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Old May 3, 2012, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Week 8 of 52

Still in single digits when it comes to weeks, not anywhere close to half-way yet. I still have a number of things Iíd like to do but Iím not taking the time to do them at the moment.

When we were driving home on Monday, I noticed that there were some thunderheads brewing, though they didnít amount to much. By the time I got home they were quickly disappearing, but I went to where I thought I could still see them and took a few pictures, exposure bracketing for HDR. Didnít think about trying to hand-hold an HDR in-camera. But I was very pleased with how they came out. The frames were processed in Photomatix.



Dan preferred the next picture because it has much more depth to it. I think I should crop some of the foreground grass out since I wasnít paying much attention to the framing and divided the scene up too evenly. What do you think about it Ė am I right or is Dan right?



Do you ever feel like you are talking to yourself? Maybe you are.



The usual gloomy spring weather has moved in (called Grey May or June Gloom). Tuesday was quite grey and might have been good for flowers in the botanical gardens, but I didnít feel like walking that far. I had seen someoneís photo that featured several of themselves in various postures, and I thought that looked like it might be fun. It turned out to be almost too easy on a cloudy day, with no shadows to worry about and with the camera on a gorillapod.

Wednesday morning found me out of coffee for the office. So instead of going to the gym, I went up to Ralphs for the coffee and continued walking a bit more to take a picture of this staircase. I tried using CS6ís wide angle filter adjust to straighten the leaning lines, but it stretched the center a bit and I lost the feeling of the curved building. So I started to post this version to the project.



But after I posted it, I noticed that the clouds were really cool-looking, so I went down to the mailboxes. I took a lot of cloud pictures and then, as the light was fading, I left. As I started to drive back home, a tiny bit of sky appeared on fire Ė I quickly stopped and took a couple of pictures.



I posted the one above, but I also took a second one to use as a panorama.



The next day the weather continued to be interesting. As we started up the Grapevine, I could see the bottom of the clouds just above us, and watched as we entered them. I tried shooting through the car window, but it didnít quite work. We stopped at Pyramid Lake and I took this shot, an HDR as there was too much dynamic range for the camera.



I also took several with the DA10-17 since Iíve been trying to come to grips with it. While I liked them well enough, this one was better.

Friday I was determined to shoot something with the 10-17. I wandered around a bit and ended up looking up at my favorite building and itís catwalks. Iíve shot the catwalks using the 12-24, but figured Iíd try with the fisheye, just to see if adding some distortion would manage to capture more of the building. It did get more of the building and I thought it was rather fun with the lens distortion.



I posted a couple of other ones, from different angles and at different focal lengths. You can see them starting here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e17e5a632 .

Saturday found me once again out of town. This time I managed to capture a decent picture of one of the numerous rabbits. This was taken with the DA*200, and I finally think that I have the AF adjusted right for this lens.



There is something about this bronze heron that I really like, especially when thereís interesting light on it.



Sunday morning before we left, I went chasing the light again. I really liked the light and shadows of this cat climber/house, and the way the shapes worked with it.



But thatís not what I ended up posting to the project. Instead, a number of people there were talking about macro, so I decided to pull out my reversing ring, old 50mm f1.4 lens and the Viv Series One 105 macro lens. This is the picture I posted, which I was really happy with. Itís full frame, not cropped at all.



I took a series of shots, one with the Vivitar by itself, set to 1:1 (that one is cropped), one with the Viv on my home-made extension tube, and the one above, which was taken with the Viv and the 50mm reversed. And I also took a picture of the whole dandelion. I havenít yet had a chance to label all of last weekís pictures in the Zenfolio album yet, but if anyone is interested, let me know and Iíll post the comparison in a different thread.

So ends week 8. Iím still having great fun, but found myself not really trying new things. This new week has found me exploring a bit more, but still not as much when I first started to this project. Need to spend have more time to experiment.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:53 AM   #2
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Another fantastic week of images I see. The 10-17mm is a lens that few truly come to terms with but it is so much fun that it doesn't really matter just get in close and fill the frame. The double exposure is cool and the rabbit shows that the 200 is definitely focusing correctly.

