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Forum: Photographic Technique 10-09-2014, 02:30 PM  
Sports photography - single images
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 694
Views: 112,783
I'd love to play along but most major sports leagues here in the US are cracking down on fan photogs. Nearly every sport has prohibited lenses over 6" long and heaven forbid you try to bring into the stadium anything bigger than a Ziploc sandwich bag, so that makes camera bags contraband akin to a kilo of coke.

It's an asinine rule under the guise of "protecting the fan experience". Well maybe I can find a little league game to shoot, oh wait, if I don't have a kid playing, I could be arrested....
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 04-28-2020, 10:37 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
A pair of cardinals are building a nest nearby.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 04-12-2020, 04:51 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
Nesting season here in Scottsdale.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 03-15-2020, 08:07 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
A couple from Paris trip over Valentines Day. Rain stopped long enough for about 3 hours of shooting.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 07-05-2019, 02:04 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
A couple shots from my trip to the bay area last month
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 05-09-2019, 11:21 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
They have since fledged, but every time i drive by the empty nest I still look for them.

It was a fun 3-4 weeks watching them grow up.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-02-2018, 08:48 AM  
Nature Roadrunner
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 7
Views: 545
roadrunners are ever present at several golf courses here in phx. they are like squirrels, only smarter. they wait for your golf cart to pull up, watch you walk away and then raid your food stash while you're putting. they've figure out how to pop open those take out containers better than many humans. whether its a hots dog, chips or a sandwich, it's all fair game. on a few occasions i swear the birds were mocking me after stealing my food. they just stood there, eyeing me, daring me to try and retrieve it.

so, no, they aren't skittish, they know they are faster and smarter than we
Forum: General Photography 07-03-2018, 09:38 AM  
Is great kit a mixed blessing?
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 152
Views: 7,652
For me, your example doesn't illustrate the narrative I was trying to convey.

There are many many technically competent AND imaginative photogs out there, quite capable of taking very good photos. And thats the problem, cheaper, lighter cameras, paved roads, good 4x4 vehicles and other modern technologies have given these photogs the opportunities to take images that once required weeks of travel and/or special permits. And sites like instagram and flickr have given them a place to show of their work. So i believe it's only natural to be overwhelmed by the amount of very very good photos in circulation and as a result lose perspective. Where there used to be far fewer published images, a "memorable' photo was easier to find because that person went to places never before seen or had access to equipment that less than 1% of the population could own. That has changed dramatically.

I took the original post to be one of melancholy and burnout, which is a very real malaise every photographer I've ever met goes through from time to time. The point was to recognize one's own limitations and perhaps better understand what prompted the negative emotions in the first place.

And FWIW the day a 16 y/o with an iphone can take a better image than me from the exact same location on the exact same day is the day I give up photography :p
Forum: General Photography 07-02-2018, 01:30 PM  
Is great kit a mixed blessing?
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 152
Views: 7,652
i'm going to offer another possible explanation, time and opportunity. I have all the lenses i need, to the point where I haven't had an LBA impulse in over a year. And at the risk of sounding conceited, believe I have a fair enough skill set to come close to maximizing my gear's potential. However what I lack is enough vacation time (along with a severe dislike of living in tents and being without running water).

I've told this story a few times, about an article I read in Outdoor Photographer: This pro hiked 15 miles one way and camped overnight at this remote location for 5! straight years at the exact same celestial event date until he finally got the one shot that made the OP cover. That's the day i realized I would never be able to make a living doing this. As such, I've dealt with record heat in Yosemite, record rain falls in alaska, forest fires in southern california, and some other not quite as dramatic events that rendered my 7-10 days in the area useless for making "spectacular/amazing/mind blowing" or "whatever adjective you want to use" photographs. I did the best i could under the conditions, but when you (and others) judge your photos by the "would i pay $500 to hang this on my wall?" standard, a cloudless sunset at Yosemite just doesn't cut it when there are hundreds of others who were "luckier" with weather conditions that I was.

