Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is the Grass Always Greener?

It's human nature to envy what others have, what they're doing, what they've accomplished, what their status might be. Being human, I'm no exception to this condition.

Although I often hear how lucky I am to be doing what I'm doing (taking pictures of pretty, sexy, women in varying stages of dress and undress) and getting paid for it, I fall prey to envy. I envy photographers who are taking pictures of all the things I'd like to be taking pictures of and, most importantly, getting paid to do so. In more than a few cases, the people I envy are getting paid sick money for doing so. That includes people who are taking pictures of the same stuff I'm taking pictures of!

Be that as it may... Oh shit! My father was fond of saying that! (And I was never fond of hearing it.)


Be that as it may, I suppose envy is a great motivator. People want what they don't have. They want to do the things that seem out of reach to them and only (it seems) available to others, i.e., those others whom they envy. How many great human accomplishments were truly motivated by altruistic desires? I'm certainly not motivated to photograph beautiful women strictly for the enjoyment of others or myself. I ain't saying it ain't fun. But it is what it is. The truth is, I do it for the paycheck. The fact that others derive pleasure from my work is a bonus (collected on by my ego) but it isn't what drives me. What drives me are the tangible rewards. What drives me is self-preservation. What drives me, literally, is the automobile (and the fuel) that's paid for by the monetary rewards of my work.

There are times when I'm so consumed with envy for what others are able to accomplish (and get paid to accomplish) that it becomes counter-productive. I won't go so far as to say it makes me bitter--I'm not the bitter sort--but it does sometimes push me into states of self-pity. And self-pity is not a motivator. It's a roadblock. It's a wall. It's the thing that sucks the wind out of a person's sails.

I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how I can break into areas of photography that seem to elude me. That figuring out time goes beyond planning and strategizing and hoping and praying. Daily, I scour the web looking for information and tips that (hopefully) will put me on the trail towards wherever it is I hope to go. I read books and magazines that might do the same. I am consumed with both envy and a determination to reach that place where I need not be bothered by it, by envy that is. (Is there such a place?) While the starving artist thing might be a romantic notion, there's nothing romantic about starving, artist or otherwise. I'm not saying I'm starving but I ain't exactly bloated with success. (Poor me, huh.)

I'm guessing I'm not the Lone Ranger when it comes to this envy malady. I suppose that's why envy is a common human condition and not a rarely seen state of being. I didn't set out to write a depressing, bummer update. I'm just saying. Perhaps tomorrow the grass on my side of the fence will seem greener?

The doe-eyed, Filipina eye-candy at the top, posing with a bit of faux-modesty, is Kina from yesterday's gig. Kina did her own makeup. Although I photographed Kina against a white seamless, I didn't intend to shoot high-key. As most of you know and the rest of you should know, a white background does not automatically mean "high key." I used two light sources: A mainlight modified with a 3'x3' translucent scrim and a backlight, modified with a small, shoot-thru umbrella, boomed above and behind her and somewhat camera-right. Why only two lights? That's all I had with me. And that's also why the white background isn't white. (Although I could'a PS'd it white if I were so inclined.)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Clicking with Models

"It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter." - Alfred Eisenstaedt

Interestingly, Eisenstaedt's most famous photograph, VJ Day Kiss, is a candid, street photography, image of two people he neither clicked with nor whose names he ever knew.

But the apparent contradiction between Eisenstaedt's words and his most famous photo doesn't deter me from using the master photographer's observation to, once again, underscore the importance of, well, of clicking with the people you are photographing.

The other day, I rambled on about casing locations. Today's rambling focuses on clicking with models.

After arriving on set, casing the joint, and choosing whatever spot that remains available for to me to shoot in, I generally turn my attention to the first model who will grace my lens. Usually, I'll find her sitting in the chair, the makeup chair, that is.

As a rule, models and MUAs will most always be engaged in some deep conversation. These deep conversations usually revolve around cosmetics, hair care products, boyfriends or girlfriends, some sort of gossip, or how blasted one or both of them became last time they were out partying. The first trick is to know when to ease into the conversation without actually crashing it. Fortunately, I'm often acquainted enough with the MUA for she or he to greet me with a big smile and a bigger hug. As a result of that smiling hug, whatever ice that might exist between the model and I quickly melts.

