New learning for a new era in commercial photography. Speed, efficiency and new delivery tactics surrounding the actual shoot.

I was working on a commercial shoot in New Jersey last week. We were making portraits and photographs of the working facility. In the days of film we would have taken about six days to shoot what we got done in two days, and that's without the hindrance of assistants and an entourage. I thought I was doing everything in a "state of the art" fashion but I wasn't. I haven't been.

I'm not really talking about big changes to the actual photography (although I need to modernize there too) but about the whole method of moving through space and time with greater effectiveness.

When I learned about location shooting for clients we did things with lots and lots of gear and people. On an assignment to photograph a factory and the executive leadership team in the days of film we would show up at the curbside of the airport with cases and cases of gear and enough people to shepherd the gear through the travel process all the way to the client facility. Since we were wrangling slow film we needed big lights and lots of them. We also needed big stands for the lights, lots of extension cords, big light modifiers and stout tripods. A typical "old school" medium format film shoot on location might look like this, as far as inventory goes:

Large Tenba Air Case with two Hasselblad bodies, four lenses and six film backs. It would also include several Polaroid backs for the medium format cameras.

A second, equally large Tenba Air Case with duplicates of the gear resident in case one. This was our back-up system. You know, just in case. We had cameras fail much more often in film days than in the new age of digital. Usually it was something caused by a film misload or from being too fast in cycling the camera; either of which might cause the camera to lock up. In that case you could not remove the lens until a repair tech reset the camera.

We once had two fairly new Hasselblads bite the dust on one shoot for a client called, Builder's Square, but we finished the shoot on time because ---- yes --- we had packed three bodies. And we finished up with the third body. I was getting nervous because, in that situation, we had no more back-ups and a couple hours left to shoot.

We would have three Norman 2000 strobe packs and six heavy, metal flash heads packed across three stout cases. The strobe packs along weighed in a 32 pounds apiece so once ensconced in hard cases, along with two heads per case, each Anvil case weighed in somewhere north of eighty pounds.

We had cases with light stands and cases with soft boxes and umbrellas. We had cases with diffusion frames and we had cases with make up, and, in some cases, even a Mole Richardson fog machine.

Going out of town meant rounding up your first and regular second assistants and generally one more person to round out a team. Two people unpacked and set up lights while the third managed the film and Polaroids. Marking film was essential and took both practice and concentration.

To get to the airport we generally needed a Suburban or a full sized van. We'd roll up to the curbside check in and disgorge all of our stuff. One assistant would jump in the vehicle and head out to park it while the rest of us pushed the bags to the skeptical Skycaps. If we had the full contingent of bags and cases I'd already have a couple, or three, twenty dollar bills out and showing to tip with. Extravagant tipping nearly always assured that we'd get the stuff onto our flight without paying for overages or extra bags. Sixty bucks at the curb was a preventative for getting slammed with overweight and oversized luggage fees at the inside airline counters.

Once we got the photo crew to the target city one assistant would head out to fetch yet another huge rental vehicle and we'd pull our stuff off the carousels and climb aboard. Before smart phones we would have pulled out a map of the city and figured out a route to our destination by ---- reading a map.

The rental cars were expensive but necessary as our gear would never fit in one or two cabs. Just feeding everyone three meals a day was a chore.

So, this is the way I was trained and the way we operated through most of my tenure in the "golden age" of film.

Once we got to the locations and scouted we'd set up lights to overpower the ambient light and work maybe an hour and a half, or two hours, setting up, lighting and testing each shot. We were happy if we got eight to ten locations in the same set of buildings lit and shot in a day. It took time to shoot and evaluate Polaroids and then make the changes.

Since I learned this way I have been resilient to changing my methodologies entirely. As digital cameras have gotten better and better I've pared down everything, from the size of my lights to the number of back up cameras I bring. But now making shoots more efficient takes me beyond the realm of shooting and lighting. It's every part that needs modernized. Updated. Upgraded.

I packed smart on this trip. One carry-on roller case for the cameras, lenses and small flashes; two checked bags; one for clothes, and one for light stands+tripods+umbrellas.  All the cases are wheeled and stackable and I can handle all three by myself. No more need to bribe the SkyCaps (but I still do tip $5 a bag --- habit).

