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Forum: General Talk 10-15-2010, 02:28 AM  
The bitchin and moaning has gone to far !
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 81
Views: 13,194
Well, since we're bitchin and moaning, your thread title should actually read ".. has gone too far .." ;)

stewart
Forum: General Talk 10-15-2010, 02:08 AM  
Any audiophiles around here?
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 136
Views: 22,579
Interesting subject. Once worked (late 70's, early 80's) for a consumer electronics marketing firm in Basel Switzerland which represented (in Europe) many of the brands mentioned here (Phase Linear, AR, Sennheiser, Dual, Thorens, and Audio-Technica) and a few I did not see mentioned (Soundcraftmen, Infinity, Klispch, DBX, BASF, Koss, Audiovox, Hitachi, etc).

My favorite system back then was a mix of Phase Linear, Yamaha, Marantz, Dual, DBX, and Infinity. My system today is Yamaha components with two pair of (well-maintained) fourty-year-old Infinity (Column II) speakers.

stewart
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-15-2010, 12:23 AM  
Pros Using Pentax
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 52
Views: 16,841
As a long-time pro, I've used a lot of cameras over the years. Many different brands, at greatly varying prices. None were perfect and many would be considered downright crappy compared to today's products. In every case, I had the knowledge (or acquired it) to get around any limitations. And, without insurmountable limitations, there's very little to complain about (don't have time anyway). The very same applies to today's cameras, including the Pentax line.

My choice to return to Pentax several times in the past is based on my familiarity with, and personal fondness for, the brand. I've also developed many contacts over those years (in all aspects of my business, with many different companies), so service and support are rarely a problem.

By the way, regarding the original subject, I've stumbled across several Pentax users around town, at least two of them also pros - one does in-house for BASF and the other shoots promo for the state of Baden-Württemberg.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Technique 10-01-2009, 09:49 PM  
Street Photographers, concealment of the camera.
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 239
Views: 31,653
That's pretty funny, Brian. :lol: And, once that nice request does becomes emphatic, you can honestly expect me to tell you to kiss my behind. I might (just might) respond positively to a polite request, but not so to being strongly told to erase the image. You have no more right to tell me what to do with my camera than I do to tell you what to do with your underwear. And, as long as I'm not breaking the law (and street photography doesn't), a cop would agree. That pretty much ends your emphatic request.





So says you. In this and all previous related threads, I don't think you've found one person to agree with that opinion. At the same time, street photography without permission is still commonplace throughout the world - many millions, perhaps many billions, of such photos have been taken since cameras were first introduced. Tourists alone probably account for several hundred million street photos each year, without regard to either who might be in the image or permission.

In spite of all that, you still insist street photography without the subject's permission is unethical. I don't remember you ever saying why. I'm certainly willing to keep an open mind, so you tell us (me if you prefer) why it is unethical - why street photography without permission is "not conforming to approved standards of social or professional behavior" as the dictionary defines of the word "unethical."

Notice in the previous paragraph that I don't really want to hear why you "think" it's unethical when you already boldly proclaimed it so. Instead, I want to hear what grounds or authority you are using to support that proclamation. If you are unable to provide that, feel free to say so and only then say why you "think" it's unethical.

stewart
Forum: General Talk 10-01-2009, 07:38 PM  
I have to agree with the Obama
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 82
Views: 9,769
You seem to be under the impression teachers have great choice in what they teach. In reality, in many school districts today, the school board, based on state and national standards (and wherever else they might get their ideas), provides fairly tight curriculum for the classroom, with teachers given little room to deviate from that. If they do deviate, the material skipped must be caught up elsewhere (which is difficult, so seldom done). They're often even told what book to use in the classroom and what they must teach from that book - which is where the impression of teachers only teaching from the book comes from (they are). Secondary school (high school) teachers are allowed a bit more classroom flexibility, but certainly not unlimited. Finally, the school board, not the teacher, defines classroom disciplinary standards and pass/fail standards.