Here's why:

The model wants to like me. She wants to like me because the MUA apparently likes me and because I'm not a competing female and I don't come off as a leering, on-the-make male and, most importantly, she wants to like me because I'm the guy she wants to believe is going to make her look like every man's dream-come-true in the photographs I capture.

It's like this: Even if the model isn't overly fond of the MUA, models are well aware that MUAs have a lot of control over what they're going to look like in the photos so they'll pretend to like the MUA whether they like them or not. Likewise, photographers are the next people in line with control over how the model's beauty will be portrayed in the images. So, it's no-brainer that it's in the model's best interest to like me... or to pretend to like me. This is important for shooters to remember: It's in the model's best interest to want to like the photographer or, at the very least, to pretend to like the photographer. This, of course, works in the photographer's best interest and is a situation worth exploiting.

BTW, if I'm not acquainted with the MUA or the model, I approach, stand quietly for a moment until I draw their attention and, when they acknowledge my presence, I introduce myself as the photographer followed by a couple of quick ego strokes applied to both the MUA and the model.

Often, the first thing out of my mouth to the model is something very complimentary about her appearance. Here's a simple example: "Wow! You are gorgeous!" I say this even if the MUA is in the very beginning stages of applying the model's face or whether it's true, untrue, or merely somewhat true. Stroking someone's ego is always a great way to begin a relationship providing it's said with all the sincerity and friendliness one can muster. I should add that I always say stuff like this with a big, friendly, smile plastered on my mug.

I never overstay my welcome in and around the chair. Doing so risks having the model become suspect of my agenda and my intentions. I only hover around the chair long enough for a quick meet-n-greet, application of a few well-placed ego strokes, and getting a fix on when the MUA will be finished. I also try to make some decisions about the model's face and her height and body type: These decisions effect how I'm going to pre-light for her. Example: Determining if one of the model's eyes are noticeably smaller than the other, a common occurrence. (Note: A smaller eye is usually best photographed closer to the camera's lens than the larger eye. The difference in distance (perspective) between each eye and the lens will seem to even them out, size-wise, in the two-dimensional images you're about to capture.)

Once the model arrives on my set, I generally cease paying attention to whatever technical things I'm doing and all my attention seemingly becomes focused on the model. I say "seemingly" because part of my brain is still focused on the technical aspects yet I put on the appearance that it's all about her. Even while physically adjusting lights or taking meter readings (and while I'm shooting) I keep a constant, friendly, humorous dialogue going with the model. I don't miss opportunities to apply ego strokes. I give direction. I make her feel like she's doing things right. It's lonely out there in the lights and I work hard to make the model feel that she's not alone and that we're a team. My goals, of course, are to relax her, build rapport, have her trust my directions, believe in herself, and to get some great pictures!

The model at the top is Kayla. We were shooting at a location house and, for reasons that still baffle me, the only place I was permitted to shoot was in the driveway with the stuccoed side of the garage as a background. Nice. (Not.) Anyway, it was the middle of the day and the sun was overhead. Again, nice. (Again, not.) I used a couple of strobes to overcome the sun and shot away. Obviously, the image is more than slightly processed with brown and sepia-toned goodness.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

PicLens is a Cool Image Viewer

I've already posted this on a couple of photography forums but, in case you don't know about it, you might want to check it out. I'm talking about PicLens from Cooliris.

PicLens is a 3-D-ish image viewer that turns images from Yahoo and Google searches (and from Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, PhotoBucket, and other web destinations) into a 3-D wall. The plug-in has an easy interface that allows you to move around the images, enlarge them, shrink them, and go the the page where the image resides. And all this with total ease! Trust me. This is a very cool plug-in.

PicLens is for Mozilla Firefox browsers (v.3.0) although there are versions that support Internet Explorer and Safari. (Why anyone would want to be using IE is beyond me?)

My favorite photographer/model forum,, has already made the jump to being PicLens friendly. I'm guessing more photo forums will follow suit.

If you want to learn more about PicLens and/or download it (did I mention it's free?) you can do so by clicking HERE.

