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Katarina Souto Mera's all about pictures...

Nicole (children photography)

Sneak peek Posted on Mon, July 19, 2010 14:20:50

Just a quick sneak peek on the photographs from my last photosession with this gorgeous little 2-years old girl Nicole. The whole shoot took place in my garden one hot summer afternoon and it was a real pleasure to create these images.

And some techincal data: camera Pentax MZ-S with Pentax SMC FA 77/1,8 Limited and Pentax FA*200/2,8 IF&ED lenses, Kodak Portra 160NC, 400NC and 800 colour film

And here are some colour and B&W variations tried in postprocessing on the same image.

Enjoy & stay tuned for more!

Katarina Souto Mera

Cosina 55/1.2

Reviews Posted on Tue, June 15, 2010 09:15:14

Japanese lens in Pentax mount

Frame format ― 24×36 mm (35mm SLR / DSLR)
Focal length ― 55 mm
Focusing ― manual
Maximum aperture ― 1:1.2
Aperture range ― 1.2 – 16
Diaphragm blades ― 9
Construction ― 7 elements in 6 groups
Minimum focus ― 0.60 m
Filter size ― Ø58 mm

I am not going to call this article “review” since I am was not doing any chart tests or similar. Rather than that I put this beautiful fast lens on my beloved Pentax MZ-S, loaded it with Kodak Portra 400VC film and headed out to my garden. Luckily everything was in bloom, so I had plenty of things to shoot.

As it was my first time out with this lens, I wanted to see how it handles rendering of out-of-focus areas called bokeh and to see it performance wide open at 1.2 f-stop. All these photographs are shot with the lens Cosina 55/1.2 wide open. They might seem a bit soft, but here is why – the depth of field (DOF) at f 1.2 very narrow (a couple of millimetres) so a slight breeze on flower or branch or me not holding the camera steady (I should have used the tripod, but I was kinda lazy) could throw the focus off. And plus, it is a general truth, that the best sharpness of the lens is when stopped down a bit. With Cosina 55/1.2 that would be about f 2,8 I’d say. But then, why buy fast lenses if to use them stopped down?

When I was deciding over the purchase of a fast lens I had two favourites – this one Cosina 55/1.2 and Pentax A 50/1.2. If I could I would buy both of them, as each has its own advantages. But finally I have choose Cosina because of the bokeh rendering a it’s focal length 55mm. I already own a 50mm Pentax lens 50/1.7 and also 43/1.9, so the 55 was something I didn’t have. But the biggest thing that won me over to Cosina was its bokeh. It is so special, I can’t explain it. Some photographs look like paintings. It is not that smooth as the bokeh of Pentax 50/1.2, but it is so interesting and unique, that ever since I saw some photos I was sold.

If you wish to see more photographs taken with this beautiful lens, please visit my Facebook page and search for SPRING PhotoAlbum.

Katarina Souto Mera


Newborn photography Posted on Wed, May 05, 2010 11:12:18

Ilana, 6 days old baby girl, almost perfect model. Almost perfect, because she did not want to sleep as I would prefer :)). She wanted to see everything what was happening around.

She was photographed in her home using natural window light. I did not want to use strobes as the newborns are barely used to the daylight. I used colour film Kodak Portra 400VC, Pentax MZ-S camera with Pentax SMC 43/1,9 Limited and Pentax SMC 77/1,8 Limited lenses. The negative was scanned and converted to B&W and further enhannced in the editing software.

If you wish to see more photograph of this cute baby, please check my Facebook page, where you can “Like” me, if you are signed up on FB. Look for NEWBORNS gallery.

If you wish to have your newborn baby photographed, I’d be happy to. Please contact me for availability and further details.

Katarina Souto Mera

Sweet babygirl Julia

Sneak peek Posted on Tue, April 20, 2010 13:41:54

Recently I had an opportunity to photograph this sweet little baby and her parents. Great experience, hopefully I will have more opportunities like this in the future! Enjoy!

Katarina Souto Mera

baby photography

Follow me on Facebook

News Posted on Wed, April 14, 2010 09:27:35

During the time my site was down, I have created a page SoutoPhotography on Facebook, where I will upload my portfolio. Feel free to become a fan of my page, I’d really appreciate it.

Katarina Souto Mera

Back and running! No more danger!

News Posted on Tue, April 13, 2010 10:27:50

I am happy to announce you, that my website is back and running, no malware and danger to visitors. Good news for today!

Katarina Souto Mera


News Posted on Fri, March 26, 2010 09:43:27

My website has been rated as dangerous. Please, for the moment, do not open it as it may harm your computer. I do not know for the time being what went wrong and I apologise for this inconvenience, it was surely not done intentionally. I have to have a look into it and try to find the solution. I will inform you when there is no danger anymore. Thank you for your understanding.

