Digging in a bit more with the Pentax HD 28-105mm WR lens and some new shoes.

A brand new building, just to the right of center. 
When the heck did this one land? 

I tried a little experiment yesterday which I actually enjoyed. After finalizing some estate paperwork I rewarded myself by going out for a nice, long walk through the city but this time, instead of reprising my usual role of "control freak" and habitual route follower I made some changes to my routine. It's kind of crazy but hear me out. 

I've been having fun with the Pentax K1 and the 50mm's but I've shied away from really using the zoom lens. I think I had a misguided prejudice against the lens since its fastest aperture at 105mm is f5.6. I've been effectively acculturated to believe that only fast, expensive lenses, used at f2.8 or so, are worthy of consideration for daily photography. But, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. 

I've already spent the money on the lens and I wanted to figure out a strong case for keeping and using it. I think it's time for me to get over the prejudices of the film days and embrace the good things about modern lenses. With this in mind I was determined to use the Pentax K1 and the 28-105mm together in their most optimum settings for each situation but the one thing I made consistent was the aperture of the lens. I set that at f8.0 (the sharpest setting according to lab tests) and left it there for the afternoon. The camera was set to ISO 100, using the DNG raw file setting and I kept the camera at ISO 100 until I hit a few situations in which I just flat ran out of enough handhold ability to make a nice image; then I'd raise the ISO, but throughout I kept my hands off the aperture setting. I guess, for a change, I wanted to see what images looked like when most of the stuff in them is reasonably sharp. 

With the lens basically set in a fixed mode and with the wide latitude of the K1's raw files I used the camera in the aperture mode and only occasionally corrected the camera's exposure setting with a little nudge in one direction or another of the exposure compensation dial.

I also spent less time in the jungle of (familiar) downtown buildings and more time exploring the north shore of the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake (the part of the Colorado River that runs through the center of Austin). 

The first thing I realized when I went to post process the images was that the raw files don't automatically impart profile corrections for lens geometry or vignetting the way the Jpeg engine does. It's pretty revealing to click on the "profile correction" control in Lightroom and watch the image flatten out, un-curve itself and brighten the corners. The software is doing a lot of work. No more than I imagine is done for other camera systems but it's still a bit surprising to watch. 

The main thing I realized while out walking and shooting is how much different images look when I let focus extend deeper into the frame than I usually do. The lens achieves a very high level of performance at f8.0, regardless of focal length, but that shouldn't surprise anyone knowledgeable about photography. One benefit that adds to the greater lens performance is the nearly complete assurance that the points you most want to be in focus will generally sit within the f-stop's critical zone of sharp focus due to increased depth of field. It just means you have a better shot at getting the parts you want sharp to be sharp. 

After decades of shooting longer lenses and shallower apertures I was a little surprised at just how much more "three dimensional" the images looked when shot both at wider angles of view but also at smaller apertures. A revelation to someone who only really valued depth of field when clients presented comps that needed lots of stuff to be in focus....

Within the constraints of more limited depth of field control I found the 28-105 to be a great lens that is small, feels great in my hands (dense and seemingly well made), and delivers high sharpness and detail. It just doesn't deliver fast apertures. Compromise, compromise. 

After my assessment of the images I can see that the zoom is going to try to edge out the primes whenever possible. It's nearly a universal tool --- unless you want to shoot big apertures in low light. But there are other lenses and cameras for that. As in the Fuji primes

But I sure like the look the Pentax system delivers when puffy clouds show up and show off....

For some strange reason these railings remind me of 1973. 
Don't know why. They just do. But then some numbers look like colors to me 
so what do I know?

I have absolutely no idea what this concrete slab is all about but I'd love to have three or four walls like this at my house. They'd be fun to rappel down and you could hold off hordes of invaders with enough of them. Lord of the Rings stuff, for sure. 

I was handholding the whole rig at around 1/30th of a second and when I looked at the flower back at the studio I was pretty impressed by the sharpness and detail in the center of the flower. Click on it to see it larger....

I'm calling this the Pentax Cloud Effect. I love it. 
I hope to see clouds like this out in west Texas 
they'd make a nice top of the frame for some desert landscapes....

All fun. 

A special thanks to that reader (you know who you are) who sent along a case of wine as a "thank you" for my ten years of blogging. Nicely played. Drop by and share a bottle.

A perk for life spent writing about photography. 

