What is the point of taking pictures if we never look back. That after all it is the intent of much of amateur photography, a memento of the past or evidence that we were there and an event occurred. So regarding the recently done, here is a selection of my images from 2009 that relate to plants. I’ve tried to give a good mixture and have left out many, perhaps I should have a bee list.
The nice thing about having low expectations about something is that there is a better chance of them being exceeded. The Konica pop-10 falls into this category, it looks like a toy it functions like a toy but it takes pretty good pictures non the less.
I can’t find much information about this camera but what I do know is that it is plastic has a maximum aperture of f4, which can only be achieved with ISO 100 film and the flash on. With 400 ISO film it appears to be stopped down to somewhere near f 16. There is a photo cell beside the viewfinder that likely functions to control the LED indicator for the flash warning as I haven’t seen any variation in speed from the shutter. It has an interesting top plate that mimics a rangefinder even though it is fixed focus. The flash is powered by a single AA battery and must be turned on manually once the clam-shell lens cover has been slid back. It’s easy to use and really delivered sharp well exposed images with it’s 35mm lens.
I thought I would have a look back at some of my pictures from 2009 and here is a selection of some of my top pictures that include or are about people.
With the K-7′s ability to process images using multiple iterations of it’s built in digital filters, I thought it would be a nice feature if you could create presets. Seeing as the engineers who designed the camera didn’t include this ability I took it upon myself to find a way. And here are the steps I came up with. Several points are very important for this to work. You must create the folder that the presets reside in with the camera and not a computer, you must also not alter the files with a computer. The images may be reduced down to 0.3M to save space but this also must be done in the camera. This information is provided as most things are on the Internet with the caveat that I am not responsible for anything that happens to your files or equipment.
To begin it is easiest to start with a freshly formatted memory card. (here is where a caveat comes in, back up your images!)
The next thing to be done is to change the date. While strictly not necessary this will create a unique folder for the presets. I have chosen 01/01 for month and day which generates a folder named 100_0101.
After changing the date it will be necessary to take a picture which will actually cause the creation of the folder.
After this folder is produced you can set the date back to the correct value.
Now you can remove the card from the camera and put it in a card reader or whatever you use to transfer files between the card and your computer. It is now that you move your previously created and stored files from the computer to the card. In this example I am storing copies of processed files in a folder V:\K-7_filters. The files can be anywhere on your computer but it is best to keep them together to make it easier to transfer them to the memory card.
And this is the folder structure for the card with F:\ just being the root directory assigned to my card reader.
So you can now drag files from the PC to the memory card using thumbnails as visual reference for the filter effects.
When you take your next image with the corrected date another folder will be created separate from the presets.
At this point you are ready to go. I will post again on using the presets with some examples.
I really like the effects that can be produced with the Pentax K-7 using the in-camera processing. While these certainly are not examples of subtlety the process can help to elevate an image and clarify its meaning. I’m presenting the images here as pairs so that you can see the processed and cropped versions alongside the original as shot file on the right.
A friend recently asked me where I get all my images from. My reply was that I almost always have a camera with me. I’ve been known to turn around and go back home to get one if I find myself so impoverished. Today I didn’t get out of the driveway before going back inside to grab my older DLSR, and I was only going to get our Christmas tree chipped. I certainly believe that this compulsion is a gift of my upbringing, where if I was found to be bored or without an activity it was strongly suggested that I “do something constructive”. I’m not complaining but where one person might enjoy laying at the beach I would be the individual digging a hole. Right enough of that, on with the manifestation of my childhood.
I took this photo during my recent Bellingham photo trip and thought it was a good example of the use of negative space. The two different areas of black are still recognizable even though there presence on the same image plain results in ambiguity of scale. I wonder what anyone observing me thought as I moved around making slight adjustments until I felt I had the right angle. Fortunately I don’t worry about such things while I’m shooting.
If you spend anytime on a photography forum that leans towards the technical you cannot escape discussions comparing the image quality of different cameras at higher ISO settings. Typically at this time the threshold seems to be about 3200 ISO which is perfect because here are samples taken with an Olympus Stylus Epic and Kodak T-MAX3200 film. The current state of the art in digital imaging is so far ahead of film now in this particular area that I’m not sure why anyone is complaining and not just out shooting, after all there’s plenty of light just crank up the ISO.
And now a digital file, while it was only ISO 800 I had made settings to increase the graininess in an attempt to mimic film. Clearly I would need to be even more aggressive with in camera processing if I hoped to approach film grain.
The Lubitel 2 has a 75mm f4.5 lens which according to my handy though outdated Kodak Professional Photo guide is roughly equivalent to 44mm on 35mm film or about 30mm on an APS-C digital SLR. The last image is cropped from the corner of the previous negative showing the level of detail available. At full size these negatives generate 25 Mpixel files at 2400 DPI. Click here for my post about this camera http://wkoopmans.ca/notebook/?p=719
The Lubitel 2 is an interesting camera, it certainly makes you think about composing your pictures. Primarily because you can’t. It without a doubt has the worst viewfinder I have ever encountered. Others have described it as tunnel vision, I would describe it as frustrating. It’s one thing to have everything reversed as with all TLR cameras but moving the camera can also make the image disappear entirely if you aren’t absolutely directly aligned. There are two focus aids though. One is that the finder can be configured as an eye level frame as seen in the picture of the camera and the other is the small magnifying element that can be flipped out to assist in focusing. While I’m on the subject of focusing, it also is unique. The image is not actually formed on a ground glass but is seen directly from a lens element that has a darkened spot in the center. It is very difficult to focus and requires the use of this magnifying loupe to ensure accuracy.