(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “pentax

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique


I don’t like Photoshop effects that make a photo look unreal, unless the effect that the “photographer” is going for is something other than real. I do use it for my photos – specifically curves and levels – to change the contrast, but I try to avoid the bulk of what Photoshop offers me.

I also avoid self-portraits, or, truth be told, any photographs of me. I’d rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

Those two bits of info make this photo unique. I shot this photo of myself, then processed it by layering me on top of the background, then Gaussian blurred the background layer and switched it to black and white. Then I played with the top layer, me, a little be lowering the saturation level. Plus, it’s a photo of me.

I got my hair cut today as well, so I figured today was a good day to “shoot myself”, as it were.

Oh baby…

…I forgot how much fun it is to shoot in a super-shallow depth of field.  I slapped my 55mm, f1.8, vintage Pentax lens on my camera and took a walk to school.  This little piece of graffiti caught my eye and I shot it at f2.8 and it turned out like this.

What do you think?

Hello, baby. You’re looking good.

I missed you, with all of your analog functions and manual focus.  With your amazingly basic light meter and super hot manual wind and rewind.  Mmm…where have you been all my life?

Oh yeah, in my camera bag.  I’m sorry I’ve been ignoring you.  I’m on holidays right now…so…I promise we’ll go hit the town soon.  Sound good?

My daughter is a gift of which I couldn’t have dreamt.

When my daughter was born I was pretty sure that I was out of my depth.  When the obstetrician said, “She’s a girl,” I thought two things:  “Yay!” and “Oh crap!”  I didn’t know anything about girls.  Sure, I had two sisters, but my job as the older brother was to make their lives miserable and scare off boys I didn’t like.  But raising a daughter?  Yeesh.

Over the past nine years I’ve had the joy and pain of raising my daughter.  I love her more than my own life and I can’t wait to watch as she grows into a woman (although I secretly hope she stops growing up and stays my little girl).  Honestly, I think I’m more terrified now than I was nine years ago when she was born.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f11; ISO 100; 1/640 sec.

A little more Haystack Rock. This one with more girl power.

My daughter, above, and I have had some fun during this holiday.  She is certainly becoming a big girl and I’m a lucky dad.  I just hope that, years from now, we’re still best friends like we were this last week.

The shot above was taken at Cannon Beach, Oregon – Haystack Rock is in the background.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f11; ISO 100; 1/320 sec.

Why I love where I live

I have learned a few things about property value since moving and buying a house.  The most relevant point I’ve learned is that a park directly across the street from a house is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because, if you have small children, having a park within a two-minute walk means easy access and you can put less playground equipment in your own yard because the city has conveniently spent a lot of money so you don’t have to.

The curse?  Some dipstick with too much money from his negligent parents, the drug trade, or whatever, is playing his bass-induced stereo out the back of his parent-purchased GMC Yukon for his friends in the skate park.  Luckily his bedtime is pretty early, and he’ll have to check in with Mommy and Daddy before long.  Plus, the city comes around and locks the gate past which he’s parked his Yukon so he’ll have to leave.

I happen to fall into the category of person who believes that having a skate park/playground/tennis courts/twin rinks/running trail across the street, instead of staring into the living room of my neighbors, is a massive blessing.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f5.6; ISO 800; 1/80 sec.

Floating mountains

Pretty floating mountains (I think Cheam and a couple of others).

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f8; ISO 100; 1/160 sec.

Beauty in the midst of a storm

Two mornings ago I awoke at 5:51 a.m. when there was a loud (by my sleepy account) bang in my house.  I jumped out of bed, ready to take down the perpetrator of some horrible crime in my house.  Turned out it was the wind, which was kicking up quite the little storm outside and had blown in through my son’s open window and slammed his door shut.  I remedied this and then went through the house checking for open windows, blowing curtains and other possible hazards to my going back to sleep.  With the patio umbrella all closed up and the deck chairs and barbecue tucked against the house I went back to bed.

I couldn’t sleep.  I went back to the den and grabbed my camera and noticed that with the windstorm that was blowing up came an absolutely beautiful sunrise.  Looking off my deck I took the shot that you see above.

Beauty in the midst of a storm.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 100; 1/320 sec.

