Friday, January 29, 2010

Concrete and ocean

I like the composition in this photo. But it is not a pleasant image. It is as harsh as the concrete surface and as cold as the water behind it.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Planar 50/1.4

Monday, January 25, 2010

Incoming storm

Ericeira's coast last December. Fleeting sun rays before the next rainfall.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stone bridges

Two photos of stone bridges. The first is for car traffic, in Central Portugal. The second is a train bridge, in the Northwestern region. It was finished in 1878, after 3 years of work. Its 16 arches were built following some techniques inherited from the Romans. They just don't make them like that anymore.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

Thursday, January 14, 2010


That's my family in the next photo. Wife and two kids.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

OK, I know that no one's face is clearly visible, but, as I've mentioned before, I'm a bit sensitive concerning privacy. It has to do mostly with I being a reserved person. But let us go back to the photo, which I quite like. I love the tonal range one gets when converting to gray scale an image taken in the late afternoon hours.

This image also shows that I really should get a hood for my Distagon 25/2.8. This lens is particularly prone to flare and the consequent loss of contrast, as is visible on the left side of the image. Nothing that makes me like this photo less, though.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Is the future compact?

We're living in a very interesting time for digital photography. It seems that just yesterday everybody to be discussing the shortcomings of cropped sensor (APS-C) DSLRs when compared to the full frame titans from Canon, Nikon or Sonny. APS-C was said to be doomed and Pentax was harshly criticized by many for not adding a full frame model to its lineup.

Today, in the Camera of the Year 2009 summit at The Online Photographer, 4 out of 8 experienced photographers picked 4/3 sensor compact cameras, by Olympus and Panasonic, as their choices for 2009! The other 4 picks were the Pentax K-x (APS-C DSLR), the Sonny A850 and the Leica M9 (both full frame), and the Voigtlaender Bessa III (medium format film). This has to make one wonder where digital photography is going.

The portability and inconspicuous size of the new 4/3 compacts with interchangeable lens, like the Olympus E-P2 and the Panasonic GF1, combined with good image quality (not up to full frame, but good enough), have been key arguments presented by many professional photographers in favor of these cameras. On the other hand, "professional" camera reviewers have been downgrading them based on overemphasized technical performance issues (auto-focus speed, dynamic range, high-ISO quality, shutter lag, image resolution, ...). In the end, what counts the most? The photographer's enjoyable experience with a camera or the performance numbers in a data-sheet?

But not only the new 4/3s that have been stirring the digital markets. The recent Leica X1 and the Ricoh GXR/A12 are compact cameras equipped with APS-C sensors. And they have been attracting a lot of attentions...

So, where is all this going? Well, to know where I am going, stay tuned to this blog ;)

PS: [Jan 17, 2010] Just found this article at Wired's Gadget Lab: "5 Reasons to Ditch your DSLR", about the new compact interchangeable lens cameras versus "traditional" DSLRs. It is intentionally polemic, but will make you think...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


And this is how Winter looks around here, the altitude being too low to have snow: just gray and wet.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

In the mean time, the news reports say that Northern and Central Europe have been freezing and half-paralyzed under several layers of snow. Temperatures in Sweden were as low as -40 ºC...

It is going to be 1 ºC tonight here in Porto and the sky should be clear. I really shouldn't complain about not having a more "photogenic" landscape during Winter!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


We made a short vacation in between Christmas and New Year, spending some days in the Serra da Estrela region. This is the only mountain range in Portugal where one can find snow consistently every Winter. Thousands of us, Portuguese, go there every year just to see and "feel" the snow.

The photo below was taken in the morning of January 1st, 2010. This foggy and snow covered landscape is, to us, as exotic and appealing as a sunny palm tree beach would be to many Northern Europeans...

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

And, by the way, Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Looking West

This is the further West one can go in continental Europe: Cabo da Roca (about 40 km West of Lisbon). Past this, there are 5500 km (3400 mi) of Atlantic Ocean. And then: North America.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8