When we talk about wine at swim practice someone always calls it, "French Hydration." I gently remind them that the Californians are very much in the game. To my knowledge no one, yet, in our swim program has come to workout with anything other than water, coffee or some strange (non-alcoholic) sports drink in their water bottle. I'm not about to give wine a try at swim practice. There's a time and place for everything. 

For looking at Avedon photo books it's always Champagne. For everyone else's work there's Merlot. 

Thanks again! KT


Pre-acquisition impressions review.

I just adore the "first impressions" reviews on the big gear site. They tell me almost as much about a new camera or lens as the public relations press release that the camera maker sends out to everyone in the industry. In a "first impressions" review I can read a synopsis of all the specifications listed in the release and I can look at photographs taken of the gear by people who are clearly advanced amateur photographers! If I am lucky the "first impressions" reviewer will also include images of various scenes that were taken at a press event hosted by the manufacturer. Mostly, the images are exciting examples of set up, quasi-fashion shoots with (mostly) women in silly outfits who pout and stand around with their chins down, but occasionally there will be a fake sports scene; especially if the camera maker is intent on sending the message that, "Now! For the first time ever!! Our cameras!!! Can focus.... on quickly moving objects!!!! Better!!!!!"

I know that these kinds of photographs must be very good and very well done because I see (basically) the same kinds of photographs on nearly every equipment review blog in the photo-blog-universe. I still smile with fond memories of the jet ski demonstration photos that graced every review at the launch of the Sony A6400..... Amazing work. Amazing camera. And all it really takes to get that kind of promotional coverage is a bit of swag, a few plane tickets and an open bar. Drink up guys. Drink up Kitty.

I know that my reviews are small potatoes by comparison but I thought I'd try something a bit different, maybe lead the pack, and do a "pre-acquisition" review. That's a review of a product that I am either thinking about buying but have not summoned up the energy to actually order, or it's a review of a product that I did order but which has yet to arrive here. In a way, it's more fun than reviewing a product that I've already paid for and have in hand because I can imbue the review with magical thinking about all the ways the product will improve my photography! And it allows me to use more exclamation marks!!!!

I thought I'd start out with an easy one and do a pre-acquisition review for a new lens that I have actually ordered but which will not be here until Friday (at the earliest, if my mailman has anything to do with the delivery....). 

The lens is the current 100mm f2.8 Macro WR lens for the Pentax system. I wanted something that was in the portrait focal length but also something that uses autofocus and is reputed to be sharp (but I'll conjecture about that in a few sentences... First some hopeful predictions and impressions of a lens I've never seen or touched in person. 

I'm thinking the lens will come with a hood and I'll be neutral about the hood's build quality and fit. Oh, I will have friends who will let me know that they think the hood is a cheaply done piece of shit but I really don't care enough about lens hood, per se, to get all agitated about the quality of this one. I think I can see from various photographs on the web that the front element of this macro lens is recessed enough to make the hood largely vestigial in nature. 

We're pretty sure that the lens, having been made exclusively for Pentax cameras, will fit on the front and lock on without any real issues. I do have a can of WD40 standing by in case the fit is a bit problematic. A few sprays of the "miracle lubricant" should ensure that I can get the lens mounted to the body --- I just hope nothing gets sprayed into the open throat of the camera as I do my spraying. If needed. 

One thing I am certain of is that the lens will have plenty of bokeh. Probably even an excess of bokeh. I'll test it at every aperture and focal length and try only to shoot in the "sweet spot." And, if the bokeh is less bokeh-ish than I'd like then I can do this trick I like to do and turn the focusing ring on the lens until the background is totally out of focus. Of course, this is a compromise as the foreground generally gets a bit out of focus as well. Such is the nature of making aesthetic choices. 

I am already certain that I'll like the color of the lens as it is black and most lenses are, indeed, black. I would have ordered a different color but, sadly, there were very few choices. I'm presuming that this one is very much a neutral black and I think that will work for my purposes. 

So, let's talk "performance." Based on 40 years of experience with macro lenses I believe that this one will focus pretty close to the subjects I'll be photographing. I'll go out on a limb and say that it will probably focus closer than my regular 50mm lenses and that a cup of hot, medium roast coffee will probably fill the frame with no problem. I also think, again, based on 40 years of experience, that the lens in question, being an autofocus model, will focus anywhere from life-size to infinity in ten seconds or less. 

