Lives in United States New Rochelle, NY, United States
Works as a instructor
Joined on Aug 29, 2011
About me:

taking better pics


Total: 125, showing: 1 – 20
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On article 6 tips for better wildflower photos (61 comments in total)

Hi, in my experience, all the points made in this article are sound, with jdc562 being right about the polarizer. I would like to make a point about Chris' choices of composition, color, etc. I am a fine art photographer and sell my pictures part-time. Fine art purpose is beauty and enjoyment, and does not need to be "real". My images represent my personal interpretation of the subject and often look like watercolors. My only obligation is to be open and clear in my artist statement and in my interaction with clients and fellow artists about what my photography is meant to be and how it is done. At last, I respect everyone's opinion but want to be free to follow my own inspiration.

Link | Posted on Sep 5, 2016 at 10:09 UTC as 5th comment
On article Bang for the Buck: Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Review (722 comments in total)
In reply to:

showmeyourpics: Hi, this is not the 1st time that I read the pro's and con's of a new camera at the top of this page and then the overall score looks to be the one for a different model (80%, really?). I am a seasoned fine art semi-pro using an EM10, EM10II, EM5II and Pentax K5 with pro grade lenses. There is a limited number of improvements between the EM10 and the EM10II but all significant to me, including the better IS and EVF, and the successful relocation of a couple of buttons. The EM10II is obviously not "perfect" for everyone but in its own category it's a masterpiece of construction and IQ, ergonomics, feature set, customization and price. People should study the camera and become truly familiar with it, mount one of the Pro lenses, go out there and take a bunch of pics, process and print them properly, and then complain if it's still called for. I have used more than 40 different cameras in 5 formats in my life, and the EM10II gives me one of the most enjoyable shooting experiences ever.

Hi Derma pro, sorry for the delay. The 1st 2 Pro lenses that come to mind are the 12-40mm and 40-150mm f/2.8 that give you a continuous 35mm equivalent angle of view of 24 to 300mm. I added a 9-18mm f/4-5.6 which is a small, more than decent lens that I am happily using for my landscape photography. When my budget will allow it, I will consider the 7-40mm f/2.8 Pro. The 300mm f/4 is an awesome addition on the telephoto side and it takes the x1.4 converter perfectly.

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2016 at 03:01 UTC
On article Top tips for composing great landscapes (129 comments in total)

Hi Chris, nice work, great pics, thanks. I do similar work and would like to make one comment. In the picture of the mountains and river, my eyes keep jumping between these two centers of attention. Additionally, the river is in the shade and I have to adapt every time I move my eyes to it from the lighter mountains. The pic works better to me if I cover up some of the dark valley and river. I would love to see more of this kind of articles.

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2016 at 01:09 UTC as 19th comment
On article Top tips for composing great landscapes (129 comments in total)
In reply to:

Onur Otlu: That was a nice article on a good subject. I haven't shot many landscapes, mostly because I don't think I can capture a photo that hasn't already been taken a hundred times, and I appreciate any tips like these.
(And I should probably get out of the city a lot more often.)

Hi, I would not be discouraged by all those previous shots, no-one has taken your pictures yet. I live on the Long Island Sound and keep finding new ways of photographing "my" parks. If nothing else, atmospheric and light conditions change continuously offering infinite possibilities.

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2016 at 00:46 UTC
On article Top tips for composing great landscapes (129 comments in total)
In reply to:

Leonp: I see saturation is very En Vogue. I will make a photoshop batch process to add 40* points of saturation to all my landscape pics to greatly "improve" them. (But I'll keep the originals for the time this ridiculousness is over) ;-)
*: tried and estimated with the article images.

Good article, thanks. I take similar photos and would like to make a few points. Saturated (and glossy) photography has been heavily used by advertising. People are accustomed to it and expect it. Very strong images happen in exceptional and fleeting light conditions including unusual levels of saturation. Incoming or breaking storms at sunrise and sunset do that, also with parts of the scene being very cool and others being very warm. Yellow more than any other color of light does this. New grass and leaves in the Spring contain so much yellow that I sometime desaturate it in post processing. During my (many) years of nature film photography I never warmed up (pun intended) to Velvia because is was too blue in the shadows to my liking (I used Fujichrome 100). Sometime I get some push back from my clients for saturation but also for the high clarity of the scene achieved with proper processing. Ironically, this is how the eyes see but people are not used to really good printing :-).

Link | Posted on Jul 24, 2016 at 16:15 UTC
On article Special K? Pentax K-1 Review (2669 comments in total)

Hi, little old Pentax thanks DPR and all the commentators (all press is good press). I use and love my Pentax cameras and still can't wrap my head around this AF tracking business. Pro action photographers use systems with cameras and lenses worth a mortgage down-payment. Pentax does not have that kind of gear and it's illogical to even compare it. What Pentax does extremely well is static photography with hard-to match feature sets at unbeatable prices. So, if you shoot birds in flight look elsewhere but if your gig includes landscapes, nature, cityscapes, macro, studio and similar photography (which could not care less about AF tracking) then Pentax is the answer. That's me.

Link | Posted on Jul 12, 2016 at 15:50 UTC as 123rd comment
On article Special K? Pentax K-1 Review (2669 comments in total)

Hi, the relationship between people and technology is complex. I experienced this as a photographer and as a test/quality engineer. Technology sets the boundaries of what can be done but it is the operator who determines how much of this potential is actually employed. As a "young" photographer, I used to shoot outdoor events (such as the Venetian Carnevale) on Fujichrome 100ASA and 400ASA with two Oly cameras in aperture priority, 1.5fps winders, a 35mm lens in hyperfocal and a 100mm in manual focus. My rejects where mostly due to composition issues, not focus. Today, I see photographers tending to rely on technology too heavily at the expense of developing sound technique. Mastering one's gear, learning and predicting the subject, and reading the light can get you a lot of good shots even with simpler, inexpensive cameras. Case in point, many pro's also use mirror-less as go-everywhere gear. My main systems are APS-C and M43 but I regularly take salable pics with my Nikon P7800.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 17:17 UTC as 128th comment
On article Special K? Pentax K-1 Review (2669 comments in total)

Hi, I believe that, testing methodology notwithstanding, a lot of the controversy surrounding these reviews is due to the reviewer's comments and final grade. If feature-wise a camera is mostly an 8 out of ten then it is better than a mostly 7/10 but if the latter excels in the few features that are truly relevant to one's kind of photography, then it is the better choice. This is particularly true for Pentax cameras. I shoot non-action landscapes, cityscapes, nature, gardens, flowers, heavy weather and do some fine art studies and product photography in my little home studio. I shoot at night on a tripod. For video I use a camcorder. My budget is limited. After 50 years of shooting with almost everything under the sun, today I work with weatherized Pentax (and Olympus O-MD) cameras and for me they all deserve a platinum award. I love the affordable prices because they leave me some money to buy good lenses (my wife and CFO loves them too).

Link | Posted on Jul 10, 2016 at 14:16 UTC as 140th comment

Hi, photographic realism is a truly fascinating subject. Monoscopic cameras don't "see" as our stereoscopic eye system does in many different ways. The brain interprets the info from the eyes in a totally arbitrary manner also strongly influenced by personal physical conditions, character, mood, history and culture. When we stand in front of a scene, what we perceive is a sum of the stimuli from all our senses. A picture is a moment frozen in time while reality is in continuous flow (the single 1/125sec frame can be totally out of contest). I have slides (minimum processing) of places that one year later were totally unrecognizable just due to natural change. I sell my own fine art prints (part-time), reserve the right to process my images the way I see fit (sometime transforming my photographs into digital paintings) but provide my clients with full disclosure of what I did so that they are free to decide how to relate to them.

Link | Posted on Jul 7, 2016 at 17:33 UTC as 5th comment
On article Special K? Pentax K-1 Review (2669 comments in total)

Hi, a couple of comments. Firstly, I don't have the figures for word-wide DSLR sales but in Japan Pentax is currently 3rd with 6.7% of the market, up almost 2% point since the previous year. Not bad for such a small company (who has a $22b annual sales Ricoh giant behind it). Secondly, I would not count on a single site for camera reviews. There are other reputable sites on line worth consulting to minimize bias. BTW, again in Japan Olympus (another small firm) has switched position with Sony for mirrorless sales coming in 1st with 34%+ of the market. On this site, the Oly E-M5II received a silver award too, which is quite amusing considering that it is the EISA 2015/16 Best Product in the Prosumer Compact System Camera category. Moral: you can't let anyone else make up your mind.

Link | Posted on Jul 6, 2016 at 18:41 UTC as 261st comment | 5 replies
On article The price is right: Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D Review (420 comments in total)
In reply to:

Daft Punk: I think I would choose a Pentax KS2 over this.

