Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wildlife in the City, with your Pentax. (Recycled post)

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

With more than 600 posted articles in the past three years, it's inconceivable that readers would surf through all older posts. Some of those posts still apply to today, and in the future, I will be recycling some of the older articles.

We all dreamed at one time or another, as photographers (beginners or Pros), of getting an assignment from National Geographic. Wouldn’t it be cool to be sent on assignment to Africa or Australia to photograph indigenous wild animals? Well, give yourself the assignment. Surely, there is a zoo near you, at least closer than Africa. Visit your local zoo and photograph these wild animals in their natural habitat. "Yeah right you say! These animals are behind bars, surrounded by concrete walls, swimming in a concrete pool; that’s not what we call a natural habitat." Give yourself an assignment to take pictures of wild animals at the zoo, so that it appears that these animals are in the wild. It can be done. You just need to use the right equipment, follow a few rules and settings, and voila. It’s good if you have a fast lens, say f/1.8 to f/2.8. It’s better if you have a telephoto. It’s best if you have a fast f/2.8 telephoto. It’s perfect if your telephoto is a  PENTAX DA Star 200mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto.

When photographing animals in a zoo setting, try to get close to your subject. Use a telephoto or you can crop your image later if getting close is impossible. Use the largest aperture your lens permits as this will make the background blurry and will camouflage man-made structures. Using the telephoto will help even more in that respect. Sometimes, shooting from a low point and looking up to your subject will help, as the sky likely looks the same in the jungle as it does in the City. Position yourself so that the background has as much vegetation as possible. When the background is blurry, vegetation looks the same as if it was from any continent in the world. If there is a chain link fence, put your lens right to the fence (except if the animals can reach) and center the lens with the chain link opening, to minimize seeing the fence. You can crop the edges of the image later on.

Don’t take foolish risks and do obey the park rules and regulations. I hope that by taking pictures of zoo animals, many of which are on the endangered species list, will make all of us understand how important these wonderful creatures are and how beautiful each specie is. Everyday, hundreds of animals are killed for profit or die from disappearance of natural habitat caused by humans. If they all disapear, we too will disapear, eventually. The whole planet is a delicate ecosystem.

Have a pleasant experience, and it would be great to see some of your pictures.
And this next picture, is from the animals' perspective. Another endangered specie.

Yvon Bourque

Friday, November 19, 2010

An Interview with Ned Bunnell, President of Pentax USA

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

The Online Photographer

An Interview with Ned Bunnell, President of Pentax USA - Introduction: A couple of weeks ago I found myself composing an email to Ned Bunnell, President of Pentax Imaging USA, to ask him to clarify a rumor. I ended...

Topaz Labs have an exceptional Plug-in package. Look at some samples , all taken with the Pentax DSLRs.

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

During my visit to the San Diego Photo Expo last weekend, I couldn't resist buying a plug-in package from Topaz Labs. The software is increadibly easy to use and can make your images pop, or it can simply make a flat and dull picture into a good image.

The most incredible plug-in is the masking, which I can't demonstrate here. You have to look at their demo online here.

The posted flat images were modified, with some of the plug-ins, for example. It took me a total of 15 minutes to do them all and to post them here. There are about 100+ different effects. The Denoise is great. The masking is just incredible.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pentax K-5 Firmware 1.01 now available. Improves the number of consecutive RAW and high ISO shots in high speed mode to 20.

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

Firmware 1.01 ready to download.
Hi Pentaxian friends.

Firmware Available for Download PENTAX K-5 FIRMWARE UPDATE VERSION 1.01

Version 1.01

 Go to Camera, then to Digital SLR, then to K-5 and then click on the box for Firmware and hit submit.

Improved the number of consecutive RAW and high ISO shots able to be captured in high speed mode before buffer slowdown (e.g. previously buffer slowdown would occur after approx 8 frames, now it's approx 20 frames).

General performance and stability improvements.

You will need a blank, formatted memory card with a capacity of 32 MB or higher.
You will need your camera's USB cable, or a memory card reader.
Make sure your battery is fully charged (or that you are using an optional AC adapter) to prevent power interruptions during the update process.


