Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jason Janik vs. Drew Barrymore...

Maybe that title is a little off. Drew was awesome and very easy to work with. It SHOULD read "Jason Janik vs. Drew Barrymore's fans" to be more accurate, because there were a lot of them to deal with. This shoot was a little bit wild, thanks to a bunch of rain, a late plane and hundreds of screaming fans.

You see, I was hired by Drew's movie studio's PR company to take photos of her during her publicity appearance. I was basically supposed to get shots of her interacting with the fans and with the media. Then, she had to rush over to her movie screening.

Well, fans started lining up 6, 7, even 8 hours early just to see her. It had been raining all day, too. As a matter of fact, the rain wound up delaying her flight, which pushed everything back. Then media kept her busy longer than they were supposed to. Finally, the eager fans got their chance.

Drew was so nice to each of the fans. I'm a decently nice guy. My wife is even more nice. However, I've never seen anyone as nice, sweet and sincere as Drew was with her fans. I've done tons of these PR events before, and many celebrities don't care. They are doing it because they HAVE to. Drew was taking a real interest in what her fans were saying as they chatted with her. She was awesome!

Because of all the delays, Drew didn't get to see everyone who was waiting for hours, but she tried her best. After security closed the event, Drew was nice enough to take a moment with me, as seen above. And, yes. I now have proof that she is as cool in real life as she appears to be on the silver screen...

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More Profoto AcuteB 600r talk?!?

I use my Profoto lights ALL the time, so I'm bound to have something worth saying on the matter. And since so many of you have discovered my blog by searching for more information on the strobes, I thought I'd provide a little more.

I can't see who you actually are, but I do have access to a few details that brought you here (like what search words were used to find me). I noticed that one search was asking about troubleshooting the 600r with a Pocket Wizard transmitter. I know why that search was made. I had the same issue at first.

One of my packs would not fire every time. It was an expensive new pack and an expensive new PW MultiMax. I thought the MultiMax might've been defective, because my older, cheaper Pocket Wizard transmitter worked fine. Well, it was the MultiMax and it wasn't.

I switched the MultiMax transmit channel and it hasn't missed a single fire since. I guess a few of the channels aren't very friendly with the Profoto gear. Oh well, no big deal now that I have it figured out!

Oh, and this should be obvious, since it states it right in the manual, but... Always fire your PW within thirty seconds of turning on you 600r pack. It will search for a PW signal within those first thirty seconds.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You too can take pictures from outer space!!!

These college students spent under $150 by using a cheap camera, a styrofoam beer cooler and a weather balloon to take images from the Stratosphere, about eighteen miles up:

and more here:


Monday, September 14, 2009

Inside the Pelican case: Profoto heaven...

OK, so I've received a LOT of hits from my Profoto AcuteB 600R review found here:

It was a pretty good review, though it rambled quite a bit. This time, I figured I would show you some pics. For anyone who wants to pick up a pair of these portable powerhouses (I love alliterations), this will clue you in on the best way to make this system 100% portable.

This first picture is of the case: A Pelican brand 1560 wheeled case, with the dividers (not the foam). This case is great for maximum maneuverability and protection. Plus, it can double as a step stool, so that is one less thing to carry with me. I've stood on this case a bunch, and it holds up well.

This next shot is inside the case. You can see everything I need for a basic shoot:

A.) a Pocket Wizard Multi-Max transceiver - remember that the 600R has PW receivers built in.
B.) two Manfrotto stands. I think they are 3373's off the top of my head. They are small enough to fit inside the case, but go tall enough for most shoots.
C.) Profoto AcuteB 600R power pack.
D.) Profoto AcuteB head.
E.) Pelican 1560 rolling case.

One more look at the case full of gear. As you can see, any softboxes, adaptors or other accessories have to be carried separately. No big deal, though. I can often roll this kit, carry a backpack with cameras and hold a bag of softboxes/misc items all at once. I can roll into a shoot without assistance, and be set up in five minutes...


Sunday, September 13, 2009


Denton, TX band Slobberbone was playing at an event I had to shoot for a client this weekend. However, their performance was not part of my shoot - I just decided to take some pics of them on the side, after I was done with my paying gig. I'm glad I did, because I came home with this nice little shot:

For those of you who aren't familiar with the band, they were popular among the indie and alt-country crowd during the 1990's and were quite good. They are mentioned in one of Stephen King's novels, who was a fan of the band. They broke up in the early 2000's, but have regrouped for some shows here and there. I think they may even be working on a new record!

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