On the most recent trip the advertising agency made all the travel arrangements. I met up with my agency person at the baggage area at our destination and told him I was ready to head out to get our rental car. I presumed (habit) that we'd be doing the time tested car rental for our 30 mile trek. He smiled, fussed with his phone for a couple of seconds and said, "Our Uber car should be here in two minutes and forty five seconds." It was. We loaded our bags into someone's Toyota Rav 4 and they took us straight to the hotel in a city 30 miles away.  Lesson one: Uber and Lyft are very convenient, easy to use and easy to navigate. Why spend time in a shuttle headed to some dim and time wasting rental facility on the outskirts of the airports and stand in line waiting to transact for your car rental --- and being manipulated into paying for the insurance, etc?   Forty five minutes to an hour saved right there.

Any time we wanted to go someplace; to a restaurant, the client's facility or back to the hotel we used Uber. When we needed to have something picked up and brought over to the shoot we didn't need to send anyone, the agency person could tap on his phone and get someone from Favor (an app) to pick up that prop from whatever store and deliver it over to us directly. We looked for local restaurants with an app and read the reviews on another app.

At one point during the shoot I realized that I really did want my agency client to look at test shots for each of the executives we were photographing, before and during each person's session to make sure I was on the right track. Also, a second set of eyes is great for catching errors and omissions. I would ask my agency guy to come over and look at the screen on the back of the camera. He was happy to do so but when we were flying home we were discussing the camera apps available to both control cameras and also look at images as we shoot. I won't go out on location again until after I've picked up a new iPad Air2 with a Retina screen and loaded and mastered the software needed to shoot live with Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic cameras. What could be better than having my client sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee in one hand and an iPad in the other, watching my back? And making sure he's getting what he needs for his designs and templates.

I think I'd also feel better having a neutral device to proof the images for exposure as well.

When we talked about file delivery I mentioned that we had a lot of stuff to move around and I'd be able to put it all on a 32 gigabyte memory stick and drop it by when I finished with post processing. He hemmed a bit and then told me he didn't really like getting physical product anymore and wondered if I could send it via FTP. I do that a lot with smaller jobs but I thought clients would want the stuff on a stick for back up and what not. But younger art directors are used to pulling things down from the cloud whenever they want it, wherever they are. Fortunately, one of my service providers, Smugmug, recently instituted a new unlimited download service and I can load everything up there.

In the actual photographic world I think many younger clients are no longer expecting the "ultimate" file, they are expecting good, right sized files. We were looking at a few of the files I'd shot on the Panasonic fz1000 instead of the full frame Nikon. In one situations I'd shot some stuff at ISO 1600 and I was worried about the noise. My client watched me blowing stuff up to 100%, laughed, and said, "We'll never use it that big." He liked what he saw on the screen and had strong idea of exactly how he would use the work.

Our oft-repeated patterns of shooting, delivering and even managing our photographic adventures tend to get stuck at whatever time strata we felt most comfortable in. That's why so many photographers in my age cohort are always pursuing the ultimately sharp or noise free camera. But we do ourselves a disservice if we feel like we need a supersonic jetliner like the Concord for a quick commuter flight or a Nikon D810 or Sony A7R2 camera for a headshot for a website. We're making our own lives and careers harder by aiming at targets that really don't exist anymore; at the expense of new methodologies that work well for a new business paradigm.

I am often asked by older photographers why in the world I would choose to buy a bridge camera when I have a couple of full frame cameras. In their minds that ultimate file equals the badge of a real professional. But my younger clients (and almost all of them are younger than me now) never even think about the old pecking order of cameras or even if we are shooting with a traditional camera. Their concern is centered around the look and feel of the image. Is the angle right? Does it feel right? Will it work across a website splash page? Can we ramp up the saturation? Is the file malleable?

At no time did my art director bat an eye at the battery powered speed lights I was using on his project. And a few years ago I could have sworn that pros only used Profoto strobes or Elinchrom Strobes.  He was more impressed with the compactness with which we packed and the results we were getting from shot to shot. That, and how the smaller package allowed us to move much quicker and get more usable shots.

I have been a bit backward, rejecting cellphone based apps for my conventional cameras. I have hewed to parking my own car in the parking garage at he airport even though a crowdsourced cab would be much less costly and much more efficient. I've let my past way of doing things cloud my ability to embrace ways of working that would be less arduous for me and easier for my clients. And this cuts to the heart of business. While we want to be artists we must deliver what the aggregated client base wants. There are few 60 year old art directors  to cater my services to. The  demographic of the clients I've worked with this year is about 80% female and the average age is about 32 years old. They have much, much different expectations for photography at every turn than we had or have at this point in our careers.

