Wednesday, August 20, 2014

# 21 - Our current two-year RV trip across North America. This week's; Pro-Rodeo in Mercedes (Rio Grande Valley), Southern Texas. - Pentax K-3


 Hi Photographer friends,

We spent some time in Southern Texas and last spring we had the chance to attend a Bull Riding Rodeo. It is entertaining for us, the crowd, but this is no sissy sport. It is entertaining for us, the crowd, but this is no “sissy” sport. The riders really get banged up.

Each bull has a unique name and number used to identify the bull. A sufficient number of bulls each judged to be of good strength, health, agility, and age, are selected to perform. The rider and bull are matched randomly before the competition, although starting in 2008, some ranked riders are allowed to choose their own bulls from a bull draft for selected rounds in PBR events.
A rider mounts a bull and grips a flat braided rope. After he secures a good grip on the rope, the rider nods to signal he is ready. The bucking chute (a small enclosure which opens from the side) is opened and the bull storms out into the arena. The rider must attempt to stay on the bull for at least eight seconds, while only touching the bull with his riding hand. His other hand must remain free for the duration of the ride. Originally, the rules required a 10 second ride, but that was changed to the current eight seconds.
The bull bucks, rears, kicks, spins, and twists in an effort to throw the rider off. This continues for a number of seconds until the rider bucks off or dismounts after completing his ride. A loud buzzer or whistle announces the completion of an eight second ride.

Throughout the ride, bullfighters, also popularly known as rodeo clowns, stay near the bull in order to aid the rider if necessary. When the ride ends, either intentionally or not, the bullfighters distract the bull to protect the rider from harm.
Many competitions have a format that involves multiple rounds, sometimes called "go-rounds." Generally, events span two to three nights. The rider is given a chance to ride one bull per night. The total points scored by the end of the event are recorded, and after the first or first two go rounds, the top 20 riders are given a chance to ride one more bull. This final round is called the "short go". After the end of the short go, the rider with the most total points wins the event. 

Understandably, most riders are in their twenties.
Pentax K-3 and smc Pentax DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 ED WR

The Rodeo Queen and her horse stood still during the National Anthem.

There is such a camaraderie in this sport, not comparable to other sports.

Riders help each other getting a good and solid grip, before the gate opens

Are you ready?

"This one is taking me for a spin"

The Rodeo Clowns have to be as good a shape as the riders.

It's not uncommon for the Rodeo Clowns to take the hit.

"Get off my back"

On your mark, get set...

The images above were all taken with the Pentax K-3, using one lens only. The images were reduced in size for faster uploading to this blog. I also tweaked the saturation and clarity, not that the images weren't good coming directly from the camera, but because images on a computer screen need a little more punch.

Thanks for reading,
Yvon Bourque

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

# 20 - Our current two-year RV trip across North America. This week's; Pointe Loma - Part of San Diego. Pentax K-3


 Hi Photographer friends,

We have paid for one month stay at a local RV Resort. There is so much to see in San Diego and the surroundings. This is a great City and the weather cannot be beat. The average high in the summer is 77 Degree F and the average low is 67 Degree F. The average high in the Winter is 65 Degree F and the average low is 49 Degree F. 

I spent the day in Point Loma. Point Loma is historically important as the landing place of the first European expedition to came ashore in present-day California. The peninsula has been described as "where California began". Today, Point Loma houses two major military bases, a national cemetery, and a national monument. 

The Point Loma Lighthouse is located at the height of the peninsula, The Old Point Loma Lighthouse was not just the housing for a light; it was the home of the people who took care of the light. It was a light and a house in one.

The images below were all taken with the Pentax K-3, using various Pentax lenses. The images were reduced in size for faster uploading to this blog. I also tweaked the saturation and clarity, not that the images weren't good coming directly from the camera, but because images on a computer screen need a little more punch.

As I wrote at the top of this page, I will be in the area for about four weeks and will post about the nearby locations. There are so many places to see in this area, that it's overwhelming.

