Sunday, January 6, 2013

Time Spent - Not Wasted

Here I am at "The Coffee Society", not far from my home, enjoying one of the best lattes in the area, and preparing to do a bit of writing.  I have to admit that I particularly enjoy doing this, even though I look back and see I haven't made an entry for a good many months.

I just got back from taking a run in the slight drizzle, after waking up from a long nights' sleep.  I look in my living room, and remember that I still have to take down my studio setup, which is in that state due to a photo shoot planned for yesterday that never materialized (I think the model was abducted by aliens - that is the most common cause for photo shoots being abandoned - scientifically proven).

Here's a shot which partially shows the setup I put in place:

It't a bit dark, I know, but the idea is to give just a rough sense of having a setup in place.  It's really expensive to rent just about anything in the San Francisco area, and I can't afford to rent out a studio full time.  So I have enough space in my house that I just move all my furniture somewhere else, then set up my backdrop and studio lights to create a photo studio.  It's not perfect, but I get pretty decent results, and I know it's more than many other people in this area have.  So I count my lucky stars and make it work.  (Of course I would love to have 2000 sq. feet, with 18 foot ceilings, etc.).  Plus I'm forced to be innovative - that's not a bad thing.

OK, for all you people who are looking at this blog, I'll treat you to some photos I edited yesterday as I waited for the model that failed to materialize:

I could be upset about spending the time doing the photo setup, going shopping for clothes, and then taking it all down, etc., but I realize the only thing I can control in this life is my attitude.  It's really true.  I was exchanging emails with one of my international Flickr friends, and she said something about "I try not to be to excited when I have something, because I know it will eventually be taken away".  It's true.  Live is ebb and flow, up and down, a time of feast, and a time of famine.  Nothing is guaranteed, and all we can control is how we will respond to our environment.  My mom used to put it in a really simple way: "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade!"

The way I look at it, I got a chance to try out a setup I had in mind, and now I can use that same idea next week with a different model.  I also got to try out my new wireless triggers (I finally upgraded from the junk I was using, and now have a set of Phottix Strato II triggers - they seem pretty nice!).  I also went through my wardrobe inventory thinking of what I'd use for yesterday's model, and as a result of that I have some new ideas for next week's shoot as well.  Sometimes it's good to have more time to practice and think, and not hurry from shoot to shoot.

The other thing which I seem to be perennially behind on is editing and Photoshopping the photos.  I've got thousands and thousands of photos taken over the past couple years (my D7000 is now at about 45,000 clicks in less than two years).  I had done first pass editing and sorting of everything (I do that shortly after every shoot), but surely had lots of goodies waiting for actual photo retouching.  So I spent a good part of the day doing just that.  I posted a couple on Flickr and a couple others on Facebook, and also sent high resolution copies to the models.  Maybe some of them will be surprised to get them.  :)

The other thing I was able to do was start thinking about my upcoming trip.  I'll be going to Thailand again in a couple weeks.  I won't have much time for photo shoots, but I might be able to squeeze one of two in.  So I had a chance to send a few emails out to past models, as well as to a few I have not yet worked with.  We'll see where that goes...  Stay tuned!  Maybe I'll see Miss Phit - Cha (Suphitchayanant, or Love).

Oh - just thought I'd share this.  Below is a photo I edited slightly yesterday, but which was taken almost three years ago.  It is from the first model photo shoot I ever did.  I didn't have any artificial light, and was using a D80 with a 35mm f/1.8 lens.  I think it's not too bad, especially for a first shoot.  Some of the shots were pretty atrocious, but a few not bad.  I hadn't chosen it as one of the best photos at that time, so I do think my idea of editing (or decent editing) has changed since that time.  Hope you like it!

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