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Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-22-2010, 10:01 AM  
Post-Processing PP Challenge #37
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 22
Views: 4,109
Oops. Yes, it's closed.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-19-2010, 07:39 PM  
Special Event Pentax Holiday Giveaway: 35mm Lens (Entries go here)
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 206
Views: 38,082
A bit of kit I've been wanting to review properly for a good while, but got spurred into action by this competition:
Tamron CW-24 24mm Adaptall lens - review with test images

I wanted to see just how well this particular lens resolves detail across its aperture range, so the review includes detailed test images, shown and linked in the review, with detail crops!
What a job! But glad it's ticked off and out of the way now...

Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-19-2010, 05:17 PM  
Post-Processing WINNERS: PP Challenge #37
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 13
Views: 2,078
Thanks to everyone for entering! There's been a wide range of varied entries this time round, and I had quite a tough time deciding. I've got a little critique for everyone - I hope you find it useful, and don't take it too seriously.

My original image:

Most of you, as well as I, definitely went for the unusual outcomes this time. I'm glad to see that there as much scope for unusual interpretation as I had hoped.

3rd Place:
Ash - Those vivid colours! That apple is definitely flavoured artificially, some kind of synthetic, sugary confection. I can taste it now... I also like how you've brought down the dark tones and cropped to make it look like the snail is slithering out of a hole.

2nd Place:
casil403 - Almost the only monochrome image. Muted colours work well here, I think. The slightly busy background is not necessarily bad - What I really liked about this is the stony, relief-sculpture look it has, and the snail pops out nicely.

1st Place:
ozlizard - Great grungy rendition! The shell has a lacquered, almost moist look, which I like very much. Of course it's unrealistic, but the image seems to match the slimy, dark-loving nature of snails in my mind's eye. Well done!

Everyone else:
timh - Nice. I really like the handling of the orange tones, the halo artefacts around them not so much.
tackyat.2 - The slightly gone-off colours are getting somewhere, and I like the shell colour very much too. But you've really wiped out too much detail. Also, better to make a more detailed JPEG, this one is very blocky.
Voytech - The dusky pink is certainly different, but I think it could have done with a little extra variation.
jmschrei - Green is good! But The snail seems a bit too yellow and washed-out for my liking.
erkie - I like the almost mother-of-pearl effect on the shell. But the contrast of sharpening and blur is too great.
slowpez - The basic PP is nice, the extra snail is unrealistic! :3
VaughnA - I'm liking the contrasty tones, but I'm turned off by the extreme haloing. The bleached shell works well, but it looks like it needs to be done more selectively.
MikeS - You win the "Weirdest Interpretation" award this week...!
jheu02 - I actually really like the colours of the in-focus areas. It's as if there's a dusting of vivid powder paints. Would like to see a version without extra snails.
Parallax - Thumbs up to a conservative rendition - I like the creamier, relaxed tones here.

Finally, my re-working of the photo. I forgot to put one in the original thread, so I might as well show you here:

Again, many thanks to all of you for your effort and creativity.
ozlizard, it's over to you. I hope you've got something unusual lying in wait...
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-18-2010, 06:46 AM  
Post-Processing PP Challenge #37
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 22
Views: 4,109
Enjoying these! I quite like that green, Ash.
One more day, so let's see a few more... :)
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-13-2010, 12:07 PM  
Post-Processing PP Challenge #37
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 22
Views: 4,109
Some good entries so far.
Please make my judging difficult - Let's have more before the end of the week please!
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-09-2010, 05:09 AM  
Post-Processing PP Challenge #37
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 22
Views: 4,109
Excuse the lateness of starting, I didn't realise I'd been chosen until yesterday. Continuing Tanner's (and my) wish to see a macro, here we go.
After an agonising look through my photos, I chose this one. As usual for this challenge, I figured to pick something I thought had some interest and potential, but looked fairly lifeless out of the camera.
It's certainly not one of my best, but I like the scene it shows, and it has plenty of scope for processing. Not one for blue enthusiasts, but an interesting break from the landscapes of late.

Up and Atom, everyone. I'm expecting some dramatic and curious interpretations! Do what you like, but no kittens or lens flares please.

