Sunday, August 30, 2009

Black and White pictures using the Pentax K-7

Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email:

Hi Pentaxian friends.

It is a little difficult to emphasize on taking black & white pic­tures, when modern DSLR cameras do such a good job with colors. Shooting, or rather, turning your photo to black & white or even sepia tone can make an otherwise bland photo, interesting.

Black & White pictures have gained popularity in the past few years. Perhaps it is because of the nostalgia it projects. Because you only have two colors to worry about, (black & white) you can play with the contrast, the clarity, the vibrance, the saturation and the luminance of colors. In Photoshop Lightroom, which I use, although the luminance is in color, it acts like a filter for black & white photography. Adjusting the blue will darken or lighten the sky. Adjusting the yellow and green will make the foliage darker or lighter and so on. Give it a try.

You don't use Photoshop! You can do the same "in-camera" with the K-7. Here's how:

With the K-7, use the four-way controller right button. A menu appears giving several adjustment possibilities when pressing the four-way controller down button. However, if you press the four-way controller right button again, eight preset settings are available. To the far right, you will see the [BW] icon. Navigate to it with the four-way controller and press the OK button. You are now in the B&W mode. As long as you keep the [BW] settings on, the camera will shoot on B&W. Using the live-view mode, you will actually be able to see the scene in black and white and the file is still saved as a RAW file if you choose to.

You can still modify the black and white photos further, in-camera. Display the image you want to modify further on the LCD screen and press the four-way controller down. Navigate to the Digital Filter and press the OK button. You can use any of the digital filters with the black & white image. You can even stack multiple filters. How sweet it is!

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque
P.S. Learn more about the Pentax K-7 here: Pentax K-7 ebook.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to do "in-camera" quick photo montages and contact sheets with the Pentax K-7.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Image 6

Image 7

Image 8

Image 9

Image 10

Image 11

Image 12
Click on images above for larger rendition.

Hi Pentaxian friends.

The new Pentax K-7 has a lot of "in-camera" possibilities. You can apply many types of filters, changes your RAW file to JPEG or TIFF, turn color images to black & white, etc.

One of my preferred "in-camera" function is called INDEX. Index lets you join a number of images together and creates new images from them. You can do photo-montages, contact sheets, etc. This is a fun option and all of it done without having to use a computer. Since the K-7 has a 3” LCD monitor, it’s much easier to see what the final composition will look like.

Several options are available and are accessible by navigating around with the four-way controller. You can pick your layout, the number of images you want to include, the background color, how to select your images (all images, manually or by folder), select the images and complete the montage.

It is accessible while viewing your images on the LCD monitor and pressing the down arrow of the four-way controller (the one with the flash symbol).

1. Chose Index as shown in Image 1.
2. Chose your layout as shown in Image 2.
3. Chose number of images to include as shown in Image 3.
4. Decide on the background as per image 4.
5. Decide which images to use...from folders, or individually images or all images as per image 5.
6. Select your images as per image 6.
7. Image 7 appears when your number of images has been attain.
8. Create the index or photo montage as per image 8.
9. The camera converts the single images into an index in image 9.
10. Images 10, 11 and 12 are example of results.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sometimes, everything goes your way, but sometimes...nothing does, except the Pentax K-7.

View at 7000 ft elevation.
There is nothing like having lunch looking at the polluted L.A. County side of the Mountains.

Looks good to eat...but I left that for the birds.

Ms. Peggy thinks the mountains belong to her!

North side of the Mountains looking down at Silverwood Lake.

It's time to head back home.

Ms. Peggy is having indigestion!

Now, the photo arrangements herein were done in-camera, with the K-7.

Click on the images for larges size.
The function is called "Index" and it lets you make JPEG photo montages right in-camera.


Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email:
Hi Pentaxian friends.

It was over 100 degrees F today where I live (at the foot of the Mojave Desert). Since the air is cooler at high altitude, I got in my Jeep “Ms. Peggy" and headed toward the San Bernardino Mountains. This is one of my favorite getaway places. I brought the Pentax K-7, some water, food, tools and my camera bag with lenses. We stopped at the gas station and filled-up just in case we would lose track of time and drive more than anticipated.

Once at an elevation of around 7,000 feet, I stopped to take some pictures. The first problem…I left my camera bag at home. I guess I was more concerned about food and water. All I had was the 18-55mm lens kit. I also forgot my tripod. Oh well, I took some pictures anyway, I still had a range of 18 to 55mm. I kept on going higher and the temperature dropped to around 80 degrees F. Quite comfortable compared to home. I walked around and took some more pictures. I had lunch on a big boulder looking over the polluted Los Angeles side of the Mountains.

After climbing even higher for a while, I decided it was time to go down using a dirt road I had never been on before. It turned out to be narrower and narrower as I was driving down, then the dirt changed to rocks and holes. There was no turning back. Oh well, that is why I have a Jeep. After a while, the rocks were again replaced by a fairly nice dirt road but then…Ms. Peggy stopped running. There I was in the middle of nowhere with a stalled engine. I have a GPS, actually, I have two, so I knew where I was but walking to the nearest town was going to be a five mile walk at the very least.

