Having worked mostly with available light for most of my photographic life so
far, I've decided to plunge into the world of controlled light through a course
at SVA. In the first session,
we learned the basics of using a hand-held light meter, and set up our own
view camera and strobe unit. The school hires models for each of the sessions,
too, so each of us got to create our own setting and make a portrait with a
As I was setting up my shooting space, I noticed two red lip prints on the
wall. When I saw Anna, the model below, wearing bright red lipstick, I thought
it would be fun to place her next to the lip prints. It didn't matter that
we were shooting black and white Polaroids.
I took a test shot with Nikkita (my D100). It was the first time I'd
used the SB800 to trigger a studio flash. I used a Sekonic light meter instead
of the built-in meter. The results were nice, as you can see below.
The Sekonic allows you to take one reading, and get aperture and shutter speed
read-outs for two different ISO/ASA settings. That's good, because Nikkita's
lowest ISO rating is 200, and the Polaroid film was ASA 50.
Earlier in the class, Ken, the instructor, talked about how digital cameras
“see” in a manner that is more akin to video cameras, than to film cameras.
He said that it's harder to get a bad picture with a digital camera. I think
bears that out: Notice how the wall is blown-out and the right
arm and shadow details block-up on the Polaroid, while the D100 image has more
detail in both areas. The D100 image is not perfect, but it could be tweaked
into to a very successful image wit a little photoshop. For the Polaroid, the
best thing to do would be to revise the lighting (maybe light her arm.)
Next week, we work on mixing ringlight and tungsten with additional strobes,
and we shoot with our own cameras from now on. Ken has stressed low-speed film.
ISO 200 seems to be working, but if it turns out to be too fast, I may find
myself learning a lot about reducing the output of the lighting equipment!
I got a call from the Gallup [Poll] Organization last night. That's a first!
It was a pleasure to reply that I disapproved of Bush's handling of Iraq, the
economy, etc. As the survey continued, I noticed how some of the multiple-choice
questions had answers that didn't match the nuances of my thinking.
about what to do in Iraq, there was no option for quagmire, and there was
no “We never should have done this” option. I felt uneasy about the options
I was given: increase the troop levels (escalate and keep us stuck in the region
indefinitely)/ keep troop levels the same (there aren't enough troops to stabilize
the area)/ reduce the troop levels (call this one the sitting duck option)/
pull all troops immediately (and plunge the region into civil war, almost guaranteeing
the emergence of a new Taliban). No doubt, the situation sucks.
This is the same land where writing and the wheel were invented. The first
cities were there, and Hussein built an airfield very close to an archeological
treasure - one of the oldest ziggurats ever unearthed. Who knows what treasures
the bombing have destroyed or damaged. The consequences and long term effects
of this war will be broader than anyone imagines.
OK... now George Tenet has come to realize that his family is his top priority (just like Christie Whitman and a host of other appointees), so he's resigning from the Bush administration. Seems almost every person who resigns from this administration has that realization. Gee, working for ol' George must really put you in touch with Family Values...
I'm taking a course at SVA with Ken Shung. This is going to be a LOT of fun.
Book Burnings in the USA?
Yeah, I know... the land of free speech and all that, but look what
at Rio Rancho High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March, 2003.
People who say there is no difference between Kerry and Bush are only looking
at surface details. Do you really think this kind of stuff would be foisted
upon us by the Democrats? Worse, it's being done under wraps – broght in through
Still more great sounds and sights at the Vision Festival last night. I'll
post some pics in the near future. If you're in NYC and have the time, there's
a panel discussion at 5pm today on “The Artist's Role in Waging Peace” at St.
Patrick's Old Cathedral,
268 Mulberry (at Prince St).