There are a lot of things in life that are bigger than I am. Celestial bodies, the oceans, Dancing With The Stars, Scottish terriers, etc… But, another thing that’s bigger than me is the NPO, an organization where people use their talents and skills to make a better world instead of more of those little numbers that represent their personal money. It’s no secret that I harbor a deep love for NPOs (I did partner with one and have mused about starting my own for ages, after all), and it should further be no secret that my favorite one in town has been EclecticPond Theatre Company. After all, I’ve been working with them for two seasons now, have shot for six productions and scheduling shoots for a seventh, and even helped them redesign their website.
So, it just makes sense at this point that I’ve talked with their creative director, and their board has voted to accept my motion to join them as a full member, rather than an associate. So, as of, well, technically this past Sunday but more officially yesterday I am now officially part of their marketing team, with aims to handle the photography and graphic design portions of things, as well as helping with their social branding and website as needed. And, have to say, I’m excited to be a part of something like this, something bigger than myself. Look for more stuff soon as I finish up my associate-style work on their production of Much Ado About Nothing, and even more once I get up to speed in my capacity for their next season when it starts.
Good designers are problem solvers, not artists. Great designers are both
Brent from Ommyo
In case you missed it on Twitter (what? You don’t already loyally follow my inane ramblings?), I got a new easel this weekend. It’s aluminum, and it wouldn’t have been worth the $100 Michael’s wanted except for their awesome 40% off coupon. That made it a worthwhile impulse buy, I feel.
And now it’s had its inaugural painting session. There’s paint on the metal now, and that means it’s real. Much like my return to the land of applying oil and pigment to pieces of board and canvas.
Emily has decided his name is “Beanie”
This one’s basically for Max.
There’s an old saying: “You can’t steal something from me that I willingly give you.” It has its limits, of course, but how much happier would we be, how much stronger would our own work be, and how much more would people enjoy seeing our work, if we remained committed to the idea of art as a gift. Some will pay for my work, some will not, and others will steal it. Either way, the gift keeps moving.
If I tried a dozen different drafts over the next few months, I couldn’t say as succinctly and perfectly why the bulk of my work here is released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Full article via the source link. It’s a good rant.
Or, “How I Learned To Stop Aperture Prioritizing and Love The S Mode”
While I’m killing some time waiting for my headshot session with my chums at EclecticPond I figured I’d throw a blog post out into the netiverse, particularly one wherein I talk about one of my favorite subjects: the trials and tribulations of lighting in photographs.
You see, recently I’ve been finding more and more of those annoying where my beloved Quadras aren’t quite the right tool for the job, or where they needed a little buddy to help them along. I’ve needed an accent light. I’ve been wanting the lazy luxury of TTL. It was time to face it, I needed a hotshoe flash like a real photo boy. So, since I had some spare cash come in from a project I did for a lovely little English-as-Second-Language group, I decided to get an SB-700.
After a night of harassing the cats, a beer bottle, and my glass of wine, I came to a few conclusions:
- The awesomeness of the Nikon “Creative Lighting System” has not been over-exaggerated, and the flash performed minor miracles balancing itself with the ambience and giving me near-perfect shots both on and off the camera.
- I was going to have to figure out how to get the convenience of TTL (subject moved? Cloud cover set in? TTL is unconcerned, correct exposure for you) with lighting ratios other than “balanced.”
- I had no idea how to do so. And neither did the manual.
Balanced exposure has a time and place, but, man I love me some drama. Give me half the chance to knock the ambient down a stop or three and I will basically every time. But, Nikon’s TTL wasn’t designed to do that. It was designed to round out an exposure, not be the exposure. So, getting that to happen was… tricky.
First, I tried using the camera’s exposure compensation set to a negative value, then added that back as postiive flash compensation. It worked. Sorta. But the results were hinky and unreliable. Some shots were underexposed, a lot. Others had flash burn. It was no bueno.
Luckily, a comment from local photowonder Paul D’Andrea set me down a much better line of thinking that reminded me whatever else, only the shutter speed controls the ambient. And, lo and behold, the camera has a shutter priority mode. Working with Quadras has me pretty comfortable with how much ambient what shutter speeds will leave in, and I’m already used to setting values between 1/30-1/320 in manual anyway. By applying those to S priority, I was able to fix my ambient ratio while keeping the advantage of the system picking an aperture and forcing the flash to fill in the rest. Perfect! Now, I was able to quickly set ratios on the fly, without having to set have of it manually, which always leads to trouble in dynamic shoots. Behold, the results:
On the left, the world’s best trophy shot with off-camera remote flash set to TTL, no compensation, shutter priority at 1/320. On the right, the same set-up but I flipped to aperture priority and let the camera and TTL do what they were built to do. The figure is essentially correctly exposed in both, the only difference is how much the ambient is left in. Awesome. Perfect. I’m in love.
More adventures in small flash to come, I’m sure.
“We’re not here to capture an image, we’re here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies.”
Don Delillo, “White Noise”
In turn from a nice article by David White on Oxford’s Tall Blog.
Now that I’m done for the next while with my design-related time commitments, it’s time to play catch up on some photography. Or so my Lightroom workspace would like to believe. Also, some sneak peeks in there of EclecticPond’s upcoming “The Importance of Being Earnest” for you loyal blog-followers. I’ll be leaving them off the “social medias” for the time being. You know, like, until they’re done. And stuff.
Hit the external link for the article.