Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is this a keeper or a dud No.3?


Hi Photographer friends,

Is this a keeper or a dud No.3?

I am presenting one picture a day for the next 365 days. I want to see what I can produce in a one year period. Out of these 365 pictures, how many will be keepers? This is also posted on Twitter, Google + and Facebook. If you'd prefer to view this essay on a social Media, let me know, include your email, and I will send you an invitation.

Keeper or dud?
Worthy of enlargement and framing?
Could it be incorporated in a future book?
Could I sell the image to the public?
Should that particular image be available through a Stock Photography Agency?
Other comment:

Comments are not always pleasant, but they let you know what people think.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keepers or duds? No. 2


 Hi Photographer friends,

Keeper or dud?
Worthy of enlargement and framing?
Could it be incorporated in a future book?
Could I sell the image to the public?
Should that particular image be available through a Stock Photography Agency?
Comments are not always pleasant, but they let you know what people think.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Keepers or duds?

Hi Photographer friends,
I’ve been shooting for more years than I care to admit. Let me just say that my first good camera was a Pentax Spotmatic, when they could still be purchased new. That said, my shoe boxes full of memories are in a closet and will likely only be revisited by my children when I’m pushing daisies.

I embraced digital photography from the day Digital cameras were available. Yep! I started with a Sony Mavica, then several Nikon Coolpix cameras and finally went back to my preferred brand, Pentax. Pentax has always built excellent cameras and they have been at the leading edge of technology for more than fifty years. No…they’re not the top seller, but they are the best bang for the buck.

My first Pentax DSLR was the *ist-D, then the K100D, and the K10D, the K20D, the K-x, the K-7, the K-r and currently the K-5. I acquired a lot of images with my digital cameras and have thousands of saved image files on my hard drives.

I have written several books on photography, all from the point-of-view of using Pentax equipment. I’ve given myself a new project; I am going to retrieve what I consider my best shots, tweak them with today’s more advanced Photoshop, and present one image a day. The subjects are going to be all over the map. What I’m looking for is comments about these images.

Keeper or dud?
Worthy of enlargement and framing?
Could it be incorporated in a future book?
Could I sell that image to the public?
Should that particular image be available through a Stock Photography Agency, and so on?
Comments are not always pleasant, but they let you know what other people think.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Take one fully developed image, add a layer of blur, a pinch of contrast, a teaspoon of brightness, and see what you get!


Hi Photographer friends,

Sometimes, it's just plain fun to experiment with old images, sort of giving them a new life. Here, I took six images at random in my collection and played with them. First, I duplicated the image. Then I used the vertical or radial blur to the point I couldn't recognise the image. I added that image as a second layer to the first image. Using the eraser with 90% transparency I erased the top layer portion that was shadowing the main subject(s). I added contrast and brightness and saved the results.

I'm not going to win any award with the resulting images, but it's a bit out of your ordinary, run-of-the-mill images. It made my Saturday night blues go away.

Thank you for stopping by,

Yvon Bourque

Friday, November 25, 2011

Our first outing with my new Travel Trailer / Photo Studio


 Hi Photographer friends,

A few weekends ago, we took my Travel Trailer for our first outing. I purchased this Trailer several months ago and wanted to rebuild it to it's original condition...and then some.  I'm almost completed. I converted the inside so that it could also serve as a field photographic studio. I have the same computer equipment and printing capabilities in it as I have at home. We have Internet by using the Verizon cellular service. WE have our own electricity when we need it via a Honda quiet generator and also a 1200 watts inverter hooked up to the Chevy Silverado.

We chose a very desolated place for our first trip. It's called Mojave River Fork campground. It's part of the Mojave High Desert, and if one needs some quiet time, that's the place. All we could hear was the wind and the birds.

I worked on testing my new AlettA Stabilizers Generation II and had fun doing it. There weren't anybody around. My spouse was a little reluctant to join me at first, but she ended up coming, and she enjoyed the quietness a lot.

Unlike a regular trek, I was able to bring all of my photographic equipment. That is all of my Pentax lenses and four cameras, The K-r, the K-7, the K-5 and the new Pentax Q. Here, in Southern California, we can camp all year round. It gets a little cold at night but the trailer has a good heater. It's really a home away from home. The best part, is that I purchased it for about the same price as a Pentax K-5 with a good lens attached. I added lot's of work and about $1,000 in repairs and upgrades.

We had the choice of space as we were alone.

It was a beautiful day, with a moderate temperature of about 70 degrees F.

It took all but five minutes for Anne to get a long chair and soak up the sun.

I'm not a birder, but they were all around and unafraid.

A lone tree, among the rocks and tumble weed.

Our tax dollar at work...a fire hydrant in the middle of nowhere.

This is a close up of a dead tree trunk. I liked the pattern.

Testing the K-r with the DA* 300 mm set on the Stabilizer G-II, QR system and L-bracket.

Here, we have the K-5 with the DA*300 mm on the G-II. Perfect horizon on not so perfect surface.

Testing the K-r with the DA 18-55 mm set vertically on the Stabilizer G-II, QR system and L-bracket.

