Thursday, July 24, 2014

# 17 - Our current two-year RV trip across North America. This week's; Travelling back to California... I used the Pentax K-3.


 Hi Photographer friends,

This week we are on our way back to California. We stopped overnight at different RV campgrounds, but not long enough to make a series of image of one location only.

Instead, I took several images of our trip on the road (Highway 10). This is how we travel. It is not in a one million dollar Prevost Bus, but it is very comfortable for us. We get to meet great people and we take our time. There is rarely any rush getting anywhere.

As we travel, it is sometime difficult to get a good internet connection. This is the case here and why I wasn't able to post my weekly "Wednesday Travel" yesterday.

I took some video footage while on the road and will post them when I can secure a stable WI-FI connection.

The Fifth Wheel RV we started our trip with. Twenty-eight feet.

The Fifth Wheel RV we traded for in Florida. Thirty-five feet.


The Pentax K-3 Prestige Edition introduced. Take a look.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pentax DA Star 60-250mm lens. I love this lens.


 Hi Photographer friends,

Here are some images I got using the Pentax DA Star 60-250mm. I love this lens,

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

# 16 - Our current two-year RV trip across North America. This week's featured City; Bandera, Texas, Cowboy Capital of the world.. I used the Pentax K-3.


 Hi Photographer friends,

"Howdy Pardner"

This week's City,  Bandera, Texas, was an enjoyable one. 

(From Bandera's Web Page)

In a rugged county filled with hills, rivers, and a sprawling lake, the small town of Bandera holds a really big place in the hearts of Texans. Located in the beloved Texas Hill Country less than an hour from San Antonio, Bandera reminds us of a different, more authentic, era, when a handshake was all the contract you needed, self-reliance was the norm, and chivalry was a given. There is a spirit of independence and individualism here that speaks of the cowboy tradition of hard work and hard play.

Bandera embodies the cowboy in its strong rodeo tradition. Even today you'll often see horses tied to downtown hitching posts. Bandera County dude ranches offer a taste of the cowboy lifestyle with horseback riding, trail rides, and chuckwagon meals. Secluded cabins tucked away in the hills throughout the county are perfect for watching wildlife, listening to the birds, and gazing at the stars. At local honky-tonks, the music is lively, the dance floor is full, and the beverages are cold.


The images below were all taken with my Pentax K-3 and a combination of two favorite lenses.

smc PENTAX DA Star 60-250mm F4 ED (IF) SDM

  • Zoom
  • Wildlife, sports, long range shots

smc PENTAX DA Star 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM

  • Zoom
  • Portraits, landscapes, family, general use

With these two great lenses, I am covering from 16mm to 250mm (Roughly 24mm to 375mm  cropped image). Both lenses render high quality images and the bokeh (Telephoto) is particularly great. This week, all the images were manipulated in Adobe Lightroom 5. I wanted the images to be special because Bandera is a special Town. 

I turned the contrast up, then adjusted the sharpening and luminance to where the images almost look like paintings.Then, I added vignetting. I love the rendition and I hope you do too.

New Mexico is next. 
Here are the Bandera images:

Main Street in Bandera is pretty much like it was a hundred years ago.

This is the Cowboy Capital of the don't wear a baseball cap here.

"Ruby" our tow truck was not alone in this town. They could  name Bandera the Pick-up truck Capital of the World as well. In the background, the OST (Old Spanish Trail) restaurant served the best breakfast in Texas.

Hope it stops at the crossing!
This nice gentleman goes all around the Country showing how life was back in the cowboy days, along the Old Spanish Trail. The building in the background is Bandera's Court House.

He actually cooked a full chuck wagon meal on the Food Network. He told me that they had rented his wagon and were going to have some famous chef cook an authentic cowboy meal. When the chef arrived, he was covered with tattoos, had earrings and did not fit the Cowboy style. The producer asked him if he could really cook and he ended up cooking for the show.

He builds chuck wagons just the way they were back in the days.

The real cowboys come to the Bar on their horses. The Urban cowboys come to the Bar on their Harleys.

Some things don't ever change.

The old versus the new rides. I love both.

Hand crafted souvenirs, made in Texas, USA.

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree

Thank you for visiting,

Yvon Bourque

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Monday, July 14, 2014

The PENTAX XG-1 features a powerful 52x optical zoom lens for a wide range of photographic applications


 Hi Photographer friends,

The PENTAX XG-1 features a powerful 52x optical zoom lens for a wide range of photographic applications

Denver, Co. July 14, 2014 Building on its foundation of unique DSLR cameras, RICOH IMAGING is pleased to introduce the PENTAX XG-1 digital camera. This versatile, all-in-one camera showcases an impressive 52x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, and Pentax technology; bridging the gap between DSLR flexibility and point and shoot convenience.

The PENTAX XG-1 is a versatile camera ideally suited for those seeking the many lens options of a DSLR but requiring the convenience and flexibility of a point and shoot camera. When photographing a wide variety of subjects, including fast-action sports, The XG-1 is compact, lightweight, and easy-to-carry with an array of outstanding features, including a powerful 52-times optical zoom lens, approximately 16.0 effective megapixels for high-resolution images, and a large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch LCD monitor. Boasting a stylish, high-grade design that resembles PENTAX-branded SLR cameras, the XG-1 comes equipped with a sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) system, that is effective even under demanding, shake-prone conditions, such as when using the zoom lens’s telephoto range, shooting with incident light, or photographing sunset scenes.

This camera provides the photographer with a greater range of creative options by featuring innovative tools such as: 1cm Macro mode for the capture of dramatic close-up images from just one centimeter away; high-speed continuous shooting of up to 60 images per second; and HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode to synthesize an ultra-wide-gradation image from three images taken at varying exposure levels.

