Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Color


I do love a good color chart shot. This isn't the one I used - it's not really pointed at the light as much as makes sense - but I thought it was cute.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Pruning

As regular readers know, in addition to adding new material I also revisit old sets to keep things from getting even more bloated than they are. This takes two forms.

1. Every six months or so I flip through individual sets and remove pictures I wouldn't include now. As an example sometimes a set gets hit really hard if I was pleased with some new technique... that I then perfected two shoots later and these look bad in comparison. I'll probably next do this in May when I need to tweak my templates and regenerate the site anyway.
2. I periodically move sets from the main page to the archive page, and eventually sets get deleted entirely... except sometimes if I had one or two exception shots they go to the odds and ends page. This is basically what my "best of" page would have looked like in 2007.

At the beginning of the year I had 112 nude sets up, and I said my goal for 2010 was to do 24 new shoots (down from my usual 30-35) and have about 100 sets on the site... so you see where that's headed.

Anyway, I just did #2 - moved some sets around, deleted some. If I broke something, somebody please give me a shout - my email's over in the right hand sidebar.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Post Shoot Notes: Maria


Here's how I spent a pleasant April fools morning.

According to the schedule I laid out the other day I'll try to get the set edited and up in just about a week.

Yes, that's honey. You might want to click to see it a bit larger. I'm not usually a fan of the "let's put crap on the model and hope it looks cool" approach, but I thought this might be fun. Actually it looked very cool - I'll probably only keep one or two images, and I have no idea which ones yet (I just grabbed one in the middle for the blog) but I think it was a good first try.

Next step - Nutella. (OK, maybe not).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The book's available!

Well, that was faster than expected. I had the first batch of books arrive today and no surprises, they look great, so I'll get the pre-orders out tomorrow and there's a couple left for anybody else who wants one. Go to my books page for ordering options.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What's in the book?

For those of you who want to know exactly what's in the new book before purchasing, I've set up one of my usual preview pages.

A note to models - if you're reading this and wondering why I didn't send you a note to let you're in the book - I haven't done any kind of mass mailing yet, and might not because many of your email addresses are on a dead machine (I can get to the info if I have to... probably... but not easily). So I'm just mentioning it to people I've kept in touch with as I talk to them, and I know a fair number of them keep an eye on this blog so if you don't know if you're in there or not hit the preview page...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Model: Marion

The set with Marion is up now. This was kind of a "safe" shoot for me - lovely woman (French, too - hearing an accent like that makes me think I should be taking some video!), relatively short shoot but she's a very good model and we just did simple stuff and I think the results are nice.

The next two shoots (as currently scheduled, they seem to be moving around a lot lately) are intended to be much more experimental, so we'll see how that goes.

This is only nude shoot #2 for the year - my intent is to post new sets at a somewhat accelerated schedule until I'm caught up, but not as fast as I'll be shooting since I'd like to build up a bit of a backlog which should help avoid this kind of big gap in the future.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Book update

I got my corrected copy of Beauty and it looks great. So I've updated the books page with a direct link to the printer for those of you who would rather buy one that way. If you click on the cover it will take you right to a preview of the first few (of 80) pages so you can get the idea.

I think it's only good for another couple of days, but the code TWENTYPERCENT will get you... wait for it... twenty percent off if you buy through Blurb.

I'll be in "pre-order" mode here for a while longer for people who want signed copies. I used the code above to order a small number of copies to start. Depending on how much things pick up now that there's a preview out there, it may or may not be enough to cover anything past some initial orders so basically the bottom line is that if you want a signed copy from me, that's great, but if you don't order soon you might be in the second batch and it might take another couple of weeks. (The first batch will go out around early April). I'll put some on eBay at some point for people who prefer that, but only once I have some extra copies on hand and nobody's waiting for their order.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Post Shoot Notes: Marion


This morning I had a nice shoot with Marion. As always I just grabbed a couple when I was copying the set over and checking out that everything was working OK. Good thing too - I wrapped the counter from 9999 to 0000 mid-shoot and the way the camera organizes things into folders half the shoot vanished... until I realized what had happened and copied those over. But I definitely had a scary moment!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book news

That's the lovely Brooke on the cover. So I have some good news, and I have some bad news. The good news is that I got my sample copy back from Blurb and it looks really good. It's not the same quality as the prints, of course, but very nice.

