I just got off the phone with the boy. It's his first semester at college and he seems to be handling everything in stride. He's got a small amount of work study which provides him with his first menial job, working in the dining hall. Funny to think of my distinguished scholar scrapping congealed food off plates, chopping vegetables and cleaning stuff. Nothing he was trained for at home... (humor intended). I've adjusted pretty well. The Studio Dog has made peace with his absence and she follows me around like a furry shadow.
We've had a lot of much appreciated rain here over the last week and there's a small area at our back yard fence that gets a bit muddy after prolonged rains. The Studio Dog has a daily routine that she very much enjoys which consists of listening intently for the arrival at the fence of a pack of hostile chihuahuas that come rushing from out of our neighbor's back door. When she hears their barking she begs to get out, rushes to the fence and runs back and forth, growling ferociously. The chihuahuas respond in kind and it gets very dramatic. Then Studio Dog turns her back on the pack, walks back toward the house, stopping ten or fifteen feet from the fence to urinate. I think she does this as an additional insult or slight to the other dogs. Then she hustles back into the house. I don't know what all these dogs are saying to each other but it's pretty clear that they are talkin' trash.
I asked Ben today if he misses his parents and he artfully deflected my question and volunteered that he did miss his dog quite a bit...
Last week and the week before have been busy ones for the studio and I'm taking a day or two off to get the car inspected and the registration renewed. I'll do some more book keeping and a bit of marketing but it's nice not to be committed to being anywhere at any specific time this week. It gives me an opportunity to catch up with my swimming. And walking.
We have press proof copies of the novel coming on Weds, and Belinda and I will pore over them to make sure nothing is out of place. Once that's done the print version of the book will be available for ordering on Amazon.com. I will also order several cases of the books for the studio, just in case someone needs a signed copy (hint, hint).
I've gotten a follow up call from K5600 Lighting which means the review loan of the cool HMI lights I've been playing with is probably about to come to an end. I haven't had as much time to play with the lights as I would have liked and I have to say that the portraits I've shot with them show some incredible tonality. It's almost as though HMIs were custom made to make camera sensors sing beautifully. I'll hold onto them as long as I can. I'm searching for beautiful people to shoot and I'm dying to get some images up on the blog. The first three portraits I've shot were all done for clients and are embargoed until they use them. If you are into continuous lighting (as I am) you will find these lights to be pretty darn perfect. The only conceivable downside is the price. But that's what you get if you want to use professional gear made for the movie industry. It makes our little photo toys seem lame.
PhotoKina is drawing to a close and so far I have a very short wish list of gear I want to get my hands on. Top of the list is the Samsung NX1. If it does all the stuff the spec sheet promises I think it will be a seriously competitive camera and perhaps a notch or two better than the APS-C offerings from Nikon, Canon and Sony. If they have the EVF perfectly figured out....I'll be thrilled.
I took one look at the Panasonic LX100 and pushed the pre-order button. It seems like the perfect point and shoot camera. If it performs we may be looking at a new, compact cult classic. I doubt I'd use it for video but for a bus ride across the western states or a side trip to Marfa, Texas it seems like the perfect, little camera.
The other camera I saw that I liked, a lot, was the silver version of the Olympus EM-1. After shooting in the Moody Theater (black walls, black drape, black high ceilings) and being in the audience area (dark) facing the stage I found that my chrome EM-5 was easier to navigate than my black one. It all had to do with being able to see the buttons and dials in the dark. The EM-1 in silver looks like an entirely different camera to me. I found myself hovering over the pre-order button on that one as well.
That's about all I saw in the Photokina new feeds that interested me at all. It was a quiet show.
Finally, I went to Precision Camera today and did something I haven't done for several years. I bought a 50 sheet box of 13 by 19 inch, matte, ink jet paper. Don't know what possessed me but I thought I'd try cranking out 20 perfect portfolio prints from recent work. I don't know if my older Canon Pro 9000 printer is up to the task but I thought I'd give it a whirl. If it doesn't work out I have my eyes on an inexpensive Canon Pixma Pro-100. We'll just have to wait and see.
All Images Shot With Samsung NX30 and 85mm 1.4.