We seem intent on creating perfection while fast sharing is more vital to them. We seem to like our lighting and focus locked down whereas they enjoy accidents, happenstance and unplanned moments. They value fast movement and portability over "shock and awe" resolution and optimal technical results. But most importantly they love the idea of collaboration instead of one person acting as the lone wolf artist.

We have a choice. We can stick in our comfortable rut and work for a tiny and ever diminishing set of clientele who share our generational proclivities or we can learn from the younger people around us and embrace the change. I guarantee you that only one course of action will give you any hope to ensure your continued embrace and enjoyment of commerce, and of getting paid.

Deliver on DVDs? Not likely. Not anymore.

If you are a working pro I would be interested in what kinds of new technologies you are bringing to your work. Please share in the comments. Thanks, Kirk


A successful trip to a client in New Jersey. Good gear selection. Good efficiency. Good images.

Last week I publicly mulled over what equipment to take along with me on an assignment. I would be flying by myself to Newark, NJ, meet up with my creative director from an Austin advertising agency (who was flying in from a video shoot in Dallas, Tx.) and we'd make our way thirty miles south to shoot for a couple of days at a manufacturing/pharmaceutical concern. I ended up taking along all the right gear and I learned some new things from my (much younger and more tech savvy) client about traveling and making work life easier. Seems there's an app for that --- no matter what "that" is.

I ended up packing a couple Nikon bodies and a flurry of lenses but I only used the D750. It was perfect for the main goal of our shoot which was to make stylized portraits of the company's top executives. By stylized I mean they were lit in a way that reflects my lighting preferences and I don't think I ever used a lens aperture beyond f2.8 (at the smallest). We spent the entirety of the first day shooting these portraits in a giant, spotlessly clean, warehouse. I used diffusion scrims to block most of the light coming from the sodium vapor lights high up in the rafters and I used two speed lights for my main and back light. The main light was bounced into a 60 inch, white umbrella and the back light was used direct from high up (twelve feet) and at least 50 feet behind the subjects.

The main flash was the all manual, Cactus RF 60, which has its own internal radio triggering receiver, and the back light was provided by a Yongnuo flash and triggered by a  Cactus V60 transceiver. I thought I should have brought more batteries but when all was said and done the 16 Eneloops were just right. At low power settings like 1/16 and 1/64 the batteries lasted all day long. I can't show the portrait images yet because they need to be approved by the clients first.

I used two different lenses to shoot the portraits and most of you can probably guess which ones there were without me writing it. But for the infrequent readers of the blog they were the Nikon 85mm f1.8G and the older, Nikon 105mm f2.5 ais (manual focus) lens. I worked back and forth with the two lenses in order to vary the look a bit but both were used around f2.8 and both were quite sharp were focused and then dropped out of focus quickly behind --- which is exactly what I wanted.

We spent the next morning finishing up our portraits and then moved on to shooting process shots, working shots and research shots. Our goal will be to use these as splash page images for the website and in some of the company's other collateral. I started shooting with these with the Nikon D750 and the Nikon 24-120 f4 zoom but I really missed the immediacy of an EVF for fast moving images that we were capturing in available light. There is an efficiency to using the EVF that's not talked about enough but it makes all the difference to me in shots where we don't have time to put the camera on a tripod and bring in lights. I also missed the longer reach and perfect image stabilization that my two sets of mirror-free cameras provide.

I know it was a bit sneaky to have included a Panasonic fz 1000 to my camera selection on Monday night, the day before I headed out, but I was really pleased to have it along with me. After half an hour of shooting we dropped the Think Tank roller case full of Nikon stuff into someone's office and spent the rest of the day shooting about 1200 total files in a fast moving blitz through the manufacturing floors and the R&D areas. I could get very tight with the longer end of the Panasonic zoom and I could get relatively wide which made handholding the camera even more stable.

The built in, electronic level was very useful but the image stabilization is so good in this all-in-one camera that I'm thinking it rivals the I.S. in the Olympus EM-5.2 (See hand held shot above).

I have been reviewing the images I took since I got home a little while ago and I am pleased with all the various work we created. It should be an ample trove of images with which to create a first class website with.

The cherry on the top of the trip for me was the flight out of Newark this morning. Our Southwest Airlines flight left right on time at 7:30 am and was scheduled to get into Austin at 11:05 am. We ended up arriving almost one full hour early. Amazing. And the flight was half full. Comfortable.
I was home conferring with Studio Dog about strategy before lunch time. Very grand, I'd say. 


