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Forum: Contest Voting 02-06-2020, 08:49 AM  
Miniature Bread Farmers
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 32
Views: 298
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-06-2020, 03:00 AM  
Macro Lightbox, trying for macro/max DoF on lava rock
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 13
Views: 689
At f40/f38, are you not seeing softening from diffraction, rather than merely focus being 'off'? When playing with my macro lenses, I have done various tests focusing on a piece of graph paper set at an angle, and taking multiple shots at different f-stops, to see the depth of field change, and then the image soften a little from diffraction at smaller apertures. This gives you some idea of how much depth of field you are playing with, and you will also be able to see at what point diffraction is making it all too soft.
Forum: Photo Critique 01-25-2020, 01:41 AM  
Black & White Mountain
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 7
Views: 300
Fair comment. I suppose I was just using it as a lazy shorthand for 'lower contrast'. I guess the age of instagram filters, and the 'film-look' being achieved by a combination of lower contrast, artificial vignetting, fake grain etc. has changed the common perception of how film *should* look.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-24-2020, 02:06 AM  
Macro Little spider
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 11
Views: 212
Really like this. The colours, particularly in the background, are really pleasing.
Forum: Photo Critique 01-24-2020, 02:04 AM  
Black & White Mountain
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 7
Views: 300
I kind of prefer the slightly washed-out, "vintage" look of the original image, personally. I wonder, however, if there might have been a composition with the rock a little lower in the frame, getting more of the vista, or framed by the two rocks? (Although, you might have been deliberately hiding something with them?)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-22-2020, 06:42 AM  
Nature Rose
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 3
Views: 144
Really interesting lighting. I like it...
Forum: Photo Critique 01-20-2020, 03:20 AM  
Architecture Thoughts on B/W balance?
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 5
Views: 341
I would agree that possibly cloning out the building top right might remove distraction. I also really like the interest in the left hand of the frame, and wonder whether there might be a tighter crop that looked in more detail at that interesting portion?
Forum: Photo Critique 01-14-2020, 07:20 AM  
Black & White gates
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 2
Views: 312
I like the textures, and the moody look. I also like the tiny hair on the top of the crown; takes you into the picture somehow...
Forum: Contest Voting 01-14-2020, 05:16 AM  
Bakewell Slice
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 3
Views: 67
Just some soft natural light, and a delicious subject.
Forum: Photo Critique 01-14-2020, 04:49 AM  
Macro Swiss Army - lighting?
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 0
Views: 231
I know (with the benefit of annoying hindsight) that I would have been better not to crop out the edge of the keyring, but I am looking particularly for thoughts about about lighting. This was lit with a couple of diffused desk lamps, sitting on a sheet of clear perspex for a reflective surface. Thanks in advance for your help.

Macro playing by Stewart Bell, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-14-2020, 02:17 AM  
Macro Icy Crystal Ball
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 6
Views: 424
Is this natural light, or did you fill in with some? I can see some bluer tones and some warmer ones. Either way, really like this image.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-14-2020, 01:37 AM  
Macro Thorns
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 3
Views: 159
I think I was just lucky that the very end was clear. I found myself bumping into it with the lens hood anyway, getting that close. I *think* I was manually focusing for that shot (can't remember, and can't find it in the exif data) which meant my hand was right there to help. The thorns tended to all be in pairs with a 'flat' side anyway, so a single finger was enough to pin it into submission. I am not really the sort to "suffer for my art" so I'm not going to impale myself for the shot!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-13-2020, 02:29 AM  
Macro Thorns
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 3
Views: 159
Giving my new lens a workout this weekend. A bit windy, so I had to hold the end of the branch steady against the lens hood with my left hand, whilst taking the photo with the other.
Forum: Visitors' Center 12-10-2019, 04:31 AM  
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 54
Views: 2,703
Hobbyist here, with my day job as a teacher. Interestingly, though, photography is becoming more a part of my job. Sharing what we are up to on our social media is an increasing part of what we do at school, and as "the guy with the good camera" I am often asked to do bits and bobs (portraits of prize-winners, shots from school trips, a shot of the front of the school, etc.). It's a pleasant diversion from the work I am actually supposed to be doing, but I've got to be careful about it. It's pretty hard to justify buying (for instance) a long lens to make capturing sports matches easier, if I'm only doing it for a setting which is not making me any money!
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-09-2019, 02:27 AM  
Macro Favorite Accessory for Yard Flower Photgraphy
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 14
Views: 737
I find my little pop-up diffuser very handy (UK Collapsible Softbox Flash Diffuser Camera Accessories Portable +Carrying Bag | eBay) of that sort of type, but I am not sure that's the one I own.
Forum: Pentax K-70 12-03-2019, 08:49 AM  
Lenses for K70
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 23
Views: 1,518
I love my sigma 105 2.8, and have been using it a lot recently for portrait photography as well. Highly recommend it.
Forum: General Photography 11-26-2019, 05:47 AM  
Admit Your Worst Camera Abuse - Stories and Pics
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 74
Views: 2,165
Nothing as brutal as some of these, but I had a 70-210 mounted on a pentax ME super, all balanced on a clearly-not-quite-stable-enough tabletop tripod. I turned away, and heard the *clunk* of the whole thing nodding forward onto the desk, and the filter on the front of the lens becoming significantly less round. The whole rig was inherited from my Dad (to whom I had to own up to said misdemeanour!), and in fact he still had the lens (included said dented filter ring) which I pinched from him when I went to visit a couple of weeks ago.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 11-20-2019, 03:08 AM  
Platypod question
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 16
Views: 814
I home-brewed one of these for myself a few weeks ago. Got a large aluminium plate, cut to size and shape (a little larger than the platypods) and added some speaker-spikes for stability (although I am tending to use it just flat-based for on my desk!). Really useful for macro stuff, where a bigger tripod would be too cumbersome, and a little desktop tripod might not have the heft to support the thing. A couple of hours work (admittedly with access to a nice workshop) and all for a tenner or so...
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 11-19-2019, 07:31 AM  
Hello - Salisbury
Posted By Stewtheking
Replies: 19
Views: 465
Hello to you all; new user alert.

I have always shot with Pentax cameras; I am the proud owner of a GCSE in photography (A* grade!) earned with my Dadís hand-me-down ME super. I didnít do a lot of photography for a while, then a few years ago, I inherited another cast-off camera of his, a Pentax DSLR that I forget the model of. This then got upgraded to the K70 I currently shoot with soon after, and I have been gradually upgrading from my kit lens. Really enjoying my 50mm f1.2 at present, as well as my 105mm macro, both with and without extension tubes.

I shoot mainly macro/still life stuff, and increasingly portraiture, now that I have improved to a level where the people in the pictures arenít horrified by the results! Attached are a couple of recent snaps, assuming I have worked the technology correctly...
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