After using it for a few days I'll probably say something like, "This is one of the sharpest 100mm lenses we've tested." And then I'll search for a caveat or two (also called a "con") to toss in to prove to the rubes that I am not on the take from the camera company and that I am a legitimate reviewer. Something like, "What we were not so fond of was the tendency of this lens to make some of the subjects we chose to photograph look vapid or boring. Even our closet full of cats was less charming than when photographed with some of the 1200mm lenses from Canon and Nikon." 

Finally, when I do move from my "pre-acquisition" review of the 100mm f2.8 WR Macro lens from Pentax to my "first impressions" review and then to my "hands-on" review, and then to my full review I can assure you that there will be many advertising links for you to click ,and many small ads peppering the blog in order to try to manipulate you and attempt to drive you to spend lots of money you'd rather not part with to buy a lens that doesn't even fit on the system with which you are currently shooting. 

You will respond with a "measured silence" which I will interpret as apathy and I will whine about not getting any comments on my lens reviews. Oh boy, something to look forward on Saturday or Sunday. Yippee. Well, here's hoping Friday is a banner day for deliveries and the the lens delivers all the joy a used, $350 lens can deliver. 


An "after action" report on the now ancient Pentax K1.

Photo not exactly related to this post except that it was done with the Pentax K1...

Where to start? I'll do the short history first. I've owned one other Pentax digital camera; the K-01 concept camera, which made great files but was a bear to use and didn't have an EVF or the facility to add one. I have owned and shot extensively with both of the Pentax medium format film systems; the 645 and the 6x7. I bought the Pentax K1, used, on a whim and I quickly found myself loving its potential to crank out beautiful files at the drop of a hat. 

The camera is a 36 megapixel, full frame, DSLR in the traditional fashion. It has a big, bright optical viewfinder and tons of physical buttons with which to change commonly used stuff like focusing modes, ISO, AF areas, color profiles and much more. It's a camera that attempts to allay the anxieties of people who hate jumping in and out of perplexing and poorly designed menus. It is also big and heavy. Really heavy. The reason I bought it was that I liked the idea of it. My motivation was as simple as that. Oh, and the fact that it features in-body image stabilization and a host of other interesting and eccentric features!

I'm no stranger to cameras like this one, having been immersed in the Nikon full frame D800, D800e and D810 cameras, which I am told, share the same underlying sensor. But what I didn't think about when I tossed down the plastic for this adventure was that the K1 was the first full frame (35mm style) camera Pentax made since the film days and while the Pentax inventory of lenses is ample for APS-C cameras it's downright sparse for larger sensor cameras.  I looked everywhere for lenses and finally settled on the new-ish 28-105mm FA HD lens. (The FA indicates full frame while the HD indicates "designed for digital sensors..."). I supplemented the zoom (which is a variable aperture, f3.5-5.6) with a fast AF SMC 50mm f1.4 (which I like a lot) and also an older, manual focusing 50mm f1.4. I've yet to discern if one 50mm is sharper than the other but I'm not really so much of a "pixel peeper" to care mightily...

I think I'd like a fast, prime lens in the 85-105 range but I haven't found the right one yet at the right price. Many well meaning Pentaxers have pointed me toward the 77mm lens but I've read the test charts and on a full frame digital body the corners and edges just flat out suck. I'm thinking of getting a Rokinon 85mm f1.4 but I'm not sure I really want to keep sinking money into the system the way I have with the Fuji stuff. I'm worried with this particular brand that I'm buying into a system this time that will be cruelly orphaned in a year or so....

If I had more money than good sense (and that statement in and of itself speaks volumes...) I'd just pick up a second body (cameras, like rattlesnakes, want to travel in pairs) and pull the trigger on the 70-200mm f2.8 lens that Pentax makes for the system and then just rest my wallet for a while.

But, at any rate, that brings you up to speed about the "what" and "why" so let's jump into my contemporaneous experiences with the new-to-me mini-system. 

I've been shooting the K-1 around town and, frankly, I've been enjoying it, with the exception of the need to constantly "chimp" to make sure that what you thought you were shooting really ended up in the files in pretty much the same form as you conceptualized it. The weight of the camera doesn't bother me, and I've marched around town with it even on the hottest days this August (we are currently having a heat wave and a moderate drought in central Texas). 