Keep it going, I am enjoying it.
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Old May 4, 2012, 3:45 PM   #3
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I like the photo with the curved building, the stairs, the design on the walkway...the brick wall...all together I find it a visual treat for the eye.

I find my eye's wandering every which way, taking in the different angles, straight lines and curves. Excellent.

I found your comments about the Pentax Fisheye 10-17 mm lens very interesting, Mtngal. Made me think about my experience.

I have one and I originally purchased my copy after reading a column about this versatile lens, by Bert Keppler, late publisher of Popular Photography.

I think it may have been one of his favourite lenses. I know it's one of my favourite lenses.

I find myself using this lens mostly at it's 17mm setting. With the right angle this 17 mm almost seems to be an ultra wide angle....with little distortion.

It's sharp....it gives my photo's...especially that of vintage vehicles...extra punch and a look that's hard to describe...but easy to appreciate.

I also find that it's easily, my most brain stimulating lens in my collection.

Whenever I take a picture with it...and with this one, it's usually awhile, as I spend so much time trying different angles ...trying low shots, high shots. Using this lens gives me a real workout.

But it's a rewarding challenge.
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Old May 5, 2012, 1:39 AM   #4
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Thanks, Ira. I'm still having fun with it. I hesitated about posting the double exposure, do I ever need a haircut. And when I looked at the two frames, the first thing I saw was the obvious wireless remotes. I had a bit of trouble getting it to have the right angle for the camera to see.

Les - I agree that the 10-17 is a sharp, very contrasty lens. Part of my problem is that I got it to use as a fisheye, rather than as an ultrawide. I don't really have a good feel of how to use it effectively, to know when its properties would add to a picture. The only place where I found it effortless to use was in Antelope Canyon - I've usually struggled with it in other locales. I either seem to have too much effect or not enough. It doesn't help that I find my camera often will overexpose with it more than any other lens I have, so I'm constantly trying to keep that in mind. I just need to spend more time with it.
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Old May 5, 2012, 6:33 AM   #5
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Cool series. I like #2 (just crop maybe 1/2" - as on my screen - off the bottom) and the catwalks - great shot !
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Old May 5, 2012, 4:31 PM   #6
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Another week, another set of great photos!

My favourite this week is definitely the Pyramid Lake HDR. I just love the way the cloud hugs the ground. And the 10-17mm looks a really fun lens; used here to good effect.

Looking forward to week 9!!!
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Old May 6, 2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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Keep up the good work. Eight down, 44 to go.
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Old May 6, 2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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I agree completely on the staircase shot, this is so geometric. Toss in a bicyclist and it would have a definite Henri Cartier-Bresson vibe. I am also one who has been here since the early days and your work has really progressed at a rapid rate, these are all good images (several are great).

Keep them coming.
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Old May 6, 2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your comments. The more I look at #2 the less inclined I am to crop it. I think ff is right, maybe about a half inch or so, but not much.

Keith - the Pyramid Lake picture was taken with the FA 31, not the 10-17. I had also taken a series with the fisheye but in the end preferred the more normal look with the FA. Also, even though this is an HDR done in Photomatix, there's something about it that's pleasing to me, and whatever it is, it's not so much from the processing. Can't put my finger on it.

Ira, it's all of you who have been a huge influence on my development. Shooting every day is indeed a good way to improve, I think I've improved (or regained some touch I had before) since I started the project. I know my camera is getting a work-out - I've had it for a year and the file names were about 8,000 when I started the project. I went over 10,000 today.
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:38 AM   #10
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Harriet, sorry for being so simplistic, but the Rabbit photo works for me with all the fine detail in the fur, although I would have done some work on the stones behind the Rabbit to bring back some of the detail. That is one of the issues I personally have with digital with its limited DR, film would have kept the highlight detail with no extra work processing the image.

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