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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-03-2013, 07:44 PM  
A cheap flash for indoor/outdoor portraitures?
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 17
Views: 2,749
Thank you all for your insight--definitely lets me know where to look! Looks like there's some cheap ones on eBay right now that will serve my needs...

Also, will a dirt-cheap diffuser accomplish my purposes? Are some better than others as far as effect/situations?
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-02-2013, 10:12 AM  
A cheap flash for indoor/outdoor portraitures?
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 17
Views: 2,749
Hello all!

I've recently received a few photography gigs--I did a friend's senior pictures recently, and I will be doing another friend's engagement photos.

I'm kind of inexperienced with portraiture, so I needed some advice:
I need an on-board fill flash & diffuser.

I did the senior pictures without one :eek: :confused: and fought with sunlight, etc. in PP. I'm looking to spend $25-$30 for something cheap that will get the job done (this is a hobby :D ).

I found this, and people seem to like it(?). I've seen many of these in my price range.

I'm not a strobist... will this work with my K-x? I understand that there are various hot shoe modules available (where to look?), but will this work natively?
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-20-2012, 11:56 AM  
Weekly Challenge #226 The [Not-So] Mundane
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 31
Views: 3,853
Ok, the winners have been announced here!
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-20-2012, 11:54 AM  
Weekly Challenge #226 The [Not-So] Mundane - Winners
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 9
Views: 1,375
Well, here we are! This was a difficult challenge to judge. 24 entries! There were so many good (and well-varied) interpretations—points-of-view, abstracts, still-lifes, etc...

But there has to be a winner :)

First, the comments:

smf – Surely a mundane subject; we interact with these all of the time, yet how often do we think of them? At first, the black line running down the middle of the shot was a bit unsettling, but as I look at it more, I like how it creates a division in the image.

atupdate – This shot works for me because the subject is readily identifiable, yet the wide angle view distorts the context. The result is almost puzzling (which is what I was going for)... And it brings me back to my skateboarding days :)

noelcmn – No context whatsoever. That really makes you stop and think about it—"What am I seeing?" Almost abstract, rather than the mundane levers we might see all over the place.

Jools – Excellent interpretation. As an abstract, the color and the use of light really work for me. And if you look long and hard, you may figure out what it is—which was the point: seeing something ordinary in a completely different way. Nice job.

mecrox – Another ordinary shot, with something different. The building itself doesn't offer much, but seeing the shadow there throws off the normalcy. Good eye.

Tamia – Great subject, and I love the shallow focus. The bokeh in this shot is what helps to confuse the viewer, and it adds interest (when I first saw it, it took a moment to figure out what it was). I like the framing as well. Good job.

Arjay Bee – Great abstract. Almost nothing but midtones. But the texture adds just enough variance to keep you guessing. Also, the shallow DoF really works for this. Nice.

dmeadows85 – Interesting composition. The subject definitely seems out of place, while everything else about the photo seems normal. The out-of-context component of this shot really makes you think. Good eye.

NaClH20 – Beautiful scene. I like the image itself, and the rainbow adds a whole new dimension. Certainly something you don't see every day. Talk about lens flare! :)

charliezap – Mundane, indeed :) ; Therefore, the reflections add a lot to the image. I also like the spark of color amidst the otherwise neutral environment.

Mike L – Very cool! This, to me, seems like something no one would think to look at—without photography in mind. I love the color variance, the contrast, and the diagonal motion. A boring mud puddle becomes a cool abstract.

SpecialK – A nice snapshot of everyday life. The repetitions in this image add a lot. The subject being so close to center in a portrait orientation is a bit unsettling. I'm curious what a close landscape crop would do for the image? Well seen.

sealonsf – Love the pastel coloring, and the minimalism really works for this image. Nice composition. It actually reminds me of a photo of stairs that I took a few years back at the beach :)

casil403 – I really like this! Great eye for this (that's the kind of thing I was going for). And the fact that they're not all perfectly concentric makes the photo so much more interesting. Good job finding that point-of-view. Seeing things this way opens up opportunities for great photographs. Well seen!

tessfully – I see a non-representational pastel drawing of a forest. Very neat! And it makes me curious about the context of the photo. From this, I have no idea what this chipboard looks like, which is great. Takes you out of the mundane and gives you a beautiful abstract. Good job.

Bill2849 – Very interesting. It doesn't look at all like the subject you describe (that's the point). The bright spots of blue against the drab green are interesting. I like the abstract, and that eye is a bit startling (in a good way). It adds another element to this not-so-mundane photo. Nice.

Bramela – Very bizarre. I'm not sure what I'm looking at. There is enough here to make sense of it, but it's definitely fresh. What a point-of-view! Reflection, huh? Well seen!

ramseybuckeye – It's your non-traditional still-life. Not used to looking at cookware like this. And cropping out the handle while seeing the reflection of it makes it look interesting.

jmschrei – I agree! Wide angle always adds an intriguing element because most of the time, we don't see wide-angle shots. Love the b/w. Makes the hardware on the fence really pop! Good example of sprucing up the mundane!

Jessesdad – Tubes, I'm assuming? Very nice interpretation! Choice of focus was very nice, as well. And you got to enjoy your subject :)

Arn – Not the most beautiful subject ;) , yet there seems to be many ways to interpret it. Nice job looking out of the ordinary (or, looking at the ordinary?).

RollsUp – Great color and geometrics! That's a tough one to figure out, but the final image is really cool! Nice job.

Cooter – The shallow focus is great, and what an imaginative shot :)! I really like the level of contrast and the color—really pops! Great example of looking at everyday objects in a different way.

chilechica – I agree. I like the lines—so much going on, but it's all organized. Shallow DoF really helps isolate this shot and give it character. And the point of view is non-typical (from looking at the image, at least). Nice job.

And the winners:

Honorable mentions to Tamia, Arjay Bee, and tessfully

3rd Place: Jools - This one stuck in my mind at the beginning--a very cool take on the theme!

2nd Place: casil403 - I really liked this. So well seen, and a great idea!

1st Place: Mike L - I just kept coming back to this. To me, it's the most boring thing in itself, but the way you captured it made it look so interesting and different. Well seen!

Good job, everyone!

Mike L, I pass it to you!
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-19-2012, 08:28 PM  
Weekly Challenge #226 The [Not-So] Mundane
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 31
Views: 3,853
Great job on all the entries! This is going to be tough!

I'm sorry--I'm a bit busier than I thought :confused: , but I will have the winners posted tomorrow
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-17-2012, 09:06 AM  
Weekly Challenge #226 The [Not-So] Mundane
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 31
Views: 3,853
You all are nailing this concept! This is going to be a tough one indeed!

Just over 36 hours left for this challenge. Keep them coming!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-14-2012, 02:21 PM  
Landscape Vik Beach
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 4
Views: 753
Straight from camera? Very impressive, I really like it!
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-12-2012, 09:24 PM  
Weekly Challenge #226 The [Not-So] Mundane
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 31
Views: 3,853
I wasn't sure how this subject would work out, but I almost regret it now :lol: ... this is going to be so tough to judge!

Keep 'em coming!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-11-2012, 09:23 PM  
Landscape Patricia/Pyramid lake Jasper
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 14
Views: 1,850
Wow, the compositions, colors, and reflections are breath-taking!

Polarizer, or just that clear?
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-10-2012, 11:17 PM  
Weekly Challenge #226 The [Not-So] Mundane
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 31
Views: 3,853
Greetings all! Another weekly challenge is here :)

A big interest in photography for me deals with capturing the ordinary things in ways that aren't so ordinary. I find that much of what catches my eye are just things sitting around my house. So I thought that this might be something [ironically] interesting to explore: the Mundane.

The challenge this week is to portray an everyday item/subject/etc in an interesting/artistic/fresh manner.

I want to leave this open: there's no set guideline on what is necessarily considered "mundane," but the challenge here lies in the final product. The end shot should contrast with the original subject in an artistic or interesting way--something to make you think, "Wow, I wouldn't have looked at _____ like that!"

It can be an Abstract, a special Point of View, a Macro, or whatever else you can think of.

Go find those shots that, without your camera, you wouldn't have thought to see!

The fine print....
1. Post ONE photo (max 1024x1024).
2. The photo must portray an interpretation of the theme.
3. Post your single picture in this thread. If it's not obvious, explain what motivated you to take the picture and/or how you feel it represents the weekly theme.
4. The challenge is interactive. Any response is welcome.
5. The judge will pick the WINNERS and choose one of them to be the judge for the next week.
6. This challenge closes after 7 days, then allows for a day for the judge to choose the winners.
7. Any Pentax (or Samsung DSLR) camera will do.
8. Pictures can be from any time frame, not just within the week of the current theme.
9. In case the winner of a challenge is unable to become the judge for the next challenge, the winner will PM the #2 winner and pass the baton to that person to be the judge.

This challenge will end Tuesday, December 18th, 11:59ish pm.