Regardless, I never said school teachers are not culpable in any way, or there is no room for recreation or outside interests. Instead, I simply pointed out that teachers are already tested "4 grade levels above the grade they are teaching" as you suggested and that the education & knowledge of children should always be first and foremost. Afterwards, went on to state where I believe the problems rest.

stewart
Forum: General Talk 10-01-2009, 06:23 PM  
I have to agree with the Obama
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 82
Views: 9,769
Didn't take anything personally and no bitterness in what I wrote either (the wife is making good money). In fact, the wife helped to write that message (to ensure accuracy regarding the requirements and similar), with both of us snickering over one or two of the things written.

Instead, because it once (not that long ago) related to us, we've studied the situation carefully, based on the teaching requirements we're familiar with, the many teachers we've met, what we've heard from those teachers, what we've seen in the classroom, the common myths we've heard, what we've seen regarding children, what we've seen in our society, what we've seen in schools elsewhere (overseas), what we've seen regarding children elsewhere, what we've seen in societies elsewhere, and so on. Our basic conclusions are presented in a nutshell within that message - low teacher pay, negative influences in our society, and so on.

We have to be realistic here. We live in an extremely complex, technologically advanced, world and the ever growing knowledge needed for that cannot really be taught in a few short hours a day for a few months each year. The idea of extending the school year is nothing new (Obama didn't invent it). Some farsighted teachers have been promoting the idea for decades (first heard of it in the 60's while I was in school and it was not a new idea even then). However, while I agree with extending the school year, that will only have limited success if the other factors mentioned continue.

By the way, it's certainly true not all teachers know everything, even about the subject being taught. Therefore, I'm not surprised a history teacher might not be that familiar with geography or a math teacher might consult another math teacher to ensure accuracy. However, in those teachers' defense, few people, in any field, truly know everything about their profession and I'm quite certain those teachers knew far more than most of the students in their classrooms - even if some students thought otherwise.

stewart
Forum: General Talk 10-01-2009, 04:19 PM  
I have to agree with the Obama
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 82
Views: 9,769
The "4 grade levels above the grade they are teaching" is already the case, Mike. To get a license in most states to teach secondary education (high school) classes, for example, requires a Bachelor (BA) degree in the subject matter (history, math, etc). That's your four grade levels right there, but there's more. A Masters (MA) degree in Teaching Secondary Education (3.0 GPA or above) is also typically required, followed by the PRAXIS I (basic skills - reading, writing, math, etc) and PRAXUS II (general, teaching skills, subject matter, etc) exams. Finally, all licenses require successful background, criminal, and fingerprint checks. Some states offer exceptions accepting job experience in place of certain college requirements, but few teachers enter the profession through those alternatives.

In other words, a lot of education, hurdles, and student loan debt for someone who earns $30-35k per year (starting) and little respect from students or the community (evidently including you). My wife passed up that wonderful opportunity and decided to work in business (in this case, government) instead. Using that same educational background, she was easily able to obtain a job with the federal government as a budget analyst earning $88k her second year (yes, as a history major (3.85 GPA), she did learn a little math in the process of getting that teachers license).

Teacher education is not the problem. Instead, the problem is cultural - a society with dumb television actors, dumb movie actors, dumb music performers, dumb blonds in commericials, and a growing number of dumb adults (including parents) around the children transmitting a very strong message that education is just not needed or expected. Following that is more time spent on liberal agenda in the classroom (political correctness, social engineering, etc) than real education (math, science, etc). Following that is a lack of discipline (expectations for students and punishment when expectations are not met) in the classroom, reenforcing the notion there are no consequences (not even grade failure) for bad behavior or scholastic incompetence. Finally, there are the parents who obviously forget their primary responsibility is to ensure their children will be able to function well as an adult - which requires education & knowledge first and foremost, not a little league game or the child's friends.

stewart


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Forum: General Talk 09-15-2009, 08:33 PM  
How we are going to do this? Health Care
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 196
Views: 15,748
Based on what I've seen (Europe, Asia, & Middle East), Americans are not eating all that different than the rest of the world. Here in this town, for example, restaurants, cafes, and fast food joints (McDonalds, Burger King, etc) are certainly plentiful (more than most similar sized American towns), as are venders selling food at malls, stores, and roadside booths. The nearby shopping mall (perhaps twenty stores) has four or five venders selling pizza, two or three selling fatty würst, two fast food joints, and three or more shops selling sugary bakery products (to take home or eat there). Pizza is very popular here, so there are probably more pizza restaurants and cafes per mile than anywhere in the USA, plus pizza being sold at public parks, gas stations, and elsewhere. Favorite drinks include beer, sugared coffee, sugared tea, and soft drinks. Finally, grocery stores stock just about as many frozen dinners, snacks, and canned meals.

