There's been a lot of talk lately in the 4/3rds groups on flickr about gear and people whining about not having it or whatever. I'm getting really sick of it, to be quite honest, and the fact that it drove away one of the biggest contributors of really any forum I've been a part of sickens me.
I love crazy color casts. definitely wasn't expecting it from this roll, even though it was pretty old. kept it in the fridge for so long I figured it'd be fine but I guess these pleasant little surprises are nice every now and then. I was shooting into the sun too, so that probably compounded the issue. Weather's been really weird lately. cold and dewy on this morning, and then two days ago we had driving rain almost all day, then a day of heat, and now its just muggy out there. I thought San Francisco weather was supposed to be predictable.
The F100 is still amazing, thank you very much. Not too many problems, the only big one (and I wouldn't even call it a problem) being that it seems like I get a frame or two less out of a roll than on my N8008s. instead of the 38 I used to get, sometimes I can only get 36. Weird. its performing great though, finally got around to setting everything in the CSM and dialing the camera into what I like. I'll report on battery life once mine die. I'm not using AF lenses or putting too much stress on the motor drive so I'll see how many rolls I get out of this thing. curious how long I can make an exposure last once I get my remote trigger. I get a roll of Velvia back from photoworks tomorrow night so that will be on flickr probably by monday. I did make the mistake of wanting to see a roll from this weekend too badly last night. So I took it to walgreens. definitely a no-no. when I picked it up they had given me prints, something I specifically asked to NOT get. I wasn't in the mood to make it an issue so I just paid the man and left. waste of an extra five bucks.
So, I get back, expecting to have headache-free scanning. yeah, no. Vuescan gave every negative a blue or green cast with way too much grain. This on Reala 100, a film that normally doesn't have grain issues, at least with me. I scoured the interwebs for some help, and eventually just RTFM, which told me to set the base color, lock the exposure, etc. better, but not good enough. so I quit that, opened up epsonscan and what do you know, I can actually get some good scans. Turns out Vuescan is extremely picky about the C41 it likes (a conclusion corroborated by quite a few people on an old dpreview thread). which is a really shame because Vuescan is good, and I mean really good, with slides. Number of problem rolls of slides I've had: two. ever. That's life I guess. I'm gonna keep trying with different film, see if I can nail something down with vuescan. I have a bunch of NPS160 and I really just don't wanna run it all through Epsonscan. call it personal preference, but Epsonscan doesn't seem like a high-quality program. It works, it just seems like it's the Piknik of scanning software.
Also, anybody catch the UFL? I hope they make it through next season, cuz when the NFL locks the players out in 2011 you can bet your ass UFL attendance is going to skyrocket. And I mean, these games aren't that bad at all. I watched Florida and Las Vegas I think, kinda just looked like an NFL game between two "okay" teams. I hate those red ref uniforms though. so. hard. to. tell. and they need to get different team uniforms. the silver, green, black and blue just doesn't work when you have all the teams with those colors. Anyways, go Redwoods. I'll probably be watchin the game on friday night. Hope Cal doesn't choke this weekend......again.....Oregon will win so I'm not too worried.
As promised long ago, I am finally going to go over this bag. It's the Tenba Shootout Medium, not the daypack, which does not have a laptop compartment.
anyone got one for me?
I should have a steady stream of stuff going up on flickr, tryin to get back into the groove. I'll try for 5 a day M-Th since I'm much too lazy on fridays and weekends.
1/8 power, Shoot-through umbrella high & left
sorry. it's been a hectic month. Just moved into my new apartment, trying to find a job, scanning about 10 rolls of film, blah blah blah, excuses excuses.
- Asians rock. seriously, where else but Japantown (Ichi Ban Kan if you need to know) could I get a white umbrella for a dollar? nowhere I tell you. except maybe Chinatown, but I don't think white umbrellas really draw in the tourist set.
- BEHOLD! Dollar store umbrella of death!