The gratuitous eye-candy at the top is Audrey from the other day. It's a no-frills, no-fuss, very slightly processed image, captured in front of a white seamless. I used two light sources: A mainlight modified with a flat, Larson, shoot-thru, Reflectasol, and an accent/hair-light modified with a small, shoot-thru umbrella, boomed from behind her. Audrey did her own make-up and hair. Images like this tend to be popular with graphic designers (for ads and/or DVD cover art) as the model is so easy to extract from the BG.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Casing the Location

I shoot at a lot of locations. Make that I shoot at a lot of locations I've never been to before. Time, of course, is always of the essence. So, the first thing I do, even while I'm carrying in my gear, is I begin casing the location for a good place to shoot: One that, hopefully, offers valuable (usable) light plus decent backgrounds or settings I can steal for my shots.

Yep, like a thief casing a house or a business to rob, I case shooting locations for the those things I can steal... photographically steal, that is.

I have this "where I'm gonna shoot" casing process going through my head the moment I walk through the door. First, I have to make sure I'm not looking at places to set up that are going to conflict with the video crew. This requires asking an obvious question: "Hey! Where are you guys setting up for the first scene?" Wherever that is, I need to be as far away from it as I can get. It's not only about not having all of us shooting on top of each other, it's about my strobe flashes bleeding onto their set should they be shooting and I be shooting at the same time. This, of course, often limits where I can shoot. You'd think I'd have at least as much juice as the vid's crew when it comes to picking a spot to shoot my stills. My work, after all, is going to sell the product. But that ain't the way it goes. Why? Well, for one thing, the director isn't much interested in what I'm doing. He or she is only interested in their visions being captured in the coolest places the location has to offer and with the minimal of fuss. Can't have some stills guy getting in the way of genius. I'm not bitching. I'm only saying... saying how it is, that is.

Once I've established where I can't be, I start looking for a spot where I can be. The video peeps, as I mentioned, almost always stake out the best spots to shoot... as well as the second-place and third-place best spots to shoot. Okay. I can deal with that. I'll forgo the win, place, and show spots and go for the "also-ran" spots that, hopefully, offer something in terms of coolness and interesting-ness.

Being the photographer on a movie set can be a very Rodney Dangerfield-ish position to be in.

The next problem I have to deal with is finding a spot where neighbors or others can't see what's going on. Often, many locations have great shooting spots that are, unfortunately, within easy viewing of other homes or buildings or even the street. This would be a big no-no. My models are going to get naked and I can't have "civilians" peering at my naked models. Sure, there's plenty of onlookers who might truly enjoy "the show." But there's also plenty of them who will immediately call the cops. We always have a shooting permit but the permit is pretty specific about citizens not being able to gaze upon whatever is going on, especially when whatever is going on includes naked people!

On a perfect day, I'll find a nice spot that's away from everyone else, has an interesting background and some decent natural light. Unfortunately, perfect days are few and far between. Whenever I can take advantage of natural light, I'll go for it. Who wants to set up a bunch of lighting gear when Mother Nature has done the job for you? Not me. But that doesn't happen too often. Most of the time, I'm lucky if I find a spot outside or inside (near a window) that offers some good natural light I can take advantage of. In fact, when I'm inside, even when there is a window, it might not offer much in terms of good, usable, light. I might still decide to shoot there but, more often than not, I'll have to set up some artificial light to mimic natural light coming in through said window.

Another consideration that's goes through my melon (as I'm casing the location) is "ease of setup" and "ease of shooting." I can be lazy and, when I am, I'm going to be looking for an easy spot to shoot, one that meets certain minimum criteria. I'm not sure if all this is making much sense. I'm probably rambling and this update is kind'a becoming a post about being like a Maytag Photographer... i.e., a comparison to the lonely part of the Maytag repairman commercials, not the having nothing to do part. I'm not sure if any of this is of much interest to any of you. I just felt like writing.

The image of Rebecca at the top is an example of finding a cool spot to shoot that didn't conflict with the video guys. It was the entrance way to the location house-- An entrance way that was more like an atrium with a glass ceiling. It was an overcast day so the light was beautifully soft (enhanced by the white walls and white tile floor) and there wasn't enough room for the video people to work in so they stayed away. All I had to do was place a single strobe on the other side of the French doors and it turned into an exceptionally nice place to photograph her.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Review: Understanding Exposure

It's been a while since I reviewed one of my recent photography book purchases. (Purchased with commissions courtesy of those of you who have bought Amazon's products through this site.)