Instead, the most obvious difference is those outside the USA appear to spend more time outside the house engaged in casual exercise - walking, hiking, swimming, sports, dancing, shopping, gardening, and so on. By casual, I mean they don't necessary intend to exercise, but instead just enjoy doing these relatively active things. Most overseas are also not as obsessed with sitting in front of the television as Americans are. Same with the internet, even though internet access is often very good overall.

stewart
Forum: General Talk 08-05-2009, 05:13 AM  
Gov. Strikes Again
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 261
Views: 20,190
Of course, since we all know government, we should also well know those mileage fees will most certainly not replace taxes at the pump, but will instead gradually (high mileage vehicles first, all later) be added to the taxes already being paid.

stewart
Forum: General Talk 08-05-2009, 04:55 AM  
Gov. Strikes Again
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 261
Views: 20,190
Then you haven't been listening, graphicgr8s. You've heard of me, haven't you? I'm one of those "escaping" the USA, with no intent of ever returning at this point. Many other expats also reside permanently outside the USA, including roughly 250 in this town (excluding military personnel and other transients), about 200k in Germany, close to two million throughout Europe, and approximately 29 million worldwide - including Cuba, Russia, and England.

Since moving here, I can't think of anything (politically, socially, or personally) lost and can point to numerous things gained. By the way, I've talked to many in the places I've lived for longer periods (Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, & Turkey) and the vast majority have no interest whatsoever in moving to the USA (in fact, probably couldn't pay them enough to go).

stewart
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-05-2009, 01:10 AM  
Poll: Favorite genre of photography?
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 94
Views: 16,613
I enjoy photography and view all aspects of it as a worthwhile challenge, thus don't really have a strong favorite. My business focuses on art, small product & fashion advertising, and industrial photography. My personal interests revolve around photojournalism, street photography, and travel photography. I also routinely experiment with others. None of these are specifically listed in the poll, so "other" was also my selection.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-31-2009, 09:48 AM  
Offering pritnts vs high resolution photos on disc?
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 28
Views: 12,811
Amazing amount of advice considering the vagueness of your question. What type of photography business? Huge difference between advertising and portraits, for example. Who are your clients? Upscale or budget? Are you giving up all copyrights and have you considered the implications of that? What are you charging for prints versus disk? Have you thought about potential future sales and charging enough to compensate for the possible loss of that?

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-29-2009, 05:22 AM  
selling print
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 4
Views: 2,232
I have my images in perhaps two dozen (they come and go) restaurants & hotels downtown. None were charged for those prints, but each print includes a small laminated card with my name and the address of the gallery selling my prints. The gallery paid for printing the images and provided the small cards (advertising for them). In other words, it cost me nothing, but, since several people have now mentioned seeing those images, it has obviously helped to spread my name around town. I have even gotten one confirmed commercial client from this - the company of a businessman staying at one of the hotels.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Technique 07-29-2009, 04:47 AM  
People, streets, & photography.
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 37
Views: 4,951
Street photography really isn't that big a deal. Just think of the many millions of tourists running around with cameras each year. Like yesterday, I'm going out this afternoon with my Honda scooter (quick city transport), camera bag, and K20D. I'll walk around various locations snapping images, usually commenting only when a subject comments first. The vast majority don't. Some strike up a conversation. Some ask about my camera. A small number ask why I'm taking the pictures. My response is that I'm trying to capture the sights and people of the city (the definition of street photography), which seems to satisfy most.

Only a very small number will want to know more about what I'm planning to do with the images. For me, street photography is mainly a hobby (not the main focus of my photography), something to do when nothing else is planned. I tell them that, saying I honestly don't know what the pictures will be used for. Most won't come out for whatever reason and will be trashed. Some will go into the family photo album. If I get a newsworthy image, I might try to sell it to a newspaper. "Who knows, maybe I'll publish a picture book of the city one day," with a big grin, usually ends the objections.