Thank you for stopping by,

Yvon Bourque

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The AlettA Stabilizer Generation-II, for Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus is now shipping. Starting at $79.95. Get yours today.


Hi Photographer friends,

I've been involved with photography for decades. It's my passion and I know it's yours too.

Are you using a Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, or Sony DSLR?
Cameras have come a long way and today's Digital Cameras are producing image quality beyond what we ever thought possible. However, one thing that hasn't changed for ages is how, we as photographers, compose our images. The composition rules of the last Century still apply today. One of these rules suggests that you use a tripod to keep your camera from shaking.

Think about it!  Any photographer will tell you that using a tripod  is still the best best way to produce sharp images. That is especially true with telephoto lenses. Even with an "in-camera" Shake Reduction System, it is always better to use a tripod. Unlike cameras, tripods haven't changed all that much. They are still composed of three extensible legs and a camera mount. They are still a "pain-in-the-neck" to carry around. You often don't have one with you when you need one, and when you bring one with you, you often can't use it for one reason or another. I own several tripods and I have used them for years, but It's almost 2012 and it's time to bring the tripod stabilization to a new level.

The DSLR/G-II StabilizerI up side down
 to show how it fits in your camera bag, 
while still attached.
The common tripod has finally evolved. We have designed a device that stabilizes your camera wherever and whenever you shoot. It can stay attached to your camera at all times and still fit in your camera bag. When your camera is attached to a tripod, the distance between the camera and the points of contact can be as much as five feet. It's no wonder that tripods are not always stable in windy situations. Our device points of contact are not even two inches away. With our  accessories, you can go from portrait (vertical) picture taking to landscape (horizontal) picture taking, in a flash.  Arca-Swiss and other Quick Release (QR) systems are supported.

Our device, the "AlettA Stabilizer Generation II" is what you need.

You're wondering about Generation I, aren't you? Well...we sold a multitude of Generation I Stabilizers and asked our clients for feedback and suggestions. We got some good feedback and we have incorporated  many of the suggestions. We think our Stabilizers are what you need. Simplicity and functionality is what we  were aiming for and we believe we've succeeded. All the improvements are compatible with Generation I and current owners of our Generation I Stabilizers can purchase the upgrades at a discount.

A basic tripod  costs around $150.00.  A good tripod system will cost on the upper side of $400.00 and more. We wanted to produce an expandable system, using the highest quality materials, while keeping a low retail price. We use aircraft grade aluminum and our parts are machined on  CNC equipment, and powder coated for durability. Our prices are more than competitive... We really believe this is the best investment for your hard-earned money.

Here's why our Stabilizers will improve your photography and why you need one.

We are photographers and we know that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here's more pictures and fewer words...the language we all know.  So,

This is the top view of the Basic Stabilizer G-II. Note the three slots, they allow mounting of any Digital cameras, from Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony and others.  The green material is called "egrips" and it keeps the camera from sliding out of position. The bubble level helps in leveling the camera.
This is the bottom view of the Basic Stabilizer G-II. A stainless steel mounting screw with a D-ring is included to minimize efforts in tightening the camera to the Stabilizer. Note the rubber leveling leg extremities? They keep the camera from slipping.
Three sets of legs are supplied with the Basic Stabilizer G-II; 1/2" long,  1" long and 1 1/2" long.

This is the Real World use of the Basic Stabilizer G-II. Notice how the camera can be set on irregular surfaces.

This is the Stabilizer G-II with the Extended legs assemblies. It gives an even bigger footprint and the legs are adjustable in all three axis. The center of gravity can be adjusted for the lens being used or the surface on which the system is set up.
This is the underside of the Stabilizer G-II with the extended legs assemblies. The assemblies are mounted underneath the G-II and can swivel about 200 degrees horizontally.
The G-II Stabilizer front view, equipped with 2 1/2" long legs in the back and 2" long legs in the front. (Standard supply). The legs' height can be adjusted from the top side of the G-II, making it even simpler than the previous Generation. Longer legs, including the rubberized ends, can be purchased separately. We can make them as long as you want.

Another Real Life example of using the G-II with a DSLR, including the battery grip, and a 300 mm lens on an uneven surface...stable as a rock.

 We also have an L-bracket for when you want to take vertical (Portrait mode) pictures as well. 
Along with the Basic Stabilizer G-II, this is an economic way to stabilize your camera in Portrait (Vertical) or Landscape (Horizontal) mode.
Shown here with a medium size DSLR. The only hassle with this arrangement is that it takes some time to go from Portrait to Landscape.

This is the same L-Bracket outfitted with an Arca-Swiss compatible Base Plate and two Quick Release (QR) plates. This makes changing from Portrait to Landscape straightforward and quick. You can use your own Base Plate and QRs , and not necessarily Arca-Swiss compatible.
The Arca-Swiss compatible is consist of of one base plate, two QR plates + attachment screws, and one 3/8" to 1/4" adapter bushing.
Shown here is the complete system. It includes the Stabilizer G-II with the Extended legs assemblies, the L-Bracket and the Arca-Swiss compatible Base Plate and QRs.
One minute, you are in Landscape mode...
and the next minute you are in Portrait mode.