- so I kinda did a hack job on the handle. my dremel cutting wheels kept shattering so I kinda brute forced it. on the plus side, now my umbrella can double as a lance. the cool thing about this is that it opens automatically. sweetness. you just have to close it carefully and use the snaps on the outside of the umbrella to hold it closed. they'll probably fail at a very inopportune moment. who cares. I don't. why?
- Because this is an awesome shoot through umbrella. westcott, move over. I would be willing to bet that this piece of shit transmits light just as good if not better than a lot of the inexpensive shoot-throughs out there while still diffusing pretty well. example? thought you'd never ask.
for the first time. kindof. Terri needed some help (rippeephoto.com, have a looksie. She's a good friend and I'd definitely recommend her for engagement, wedding, and baby photos if you're in or around San Diego) and i offered my services. Got there and helped set up, standard stuff. backdrop for these shots she does at every wedding. The guests write a message on a piece of paper, hold it up, and pose. It's really cool and a neat (and easy) way to get a shot of everyone.
Sorry about the absence, been busy with moving out of school, horrid finals, starting summer school, etc. Finally got a place, we hope. It's on Vicente and 24th...ish. Still need to finalize paperwork, get the lease signed, etc, but we're workin on it. first on the list, but it gets kinda hard with 500 miles between here and SF. But yes, we will be moving into a place in the Sunset, 2br/2ba, nice kitchen and bathrooms, all the good stuff. happiness all around.
Did some work for Marion Knowles (one of my mom's photographer friends) the other day got a grip of film out of her fridge. I love when people think they'll never use it and just give it away. makes me feel all warm and happy on the inside. And she had some legit cameras to shoot it with, so it's not like there wasn't a capability. Oh well, one person's trash is another's treasure. Got about.....10 or so rolls of Kodak's B&W C41 film, in 2 varieties: the Portra BW400 and the T400CN. 10 rolls of Provia, 5 rolls of velvia, some superia, reala, NPH400, NPS160, NHG800, a roll of kodak gold, 2 rolls of kodak HD, which I assume is a consumer oriented version of UC or something like that. or maybe just a finer-grained gold. who knows, I'll have to find out. I think it's in the Pentax right now. actually no, NPH400 is in the pentax, and the Kodak HD is in the OMG. NHG800 in the Nikon. more on that later.
Also scored a roll of Ektachrome 1600 (win!) and scala 200. sending that one out should be interesting. Took the Ektachrome (god that is a hard word to type for some reason) to Chrome in SD. Prices are about as good as Photoworks so hopefully that will be a good place to get my E-6 developed. they send out their B&W though... freakin weird. Develop E-6, sendout for B&W. makes sense. Their price also includes mounting, so I hope I get a discount on that since I hate mounted slides. anyways, I'll have those ready and hopefully up by Wedesday.
Back to the NHG800. I'll be assisting Terri Rippee at a wedding tomorrow, hopefully the Nikon will deliver. and the NHG. and the neopan. will also be my first time doing anything photographic at a wedding. actually, I think it'll only be the second wedding ive attended. that seems weird to me. so, two rolls of NHG800, a grip of Neopan, and some NPH400 or NPS160. I'll bring both and I'll just have to see what kind of light I have to work with.
as some additional news, I've got a bunch of stuff on eBay. if you need some vintage flashes, I guess I'm your guy. I've got...
Flashes not for the strobist types, the only manual control is via distance and aperture. the Achiever and Sunpak do have PC cord connections though. also on ebay: an old pentax strap, a .45x wide angle/macro filter for a 58mm thread, a lowepro TLZ mini case, and Marion's Canon A2E. it's nice, you want it. canon professional/domke gripper strap included.
About this whole photo class thing. goddamn SFSU and its BS rules.
After my visit to SLO i'm kindof lusting after giant softboxes now. got to play with some Dyna-lites in Photoflex boxes and I am really impressed. Considering it took us like an hour to setup for one shot, I don't think it's going to be a purchase I'll be making anytime soon. I mean, we did have to set up a sweep, 2 soft boxes and lights, a gradient, and the actual product shot, but a big softbox is a serious investment (for me, especially because of space constraints, and my utter lack of funds and hardware to support it) especially to get the most out of it. Besides, a Westcott double fold on a Manfrotto Nano Stand is infinitely more compact, easier to setup and take down, and depending on your subject size and proximity, can replicate a softbox in terms of light quality. Except for the catchlights. Anyways, I'm gonna throw some more information out in the coming few days. its late but I've got some ideas floating about in my head that I'm gonna try to formulate into a coherent, concise flow of words.
I'm going down to see Chloe for the weekend. There's a gala for the art dept at SLO so we're going to that, and I should be doing some studio work with her. mostly helping set up but i might get a few shots in. forecast is for rain, but hopefully it'll blow through today and tonight. I just don't wanna be stuck inside all day. There's some lovely hills in the back of SLO and I'd really like to shoot there more, weather permitting. We'll see tomorrow.
Anyways, I just wanted to take this time to talk about what to pack. Don't pack what you don't need. Let me rephrase. Don't pack what you ABSOLUTELY don't need, or if its something you might end up needing then make sure you have it available to you at your destination. I'm bringing the kitchen sink, just because that's how I roll.
Nikon N8008s, Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 (technically, I don't need this, since chloe's got a 28mm that's a stop faster, but I really like this lens). I left my 50 at home since Chloe's got one and I can borrow it whenever. The E-500 is coming too along with the 14-45 and the macro. because I like wide and I like tight (two concepts that go together as much as Nazis at an Annie Liebovitz gallery, if you're talking about something besides photography). Bringing both my flashes too, wireless triggers, and extra batteries. if you have a bag that has memory card/battery holders, USE THEM. They are so helpful. ive got all mine full of AAs, some assorted AAAs, and the BLM-1 for my E-500. the nice red tags let me know which batteries are dead. I'm going to miss this bag. maybe.
oh yeah, if you're traveling, I'm of the opinion that a dedicated camera backpack trumps EVERYTHING. especially if it can carry a laptop. I looked into getting a messenger bag, but the lack of space (I need [read: like] lots of it) turned me off. so I'm getting a backpack, ditching my Tamrac Pro8 and my North Face Recon. shoulder bag + backpack = no bueno on the shoulders. I need something that can carry 2 bodies with lenses, an extra lens for each body, 2 speedlights, wireless triggers, a laptop, hard drive, and assorted knick nacks. A 'weather proof' backpack beats my thin north face bag and my [fairly substantial] tamrac bag any day of the week. consolidation FTW. you might like the ease of a shoulder bag to get at your stuff, but i normally have a camera slung around my neck anyways. besides, I'm talking about travel here, not going on day jaunts around the city. I'd probably prefer a messenger for that, but for travel, id rather carry a small bag with my clothes along with the backpack. it just seems more convenient to me.
Also known in the past as T400CN, Portra BW400, and now as Kodak Professional BW400CN (professional my ass, I can find this shit in the local walgreens).
Anyways, it's a monochrome C-41 film that you can get processed at any drugstore minilab. I really think it's a hidden gem in the film world. Ilford made (makes?) a similar film, its name escapes me at the moment (XP2?), but I don't think it gives you as creamy of a texture as the Portra. I'm calling it portra because it's what it was called when I first shot it. to my eye, the emulsions are more or less the same throughout the name changes, so get over it. I've shot every the T400, Portra, and professional versions, so I can testify.
moving on, it's a great film. Lots of dynamic range, though not as good as a silver-halide film developed and printed yourself, and the contrast is right in the middle so you've got the leeway to play with it in post if you have a hybrid A/D workflow like I do. if I didn't have so much neopan, I'd probably be shooting this a lot more. as it stands, I've got 15 rolls of 1600 to burn through, and I don't get out enough at night.
when developed by a lab that knows what they're doing, it looks a lot better than from your drug store minilab. yeah yeah, i know they probably use the same machines to do it, but pro labs definitely take care of theirs better. I'm tellin you, it's worth paying twice the price for a much better negative.