After decades of photographing street scenes, police, military, demonstrations, news events, and more, only one person has ever really objected to my photography (and he ended up murdering his wife a few days later - a really unusual situation). This includes everywhere I've lived (USA, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc) or traveled. And, yes, it even includes the UK (London & Edinburgh two months ago) where, in spite of any anti-terrorism legislation, I was not bothered or hindered once, even while photographing several police officers on the street.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-27-2009, 08:02 AM  
Upstaging a photographer at wedding...the NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 58
Views: 10,335
There are always two important groups of images during a wedding event - the official wedding album and the family snapshots. While pros usually do well with the former, they seldom do great with the latter since they're distracted with the former and often don't know which people are important for the snapshots. As a result, they easily miss desirable secondary images, include too many images of the "Aunt Judy's" unpopular kids, don't included enough images of everyone's favorite "Uncle Bob," completely ignore the bride or groom's second or third best friend, or whatever.

Therefore, family members with sufficient prior wedding experience (the mother, etc) usually seek a second person (family member, family friend, etc) to handle the familiy snapshots and any images the pro might miss. Marching orders for this second person usually include instructions to get images of the bride & groom doing this or that - something the pro overlooked or screwed up during a previous wedding. Sadly, this overly enthusiastic official unofficial photographer often goes overboard and tries to capture everything, quickly stepping on the toes of the hired pro. Add to that a herd of other participants and guests with cameras.

I don't handle weddings today and haven't done one in perhaps twenty years (not my cup of tea). However, during those years ago, others with cameras were not an overwhelming issue since I entered those situations from a photojournalism background (events often covered by groups). While the distractions were occasionally annoying, I got on with the task of capturing the images I wanted. Greater experience with weddings may have reduced that annoyance considerably.

Ulitmately, if one lacks an even-tempered personality, or the ability to get along well with others, or is easily annoyed by others, photographing weddings with dozens or even hundreds of participants and guests is quite obviously not the best career choice. Same with any other photo situation where groups of people (or even individuals) are involved.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-25-2009, 08:10 AM  
Do photojournalists use Pentax?
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 43
Views: 8,174
Employed photojournalists, using equipment supplied by a newspaper or magazine, rarely expect or depend on quick repair turnaround. Their employers often maintain a sufficient supply of redundant equipment (providing all the time needed to get items repaired) and quick turnaround obviously isn't going to happen in truly remote locations. Renting is seldom an option either since most companies (including camera manufacturers) just won't ship to remote locations (overseas, etc).

Independant photojournalists (and those working for smaller publishers) purchase their own equipment, so quality budget equipment could easily appeal to them. Newspaper and magazine photographers almost never require images larger then 6-10 megapixels (depending on the size of the media with some extra for cropping), so virtually all recent Pentax gear would be sufficient for the task.

stewart
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-23-2009, 05:14 PM  
AF-540FGZ + Elinchrom EL-Skyport
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 4
Views: 2,591
No, the Elinchrom EL-Skyport Universal does not transmit any auto-exposure information between the camera and flash. All that is transmitted is a signal to trigger the flash. Nothing else whatsoever. Therefore, any flash unit triggered by the Elinchrom EL-Skyport Universal will have to be treated as a manual flash, with both camera and flash set to accommodate that.

I use the Elinchrom EL-Skyport Universal to trigger the strobes in my studio, for which the EL-Skyport is very well suited. I've also used the Elinchrom EL-Skyport Universal to trigger a Pentax AF-540FGZ in situations beyond the range of the wireless feature built into recent Pentax cameras (K10D, K20D, etc) and nearby flash devices might trigger a slave adapter.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-22-2009, 06:43 PM  
Upstaging a photographer at wedding...the NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 58
Views: 10,335
Of course, that's not very likely since I'm usually a bit more polite to my invited guests. And we are talking about an invited guest here, not just someone who walked into the wedding ceremony (or my studio) uninvited. Anyway, I'm going to let it go with that and my previous comments. As I said earlier, I'm not trying to start an argument - certainly not a long-winded one covering the many topics you''ve now raised.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-22-2009, 02:13 AM  
Upstaging a photographer at wedding...the NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 58
Views: 10,335
That's a mighty fine distinction, especially when both have a right to be there (public access & invited guest), neither appear to be breaking the law, and interference with others has seldom been an serious consideration in prior discussions (about crowded train stations, etc). Those similarities is why it's so strange to now hear you advocating taking away or restricting an individual's right to use his or her camera - so strange to hear you advocating restrictions when you've argued so strongly against restrictions nearly everywhere else.