Click the Windows link below to download the self-extracting firmware archive file (k5_v101w.exe). Click SAVE to save the download file to your computer's hard drive. Saving it to your desktop, for example, will make it easy to find after the download is complete. Please note: this download file is not the firmware update file itself, but a compressed archive that must be expanded in the following step.

Next, double click the download file to expand it. Once expanded, you will see a readme text file (README.TXT) and the firmware update file itself (FWDC209B.BIN). The readme file contains instructions similar to what you are reading on this page.

You must now copy the firmware update file (FWDC209B.BIN) to your camera's memory card. When you connect the camera directly to your computer (or if you use a card reader), the memory card appears as a removable disk drive in the My Computer window. Make sure you are using a blank/formatted memory card, then drag & drop (or copy & paste) the firmware update file (FWDC209B.BIN) from the desktop to your removable disk window, which is the camera's memory card. Please note: You must put the firmware update file (FWDC209B.BIN) directly onto the removable disk; it cannot be in any sub-folders. It must be on the top (or root) level of the removable disk.

Now that you have copied the firmware update file (FWDC209B.BIN) to your camera's memory card, you are ready to install it. Make sure your camera is turned off and disconnected from the computer. Make sure that the memory card containing the firmware update file is inserted into your camera. Also, make sure you that you have adequate power in your camera. We recommend you use a Pentax AC adapter to perform the firmware update, or make certain that your battery has a full charge.

To begin the update, turn your camera on while holding down the MENU button. If you have followed the above instructions precisely, the camera will begin to load the new firmware. You will see the message "NOW LOADING" then the camera will display the firmware update menu.

Select "YES" using your camera's 4-way controller (the default is "NO") then press your camera's OK button.

The camera will now update its firmware. This may take a couple of minutes, so be careful to not interrupt the process.

When the update is complete, you will see "COMPLETE" on your camera's LCD screen. Turn the camera off and remove the memory card.

With the memory card removed from the camera, check your new firmware version by turning the camera back on while holding down the MENU button. Before you begin to take pictures again, be sure to format your memory card to erase the firmware update file.


Mac users can follow this same process after clicking on the Macintosh download link below.

Download and save the Macintosh download file.
Decompress it if necessary (this step may be automatic).

Connect the camera to the computer.

Copy the firmware file (FWDC209B.BIN) to your camera's memory card, then disconnect the camera from the computer.

Proceed with the installation of the firmware as outlined above.

San Diego Photo Expo 2010. Pentax was there and represented by Ken Curry and Evan Bunnell, (Yes Ned's son)

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

The Pentax 645D in all it's slpendor. Oh how I wish I could own one someday!

You see how happy I was for a few minutes, holding the 645D. I'll get one someday.

My wife and I drove to San Diego this past weekend to attend the San Diego Photo Expo. Actually, the Expo was held at the San Diego Fairgrounds, which is actually located in  Del Mar. Pentax was well represented by Ken Curry and Evan Bunnell (Yes...Ned's son). As it always is with Pentax employees, they were very amicable and professional. I got a chance to handle the Pentax 645D and was I ever impressed.  I want one, but it will have to wait for a five years or more.

Ken is in a serious discussion withthis highly interested customer.

Evan demonstrating the 645D AF for a potential client while Ken shows the K-5 to another enthusiast photographer

Ken explained the main attributes of the 645D and I filmed him in a four-segment video. I used the Pentax K-5 and a Rode Stereo mic. I will be posting the video as soon as I complete the editing, which may take me several days. This is the first 1080p video I take with the K-5. I am using Adobe Premiere 9 to edit it. It's a little more complicated than I thought, and the instructions are actually...not very user friendly. None-the-less, I will prevail and put a video together soon.

Ken did let me know that Pentax were getting back to the sales reps approach, to some degree, and that more stores are expected to carry the Pentax Line this coming year. That's good news for all Pentaxians that got frustrated by the lack of Pentax equipment in brick and mortar stores. The introduction of the 645D, the K-5 and the K-r , which are all extraordinary cameras, will certainly contribute in convincing the camera stores to stock-up in  Pentax equipment. After all, the 645D and K-5 are both in the top six best DSLRs in the world, according to DxOMark. As Pentax regains its momentum, you know that the Camera Stores will beg to carry the Pentax line. That's the way the world turns!