Life is getting back to normal

Hi.  I’ve been a bit busy lately, so I thought I’d tell a short story through photos to illustrate part of why I’ve taken an accidental one month hiatus from posting photos.  Besides the ending of the school year, which was busy (as usual) and emotional (we lost quite a few staff members to layoffs, transfers and retirement), the Family B moved.  We sold our house in May and moved on July 1st.  We’ve found a few perks have come with moving to a new house.

This is Cultus Lake.  It’s a summer retreat that fills up with Lower Mainlanders from everywhere from Vancouver to Chilliwack.  It used to be 40 minutes away from home; now it’s only 15 minutes away.  Yay!

Yesterday morning the kids and I went for a walk.  This is off the Rotary Trail, which is five minutes from our front door.  I guess there’s no excuse not to go for walks along the river.

Last night, while barbecuing on our deck, I snapped this photo (actually a photomerge of two photos to create the panorama effect).  This is the view out my back patio doors.  Yay!

There are some drawbacks to moving (stress of the physical and mental varieties / moving further away from my family), but I think the move has been positive.  I plan to post daily starting today.  Thanks for checking in an sticking with me.  See you tomorrow.

The giant wheel of doom!

If you’ve been reading my blog you already know what Mickey’s Fun Wheel (above) did to my family.  Here’s a brief recap:  In March of this year my family and I went to Disneyland and California Adventure.  We rode the Fun Wheel (or “Evil Wheel” as my family came to refer to it).  I enjoyed it and my daughter and wife went to their mental happy places and my son screamed and cried.

Why am I posting it today?  The high school year is coming to a close (here in British Columbia, Canada) and I’m wishing that we were going back to Disneyland and California Adventure for the holidays.  I’m also planning a trip to “Playland at the PNE” here in Vancouver for all of my Wolf Pack students (student leadership group) as a reward for their hard work throughout the year.  We’ll ride the roller coasters and take a trip on the Hellevator (or eight as I usually do).  My favorite ride is the Coaster, a wooden roller coaster built in 1958; my favorite because it’s the only coaster I’ve ever been on where I thought I might die.

Only three more days before exams.  Here’s hoping I make it.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f16; ISO 100; 1/80 sec.

The sun is hiding (but I’m going to find it)

So it’s been a freakin’ nightmare of a late spring in the lower mainland of British Columbia.  Apparently when someone begged for sun for the Olympics the gods granted us our June sun in February, and cruddy February weather is hitting us now.  Weather forecasters have taken to predicting a cloudy day with sunny breaks and a chance of showers.  For crying out loud, I don’t need a degree in meteorology to make that prediction.  You can blindly point at the sky from October to May and get that right in BC.

I don’t even mind the rain.  I just don’t want it every day.  I also would like to leave the house knowing that what I’m wearing might be applicable and practical for at least five minutes.  ARGH!

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f16; ISO 100;  1/200 sec.

p.s.  I am sorry that I’ve been posting once a week lately.  Life as a high school teacher in May/June is a bit hectic.  I should start to be more consistent in my posting in the next week or two.  Thanks for your patience.


My friend Ian Tyson came to my school this week and spoke to the students.  He’s a great speaker and the kids were captivated by both his humor and his personal stories.  The best part is that he’s a geek like me.  When we met it was like the universe brought a brother for me who likes comics, movies and superheroes as much as I do.

Here’s the plug.  Check out his website: iantyson.ca.  If you’re a school teacher, check him out and hire him.  He’s great.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f8; ISO 1600; 1/30 sec.

Light clouds

When I was little, clouds were places of wonder, places where I could float and jump and hang out without any cares.  Then I went to school and was taught that it was a visible mass of water drops that was waiting to rain down on me and would never hold my weight, even when I was little.

Well thanks, science.  Thanks so much.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f4; ISO 200; 1/125 sec.; ev +2


Four of the many reasons I love the Lower Mainland of British Columbia: tulips, farms, mountains and sky.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f4; ISO 100; 1/640 sec.

Children Crossing

Hey!  Look out!  There might be some kids around.

