Friday, October 25, 2013

One more sleep!!!

I've been wanting this for 12 months and preparing for the last 2 months and I'm still not really ready for the onslaught.  The Garage Sale!

I have the majority of my "stuff"  priced.   I have my float of small change counted but I still need to check my sign, just the one,  and find me some nails and a hammer.

Tonight, with the help of a neighbour, we will empty the garage of the BIG stuff.  A couple of dining tables, a lounge, a dozen dining chairs and some chests of drawers.  And the 50 or so boxes of "smalls".  I don't think there is a single vase or plate for sale.  Platters, cheese boards, cutlery, picture frames, traymobile, rugs, water plants and camellias, books, cd's and magazine make up just a small sample of the "stuff" I need gone!  I need it gone because I can't get into the garage to get the lawnmower without tripping over "stuff".  There is too much "stuff" in my world!!!

This time tomorrow the tarps will come off and we will be ready for business.
A one day sale. I want it gone!

Here's what the garage looks like today....

I expect it to look vastly different in a few hours.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A studio to call home

As you have probably gathered I have a love of photography and even through the whole cancer thing I still tried to practice it as much as I could.  Sure for a while, especially when in isolation, all I could shoot was me, or flowers, it still was great to have a camera in my hands, even when it was impossible to wear one around my neck!  The desire to shoot with artificial lighting or rather with me controlling the artificial lighting has been smouldering in the background for a while.  It started with buying a hotshoe flash, then 3 more.  Then I looked at ways to trigger them to fire off camera.  I tried cables, till I got tangled up in one, then cheapy ebay triggers, till they failed more than they worked and finally I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some top of the range Pocket Wizards and then the fun really began! The failure rate dropped to next to nothing, the ease of controlling the ratios between lights became childs play and the results began to show.  So the next step on that ladder was to find a space in which to work!

I have a couple of backdrop stands. 2 metre and 3 metre in width and some fabric and paper backdrops.  All of which I can set up in the loungeroom here. I can even do a four light set up, triggered wirelessly and get an ok result..... but it is impermanent.  It's like a pop up shop.  Pops up and down in a matter of minutes, but still I want more. I want a permanent working space.

About 18 months ago a couple of us of similar mind looked at renting a space. We looked at a multitude of alternatives.  Reduced prices spaces in Newcastle,  storage spaces in Wickham,  shop spaces in Morisset and finally warehouse spaces in Westlakes.  For each alternative there was an issue.  For most it was the cost.  For some it was the location and for one it was size, or lack of it! So that idea died a sad and lonely death.  Saturday saw my renewed interest in a freestanding permanent studio space.  I attended an open day for a new studio for rent in Tuggerah and I liked what I saw!

The simple concrete warehouse had been transformed inside from grey slabs to 3 shooting areas, one with cyclorama.  There was a small, but useable, change room area and an array of chairs and props.  There was a green screen available too and some lighting gear for hire.  The prices were reasonable and the owners are catering specifically for people like me, the hobbyist that wants to control light.

Inadvertently there was a shoot going on at the time which was a great demonstration for the onlookers.  Strangely there were very few women photographers there.  There were lots of blokes and two female models.  Nice young girls who simply wanted a few good pics of themselves.  With about 20 photographers in the joint the likelihood of them getting decent shots was pretty high!

So until the lotto ball falls on me or I get my grubby little paws on my superannuation looks like I will be renting great spaces like this to get the shots I want.

I can and do still do table top stuff at here's some for you to enjoy.

What to shoot next???

It's been an unusually busy 7 days for me photographically.  First I photographed a funeral, then a wedding and last night... no, not a christening, a live concert!  Really the first time I have been this busy photographically since I got sick.   Haven't really had the energy, but the planets aligned this week!

Each photo opportunity provided its own set of challenges. Fortunately none insurmountable. And only 2 ended in sunburn!!   Light was the issue for each too.  Now that may sound  logical because no light equal no pics, but it was the direction, intensity and properties of the light that made me work harder to get the shots.  The concert was not the best lit gig I have ever experienced so I found myself shooting at 6400 iso and still waiting on bursts of light to get a well exposed shot.  Other end of the spectrum totally for the funeral and wedding.  The issue with the funeral was the long shadows on the beach, guests in shade but the ashes and rowing party in broad daylight.... and me on a lookout unable to control any of it with ancillary lighting.   The wedding was a midday show.  Hard light and hard enough to shoot, but made worse by the groom and his merry men wearing peaked caps and dark sunglasses, all day!  Flash exposure compensation became a steep learning curve at the wedding.  Never an issue with the pocket wizards and flash heads on light stands, but a whole different story for hotshoe mounted flash heads with speed straps and short board reflectors. Got a few shots that I was happy with.  The family seem happy enough with them too.

So what to shoot next?  It was to be 4 shoots in 8 days with today being the annual Scott Kelby World Wide Walk day.  I was booked in with others in Sydney, but after a few busy days and a late one last night I withdrew.  The city was buzzing with sightseers as the International Fleet Review sail past is on today too.  So a trip to Sydney was avoided.   Had the nephew Nic not been on duty on the HMAS Farncomb, the only sub in the review, I would have made the trip.... but he was on board today so I will catch up with him in a couple of weeks when they return from exercises off the coast.   Maybe some table top stuff later in the week will be the go.  Back working with the miracle that is the pocket wizard.  Soooo easy to use.  Soooo easy to control.  Love them! And a new smaller backdrop stand has arrived, so that might get its first trial run too.  But what to shoot?!?!? I'm sure something will come to me!

Anyway here is some pics of the funeral, the wedding and the concert to keep you busy.  Enjoy!