Hi 007peter, for a number of years I've been using and upgrading my Pentax (and Olympus) cameras and reselling my older models on ebay without problems (K20D, K5 and KS2). There is another couple of points to consider. When you start with high quality, well specified cameras you tend to keep them longer skipping several new models before upgrading. Also, modern digital cameras have reached a high level of maturity and are now more competent than most photographers. I tend to keep my cameras ever longer. With the Pentax K5, I did not find the K5II and K3 worthy of an upgrade. Last year, I bought an (awesome) Oly E-M5II and I just pre-ordered the Pentax K70. Both cameras have more features that I can use and are built very well with long life shutters. I doubt that I'll feel the need to upgrade for a good number of years preferring to spend my money in lenses.

Link | Posted on Jul 2, 2016 at 03:05 UTC
On article The price is right: Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D Review (420 comments in total)

Hi, in my 50 years of photography I have worked with more than 40 different cameras from almost all the current and old brands, including Canon and Nikon. You can't touch Canikon for their overall systems but today there are very valid alternatives from other manufacturers. Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony (not a complete list) have been introducing cutting-edge models at very competitive prices that pros are buying ever more. Pentax and the M43 alliance also offer a very attractive selection of lenses often in two ranges of brightness, size and price. I just pre-ordered the Pentax K70 which, for $650, is a real powerhouse in a truly small package. I also work with the Oly E-M10II and E-M5II. As a photographer and an engineer, I believe that the ratio of features, built quality, ergonomics and price of these cameras is hard to beat. I suspect that the DPR people are being "nice" in this review out of respect for the deservingly illustrious Canon name.

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2016 at 13:58 UTC as 25th comment
On article Affinity Photo coming to Windows (109 comments in total)

Hi, I am a part-time fine art photographer and the hours I can dedicate to photography vary with the workload of my primary earning activity. Hence, I don't have a high volume of photos to process but work on any single one till it looks the way I want it. I have been using PS for a bunch of years but stopped upgrading at CS6. I have an axe to grind with Adobe for trying to force me into their subscription model, which I have refused to do. CS6 is still giving me all the important processing and creative tools I need with the exception of Camera Raw updates. I have also been using DxO OpticsPro for its class leading noise reduction and Raw developer updates. I am already signed up as a beta tester for Affinity Photo for Windows. If the software matches Serif' promises (the reviews of the Mac version are enthusiastic), I'll definitively consider switching from CS6.

Link | Posted on Jun 18, 2016 at 17:41 UTC as 3rd comment

Wow, I thought this was an article on aerial photography, not on sustainability (which BTW I teach together with energy conservation). I would like to make a couple of points. Firstly, this kind of photography has been producing some unique, inspiring and breathtakingly beautiful images. Also, it has been documenting the horrible scarring of the planet done by human development. This contributes to increase people's love for the Earth and awareness of the crimes perpetrated on it by humanity's self interest (and, finally, self destruction). If we have an international movement toward sustainability, this is also due to this amazing branch of photography. Secondly, even blinking has a carbon footprint. As long as there is a small number of photographers doing it, it is truly negligible in comparison with the big generators (industry, transportation and buildings). It is not an exorbitant price to pay (so far) for its very valuable contributions.

Link | Posted on Jun 18, 2016 at 17:08 UTC as 20th comment | 3 replies

Hi, the K70 is as close as it gets to my ideal camera (landscapes, cityscapes, travel, indoor fine art studies and artwork repro). I am used to the great bang for the buck offered by Pentax cameras (I began with the K20D), but the K70 is nevertheless hard to believe. My excellent K-S2 is already on ebay. I am curious to see with what the usual envious trolls will come up to put down this little jewel. Alas, resistance is futile!

Link | Posted on Jun 15, 2016 at 03:37 UTC as 9th comment | 1 reply
On article Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift: An update (96 comments in total)

Hi, about the real value of pixel shift technology in a very high native IQ camera such as the K1: within its boundaries of use, pixel shift high res works very well. In any applicable field of photography where the right gear is medium format, the K1 in pixel shift high res can achieve comparable or better results with a smaller, lighter, significantly less expensive system (the 645Z is now $7,000 at B&H). For pro photographers in a number of fields, this means being able to expand the business with a lower gear investment (often a make-or-break condition). This means that the K1 is over-engineered for many pros (amateurs just need to want it and have the $ to buy it). With my fine art photography printed to a max 24x36" size on watercolor paper and canvas, I don't NEED this camera (but would jump through hoops to get it just because of its awesomeness). At last, there is no premium price attached to the relatively inexpensive K1 because of the presence of this technology.