The bad news is that I had to make a couple of little adjustments. Out of an abundance of caution I'm ordering another sample copy, and won't order in bulk until I've received it. So by the time I get any kind of decent number of copies to sell it's probably going to be early April.

But back to the good news - I know now that I know enough to go with Blurb and what the cost will be. So I can take pre-orders now, and once I get that test copy I can turn on direct sales with Blurb (which has some annoying features - their author payment setup STINKS compared to Lulu). I'd be doing pre-orders anyway since I'm going to start with a decent number of copies and that helps with the up front cost and also gives me a better idea how many to order.

So all that being said, if you would like a pre-order go to the books page and there's a link for the US or international. The books are $39.95 plus shipping (varies by location). Such a deal!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Little updates

If anybody's looking for some really excellent imported wild fennel seeds, check out Sausage Debauchery's eBay store. I hadn't made sausage for a while - it's actually pretty easy, and fun, and yummy, but the fancy-pants fennel definitely makes a difference. (Update: His website's live now - Sausage Debauchery).

As long as I'm plugging random folks, I get casings and the curing salts for when I make bacon from Butcher Packer.

Blurb printed the book sample faster than expected and it turns out they ship them from Washington so I should have it Wednesday according to the shipper.

My lab does framing now and I ordered some for the studio and they look GREAT. Part of why I got them was so I can have some pictures handy, up on the wall, where I can point and say that's an 8x10, that's an 11x14, that's a 16x20 and they can see what they look like framed without running around the house and finding some. I'll also offer it as a service to portrait clients - I got a little sample thing with pieces of the different frame choices and all that. It probably doesn't make sense as a website option, so I won't be adding it in any formal way, but if you've been thinking "Gosh, I'd love a print, but I hate getting things framed" drop me a note and we'll talk.

And as I'm sure everybody's tired of hearing, there's lots of cool shoots scheduled, but we're not there yet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time marches on

There's a little amphitheater behind the music building at Mills College. If you look at the work of Imogen Cunningham you'll see it occasionally (see this one as an example).

This is just from my little point and shoot. They're not really using it now - it's pretty messy but nothing a pressure washer couldn't fix. But the thing that amuses me? The safety rail. I wonder when they added it and if it was in response to somebody actually slipping or if they were just being paranoid. It's not a very strong looking rail, and I'm guessing most people don't use the stairs much anyway. They've also painted that wall in the front (not pictured in my shot) bright white and it looks kind of strange versus the concrete - you don't really get the same effect in the wider angle shots.

In other news, I have three model shoots scheduled in March. I had four but it's looking like I'm going to have to reschedule one to April. Unfortunately the one that was rescheduled as the first one so it will be a couple of weeks. Which is also probably when I'll get the test copy of my book and if the quality is fine I'll do things like post the cover and pricing and so forth.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

More on the book

Well, that was painless. Blurb's software for assembling a book is really very user friendly, especially for this kind of book where you're mostly swapping pages around. I actually did the whole thing in one session with a baby in my lap, although the big monitor helps. One bit of good news is they can print everything flush to the page without borders, so the image size will be a tiny bit larger even though the pages are a bit smaller than Lulu.

So now we wait. I get a copy (which will take a while - they have to print it and send it UPS ground from Lord knows where). I decide if the quality's impressive enough versus Lulu to justify the 50% price increase (sigh) and if I need to make any little tweaks. I may need to reorder another test book if I make enough changes that I feel nervous, but otherwise I just mark it as public and roll with it.

These aren't a big money maker compared to the prints, but they're fun, and people give them as gifts so in some ways they're kind of a permanent advertisement (put the URL in the book!).

Monday, March 08, 2010

Craigslist Find

I got this on craigslist - red Weber kettle, old style wood handle, three vents on the bottom instead of the modern "one touch" system with a big handle. As far as I can tell it was made from 1976-1978. That's when I was 6-8 years old, so I like to think of it as the charcoal grill we would have had if my family had some common sense. (I have happy memories of outdoor cooking but also of lots of problems with the cheap cooker and almost non-functional electric charcoal starter. With one of these and a chimney starter there would have been a lot less cursing.)

Cost? $15. I had to do a little sanding and put some tung oil on the handle to make it look nice and protect it, and I removed a little light surface rust here and there, and I went ahead and replaced a couple of key parts like the grills. Luckily Weber hasn't changed their grill dimensions since then so you can just pick that sort of thing up at the local hardware store... that's a sign of a great product, by the way - 35 years later and you can still get parts for it.