23 July 2009

The Missing Memory Card

Going through an old camera pouch, I stumbled upon an SD card with images that I had shot that I had somehow misplaced. Wondering how I could have somehow missed it, I decided to check out the images that were taken back in 2007 with the K100D. Well this was like finding an old exposed roll of film and as I paused to reflect on how I looked at subjects in the past and whether I had changed in manner and style compared to today, I just can't help feeling that I'm looking at a slice of time. The slivers of memory brings back associations of the past and my past excitement with my camera then.

I can only say that this old memory card has spurred me on to want to shoot even more, the wish for more slices of time today that I can savour in the future. It's a timely reminder that the photograph may be static for the viewer but for the photographer, it represents an encapsulation of space and time, of location and of emotion and recollections.

K100D Tokina 28-200mm

This was a shot of a worker at the back of a pickup truck. I noticed the bright gold earring that stood out against his dark complexion and by chance there was a out of focus figure in the background. Converted and toned in Photoshop CS4 and Silver Efex Pro.

K100D Tokina 70-210mm

This shot of my son with his Nikon (eek!) digital point and shoot just brings me back to the day we were out at the park. Perhaps not the best in terms of aesthetics but I like the nice colors and the natural framing of the gazebo.

20 July 2009

New and Old

Came across this mature tree during a walk through the park and was immediately struck by the contrast between the rough edges of it's bark and the small plant growing upwards towards the light using the tree as a foothold. An interplay of different stages of growth, of soft, pliable and flexible versus the old, firm and secure. Converted this image in Photoshop with Silver Efex Pro.

14 July 2009

A is for Angry Ant, B is for Bee Bokeh

Just last week I was feeling kinda low mentally so to spend time reflecting, I decided to go out and shoot with no specific agenda. Armed with my trusty macro lenses, I took a quiet stroll and shot anything that I thought looked interesting. I guess not expecting any specific subject allowed me to see things a little differently and I came away with two macro shots that I happened to like.

This angry ant was shot using the FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro with my cute little Pentax AF-200FG flash unit in fading light.

The bee bokeh was quite a difficult shot because I had to manually focus the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro on the brisk moving bee perched on very tiny flowers with a hint of a breeze blowing. To top it all, I had some tourists who wanted a quick chat while I was shooting. Shot hand held using available light with the K20D.

11 July 2009

Pink Gerbera

My wife had this pink gerbera lying around and with a little time on my hands, I decided to use my K20D mated with the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro to record some images of it before it started to show signs of wilting.

10 July 2009

Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 tryout (2)

Some more interesting conversions with a PEF RAW file. Shot during the Garden Festival last year with the K20D and FA 77mm Limited.

Silkypix give pretty pleasant colours of this indoor shot of orchids, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) renders less colour saturated images. For practical purposes, output from DNG or PEF looks the same if processed through ACR or Silkypix respectively as each software will render according to their respective algorithms. Just for versatility I would opt to shoot with the DNG format. Interestingly, the jpeg straight from the K20D is pretty good too.

Pentax PEF RAW file converted to jpeg by Silkypix

Pentax PEF RAW file to jpeg by ACR 5.4

Pentax PEF RAW file converted to DNG to jpeg by ACR 5.4

Jpeg from RAW+Jpeg straight from K20D

09 July 2009

Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 tryout (1)

Tried the new Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 on my Mac today.
The software interface is somewhat similar to Lightroom's panels and is so much better than the preceding Pentax Photo Browser and Photo Laboratory 3.

In a nutshell, it is a simple software to manage and process your images. Documentation is sparse but it is easy enough to work out the controls. But what is interesting for me is how the Silkypix processing engine manages the RAW files, especially when converted to jpegs. Control on the jpeg output is pretty basic and the conversion to jpegs is simple enough. In spite of the basic nature of the program, I kinda like the output from Silkypix. It has a nice punchy yet pleasant colour rendition akin to increasing the Vibrance slider in ACR/Lightroom/Photoshop.

Used a K20D DNG file of my chihuahua as an initial test. As I don't have a pretty model so poor Pepe the chihuahua will have to do. Taken with the DA 50-200mm.

DNG to jpeg conversion Pentax DCU4 (Silkypix)

DNG to jpeg conversion Adobe ACR/CS4

The software can convert PEF to DNG easily enough but I have encountered an issue in that if a jpeg is to be extracted from the converted DNG within the software (PDCU4), that new jpeg file has a problem and can't be opened up by any program, including PDCU4 itself. No problems if it is a straight conversion from an original DNG or PEF file to jpeg. My experience may be a one-off but hopefully this is not common to all and a quick software fix can be worked out.