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Old Aug 14, 2012, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Week 23 of 52

Week 23 of (maybe) 52

I didnít take a picture on Monday, so I posted the roller coaster with the most motion to the project. I more or less had planned to do that, as I really liked it and had chosen the boy on Saturday night. I wonít post it again, itís already in the week 22 summary.

Even though I had decided Tuesday morning that I couldn't keep up with this project, I still headed out at lunch to take pictures.

I recently read an article that said that a wide angle is all about the foreground. For some reason that really resonated with me in a new way. I had always heard that you should have something in the foreground when using a wide angle, but Iíve always interpreted that as putting something (anything appropriate) in the foreground to make the composition more interesting. I was still thinking of the background/vista as being the main subject/point of the picture. But those words, ďall about the foregroundĒ changed how I looked at it Ė the whole purpose of the picture is the foreground, the background is secondary. Light bulb went on. For the past couple of weeks Iíve been trying to come to grips with the 10-17 fisheye, trying to figure out how to use it to advantage. With this new insight, I put the lens on the camera and headed out.

I found the feather I photographed last week in approximately the same place and came up with this idea. I really like how it came out, I think itís a fun shot. (K5, DA 10-17)

Wednesday morning I came across something in the lynda.comís videos on CS6 about using the Gaussian blur as a smart filter, changing the filter blending mode to make a soft glow effect. It looked really neat in the video, so I went out and took a bunch of pictures of flowers that I thought might look good with that effect. I processed a couple of them and didnít like any of them. I posted one and got one polite ďniceĒ with little else for a reaction Ė a sure sign that others shared my mild dislike for the results I got. If you are interested, hereís the link to the photo in zenfolio: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e1d4f7ac with the regularly processed picture here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e1077c8a6 . I'd be interested in what others think of these two pictures, if you like or dislike the "glow" effect on it.

Later on I thought that it might work for a background layer for a sphere, and I posted this one Ė much better response. (K5, Viv S1 105 macro)

Since I had basically decided to give it up, I didnít take a picture during the day Thursday, and didn't think I would bother at all. However, I happened to see the picture I took a month or so ago of a cut-glass shallow bowl (which I liked very much), and decided to do something similar with a much deeper bowl before going to bed. I got a couple of pictures that I thought were reasonable, this time I used a blouse to create colored light since the bowl is clear glass. (K5, DA 35 macro)

Friday found me watching a video about layers and blending modes. They mentioned that each blending group has a neutral color, and gave some ideas of how to use that for effect when putting two pictures together. I went out at lunch and took a bunch of pictures to use for something, but with no real direction/project in mind. Needless to say, I got it all muddled up and nothing worked. But at least I had a much better idea of how to go about it and had a better idea of how to put something together after spending quite a bit of time with things that didn't work. This type of thing is way out of my comfort zone, Iím horrible at staging/composition/still lifes. But it was an excellent learning experience and I will continue to play around with such things.

I ended up posting this nice, but rather unexciting flower picture, one I had a vague idea to use for a composite that didnít pan out. But itís nice on its own. (K5, FA 77 Ltd)

I finally got around to processing some of the glass pictures on Saturday (having spent Friday night trying to get something to work out of the mess I took on Friday). As I was processing Thursday's green glass picture above, I decided it looked like a sun with trees growing up. So I had the idea of trying to use it with a mountain scene as sort-of an allegory. Needless to say, it didnít work at all, but it does give you some idea of the processing I was playing around with.

I finally gave up in disgust and helped Dan take the trash to the dump. As we drove into the driveway, I spotted this little fellow in the driveway. I got out of the car and slowly walked forward to get it to move out of the way. It went as far as beside the porch, I went inside and grabbed the camera Ė surprisingly, it was still there. I took a number of pictures of it and a scrub jay, before it finally decided to leave at great speed. (K5, DA*300)

The thing that struck me as interesting was just how well camouflaged the rabbitís fur is, compared to my natural yard (no landscaping, just pines and weeds). I thought that by using the oil paint filter, I might really bring that out. I thought it worked rather nicely. You can see it here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e3a6745cd .

There were some really spectacular thunderheads that day and we had rain both Saturday and Sunday (if you are interested, thereís a photo of one of them right after the rabbit - it's a nice cloud picture but not unusually good, and I'm a dog-lover). Saturdayís sunset was very nice, and of course I couldnít resist photographing it. This is a stitched panorama of 3 frames, taken from my front yard. I did end up using the healing tool to take out several power lines and left the rest, too many to try to take them all out, and I had doubts about matching things up in places. I know many find power lines distracting, but they are a fact of life here, so I left the ones that didnít particularly bother me. (K5, FA 77 Ltd for all frames)

There was a bit on TV about a sand sculpture competition in Long Beach. Sunday we wandered down to check them out. (K5, FA 31 Ltd)

While some of the sculptures were very nice, it wasnít what caught my eye. (K5, DA*200)

I didnít realize that any beach in Southern California allowed dogs, but this one in Long Beach does. Great fun, both Dan and I had more fun photographing their antics.

