Friday, June 19, 2009

Oh, thank God

The house closed today - we no longer own it. It was looking really dicey for a while - the incompetence of the whole mortgage/real estate industry is astounding. Big shock, I know, but all the new rules haven't helped any. Even the competent people don't necessarily know exactly what the new rules are, or if somebody incompetent is lying to them or not.

It was supposed to close on the 12th. And the 5th for that matter. Anyway, on the 8th in anticipation of having a little extra cash my one splurge I ordered one of the new MacBooks. I'm not usually an order on the first day kind of guy but my Dell piece of crap has literally been falling apart and it's just getting embarrassing. Keep in mind I use it for things like letting portrait clients pick their shots so it kind of needs to be reliable. I got one of the new 15" models - very nice. It's been a while since I've owned a Mac and there's a bit of adjustment but it's just crazy fast. 2.8 GHz but feels much faster than my 3.0 desktop (running XP). And it's just plain annoyingly faster than my old laptop - like what the hell was it doing being that slow. I don't know if it's the OS change or just fast subsystems (this is the first laptop I've used with a 7200 RMP hard drive) but just going by the CPU it shouldn't be this much faster. I suspect it's mostly an OS issue because the desktop machine's a pretty decent machine and it just doesn't have the same snappy feel.

I had a great shoot yesterday - testing little flashes both indoors and outdoors, nude and clothed. I have a nice little two light setup at this point. I'll post some of those once I get Samantha's shoot done, but I'm super pleased with how it went. With the right modifiers little battery powered flashes can do wonderful stuff once you get them off-camera. I have a couple of little things I want to get but it's already a quite workable setup. The point's the extreme portability - the whole two light setup combined weighs a fraction of what one of my normal lightstands weigh. I wouldn't normally use them in studio except while learning - they're for location shooting.

I went to the Ansel Adams/Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at SFMOMA. They did a great job - lots of his work in New Mexico so you could really appreciate how they approached the same thing from different directions. It'll be there until September - if you're going to be in San Francisco this summer it's worth a visit. If you haven't seen original Ansel Adams prints you've never seen his work - many of the shots are absolute technical perfection and the posters they had for sale were a fun contrast - vast stretches of black that were highly detailed in the originals. I've seen quite a bit of his work before but there were some I was aware of but hadn't seen including a shot he took at Mills College which is a couple of miles from here (Fellow f/64 group member Imogen Cunningham's husband was a professor there and she did portrait work at the college.)

So I think that's the news. Look for the Samantha set soon (it's small, I just haven't had time to sit down and finish it up) and then some posts about the little-flash (aka strobist) stuff.

PS The baby really, really likes "Hoe Down". (Aaron Copland) Can't stand "Fanfare for the Common Man".


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