Tagged: Pentax K-50

Simple but Colorful Dilemma

Since I haven’t been taking many pictures lately, I have been using my time to try to decide what I’d like to do when it warms up next spring.  I am thinking about what I would like to photograph and what camera I would prefer to use.  I thought that one element of this process should be to look back through some of my older pictures and pick out what I liked and so I did.  The above are one set of results.  I liked their simplicity and color and that they all had black in them.

I deliberately didn’t look at what camera I used or any other details about the pictures until I was done.  Looking back later I noted that a different camera was used for all four of the above, but that they were all taken with a long focal length lens.  Probably the only thing significant about the different cameras is that I have used many different ones; but another possible factor is that it indicates that the particular camera didn’t matter.

The long focal length is more troubling for me.  I have liked long focal lengths since they enabled me to extract details from around me while blurring out the backgrounds.  The troubling aspect is that I have had more problems with heavy camera-lens combinations.  As a result of that, I have been carrying around and shooting primarily my Ricoh GR with a fixed effective 28 mm lens.

The problem that I need to resolve is that I prefer small light-weight cameras with prime lenses like the GR or a Leica X2 or the Fujifilm X100T while at the same time I preferred images made with long focal length lenses.  This presents a real dilemma for me.  Should I use a camera I like to hold and carry and seek out new compositions that I might like, or choose a camera with a long lens and shoot images like above?  If I use a long lens, I might need to use a light-weight camera lens combination with a smaller sensor and lower image quality to keep the weight lower.

Old & New … Will Less be Sufficient?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometimes the old needs replaced because it is broken or worn out or just no longer will do the job, and sometimes it is for other reasons.  The reasons are obvious in the above picture, but not so obvious in my latest camera change.

I sold my Pentax K-50 and lenses.  I didn’t do it for any of the above reasons.  I loved everything about the camera.  I was the problem, not the camera.  I guess I am getting worn out.  Those who have followed my blog know that I have had many Pentax DSLRs and have sold them and gone back to them several times.  I left them after I had back surgery many years ago since it just wasn’t comfortable for me to carry and use a DSLR with larger and heavier lenses.  After I improved and found that I regained my strength, and missed their capabilities, I went back to a Pentax DSLR.  Now I doubt that I ever will return to heavier, larger DSLR lenses for APS size sensors.  My arthritis in my back, knees, and hands just makes it too uncomfortable.

I am in the process of trying the micro 4/3 system again.  There have been a lot of improvements in micro 4/3 gear since I used it many years ago.  To ease back in this direction, I purchased the Olympus E-PL5 along with the kit lens and the new 17 mm lens.  The new 17 mm lens is a lot better than the older one that I used in Tunisia, etc.  I haven’t decided whether to use the E-PL5 with longer focal length zoom lenses, but I will try it.  I may also obtain some other prime lenses for it, but I am not ready to decide yet.  I still have my Fujifilm X-E1 and multiple prime and zoom lenses, but they haven’t been getting much use or love since I got the E-PL5.  The X-E1 has superior image quality but I may eventually decide to replace it and the lenses with a smaller and lighter system.   That decision will have to wait until I see how I like the micro 4/3 system for different types of photography.

Strasburg, PA Railroad

The Strasburg Railroad goes through the Amish country side taking passengers 4.5 miles and then back.  The car we were in had just been refurbished costing $0.25M dollars.  You can see the ceiling lights and the reversing seat backs.  After we went 4.5 miles we flipped the seat back and rode back facing in the direction of travel.  On the way back we stopped for a picnic along with many Amish and Mennonite families.

Starting a Shift in Cameras

I have been sorting through and testing various lenses and cameras as part of my decision process for determining how I am going to proceed with my photography.  One of the results was my finding that my new Pentax 55 – 300 mm lens back-focused and that the extra 100 mm over the 55 – 200 mm lens was not worth the increased weight and size, so I returned it.

Another result was finding that I like flower pictures made with my X-E1 camera and the 18 – 55 mm zoom lens.  I have always used my Pentax long lenses for these kinds of images in the past.  I doubt that will be the case going forward.

Another finding was that the Fuji 18 – 55 mm zoom lens suits me better under some conditions than I had assumed.  I had thought that I would use the prime lenses and not the zoom but the zoom is really good and it has image stabilization.  My only problem is the larger size and weight.  It puts more pressure on my thumbs while using it, but I might be able to alleviate it some by obtaining the add-on hand grip.

