Pentax Prep For Spring

Here are a few things the Pentax User will need for a successful Spring photography shoot.

04/03/2013 - 15:52


Daffodils
Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk

As temperatures are slowly starting to rise and the days are getting longer Spring can't be that far away. With this in mind, we've put together a list of kit the Pentax photographer will need for venturing back out, into the landscape as well as a couple of links to helpful tutorials that'll have you capturing superb Spring shots in no-time at all.

For wide shots that burst with the colours of spring you'll need to pack a wide-angle lens. A standard zoom that provides various wide angle views is the Pentax 16-45mm f/4 SMC DA ED AL Lens. If you want to put emphasis on your shot's depth of field have a look at the ultra-wide Pentax DA 15mm f/4 ED Al Limited lens which was released back in 2009.

Even though wides are associated with landscapes you can shoot just as interesting spring shots of vistas with a longer focal length. A longer zoom, such as the Pentax SMC DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 SDM lens, or a fixed tele-photo lens will give you the opportunity to 'pull' distant objects to you and you'll also be able to capture overdone scenes in a slightly different way.

For close-ups of Snowdrops, Daffodils and other flowers reach for a macro lens such as the FA Macro 100mm f/2.8. If you're a compact user, switch your mode dial to the flower icon and this will tell the camera that you'll be working within a close focusing distance. A Pentax compact with a great Macro mode is the Optio WG-1 GPS which has a minimum focus distance of just 1cm, and images produced do not disappoint. If you are using a DSLR with a macro lens a polarising filter may help by taking reflections off the petals and intensifying the colours in your shots, too.

If you're a fan of shots that have the 'Ahh' factor then lamb photography should be at the top of your list. A longer zoom lens will once again prove to be useful as it'll allow you to capture frame-filling shots without having to get too close to your subject. It also means you can shoot from paths where the public have right of way as you don't want to trespass through a farmer’s field.

Daylight begins to creep in at a more accommodating time than in the summer so take advantage of it and shoot some sunrises. Colours have a lot of punch in a morning, plus as night and day temperatures are still different, you may get the chance to capture some fog-filled images too. If you are heading out to capture a sunrise leave room in your camera bag for a ND grey grad as it'll stop the sky looking so washed out and balance the exposure more.

As for other kit, a tripod is always useful, particularly one with a centre column that rotates to 180-degrees as you'll be able to get closer to flower heads. Light levels can still be low at this time of year, too, which means exposure times could be too long for working hand-held. As well as a tripod don't forget your torch if you're heading out in time for the sun rising and pack something to kneel on if you're wanting to capture macros of flowers as the ground can be very damp and you'll soon become uncomfortable if you don't have something to protect your knees. Wrap up warm and do pack a brolly as April showers can arrive earlier than anticipated!


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