My earlier suggestion was to "just ignore them," just as one would do at any other event (public or private). While that seems more compatible with the overall philosophy you've advocated in prior discussions, you now apparently disagree.

Not trying to start an argument, just pointing out what seems strange to me - such as calling this individual at the wedding a "fauxtographer" or "bozo," while those you support, with no evidence of greater skill or experience, are always respectfully referred to as "photographers."

stewart
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 07-22-2009, 12:02 AM  
Flash Compatibility with K10D
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 3
Views: 2,331
Perhaps yes and perhaps no. The K10D uses P-TTL flash metering, while your Nissin Pz401 uses the TTL flash metering found on older Pentax cameras. So, while the flash should fire, any auto-exposure features will not work. However, you might be able to use the flash unit strictly in the manual mode (both camera and flash set to manual), but you'll have to read the owners manual for the flash to discover if that is an option (and how to do so).

stewart
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-21-2009, 11:41 PM  
AF-540FGZ + Elinchrom EL-Skyport
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 4
Views: 2,591
Don't really need to purchase anything all that special, Spag. Any flash shoe adapter accepting a 3.5mm sync plug will work just fine with both your flash and Skyport. You can often find these inexpensive shoe adapters at local camera stores. The Skyport comes with the cable needed to attach between itself and that flash shoe adapter.

Do remember this setup, unlike the dedicated wired connections of the AF-540FGZ, is strictly manual (no auto exposure). This means both the camera and flash unit must be set to the manual modes. You can control the intensity of the light output on the back of the AF-540FGZ (or by simply moving the flash closer or further from the subject). Exposure metering (manual camera settings) will have to be done with either a flash meter or by repeated test images until the correct exposure is found.

stewart
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-21-2009, 11:13 PM  
Battery Pack M disassembly/rebuild?
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 6
Views: 2,263
Manufacturers just relish the notion of hiding small "security" screws under labels, plastic plugs, or adhesive-backed feet, so look for this towards the middle of the unit. Press down firmly on any label to see if it might hide a screw underneath. If so, cut a small opening or peel back the label to gain access to that screw. Likewise, remove any plugs or feet which might hide a screw.

Sadly, some manufacturers, seeking greater profits by forcing consumers to replace items rather than repair, use locking tabs or glue to actually prevent the item from coming apart. In this case, you may have no choice other than to break those tabs or glue joints. However, before breaking anything, wait a bit to see if someone else, with direct experience, offers more specific guidence here.

stewart
Forum: General Talk 07-21-2009, 03:01 AM  
pentaxforums' top 30 posters
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 52
Views: 6,047
Alright! Good for you. By the way, who are you again? :o





Well, obviously some here are quite dillusional. ;)

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-21-2009, 02:22 AM  
Do you have a studio?
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 14
Views: 3,195
I hope all those (Mike, Alan, Mel, Tommy, Frog, etc) reporting a studio under construction or soon under construction will post some images, both during the various stages and at the completion. Certainly don't have to be fancy pictures (not judging photo esthetics), just something to give us an idea of what it looks like - and perhaps some ideas we might also use in our own studios.

stewart
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-21-2009, 01:48 AM  
Upstaging a photographer at wedding...the NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!
Posted By stewart_photo
Replies: 58
Views: 10,335
I'm actually rather surprised to hear this from you, Mike. You've argued many, many, times in this forum in favor of a person's right to photograph nearly anywhere and everywhere, yet now advocate taking that very right away from family members or family guests (what you call "disruptive guests") at a wedding. What is different in this scenario from those many others - the fact the photographer is bothering you?

stewart
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