On the Eve of the Pentax K5 -What makes this surf photographer so happy?

As many might not have realized,  I have relocated to Southeast Asia to document the Surfing boom that is taking over the region.   All boardsports,  whether it be surfing, skating, wakeboarding, etc have become the latest craze to hit this part of the world.

Armed with my arsenal of Pentax equipment,  and because of their dedication to weather sealing, I am well prepared for the task.  I also incorporate the use of customized housings designed by SPL Waterhousings in collaboration with Pentax Imaging USA.  SPL is the only custom housing maker that makes specialty products for the Pentax line of SLRs.

On the eve of the Pentax K5, rumors spread like wildfire about specs and performance, but only one thing concerned me, and that would be its size. With ever advancing technology,  it was only a matter of time that the K series would evolve to match performance features of cameras 4X the size and 4X the price, while still retaining the features that make Pentax, "a Pentax": Small, durable, and of the highest image performance.

I knew that the engineers would crack the 7FPS barrier and this enters the realm where working sports photographers can maximize their ability to reproduce the imagery they wish to display.  I feared that this advancement might possibly change the overall dimension, perhaps due to a need in a larger motor.  The gods have answered my prayer,  and the evolution the new Pentax K5 is still wearing its old armor.  The K5 is identical in size to the K7, essentially preserving the usability of my current water housings.

With durable weather sealing in a mag-alloy shell, compact size, and swift performance  the new Pentax K5 is looking to be the action photographer's dream come true.

It also incorportes HD video with perhaps the simplest operation using the shutter release as a trigger.  In designing our waterhousings, Sean Labrie at SPL gives high praise to Pentax for making use of the HD video easy and efficient.  Other camera makes have incorporated an additional awkwardly placed button to begin recording. With the Pentax, video is initiated with the shutter release button, and it makes video recording much easier when using a pistol grip.

** these images were shot using the K7,  just imagine what I will be doing with the all new K5.  Stay tuned...

This is only a short 11 second clip, but it is quite effective in showing the ease of use while in the water.

Global warming and its disruption of normal swell patterns.

By this time, of times prior,  I would be frolicking in the best that the South China Sea or Pacific Ocean had to offer.  These days,  our excessive carbon footprint is really setting off this thing we call "global warming."  Because of our over-indulgent behavior,  mother nature is showing her wrath by disrupting her usual hospitable nature of gifting the world with the waves we have grown accustomed.

As I type this message, and while in a deep withdrawal from my usual surf fix,  I am thankfully packing my camera bags.  A category 1 typhoon is finally heading towards the north approaching southern Japan, and ultimately hammering down on Taiwan.

I anticipate warm water barrels and powerful surf,  until my future updates, I'll leave you with one of the few examples of small wave surf with big style:

aloha boardsports pro surfer: Corey Wills on a rail grab cutback.  

Pentax K7, DA* 50-135, SPL waterhousings
*shot while swimming out into the south china sea

The Power of PENTAX -In camera HDR

As the senior photographer for the country's largest surf distributor,  I am always with camera.  On my way to shoot one of our stores,  I left my building and walked toward the mall.  (yes,  I live walking distance to one of the most beautiful malls on the island)

When I stepped out onto the footpath toward the mall's entrance, I was stunned by the view.  It was the calm before the storm.  The gentle warm hues that lit up the sky before a typhoon was to ravage our island.

I seldom see the sky light up the way it did during that twilight,  so for me its another reason why I love to travel with a camera, because you never know when you will need it most.

During the moments prior to Photokina 2010, the photo world waits to see what Pentax Imaging has up their sleeve.   The rumor mill is flurried with speculation,  but before the official release of the next "K", lets stop and reflect the power already attainable in the K7 or KX.

Case in point:  Pentax is one of the few SLRs available that pioneered "In-camera" HDR.  The effects are subtle effective and of 2 ranges: HDR 1:subtle or HDR 2:progressive.  Depending on the initial result, dictates which style I use. Other cameras had followed suit,  but Pentax being Pentax was the originator of this technology.

Pentax K7, Pentax DA 10-17 fisheye @13mm
ISO 250, 1/4s, f5.6, HDR 2