So perhaps a big reason why there's a glut of the same thing, is because the vast majority of photographers, save the 1% who have unlimited PTO, have to pick and choose the most accessible locations at dates their boss will allow them to go. I get 9 days at a time (counting weekends). Am I hiking 3 days in and 3 days out for one chance at one photo? Or am I hitting 9 different easier locales? The law of large numbers says i have a better chance of getting a keeper doing the latter. And chances are 1000 others are doing the same thing. the law of large numbers also says 5-10 of those 1000 are as good or better than me. So now there are 5-10 photos of the same shot from that exact day. Within just a week you can have 70 very good photos if the light is cooperating. That by the olden days standards is a lot of pictures and perhaps why there are so few "memorable images". It's a case of sensory overload.

If you put 10 highly skilled photogs in the same place at the same time with the "right" lighting, chances are you'd have a tough time finding a "memorable" photograph because there would be so many similarities between the results. Yes, you will have one or 2 you like better than the others, but I would guess the sheer amount of similarities would water down your emotional response to all.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-24-2018, 11:00 AM  
Lee filter system for 15-30, or new 24-70
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 40
Views: 3,144
The interesting thing to note, in my experience, solid ND filter use and Grad ND filter use are two very different applications.

I use solid, or 2-4 stop ND filters, to blur motion, which in my case 99% of the time is water(falls). the Fotodiox sytem would be fine for that application and relatively inexpensive compared to the Lee or other square filter options.
The problem as I see it, instances in which I would use a grad ND are inherently variable, which is why a square filter system is a must. My horizon is never in the same place, which a fixed adapter ring grad ND filter would dictate.
As such, for my 24-70 i have some fixed ring 2-4 stop ND for motion blur AND a cokin z filter system for scene which require a grad ND. I could have gone strictly with the cokin system, but the square filters take alot more time and effort to set up that screw in filters. I have that luxury for sunset/sunrise, but not so much on waterfalls that often involve miles worth of hikes and several more destinations to shoot while factoring in travel time, food and waning light/weather. It's why i have basically two filter sets.

As far as shooting technique, I have to disagree with the concept of never touching the camera once exposure is obtained with grad ND. Especially in the case of sunrise/sunset, over the course of a shoot EV with change 4 or 5 stops at least over an hour, to and hour and a half. I am constantly adjusting shutter speed to keep my ETTR bias. I am also quite often bracketing for DoF and/or bracketing for motion blur. Some waves look better at 1/2 sec and some look better at 1, 2 or even 3 seconds. After 10+ years, I have some idea what looks better at what shutter speed, but not always, so I hedge my bets.

I am also occasionally fiddling with focal point and composition, because I only get one chance at THAT sunrise/sunset.

In summary, for the 2 hours I'm shooting a sunrise/sunset scene (I am ALWAYS on site and set up at least 1 hour prior), I'm a busy photog, between constantly reading my histogram and adjusting exposure to experimenting with different compositions. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong, but I have never been able to just set the camera on manual, lock in a shutter speed and aperture at 100 iso and constantly hit my remote shutter release for an extended period of time. MAYBE 5 mins at most....
Forum: General Photography 03-20-2018, 05:13 PM  
Poll: Right Eye vs Left Eye through the Viewfinder and Why?
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 44
Views: 2,820
Here's an interesting challenge:

Each eye is associated with a different hemisphere of your brain, much like your handedness. It's why right handers in VERY broad general terms tend to be more analytical than left handers.

I am left eye dominant, but right handed. I just naturally put my camera to my right eye starting out so that is how I predominantly shoot, HOWEVER I have found that looking through the viewfinder with my left eye often gives me a VERY different perspective on the same scene I just composed with my right eye. My theory is that the "creative" right hemisphere is now playing more of role.

Sometimes I like it better, sometimes I compromise, at least 60% i stick with my original composition. What I have found, is that in scenes where I'm struggling to capture in a frame what I'm seeing with my eyes, it's often because the left eye isn't involved. More than once I've "found" what was missing. I've also unfortunately just shook my head on occasion and said, I just can't get "it". Time to move on.

The point of this rambling post is to note if your brain processes the scene differently using different eyes, and to try to learn how to use that to your advantage.

I only use this technique for my critter hunts, especially when shooting whales or other creatures where you don't know their location until they suddenly appear. For landscape work, I'm of the mindset that I'm shooting in 2D, I need to analyze and compose in the same 2D vision, so I only use one eye.
Forum: Photographic Technique 07-21-2016, 08:18 AM  
Landscape: how to expose for the shadows
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 11
Views: 2,044
The concept of ETTR is not to use the "full range" of the sensor, but to capture the greatest amount of information within the image file. A digital image file is not linear (in terms of data capture), the highlight arrays can store more data than the shadows arrays. The concept of ETTR is to save as much color information about the scene as possible, and to do that, you want to use the bigger "buckets" set aside.

(A way to test this is to look at the file size of the same scene underexposed versus overexposed. The overexposed file with be larger than the under exposed file.)

I've always understood that if you want to do exposure stacking, you would expose your darks at as close to 128,128,128 as possible, which obviously obliterates close to 50% of your image, but you don't care about that anyway since you will be layering masking those parts out.

But by pushing the shadows that high, you get a really good signal to noise ratio and a lot more color information. When you do drop the exposure levels, you are getting cleaner darks.

From Wikipedia:
"ETTR was initially espoused in 2003 by Michael Reichmann on his website, after purportedly having a discussion with software engineer Thomas Knoll, the original author of Adobe Photoshop and developer of the Camera Raw plug-in.[1] Their rationale was based on the linearity of CCD and CMOS sensors, whereby the electric charge accumulated by each subpixel is proportional to the amount of light it is exposed to (plus electronic noise). Although a camera may have a dynamic range of 5 or more stops, when image data is recorded digitally the highest (brightest) stop uses fully half of the discrete tonal values.

This is because a difference of 1 stop represents a doubling or halving of exposure. The next highest stop uses half of the remaining values, the next uses half of what is left and so on, such that the lowest stop uses only a small fraction of the tonal values available.[20][21] This may result in a loss of tonal detail in the dark areas of a photograph and posterization during post-production. By deliberately exposing to the right and then stopping down afterwards (during processing) the maximum amount of information is retained."

Disclaimer (if needed): I am a huge supporter of Luminous Landscape, and owe a lot of my knowledge base to articles from Michael Reichmann et al. It's that article referenced in 2003 that really brought into clarity for the me the difference between film and digital. Coupled with my degree in software design, it made too much sense. I have been an ETTR believer ever since.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 07-14-2016, 07:38 AM  
Mirror Lock Up on K1
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 33
Views: 7,030
I have used MUP for nearly 95% of my landscape images for the last 10 years.

Mirror Lock-up functions like this:

After selecting exposure settings, you depress the remote trigger once to lock up the mirror. The camera then beeps (if audible signals are selected in menus), but it WILL NOT capture an image until..... Upon depressing the remote trigger a SECOND time, the image is captured. (You can also substitute a shutter button press for a remote trigger, but that defeats the purpose of the MUP mode). Once the image is captured, you can do anything you want. I will check my histogram and make changes as needed. BUT do NOT press the shutter or remote!

What you have done in the above is begin the two stage sequence for capturing ANOTHER image

If you have depressed the remote only once in the sequence, the only way to abort is to turn off the camera, or complete the sequence with a second trigger.

MUP does not work in live view, because the mirror is already up. I think there was a discussion in another thread at some point as to why you can't just do an image capture in live view without the mirror going down and then back up again. I don't do much live view shooting, but I've just created a work flow that exits LV before taking an image.

The 2s timer does NOT lock up the mirror prior to taking an image, so it is a different function.