Is it just me or is this kind of a creepy sign?  What is really going on between these two figures?  Is this a kidnapping?  What are they carrying in those briefcases?  Whose children actually carry things like that on their way to school?  I feel like I should drive faster to stop that guy from grabbing that unsuspecting female in the skirt.  Don’t slow me down, crazy 30km/h sign.  I have to bring down the wheels of justice on that guy.

Whoo…the imagination is flying.

My brain is really tired.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  It’s been a bit of a tough week, but I’m back now.  Yay!

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f4; ISO 200; 1/200 sec.

My little blossom

I took an evening class last Thursday on how to improve my photos.  Jason and Darcie from Revival Arts Studio were wonderful and they provided a good reminder of the elements of good photography.  I’ve been winging it lately, rather than taking my time.

The kids and I went out and wandered through the local flea market on Sunday morning.  We then hiked through Downes Bowl, a local mountain bike rider hangout.  On the way back I took my time and took a few shots of my kids.  I think this one works, but you can let me know.

Pentax K20D ; Pentax M SMC 28mm; ISO 100; f2.8; 1/2500 sec.

Paper Lantern

This lantern was hanging over my head as I ate some very good salmon rolls, smothered in wasabi, dipped in soy sauce, washed down with tea and ice water.  I suddenly want sushi.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 28mm; f2.8; ISO 400; 1/320 sec.


Hannah and I went out to the park; she practiced on her inline skates, I broke in my new running shoes.  After the park I gave her the choice for dinner and she chose sushi.  We ordered Salmon and California rolls, tempura yams and some steamed rice, along with tea and ginger ale.  She tried it all.  Apparently she’s not such a big fan of the salmon rolls and wouldn’t go anywhere near the wasabi, but she tried sushi twenty years before I ever did.   I’m always so proud of her (well, when she’s not dropping clothing on her floor).  She’s my “kiddo”.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 28mm; f2.8; ISO 400; 1/25 sec.

So many ducks

Ducks are irresistible when you’re little.  This little guys mom was feeding the ducks, despite the gigantic sign not three meters away warning against the domestication of the local duck and goose population.  He was surrounded, yet he did not run and scream.  What surprised me most was that he didn’t chase the ducks away.  My son would have been barbarically yawping his way along the beach scaring all living things, ducks and humans alike.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f2.8; ISO 200; 1/320 sec.


I don’t normally post multiple photos in one post, but I felt this was necessary.  After dinner, the family went out for a walk in our local, center-of-the-city park and Ben and Hannah excitedly played on a new playground installation.  While there, we found a local parkour group working out on the playground.  This guy was amazing; he decided to back-flip off the swing set.  I know that responsible parents everywhere will probably think, “Agh!  What a horrible example to set for the children.”  All I could think was, “How can I get Ben signed up for this?”  It was amazing.  Thanks to Brian Galenzoski and the guys from Fraser Valley Parkour.

He’s a dandy

I took Ben to the track at my school so that he could bike around in a spot where I could see him and met my sister and her sons as well.  While we were there this little girl named Ava came over to us and insisted that Ben and Luke (my nephew) play with her.  Ben took off on his bike while Luke feigned interest in his bike, then took off running after Ben.

Ben, after riding for a while, decided that running would be a good break from biking.  Luke took off running after Ben, while Ava chased them both.  They made this adorable little running parade, up and down the concrete bleachers, then onto the track, out onto the field and back.  While they were running around I found this little devil beauty growing among the concrete blocks.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/3200 sec.

Since 1645

My country hasn’t even been a country for as long as this soy sauce company has been around.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 400; 1/50 sec.


The family (including my parents) went out for Chinese food last night.  It was good, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I love Wonton soup.  The rest of the menu, at most of the places around here, is okay, but I really like Wonton soup.  Broccoli, pork and those little brains floating around in that delicious broth has become my only reason to go to our local Chinese restaurants.

I’ve tried to get Ben (the pickiest eater I could have ever asked for as a son) to eat some of this soup by using young boy psychology:  “Ben, you should try this.  It’s got brains in it.”

Ben’s reply?  “Ew.  Why would I want to eat brains?”

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 400; 1/50 sec.


What can I say?  I am a sucker for nice curves.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f4; ISO 100; 1/2000 sec.


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