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Analog and Digital opinions from photography to politics and everything in between.

31 March 2009

About damn time.

Finally i get to write what I had in mind from the onset of this entire foray into the blagosphere. 

I made a beauty dish in preparation for flashing all over the place.  The Strobist bug bit me, I guess.  Actually, I just wanted to be a part of an upcoming...thing...in the photographic world, although it's really nothing "new."  Anyways, I've got some gear on the way, and I was bored and had time and money to kill, so I built a beauty dish with the help of David Tejada. I think he got his information from someone else, but I don't remember and I'm too lazy to go look.  It's on his site, you can go find it there.  

I chose a beauty dish because it seemed the easiest.  not gonna lie, I'm lazy.  and I don't have pictures yet.  again, because I'm lazy.  you don't really need to see mine anyways.  the paint needs some work and it looks identical to David's.  See his here.

A few notes on David's design:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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.  
  8. 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. 
oh yeah, use a Dremel.  Go buy one. it doesn't have to be expensive, but they help immensely with this project and lots of others.  I use mine as often as possible.  The best use I've ever gotten out of it? drilling holes in a C-class' half torn off bumper to zip tie it back together.  Alcohol may have been involved.  NOT IMPORTANT.  

bottom line: Dremels (not necessarily that brand) are worth it. I got mine in like 6th grade (Black&Decker), and its still going strong.  

So that's all. I'll update by monday to get some samples and comment on my new toys. Maybe I'll update this post, maybe just make a new one.  

Okay, so as well as the SB-800, this fits a Sunpak 422D.  and anything SB-800 ish sized.

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.

let me explain via the use of a simple drawing:

beans, corn tortilla, fried eggs, and ranchero sauce. Not that fucking hard to make.
[p.s: this is why I'm not an art major.]

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.   

So, you might not have heard, but GOP members fear that Obama's administration and agenda seeks to destroy individual liberties and the foundations of capitalism, or something like that.  -_- . for serious?  Destroy individual liberties? In America.  Yeah, good luck trying to tell me that the eevil eevil liberal executive (and legislative) branch[es] can destroy personal liberties without the intervention of, you know, Senators with half a brain (Rep and Dem alike), or the conservative Judicial Branch.  And please, I would love to know how you could turn America into a non-capitalist country.  Really, I want to know.  I want to know how anyone in the government would try to pull that one off.  You know, nationalizing everything with all the money we have.  I'm sure China would lend it to us, but come on, do you really expect anyone to buy that?  
RNC Chairman Michael Steele, grow a pair and stand up for the things you say and believe.  Everyone and their dead grandmother knows Rush Limbaugh is an incendiary far-right conservative voice.  Are you so intimidated by his fucking jowls that you'd pretend you didn't know it, too?  Why don't you and Hannity get down on your knees and start blowing.  And stop trying to be hyphy.  YOURE FUCKING HELLA NOT.  Fuckin bootsy motherfucker if you ask me. 
GOP leaders: stop being the people who say no all the time.  It's fucking annoying in a time when we need to be doing shit for the country.  Who cares if you don't like the stimulus package, if it doesn't work we'll try things the Reagan way.  Which brings me to another point: Reaganomics doesn't work.  Those tax cuts didn't really get us out of that stagflation slump.  It kinda was a coincidence and things just kinda fixed themselves without major help from the cuts.  You know, because the market and economy work in cycles.  Trickle-down economics is the biggest joke ever.  
I'm so afraid of the left-wing media conspiracy, oooooooh.  SHUT THE FUCK UP.  You are the people who said the market was only gyrating, you are the people who decided to get us into two wars, you are the people who got us into this slump, you are the people who use loaded words and questions to demonize and attempt to ridicule anyone who doesn't think the same as you, the world hates America because of you.  Who fucking cares if your news leans left? It's a hell of a lot better than media outlets that try to turn Americans against each other.  Oh i hope there's a civil war in this country, the Democrats would win cuz they know when to spend their goddamn money.  Also because California has the 5th largest economy in the world and is a blue state.  Ironically, it also has some of the tightest gun control laws.  Hmmm....
Oh, I fuckin hate democrats, too.  Obama administration: is it that hard to do a background check on someone's taxes before you appoint them? You're the fucking federal government you've got the IRS on like speed dial # 8 or something.  It's not the biggest deal in the fucking world, the media (left & right) is just kinda making it that way, but come on.  How about some fucking crossed Ts and dotted Is for once.  Also, fire you're fucking press secretary, he's a little bitch who's been bending it over and taking it in the ass from the press and is making everyone look bad.

Nikon N8008s+ Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 Ai + Fujichrome Velvia RVP50