Anyway, a few months ago I purchased Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. The book has a subtitle, "How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera," which is about as cliche as it gets. But I'll forgive the author and publisher for their lame subtitle as Understanding Exposure was well worth its modest price.

Understanding Exposure mostly focuses on Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO in its attempts to demystify photographic exposure. (Not that exposure is mystical nor a mystery.) In the book, the author spends ample time discussing how exposure is an integral part of the creative process. After all, photography isn't just about taking pictures that are "properly" composed and exposed. It's also about using composition, as well as exposure, to tell stories, create moods, communicate emotions, and announce attitudes. I see a lot of pictures where a big chunk of the creative emphasis is mostly (and nicely) rendered with composition and not so much with creative use of exposure. Peterson does a competent job of helping his readers understand how choosing the right photographic exposure for a given capture can be a powerful creative ally. There's much more in Peterson's book, i.e., beyond aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, including, for example, using light meters, taking advantage of various kinds of light, special effects, night photography, and more.

For the most part, Understanding Exposure targets novice to intermediate photographers. But there's plenty of good info to hold the attention of more advanced shooters. And even though a fair amount of this book's contents might seem remedial to many experienced shooters, I think there's plenty between its covers that will educate and illuminate photographers of all levels of skill. Illustrating the book and its concepts are many of Bryan Peterson's excellent photographs .

Understanding Exposure, IMO, will make a great addition to most any photographer's library. It is an excellent and practical instructional resource. By the way, Peterson is the first guy to make me clearly understand how the Depth of Field Preview Button functions and how it will help me in my photo endeavors.

The image at the top is Faye from earlier in the year. I lit Faye with a 1200 HMI, a silver reflector, and the ambient daylight coming in through the windows. I probably posted this pic before. Oh well! I think I have MMD. (Memory Deficit Disorder.) Gettin' old sucks, don't it?

Oh! Almost forgot. If you're interested in purchasing Understanding Exposure, scroll the right-hand column of links and stuff and, under "Recommended Books," you'll find a link to this product.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Quick "Kid Brother" Update

I'm off to the hospital to visit my brother, Steve. He had his open heart surgery (aortic valve replacement) on Thursday and he's doing very well, all things considered.

Steve's surgeon predicted a four-hour surgery. Instead, Steve was in the operating room for eight-and-a-half hours. As my mother and niece (Steven's daughter) and I sat in the waiting room for all that time, we began to suspect something was amiss when the time passed from four hours to 5 to 6 to 7...

According to my brother's surgeon, things did not go according to plan, more than a few complications arose, surgical improvisations were required, and much more work than was anticipated needed to be performed.

But... Steve survived! He is in stable condition and is doing very well. The doctor's are very happy with how he's responding. He is expected to fully recover!

Again, many thanks to all for your prayers, positive thoughts, and well wishes!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting Back to the Studio

One of my regular clients, Tera Patrick's company, TeraVision, is putting together a studio. I haven't seen the studio yet, although I understand it's about 2,500 square feet of shooting space with 14' (or higher) ceilings. They're building some sets including a permanent, white cyclorama. (Sometimes called, in photographic applications, an Infinity Wall.)

The cyclorama, or cyc, (pronounced sike)includes a white ceiling with a cove where the ceiling meets the back and side walls. Cool! Typically, most cycs don't include a cove ceiling. This offers even more options for lighting and interesting camera angles. (The cyc and its design, BTW, was per my suggestions for the studio's layout.)

And here's the coolest part of all: I'm getting a key to the place!

That doesn't mean, of course, that I have carte blanche to go in there anytime I want to shoot whatever I want but it does mean I'll probably have some degree of access in addition to what I shoot for Tera and/or TeraVision.

I'm fairly anxious to get back to shooting some studio photography. I had my own studio for a couple of years but, in 2007, economics made the decision (for me) to not renew my lease. I have a fair amount of lighting and grip gear that isn't particularly practical for location work. I'll be keeping some of this gear in TeraVision's new studio and, once again, utilizing it. Can't wait to get my Mola Euro beauty dish out of storage and begin using it again!

Word is, construction in the studio will be completed in a week or two so I should start getting my studio feet wet (again) fairly shortly. I'm stoked!

The photo of Jana (at the top) was shot in my studio a couple of years ago. The photo below is a behind-the-scenes look at the lighting, the props, and Fonzie, my assistant du jour, at the controls of the smoke machine.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is It the Sky or Merely a Cloud That's Falling?

I read an interesting article this morning, The Cloud is Falling, by Vincent Laforet, for (Hat tip to A Photo Editor for linking to the article.) While the article's title sounds fairly pessimistic--and parts of it certainly are--Laforet argues that it isn't the sky that's falling (for pro and would-be pro photographers) but merely a cloud: A cloud that is obscuring the blue skies that remain above it.

I'm certainly no sports photographer, unless you consider sex a sport. Neither am I a photojournalist, editorial or advertising photographer, or commercial photographer, all of whom being the people Laforet mostly targets with his incisive words. But still, I am a person who makes his living with cameras in his hands and, as such, I'm always interested in where the industry, as a whole, seems to be moving--positive directions as well as seemingly negative directions--and what new opportunities might be revealing themselves.

I've written before about the difficulties in making a living as a photographer in the digital age. Mostly, I've complained written about how the evolution of technology has put automated picture-taking skills into the hands of the masses and how that has negatively effected old school shooters. Laforet has identified many more trends (other than technology) that are impacting today's photographers and their abilities to carve a decent living out of today's photo-shooting industries... but he also offers hope!

It isn't that Laforet blueprints a design for success, he doesn't. But his analogy of a cloud, rather than the sky itself, being the thing that's falling--coupled with a bunch of pertinent and useful info--offers hope for those who wish to pursue (or continue pursuing) photography as a career. Assuming you're serious about photography as a vocation (or even an avocation) I think you'll find the time it takes to read Laforet's article will be time well spent.

The gratuitous eye-candy at the top is Brooke from a few months ago. (My bad if I've run this pic before. It's a bit difficult to keep track of which images I've already posted.) Anyway, as I recall, I used two lights to illuminate Brooke: The mainlight modified with a 3' diameter shoot-thru scrim and a small umbrella at the top of the stairway for some highlights. For various reasons, I've lately become a fan of using flat, shoot-thru modifiers (as opposed to softboxes or umbrellas) to diffuse and create a bigger aperture for my mainlight. It's a bit more in the style of film and video lighting. Besides it's softening qualities, this type of modifier adds a bit to the ambient (unlike the more controlled light of a softbox) without scattering a harder light everywhere, as umbrellas often do.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Does Quantity Beget Quality?

First off, I want to thank everyone for their positive energy. Whether you commented, sent an email, or simply took a moment to engage the power of prayer and/or positive thoughts on behalf of my brother, Steven, I thank you and so does Steve.

Just yesterday, Steven read all the comments and was truly moved and heartened by what he read. Interestingly, it was the first time my brother had visited this site. He is still on the intravenous antibiotic regimen and it still looks like his surgery will take place early next week.

Anyway... Back to pretty girl shooting.

Does quantity beget quality? I'm talking, of course, about the number of images a photographer captures in hopes of getting *THE* shot(s).

In a recent article in Digital Photo Pro magazine, long-time National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson, says he may snap 20,000 to 40,000 images for a given assignment in hopes of capturing a very small number of amazing photos. Generally, Richardson's assignments take 8 to 12 weeks to shoot. And that includes a lot of time spent doing things other than capturing those twenty to forty-thousand pictures. He admits that only about 20% of that time is spent with cameras in his hands. The rest of it is spent on logistics-- planning, coordinating, researching, and more. But still, that's a whole lot of images to edit!

Obviously, as it pertains to glamour photography, I'm not advocating shooting 20 to 40 thousand pics. Who has that kind of time with a model? Neither am I suggesting photographers capture images in the thousands for a single glamour set. But I do believe, quite often, the more images you capture the greater your chances are of capturing that truly killer shot.

So how many captures is enough? That's tough to say. You certainly don't want to shoot so many and for so long that you wear the model out. And you don't want to simply spray-and-pray. That's not going to up the odds of grabbing that stand-out shot. But if you have the time, I would suggest snapping more than you think you need. And don't shoot them all from the same angle or with the same lighting or with, basically, the same poses going on. Shake things up! Every time you capture one that you think is the ultimate "keeper," think how you can make that "keeper" even better. Remember that the difference between a good shot and a great shot is often something very, very subtle. Sometimes it's just that ever-so-slight difference in expression that makes a killer pretty girl shot.

