Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Snippets of thoughts

I haven't felt like blogging much... can you tell? :)

Went out to the Algodones/Glamis dunes down in MexiCali. Stayed on our side of the border but we could see Mexico from where we were. Fine day out there except we had to contend with the dune buggies/4x4's/ATV's/bikes/etc. Oh, they didn't bother us, but the landscape/sand showed evidence of tracks everywhere.

Been a little worn down. I think I was getting sick last week with the weather changing and all. The past few weeks have blown by. I haven't talked much about anything here, not retouching, not shooting. What I really need is just some time to unwind so I can reflect on all that's going on. That'll happen soon. Things are slowing down but things will get worse before they get better. Shooting a lookbook in a couple weeks and then I'm off to Asia for a couple days.

Printing has been stable now. The Pixma Pro 9500 Mark II has been outputting magnificently accurate reproductions of what I see on my screen. Who knew all that all I had to do was use Canon paper in the Canon printer?

Oh and the Apple iPhone4 screen is not scratch-proof. Not even close 30x harder than plastic makes it only 1-2x more scratch resistant than plastic LOL! Don't put your iPhone4 in your pocket with a RadioPopper trigger. The corners of the trigger are made of steel and they're sharp. When I bent over to shoot some shots from a lower angle, the phone acquired several scratches on the screen. Apple is amazing and has since resolved the issue by replacing the entire phone. Apple GeniusBar FTW.

The 32GB Sandisk Extreme 60mb/sec UDMA card is working flawlessly. No issues to report whatsoever.

The White Lightning and the Vagabond II acted oddly when I first set them up in the dunes. The White Lightning x3200 when connected to the Vagabond II would just emit a long beep and not respond to test firing from behind the unit. When we plugged in the slave override plug, it was unhappy and furthermore connecting the RadioPopper JrX receiver to it just made it blip/flash repeatedly. We're not sure what was happening but there might have been several issues happening. 1) The inverter on the Vagabond II might have been acting up, not outputting enough power and 2) The radio frequency of the JrX system might have suffered interference from the off-road vehicles nearby with their radios. The problem is that I can't replicate the issue and they work now. This was very disconcerting in the beginning. Reliability is paramount in my work. I can't use stuff that
might work.

It was almost a 4 hour drive to the Algondones Dunes just east of Brawley, CA. 1-way. I'm still tired.

The triangle came into fruition not long ago. My buddy Greg helped me put it together and I'm still trying to figure out how to use it properly in the studio.

That being said, I'm still trying to figure out how to use the box in the studio properly as well. Less of a challenge since it has a back and reflects light well, which makes it harder to create contrast.

The PLM has worked out nicely recently. I've shot with the PLM several times and it's uber-efficient at throwing light. I might write about the PLM in another post.

The HC-210mm has worked out well. I'm all for supporting local businesses and my local representatives and all but I acquired the HC-210mm at less than 2/3 the price of B&H retail $3380.

Circular polarizers are amazing for outdoor sky-work. I wish they would rotate themselves though. I found myself spinning the thing like I was trying to win a million bucks on The Big Spin when rotating from landscape to portraiture. It's not an exact science either. You just eyeball it to see when the sky goes dark. But it works wonders. Partly why the Algodones pictures look so surreal.

I know this isn't part of photography or retouching but I haven't been eating well lately. Physically I'm falling apart really. I think it might be the workload and being busy which squeezes everything else out of the equation. I ate very little in the desert. Didn't even drink enough water. Fortunately it wasn't hot. I haven't been to the gym in a while and I've lost a few pounds. Just putting it out there ;)

I might go back to some of the above topics of conversation and elaborate later... for now they'll have to suffice :)

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