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January 27, 2011

Boot You Right Out

Thursday. As mentioned, a good night last night, the Photoshop class billed as an “intermediate” class for photographers was excellent, covering many areas I'm familiar with, but obviously, after sitting through it, don't really know how to use to best effect. Their “advanced” class is coming up next Wednesday, a refinement on what we covered last night, something I now realize I may well be able to put to good use.

One interesting tidbit: Evidently there's a photographer with a studio in the next building big enough to roll a semi-truck and trailer inside and its lit by who knows how many strobe lights, photo floods and similar such. He has the American Mercedes Benz advertising account and, when they want a picture of a new model, they deliver a white one to his studio. Whenever they need a photograph of the car in a specific color for a particular advertisement they add the color to the car in Photoshop. Saves them delivering and then photographing a car of each needed color to his studio. Interesting stuff. I have no interest in shooting cars, not in a studio anyway, but there were tricks learned last night that would allow me to do it.

To bed last night at eleven, up before the alarm just before six, to breakfast and back by eight. I generally feel pretty good going to breakfast and back, the day's various little glitches don't start showing up until later in the afternoon. I do wonder about that. Early mornings and evenings after six or seven seem to be best. It's gotten me going through little mental routines around it. Something I'm eating in the mornings? I do vary my fare, but are they adding massive amounts of MSG or something? Probably not, but feeling like crud makes you wonder where it's coming from, other than old age and whatever abuses you practiced as a youngster, catching up now in full flower. All that alcohol and fatty food. The American experience. We know it well.

OK, the day ahead. This is the fourteenth straight day of sun and no rain, so said the paper this morning, good for the soul if not the reservoirs. Not unusual in the Bay Area, they added, we've had periods like these in the past. Doesn't mean it won't get cold and start raining again before it's over.

The PocketWizards are due to arrive today, not to mention a metronome, a clever guitar tuning box similar to the one my instructor uses, and a pair of shoes. Batteries for the PocketWizards are charging in the bedroom as I write. I am going to learn how to use them, the Wizards and the lights, a useful deadline approaching with a series of head shots I've committed to shooting off site early next month.

You are in a good mood at least, in addition to the usual B.S.

If not now, when? It's good to have stuff to do when the stuff you have to do is reasonably interesting and fun.

Like those Photoshop techniques you learned last night?

Sometimes they're fifty-fifty. Pain first, payoff later.

Later. The UPS truck never comes when you're waiting. They said between ten and two and indeed it's looking more like after two now that it's well after one. Such is life. They came at ten yesterday morning while I was at my guitar lesson, trying to deliver the shoes. Do other people order shoes over the web? Some must, more of us as time goes along, but I suspect shoes, unless you know exactly what you looking for, are bought in a store. Anyway, I wanted to say something about the delivery truck. It's on my mind.

While waiting I've been scanning old negatives from that batch I found last month, scanning and then adjusting them in Photoshop. None of the skills required that I learned at class last night are required with these files, but that makes sense somehow. To learn from a class you need to repeat and practice the material sooner than later at home so I'm, of course, doing the exact opposite. One or two turned out. I was shooting in low light back then, wide open at f 2.8 or so I suspect, lucky I got anything in focus.

Three o'clock now, no UPS man. Or woman. We don't discriminate, either one would make me happy if they came on time. Silly, of course, I have other things to do, other things are getting done in the sense I'm puttering around happily enough with useful stuff. I am, in some sense, back to my school days, plenty of time to try things, to do things, time without pressure to perform. There was that way back when, unstated or not: pressure to perform. Now I'm the one applying pressure and, protestations aside, I'm more than easy on myself.

Later still. The stuff arrived, seems like good stuff, the small lights are now all lashed together on tripods in clever and useful radio connected ways, a walk then down the hill to have sushi and sake at the sushi restaurant. There was a debate about going, but I noticed whatever arguments I tendered against the trip, pretty good arguments I thought, the go down the hill and have sushi arguments won out. I'm not sure my brain is totally in balance with this.

A conversation with myself as I was walking home: “gotta get a budget in place, stop this spend on a whim crap”. Well, yes. Yes. One needs to behave as if we're living in the real world, as the real world has its rules, and it will boot your ass out the door when the money runs out.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2006 Cherry Blossom Festival Parade with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens.