Freelensing the Pentax K-3II

Freelensing is a technique used with interchangeable lens cameras in both film-based and digital photography. The lens is detached from the camera and held in front of the lens mount by hand during exposure. This allows the lens to be tilted or shifted creating a similar effect to a perspective control or “Tilt-Shift” lens, only with a lower degree of fidelity. The result is a combination of selective focus and light leakage which are used creatively to create surreal imagery. Because of the increase in flange-focal distance, this technique is most successful with closeup or macro photography, where Infinity focus is not essential.

The lens used does not necessarily have to be native to the brand of camera, since it is not physically attached to it. In addition, the lens may also be reversed for Macro photography. By shooting through a normal to wide-angle lens backwards, increased magnification can be achieved. One of the by-products of freelensing is the introduction of “light leaks” which can be controlled to some degree and produce toy-camera like effects.

So yesterday (May 16th, 2017) I decided to try it. I grabbed my Pentax K-3II and my SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens. I set the body to AV exposure mode & the lens aperture on manual wide-open at f:1.4 composed using Liveview.

Tulip, unmounted 50mm lens, Pentax K-3II with SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens. #FreeLensing.

Tulip, unmounted 50mm lens, Pentax K-3II with SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens. #FreeLensing.

This should only be attempted on a dry dust free location, unless sensor dust is wanted. I may explore this with my retired Pentax ✩istD body.


Darrell Larose

Bar Rob: Malak Sound/Bella Cat: March 10th

On a frigid Saturday night, the Centretown night spot Bar Robo heated up the night with two great acts. Bella Cat & Malak Sound.

First up was Malak Sound (Malak Ghanem) who has an amazing powerful and beautiful voice.

She was followed by Bella Cat of Chelsea, Québec. Bella does a powerful Blues with hints of Janis Joplin and others in Bella’s own unique style. Her voice will fill any venue she is booked at.

Bella was backed by a great local Blues guitarist Jesse Greene.

And Bella’s longtime drummer Matt Aston. Bar Robo salutes the heritage of their building with the original store’s sign mounted behind the stage.


Until next time…


Darrell Larose
Ottawa, Canada



House of Targ: Riishi Von Rex/Bella Cat/Nile Grove

Ottawa’s House of Targ is an unique venue, last Thursday March 2, 2017 they had three Ottawa Bands on stage; Riishi Von Rex/Bella Cat/Nile Grove. I used just my new Pentax K-3II with my SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4. The random colour switching LED spotlights changed colour throughout the performances.

First up was Riishi Von Rex with Michel Delage.

Next on stage was Chelsea’s Bella Cat.

Olivier Taché guitarist for Bella Cat.


Bella Cat video shot with my Pentax K-3II dSLR with SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens, hand-held.

Next up was Nile Groove; Roxanne Lecuyer (vocals), Steve Patterson (tenor saxophone), Robbie Rigg (guitar), Abe Loboi (bass), Salah Adam (drums).

Abe Loboi (bass)

Video shot with my Pentax K-3II dSLR with SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens, hand-held.

This was an high energy evening…


Darrell A. Larose
Ottawa, Canada

Bella Cat Rocks the Atomic Rooster: January 22, 2017

On Sunday January 22nd, I took my Pentax K-3II and SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 to see how it performed in low light, My old Pentax ✩istD was not a good low-light high ISO camera. I shot mostly at ISO:3200.

I did crank the ISO way up on this frame.


ISO:51200, 1/1600s f:4.0, Pentax K-3 II, SCM Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime. Reminds me of Pushed High Speed Ektachrome slide film on the 1970’s.
















Taken from outside though the windows…



Darrell A. Larose
Ottawa, Ontario

A walk on a winter’s day with the K-3II

Day 5 with my new Pentax K-3II camera, today the weather was a pleasant winter day at -8°, instead of the -21° we have been “enjoying”. I grabbed my 3 kg Marchioni Brothers Tiltall tripod and mounted my SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 Prime lens. I went out for a afternoon walk. On Gloucester & O’Connor Streets I liked the juxtaposition of the stainless steel clad Bank of Canada and the new KPMG building with the old church between them.



On the Laurier Bridge I created a 90 megapixel 4-frame panorama.


While on the bridge, I looked down. I was attracted to the scarred ice surface. I waited until a had three people in a triangular composition.


While shooting I dropped my glove off the bridge, a skater kindly grabbed it and placed in on the canal wall below so I could retrieve it. I went down the stairs to the canal and retrieved move glove, and I liked what the light was doing on the geodesic wall of the Shaw Centre.


A bit of NIK HDR added to the image. I took a series of the structure.




On my way home over Nepean Street and Bank Street to over Kent Street as far as Gladstone was a huge Murder of Crows. Below is a section of them over Florence Street, near Bank. Far too many to count, but clearly hundreds of them.




Darrell Larose


Ottawa After Dark December 2016

Friday December 9th, 2016 I grabbed my ancient 6 lb, (pre-1973) Marchioni Brothers Tiltall tripod, design was later sold to Leitz. This is a much sturdier tripod than my Manfrotto 190QCB/222 joystick head. I wanted to try a few stitched panoramic photos and the 3 way pan head on the Tiltall was a better choice. I only carried my Pentax ✩istD SMC-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens, and a Canon RS60-E3 electronic release. Spare batteries and CF card. First while waiting for Parliament Hill to light up, I did a Laurier Avenue West view of Ottawa City Hall.

laurier-pano3 frame panorama, Ottawa City Hall.

elginpanorama2Elgin Street 4 frame panorama.

xmaspanorama1Parliament Hill 3 frame panorama.

imgp1746“Rush Hour” vertical time exposure pan.

imgp1765 Christmas Lights, Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
imgp1778Christmas Lights, in camera double-exposure, Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

imgp1771Christmas Lights, vertical pan time-exposure, Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

Hopefully I’ll have my new dSLR camera body before they shut off the lights in January 2017.


Happy Holidays to all….

Darrell A. Larose
Ottawa, Canada

Enhancing photographers with NIK software

Google recently released their NIK software suite into the public domain. I decided to play with some of the tools on my recent Mud Lake nature photos. I normally just use DFine2 to clean up sensor noise. I decided to open up the shadows and enhance shadow detail that was normally lost.


imgp1163NIK Dfine2 to clean noise, then NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to open up the shadows.


imgp1163-bSlightly different cropping . . .

Then I opened this image:

Before: I do like the image, but let’s see what we can do.


After #1: Brightened up, this is how I imagined the scene.


The NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 can bring up lost feather details. So I tried merging the two images each in a Photoshop CS6 layer and adjusted the opacity.


The opacity was adjusted visually for the look I wanted.


Darrell A. Larose
Ottawa, Ontario

AUGUST 20, 2016, Les grands feux Casino du Lac‑Leamy fireworks: Grand Finale

Saturday was the Grand Finale for Les grands feux Casino du Lac‑Leamy. I had a photo pass for the site, at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.
Panorama1Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens. 1/60th second f:11. Canadian Museum of Civilization, 4 frame panoramic stitch.
My chosen vantage point was about 400 metres from the launch raft in the Ottawa River. This put the Ottawa skyline as the background as seen in this 4 frame panorama. As I was very close, I mounted my SMC Pentax-DA 14mm f:2.8 prime lens on to my Pentax ✩istD. In my gadget bag were my SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4, and SMC Pentax-M 35mm f:2.8 prime lenses and a sturdy Manfrotto 190QCB with #222 Joystick head.
The 50 year old Canadian firm Royal Pyrotechnie presented the Grand Finale show. This is a small selection of my favourites.
IMGP0403You can see the glow of smartphone and iPad screens in the crowd.
Team Australia won both the Zeus Trophy, and the juried Best Show Award.
Darrell A. Larose
Ottawa,  Canada

AUGUST 17, 2016, Les grands feux Casino du Lac‑Leamy fireworks: Team Australia

The weather sucked on Saturday August 13th, so I skipped Team Eastonia’s show. Last night I walked the extra mile, yes one more mile to the Québec side of the Macdonald-Cartier Interprovincial Bridge. My chosen vantage point was about 50 metres from the Ontario-Québec border. I decided this angle would have the historical Royal Alexandra Interprovincial Bridge steel truss cantilever bridge, Parliament Hill and the Ottawa-Gatineau skyline as my background, bonus was the Ottawa River and the flotilla of small boats in the foreground.

I carried my trusty Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4, and SMC Pentax-M 35mm f:2.8 prime lenses. My sturdy Manfrotto 190QCB with #222 Joystick head tossed over my shoulder as I walked the 500 metres to my chosen spot along the bridge. This placed me around 900 metres downstream of the launch barge.

IMGP0267Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-M 35mm f:2.8 prime lens, 4-6 seconds f:11.

IMGP0294Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-M 35mm f:2.8 prime lens, 4-6 seconds f:11.

IMGP0295 Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-M 35mm f:2.8 prime lens, 4-6 seconds f:11.

IMGP0301Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens, 4-6 seconds f:11.

IMGP0303Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens, 4-6 seconds f:11.

IMGP0306Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f:1.4 prime lens, 4-6 seconds f:11. This effect is created by starting out with my 50mm lens focused to minimum distance (18″) and racked to infinity (∞) during the time exposure. This is a hit or miss method, but can yield interesting results.

IMGP0316Pentax ✩istD SMC Pentax-M 35mm f:2.8 prime lens, 4-6 seconds f:11.

The 2016 Les grands feux Casino du Lac‑Leamy winds up on Saturday and I’ll be shooting from the media area at the Museum of History so my Ultra-Wide SMC Pentax-DA 14mm f:2.8 prime will be my lens of choice.


Darrell Larose
Ottawa, Canada