Monday, July 30, 2012

Photography is changing. It's now the media of choice for many.


 Hi Photographer friends,

In my opinion, photography for the professional photographers and advanced amateurs will continue to expand with new DSLRs and other types of digital cameras, but I believe the majority of people under 30 are going another direction completely. 

The cell phones are definitely pushing the point & shoot cameras out of the way. Cell phones are having better sensors and better glass than just a few years ago. The generation pushing us out of the way do not care much about printed photographs.  I was reminded of that the other day when my youngest daughter told me she never uses her Pentax K-r. She uses her iPhone and post photos of her life on Facebook and Instagram.

She said "Dad, I really don't use my Pentax. With the iPhone, it's like I document my whole life. I save the pictures on my hard drive, and its also saved on Instagram, plus Apple iClouds".

Instagram allows some cool photo manipulations and it's what the pushing generations are using.

I have to agree that it's a great way to document one's life and events and share it with your family, friends or the whole world if you choose to. I have two daughters and, although I talk to them often on the phone and converse with them on the net, I know what's going on in their life daily. 

We live in a great technology era, all the while the world is financially crumbling around us.

Here's some pictures I get from them. I know that these images mean nothing to you, but it's the idea that I can see my children and grandchildren growing day by day.  

Photography is changing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The law of unintended consequences.


Hi Photographer friends,

Last year, at about this time, I purchased a 23ft 1990 Prowler Travel Trailer. It wasn't in the best of conditions, but I like projects and this was a good one, it seemed. I spent most of the winter fixing it to my requirements. (It isn't a real winter here in Southern California, but Californians think it is.) I got to the point where I was using it almost every weekends to go take pictures in remote areas. I really enjoyed the comfort of home, and the solitude allowing me to do what I like to do best...taking pictures.

I also wrote and edited two of my e-books in that trailer, using my iMac and iPad. The Pentax K-01 - "Everything you need to know...and then some" and The Pentax K-30 - " Everything you need to know and then some" soon to be released.There is nothing like being away from the City noises to clear someone's mind. 

I'm certainly not a "Spring Chicken" and I am starting to realize that retirement may be my "next adventure". I thought long and hard as to what I was going to do when I do retire. I'm not one to sit in a rocking chair on the front porch and wait for the "big one". So my retirement plans will have to revolve around photography in one way or another. I currently write e-books, mainly for the Pentax brand, and will have more time to do even more after retiring. Things have changed a little at PENTAX since RICOH took over, and some of my good friends have found work elsewhere. With less physical camera shows and more cyber presence, it's harder to really make new acquaintances,  but I am hoping to meet and interact with the newer employees of the  PENTAX/RICOH group soon. 

I got ahead of myself and put my refurbished trailer up for sale. Why? Well, I went ahead and bought a 30ft fifth wheel trailer, at a good price, with more expandable space and commodities. My spouse and I will live on the road as RV full timer for who knows how long, as soon as I retire. I am planning to travel across the US and Canada. I will write more e-books, and even include e-books for other brands of cameras, time permitting. However, Pentax will always be my first love. Of course, the main object will be to capture  images of  North America, the beauty of its landscape and of course the wonderful people.

My blog will then take a new direction as everyone will be able to follow our journey and perhaps meet with us at the locations the road will take us.This is not going to happen overnight, but it is now predictable.

The title of this post is "The law of unintended consequences" and here's why. The sales person assured me that my Chevy Silverado, 4x4 with a 4.8L V-8 engine would be capable of pulling the fifth wheel with no problems. He was wrong and there is nothing I can do now but look for a bigger truck. That was unintended. I will likely get a Ford F350 HD with a diesel engine. That's the unintended consequence. This will cost lot of $$$ to get that rig and a lot of $$  in loss for the transaction with the Chevy.

Although this is going to happen, it will not be for a while and I will continue to run this blog the way it currently is. Pentax will continue to me the main course.

I will inform all when I make my move and the blog will become more lively than ever before. In my dreams, I see myself travelling through the Countries, US and Canada, partly sponsored by Pentax and stopping at stores and other venues along the way to demonstrate and praise the virtues of the Pentax cameras and equipment. "Don't wake me up just yet".

Not the best photo, taken with my iPhone. It's a she and her name is "Ruby".

