I was filing photographs into folders by projects and I came across this. It was part of a model test to choose someone to work with on my LED book.


I needed a model to help me illustrate various lighting techniques for my fifth book, LED Lighting. I did a little casting call and Jana got in touch. We set up a test shoot making photos in the street and my favorite coffee shops. We scheduled the test for a Saturday afternoon and Jana, having never met me before, and being smart, brought along a friend to chaperone. We all ended up having a great time that day and, in the weeks following, I made lots of lovely images of Jana for the book. 

Testing was a thing back then. Maybe it still is. Maybe it will be again. 

I was shooting with a Canon 5D Mk2 at the time and almost all of our images that day were done with the 100mm f2.0 Canon lens. The fit and finish on the lens was nothing to write home about; a lot of plastic and a construction that felt....loose. But the image quality of the lens was right up my alley = sharp enough but not too sharp. 

Everything I shot that day was as a raw file so I'm sure this test image started life in color but I kept seeing it (in my mind) in black and  white.  It's fun to look at older work as it reminds you that maybe, at one point, you actually had mastered the rudiments of both photography and also portraiture. 

Last time I heard from Jana she was on her way to becoming a very good photographer. When I first met her she was a communications/advertising major. She was a first rate talent, for sure. 

Photograph of B. Back when we knew how to focus by hand... & How to get back to work.


Austin is springing back into action and was ramping up even before our governor's rescinding of the statewide mask mandate. We've been hit here by a mini-wave of requests for bids and I'm spending some time trying to decide exactly how I'd like to respond. 

By the middle of next week I should have my second dose of vaccine and a couple of weeks after that I should be reasonably safe, or at least fairly assured that I won't drop dead if I do catch Covid-19. But business ethics go far beyond whether or not the owner of the business will be safe. We have to think of the impact on family, on our clients and on the people who support our businesses; such as make-up artists and assistants. Being out and around also means we'll need to rely on front line workers for coffee and food when on locations, and every additional exposure could potentially up the virus load for each of them. 

Until everyone in our family circle is vaccinated I'm not comfortable having people in the house. and since we use the living room, kitchen and bathrooms for clients during longer shoots in the studio I'll be using rental spaces in the interim. This means that most of the photographic jobs I accept will either be on location or in rented studio spaces. Precision Camera has a nice, large rental space so I'll start investigating that. 

Most of the people who have come to the studio to be photographed recently are sent over from our major medical practice clients. Nearly all of them are doctors or nurses and all have been completely vaccinated. We'll continue to serve them in the space. Most of their appointments are for half hour time slots so the impact on the family is negligible. 

Moving forward I'll negotiate with clients and my support teams to keep following CDC guidelines rather than relying on the insane proclamations of our psychopathic governor. That means always wearing a face mask (even if you've been vaccinated) and practicing social distancing. We'll still have hand sanitizer everywhere. If we learned anything in the past month it's that the machinations of a far right wing government can never, ever be relied on for one's personal safety!

It's early for this but here's the lesson I learned from buying a Leica SL2: The Panasonic S1 series is remarkably good and consistent. It's fun to have the Leica to play with, and the files are really great, but unless one wants to go "all in" and buy a bunch of Leica prime lenses there's really no advantage at all to just owning the camera. It's pretty. Guys over 50 always comment on it. But when it comes right down to evaluating images taken with both the S1R and the SL2 the differences are negligible to non-existent. Sure, there are differences in the choices each company made as far as Jpeg rendering but in raw? Nothing that the S1R can't emulate, and vice versa. 

The differences in video have yet to be fully uncovered. I'll keep you posted.

I'm a slow learner but I can afford to make a few missteps. 

And that's my take.