lighting equipment

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so my lightning equipment arrived in the mail today. i was pretty excited when it came and i can’t wait to really test it out. i took a few test shots today to play with it a little bit to see how well it works out. i had a hard time trying to figure out exactly what i should get and a large portion of my decision was based on reviews from [url=]the digital picture[/url] and talking to [url=]adam[/url] about some choices that i had.

initially i was going to get the photogenic eclipse 32″ umbrella and 60″ umbrella, similar to the [url=]review[/url]. after talking to adam and seeing how big the 32″ umbrella was, i decided that the 32″ umbrella just wasn’t worth it. i was debating between getting one 45″ and one 60″, but ultimately what won me over was the fact that i liked symmetry and so i finally decided to get two 45″ umbrellas.

my initial impression with the umbrella is that they are pretty well constructed. i really like the fact that the wires are covered by the satin panel so that the wires aren’t seen in the reflection. i am definitely the happiest about the umbrellas.

i had a lot of anxiety over the clamps i bought that that holds the umbrellas and flash to the stand. i decided that the lighting setup i wanted to use would leverage the two flashes that i already own. i just don’t think that i want to invest THAT much in my lighting gear unless i’m positive that it is an integral part of my setup. i decided to get the [url=]photoflex shoe mount multiclamp[/url]. i was disappointed to see that the bogen swivel umbrella adapter required the use of the hot shoe stand so i decided to look elsewhere. i had some anxiety about this mostly because this alternative looked sort of cheap. it’s similar to what [url=]adam[/url] uses and his clamp looked pretty worn out and frail after all of his use and i was afraid that the same would happen to mine. so far it looks reasonably sturdy, so let’s hope that it lasts.

the last part was the light stand. i wasn’t sure again which one i wanted to get, but it seems that i have a rather high regard for bogen/manfrotto. because of this, i decided to get the bogen 3361 light stand. it’s an 8′ tall light stand. my biggest concern with this stand is its sturdiness. it’s very lightweight (which is good) but i wonder how easily it’ll tip over outside. i’m thinking about getting some weights of some sort to put on the legs of the stand if i ever use it outside. not sure exactly what that means…i’ve seen commercial products that basically look like sandbags. i’m not sure if that’s the way i want to go or if i want to just jerry-rig some weights whenever i use it. what actually looks pretty cool are some of these weights that are refillable with water. i’ll have to experiment with some gallon sized ziploc bags and see if they are big enough to weigh down the stands a little bit. but for indoor use, they seem quite sufficient.

i realize now, though, that i have so much to learn when it comes to lighting. i’m trying to find more useful tips on lighting online, but i haven’t been particularly impressed with what i’ve found so far. i’m wondering if i have to go buy a book or something. i’m also learning that there is still a lot i have to learn when it comes to portrait photography. where oh where do i begin?


more about the beginning of the week


it seems that i’m beginning to fall quite behind with updating the blog this week. this is sign at the bart station that i went to earlier this week to go to the city. the oakland city center is actually a pretty nice area. when i saw this sign, i thought it was quite a contrast from the rest of the bart area because it’s usually a drab gray…but the tiled walls and this bright blue sign caught my eye for some reason. some other people were looking at me a little oddly when i was taking this picture because…come on now, let’s face it, why would anyone take a picture of this sign?


one market. that’s where i went. it’s a glorious building and my meeting was with vignette. their offices are pretty posh and there are parts of it that have strong tones of lavishness back from the dot com days. this is where i lived earlier this week. in a conference room at this building. this building also houses microsoft and the del monte headquarters, i believe. pretty neat.