The shutter is well damped and not too noisy and the mirror slap (at least physically) is all but absent. While the 28-105mm lens has turned out to be sharp, contrasty and well mannered; even when used wide open, I find myself gravitating to the 50mm f1.4 AF nearly all the time. After days of familiarizing myself with the operation of the camera, and after having watched Tony Northrup's tutorial about the features of the camera, I felt confident enough to start bringing the K-1 along on photo shoots (which I still do--photoshoots for clients that is, thank you very much!) and shooting it in and around the Fuji cameras and lenses (which I seem to be using as "lifeguard" cameras). On Friday night I took it with me to photograph a panel discussion at Zach Theatre, which took place after the performance of "ANN." I started by taking long shots of the panel of politicians and the actor with the Fuji X-T3 and the 50-140mm f2.8 but almost immediately recognized that getting closer and wider would be more impactful. 

Since it was a panel discussion and not a play the shutter noise was inconsequential. I mostly used the 28-105mm and ISOs as high as 3200 and was rewarded by sharp and nearly noise-free images. I also used the Fuji X-Pro2 and the 35mm f1.4 and was equally happy with those shots. The Fuji was much more discrete but it's hard to hide the fact that you're there photographing in earnest from the people around you when you have one camera hanging on the right shoulder, a camera with a long zoom on the left shoulder, and a big, honkin' Pentax hanging around the neck, resting on one's chest. 

When I looked at the files I quickly discerned that the Pentax Jpeg files (regardless of chosen profiles?) are much punchier and contrastier than the more "mannered" Fuji files. I ducked into the parameters menu and came up with the following formula for shooting well behaved Jpegs with the Pentax camera: color profile = natural. Saturation = minus 3 (out of five negative steps). Contrast = minus 2 and sharpness = minus 1. When the camera is set up this way the images look more like real life and less like a 2007 HDR fan's technicolor yawns.

Yesterday I took the Pentax, the 28-105mm and the 50mm f1.4 (AF) with me to a graduation ceremony at an Episcopalean seminary in central Austin. I photographed the matriculation ceremony, the installation of new faculty, the (very nice) reception afterwards, and also five portraits of new faculty members outside in the oppressive and brutal afternoon heat. To be clear, all the events except the portraits took place indoors; the marketing director was trying to match a look we did outdoors with previous faculty but the photographs of the first group were done in early Spring when the weather was...better. 

The Pentax and the 28-105 did a fine job on the outdoor portraits even though the highest flash sync of that camera is 1/200. The slower sync speed was offset by having ISO 100 as the lowest marked ISO for this camera. The flash came from a Godox flash unit in a 32 by 32 inch soft box and ambient light provided the fill light and balanced, tree-filled background. 

Where the Pentax actually delighted me was in photographing the reception. It was "flash on camera" with the flash pointed at the white ceiling and the the camera and flash set manually. The OVF made taking interior flash images fun again and since the light was consistent and the exposure was consistent the only heavy lifting the camera was doing was focusing;. I was using the 50mm lens and setting it at apertures like 2.8. The camera focused quickly and with no errors (it's incumbent on you, the user, to wait until the AF box turns green before mashing the shutter button) and no missed focus. 

Most of the files I shot across the two systems were fine right out of camera and only a few needed to be "spruced up" with a judicious application of shadow slider. For the record, no one asked about either camera. No one seemed to notice the cameras at all. No one cared. And that's how it should be. 

This morning I needed to make a series of portraits of a new hire at one of the non-profits I do work for. I got all courageous and took only the Pentax and the zoom with me. The only plausible back up at all for this shoot was the new iPhone I had in the car. I shot around 400 photos with the Pentax the night before but the battery indicator still shows at least 2/3rds power. Ever vigilant I tossed my one extra battery into the bag. I needn't have bothered.

Our portrait session was outside at 10 am, well before the blast furnace wind was fully wound up and engaged. It was a pleasant 89 degrees and muggy when we started. I used the same flash system I used the day before. It worked well. 

I must admit that the sensor in the Pentax camera is pretty darned good. Nicely detailed raw files, and the system, given the way I use it, nails focus well. This, of course, got me thinking about all the possibilities in the market today. The combination of a full frame sensor, the built-in image stabilization and the robust build of the body caused me to start thinking about a "step up" from this which, to my mind, is the Panasonic S1. I think I'll borrow one and test it out. It adds everything I liked about the Pentax but the cherry on the sundae is that the S1 also has a state-of-the-art EVF. 

Could it be the ultimate, ultimate camera? Let's find out.

But wait. Back to the Pentax. What's my assessment? Well, if you can find a "like new" body for around $900, and you like hunting for lenses, you will have just bought yourself one of the best image generators on the market, extant. Yeah, the mirrorless stuff does away with a lot of chimping. And some of the newer cameras shoot faster frame rates. And the video is no where near competitive. But if your goal is to make beautiful, quiet, slow photographs you won't find a camera that's much better in the real world. And certainly not for that kind of price!

