Archive for June, 2008


Off-camera flash

June 30, 2008

One evening of experimentation and I’m hooked. A strobist is born.

Now I need some colored gels so I don’t have this shocking color mismatch. Even so, the result is pretty cool, eh? For some shots (like these) I simply had someone hold the light just out of frame on the left. For other shots I used it as a light grenade: like when I stood it on the DJs table, aimed it at the ceiling, and proceeded to work the entire dance floor.

These people at Nikon are very, very smart.



June 30, 2008

I totally want to go glamping.

I think the Tanzania site looks particularly enchanting.


SB-600: Silver lining

June 29, 2008

I shot a wedding yesterday–from 9 am to after 10 pm. I did get a couple of breaks, but man that’s a long day. Especially considering that I have to shoot another one today!

The low point of the day? After the ceremony we took posed shots, including a couple outside in a light rain. Immediately after this I dashed to my car intending to speed off to the reception hall. That’s when my flash hit the pavement.

I saw plastic scattering in different directions. You can’t know what this feels like until two young people have signed a contract with you, given you money, to come through for them on their once in a lifetime event–and then you have an equipment failure mid-way through the day.

The busted flash–my Sigma EF-500–still seemed to work, but I wasn’t sure if it was working correctly or reliably. Nor did I have time to test it. So I stopped by Art’s Camera in Pewaukee to see if I could grab a replacement unit on the way to the reception in Brookfield.

Art’s didn’t have the coveted Nikon SB-800, but they did have the SB-600 for $199. (Which isn’t too bad. I checked it on Amazon later and it was going for $190.)

What’s cool about the SB-600 is that the pop-up light on my camera can trigger it remotely. And this morning, thanks to this brief tutorial, I got it to work. (Here is why anyone would care, courtesy of Ken Rockwell.)

I think I’ll try experimenting with this for a few of the posed shots today, or maybe some glam shots of the bride.

All of which just goes to show you that sometimes what seems like a big misfortune actually can turn out pretty well in the end.


Go, mom!

June 27, 2008

I got this email from her recently.

Hello All,

I have enclosed pictures of my most recent project. I was deputized a few weeks ago as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriage. That means that I could perform wedding ceremonies.

This was through the Los Angeles County Register Recorders Office in anticipation of the possible overwhelming rush by same sex couples to marry after the law change on June 17, 2008.

I was at the Norwalk office on Wed. June 18th (about 8 commissioners were performing ceremonies) and there were a few same sex couples and a lot of straight couples but not the big crowds that they expected. I performed about 7 ceremonies that day (2 lesbian, 2 gay ceremonies and the rest straight couples) There was a wonderful warm atmosphere and everyone was so gracious to all the newlyweds.

The following week, I was at the West Los Angeles Office (at LAX) and I did an overwhelming 14 ceremonies in one day (there were three of us doing ceremonies). Only 2 were same sex. All in all it has been one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and memorable experiences in my life.

How can I describe the joy and the gratitude that I felt from all my couples. Some came in regular street clothes and some a little more dressed up (but no wedding gowns). Some were so choked up that they couldn’t “repeat after me” and some were crying. Some came alone and some brought family and friends. Two couples each brought up to 25 family members and friends and some had video camera and most had still camera.

Some already had rings on their fingers (they took them off and re-placed them for the ring ceremony) and many had little boxes with them of new rings. Some wanted to read their own special vows and that was very touching.

I hope that I will be called upon, frequently, to perform ceremonies, but there are many regular commissioners who have been doing this for a long time and they don’t give up this duty often.

I just wanted to share how I have been spending my time. What’s happening in your life?


I stick with Windows because…

June 27, 2008

How do you get to write for Gizmodo? I want to know, because clearly it has nothing to do with the ability to make coherent statements about technology. Check out this juvenile, nonsensical piece about why Adam Frucci chooses to stick with Windows over the Macintosh.

It’s a little tedious, so let me summarize the main points. (And, seriously, these are actually the main points of the article.)

  1. I’m smarter than Mac users!
  2. Windows has been a shitty product for a long time, and I’m proud of the sheer volume of stuff I’ve had to learn about how to deal with it.
  3. Macs have problems, too! In fact, the Mac OS wasn’t even better than Windows until seven years ago!
  4. I find Windows more usable because it’s all I’ve ever used.
  5. The Mac OS doesn’t let a guy “get under the hood” and do super l337 H4X0R moves such as editing registry keys.
  6. Bill Gates is a renowned philanthropist, and Steve Jobs isn’t.
  7. Macs look cool! And people who care about looking cool are shallow, self-absorbed fashionistas. Naturally I myself don’t care about looking cool at all–in fact I’m hostile toward it.
  8. But the main reason I don’t switch to Mac is because I’m stubborn and lazy: On the one hand I can’t admit that I’ve been wrong all this time, and on the other hand I’d have to learn how to use a Mac and I don’t want to.
  9. I could be wrong about all this. The next computer I buy could be a Mac because Windows is so shitty that only a crazy person would choose to use it.


June 26, 2008

Blog pal and shaving guru Michael Ham (AKA Leisureguy) is sending me a different brand of lime cologne to try: Geo. F. Trumper’s Extract of West Indian Limes.

Can’t wait to try it.



Now there is hope.

June 26, 2008

Now there is I Hate Ben