Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blog Refresh

With the website redesign done, finis, kaput, I thought it was time to give the ol' Blog a little revamp as well. Unfortunately, my Blog has suffered for years from the same affliction as my website - a bad case of Cuban gaudiness. I've changed the look as time has passed, toning it down little by little, but the one thing that remained constant (and the epitome of dingle balls around the headliner) was the Blog heading. You'd think that someone with a reasonable amount of artistic creativity could come up with a tasteful, appropriate Blog heading but for years this was a hurdle I just couldn't overcome.

Well, I've taken another stab at it. Yesterday, I replaced the old Blog heading with a new version. I used the same camera sketch that I used in the website logo to have some kind of continuity from the website to the Blog. I've changed the name of the Blog from BaselineShots Photography Blog to something that I thought incorporated a sports theme into the title. "In the Huddle" also connotes that we're all in it together, with information being passed along to the group, which is what I try to do with my Blog posts/ramblings.

Since I was going with a huddle theme, I searched through the drives to find an image of a huddle. After finding several of various teams huddling up, I noticed the one I ended up using. It has been one of my favorite Bobby Bowden images for a long time and it kind of fit the theme so I opted to go with it instead of the conventional huddle versions.

I'm happy with the new heading and time will tell if it is a keeper or just another step in the evolution of the header.

Double Duty This Weekend

Looks like I will be a Troy Trojan, at least part of the time this coming weekend. Troy's SID called back yesterday and hired me to shoot the Trojans first NCAA Baseball Regional game at noon on Friday. Since I will be shooting for Florida State on Saturday, he was afraid to hire me to shoot their Saturday game because FSU and Troy could end up playing each other Saturday depending on the outcome of the two teams' opening day games. But, he would like for me to be available to shoot any games in which Troy does not play against FSU so it's going to be a busy weekend of shooting and processing at the stadium. The extra cash from the Troy gig will hopefully get me a couple more used SB-800 strobes to add to the hot shoe flash gear.

In the OOPS Department....

The two 13"X56" strip softboxes from ePhoto in California finally arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to rip the box open and assemble them. These will be going into the studio since they have grids and the two I currently have don't have grids. The new gridded ones are more versatile for studio use, giving me the option of tightening up the light given off by attaching the egg crate grid.

Once I ordered the new ones, the two that I've had in the studio (which had Photogenic speed rings) were earmarked for the portable lighting kit. Actually, one of them has already been in use with the hot shoe strobes - during the shoot of Bill Elliott's NASCAR stock cars this past weekend - since I had an extra Bogen speed ring on hand. I simply replaced the Photogenic ring with the Bogen ring and wham, bam, ready for use with my hot shoe strobes. As you can see from the image above, the flash brackets that are used to mount a strobe and light modifier require a Bogen style speed ring but because I didn't have another  Bogen speed ring on hand, the second box wasn't ready for prime time yet.

The new softboxes came with Bogen mount speed rings.  My plan was to wait for their arrival, take the Photogenic speed ring off the second strip softbox, use it and the one I had already removed with the new boxes so I could mount them on my Photogenic monolights, and then use the new Bogen speed ring on the second, old strip box. Make sense? But then came the fly in the ointment - the *^#!@*%$$#! (please choose your choice of derogatory description)  who shipped my new softboxes shipped me two softboxes with some kind of strange speed rings I've never seen before but which aren't Bogens.

After a call to ePhoto explaining what happened, a much embarrassed individual assured me that two Bogen speed rings would be shipped out immediately using overnight delivery. Hopefully he did what he promised and the Bogen rings will be here today.

On the good news front, the 16" beauty dish and the 40"X58" reflector panel/mount arrived yesterday as well. For now, that completes my portable lighting gear acquisition since (other than possibly adding a couple more SB-800's) I have just about everything I feel I need.

Well, almost.

My birthday is this month and I'm hoping that between spousal unit, my maternal unit, my maternal unit via marriage, and my offspring units, a few additions for the kit will be in the cards. I've subtly mentioned that some used Nikon SB-26 strobes ($75 - $100 at KEH) would make great birthday presents (the SB-26 has a Guide Number of 135, has a built in slave sensor, and makes a great, inexpensive strobe to use in Manual Mode), as would a couple of used light stands ($39 at KEH). Oh, and in case any family unit members are reading this, I sure could use a used Minolta VF flash meter ($150 at KEH) to have in the portable kit since I'm familiar with this meter - it's the one I use in the studio. Hint, hint.

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