Katarina Souto Mera

Hartblei Super Rotator 80/f 2,8 photos

Reviews Posted on Thu, March 25, 2010 13:17:11

Last week I posted a review of a tilt/sift lens Hartblei Super Rotator 80/f 2.8, in which I described this lens specifications and gave you my first impression. If you haven’t read that post, you can find it here.

Well, today I want to show you some examples shot with this lens. Please, take into account I haven’t fully grasped the way how to use this lens to get me the precise results I want regarding metering exposure. As I explained in the previous post, with tilt/shift lenses the light going through the lens is bended and that’s why it easily misleads the metering system in the camera which in result will propose you wrong exposure. That’s why you have to use bracketing function on your camera, or exposure compensation or use manual mode and set your aperture and shutter speed as you deem appropriate. Tilting and shifting bends the colours as well, so you can get colour shifts or strange colours where they should not be. I am not any educated engineer in optic, so if you want to have educated explanations of what is happening to light when using tilt/shift lens, search somewhere else J. But I will show you my photographs and explain how I handle or overcome the shortcoming to give me pleasing results.

Let’s have a look at the picture here:

This is the photograph straight out of the camera. I used full tilt and focused on their faces lens fully open at 2,8. You can see the effect of the tilt throwing the bottom and top of the picture out of focus. That is because the plane of sharpness is not in parallel with the film/sensor plane like with ordinary lens, but has been moved to run in the angle. You can see that the wall behind their heads is also in focus which with ordinary lens – fully open – it would not be. Or if it would be, everything from the top till the bottom of the frame would be also in focus.

Now let’s have a look at the colours. There is visible blue tint in the highlights. In this particular photo I used on-camera flash, you can see the ugly shadow behind them even though I dialled the flash exposure compensation down, it is still too much flash. I should have bounced the flash into a reflector in this situation to give me softer and directional light. But that truly belong to flash technique J. The blue tint is also visible on the photographs where I did not used the flash. The contrast is a bit muted and overall exposure is not spot on. But that is partly because it is difficult to compensate for the in-camera misleading metering and as I shoot on film camera, I cannot check my histogram or preview the picture on the display as a digital photographer would do. Next time I’ll try different approach and surely will bracket J.

The next picture is the same as above, but corrected and improved in a computer software during post processing. I usually scan my negatives myself, but these came from the lab as a low resolution files instead of classical index print. Quite handy indeed.

So in this case I just increased the exposure and contrast and toned the highlights with yellowish and the shadows with purplish colour. It gave the photograph old nostalgic look and hid the imperfections of the lens and my wrong exposure yielding a pleasing result.

I am definitely not regretting buying this lens, it gives an opportunity to learn something new, push the boundaries and the best is the fresh new look it gives to my photographs.

Katarina Souto Mera

My little poulette

Random photos Posted on Wed, March 24, 2010 12:05:09

Since I didn’t have time to write something thoughtfull, I’m just going to post some photos of my baby.

I really enjoy photographing her, but she is so difficult to focus because she never stops moving. I have to grab those moment when she stays still for a second. Even then many pictures are out of focus. But those good ones are really rewarding.

Again, as always, shot on film with Pentax MZ-S camera and SMC FA 77/1,8 Limited lens with help of Pentax AF-540FGZ speed light bounced off walls.

I found a lab where instead of index print you can choose to have a CD with low res files from your film. I find it very convenient, because I don’t have to scan the whole film, I don’t even have to take out my scanner! Well, of course, for big prints it is not enough of resolution, but for just posting it here – nobody sees the difference. I have to ask if they have this otpion for B&W films as well, and I might consider to hand over my precious negatives to have them develop by somebody else than me. That would save me a lot of time.

Katarina Souto Mera

Brand new Wedding gallery on-line

News Posted on Mon, March 22, 2010 11:56:14

Actually, there are 2 new wedding galleries, but one is with the photographs straight out of the camera and in the other one you’ll see the magic of post production on selected photos from the original gallery.

Post processing include very few simple steps to improve the composition, colour correction or colour change, B&W conversion and only in one or two photos I cloned out some distracting elements. Just to show you what a little postproduction can do to a photo, how it can be improved or get another atmosphere.

As mentioned before, all the photographs are shot on film Kodak Portra 800 135-36 with Pentax MZ-S camera with combination of the excellent Limited FA lenses offered by Pentax – SMC FA 31/1.8 Ltd, SMC FA 43/1.9 Ltd and SMC FA 77/1.8 Ltd which happens to be my favourite lens of all.

If you wish to see the rest of the photographs, please visit my website or click this link which will take you directly to the wedding gallery. Enjoy and leave a comment if you did 🙂

Katarina Souto Mera

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