Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The sky and everything in it.

Katlin, originally uploaded by fni2k.

About twice a year we go camping. Tho that’s not quite the correct word; this is very civilized camping. Cabin camping. Indoor plumbing, heat, microwave camping. We (typically) don’t have internet access so we consider this “roughing it”.

When I woke up in the morning I looked up through the canopy of trees leaves and could just about see the sky. I knew we had to get out to the open; because I had an AlienBee 1600 that wanted to fight the giant day ball; I was unwashed and angry.

Lugging the flash-head, 12' heavy-duty light stand, Vagabond (in a backpack) and camera bag from the car to the lake was fun. Technically man-portable. During the drive home my back would strongly disagree, but what are you gonna do? Setting up in public means the occasional gawkers; some tweens asked us if we were taking senior pictures. I asked them who their favorite president was, and then told them that I voted for him.

F/14 is no joke. I’m at full-power, bare (except for the reflector), and it’s just out of frame. Every time the flash pops, I’m expect glass shards from the tube to fly into my face. And then counting down in my head waiting for the thing to re-cycle. I know ABs get a bad rap from some people; but despite whatever idiosyncratic behavior they might have, the power-per-dollar ratio can’t be beat.

Shooting directly into the sun? The book (if there ever was one) says “no”. But as my dear friend Chief says about so many things “it’s not a rule, it’s a convention”. But he’s an animal, and not to be trusted.

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