Friday, May 29, 2009

Look Ma--No Wires!!

My own photo blog. Or is the new correct word for it, plog?

Which ever way, what am I going to do with it.

My normal posting site is flickr ( and I suspect it will stay that way. And since I have no commercial ambitions I won't be using this to try to promote a business. The competition is too fierce. Everybody and their kid sister own a digital camera, a computer and editing software. So for the same reason I don't hire a photographer or buys her images---why pay when you can do it yourself.

So this blog should end up being a series of musings and howtos that are somehow connected to the art and science of image making.

The howtos should range from the elementary to geeky. How geeky--I'm an optical engineer but I will try to hold my fingers back whenever they have an urge to type page after page of techno jargon.

But if I can't control them--I'll try to remember to type in a less geeky explanations. After all--what can be as fascinating as Poisson noise and its archenemy, wavelet noise reducti...

OOPs ---naughty naughty typing fingers.

Onward to the start of the first of a series of elementary howtos on portraits, still lives and studio lighting.

How elementary? Very. I own a few books on lighting and portraits and have sampled a few strobist sites but otherwise I don't know much about this area of photography. This blog will follow my misadventures.

So lets introduce my new model.

On the street they call her "Twisty Missy" She has the patience of a true mannequin, doesn't blink when the flash goes off in her face, and can hold a pose for hours

And here she is inspecting the new toys---the Alien Bees that landed on my doorstep.

That whimsically named company sell, among other things, a wireless control for an offcamera flash. The radio transmitter in mounted to the hot shoe of the camera and the receiver is hooked with an adapter cable into my new Vivitar 285hv flash.
My first misadventure
That was not how I originally planned to control the flash. When I bought the 285 I already had three Wein peanuts--small light detectors that sense the light of a master flash and then fire the flash they are attached to. Unfortunately they did not work with the new 285. The peanuts draw their power from the batteries in the flash through its hot shoe and it appears the 385 doesn't supply enough voltage or current to run the peanut.
This is a classic example on why photography can be such an expensive hobby. After spending $100 on an off camera flashgun I then spent $155 on the accessories to make it work the way I wanted it to work. Not to mention the photographic umbrellas, the light stands, the clamps to attach the flash, the umbrella and the ..... You get the idea.
And all to start this blog rolling. Will it be worth while? We'll see
So until the next scribble..................

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