The only downsides to the B&W portra? well, if you're obsessed with Fuji, you're out of luck for an equivalent in their line (maybe acros 100, but that's not C-41. in fact, Acros is a much nicer film, it just doesn't really fall into the same category, and it's cheap at my local lab so i guess I could call it another hidden gem) The fine grain of BW400 is also deceiving—yeah, it's great, but the film itself isn't a high-resolution film. I mean come on, it's sold in drugstores. Think of it as a nice companion to some NPS160 or Portra NC.
sorry. I just don't understand how people say Velvia is so ridiculously oversaturated. i had to ADD saturation/vibrance to this, along with many of my other slides, just to get them to look like the actual scene that i remember through the lens.
Maybe it's the 100. RVP50 seems a bit more saturated, but only marginally. I still have to add saturation/vibrance to most of those shots, and I scan the two films identically.
could it be the scanner? possibly. but a look at the slides reveals that the scanner only has minimal exposure issues, generally erring to overexposure. so that would make colors lighter and appear more vibrant. again, I just don't get it. and i probably never will until i shoot things other than Velvia. but I get Velvia for free every now and again so I'm really not going to make this a final statement until i shoot something else side by side with it. Maybe some Astia or Ektachrome.
I could just remember things in technicolor or something though.
Finally i get to write what I had in mind from the onset of this entire foray into the blagosphere.
- This is really designed for Americans. Everyone else without a Home Depot (the other 90% of the world), you can still do it, but don't expect to find the same parts.
- It's designed around an SB-800. When I say designed, I really mean that it just happens that an SB-800 fits into the opening. If you have, say, a Vivitar 283 or 285, you can't use the gutter piece. You'll have to find something else to fit the bigger flash head. If you have a Canon flash, your head is wider so it might not fit either. I'm brainstorming a fix, which is half- pointless since my beauty dish is already completed. Oh well, Home Depot is like 15 minutes away and if I need to, I'll fix it. Check the comments on David's blog to see what people with other flashes are doing.
- Fasteners: David briefly mentions using them to connect this whole contraption together without mentioning the best ones to use. Go to HD's screws n shit section, and look for green packs of machine screws. You want the pack labeled #4-40 x 1/2". I bought round heads for a slotted screwdriver, and it was 8 little screws with 8 matching nuts. I should have gotten phillips, what was I thinking. Loc-Tite (blue or red, pick your poison) might be a good idea for these, since the nuts are non-locking and a washer this small is pretty impractical. I used super glue. it's not entirely necessary since I dont think that the dish will be seeing a lot of vibration, but better safe than sorry.
- The screws I used may not work for you. There are ridges on the bottom of the CD spindle that I cut off with a dremel to make the whole thing sit more flush. I would recommend doing this unless you go for longer screws. it probably saved about 1/4" in height, maybe a little less.
- The reflecting assembly: the convex mirror I bought was labeled 3.75", David said his was labeled at 3.5". they look the same size to me in relation to the CD. I was going to use an old useless DVD of mine to cover the gap on the top of the CD spindle cover, but I decided against it. My DVD reflected blue , and I didn't want a blue cast to my beauty dish since I would be mostly shooting under flourescent ambient. I opted for a CD, which had a yellow-green reflection. I just felt it would be more neutral, that's all. do what you like. Although, you could get away with a 4-4.5" convex mirror and skip the CD altogether. try to find the most convex one that you can, the object is to get the light reflected out into the dish.
- Someone who posted on David's blog said they made a variable distance mirror assembly. That would be cool, or you could just get it right so that it reflects into the whole dish. I used a 50-cd cover, but due to the non-convexity of the mirror it seems like a bigger cover, like a 75 or 100, would work better. But it also looks stupider. so I went with the 50 and if i need the extra whatever I'll just turn the flash up or put a white tshirt over the dish and have a pseudo-soft box.
- Painting this thing: paint before you cut. You'll thank me later. trying to paint one side white and the other side black with a big gaping hole is just plain stupid and you'll be frustrated every time you flip the bowl over. As diffusion and reflection are the name of the game (seems almost counter-intuitive), you want to paint the inside ultra-matte white. expect some hot-spots or harsh shadows if you use anything below a regular matte or satin. I went with flat white and I'm just hoping it diffuses enough. paint the outside whatever you want, but flat black looks the coolest and will most likely match 100% of your gear.
- make a bracket to connect the beauty dish to the hot shoe/radio trigger/whatever. you can do this if you want to take strain off the flash head and hot shoe. it's best if it's adjustable so that you can fit it to as many of your flashes as possible. I didn't, but probably will eventually.
I'm so fucking pissed. I come back to San Diego expecting Mexican restaurants that I have frequented for the last five years to cook their dishes in the same manner as they have been for the last 5 fucking years.
But no, Roberto's and Las Olas decide to fuck with my shit.
First, Roberto's, since they screwed me first. scrambled eggs in huevos rancheros? really? okay, you guys had to fucking try to screw me on this one. I'm pretty damn good with eggs, just ask Chloe, and I know for a fact it takes more effort to scramble eggs than it does to fry them, cook them sunny side up, over medium, over easy, over hard, whatever.
you crack the fucking egg and watch it fucking sit there. not that hard.
Second, when did you stop putting the eggs on top of the tortillas on top of the beans? did that go out of style or something? cuz i sure as hell missed that fucking memo. Las Olas is guilty of this too. they make their eggs right but goddamn they dropped their fucking balls on the construction.
Second of all, fish tacos. you'd expect in San Diego, hell even north LA, that mexican restaurants would have fish tacos down pat. It's like the greatest and saddest stereotype of all: Mexicans being too lazy to be Mexican. i swear to god i got the worst fish tacos ever this past week. the fish was like a long john silver's reject. McDonald's fish sandwiches avoid this fish. we're talking leper-status fish here. like, fished out of San Elijo Lagoon fish. Fish whose migratory patterns include San Onofre and the LA coast.
I mean goddammit, what is the world coming to when good reputable Mexican places fuck up their mexican food! it's all the fuckin white people who own them! fuck!
At least Rubio's can still make a damn fine fish taco, and that's the third whitest Mexican place ever (behind Del Taco and Taco Bell, of course).
fuck man. fuck. and i heard a rumor Board and Brew is gonna lose their lease. shit. fuck. goddammit.
what the fuck is happening?
stay tuned for strobes. coming soon.
Seriously, I don't get it, what the fuck is with them. They are a bunch of fucking closeted idiots who can't play nice with others. Fuck, i learned that skill in preschool, can 50 year old men not do that? Mostly Fox News is the public face of the party that I can't stand. These people rail on Democrats based on the fact that they are Democrats. Not because they have bad ideas, or different ones, or whatever, it's because they aren't in the GOP and are therefore "evil" "Socialist" "liberals." Oh my god, get the fuck over it. Just cuz you can't hate people based on the color of their skin anymore doesn't mean you should pick another group to hate based on some meaningless criteria. And WHY are you hating on the New York Times? You rip on the editorials for God's sake: people's fucking opinions! Oh, you might not remember this little fact, but Fox and the NYTimes are owned by the same fucking person. It's probably in your best interest that they do well. And stop putting fucking conjecture on your little news ticker. Trying to trick stupid Americans is pretty weak. And why rip on Matt Lauer for his interview with Michael Steele. He was asking fucking journalistic questions, because you know, he is a journalist, and Fox anchors "attack," to use your words, their interviewees, too. It's called being a good reporter. It should be illegal for you to say that you're fair & balanced. FCC, please get on these lying motherfuckers.
iStockphoto and their little rules for submissions. I'm kinda just doing this whole iStock thing for shits and giggles so that I can maybe make enough money to buy myself a 6 pack of Blue Moon every now and then instead of whatever other tasty beer is on sale, but it's really getting frustrating.
- ▼ 2009 (27)