January 6th, 2010
It's the New Year already. Can't believe 2009 is already recorded in the books. '09 was a good year, but I promise that 2010 will be better.
A few things have been going on that have kept me off blogging. I don't normally blog about the stuff that borders "real life" but it's important because it's still a part of what I do:
-The Eizo CG241W exhibited uneven brightness in certain parts of the screen. I guess I should have known better with a demo unit. It went back to Eizo for repair (under warranty) on December 28, 2009. I miss it terribly even though I only had it for 5 days. I'm picking up the replacement unit tomorrow afternoon. I'm not sure if it's another demo unit but I'll update here once I find out.
-I placed an order for RadioPopper JrX. I was this close to pulling the trigger on PCB CyberSyncs but alas, the ability to control the AB800's from the camera won me over... and I did not want the complications of having something like the CyberCommander which only works with the PCB products. Whether or not these will prove more reliable than the Gadget Infinity V4 is what I am most curious about... I did spend several hours yesterday researching the two and I hope that the RP's don't fail me or disappoint me... I was originally going to wait for the Nikon version of the PocketWizard TTL (TT5 and Mini) but I fear that for the price it won't give me the type of control that I need. Surprisingly I like manually setting my strobes but I hate running to and from each strobe. While I would have liked the 1 stop advantage of shooting with the PocketWizard TTL, I couldn't justify it with the price, plus it would seem their range sucks.
-An Avenger A475B is coming (A4041B). I've seen people hang Vagabond II's as counterweights. That says something about the stand. Hopefully it will prove as sturdy as it looks...
-I am going to start shooting again. The holidays plus the end of the year made it difficult to work around peoples' schedules in addition to the fact that I was basically gone from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Things will pick back up shortly.
-The time that I've spent away from retouching has been well spent elsewhere. I built half of my next little carpentry project today. Who knew that I would have a knack for putting stuff together? The wall gave me my first foray into rotary saw but I have still yet to figure out how to make a cleaner/straighter cut.
The wall was small potatoes compared to what I'm doing today. I still need to go to Home Depot tomorrow and get some more wood. I foresee at least 5-6 more hours (in addition to the 6 hours I've already spent) before I finish this one. That doesn't even count the design time, which I'll readily admit (the design) is atrocious. I need more experience under my belt. Wish I had taken wood-working or even home economics in high school LOL.
I always knew that photographers were a resourceful lot, but I never figured myself for actually building anything. Don't get me wrong, I know how to work tools. I've built lots of model stuff like cars and what not. I like fixing stuff. I've worked on my car before. But I'd rather leave that stuff to the experts... it's just that building walls and set props aren't things that are easily attainable, particularly at a low cost. I suppose shooting at Winson's studio and seeing all the cool stuff he built with his hands had something to do with it.
-On that note, I recently acquired a Milwaukee 4-tool Combo Kit from Costal Tools. I really like the portability of this set and the fact that it's powered by Li-ion batteries gives me confidence that they'll last through a good day's work and hopefully not die as quickly over time as NiMH batteries (Li-ions discharge slower and don't increase in discharge rates over time... for the most part Li-ion is a better technology than NiMH). I really love this toolset. The drill and the rotary saw are badass. I love power tools. Although I wish I could get in the tighter and hard-to-reach spots with the drill. Might need some extensions?
-Tomorrow I'm going with my buddy who's a commercial real estate broker to look at a few studios in Los Angeles. As I've mentioned before, I'm outgrowing the house and while it's nice to shoot at home, it's not the right way to shoot. There's a time and a place for everything and it's time to get a place to do this right.
-On the note of not enough inputs... I've noticed that when I hole myself up by retouching, I'm losing contact with the outside world. This year I plan to make a greater effort to receive more input. Whether it be community, forums, magazines, online interviews, etc. I need to absorb more information. I'm kicking this off with a few subscriptions to magazines and purchasing some books that will help me in photography/retouching.
-Website redesign. I'm on the fence about simply hiring someone to do this for me. The thing that keeps pulling me back in is that if I don't know what I want, the designer won't be able to help me. If I do know what I want, I could pretty much do it myself. Hence the stagnation. It's a Catch 22 really... or a chicken-and-the-egg conundrum. If you thought drawing sketches for a wall or a set of steps was hard, a website redesign is wayyy harder. It's on my to-do list though.
Now you see what I'm up to :) Guess it's back to work!