4.16.2010

Zero to 60 in one week. Camera craziness is part of the bargain.

It's like a dragon woke up and started breathing fire.  It's been a busy week.  I've shot theater and video and portraits and interior architecture and I'm booked up with an out-of-town shoot all next week.  I'm leaving on Sunday, around lunch time and won't be back until late in the week.  Got my magazine lifestyle shot done and sent out just in time.
Book # four, my book about all kinds of lighting equipment for digital photographers is selling well on Amazon.com and has already gotten its first five star review.  Thank you Park Street.  The book is a sleeper.  It starts out with a little history of lighting and works its way up to the fun stuff. I've gotten some really nice feedback from trusted readers and I love the reproduction quality of the images inside. I'm taking a break from writing books for the next few quarters to focus like a laser on my core love, photography.  I"m really getting back into the thrill of shooting portraits.  Loving available light as long as it's available from my box full of lights......


Things are getting a little strange around the studio since my physicist friend, Dr. Charlie Martini, invented a new electronic device which aids people in their enjoyment of photography.  We've been working on a device which, when miniaturized, would allow us to casually slap it on the side of an art buyer's forehead and it would program them to like the style of work that I show in my portfolio.  It didn't work out so well and several art buyers are talking about litigation.  I don't know why they would get so worked up about a few little second degree burns and some (hopefully) temporary amnesia, but we learned a good lesson-----ASK PERMISSION BEFORE ATTEMPTING CASUAL MIND CONTROL.


With these lessons learned we have adapted the device to serve as a verbal to visual translator.  Now I don't even have to take images.  I can describe them in various levels of detail and our Imaginizer 2020 will create visual images in the minds of the subjects who wear the devices.  So far, my verbal descriptions have been described as boring and mundane but I'm buying a thesaurus and I have high hope.  When it works right the subjects stop looking at me as subject #3210z is in the mind-o-graph above and they just get quiet, like this:
It worries Dr. Charlie Martini but I am optimistic.  We haven't lost one in a while.....


On another note, the Austin Photo Expo is drawing near.  It's the weekend of the 14th-15th of May, here in Austin.  I'll be giving a presentation, sponsored by Olympus, three times on each of the two days.  I'll be showing images from a wide range of cameras and a lot of video from the EPL and the EP-2 cameras with a zany assortment of lenses.  I'm working on a title but I think I've just about settled on:  The New Generation of Swiss Army Knife Cameras.  And why you should care.  All six talks are free.  I'd love to see some of my local friends show up and heckle.  There is one guy I can always count on......you know who you are.
I've been shooting up a storm for the folks at Zachary Scott Theater (tried to sell them a box full of Imaginizer 2020's but they wouldn't go for it....).  This is a studio shot will an Olympus camera and the old 40-150 mm lens.  So far they've made some 30 inch by 40 inch posters from the files but nothing bigger.  Looks great at lifesize though.  It's a classic lighting set up meant to reference the work I did in last year's season brochure.  We start with a big, 6 by 6 foot scrim over the the left of the camera and a small reflector to the other side. The gray background is about 20 feet behind and there is a small softbox on a Profoto flash head aimed at a spot just behind Jaston.  The big scrim has it's own Profoto head, married up to a Magnum reflector.  As usual, I'm locked down on a tripod.


In addition to the above shot we just finished two days of shooting for a play entitled, Call it Courage and another day for their Season lead-off, Our Town.  Lots of photons being captured by lots of different cameras....


Love the people at Zach Scott Theater because sometimes they let me do wacky stuff like this.  Not to mention that no one batted an eye this week when I did one of the dress rehearsals with this combination of cameras:
EP-2 with a 60mm 1.5 Pen Film lens and an EPL-1 with a Panasonic 20mm pancake lens.  Amazingly, using the "shimmer method" I could actually focus quickly and accurately with the small electronic view finder.


This one was shot under pretty low light at ISO 800 with the EPL and the Panasonic 20mm.   I think it works...


This one is from the EP2 and the 60mm 1.5.  I think I hit focus on a moving target with a manually focused lens at a fixed aperture pretty well.  All metering is manual.


I'll be hitting the road on Sunday.  I've got a bunch to say about the new hybrid video/still cameras so I expect I'll write some more tomorrow and then try a couple while on the road.


Hope everyone is happy and healthy.  Think positive thoughts and maybe they'll come true.

8 comments:

Kurt Shoens said...

Fantastic work! I'm glad you're busy.

kirk tuck said...

Thanks Kurt, I hope everyone gets that the circuit board on the head is a joke and not a serious product or experiment. No beautiful models were harmed in the production of this blog.....

Anonymous said...

Kirk:

I am running out on my first hike wit the EP-2. I know you mentioned some of your favorite settings...suggestions for a newbie with Olympus?

Denis Elam said...

I assume you will give us time and place, as we get closer to the date, for your Presentations May 14-15 in Austin?

Tani said...

Cant wait to hear you at the Expo. I was sorry I missed the lighting class that Precision put on with you. :(

Tani said...

Love the portraits! Can't wait to hear you at the Expo in May. I was sorry to have missed the lighting seminar you did with Precision a few months earlier. I love your style, and I really enjoyed the Minimalist Lighting book.

Kurt W said...

I always enjoy your writing. I've read parts of your well written photo business book, and I assume your "sleeper" book is informative and well written as well. However, the title of the new book reads like a Photography 101 textbook, not something that would get an advanced amateur/budding professional all fired up to plunk down the credit card on Amazon. Unfortunately, many people do judge the book by the cover (and title). JMHO.

kirk tuck said...

Kurt, Thanks for the compliment! I agree about book titles. I always default to the publisher. In effect, I own the book but the cover is considered marketing and they work pretty closely with the distributors on selection imagery and titles for the work they represent. While I'm a pretty seasoned photographer I'm a rookie at book marketing so I defer to Amherst Media on those decisions. While you and I may not be jazzed by it perhaps it will resonate with the markets they've identified. That's my hope.