I would appreciate if you would visit my Facebook page and like the site. I tend to post more images and other interesting Pentax tidbits from all over the world. It's one location where you can read posts about Pentax worldwide, without surfing the Internet. The Facebook page can be accessed here;
 e-books for Pentax DSLRs

View of San Diego near the Lighthouse. K-3 and DA* 60-250mm @ 100mm
This is the  San Diego Bay. Pentax K-3 and DA 16-45mm
The Point Loma Lighthouse -  K-3 and DA* 16-50mm 
This is the actual light and lens atop the lighthouse.
 They actually don't allow access, but my K-3 was small enough
 to hold it inside the dome. DA 10-17mm
View of the spiral staircase looking up.
Each floor was a part of the resident quarters.
K-3 and DA 10-17mm
View of the staircase looking down.
A young couple posed for this image. Thank you guys.
K-3 and DA 10-17mm
I took a long walk to the shore level, 1.6 mile going down but...1.6 mile to go up.
My legs still hurt, but it was worth it.
Pentax K-3 and DA 16-45mm
Aww! It must be a hard job, but someone has to do it.
K-3 and DA* 60-250mm @ 60mm
I can't think of a better way to spend your day, if you have the money.
If you are lucky enough to take pictures of are lucky enough.
K-3 and DA* 60-250mm @ 250mm
This is part of the military base. Not too shabby isn't it?
K-3 and DA* 60-250mm @ 100mm
The same beautiful location a bit closer. I couldn't walk to it.
It is restricted. Wonder why?
K-3 and DA* 60-250mm @ 250mm

That's it for this week. Hope you enjoyed the images as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

# 19 - Our current two-year RV trip across North America. This week's; We are back to where we started a year ago, in Southern California. I am reminiscing about my photography over the past years in this part of the country.


 Hi Photographer friends,

I moved to California in 2003. I acquire my first Pentax Digital SLR here. I started with the Pentax *ist-D, then the K100D, K10D, K200D, K20D, K-7, K-5 and now I own the K-3. I started writing e-book for the Pentax cameras in 2007 because there was no books on the market for the Pentax cameras. I'm glad I did. I made a lot of new friends along the way and helped many beginners and experienced photographers.

I cannot think of a better hobby than photography. It is a way to document your life and what's around you. It gives you a new sense of looking at the world we live in. As photographer, you soon learn to see nature in more details. What is mundane for other people often become beauty in the eye of a photographer.

In July of 2013, I decided to retire and travel. We travelled across the U.S. in an RV since. We are back in California, after about twelve thousand miles on the road, but will soon embark in the next phase of this adventure.

The images for this post are just a few pictures I took in the Southern California area from 2003 to 2013. Of course I have thousands of images, but the images herein remind me of my favorite places in time.

Thank you for visiting,

Yvon Bourque

Joshua Tree National Park, California
Wrightwood, California
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Anza Borrego State Park, California
San Bernardino Mountains, California
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Palm Springs, California
Joshua Tree National Park, California

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Monday, August 4, 2014


 Hi Photographer friends,

PENTAX Q-S1 Digital Camera

Providing endless artistic expression in a fashionable compact design complete, with interchangeable lenses

Denver, Colorado August 4, 2014 RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION is proud to introduce the new PENTAX Q-S1, one of the world’s smallest and lightest digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. With a new refined look, Smart Affect mode for creative photo enhancing, and color variations from today’s hottest fashion trends, the Q-S1 is an ideal everyday camera for the style-minded looking for the portability of a compact and added benefits of interchangeable lenses.
“Along with its stylish, petite body, this new model offers impressive specifications. The PENTAX Q-S1 is an ideal everyday camera for photographers of all levels, complete with an entire system of 8 lenses designed for on-the-go fun” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President of RICOH IMAGING  Americas, Corp.
            The PENTAX Q-S1 is the latest addition to the popular PENTAX Q series of compact-sized, interchangeable-lens digital cameras. The  camera is equipped with a wide range of features to make photography more enjoyable, including a 12.4 megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor to deliver high-quality images, high-sensitivity shooting to a top sensitivity of ISO 12800, and a reliable shake-reduction system using a state-of-the-art gyro sensor. It also provides a variety of creative tools, such as bokeh control and Smart Effect to add the desired filters with just a simple turn of a dial. The PENTAX Q-S1 creates more personalized, creative images easily and beautifully.
           In addition, RICOH IMAGING is pleased to announce the launch of a color to order® service for the new PENTAX Q-S1 digital camera. This unprecedented service, (originally launched with the Q7 in July 2013), has been popularly accepted by many users as a new, fashionable way of expressing one’s personal taste and style.
            There are 4 standard color combinations and additional 36 body and grip colors  taken straight from the runway, such as champagne, khaki green, and charcoal black, and can be ordered through the color to order® service. The PENTAX-01 STANDARD PRIME lens color can also be chosen from five different options to make the entire imaging system even more desirable and eye-catching.

