Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Images of my trip to the Anza Borrego Desert of California. Pentax K-7.

Visitors to this page also like "Recommended Reading" on the right column. Email: brqyvn@gmail.com

Hi Pentaxian friends.

Maybe nature did not cooperate as much as I had hoped. The temperature in the desert reached 114 degree Fahrenheit at mid-day. It was so hot, that I couldn't touch any metal part on my Jeep. I spent a good portion of the day in the hotel's swimming pool, and contrary to what I usually complain about swimming pools, the water was too hot.

The town we were in, within the Anza Borrego Desert, is called: Borrego Springs. Before the run, I had time to drive around the small town, and discovered something unique. Dozens of  metal sculptures placed at random through the desert. As the story goes, a multi-millionaire , “Dennis Avery”, purchased land in the area, formed Galleta Meadows Estates in Borrego Springs and commissioned artist “Ricardo Breceda” to populate the land with sculptures of animals that roamed this part of the world in ancient times. This alone is a good reason to visit the region. Here are some of the sculptures:

Now, for the four wheeling night run...well it didn't go as I had planned. It was so hot that the Jeep did not run good. The fuel system had symptoms of vapor lock and I decided not to join. I wasn't the only one as about half dozen of vehicle owners decided not to join after all. None-the-less, I had a great time and made new friends. Here are some photos:

Sometimes it feels like the Jeep belongs behind my Chevy Silverado.

All photos were taken with the Pentax K-7.

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Anza Borrego Desert four wheeling weekend. Bringing the K-7 and the K-x along.

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

This is Miss "Peggy"
I am joining a group of four wheelers this weekend for an adventure at the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

The group is a Ford Bronco enthusiasts and I will be one of the few people driving a Jeep. A good friend of mine, also my mechanic when it comes to off-road vehicles, has a Ford Bronco and invited me to this run. It's a night run, doubling the fun...and the risks. We don't know which trails we're going on until we get there. Only the organizers know the agenda. What we know is that we will leave at around 5:00 P.M. Saturday night and return way after midnight Sunday Morning. We were told to make sure we had plenty of water and some kind of off-road lights, as it's more difficult to maneuver at night.

I'm a little nervous, but there is going to be many other vehicles, and four wheelers all help each others, at least I hope. I may be the only Jeep among all the Ford Broncos.

I intend to take many pictures and video as well, using the K-7 and the K-x. I will be posting on my return Monday. Hopefully, I won't have too many pictures of a broken Jeep! I think Miss Peggy will make me proud.
This is the Main Highway!

They live here.

The old Ford Broncos are very good 4WD vehicles.

Come back next week to see pictures and videos taken with the K-7 and K-x.

Thank you for looking,

Yvon Bourque

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

As in Bob Dylan song, "The times they are a-changin' ". Magazines, books...all going to e-reading devices. What will be the impact on photography?

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

Simulation, but soon to be reality.

Simulation, but soon to be reality.

For several years now, we have been told that printed books and magazines were rapidly disappearing. It’s  noticeable when glancing through the magazines section and the aisles of any bookstore. As it turns out, it wasn't as rapid as predicted, but alas, I think we are at the periphery of changes, and for real this time. For the times they are a-changin'

Most magazines and many books have been available in e-format for a while, but the reading devices have been limited to PC and laptop computers. Portability has been the major obstacle to the e-format publishing. Even the small notebook computers are too big for continuous and easy transport and the screens of cell phones, such as the Apple iPhone, are too small for easy reading. The first generation of portable reading devices such as the Amazon’s Kindle, the Sony e-reader and the Barnes & Nobles’ Nook were too limited, but finally, I believe we have come to the age of e-reading for the masses. For the times they are a-changin'

The iPad and the newest Amazon’s Kindle have made e-reading and publishing available at a reasonable price (especially the Kindle) and easily transportable. I prefer the new Kindle with Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities. The screen is easy to read, even in bright sunlight, and at $189.00, it’s a bargain. Note that it can hold around 3,500 books and the battery life can last up to one Month. Purchasing e-books is almost instant and the prices seldom exceed $9.95. There are thousand of free books available as well. Major newspaper are available on a monthly subscription and blogsites are also available and published on the Kindle. (I will have this blogsite published on Amazon Kindle in a few days if not tonight.) For the times they are a-changin'

My first two Pentax books, for the K10D and the K100D were sold and published as paperback books, but the subsequent books, the K20D, K-7 and K-x, were published in e-format (PDF) and I sold thousands. It was easier for me to produce and much cheaper for the buyers. They were also delivered instantly…well almost. For the times they are a-changin'

Well…”The times they are a changin’” indeed and my next books for the upcoming Pentax DSLRs and EVIL cameras will be published and available on Amazon Kindle. With the Kindle, the format that Amazon uses, it is also readable on any PC, Laptop, Cell Phone and other devices such as the iPad.  Music can be loaded through an SDHC card and the Kindle also reads PDF files. Granted that the images are in shades of grey, versus the iPad’s entire color screen, I’m ascertaining that the future kindle devices will slowly migrate to color as well. For the times they are a-changin'

So there you have it, my humble opinion in writing. Time will tell if I was right, but if I’m not this time around, I will be in the very near future. For the times they are a-changin'

Any of you readers have a Kindle or an e-reader device? Any readers loading Photography books on their devices? My Kindle is on order, but will not be shipped before early September. That’s a long time to wait, but a sign that they are selling well. For the times they are a-changin'

Thank you for a-readin'

Yvon Bourque

Friday, August 6, 2010

You don't always have to take pictures that are true to life!

Visitors to this page also like "Recommended Reading" on the right column. Email: brqyvn@gmail.com

Hi Pentaxian friends.

The DSLRs available today are exceptionally marvels of electronic and engineering. They reproduce images with the best accuracy ever (Although debatable with film purists with large format view cameras). Anyway, I am not trying to get in a debate about which media best reproduce images, but for encouraging you to try other methods of presenting your images.

There are no rules as to what a photograph should look like, except, maybe, when legal documents and photojournalist  are the purposes of the photographs. Case-in-point...I took six random images in my collection and manipulated them with a fun little plug-in called "fractalius", available for download at around $ 39.95.

Of course there are a multitude of plug-ins that can transform your images into oil paintings, water color posters, HDR, etc, but none are as unrealistic and yet as fun as this plug-in.

Check these out. No...I'm not going to win a photo contest with these, but they are special.

Thank you for reading, and have a great weekend. Go take some pictures.

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trip to Northern California, San Jose, Santa Cruz and Capitola. Pentax K-7.

Visitors to this page also like "Recommended Reading" on the right column. Email: brqyvn@gmaill.com

Hi Pentaxian friends.

We have friends in the San Jose area and went there for the 4th of July celebration. What a great time we had. We stayed for an extra day and drove to Santa Cruz and then to Capitola. What wonderful small towns they are. Santa Cruz is very popular with surfers while Capitola brings the vacationers.

I just wanted to share some of the pictures taken with my Pentax K-7.

Surfer rushing to the beach.

I thought the object was to stay on the water!

Now this older guy knows how it's done.

He had enough for the day.

Under the Santa Cruz pier.

You can almost touch them.

Capitola is a cute vacation place.

You can rent these villas for the weekend as well...next time.

There is a river that runs through it as well.

Even on a cloudy day, the place is beaming.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque