Saturday, June 6, 2009

The moon...


I love the moon.  It is so beautiful.  Since I am shooting with my backup Canon 20D for now (my new Canon 5D mkII arrives on Tuesday and my 5D mkI was fedexed for repair on Friday), it means I'll have to settle for a very noisy (the 20D has a lot of digital grain at high ISO numbers) picture.  That's OK, though.  A "grainy" moon pic is better than no moon pic in my book!  


Friday, June 5, 2009

artists aren't businessmen...

I hate the contract negotiation part of photography... especially when thousands and thousands of dollars are being discussed.  I'm not a great businessman, I'm an artist.  I want to make moving, emotional images.  I don't want to negotiate rights and figures.  

Unfortunately, I have to.  If I don't play hardball as a business professional, I'll get walked all over...  I'll get taken advantage of.  Even when I try my hardest, it can be difficult getting what I deserve for my craft.  Only the biggest nationally and internationally known photographers can really push the major record labels around.  The rest of us have to cross our fingers and brace for impact, if you know what I mean.  

Luckily, there are several people at these huge corporations that actually have a heart and seem like genuinely nice people.  Even though they are watching the company's bottom line, they don't want to screw anyone over.  I've had one or two clients a long time ago that were really looking to bleed me dry; but, quite often I deal with real people who understand we are all trying to make a decent living.  

I guess I'm just venting to relieve some stress right now.  I always get worried when a LOT of money is on the line for a shoot.  I have a family to feed and don't want to mess anything up.  This is really the hardest part of a photography business.  

At this level of the game, the picture taking is easy.  I've been doing it since the mid-1990's and have learned what needs to be done to take a great photo.  But man, that whole contract/money/rights negotiation thing never seems to get any easier or less stressful.  I wish it would.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another reason to join the ASMP...

I just bought a new Canon 5D mkII and a few misc items I was needing from B&H Photo.  Since I'm an ASMP member, I get a discount.  This is what my final receipt said:

Total  $2,890.21 
ASMP Savings  $55.78  

I sure don't mind saving an extra $55 off their already low price!  Thank you ASMP...  thank you very much.


I don't want to talk about it...

I broke my 5D tonight.  I did it.  I was trying out a new DIY lens idea that I've had brewing for a long time.  The lens idea worked fine, but I did something stupid while testing it.  I had a small piece of newspaper near the lens mount and I guess it got caught on the mirror and hit the shutter.  

One of the shutter blades kinked and became torn where it mounts to the motor that moves it.  It is temporarily toast.  I'll describe the gruesome details below...  

OK, so here's the deal.  I tested the DIY lens apparatus, and it was working OK, but it had a lot of light leaks.  This image looks so orange and soft, because part of the device is made of a think yellow plastic.  It was allowing a lot of light to sneak inside.  It's actually a pretty cool effect, but not what I was looking for.  

So, instead of spray painting the plastic flat black or securing something light proof to it, I ripped off a piece of newspaper and covered it.  It worked fine when i tested it with some tilt/shift in this pic.

Now for the moment of truth (aka - the $300 mistake).  I accidentally let a corner of the newsprint slip inside my camera body.  It hit the mirror, and it must've hit the shutter blades.  This is the image I got - along with a strange noise and an error code.

Everything seemed to be working fine, and I didn't think anything of the mistake.  This picture looked "almost" normal.  I say almost, because you see a tiny bright spot in the upper right corner of the pic.

Then it got worse.  Now I get the horrible bright corner, which I eventually figured out was torn shutter blade.  Not good.  Not good at all.

I found a recent thread online about replacing the shutter in the 5D and a few people have been quoted right at $300 from Canon.  I guess everyone makes mistakes, but do they have to be $300 mistakes?


Canon 5D mkII and video...

While researching a potential client that I want to work for, I found this online:  

It's a nice little article talking about the Canon 5D mkII being used on some pretty cool video projects.  You should read it.


Car or Camera?

Seriously... for $13k in cash, you could get a halfway decent automobile.  It might be a few years old, or it might be a very basic, economy car.  Either way, you could still pick up a very reliable and very nice car for that kind of money.  

Your other option?  This:  

The image above was taken from this Hasselblad promotion:  

Now, if I could, I'd be dropping the wheelbarrow full of bills off at the local camera store today.  I'd love to have a medium format digital at home!  You can rent them for shoots, but you'll pay for it in a couple dozen rentals.  If you have the need for one a bunch, buying it just seems more logical.  I, however, don't have a NEED for one... just a WANT for one.  A burning desire for one.  So, for now it will remain on my wish list.  


Monday, June 1, 2009

Talented kids...  

Just thought I'd share this video I recently did of an elementary school talent show.  I know, it's not like doing a documentary on the Rolling Stones, but it was still fun.  And who knows... one of these kids could be the next big thing!

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Carter Albrecht CD release party...

I thought I'd share a few images from the Carter Albrecht CD release party last week...

I might post more, if I get caught back up on real work. I have several shoots to go through on the computer, and a video to edit from this concert. It might be a while...

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