“We are excited to bring Ricoh Imaging’s technology and manufacturing experience with DSLR cameras to the XG-1.  This exciting new camera demonstrates advanced imaging technology and quality workmanship, but also the versatility of a long zoom lens and the easy operation expected of a compact camera,” said Brian McIntosh, Director of Marketing, Ricoh Imaging America Corp.

Pricing and Availability

The XG-1 will be available at retailers nationwide and at in August 2014 for a suggested retail price of $399.95

To learn more about the comprehensive lineup of Pentax products as well as other Ricoh Imaging products, please visit

Main Features

1. 52-times optical zoom lens with 24-mm ultra-wide-angle coverage to accommodate diversified subjects:

The XG-1 incorporates a high-magnification 52-times optical zoom lens in its compact, portable body. In addition to its extra-wide focal-length coverage — from 24mm ultra-wide angle to 1,248mm super telephoto (in the 35mm format) — it also features the 1cm Macro mode, which allows the photographer to capture dramatic, eye-catching close-up images from a distance of one centimeter. This camera accommodates a wide range of subjects and applications without the need for lens changes. It even provides the Digital Zoom function, which extends the zoom coverage to approximately 208 times (for a maximum focal length of 4,992mm in the 35mm format) without compromising image quality.

2. Back-illuminated CMOS image sensor:

The XG-1 features a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, which demonstrates remarkable high-sensitivity, low-noise characteristics and assures high-speed image data readout. Coupled with its top sensitivity of ISO 3200 and approximately 16.0 effective megapixels, it delivers

super-high-resolution images. In addition, the XG-1 has an innovative Handheld Night Scene mode that captures blur-free night-time photos by taking multiple images simultaneously and synthesizing them into a single composite.

3. Large, high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD monitor:

Equipped on the back of the XG-1’s body is a large, high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. Its large screen provides a clear view of images and menus that assure a quick, effortless check of images, and also facilitate swift, error-free setting changes.

4. High-speed continuous shooting to capture decisive moments:

The XG-1 lets the photographer capture dramatic, once-in-a-lifetime shutter opportunities in sharp, crisp images, even with active, fast-moving subjects. The XG-1 also provides a super-high-speed continuous shooting mode with a maximum speed of approximately 60 images per second* and a high-speed continuous shooting mode at approximately 30 images per second.** Coupled with its Auto Tracking AF function, which automatically keeps a moving subject in focus.
* In the super-high-speed continuous shooting mode, the image size is fixed at VGA format (640 X 480 pixels).
** In the high-speed continuous shooting mode, the image size is fixed at 4M (2304 X 1728 pixels).

5. Reliable shake- reduction system for sharp, blur-free images:

The XG-1’s advanced sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) system assures sharply focused, blur-free images even under demanding photographic conditions prone to camera shake by accurately assessing the amount of camera shake using a high-precision gyro sensor.  This system shifts the CMOS image sensor vertically and horizontally with great precision and speed to achieve a required anti-shake effect.

6. Electronic viewfinder for a clear view of the subject in outdoor shooting:

The XG-1’s electronic viewfinder comes in handy when shooting a subject placed against harsh backlight, or when the photographer needs a more solid grip of the camera.

7. Full HD-standard movie recording for extended shooting of high-quality movies:

The XG-1 features a Full HD movie recording function employing the H.264 recording format. The user can capture high-quality, extended movie clips (at a frame size of 1920 x 1080 pixels, in a 16:9 aspect ratio) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The user can instantly switch to one of eight digital filters (including black & white and sepia), even during recording. The XG-1 even provides a host of creative movie playback features, including High-speed Movie mode for slow-motion playback.* A micro-HDMI terminal (type D) is also located on the camera body for the output of recorded movies and sound to external audio-visual devices.

* Sound cannot be recorded in this mode.

8. Quick-set mode dial for easy selection of the desired shooting mode:

The XG-1’s mode dial provides quick, effortless selection of the desired shooting mode, without the need for recalling the menu screen. The user can select the option that best suits the subject or scene, from a total of 10 modes including the hands-off Auto Picture, Scene (11 options), Program, Face Beautifier and Movie.

9. Other features:

・HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode to synthesize an extra-wide-gradation image from three different images of varying exposure levels
・Digital filters such as black & white and fish-eye, with easy selection
・Interval shooting mode, useful in fixed-point observation of landscapes and flowers and plants
・Pet detection mode for automatic recognition of up 10 pet faces
・Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

# 15 - Our current two-year RV trip across North America. This week's featured City; Las Cruces, New Mexico. I used the Pentax K-3.


 Hi Photographer friends,

We are travelling with our RV and this  in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

We were pleasantly surprised while visiting New Mexico. It is a  beautiful area full of traditions. The culture is rich with a mix of Native Americans and Mexicans descendants. This City is really a good example of the Southwest. We were in Las Cruces last November, on our way to Southern Texas for the winter.

We would have liked to visit Santa Fe as well, but did not have time. We are currently driving back to California  for business and may visit more of New Mexico. We are in Bandera, Texas this week and I hope to have a great series of image of this great Cowboy town for next week's images.


Many of the images I took in the Southwest, including some of the images herein are featured in my e-book for the Pentax K-3. It is definitely one of the most picturesque region of our Country.

The images below were taken with my Ricoh/Pentax K-3 and a few lenses. I used the smc Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 and the smc Pentax DA Star 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF)SDM.

    This is my favorite setup when shooting walkabouts.

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    Thanks for reading,

    Yvon Bourque