Real World use of a complete system.

When I first started designing the Stabilizer, my goal was  to keep my camera from tipping over when a telephoto was attached. Once I got started, I realized that I could do a lot more with such system.

Other than standing on water, The G-II system can be used on essentially all hard surfaces. It won't replace a tripod for studio work, but because it's lighter and stays attached to your camera, you can use the G-II in 95% of the situations when stabilization is needed.

It's great for trekking. It only adds about 12 ounces to your camera and it takes no time to set-up. There are always some surfaces that can be used for stability, a rock, a tree trunk, a fence, or even the ground. Once you use a Stabilizer G-II, you will realize how practical it is. Simplicity and functionality is what we were aiming for and we've achieved it.

It really doesn't come easier than that.

The Extended legs assemblies, a set of four, are available separately so you can start with the Basic Stabilizer G-II and grow to a full system. Who knows what we will come up with for additional accessories!

  • AlettA - G-II Basic Stabilizer: $79.95
  • AlettA- G-II Stabilizer with extended legs assemblies: $129.95
  • AlettA - L-Bracket: $39.95
  • AlettA - Arca-Swiss compatible Base plate and QR plates: $99.95
  • AlettA - Set of four extended legs assemblies: $49.95
  • AlettA - G-II Basic and L-Bracket: $109.95 (You save $10.00 from purchasing separately)
  • AlettA - G-II with extended legs, and the L-Bracket: $149.95 (You save $20.00 from purchasing separately)
  • AlettA - G-II with extended legs, and the L-Bracket,and the Arca-Swiss compatible setup:  $229.95 (You save $40.00 from purchasing separately) * Best deal.
To make a purchase, log on to our e-commerce store:

or email us at  Subject:Stabilizers

The AlettA Stabilizers fit Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Olympus, Sony and all other makes.

The AlettA Stabilizer G-II is 5-1/2"  wide (side to side) x 5" deep (back to front) x 1/2" thick. The extended legs add another 1" each in the horizontal plane and the maximum elevation change is about 2" front to back and side to side.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A word about the differences between the Pentax K-x and the newer K-r. The K-x e-book is also the e-book for the K-r.

Hi Pentaxian friends.
Here is a quick differences between the K-x and K-r:

The visual differences between the K-r and K-x are limited to the AF-assist light (underneath the mode dial), a boxier prism and more angular top plate, accompanied by a larger, higher resolution screen on the K-r. All other elements of the body design including the external buttons and dials are identical to the K-x. The new prism means the K-r is about 3/16" taller than the K-x, but aside from that they're essentially the same size.

The functionality differences are minor and I didn’t write a new e-book for the K-r. The K-x e-book explains how to use the camera adequately since the two cameras are essentially the same.

The K-r has a bigger LCD screen, 921,000 dots resolution and a 3” size. The K-r uses a rechargeable battery and can also use AA batteries with an optional holder. The K-r offers visual confirmation of the AF point. The K-r can shoot at 6 fps compared to 4.7 fps for the K-x. The K-r has an AF assist light.

The sensor is the same on both cameras and the IQ is the same.

The Pentax K-r

The Pentax K-x

As you can see, the operability remains the same as the K-x and that's why I found that writing a new e-book just for the K-r would be abusing my customers. The newer e-books now sell for $14.99 but the K-x e-book is still only $10.95.

Yvon Bourque

Friday, November 11, 2011

This weekend is my maiden trip with my renovated travel trailer. Going with all my Pentax cameras.


 Hi Photographer friends.

This weekend is my maiden trip with my renovated travel trailer. I will be going to Mojave River Forks campsite, here in California. This is a highly secluded site and the perfect place to try it out. I'm equipped with everything I could need, including a small generator, solar power, computers, food, water, etc. I am self-sustained. I transformed this Travel Trailer to a home away from home and it has all of the computing accessories for me to write on this blog and has access to the Internet no matter where. 

I also have my 12 gauge shotgun in case someone decides to invade my privacy, inside the trailer. You never know who you will meet in the backwoods or in the middle of nowhere. I used to do the same when I was tent camping with my old Jeep.

This weekend will be the perfect time for me to try and complete my new e-book for the Pentax Q and the operating manual for the new AlettA Stabilizer Generation II. I will upgrade my e-commerce store site so that photographers can purchase the newer Stabilizers. I've listened to all comments and suggestions from the photographers that purchased the Stabilizers Generation I and I have incorporated as much as I possibly could in this new Generation II. Most of the upgrades will work with the Generation I and current owners will be able to purchase the upgrades at a discounted price.  I will publish  all the details next week. I am very excited about this new Generation II and my beta users all had positive comments and reviews.

The best upgrade to the Stabilizers is that they are now Universal and that any and all DSLR cameras will fit on it. An available attachment allows Portrait or Landscape photography, and is compatible with Arca-Swiss Quick Releases and other brands..

I will officially launch the new AlettA Stabilizer Generation II and accessories early next week. Come check us out.

Thank you,

Yvon Bourque