I'm taking the week off from commercial work to learn how to relax, to swim more, to futz around with estate attorneys, and to enjoy life. Blogging is included in the program. Please come back and read more. 


Every Once in a While We Still Make a Portrait. It's not all just buildings around here....

Belinda strikes a serious look at lunch. 

When we headed out for our Saturday "family" lunch today I grabbed a camera that was sitting on a pile of old collectible comic books and tossed it into the car. I always take a camera with me when I go out, even if I'm feeling disinclined to do any actual photo work. 

I sat across the table from Belinda at a favorite neighborhood restaurant and we chatted as we waited for our order to be delivered. While she was talking I noticed how the light came through the window behind me and to my right, flowing across her face from her left to her right, and creating just the perfect shadow on the right side. I picked up my camera from the seat next to me, metered at the speed of light (ha. ha.) and shot ten frames with it. 

I was using a lens that I bought a while back but hadn't used much recently. It's a 7 Artisans 55mm f1.4 and I used it at the maximum aperture which is why the tip of Belinda's nose and both of her ears go soft in the photograph. 

The image was shot on a Fuji X-Pro2 (oops! it was an X-T3) using a color profile called "Eterna" which, I've been told, was created as a video profile which would be lower contrast and less saturated, allowing videographers to deliver very nice looking files, straight from their cameras, without having to color correct (grade) them.

While I don't often post photos of the family I try to photograph Ben and Belinda all the time. As we were leaving the restaurant I remarked to Belinda that I find her much less resistant to being photographed these days. She remarked that she had come to realize all the photographs of her I had taken in her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s made her look so beautiful. More beautiful than she imagined she was, and that looking at them was a joyful reminder of a life spent being loved (and I would say, adored). She added that the images I was taking today would very likely bring even more smiles to her face in her 80s and 90s. 

Barring unforeseen events, I hope to be around to document those smiles as well.

Added: Got the original color look if you want to compare....


I recently read, on the web, that Fuji's X-H1 camera might be good....

Well. I guess it's okay. For a cropped frame camera. 

I couldn't believe it when I saw the price on the Fuji X-H1 with battery grip AND three batteries drop to $999. It's an amazing price for a fully featured, professional camera. But equally surprising were the legions of photographers who emerged to tout the robust performance, incredible build quality, class leading video performance, near state of the art IBIS and the great way the cameras feels in one's hands. 

If only someone had let us know all of this information several months ago! We could have been enjoying the camera all along...

I've heard that some professional photographers love the camera so much they've purchased an extra one. There's a crazy guy with a blog who actually bought three this year!!!!

But, you know....APS-C. And that tricky Fuji X-trans. And those wacky Fuji colors. Oh, and yes! the battery life (or lack thereof). Couple all that with only twenty or so lenses and you have a system that no self-respecting pro could shoot with. But it's fun to think about; right? 

Did I mention the strengthened lens mount?
Or the 4K DCI video?
Or the 8-16mm f2.8 lens?

Naw. Nobody wants this....

We'll just wait and see what Fuji announces to replace this.....

Thursday's project with two video cameras and a small cadre of real scientists. Fuji style video production.

Assisted Flying in Pease Park. Austin, Texas

Yesterday Ben and I did a project for the Oceanography Department at UT Austin (my friends in Knoxville have let me know that UT = University of Tennessee; founded long before the University of Texas at Austin. From now on we'll just call our local one "The" University). Our part was pretty straightforward, we were recording interviews with faculty and graduate students about their experiences with an intensive, immersive, three week, hands-on course. From what I gathered listening to the interviews the time spent doing real research on locations at sea is by turns challenging, rewarding and fun --- even the people prone to seasickness rallied and otherwise appreciated the adventure. 

The two scientists who invited us to participate in the making of the video are friends that I swim with in our masters swimming program. Between the four of we've logged a lot of miles in the Rollingwood Pool. Seeing everyone in work clothes was a bit out of context. 

The team at UT Austin wanted to improve on previous videos that featured a lot of smart phone interviews and less than perfect audio. Ben and I wanted to up the ante just a bit and also provide a second camera angle for all the interviews so that the person who will edit the programs together is able to switch views to avoid monotony. 