A totally different look from the last blog post of the same "A Christmas Carol" production only in this scene they are rocking some gospel music.


Note to VSL readers. I'm heading off to New Jersey and will be gone from Austin until Friday evening. I'm not taking a laptop or an iPad with me, only a phone so there won't be any new blogs up until Saturday morning, the 5th of December. (No, there's no way I'll be typing anything on my iPhone! Thanks, but no...

I'm looking forward to the job and even the travel.

There are currently 2620 blog posts on this blog so I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find something fun to read --- if the spirit moves you.

Please check back with us on Saturday. Hopefully I will have my platinum level blogging powers fully recharged and ready to dive back into writing about the world of photography.

Thanks for being here.



Image of Roderick Sanford as Jacob Marley in Zach's "this is not your parents' A Christmas Carol" Christmas Carol.

Harvey Guión as Scrooge (left) and Roderick Sanford as Jacob Marley in 
"A Christmas Carol" at Zach Theatre. 


As we get into the holiday season I just couldn't resist this image of Rod as Marley. The costume is incredible. This is NOT a "dinner theater" version of the Dickens play but a rock infested, high energy, fun play for everyone.

I shot this from about fifteen rows away from the stage with a Nikon D810 and the ancient (but wonderful) Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 zoom. That lens is nice enough at 3.5 to keep me from wanting to spend +$2,000 on the 70-200mm VR2 lens.

You've got to love the hair...

Shot during dress rehearsal with audience in house. 
The D810 is quiet enough as long as you aren't sitting
right next to someone or right behind someone...

Two Texans Stumbling through the Old World with a Clunky Camera and One, Lone Lens...

When I showed these (in luxurious print form) to a friend a few weeks ago we talked about how I photographed back then. He asked me if I zoomed in to find the right composition and I told him that the camera I was using didn't have a zoom lens, I was using a single, prime lens. "How many prime lenses did you take?" he asked. I told him that it was just the one. Just a 100mm lens which was a slightly long, normal lens for the 6x6 cm camera. Then we talked about metering and he asked me if I used my trusty Sekonic, incident light meter. I had to admit that, in my desire to travel light, I left the meter at home and tried to depend on both my memory of what light looks like at certain levels, and my secret weapon. 

"Secret weapon?" Yes. In those days Kodak included a little slip of paper inside the box in which their black and white film emulsions were packaged. On one side the paper had the most popular developers listed along with their standard dilutions and times/temperatures. This allowed one to get in the ballpark when developing the film. On the other side of the paper was a series of pictograms that showed different daylight fighting situations. Cloudy, Cloudy bright, hazy sun, full sun, sun on sand and snow and, of course, heavy overcast. Along with the pictograms were recommended exposure settings for these light conditions. One would learn to open up a stop and a half when shooting inside the train with light from the window or to start at 1/60th of a second at f4.0 when shooting under typical office fluorescent lights. This was all predicated on using ISO 400 as your  film sensitivity, if you used consumer Tri-X. (Professional Tri-X had a different emulsion and backing and was rated at 320 ISO --- I tended to steer clear of that film). 

I shot hundreds and hundreds of frames of film on that trip and very few were spoiled due to exposure errors. The little sheet of paper, taped to the bottom of the camera, made it seem all so easy. Even to this day I remember the exposure settings. Not always needed in the age of effortless digital but still convenient to know. Not having to make choices between cameras, lenses and different films was such a delicious way of working. So was having what seemed like infinite time. 

Just wanted to share a fun deal on the Nikon D750 + microphone bundle at Amazon today. Lowest USA price I've seen.

This is the lowest price I have seen on a new, USA warrantied, Nikon D750 so far. As a bonus they include a $250 Audio Technica camera mount microphone for no extra charge. I've you've been waiting for a price drop on the D750 this might be what you've been waiting on. 

Do I like the D750? I have one packed in my bag for my upcoming shoot. It's a great, full frame camera that is really good at high ISOs and killer at ISO 100.

Today I am thinking all about lighting on location.

Taken on the Spanish Steps in Rome.
Mamiya 6 camera
150mm f3.5 lens.

I got the cameras squared away for my out of town assignment/adventure. I hate to fly with gear but I don't have the time or patience to drive for three days, shoot for three days and then drive again for three days. The reality of air travel these days means that I need to pack as light as possible and compromise a bit when it comes to the gear I'll use to light with.

I've got the cameras, lenses and small objects packed in a Think Tank Airport Security Roller case. That's also where the lights are packed. And the radio triggers. I have a separate case for the lighting gear I need; it's a longish (48 inches ?) rolling stand case from Tenba which I've used on a bunch of out of town assignments with good results.

While the cameras and lenses are vital the light stands and modifiers are mission critical as well. I'll be lighting executive portraits in my new (almost like available light from floor to ceiling) style and there are several components that go in to giving me more control and making the final portraits look really good.

We'll be shooting in practical locations, that means in hallways or conference rooms, or wherever we find an interior spot that has great backgrounds. In almost every location there are lights in the ceiling that are counterproductive. They provide an unwanted color cast and unattractive shadows (especially the little can lights with the high output, nasty, compact fluorescent bulbs) and all of that needs to be blocked from effecting the light on my portrait subjects.

The first thing I do on each location that suffers from too much bad lighting is to put up a circular  40" round diffuser over the top of my subject; between the offending fixture and my person, to block the light. If the light is too strong I'll use a black cover on the diffuser for a total block out. That requires a stand that can go up to eight or ten feet as well as a reflector holding arm.

The next step for the lighting style I have in mind is to set up a second 40" reflecting panel (circular pop up reflector) to act as a fill for the portrait. This also requires a light stand and a holding arm to support the reflecting disk.

My main light sources here in Austin have varied between electronic flash mono lights and LED open face fixtures. I'll want three lighting units and a back-up and that rules out both the big LEDs and the Profoto or Photogenic monolights == too much weight and too much bulk.  I've chosen to go with four speed lights along with radio triggers. The benefits are size, weight and flexibility. I can get all four speed lights into the Think Tank case with the cameras and carry them all on with me.

I have a motley mix of units. I'm using the new Nissan i7000 flash (Nikon version), it's a mid-priced ($250) option that provides very easy controls, meshes with the Nikon CLS system and offers built-in optical slaving as well. It's a well made flash and the quality of the light is good in my tests.  I have the rock solid Cactus RF60 flash which has its own built in radio trigger. It's manual only but in set ups like these I wouldn't dream of using the automatic function on any of the flashes.

The last two flashes are the Yongnuo YN560ii models. I've used these two on similar jobs and they have been reliable and simple to operate. They also have built in optical slave modes. Each of the flashes will require a light stand but I generally only bring light stands for two of the flash (the main light and background light) preferring to use a Manfrotto Justin clamp (or two) to rig the other flashes onto chairs, tables or doors. The last two flashes are always either accent lights or are lighting up areas in deep backgrounds. That still means I'm toting along four medium sized light stands as the overhead diffuser stand and the main light stand both need to be stout enough to hold things up high in the air (and over the heads of valuable clients!).

The stand case also holds a Gitzo reporter tripod with a nice ball head, and a range of umbrellas that I'll use, selectively, to act as the main light modifiers for the portraits. My go-to umbrella will be the 60 inch, white shoot through. It's stoutly made and I can use it either as a reflecting umbrella or a shoot through, depending on the location and on how close I want the modifier to the subject. The stand case also holds the extra batteries for everything and niceties such as gaffer's tape, black wrap and bungee cords.

For the most part I'll be relying on the Cactus V60 triggers to make everything flash but all of it will be a reduced power settings as I am only trying to outgun the available room lights by a small amount. I want to be able to keep my taking aperture on the 85mm lens right around f2.8 to 3.5. That's my optimum target zone.

We're set here. On camera rolling case, one stand rolling case, one small bag of clothes. All that's left is packing the clothing (easy) and having three meetings with local clients concerning projects we'll be embarking on the week after.

It was a great holiday weekend and I'm sorry to see it end. I got lots of swimming, sleeping and eating done. And the BBQ ribs that Will made for Belinda and me, last night, were the best I've ever had anywhere. Move over Franklin's....

One more nod to the Craftsy Photography class sale...

One more day of classes on Sale.

Sometimes a good class is a great way to get more values from great "glass."

Head over to Craftsy and see if there are any photography classes that catch you eye(s). 


A Fond Memory of Riding a Train Through Italy With Belinda and an Old Camera.

On the train with a Hasselblad V series camera and an older 100mm Planar lens. That, and bagful of Tri-X 400. An elegant several weeks of slow travel.