MUP is designed to allow time for vibrations of the camera caused by the mirror raising to subside before taking an image. For many landscape shooters this is critical, especially in long exposures. The 2s mode would still transmit mirror vibrations because the image is captured immediately after the mirror raises. It's not JUST about tripod vibrations.

I also use MUP mode on windy days because you need to time shutter actuations between gusts on longer exposures. Others use it for staged wildlife shots from a blind.

FWIW, the 2s delay mode has a nickname in my circle, we call it "Selfie Mode". It has an entirely different purpose than MUP.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 07-06-2017, 02:38 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
first time i ever saw a swallow sit
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-23-2017, 12:51 PM  
looking help: whale photography baja california.
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 86
Views: 7,880
I have been on 6 whale watching excursions over the last 5 years (Juneau) (Washington) (Monterrey CA). I have used the K5iis 2x, K3 2x and the K1 for 2 trips. I have a Sigma 100-300 f4 and Sigma 500 f4.5 in my bag and I have always ended up using the 100-300 (even with the K1) . The FoV of a 500mm lens is jut too narrow for the random actions of a whale and the rapid panning of the photog trying to find the whale. I would recommend the 150-450 on your K3 but stay around 150-200mm. Use high burst, (my recommended settings to start: TAv, 1/1500 and f8) AND A MONOPOD! Your arms will get really shakey after 4 hours hand holding the 150-450 AND combating the roll of the boat.

I do NOT recommend changing lenses at any time while on the boat; your sensor will get nasty sticky salt water spots guaranteed. If you must use a wider lens for atmosphere or really close whale shots, have it on a second body (K5), but that's a lot of weight to carry around and you will knock one body on something at least once if you aren't holding it in your hands. It also depend on the capacity of the boat. If it's near 100% you are going to have a tough time moving about.

I generally pick the upper deck rear starboard (left) corner which gives me about 180 deg view. Also pay attention to the sun. I generally won't shoot into back light subjects; they lose all detail.

As you know, whales are large and the depth of field of f8 is needed. They also move surprisingly quick, and the photo below really could have used a faster shutter speed. It was that close to being a keeper.
Forum: General Photography 06-12-2017, 03:54 PM  
Me: Then and Now
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 13
Views: 1,385
If you will indulge some musings, I was struck by the contrast/evolution of Paul the Photographer over the last 20 years.

This was precipitated by a recent trip to Washington and chance to reshoot Willaby Creek Falls.

To create context, I had visited Willaby Creek Falls circa 2000 when vacationing in Ocean Shores. It was roughly my second year as a "serious" phootgrapher, i.e. I planned vacations around potential photo ops. My equipment was a K1000 film camera and 2 Kitstar lens becuase my photo equipment budget at the time was nearly zero. As such, my standard image was captured at f2.8 and 1/60th of a second (because I had read somewhere that that was the slowest shutter speed one could reasonably expect to create decent images handheld). I purchased ASA 400 film and pushed it to ASA 1600 when developing.

I mention this so that the focus is not on the "poor" technical aspects of the early image. The low resolution scan certainly doesn't help either.

What really struck me was the composition of each image, the conscious choices the two Pauls made. It's the same waterfall, with the same opportunities, yet the younger (amateur) me chose the blurred foreground object framing "method". Until today, I had never really analyzed or realized the change in photographic style that has taken place of the last two decades. Since the first photo was taken, I have been judged, juried, crucified, praised, featured and castigated in various measures with regard to my work. The most obvious scars would be the "never ever had a blurry foreground object" mantra that had never more obviously manifested itself in my work than these two images.

The most recent was taken per my standard methods of crawling down a moss covered embankment of rocks and perching my tripod precariously across two rocks with the third leg in the flowing stream. At all times my bag and myself were within inches of plunging into a 6-8 foot deep Now bear in mind, this was a consciously chosen vantage point determined by a compositional eye honed over the last 10 years after I decided I was going to try and make some extra money selling my photography. I have been successful enough at this venture to have paid for all my past and current equipment with my earnings, so there is some validation of my expertise.

Compare that to the younger me, and the framing which was just as meticulously chosen. I remained on the trail, never venturing to water level. Instead I found various angles in which foliage shrouded portions of the image. I took 5 different images, which in film, and on my budget, was extravagant. I still remember the excitement, the sense of revelation when I "discovered" this waterfall, as if its a ghost still haunting me. Additionally, I still find the compositional choices of the younger me somewhat intriguing, although they break a cardinal rule in landscape photography. Then again diabetics still love chocolate, too....

What was the lingering fascination with this particular waterfall? I had spoken numerous times of wishing to return to reshoot Willaby Creek falls, because I remembered it fondly; it was cool, awesome, cute etc. Yet interestingly enough, I had not bothered to look at the old digital scan in close to a decade.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago... As I approached Willaby Creek Falls on the trail, my first thought was, "That can't be it." I asked my hiking companion (sister) to confirm that this was indeed the waterfall I had longed to reshoot. Indeed it was. Sadly, it was. So what changed? How jaded I have become after shooting nearly one hundred waterfalls across the country? Poor little Willaby Creek Falls no longer held the same mystique. It was a realization echoing in my head throughout the hour or so I spent trying to make amends with my fancy camera and fancy lenses. I was determined to recreate that magic.

But I could not, did not. Today when processing the new image, I could not shake a sense of disappointment, a sense of somehow being "betrayed" by my own expectations.

For reference, here are the two images prompting this introspection:

Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 06-12-2017, 02:02 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
Willaby Creek Falls Olympic NP WA

K-1 and DFA 24-70
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-06-2017, 03:08 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 36,654
Views: 3,782,779
i'm not a wildlife photographer by trade, but I'm getting better at realizing opportunities. Sat in my car for 30 minutes, waiting for a blackbird to land amidst this patch of colorful plants. One finally obliged.

K-1 and Sigma 500 f4.5 @ Sacramento NWR
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 06-08-2017, 09:27 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
Burney Falls about 45 mins NE of Redding, CA

K-1 and Sigma 20-40
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 06-06-2017, 02:21 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
Recreated a road trip I took back in 2003, drove Hwy 1/101 from Bodega Bay to Newport OR.

Stopped near Crescent City for this sunset.

On a side note: This shoot almost cost me my DFA 24-70 but my Cokin filter took one for the team instead. Oh the gamut of emotions you experience as you see your lens roll between your feet when it had last been seen SECURELY perched on a rock ledge next to you. Only thing I can think of is that a couple really large waves shook the rocks I was standing on just enough to dislodge it. Fortunately the filters are (were) large rectangles, so the lens stopped about 2 feet from the roiling surf.

Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-04-2017, 08:10 AM  
Nature When a compliment isn't a compliment...
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 5
Views: 606
Said my mother, "Oh that's the type of picture that would be perfect for hanging over the toilet!"

Thanks mom.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 06-02-2017, 05:43 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
Historic Umpqua River bridge in Reedsport OR
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-03-2017, 04:03 PM  
Black & White Umpqua River RR Bridge, Reedsport OR
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 1
Views: 560
Historic RR bridge from my trip up the coast

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-10-2017, 08:24 AM  
Options for FF, WR, 16-24, screw-in filters
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 18
Views: 1,415
FWIW 13.33 - 26.67 mm on a 1.5x APS-C DSLR.

My issue with such a UWA lens is the foreground to background and geometric distortions. I went back through my recent work with this lens and I shot it mostly in the 29-40mm range. I have the DFA 24-70 as well so that explains why it's rarely used now. If I need a wider view, I find stitching together images into a pano works much better.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 02-07-2017, 10:19 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 32,418
Views: 3,101,123
My last Winter Grand Canyon pic, I promise.

K-1 and Sigma 20-40 f2.8
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