Our first set of interviews started at 10 a.m. I had scouted the week before and we reserved a big seminar room with great acoustics and lots of space. We loaded in at 9 a.m. and set up our two cameras. I'd done a lot of microphone testing in the last few weeks and found that the Rode NTG4+ is a really good shotgun microphone. We used it for the interviews in this room because it was both large enough and also had great sound abatement everywhere. I wasn't worried about secondary reflections or phase issues caused by reverberation. 

We ran the Rode Mic into a Beachtek pre-amp and ran the Beachtek into a Fujifilm X-T3, which I shot as the "main" camera. Since the audio input and headphone amplifier are both very clean in the X-T3 I didn't need to use the audio monitoring on an external device (Atomos Ninja) to make sure the fuzziness we usually hear in the headphones plugged into X-H1s wasn't in the final, recorded signal. 

The X-T3 makes audio level monitoring and control easy with great on screen indicators and the ability to punch in for fine focus while recording is something every camera should feature but which was conspicuously absent on the Sony A7ii and A7Rii cameras I owned. 

The lighting in the seminar room was great. With very high ceilings and bright LED fixtures (made in tubes to be interchangeable with florescent fixtures), we were able to color match our LED light + soft box with a quick custom white balance. Our light provided just enough front light to give direction and to fill in the "raccoon" eye look that happens when most of the lighting comes from directly above.

We did five interviews in the main seminar room before taking a break for lunch. The department provided a great lunch of chicken and/or steak fajitas along with rice, beans, guacamole and various salsas. Every interviewee was invited along to lunch along with our tiny video crew of two. The wonderful thing about collaborating on projects in an academic environment is that there's never that "life or death" feeling about projects that seems to be part of the corporate mindset. No fear that jobs are on the line or that some unreal deadline is hovering over the project that will keep everyone awake and on caffeine until the project is finally blessed by some sadistic VP over in marketing. That sure made our lunch a lot more fun...

Our next set of interviews was done in a hallway on the third floor of the building. We used a giant, blue, green, and tan colored map of the oceans as our out of focus background. The hallway was flooded with daylight from a window just behind me and it looked pretty incredible as is. Since the acoustics of the hallway and the proximity of the walls was so different than the downstairs area I switched to a lavaliere microphone to combat the known technical issues smaller spaces present to shotgun microphones. 

I didn't have the patience to mess with a wireless system, I just wanted a solution that worked in a bulletproof manner, so I kept the radio mic system in the audio bag and pulled out a reliable Audio Technica AT-70, hardwired lav. system and attached it to the pre-amp with a long XLR cable. Perfect audio every time. You do need to be somewhat careful with mic placement (about 12 inches from the subject's mouth) and you do need to tape down cables to keep "thump" resonances at bay, but otherwise the use of a wired microphone in today's age of wireless mania is a nearly foolproof way to get good, clean audio in tight or noisy spaces. And you don't need to worry about interference from other electronic devices. 

When we started filming in the morning I put on the 56mm f1.2 APD lens and used it on the main camera at f2.8 or f2.5. The backgrounds look great and the parts of the subject that are meant to be in focus are nicely detailed and snappy. Ben's camera was an X-H1 and he used the 16-55mm lens at a middle-to-wide setting and generally at f2.8. The faster lenses and wider apertures allowed us to stay in the ISO 320-640 range which made for very nice and noiseless files. 

Our final location, for four interviews, was in a working lab with the attendant environmental noise of a working space. The lavaliere microphone was the logical choice in this environment as well and it did a good job of rejecting a lot of the room noise; even a vent hood that could only be turned off if we were all willing to take a chance on dying.... (kidding, kind of...). 

The two camera system is a godsend for editing as you can weave different looks in and out of B-roll and make your program more dynamic. Ben and I were careful to color match both cameras and to make sure the custom white balances were done in the same settings and at the same angles. There might be slight exposure differences between the cameras but they will be easy to match in the editing process.

Between both cameras we ended up with about 180 Gigabytes of .Mov files. The real blessing of this project, for me and Ben, is that we don't have to edit it. The folks at UT Austin will be doing that in house. Once we deliver a couple of memory sticks were golden. 

After we wrapped up and loaded the car the whole group headed over to Austin Beer Works for a celebratory round of Austin's great craft beer. Instead of empty discussions about market share and advertising metrics the table chat was all about "the next expedition." I was a bit jealous as my favorite scientist there told me about an upcoming scientific project in Antartica and a second project in the Mojave Desert. But those are weeks away; he's still recovering from last week's adventures of the coast of Greenland... Sounds even better than being a photographer. 

Just transferring the "footage" to some flash memory right....now. 

Thank God it's Friday. No words.