Monthly Archives: December 2010

An interesting technique for creating very interesting photos

I was just reading an interesting article about High Dynamic Range Photography at The Art of HDR Photography Part 1: Guides: Learn: Digital Photography Review.  The author provides a very through walk through of the details of the technique and why it can be useful.  I have worked with some HDR images using my Canon A720IS with the CHDK that I referenced in an earlier post.

This image is one of my attempts with HDR images.  The difference from the original files is in the shadows within the building and the additional detail in the shadows and the sagebrush.

Fort Churchill HDR

I achieved an interesting image by combining some night shots in downtown Reno.  The visible clouds and the bottom of the river are enhanced by the combining of the images.

Wingfield Park HDR-2

These and several other HDR images that I created are at my office live photos, here are thumbnails of them.

I plan on doing more of these images after I get the new camera next month.

DSLR and old lenses

I have been researching the use of older lenses
from film slr cameras like the spotmatic, K1000, and LX. Also known
as 42mm screw mount and K mount lenses for the Pentax brand of
cameras. It seems that Pentax is the only manufacturer to maintain
backward compatibility with all lenses ever made for their

Based on the research I have done, it
seems that the old lenses that I have will work and produce nice
quality images and I may not have to spend thousands of dollars on
new lenses right away.

My research also
indicates that the kit lens is a decent lens and is weatherproof
like the new bodies.

My thanks to
and the members for their work and reviews of the Pentax branded

After I have purchased a new camera in
mid-January, I will do some testing of all the old lenses that I
have and posting reviews here with sample images. It should
be interesting to see how the new bodies handle the old lenses and
how much of a hassle it is to use the old manual lenses. I
may have to actually have to read the manual, or parts of

DLSR research update

I went to the local camera store and spoke with the owner.  His prices are the same as Pentax. I would only save shipping costs by buying it through him.

I have also priced a couple of the reputable online companies and their prices are $200 to $400 lower per item.  As we get closer, I will need to decide which lens(es) I will get with the body.

About the Image at the top of the blog

The photo at the top of my blog was taken on the Fourth of July weekend in Eastern Nevada.  My wife and I were camping down the canyon from this beaver pond that was clearly labeled as an “abandoned” beaver pond.  Is seems that they forgot to inform this beaver.

This Image was shot with a Canon A720IS that I am using CHDK on to greatly extend the abilities beyond those intended by Canon.  I feel that it is worth the time and effort to read up on this software and use it.  I will continue to use this camera after I have a better one.  This will become my knock about camera that I take places I am not willing to take a much more expensive camera.

DSLR Research Progress

I have done some research on my preferred brand of Camera, Pentax, and it looks like they currently have two models that meet my base requirement of an X-sync socket to allow the use of external strobes.  This is important because I would like to be able to use the Norman Studio strobes that I have currently stored away.

The Models in question are the K-5 at $1599.95 (body only) and K-7 at $1099.95 (body only).  I am leaning toward the more expensive one due to higher data capture and some of the high end features.  One thing I have been reminded of during this research is that good lenses can tend to cost more than the camera body. For example, a smc Pentax DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM lists for $1399.95 and a smcP DA 50-135mm f2.8 ED (IF) SDM lists for $1129.95.  It is very nice to see that Pentax is still making prime lenses. For those that do not know, a prime lens is a fixed length lens, like the 300mm lens I referred to.

It is possible to find less expensive lenses out there, but the lens is the heart of the camera and plays a very large role in the quality of images you get.  No amount of manipulation in software can fix an image taken through a cheap lens.

Due to cost and budget constraints, I may only get one lens with the camera and work with my old lenses.  I will at least get a short zoom like the DA * 16-50mm F2.8 ED/AL (IF) at $1029.95.  The prices I quote are directly from the Pentax Web Store. I am sure that I can find lower prices by shopping around good camera stores like Gordon’s Photo Service in Reno.