JPEG: IMGP9261.JPG (For 8-bit lovers!)

f/5.6, 1/100, ISO 200, 50mm Pentacon 1:1.8 M42 with 57mm of extension tubes. Handheld shot (with beanbag.)

Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-28-2010, 05:47 AM  
P52-3-7-17 Colour: Complementary
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 18
Views: 4,153
Complementary Plastic Horse Race
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-25-2010, 08:28 AM  
P52-3-16 Colour: Colourful WINNERS
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 17
Views: 4,066
Interesting, I just got second place in the post-processing challenge too - I wonder if I can make it three in a row!? :3
Superb job with the judging, Virgil - I agree with you that the brown and green pieces may have looked better the other way round in my photo. But alas, the fragments lay where they fell - and that's where they stayed..

Vaughn, really strong image. I like how the rose seems to merge with the paint marks as it blurs into the background. Holds together well and has a strong sense of mood.

Very well done everyone else, I really enjoyed seeing all the entries to this challenge.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 11-25-2010, 08:09 AM  
Post-Processing PP Challenge #36 - WINNERS
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 13
Views: 2,495
Good job with all the individual criticisms, Ash. I know how time-consuming it can be, but how appreciated it is.
Well done everyone, lots of interesting entries-
Especially to yeatzee- I'm looking forward to seeing a macro next!
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 11-22-2010, 05:39 AM  
Thematic Into the Fog - Show Your Fog Shots
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 409
Views: 46,131
The street lights look really dramatic in those.

Awesome. Reminds me of one I took on Saturday night:

Another I like, taken in Early January.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 11-22-2010, 05:27 AM  
Post-Processing PP Challenge #36
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 30
Views: 4,419
Cool photo, Ash.
I decided there weren't enough crimson-tinged entries!

That rock looks strangely like my MP3 player...
Maybe it's a prehistoric model.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 11-21-2010, 02:47 PM  
Alphabet Race (a very quick game)
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 57,629
Views: 2,699,234
T is for Tea

Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-20-2010, 05:33 PM  
Photo of the Week 139 - November 7th to November 21nd
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 107
Views: 13,655
Really good observation of the reflections there.

Lovely shot! Really strong, and lots of curious details. The face couldn't be at a better angle.

Some photos from the local funfair on Saturday night.

Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 11-18-2010, 06:23 PM  
Thematic Lets see your fungus.
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 366
Views: 52,149
Looks like Dryad's Saddle (Polyporus squamosus.) Common in the UK. Edible, apparently, but don't eat it please - just in case I'm wrong!
Nice find - it can be good to get a shot where both the top and undersides of some fungi can be seen.

A web domain devoted to a single mushroom! The internet truly has everything... but a Dryad's Saddle appreciation site? Some mushrooms hold more popular appeal than others - maybe there's a ranking site somewhere...

Some sulphur tufts I shot in 2008 for a competition I didn't win.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-18-2010, 06:01 PM  
P52-3-16 Colour: colourful
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 63
Views: 8,560
The swept-up remains of shattered chocolate M&Ms: The result of an excercise in timed flash shots of them bouncing off a mirror - see here for result. (would include here but against the rules in this thread!) These fragments were strewn all over the mirror, and looking at them in the dustpan I thought how bright and pretty they seemed. Their distribution here is exactly how they lay.
Pretty bright and varied... No boosted colours here, those artificial colourings are vivid to say the least.

Forum: General Talk 11-16-2010, 06:21 PM  
A Photographer to Admire
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 13
Views: 2,755
What a badass (and respectful!) photographer. I have to respect someone with that degree of skill and composure.
Get well soon, Mr. Silva.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 11-16-2010, 06:12 PM  
New here
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 5
Views: 397
I almost bought a K100D a few years ago, but I went for the K10D instead. Still much love for it, but the high ISO quality can really be a challenge to work with sometimes. I can't imagine how many times my FA 50 1:1.4 has saved a photo from being a blurry mess!
I expect dog agility benefits from fast autofocus, so the K-5 ought to be a good bet in that regard. From what I have read, it's AF is quite a bit better than any previous Pentax DSLR.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 11-16-2010, 06:06 PM  
Greetings from Basra, Iraq!
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 8
Views: 726
Welcome to the forums!
I imagine getting photographic inspiration can represent some unique challenges for a soldier in Iraq. It'll be good to see how you deal with those and what you post here.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-16-2010, 05:49 PM  
645D Review
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 7
Views: 3,966
I read the review in full, and I am very, very impressed. If I have a spare 10 grand I'll happily buy one!
...Not going to happen, though! :( A dagger in my heart!
At least not being able to afford one is the good type of disappointment; rather than the genuinely bad type (if the 645D had turned out to be crap.)

