole thus increasing stability) but I found I had much more leverage. Having a three-way pan head was also much better than a ball head. I could much easier control one thing at a time instead of having to control all of them simultaneously. This was very important as you needed to continuously track the sun.

Having the field monitor on its own tripod allowed both tripods to be set very much lower and more stable. They were also easier to handle and you could sit in your chair and watch the monitor. One word about this. Is probably best not only from the point of view of batteries (for both the field monitor and the camera) to stay in live view continuously. Normally there is a limit of approximately 10 to 15 minutes before the sensor starts to heat up in the camera wants to shut itself down. Even though most of the heat is attenuated by the solar filter is probably getting more heat than normal which probably exasperates this problem. I do not believe that this will necessarily harm the sensor but you might be stuck having to wait for the camera to cool down at a critical time. With this in mind, it is probably better to set yourself up on a schedule of on and off (say 5 minutes on 5 minutes off for example).

LEE Filters 100x100mm Solar Eclipse Filter
Pentax HD PENTAX D FA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6 DC AW
Pentax K5.
Zeikos 77" 3-Section Heavy-Duty Aluminum Photo & Video Tripod with 3-Way Pan Head
Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod
Cokin Z-Pro Series Filter Holder
Lilliput 7" Field Monitor

Linked below is the camera set up and an example full frame full resolution sun photo. Seeing was fair to good. There were a few high thin clouds in the area that I had to wait to pass but there was also forming a thin overall layer. This is why the seeing was only fair to good.


DAZ57187 -1 by Dean Zierman, on Flickr

Solar setup. by Dean Zierman, on Flickr

DAZ
Forum: General Photography 07-08-2017, 07:28 PM  
So you wanna photograph the Eclipse - what you need to know in (sorta) a nutshell
Posted By DAZ
Replies: 80
Views: 8,521
I've been practicing and trying different techniques. This is about my best so far, about a 50% crop. It really is annoying when you're subject won't hold still! Definitely still need to do more work. There won't be time to work out anything on the day it happens.


DAZ57163 -1 by Dean Zierman, on Flickr
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