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Apple iBooks...Sharing an email conversation with Al.


 Hi Photographer friends,

When you stated in part on your web site, that you can have the best gadget or software
in the world, but limit its distribution to only the equipment you sell, opportunities are
missed for both the author and the distributor, it reminds me of a similar situation
involving Sony.

Back in the video tape heyday, I heard many people say that Sony's BETA format was
superior to the VHS format.  Sony limited the BETA format to only their equipment,
and we know where that went eventually; nowhere!

Maybe the same end result will happen to Apple.




I don't know that Apple would go out of business for the e-books publications, but if they don't change their attitude, Kindle and Nook will dominate the e-book market. 



I didn't mean to imply that Apple would go out of business because of the e-book fiasco,

but rather that their iBook venture could ultimately not be the success that they hoped
for.  I would think they could license the technology and still make money.

I'm not knowledgeable when it comes to what's going on behind the scenes in the

photo industry, but from what I've read on the PentaxForums and elsewhere, where
would us Pentaxians be if Sony didn't license their sensor "technology" to Pentax,
i.e., what type of sensor would Pentax be able to afford to develop on their own.

I was one of those people who bought the Sony Beta system over the VHS system.

The only thing I remember after all these years is that I didn't have as many
commercial videos available in the Beta format.  But that was then, and this is now.

My observations, working in a Target (Kodak) photo lab is that more and more

people are taking their photos with the likes of i-phones, etc.; virtually all of the
really poor quality photos that I see are from those relying on a basic cell phone
camera.  I only have a (free with new contract!) cheap Pantech cell phone with a
2 MP camera.  I NEVER use it for taking photos, always relying on my K-5 that
I take virtually everywhere with me, even to work.

I can't remember the last time that I saw a guest come in with a DSLR of any make.

I've never seen one with a Pentax DSLR.  Even the point and shoot cameras aren't
seen nearly as often as the i-phones and similar products.

I know that you were totally involved with the iBook project, but I do miss your

daily photo postings that you started some time ago.

Take care.



Monday, July 2, 2012

As much as I like Apple products, I am a little disappointed in their iBook publishing.

 Hi Photographer friends,

I've been writing e-books for the Pentax Cameras and Equipment for five years and have develop a good reputation with the Pentax community. When the Pentax K-01 came out, I decided to publish an e-book (iBook in the Apple World) for it, and sell it on the Apple App and iTunes stores. I wrote the book using Apple's newest book publishing software. "iBooks Author" which allows the inclusion of video, slides show, sound, music, and all king of media interaction. I still believe that it is a wonderful form of electronic book publishing, but, few people are using it. 

Few people are using this form of publication because it can only be read on an Apple iPad. Furthermore, once you sign as an Author with Apple for a particular book (ISBN number must be attained first $$$ and recorded in Apple's database) you cannot sell the e-book anywhere else than on the Apple App or iTunes outlets.

It took me more than four Months to write the e-book for the K-01, making the e-book as interactive as possible. I inserted videos, photo galleries, and all kind of media interactions. I had to submit and re-submit the e-book half a dozen times in order to meet all of the Apple nebulous requirements.  Although I am publishing with iBooks, I could not label my book as an iBook!! I had to use e-book that are only readable on Apple iBooks. 

After all of that effort, the e-book isn't selling much when compared to the e-books available on my herein simple website. The e-books on my website are published in the PDF format and although they cannot include media, (Video and interactive galleries), they can be read on all platforms, including Microsoft.  Apple. 

I guess the lesson learned, for me anyway, is that you can have the best gadget or software in the world, but if you limit it's distribution to only the equipment that you sell, opportunities are missed for both the authosr and the distributors.

I may have missed the boat for the Pentax K-01, although I will issue a similar e-book under another ISBN number, in PDF format, and  available here.

Apple is currently the most successful computer manufacturer in the World, with the iMac, iPhone, iPad and Mac Book ands. I own one of each and my spouse has the iPhone and iPad. They are indeed very good and useful instruments...the best the world has ever known, but limiting the use of one's brand only to read electronic books or run  software will eventually kill the benefit of owning an Apple. 

Greed is not good!

Thanks for reading and my apologies to people that would have purchased the Pentax K-01 e-book if it would have run on other devices than the iPad.