Pricing and Availability

The Q-S1 will be available at retailers nationwide and at in August 2014 for a suggested retail price of $499.95

Ordering for the custom colors will be available in August 2014

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

Main Features

1. Classic, high-grade design

The Q-S1 sports a classic design, with meticulous attention paid even to the texture of the finest details, making it a perfect everyday camera to carry around under all kinds of situations. Its Quick Dial and grip are made of high-grade aluminum for an exclusive look, and are symmetrically positioned for holding comfort and visual attractiveness. For the first time in the Q series, synthetic leather has been used for the front panel, to improve the texture and appearance.

2.12.4 Megapixel image sensor to deliver high-quality images

Due to its 12.4 megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, the Q-S1 delivers high-quality and high-resolution images. Coupled with the state-of-the-art high-speed engine name “Q ENGINE”, it also minimizes annoying noises effectively at all ISO sensitivity levels to deliver rich-gradation, fine-texture images, even in high-sensitivity shooting using a top sensitivity of ISO 12800. It also offers outstanding autofocus accuracy during low-illumination shooting, since it assures pinpoint focus on the subject even at the faintest light level of EV 0.

3. Outstanding operability

Thanks to the incorporation of the Q ENGINE with an optimized algorithm, the Q-S1 assures quick, flawless response at all phases of shooting operation, including a short start-up time of approximately one second. The Quick Dial also lets the user assign as many as four favorite functions, including Smart Effect, aspect ratio, AF/MF switching, focus assist ON/OFF and ND filter ON/OFF, for instant mode switching during shooting.

4. Dependable SR mechanism

The Q-S1’s advanced SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism features a state-of-the-art gyro sensor to effectively compensate for annoying camera shake. It produces sharp, blur-free images even under shooting conditions prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in the twilight.

5. Full HD movie recording, even during high-sensitivity shooting

The Q-S1 captures beautiful Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, at 30 frames per second, in the H.264 recording format) with minimal noise. It also provides an interval HD movie recording function to add more creativity to visual expression. The user can also take advantage of advanced image-processing tools like the Smart Effect modes* and an array of in-body movie editing tools. The Continuous AF (AF-C) mode** has been newly added to these creative options, allowing the user to capture a moving subject in sharp focus during movie recording.
6. Large, high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD monitor

The Q-S1 features a high-resolution 3.0-inch 3:2-proportion LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. This monitor is treated with AR (Anti-Reflection) coating to produce sharp, bright images even under bright sunshine by effectively minimizing glare and reflection on the screen. Since its wide-view design makes it possible to view the image from 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, the user has a clear view of the on-screen image even when facing the monitor from an angle.

7. An array of image-processing tools to create personalized images

(1) Custom Image function to add distinctive finishing touches
The Custom Image function adds a distinctive finishing touch to an image, faithfully expressing the photographer’s creative intention or reproducing the ambience of a specific scene. The user has a choice of 11 Custom Image modes, including Bleach Bypass, which produces a dramatic, movie-like finish.
(2) Digital filter function to apply artistic visual effects
The digital filter function lets the photographer apply a variety of visual effects without requiring a computer. Of 17 total options, 11 filters including Toy Camera, Invert Color and Posterization can be applied even during the shooting of still images and movie clips, while the remaining six can be applied only during image editing. The user can even apply multiple filters to a single image to produce more inventive visual effects.
(3) Smart Effect function for simple dial control of finishing touches
Using the Quick Dial positioned on the camera’s front panel, the user can quickly and effortlessly add a desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the applied effect on the LCD monitor. From nine Smart Effect modes — including Antique for a nostalgic atmosphere and Fade Color for a chic, faded-color finish — the user can assign four favorite modes to the dial in advance.

8. Effortless bokeh control

The Q-S1’s unique bokeh control function allows the user to make the subject stand out by automatically assessing the relative distance between the in-focus subject and obtrusive objects in the field of view.  Since this function simplifies the advanced, SLR-caliber technique of intentional defocusing, even a first-time digital camera user can effortlessly capture high-quality images with beautifully defocused foregrounds and backgrounds.

9. Simple, user-friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes

The Q-S1 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from an range of options including Portrait, Landscape and Macro for a given scene or subject. Since the camera optimizes all affecting parameters, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness, the user can concentrate on the image composition and shutter opportunity. The Q-S1 also provides 21 Scene modes including Night Scene Portrait, Pet and Backlight Silhouette, allowing even an entry-level digital photographer to choose the best exposure settings for a complicated scene or subject with the simple choice of an icon on the LCD monitor.

10. Digital SLR-caliber exposure system

The Q-S1’s comprehensive exposure system assures all the advantages and flexibility of a lens-interchangeable digital camera system. In addition to the all-purpose Programmed AE (P) mode, which automatically selects an optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed, it also provides the Aperture-Priority AE (Av) and Shutter-Priority AE (TV) modes for manual setting of a desired aperture or shutter speed, as well as Metered Manual (M) mode for complete user control over exposure settings.

11. DRII mechanism for effective dust removal

The Q-S1’s DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism effectively prevents annoying dust spots from spoiling captured images, even after the user changes lenses out in the open. Like the PENTAX K-3 and 645Z digital SLR cameras, it employs a highly efficient supersonic vibration mechanism, which vibrates the image sensor at high speed to shake dust off its surface.

12. Other features

Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards
High-speed continuous shooting of up to five images per second
HDR mode to composite three images of varying exposures into one photo with extra-wide dynamic range
CTE white-balance control mode to emphasize the predominant color of a particular scene, such as the sunset
Multi-exposure mode (up to nine exposures on a single image), with an auto exposure compensation function
Remote control receptors on front and back panels
Digital level function to check the camera’s horizontal/vertical inclination
Digital Camera Utility 5 software (latest version) included

Optional Accessories

O-CC151 Camera Case
A camera case exclusively designed for the Q-S1, with two strap lugs at the sides to keep the camera suspended at a level position for delay-free shooting. It not only protects the camera from dust and scratches, but adds a sense of elegance and style to the camera. Made of synthetic leather, with a choice of black, cream or gray color.
Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1

O-CC1512 Camera Case (with front cover)
A camera case exclusively designed for the Q-S1, with two strap lugs at the sides to keep the camera suspended at a level position for delay-free shooting. Comes with a front cover to protect the lens surface from dust and scratches. Made of synthetic leather, with a choice of black, cream or red color.
Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1
O-CC1513 Holster Case
A camera case designed to fasten on a belt for quick removal of the camera. The main holster holds the camera with a lens attached, while two neighboring compartments hold the 06 and 02 lenses, respectively. Made of brown-colored synthetic leather, with a ring to attach a strap. A hand strap is also included.
Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1, Q7, Q10 and Q

O-CC1516 Lens Case for 02/06
A lens case for exclusive use with the 02 or 06 lens, with internal padding to protect the lens from dust and scratches. Made of black-colored synthetic leather, with a ring to attach a strap.

O-ST151 Three-way Strap
A versatile three-way camera strap, providing three different functions — diagonal suspension, neck strap or  hand strap — by varying the arrangement of its two parts. Made of synthetic leather, with a choice of black or cream color.

Usable model: PENTAX Q-S1, Q7, Q10 and Q

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

# 18 - Our current two-year RV trip across North America. This week's; Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. I used the Pentax K-5 and the smc PENTAX DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fish-Eye


 Hi Photographer friends,

This week we find ourselves in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area just outside Las Vegas. It's not the most magnificent Park we have in the Country, but if you visit Las Vegas, you should plan for a visit. 

THe images herein were all taken with the Pentax K-5 and the smc PENTAX DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fish-Eye. This is really a fun lens to use. It can distort the images but if you keep the lens perpendicular to the horizon, it shows very little distortion.

Because so much of the image in condensed in this ultra wide angle lens, the colors are more saturated. The skies gives this dark blue without the use of a polarizing filter. You actually cannot use a polarizer with this lens as the skies would have dark spots. Try it, and see for yourself. You cannot use a filter as the front lens curvature is in the way.

We are having the time of our life travelling across this big Country. 

Thank you for visiting,

Yvon Bourque

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