{ ^_^ } sinustrom Scribo, ergo sum!


Photography has been a long time hobby of mine as I have started on film (mostly Fujifilm 100 and 200 rolls) using a Soviet Zenit TTL camera which was gifted to me by my late grandfather when I was around 12 years old. However with the progress of digital photography I jumped ship on the winter of 2007. I use photography to try to see the world a bit differently and freeze different aspects of life in time. Photographs shared here are a small selection of my work that I’m particularly fond of.

You are free to use them as per the licensing terms outlined here on the site. If you want to use them for some purpose not covered by the license, or get the full resolution version, or just give me some feedback please feel free to contact me.

What do I photograph?

I like to do street photography, mainly urban scenery and architecture (often focusing on details), whether travelling or walking around the town I live in. When I’m hiking natural scenery, plants, and animals are in focus (pun intended).

I especially enjoy making panoramas and macros, which I guess are two ends of the spectrum. Recently I’ve started discovering other topics and techniques, which are more challenging and hopefully just as rewarding.

What do click with?

When I entered the digital photography scene and was looking for a camera I had a long list of expectations. First I wanted something that can shoot pictures with a nice color and good sharpness, has little “ISO” noise, so if I choose to I can print at least in A4 size. Preferably it has an optical viewfinder so I can frame pictures without having to turn my camera on. Naturally I should have easy and fast control over the usual imaging parameters without having to navigate some menu. It would be nice if the startup to picture time, including focusing was short. Of course in time I would want to expand my toolkit, so it should have plenty of parts and accessories on the market. Would not hurt if it was somewhat rugged so I can carry it around all the time both in the city and especially on hikes. However I did not really care about making videos. Finally I wanted it to be be affordable, especially on a Central European student’s budget.

My requirement list practically eliminated the entire compact camera selection, so I had to pick between some bridge or DSLR cameras. Fortunately for me there is a particular manufacturer, that truly seems to care about the enthusiast photographer market, and thus since then my main camera has been a Pentax DSLR with a small selection of lenses and other accessories.

Pentax has not only managed to meet my expectations, but to some extent exceed them. While today it’s not a big deal, but in the mid 2000’s Pentax already had in-body image stabilization (IBIS), i.e. a sensor shifting based solution which they called “Shake Reduction”, while all the other brands considered to be more professional mostly used optical image stabilization (OIS) built into the lens. They have also kept the same mount since 1975, which meant I had access not only to fancy new glass, but also to a vast amount cheap yet high quality vintage full frame optics, which paired extremely well with the APS-C sensor and IBIS. It also had many unique features early on like pixel shift resolution or the built in star tracer, latter which still has no equivalent with the competition in 2023.

While I continue being a Pentaxian, as an everyday beater I’ve recently picked up an older second hand Fuji X series MILC camera with a fixed prime lens to be my backpack street photography device, as I wanted something smaller and more portable. My main motivation was that I really dislike the over processed, AI “enhanced” image quality that is produced by today’s smart phones, which only look good on tiny screens. Additionally with a simple adapter I can use my Pentax lenses in manual mode on it, thus further expanding my capabilities with the existing gear I already have.

If I have nothing else at hand, of course I’ll still use my phone. While it definitely produces lower quality and more noisy pictures compared to my main gear, a photo is better than no photo, even if it’s just for me to look at later and reminisce about times past. In fact some occasions may just call for that old-school look, thus ironically I end up reaching for my old and outdated Nexus or Asus smart phones to shoot some “vintage digital” looking photos. Their image quality is on par with some of the low to mid range compact cameras from the 2000’s, without the heavy over processing and generative (i.e. content faking) features of more recent phones.

What software do I use?

I will generally use digiKam to view and organize my photo collection, but Gwenview is my desktop’s default application for some quick picture browsing.

Although I do my best to avoid editing my pictures sometimes I still have to correct a few minor issues, especially if I have no means of redoing the photo, for which I use GIMP. To develop my raw images I have Darktable.

On the other hand there are some photos typically created from multiple shots, like HDR or panorama pictures, where one cannot go without the help of software these days. For this I use hugin and enblend/enfuse.

Finally for batch processing or simple automation scripts ImageMagick and ExifTool are always there.

Naturally I run all of these on Linux.