Sunday morning rituals. Some photographic, some not.

Sunday morning. Texas has been hit once again with unseasonably cold, wet weather. Yesterday, it never got out of the low 40's and, while my friends in the great north may laugh at that I'll have to defend our delicate response to the cold by stating (unscientifically) that our blood must be thinner and our layers of fat less optimal, which means we have more difficulty hanging onto that body heat. 

I heard random rain drops tap against the roof and the new gutters on the house as I lay in my very warm and comfortable bed this morning, weighing the relative merits of actually getting up. I grabbed my phone and looked at the temperature; it was 41, but that was three degrees warmer than yesterday. I'd slept in a bit and missed the 8:30am swim practice I usually attend. I made coffee and a breakfast taco with eggs, potato and uncured ham, and sat at the dinning room table in the soft light coming through the french doors that lead out to the side yard. I read the New York Times on an iPad. 

A bit later Belinda and Studio Dog stirred and we suited up for a nice walk through the neighborhood. We didn't get far before a very undecided rain started to fall in little wisps. As the rain got braver and more insistent Studio Dog put her foot down. She was up for many activities including: squirrel chasing and maintenance, boundary fence reconnaisssance, barking practice, intruder notification services and kitchen floor spot cleaning; but she was not up for a walk in driving rain and strongly suggested we return to home base. I was hoping the walk would go on allow me to procrastinate about making it to the second swim practice (I was still sore and tired from yesterday's intensive 4,500 yards....) but the shortened walk left the door open for yet another swim practice. I didn't have a good reply thought up when Belinda asked, "Are you going to the ten o'clock???" so I grabbed the striped green and white towel I've been using at the pool every day for the last week and a half, pulled on some lightweight gloves and headed to the car. 

When I got to the pool five minutes later you could see puffy clouds of steam rising up from the surface of the water and mix with the heavy, cold, wet air. I could see from the parking lot the final throes of the first workout. Several people in the fast lanes were doing butterfly springs and tossing up spurts of white water behind them. I grabbed my swim bag from the car, tossed whatever camera had been sitting on the front seat under a hat and headed into the locker room. 

The walk from the locker room to the pool, and the reciprocal walk from the pool to the locker room, were the hardest parts of the workout. The rest was just good swimming and that's fun. Once you are in the water and warmed up everything is fun. And, to my mind, pushing off the end of the pool in a great streamlined form is one of the closest acts we humans get to controlled flying. It's fun. 

Our coach, Kristen, was bundled up as though we were in the middle of a blizzard but I guess she needs it because she's a very competitive triathlete with very little body fat to insulate her from the cold. Her bundled state didn't keep her from pushing us to get a bit of work done. Fun to swim some backstroke as freezing raindrops fall from the sky and smack into your goggles and your bare skin. 

When the clock struck 11 am (it's actually a digital display so the numbers just keep changing...) we were done and scampering off to the warmth of the new locker rooms the pool built last year. Very posh. 

On the way home I remembered that I'd given Studio Dog the very last of her bone shaped, liver treats last night and I decided to go by Tomlinson's pet store on the way home to see if they were open on Sunday. My devious plan went like this: If the store is open I will get the treats and then treat myself to a medium sized latté at the Starbucks in the same little shopping center. If the pet store is not open I'll just head home and make a cup of coffee in the Keurig miracle machine. It was cold enough outside that my concern about filling the landfills with little K-cups was overruled. 

The store was open and the treats acquired. Treats for dog and treats for swimmer. I splurged and also bought donut. Something very rare for me which makes me think that I'm getting soft since turning 60. Studio Dog greeted me (as usual) at the front door and, like a TSA agent, insisted on inspecting the bags in my hands. The donut got a passing nod but the liver flavored treats got a big "two paws up." She insisted on sampling one immediately so we doggedly went through our usual routine: She had to sit, shake hands and recite on Shakespeare sonnet in order to get her treat. She flubbed the sonnet but I relented and gave her the treat anyway. 

The rest of the day I'll putter around, cleaning up the studio, packing and re-packing odds and ends and then heading over to my friend house for dinner. Will is making us his very famous barbecued ribs. Should be just the right antidote for the bitter cold. 

In case you are interested I decided to take the Nikons with me to New Jersey next week. The only rationale I can think of is that they seem like cameras that would be comfortable in New Jersey and, maybe the post production will be easier. It was mostly a mental coin toss.