Ken told me that Pentax will be introducing more lenses for the 645D, although all the legacy lenses, AF or MF  work perfectly well with the Pentax 645D. It seems that Pentax has dominated the photographic news this past few months or so, with these new cameras.

Pentax is often looked at as the underdog, but that's about to change. The one thing I hope will never change, is the friendliness of the Pentax Company as a whole, here is the United States anyway. Name me another major camera manufacturer where you can actually talk to the executives. Ned Bunnell even has his own blog and exchanges comments with Pentax users. Being a Pentaxian is more like belonging to a family. I haven't met any Pentax employee that I didn't like.

Back to the Photo Expo, it was a great source of information, with all the seminars and presentations. I liked the approach of this photo show and learned from some of the most prestigious photographers. It was a great weekend!

Frankly, Del Mar is also a superb place. We extended our weekend and stayed there through Monday.
Thanks for reading,

Del Mar beach...most beautiful sunsets
Surfer Joe was there for the weekend!

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The new Pentax 645D will help all of us, even if you don't buy one. How? Read on...

The article below was first posted on April 1, 2009. These words were my speculations at the time. Looks like my speculations turned to reality. Way to go Pentax.


Pentaxians are not followers...they are interesting leaders.

Hi Pentaxian friends.

Pentax announced the resurrection of the Medium Format 645D SLR and had mock ups displayed at the Photo Imaging Expo (PIE) in Tokyo in March. Although I will probably never have enough disposable income to purchase one, this move will benefit all of us. The price is speculated to be approximately $10.000 for a sensor around 30MP. That's a fair price to pay if you are a Professional photographer.

The Medium Format is dominated by just a few companies: Hasselblad, Mamiya, the new upcoming Leica S2, all at prices ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. If Pentax actually produce the 645D and sells it in the $10,000 range, they will once again be the innovators and leaders they once were. Forget the full frame DSLRs, they will by-pass that format all together and go the the top of the line, medium format with 30MP plus. They already have a full line of medium format autofocus lenses. The sensor ratio will be more usable and prints in the 8" x 10", 11" x 14", and 16" x 20" will be easily made without much cropping at all. For us, that use the English measurement system, these sizes are standard and frames already made are found everywhere.

The benefits for all of us will be that Pentax will produce a Professional DSLR, and a Medium Format size at that. They will be up there with the Hasselblads, Mamiyas and a few other brands. The word will get around that Pentax has a Medium Format Pro-Level DSLR and that many of the top Pros are using it. The entry-level photographers will buy entry-level Pentax DSLRs, emulating the Pros. They have done that with the Nikon and Canon brands for a while now.

In the real world, Pentax will have better image quality than the full-frame DSLRs, just like it was during the film era. Photographers all over the world will live happily thereafter! Pentax will sell more cameras, they will make more money with the APS-C and Medium Format cameras, they will have more R & D money, they will come up with better cameras, and the circle will be unbroken again.

Hey...don't laugh, it might just happen that way!

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Get Away, in Palm Springs with my red Pentax K-r. Hotel California

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

"The Get away"
By:Anne Bourque

Most of us love to get away for a weekend. We, that work full time, love to escape from our fast paced work week when possible.

If we are very lucky, now and then we are able to stretch our weekend out to three days. It can feel like a true mini vacation and can be the ultimate treat. Just enough time to unwind and relax without pinching the budget.

We (Yvon and I) are so fortunate to live on the west coast, California. I could name more than a few beautiful and wonderful places to visit; but California is a very large state. Finding a place to sneak off too without driving four to eight hours and without fighting traffic has been paramount to us.

So, after visiting and staying in many different areas; one of our very favorite places to stay, during the winter and early spring is Palm Springs. The weather is wonderful most of the time and there are so many things to do, or you can just do nothing at all and feel completely refreshed.

Many years ago, while driving down the main street of Palm Springs, just outside of the busy small downtown area we passed by a hotel with the name, Hotel California. At the time we both started into song, with “Hotel California.” We later were privileged enough to see the Eagles in concert near Palm Springs.

There are so many places to stay in the Palm Springs area, but we have fallen in love with Hotel California. After all “you can check out but you can never leave.” I wish we never had to leave.
Hotel California is in the true Spanish Style tradition with its’ architecture. We like the smaller size and peaceful ambiance. The large Spanish walkway is so inviting once you open the gate to the entrance.