I tried to restart the jeep for one half hour to no avail. I was beginning to worry that I would eventually drain the battery. I was sure it was a fuel supply problem, but after checking every part under the hood, I found my problem. This Jeep runs on a carburetor and has an old school distributor, rotor, and all the works. From all the vibrations caused by the rocky road, the bolts holding the distributor in place got loose and the timing got way out of position. I turned it by hand until the jeep started again, tightened the holding bolts and drove back home. I guess I will have Miss. Peggy go to the doctor this week for an overall tune-up.

I got a little worry, but she brought me home. When you get stuck up there, there are no towing services. You need to rig something yourself or call a friend if your cell phone has any reception at all. You can’t leave your vehicle in the wilderness as when you come back to get it, it might be gone or it might just be the frame of a Jeep sitting there.

Oh well, no reason to worry about it anymore, I’m home. One thing is sure when you venture in the backwoods with a 4 x 4, eventually you will get stuck or break down. I got lucky this time around…

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Friday, August 21, 2009

Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email:

Hi Pentaxian friends.

My last post, "More photo essay with the K-7, the 18-55mm and 50-200mm kit lenses. " someone replied that the photos were all underexposed or too dark. I got to think about it and since I don't calibrate my monitor (which I should) maybe my monitor doesn't render the images correctly. I am posting the same images, manipulated in PhotoShop to be lighter. Are those images better or is it a matter of taste? Maybe I need a new monitor!


Yvon Bourque

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More photo essay with the K-7, the 18-55mm and 50-200mm kit lenses.

Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email:

Hi Pentaxian friends,

This is the second post of my photo essay this past weekend with the K-7 and the 18-55mm and 50-200mm kit lenses. I used a tripod for most images. I think the images aren't that bad, considering the use of Pentax cheapest lenses. Please let me know what you think. I'm seriously wondering if the lenses costing three to four time as much are necessary.

Click to enlarge.

For those snob Nikon owners, D5000 is on it's second recall!

Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email:

Hi Pentaxian friends.

For those that like to own a Nikon because they are one of the two big camera makers in the world...sometimes being a follower isn't all that great. Case in point: The new Nikon D5000 is on it's second recall, all within one Month of its introduction.

You're not a Nikon user, you're a Canon user, well the 1Ds MKIII had to be recalled too. I understand that the 5D MKII had some problems as well. I do like the Canon 5D MKII, but for about a third of the price I got the Pentax K-7 that gives comparable results.

It's amazing to me how many people are followers. Those are the same people that always cheer for the winning winning team, after the results are in, they always voted for the winner, after the results were in, etc. It's the false sense of security. Don't be a follower, get a Pentax K-7 because it's a great camera at the very best price. You make the picture...not the camera.

I too wish I had a Nikon D3 or a Canon 1Ds Mk III, so that I could sell them and get the money to purchase another K-7 and lenses.

Just my "not-so-humble" opinion.

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Five day vacation in San Diego with the K-7 and the kit lenses only.

The church facade.

Look what I saw in one of the many gardens!

View from the inside court.

One young child after the Sunday Service.

You can see that the Church has been resurfaced many times.

Gate to one of the gardens.

A long porch leading to yet, another garden.

You can click on the images above to enlarge. Pictures above are all from Mission San Diego.

Visitors to this page also liked: See "Recommended Reading" on the right column. We honor reciprocal links. Email:

Hi pentaxian friends,

I'm sorry that I was not able to post anything for the last seven days. My wife and I went to San Diego for a mini-vacation. I had my laptop but the Hotel we stayed at, which was paid in advance, had problems with the Internet installation and I couldn't get to my blogsite. Life is tough without Internet. How did we ever do anything without it?

Anyway, we're back and here is my first post in a week. I decided that I would only bring the minimum, in terms of photographic equipment, to San Diego. So I brought the K-7, the 18-55mm kit lens and the 50-200mm kit lens. I also brought a Rode Stereo Microphone for attempting to shoot videos with the K-7 and a mini tripod.

I surprised myself and I was able to survive almost a week without my expensive DA and DA* lenses. In fact I often have problems, with front or back focusing, with some of my more expensive lenses. I had no such problem with any of the two lenses. They were spot on every time. The K-7 has the ability to correct distortion such as barrel and pincushion, and also fixes the chromatic aberration. Why the need for very expensive lenses all the times?

The bottom line is that I was able to take pictures as good as I would have with my expensive lenses. I guess that if I were to crop all the above pictures to 100%, there would be a difference. Does cropping to 100% something that needs to be done with every picture? I don't think so, except if you are in the business of testing lenses and equipment.

The image quality of any particular lens is often confused with out-of-focus images. Most of my pictures were taken at f/8 and all were taken at ISO 100. That kept the depth-of-field moderately wide and helped in the accurate focusing. ISO 100 produced the minimum noise, although some images have a little noise due to cropping on some of the images. When I needed bokeh, I used the 50-200mm lens at 200mm.

Imagine if I were a professional images could have been fantastic, all with the use of the cheapest Pentax lenses. Go figure!

Tomorrow, I will post the pictures I took, with the same lenses, but at Pacific Beach, near San Diego. Then, I will post some video with stereo sound and music. The K-7 really can do it all.

Thank you for reading.

Yvon Bourque