One of Danís photos, taken with the K7 and DA 55-300:

Everyone by Twos (also Danís photo)

After watching the Golden Retrievers play in the water for a half hour, I thought this dog funny Ė while her owner waded in the water, she kept dancing around at the waterís edge, not quite happy getting very far in. (K5, DA*200)

We didnít stay long but had a great time. Iíd love to go back with more quarters to feed the parking meter and spend more time taking pictures. I made a number of mistakes, my husband did better using the K7 on ďPĒ mode.

I normally end my write-up with the Sunday pictures, but Iím going to add one last thing. Monday I went out to take some pictures at lunch, took a couple with the DA*200 that was still on my camera, and then went to change lenses. No lens release button! So the K5 is now in a box with a bunch of paperwork (original sales receipt, CRIS paperwork for the camera replacement showing the cameraís serial number, the extended warranty, Pentax warranty repair form). Iíll get the cleaning/service check-out done at the same time. Iím naturally unhappy, but I can still use either Danís K7 or the K100 though itís just not quite the same. Weíll see, Iíll take it day by day.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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Another fantastic series. Your creativity is very inspiring! I love the cut glass bowl, and the dogs at the beach are delightful!

I hope the technicians can remove your lens quickly and without any difficulty.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 5:01 PM   #3
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Crop the dog catching the ball for a great shot.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 6:06 PM   #4
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Cool series again, I can see what you were trying o do with the "sun " over the trees, good idea!

Love the beach pic's, we had Golden's for years, it's amazing how they can be different from each other, we two for a long time one loved the water so much it would almost try and lie down in a cup of spilt water and the other would not go in the water at the beach without serious cajoling.

Good job wit the rabbit, doesn't look touch up at all, very crisp and clear.

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Old Aug 15, 2012, 9:36 PM   #5
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lovely series as always. Looking through your zenfolio, I also wanted to comment on this: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p48789781...C8A6#h37c991fb that i had missed before. I really love that shot.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 12:33 AM   #6
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Thanks, everyone. Getting the lens off wasn't that big of a deal, I used a straightened large paper clip in the hole to activate the spring lock. Worked fine, but I wouldn't want to do that all the time. I really am feeling adrift without the K5, I've become quite attached to it, more so than any camera I've owned since the DS. I know it isn't a big fix, but still it will take several weeks. There's nothing wrong with the K7, but it isn't the same, can't explain it.

Paul, I can't crop much closer for two reasons - first I was using the DA200 so there's not all that much to crop. The second reason is that I wasn't thinking about shutter speeds, and shot it too slow, there's just enough motion blur that it irritated me, so I left it with more empty space than is optimal, to hide the blur. If photography were easy, it wouldn't be so interesting and rewarding when I do get it right.

Simon, we've only had one golden. He loved the water as long as he could leave his feet on the ground. We used to hike and if there was any water within a short distance from the trail, he would find it. But he wasn't so happy about swimming, but then he had little chance to decide it was OK. I don't know how he would have felt about waves-wish we had known about this beach when he was alive. On the other hand, think of trying to get all that sand out of his long coat!

NMRecording - thanks for the complement on the Solvang windmill, I really liked the shadows.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 5:17 AM   #7
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Love the dog shots.

Same thing as I've heard re. 10-17, 10-20, 14, 15 etc. that these lenses are better for foreground subjects than WA landscapes etc.

Sorry to hear about your K5 - same thing happened to me. Hope you get it back quickly.
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Aug 18, 2012, 11:37 PM   #8
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Nice clear contrasty shots Harriet!

Why does the lens release button fall off the K5, that never happened with any other Pentax DSLR that I am aware of?

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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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I can't answer that, this is the first of a number of Pentax cameras I've owned to lose it. I won't say its the only camera I've had problems with - my K10 had AF issues and my first K7 had the green line (exchanged it, the second one is still going strong). It does seem to be a problem specifically with the K5, which has been an otherwise awesome camera. I am very grateful, though, that I bought an extended warranty for it, I usually don't.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 7:44 PM   #10
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Another great series. I had a look at the rabbit that you tried the oil paint filter on and liked it a lot. Hope the K-5 comes back quickly and good as new.

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