The gratuitous eye-candy at the top is Penny from a few weeks ago. We were on location shooting in the basement of an abandoned hospital in East L.A. Penny was playing a sexually-promiscuous, angst-ridden, police detective in the movie. They had me shooting in a corridor just outside the hospital's morgue. I would have liked to have shot in the morgue--which was pretty cool in a spooky sort of way--but the video's lighting crew were working in there and the director and production manager decided what the lighting guys were doing was more important to the production than what I was doing. Okay. No problem. I didn't get all butt-hurt. I'm pretty thick skinned. So, I set up three lights out in the hallway--a key and two accent lights from behind--and had my way with Penny... in a purely photographic way, that is. I wasn't interested in lighting the environment as it wasn't important to the final product.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Prayers and Positive Thoughts Needed! ***UPDATE***

I'm going off-topic from the discussion of glamour photography today for a special request: Whether it's a prayer, a positive thought, a powerfully good vibe, or whatever manner you choose to send the power of hope and healing, I would appreciate you taking a moment to send some of that on behalf of my brother, Steven

My little brother--okay, he's 51 but he's still, and always will be, my little brother--is in need of prayers and positive thoughts. Last week, he was admitted into Providence Saint Josephs Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was in pretty bad shape: His kidneys had shut down, his blood sugar level was through the roof, and his heart was quickly giving out. It took a few days to figure it all out but the doctors concluded he has a fairly rare blood infection. They began a regimen of antibiotics and attended to his kidneys and blood sugar levels. He has responded well to those treatments but, as a result of the infection, they'll be taking him into surgery early tomorrow morning to replace his seriously damaged aortic valve.

Steven is in good spirits and is maintaining a brave, positive attitude. He is well aware of what it means to go through this sort of surgery. Fifteen years or so ago, Steve had his aortic valve replaced because of a congenital defect. But his once-replaced heart valve is now a casualty of this blood infection and he has to go through it all over again. The doctors would have preferred to have him on the antibiotics for a month or so before doing this surgery but they don't feel they have the luxury of that time.

Again, if you could take a moment to send your prayers and/or positive thoughts, it would be greatly appreciated.


At the top, another image of the beautiful Sascha from the many I photographed of her a few weeks ago.


U P D A T E ! ! !

Okay. Today the doctors decided to hold off a bit on my brother's surgery... probably till sometime next week. Apparently, they now feel he's not in extreme imminent danger of his heart failing so they've decided to spend more time attacking the bacterial infection in his blood before performing the open heart surgery.

BTW, today Steve needed to decide what kind of new heart valve to have installed. Who knew they give choices like that? Anyway, he had to choose from human, mechanical, pig, or cow. There's pros and cons to each. I think he's going with the bovine option. So we spent some time considering a few of the new nicknames he'll have to endure. Obviously, he'll be hearing "cowboy" and "cowpoke" more often then he'll want to hear. On a side note, I was wondering if vegetarians would choose heart valves from cows or pigs? And what about Hindus? Would cow even be an option? How about Jews and Muslims? Could they choose a pork valve? Man! It always gets complicated when religions and science collides.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Chill Time

My very busy June has turned into a "Holy crap! Where's all the work?" July! Such is the way, I suppose, of more than a few photographers: It's either feast or famine. I'm not particularly concerned. Things will pick up again. Probably fairly quickly. They almost always do. For now, I'm just going to enjoy an extended 4th of July holiday.

I've decided I'm going to try to streamline and minimize the camera and lighting package I bring to sets. The cost of gasoline is driving this decision. I want to be able to ride my motorcycle to work and that means carrying one bag of gear on my back.

I have a pretty decent backpack camera bag. In it, I can hold two camera bodies, a few lenses, two or three small, on-camera-type strobes, a meter, and various other accessories. I can also strap a few umbrellas, a couple of small stands, and a flex-reflector or two to the outside of the bag. I'll be dependent on batteries for power and that might mean purchasing some higher-end power packs, like those manufactured by Lumedyne, but I gotta do what I gotta do. This freakin' gas is killing me! I probably dumped $600 or $700 into my tank last month to get back and forth to work!

The photo at the top is another of Sascha from last week. The other photograph, of course, is my fat ass on my new production vehicle, my Harley Night Rod.