27 June 2009


Pentax K20D, FA 43mm f/1.9 ltd.
f/10, 1/125s, ISO 200
At Runde, there is a 3m high iron stub left from the previous light, a tall tower built in the thirties and disassembled by the Germans during WW2 for its easy supply of metal. Now it's left to rust in the salt sprays of the ocean, and the corrosion creates many fascinating patterns. I thought this one resembled a jellyfish over kelp.

22 June 2009

Armeria maritima

Pentax K20D, DA 14mm f/2.8, AF540-FTZ flash with LumiQuest Mini-Softbox
f/7.1, 1/100s @ ISO 400

On this particular occasion I was trying out using flash and wide-angle for closeups of flowers. I've never been good at flash shots. That is, I've never been particularly happy with my results from flash-aided photography. I fumble a lot, lose control, and end up mostly confused. One of the things I have hated is all those weird shadows that end up in places where I don't want them. So I've experimented with indirect flash, small softeners, off-camera flash, etc., etc.
However the fumbling factor has got the better of me. Every time. Quite discouraging really.
So it was with considerable suspicion and a slight feeling of recklessness that I bought a LumiQuest mini-softbox a couple of weeks back. When at Runde last week-end I braced myself and tested it. A good many miss-outs and screwed-up shots later, I got this one. The flash is placed off-camera to the left; the soft-box is so close it's just outside the frame.
What still puzzles me a bit is the combination of exposure settings I had to apply to get a decent balance between natural and flash light. I dialled in a +1 stop compensation on the flash, and a -1 compensation for the total exposure. This turned out to be some kind of sweet-spot combination, and I used it successfully for another hour and maybe 50 shots; providing reliably good results with many different motifs. I'm at loss for an explanation for why this worked so well, but I'll surely try it out more. :-)
Th flower is called "Marsh Daisy" in English, according to Wikipedia. A salt-tolerant plant that grace the coastal landscape of nearly all of Norway. The light at Runde fyr in the background.

20 June 2009


Pentax K20D, DA* 60-250/4 @ 88mm
f/6.3, 1/1600s, ISO 800

Another puffin. We were particularly keen to get photos of puffins with fish in their beaks this time. Because last year, the entire colony gave up breeding soon after the chicks hatched. There were no fish in the waters. A local ban on trawling for sand eels seems to have made all the difference this year.

19 June 2009


Pentax K20D, DA* 60-250/4 @ 250mm
f/8, 1/500s, ISO 200

From the puffin colony at Runde. Last time I was there, I shot mostly with the DA*300/4 and the FA*600/4. This time, the DA 60-250/4 was the only lens I used.

17 June 2009


The Great Skua is a pirate. It steals food from other species by harassing them until they drop their catch. Here is one, caught in the act of napping the tail of a Gannet at Runde.

Pentax K20D, FA* 600/4, tripod
f/6.3, 1/1600s, ISO 400

16 June 2009

10.000th frame

Two days ago my K20D took its 10.000th exposure. This is it.
Obtained at Runde Fyr, a lighthouse on the West coast of Norway.
The lens was an FA 43mm f/1.9 ltd.

07 June 2009

Lingonberry Flower

Pentax K20D, A* 200/4 macro
1/250s, f/8, ISO 400
Click image for slightly larger version

The lingonberry is a small, red and bitter berry ripening in September. It is used for jam to go with dinner courses, much like cranberry jelly. In the forest today, its flowers were more abundant than I've ever seen them before. Fingers crossed it will mean a lot of berries too, in a couple of months.

05 June 2009

Consolidation complete

...for now anyway.
I'm talking about the Personal Lens Roadmap, of course. Back in January, Yvon Bourque suggested creating personal lens roadmaps akin to the official one that Pentax publishes bi-annually. That idea had struck me too, already when I saw the first incarnation of the Pentax roadmap. So I published mine as a response to Yvon's post. With the reservation that roadmaps are of no value if not kept alive.
Today I updated mine, after having purchased the 60-250/4, and offloaded the FA 50/1.4 and Sigma EX 70-200/2.8. I have now reached a state of balance, with no more lenses on the wishlist and no more lenses for sale. I still have a redundancy for normal zooms, and will have to think that one over once more. Otherwise it's consolidation complete.
Feels good, actually. :-)

01 June 2009

Iridiscent Camouflage

Pentax K20D, A*200/4 macro, AF-540FTZ and Lumiquest mini-softbox.

Have had a couple of enjoyable days off-work. Nice time for insect macros now, with warm weather and lots of wildflowers out.
No clue what species this is, but probably a relative of the bluewings.