Link | Posted on Jun 6, 2016 at 13:49 UTC as 15th comment
On article Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift Resolution: Updated Field Test (211 comments in total)

Hi, I seriously wonder what's behind all this push back aimed at pixel shift technology. The proven facts are: with static subjects (= several fields of photography), I can get captures that rival FF cameras (plus no moire) with gear that is a fraction of the size, weight and price. With judicious post processing, I can reach the same results with subjects with some motion (i.e.: many landscapes and cityscapes subjects). I already do all this with my E-M5ii and Oly pro lenses, and have the pictures to prove it. This technology is at its early stages of implementation and is bound to evolve quickly. Since it is a natural offspring of existing, refined IS systems, it is not imposing a premium price on the cameras that offer it. So, what's not to love about it? Photographers' only hard decision is choosing if they want to use it or not. Could the push back be just good old envy?

Link | Posted on Jun 4, 2016 at 17:34 UTC as 27th comment | 2 replies
On article Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift Resolution: Updated Field Test (211 comments in total)
In reply to:

MLP120: A question to the experts. I am going to be setting up a small studio for product photography which of course will be a controlled environment. I have mostly Nikon and was going to purchase the D-810 but I am thinking that with this K-1 and results closer to medium format, is it a better choice for studio shots? My studio will be LED lighting and not strobes so that should work best with the pixel shift, correct? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Hi, I do some product photography with the Oly E-M5ii in high res and the results are awesome. The K1 is definitively worth considering but I would recommend taking into consideration lenses and accessories (what you already have and what is available for the K1) before changing system.

Link | Posted on Jun 4, 2016 at 15:58 UTC
On article Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift Resolution: Updated Field Test (211 comments in total)
In reply to:

sh10453: Without going through much detail, I think (ON THE LONG RUN) the best implementation for pixel shift is to be processed in the camera without the need for external software to do it.
Most likely this will happen as pixel shift evolves and gets implemented by other major manufacturers.
However, we do not know what the other big names are quietly working on that COULD make pixel shift obsolete.

We'll continue to be surprised with new features and new technologies, like this, the double pixel, 4K video, 8K video, etc.
So waiting a year or so more to buy my latest and greatest camera won't help; six months down the road I'd find myself saying "I should've waited six more months for this latest model" ... :)

Hi sh10453, good comment with one exception: every new technology goes through a life cycle with includes a period of rapid evolution followed by a mature leveling off. You are getting the biggest bang for your investment when the technology is truly useful to you and you can wait for it to reach this later stage before you buy it. If you throw into the fray the possibility of a breakthrough that would make it completely obsolete before this happens then you would never buy a new camera. For many people this might be a positive thing though :-) Personally, I am waiting to upgrade my K5 to see where this high res thing is going (in the meantime I am using its first reiteration with my Oly E-M5ii)

Link | Posted on Jun 4, 2016 at 15:48 UTC
On article Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift Resolution: Updated Field Test (211 comments in total)
In reply to:

Satyaa: This is a nice feature that no doubt produces excellent results for suitable subjects. But it's not going to be used by a majority of K-1 buyers on a daily basis.

I would like DPR reviewers to take this camera with a Tamron 70-200/2.8 (under $800 lens) to the Acquarium or Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and show us what this camera can do! A handful of photos at full resolution, a handful of action shots (not the D5 kind but more of slow action that you might find in a zoo), some nice portraits, some examples using CPL filters, macro shots (100mm F/2.8?), shots in crop mode, and definitely some PSR for the record. That will provide what exactly the K-1 potential buyers need.

Some examples of architectural shots with a T/S lens would be great for PSR, where the subject lends itself well to the use of this feature.

Thanks for the review.
PS: Just pay my travel expenses and I'll do it without charging a fee :)

Hi Satyaa (again). The digital photo gear market is quite difficult to navigate and I would like to make a practical observation about it. Cameras like the K1 are (relatively) expensive, bulky, heavy and deserve a set of bulky, heavy and expensive pro-grade lenses (and tripods) to take full advantage of their sensors and features. While they can be very attractive to the true amateur, they can be so demanding as to end up becoming a hassle instead of fun to use (and stay at home more often than not). The K1 is a pro-grade camera and requires these economic and ergonomic sacrifices in exchange for what it can do. In general, I would recommend my non-pro students (I do some teaching) to consider a less demanding system which they would actually use regularly and with which they would have real fun. You know that a camera is over-engineered for you if you are not going to use most of the features that makes it unique or in which it excels.

Link | Posted on Jun 4, 2016 at 15:21 UTC
Total: 125, showing: 1 – 20
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