Across the Pond

I am trying a new lens, the Pentax 55 – 300 mm WR.  I took some earlier pictures of an egret but it was early in the morning and the lighting wasn’t good so the pictures weren’t as good as these of the Heron.  As a result of seeing the results obtained with this lens in less light, I started thinking about returning the lens.  I haven’t decided that the extra 100 mm in focal length is worth the extra weight and size, but these Heron pictures have me smiling more.

Future of (my) Photography

In the beginning, my blog was mostly about travel photography.  Then it was anything I could find to photograph close at home as I “practiced”.  Now I don’t know what to do next.

I use to be interested in documentary photography.  This actually started long ago when I would look at war pictures in old Life magazines.  Now I am appalled at what I see in documentary conflict photography.

I took to studying travel photography while traveling with groups when I had to be quick to capture all that I saw.  It was/is similar to documentary photography.

I started blogging so that I could share my travel pictures with those I traveled with and family, but few were interested.  I then started writing about what I learned as I tried different equipment and learned more.  That has pretty much ground to a halt since I’m not buying and trying much anymore.   Over time I kept obtaining better cameras and lenses.  A lot of my blog articles then became about various technical aspects of the gear.  Now I have reached a point where I can’t blame my deficiencies on gear, it is all on me.  In fact, the qualities of my cameras exceed my needs, especially if I don’t go somewhere to take pictures.

I have looked at a lot of different genres of photography hoping to see something that I could pursue.    I have looked for something that I could write about and take pictures and post about frequently … something that would keep me busy and interested.  I haven’t found it yet.

Maybe I will start a new photography genre … boredom.  They could be images of anything common around the house or wherever I go … along the street or maybe in the stores.  It might be the evolution of my practice photography.  I’ll just call it something different.  Maybe rather than “boredom” photography I’ll call it contemplative photography.  Oh, that already exists.  Hmmm, I wonder what the contemplative photographers would think.

This genre also seems to fit most of the “phone photography” images of others … lots and lots of images of whatever exists in front of them.  It is slowly dawning on me that this is what I have done … photographed whatever I saw.  It is just that my images changed over the years depending on what I did or where I went.  Should I call it boredom or contemplative photography?  Probably the term “life photography” fits better.

I know that I’m rambling but it is because I don’t know where I’m going, but maybe that is alright.  Well it might be alright for me but I’m not sure about you.  You may get quite bored at times depending upon what I photograph.  But then, you have an option.  You can move on even if I can’t seem to do it.  The more I think about it, my photography is just about life, my life.  It is just me capturing whatever I see, moment by moment, or day by day.  If it becomes bland or boring, it will be because I am getting more narrow in terms of what I see, where I go, etc., or that I am repeating images.  What you see is what you’ll get.

Morning Light on Water

I had an early morning appointment down at the Community Center so I walked down, even though the temperature was only 32 degrees F., with my camera.  Each of these pictures was taken at a focal length of 200 mm on the K-50.  I have often wondered what it would be like to have a good 200 mm prime lens (effective 350 mm) but I am finding this inexpensive 55 – 200 mm WR lens to be good enough.

Beginning & End

Why do I take pictures like these?  They are simple images of an early morning scene and evening of the same day looking towards the east.  Every morning I get up before sunrise and watch for the peak colors and almost always take a picture.  The periods of maximum color last for only a minute or two before fading away.  Not long after I made the early morning image the sky turned a very dreary, uniform, medium gray for the rest of the day until right at sunset.  Pictures taken around sunrise and sunset are the most colorful of the day.

These kinds of pictures are not meaningful in the sense that I have traveled to some exotic place around the world.  I see the same general view almost every day, but yet it is never the same.  The clouds and light are different.  The sky is an ever flowing river of light and change and I like to capture an image at its peak energy level.  It serves to get me moving first thing during the day and often caps off the day in a similar manner.  In addition they are sometimes my only pictures of the day, but that is rare.

The morning colors were strong and didn’t cover much of the sky so I used my Pentax K-50 and the 50 – 200 mm lens.  In the evening the colors were more subtle so I used my Fujifilm X-E1 and the 35 mm lens.

Reality Views

This post serves two purposes.  One, I was experimenting with the Panasonic Lumix LF1 camera, and second, it shows that we still had ice as of the afternoon of 11 March when the temperature was 65 degrees F.

All three pictures were taken with the LF1 as raw images and then developed in LR5.  These were taken at various focal lengths and then cropped.  You can click on any picture to view them in the gallery mode and then click under each picture to select the full size.  I will let you decide on how well the little pocket camera performs, at least under these conditions.  For myself, I don’t plan on choosing it when I go out to intentionally take pictures like these, but I do plan to carry it in my pocket for those chance occasions when I see something and I don’t have my Fuji X-E1 or my Pentax K-50 with me.