Good extra article here. Have yet to read it in full, but from what I pick up, the 645D is easily worth the money. Nice high ISO performance and DR.
Poor 1Ds MkIII! It would be interesting to see how the future 1Ds Mk.IV will compare, but there's no substitute for really good glass.
Now, how about a lens roadmap?
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 11-16-2010, 05:07 PM  
Thematic Lets see your fungus.
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 366
Views: 52,149
I found this twig in some local woodland on the weekend. It was getting late and we were freezing our butts off, so I decided to bring it home with me - a rare thing for me, I usually leave things be.
I knew I wouldn't be able to take a good shot of it in the woods with the kit I had with me; I really wanted to get it set up on my table and make a good, sharp, well lit observation.
The twig was about 25mm (1 inch) in width, and the magnification ratio here is about 1:2. The little coral-like blobs are a few millimetres across.

Has anybody else seen or identified a fungus like this? I expect it's quite common, but it's unfamiliar to me.

100% crop:
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 11-15-2010, 01:02 PM  
Thematic Post your Sculptures and Statues!
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 1,378
Views: 114,404
pop4 - "OMG WTF" - An opportunity well taken!

That shows off the lighting very well. I didn't take my camera to the Ashmolean last time I went, but must remember next time. That place is fantastic now, after the refurbishment.

A couple of statues here from the gardens of the Bishop's Palace in Wells, UK.
One is bronze, I think; and the other is varnished wood, which makes for some great contrasty reflections.

Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-14-2010, 06:24 PM  
Photo of the Week 139 - November 7th to November 21nd
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 107
Views: 13,655
I've been increasingly reaching for my Helios-44M lately. Crazy sharpness! (photos 1 & 3.)
Some shots from this last week:



Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-14-2010, 05:57 PM  
LBA Relapse - (U)WAs
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 24
Views: 4,073
Don't be silly. Keep the DA 40! It's worth keeping for its unique compactness, even though there would be some overlap.

I'd love to try the DA 15, but it seems too expensive an investment for me at the moment.
So I decided to buy a used 16-45 recently, and yes, they are definitely going cheap right now. I like it much more than the 18-55 (so much so that I haven't used my 18-55 since - It sits on my shelf, glaring at me as I type this post, probably scheming to cause its big brother to fall off one day by "accident"...)

Good qualities:
- Super contrasty
- Sharp, especially at long end
- Quite usable at f/4
- Extremely low distortion over most of range
- Wide end much more usable than 18-55 - wider, less falloff & barrel distortion
- quite fast AF
- Superb value for money
- Nice bokeh on long end
- More consistent exposure than 18-55
- Flare not usually a problem

Negative qualities:
- Prone to CA and PF at edges, but correctable
- Soft edges at wide end
- No SDM or weather sealing
- Bulkier than DA 15 and DA 18-55
- Wide setting sticks out and shadows built-in flash
- Can have a very slightly wobbly lens barrel

16mm, f/10

16mm, f/5.6

16mm, f/5.6

16mm, f/8

16mm, f/5.6

21mm, f/4

38mm, f/5.6

I should probably post this as a lens review too. :3
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-12-2010, 12:56 AM  
Pimp My ist DL (on the cheap...)
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 8
Views: 3,349
This should be re-designated the *istT-101.
Somebody do theirs green now!
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-28-2010, 04:08 PM  
Other Challenge +Show us your bokeh+
Posted By Spongefingers
Replies: 5,371
Views: 512,403
I have to admit a mild obsession with night-time street shots taken completely out of focus. The more numerous and varied the lights, the better.

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