All of the rooms face the beautiful garden and pool area. No starring out at a parking lot here. There is plenty of sun or shade, which ever you prefer. I love listening to the water fountain and enjoy all the assortment of birds, especially the hummingbirds taking their morning bath.  Take a tour.

The service has always been fantastic. All the rooms have a microwave and small refrigerator and kitchen area. There are plenty of towels, which has always been an issue with me. They even have beautiful large towels for the pool and Jacuzzi.

Yes, it is fun to stay at a large resort, but for that special quiet “get away,” I highly recommend, “Hotel California.”
For those of you who love to take pictures, there are so many lovely places to take advantage of; from the top of the tram to a leisurely hike down into the Indian Canyons and with the beautiful extreme contrast of colors you can’t make a mistake. So enjoy and spend a mini vacation weekend in Palm Springs!

If you ever go to Hotel California, tell them Anne and Yvon sent you.

760 322-8855 (Local)
424 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
Go enjoy Hotel California!

Now...enjoy the Eagles' Hotel California. Click below.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who wouldn't have a happy face holding the Pentax 645D?

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

 Hi Pentaxian friends.

Just one picture of me taken by my wife while I was handling the Pentax 645D at the San Diego Photo Expo. You know what I would like for Christmas...Christmas 2015 maybe!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Help needed uploading any of my e-books (PDF Files) to the iPAD and the Amazon Kindle.

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

I have several buyers of my e-books that would like to upload their e-book(s) to the iPAD or the Amazon Kindle, and other reading devices as well. (Sony, Nook, etc) My e-books are all in PDF format. I use the Microsoft Platform as my main computer and I am not all that familiar with the Apple products. I have some readers that have the iPAD but run Microsoft as their main computer.

Any help would be appreciated. I know there are Gurus out there. Let us ear from you.

Thank you in advance from all the people you will help.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The e-book for the Pentax K-r will be released a few weeks after the K-5 e-book.

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

The e-book for the Pentax K-r will be released a few weeks after the release of the e-book for the K-5. It should be out during the first two weeks of December, and maybe sooner. These two DSLRs are game changers for Pentax. You can email me at  and I will let you know also by email when the e-book is reaady for purchase.

Best Regards,

Yvon Bourque

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Pentax K-5 e-book is nearly ready for publishing. Stay tuned.

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

I've been working on my new e-books for the latest Pentax DSLRs, the K-5 and the K-r. I am entering the final phase of writing with the K-5 and it should be out before the end of the Month.  The K-r will follow and will certainly be ready in early December, just in time for Christmas.

Drop me an email and I will let you know personally when the e-book is launched.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Monday, November 8, 2010

For those that wondered about the K-5 versus the Nikon D-7000, here it is: DxOMark

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

For those that wondered about the K-5 versus the Nikon D-7000, here it is: DxOMark

I think we could call this a "Home run". Congratulation Pentax for having two of the top five DSLRs in the DxOMark. Of course, prior to this, Canon and Nikon owners were proud to point Pentax owners to the  DxO site for comparison, but now we hear that the DxO analysis is not accurate...right!

Thank you for reading and thank you for being Pentax believers.

Yvon Bourque

Friday, November 5, 2010

DxOMark - Pentax K-5

DxOMark - Pentax K-5

Tests and reviews for the camera Pentax K-5

"The Pentax K-5 had a stellar DXOmaRk performance, based on its overall score it is currently ranked as #5 among ALL Camera sensors tested at DxoMark. That's right, it beats ALL Canon DSLRs, and it is only surpassed by the Nikon D3X/D3S, the Pentax 645D and a Phase One. Pentax usually gets the short end of the stick in technobabble, so I am sure there will be parades in the Pentax forums across the internets ;-)"
From: 1001 Noisy Cameras.
Visitors to this page also like "Recommended Reading" on the right column.Email:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Introduction to the 645D with Kerrick James

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

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The largest photo show on the West Coast has expanded in size and PENTAX will be there. Two days - Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14 9:00am - 5:00pm

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

Hi Pentaxian friends.

The largest photo show on the West Coast has expanded in size and PENTAX will be there. Two days - Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14 9:00am - 5:00pm
I will finally hold that elusive Pentax 645D :-)
I sure will attent and I hope to see you there,
Yvon Bourque