Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hump Day Links 10.31.07

The tax man in Iowa is going after jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween. More

Speaking of taxes, Oregon has a measure to increase the tobacco tax by an additional 84.5 cents for a total of $2.03 per pack. The tax isn't surprising. Putting the tax into the state constitution is. More

Freelance photo assistant, Sean Moser, needs a, arm. Oh, just read the story and make a small donation. More

Arizona photographer, Kevin King is at it again... yet another tease about his new Radiopoppers. More

Keep humpin'

Friday, October 26, 2007

DIY: Flash Gels...on your printer

I had a "eureka" moment this morning while I was having my coffee. Why not use transparencies and my CAD program to create flash gels. You can make them any color you want. Size them to fit your flash with the appropriate tail to attach velcro. You can even grab patterns and textures from Google image search to create a pattern or hue on your background.

On these samples I just guessed at the colors for 1/2 and full CTO but I suppose you could investigate the correct RGB value and create a spot-on color value. I haven't spent the time to try different patterns and colors that might emulate muslin backgrounds but I suppose there are some clever folks who will.

Have fun. The possibilities are endless. If you have a drawing program that can read .dxf files, I can email the file I used as a template.

Friday, October 5, 2007

How to spend the time...

My grandfather smoked. He died from cancer
My father smoked. He quit. He died from cancer.
I smoke. It is strangely reassuring to know the genetic probabilities. ..

The question is what to do with that time between diagnosis and the end of the game. I've decided not to take the chemotherapy route. I watched my father waste 10 months trying to extend his life rather than trying to live those 10 months to their fullest. The money that is not being spent on doctors and hospitals will be used to take a trip to make a few apologies, and say a few thank yous in person. While I'm on that trip I intend to smoke in the airplane lavatory.

This will be a great time to break a few rules and social taboos.... but, just the liitle ones. A few things I would like to do:

Ride my motorcycle without a helmet.
Pass wind in church.
Have dessert after breakfast.
Have a cocktail at lunch.
Drive without a seatbelt.
Take nail clippers on a plane.
Have a garage sale and not claim the income on my taxes.
Eat a lot of red meat.
Take a nap every day.
Use a lot of salt.

I suppose the list will grow longer as the time approaches and I don't expect any real quilt or consequences...except for the Ann Coulter bit ... there are some things even a Republican won't do.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Another good reason to get a Model Release...

Andrew Marsinko claims he never signed a release allowing his photo to be used for commercial purposes, as required by Virginia law. Now he's suing for a variety of reasons, including defamation and reckless infliction of emotional distress.

The front of the card features Marsinko holding a goose on one knee, under the words, "Since it's your birthday, you decide - Would you rather get spanked ..." and then, inside: "Or goosed? Happy birthday!"

The Botetourt County farmer claims he didn't even know about the card until he attended an animal auction in Mount Hope, Ohio, where people began teasing him. According to the lawsuit, one person asked him, "When did you give up women to hug a goose?"

"That's not something you want to wake up and find out's been done," said Roanoke lawyer David Harrison, who represents Marsinko.

The portrait was taken at the 1996 State Fair of Virginia by Washington, D.C., photographer John Burwell, who had been hired to take promotional photos for the fair.

The card was sold throughout the United States and Canada last year. During that time, Marsinko - a member of the American Poultry Association's Exhibitor's Hall of Fame - says he was the object of ridicule at auctions and livestock shows across the country.

The complaint accuses Burwell and his wife of selling Marsinko's image to Jupitermedia Corp., a stock image provider, without his permission. The image was used on a card sold by Boulder, Colo., company Leanin' Tree Inc., according to the complaint.

(used without permission)

Information from: The Roanoke Times,

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I met her in a pawn shop ...

She had seen better days but she was well built and a little taller than the others. An old cougar, you could tell she had run with a fast crowd but she was still a looker and sharp as a tack. For $200 she offered to rock my world...

...and she was right.

I thought we were happy. We went to the beach. Long walks in the park and there were always flowers. When she needed more I bought her a D2x so she could mount a full 12 megapixels. I even took her to Seattle for the Strobist Meet. She was a little kinky.

The last time I saw her she was lying on the bed at the Hilton. When I stepped out of the room she disappeared. Someone probably offered her more.... said they were packin' 21 megapixels. Boy will she be surprised when he turns out to be a Canon.

Somewhere on the streets of Seattle she's being pimped by a D50...full of regret.

If anyone sees my Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, please send the bitch home.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Officer flips over burger...

