It's been a long week working in the trenches of commercial photography...

Studio Dog pondering the universe down the long hallway.

I miss Studio Dog. I've been in San Antonio since eight o'clock yesterday morning, missing both swim practices, lunch with my small crew and the comforts of home but, in the moment, I miss the dog. I think it's because it's impossible to tell her where I'm going, how long I'll be gone and when I'll be getting back. She always knows I'm going some place when I pull out my little Osprey overnight pack and load it up with clothes. She always delivers that sad, sad look and somehow conspires to put her chin down on my thigh and let out a forlorn sigh just as I'm getting ready to get up and walk out the door.....

I've been in and out of the house all week long and on the days when everyone will be out working from dawn to dusk we hire Studio Dog's pet sitter to come by the house, play with her, walk her and generally try to reassure her that the people will return shortly. I wish I could take Studio Dog along with me on assignments but she gets restless and I'd hate to have to choose between taking her outside for a potty break and finishing a shoot with a CEO or a celebrity... (I'd always want to pick in favor of my dog...). 

After a week of shooting tight deadline projects with stills and motion content, in Austin, I had two more projects to complete this week. One was yesterday's shoot in San Antonio, Texas for the Amputee Coalition. I needed to be at the University of Texas Health Sciences School by around eight o'clock a.m. and I didn't feel like heading down the night before so I got up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. and got on the road in a driving rain by 6 a.m. packed, as is becoming typical lately, with still cameras, video friendly cameras, lenses, microphones, cables, batteries and portable lights. I drove by several wrecks as I headed south on IH-35 which slowed me down a bit. The NPR station was non-stop coverage of hurricane Florence. The cup of instant coffee I'd made quickly to bring along with me had long since lost my attention. 

I'd been doing nearly all of my photography this week with two D800 cameras; one D800e and one D800 plain vanilla. They are fine cameras and do most things well. The raw files are enormous, ponderous and usually not entirely necessary. My one wish for those cameras (and the D810, etc.) would be to have a reduced size raw file. All the color and post processing flexibility in a smaller and friendlier package. I'm starting to chaff at filling up a couple Terabytes a month of hard drives....

I was packing up the routine kit Friday afternoon with the D800s and the wondrous and near perfect Panasonic GH5S and I changed my mind. The D800's went back into the equipment drawer and I pulled out the two D700's. I made sure I had four charged batteries and them put them into the Think Tank rolling case with the usual boring but competent selection of lenses. 
I also tossed in the older Nikon 50mm f1.8D, an even older 28mm f2.8 A-is lens and the ancient, 85mm f1.4 A-is lens. The video kit stayed small with just the microphones, the GH5S and the Olympus 12-100mm Pro lens. 

The client I shot for on Saturday didn't need to make posters from my work and the D700s were perfect for a day long event with several hundred amputees, as well as speakers and industry experts.

With glowering skies outside and perfect ambient lighting inside I was able to make two custom white balance settings on the D700 and use them all day long. The lighting was so even in the giant auditorium/classroom that I was able to take one exposure reading and use it for the entire day without even a tweak being necessary. All I needed to do was to find the right people and processes to photograph and catch them, or direct them into existence. The one slight against the D700s is that the shutters are loud but for the most part the room was loud and everyone there knew they might be photographed and had agreed to it in a blanket release. 

After the shoot I had the option of driving home in the rain or sticking around San Antonio. Since I usually visit my Dad on Sunday mornings (also in San Antonio) I decided to stick around. I ate a solo dinner at La Fonda restaurant (the latest interation of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant for the last 44 years) and booked a room at a La Quinta Hotel that's five minutes from my dad's memory care residence. After a long week of tight deadlines, voluminous post production and weather hazards I was worn out and just needed some time in a quiet room. 

I did more research on Iceland for my upcoming workshop, watched a movie on my laptop and then slept for ten hours. After a midday visit with my dad I'll head back up to Austin to start working on yesterday's files (no super tight deadline! Yay!) and re-pack for a marketing production at Zach Theatre this evening, which starts promptly at 7 pm. For the first time in a long time I've worked, actively, for clients from Sunday to Sunday with no breaks. Next week is less structured. There's billing, post production and archiving to get done. Batteries to charge and a few portraits booked. 

I'm looking forward to getting back into the swimming pool and getting some yards in. I'm also looking forward to some long walks and good conversations with Studio Dog. I know she loves to hear the details of my time away. Or maybe she's thinking of chasing squirrels while I ramble on. One never knows, but she seems to smile when I speak directly to her....

The photos below have nothing to do with anything. I was browsing through a gallery and just picked some that I wanted to look at again. Maybe after I check in with my dad I'll sit down and write interesting and amusing captions for them. Or maybe I'll just write captions for them.

Currently thinking about getting one more GH5 body. I could use the matched set back. Love the GH5S for anything video but nothing beats the perfect hybrid nature of the original GH5.

Hope your next week is nothing short of spectacular. Kirk out.

All cameras all the time.

Workhorse. Not nearly ready for retirement or replacement.

Super nifty fifty. The Sigma Art.

Chopped BBQ sandwich, sausage on the side. Traditional Texas lunch.

DeConstruction 139 Waxwood.