Previous 15 Challenge Subjects:, 211-Abandoned, 212 - Trees, 213 - Fences, 214 - Physical Strain, 215 - The Daily Grind, 216 - Colors of nature, 217 - Heavy Industry, 218 - Wisdom, 219-Surprise, 220 - Blue, 221-Vanishing Point, 222-Motion, 223-Juxtaposition, 224-Metals, 225-Firelight

Some examples:

Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-10-2012, 09:04 PM  
Weekly Challenge #225 Firelight-Winners
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 5
Views: 954
Wow, thanks Stephen! Wasn't expecting that :)

Congrats to the HMs!

I'll try to have a new subject posted tonight (I'm finalizing some ideas)...
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-09-2012, 09:19 PM  
Other Challenge +Show us your bokeh+
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 5,371
Views: 512,395
Beautiful, Norm. I love #6!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-09-2012, 09:17 PM  
Black & White Guitarist
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 5
Views: 686
Nice treatment. I like the framing/composition
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 12-07-2012, 10:37 PM  
Weekly Challenge #225 Firelight
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 15
Views: 1,844
Well, I don't know if this week is closed, but I guess I'll post a shot just in case. If it's too late, there's always next week :lol:

Bøc Box
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-07-2012, 10:25 PM  
Misc Studio Time (an experiment)
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 1
Views: 596
Recently, I found a photo I had.... created... a few months ago. It was an experiment in multiple subjects (and PP). As a matter of fact, I explored the technique after seeing a photo on this forum.

Anyway, I had forgotten about said photograph, and when I found it, it got me wanting to try another. So I took my camera and went down to the studio. I guess this is what happens when interests blend into one another ;). I didn't spend much time on this, so there are a few things I'd still do differently/better. But I'm sure I'll try this technique again in the future.

Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-07-2012, 10:18 PM  
Thematic The Very Essence - Show me your abstracts!
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 1,541
Views: 128,266
And I suppose this is abstract :)

Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-07-2012, 10:17 PM  
Thematic The Very Essence - Show me your abstracts!
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 1,541
Views: 128,266
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-07-2012, 10:16 PM  
Thematic Show your texture, pattern, repetition, shape etc. shots here!
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 3,311
Views: 276,098
From a trip downtown. On the façade of one of the buildings...

Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-07-2012, 09:28 PM  
People Senior Pictures (my first paid gig)
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 7
Views: 932
Thanks, Ash! I definitely learned a lot from this :)

I appreciate it! I was worried about him being pleased, but he seems to like how they turned out :)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-04-2012, 10:44 PM  
People Senior Pictures (my first paid gig)
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 7
Views: 932
Here are a few more. Not all of the images from the shoot were quite so... artsy... but I'm partial to that approach, I guess :)

I think this was one of his favorites...

Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-04-2012, 10:41 PM  
People Senior Pictures (my first paid gig)
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 7
Views: 932
Thanks for your thoughts!

Yes I'm realizing, as you both mentioned: the second one is more of what I'd capture with photography in mind. But as the recipient of the senior pictures, the focus isn't really where it should be--on the senior :) ... Good insight!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-04-2012, 07:52 PM  
People Senior Pictures (my first paid gig)
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 7
Views: 932
I recently did some senior pictures for a friend--my first paid gig :)

I did better than I thought I'd do (I wasn't sure if the ideas would come to me--trying to direct a photo shoot). For what I charged, I probably took way too many photos (and processed too many, too), but it was definitely a learning experience. Amateur that I am, I also didn't purchase/use all of the equipment that I probably should have used (flash & diffuser for one--doh!). For future reference, I do have better in mind how much I would charge/do vs the energy put in, but it was fun!

Here are a few highlights (any thoughts are appreciated--I'm not much of a portrait photographer ;) ):

Thanks for looking.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-04-2012, 06:11 PM  
Landscape Daybreak Windmills
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 10
Views: 947
Very beautiful. Intriguing composition of the white band separating the colors. Nice capture
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-01-2012, 08:17 PM  
Misc Back in the Game? (4 Shots)
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 5
Views: 681
Yes, definitely. I'll hopefully be doing the same :-)

Thank you, Tess! I'm partial to those as well

Thank you, Dave! I'm always drawn to the abstract, or trying to make the mundane look interesting :-)

Thanks, Nick--that was my favorite shot of the day :-)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-30-2012, 10:07 AM  
Misc Back in the Game? (4 Shots)
Posted By MikeS
Replies: 5
Views: 681
Hello all!

It's been a while. I haven't been around much (and haven't been shooting much either :( ), but I've been taking my camera on trips and outings, here and there. I have also been checking out the site and have seen a lot of good stuff!

Here's a few shots of late, as I'm trying to get back to shooting more...

Ladder 1

f/10, 1/250", ISO-100

The Final Stretch

f/6.3, 1/200", ISO-640

Ladder 2

f/7.1, 1/30", ISO-320


f/10, 1/200", ISO-320, +0.7
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