Union City, Georgia - Based on his "experience and training" Police Officer Wendell Adams arrested a cook at the local McDonalds for over-seasoning his burger. Kendra Bull, 20, a McDonald’s employee, spent a night in jail Friday and faces criminal charges after Officer Wendell Adams complained the burger she prepared with too much salt made him sick.

"Step away from the grill and place your hands on your head"
Officer Adams sent a sample of the burger to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for analysis.... I kid you not. Even though the lab has millions of dollars of testing equipment and some high powered talent in their scientists, it may be difficult to determine if Officer Adams illness was a result of too much salt on his burger or too much sugar on his donut.

The CBS affiliate has the full story here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What are Wizard Brackets?

A simple, secure and inexpensive way to mount your Pocket Wizard flash triggers to your light stand or flash swivel.

Traditionally, photographers have just hung their Pocket Wizards by the included lanyard or stuck them on the light stand with Velcro. Neither of these methods are particularly secure.

Wizard Brackets install quickly and easily to your flash swivel. They are laser cut from cold rolled steel and have a textured powder coat finish. Your Pocket Wizards attach to the bracket, in seconds via a threaded knob with 1/4-20 thread.

Purchase via credit/debit card

Wizard Brackets are sold in sets of 3 for $24.00 and shipped, in the U.S., for a flat rate of $4.70

For the uninitiated, Pocket Wizards are the gold standard in radio controlled flash/camera triggers. They are available from all the major photo equipment sites such as B&H and Adorama. They work as advertised... every time. And they are expensive. Depending on the model, prices range from $180 to $295 each.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Wizard Brackets are shipping today...

...and Monday.

I spent all day Friday assembling and packaging the brackets. Today was spent printing labels. I should have about half of these in the mail today. The rest will ship on Monday. Watch your email for shipping confirmation.

Thanks to everyone who ordered. Your support was amazing. If you haven't ordered a set of these, do it now. I have a few dozen left. You can order at the bottom of the page, here.

Thanks again.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Power of Strobist...

David's post on Strobist caught me a little by surprise...the response was overwhelming. It appears a lot more people would rather buy the Wizard Bracket than make it as a DIY project.
I have 250 of these coming from laser cutting today. They will go to powder coat this afternoon. Knobs and other bits and pieces arrive Friday.

I'll spend the weekend assembling and packaging.

Thanks for your patience.
Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions.

(541) 815-4580

Monday, August 27, 2007

How're they hangin'...

... I mean your Pocket Wizards.

Last week I was paging through a Strobist discussion on flickr and ran across this post by Oglethorpe.
Read the thread here

In short, Oglethorpe wanted to know what the little pieces of velcro were for that are packaged with the Wizards. As most may guess, you use them to secure the gadget to the light stand. As most of you also know, velcro works great...sometimes. I believe 99% of strobist just hang them by the lanyard and let them bang into the stand each time you move it.

His question, and the responses he received, inspired this little bracket. It's simple to build if you are in to DIY and all of the components can be found at the hardware store... well, I should let you know the chances of finding ALL the parts at ONE store is pretty slim.. you may have to make a couple of stops.

These are the parts you will need to find.
1 - stainless socket cap screw 1/4-20 x 1/2"
2 - neoprene o-rings 1/4" ID
1 - snap ring 1/4"
1 - press-on round knob for the cap screw, but you could use a wing.

Oh, and the bracket itself? I laser cut some .125 sheet steel to fit the width and radius of the flash swivel from Midwest Photo Exchange. The fit is perfect and looks OEM. I chose to cut a star pattern but a square hole would work just as well. This will fit the shoulder bolt on the flash swivel and prevent the bracket from slipping if you have it in the horizontal position.

Bending is pretty straight forward. I used a 3in1 to get good clean bends, but you could use a vise in a pinch. The O-rings prevent you from over tightening the screw and the snap ring captures the screw so you don't have to chase it around the bottom of your bag. If you choose to paint this, I recommend Rust-oleum Textured in black. It matches the textured finish on the flash swivel perfectly.

More pics here.

If you're a DIYer, spend a little time in the garage and make yourself 2 or 3 of these little guys. If you don't have the time, tools or patience to do this yourself, you can purchase a set of 3 from me. One exception you will see that will be different from the DIY build is that I will powder coat instead of paint. Paint will not hold up in the long run.

I'm going to fabricate a hundred or so of these and see if there is any interest. I'll judge the success of this by the number of people that click the BUY button in the next couple of days.

If you are interested you can purchase a set of 3 (three) brackets by clicking on the "BUY" button. Price will be $24.00 plus flat rate shipping of $4.70 for a total of $28.70. I'm going to limit this to U.S. buyers for now and we'll see how it goes from there.

If you have any questions, give me a shout: