Zeiss Prime Lenses fit perfectly in a Lightware Case

Had the opportunity recently to check out the full line of lenses from Zeiss. I packed it out in a Lightware MF1217 for a road trip to SanDiego. Besides being a perfect size carry on, the stealth look, it didn’t scream CAMERAS IN HERE!  The lenses were a joy to work with. Probably may favorites were the 85 and the 18. It was only play time for me a few hours a day but at least some play time. Spent some time at the beach and in the restaurants. The manual focus reminded me of how it used to be. When those of us who are old enough to remember film with all its wonders and headaches. Packing along rolls of film and marking the test rolls to process first and then determining push or pull processing on the balance. Now, if you don’t like it, just keep the “Trash Can” handy.

I also got to thinking how technology has changed the medium. Usable ISO to unbelievable ratings that couldn’t even be imagined years ago. The computers in the cameras making micro second decisions before exposure. Flashes that can flash what its thinking and what his buddy flash should do. Amazing. But what technology hasn’t brought to the party is vision.

You have to see what is in front of you. Really see. The light, the color, shape, form, texture, size, the relationship to other objects, foreground, background, middle ground and even the subject. In today’s market it seems that anyone with a “professional” camera is/can/could be a professional photographer. I can’t begin to see how “Uncle Jimmy” can become a professional after the purchase of a D3s. Now he can do the annual report photos because he has a “pro” camera? How soon we forget that the camera does not make the professional. It takes years of practice and practice to be excellent at your profession. So I keep on practicing every day. It keeps me sane and keeps me aware that those of us who “see” are a unique bunch.

The Lightware, MF 1217 – Multi Format Camera Case, is the perfect protection for a set of Zeiss  prime lenses and a road trip to San Diego.  Available at lightwaredirect.com case and dividers, not all the gear. Ya I know, I had to say it.

I have Zeiss Lenses, a Sekonic 508, 2 Nikon SB 900’s, Nikon D700 and D70, Integrated Color Card, Mini MacBeth Card, Visible Dust Brush, Lens Pen and some Manfrotto Stand adapts.

The ultimate carry on bag.

Use any flash with a PC connection

Use any flash with a PC connection

Well lots of folks have been asking … Do I need a new fancy Canon or Nikon flash to work with a FourSquare? No you don’t. What I have pictured here is three old Nikon Flashes that are being “driven” by a PC sync. The unique thing is I had Michael Bass of Michael Bass Design make me a four cord PC that goes into a single mini-phone that plugs into my Pocket Wizards.  Any ol’ speedlight that has a PC connection and a hot/cold shoe will work great with/on/in the FourSquare. What better way to make use of stuff in the closet or a cheap purchase on line. You can make the FourSquare “pop” like the big strobes and really improve the look of your images in the studio or on location. Easy and portable, name of the game. One speedlight diffused in a FourSquare can make all the difference to that outdoor portrait.

Thinking outside of the box will make your images better. Off camera, diffused or bounced … the solution is easy. Just experiment. With digital you can shoot until its right, no film to process.

Another question is … “Do I always need to use the diffusion screen?” No. With speedlights, the heads rotate and you can bounce a single or multiple heads into the sides.  A beautiful light. You can add diffusion over the head with a Stofen device or even some colored gel to make it a little different. Till next time……

The FourSquare with a pc cord from Michael Bass

Lightware goes great with the new iPad

The perfect case for your new iPad™. It will fit either vertically or horizontally and has a nice soft fleece lining to keep the screen free of scratches. The USB cord and AC adapter slide right into the bottom of the case with plenty of room left for the iPad. The item is a GS 6002 flat stash pouch and costs $29.95. The cases are in stock and if you call Lightware Inc. at 800-455-6556 they can zip one right out to you today. They will also be on lightwaredirect.com very soon.

iPad case by Lightware

Packing for travel with Lightware and FourSquare

Packing for travel with Lightware and FourSquare

Having to prep for a shoot coming up in San Diego. So … I though that you all might appreciate how I go about my mental check list and layout for putting my gear together. What I can’t show you is all the thinking time that was put in to the assignment. I first started with the fact we will be shooting by the ocean and that means sand. Second, I wanted to ship all the gear ahead to my good friend Dave Friend, ya that’s right, his last name is Friend. A great guy and a terrific photographer. We met back when he and I were both on the national board of ASMP. We have remained friends ever since. Wow, lots of “friends” floating around.

I knew I was going to use some new products from “http://michaelbass.blogspot.com” and reduce the traveling load. Michael and I have been working on a couple of projects together but this one is specific to eight speedlights and the Radio Poppers. Two receivers trigger eight speedlights in one cluster. We are calling it the “Detonator”. So the preproduction is really the key. I try and think ahead and figure out the ins and outs of the particular assignment. I make a list, gather the gear and lay it out on my studio sweep. It is also a great way of keeping track of the gear that will be shipped ahead if I was to file a insurance claim. Having just returned from NAB in Las Vegas, I really don’t want to try and check my gear on my flight. By my calculations, shipping ahead is going to be easier, I can track the shipment on line, plus if I get really freeky I can insure the whole thing. Airlines are getting tough enough just with trying to get your body there much less your gear. The critical items in this are the clip mounts made for the RadioPoppers by Michael and the fiber optic tips that are at the bottom of the photo next to the wrench and allen keys. I couldn’t easily replace on location and they are the key to making the whole thing work.

FourSquare Detonator

The only items that are not is this image is the battery box and the FourSquare package, but those will be easily seen in the next photo. There are extra items like the little spring clips that are not necessary to the images but nice if I want to wrap color gel around the heads. The little Manfrotto ball heads along with LightwareDirect’s speedlight stand adapter (FSA 100) make for wonderful accessories that are easy to travel with because I can screw them on to any stand with a 1/4 20 thread top. Should the assignment change, (boy that never happens) I now have the ability to do a portrait set up or a group pic of the crew.Yes, I know what your saying … you can’t get that all in there. Well yes I can. A little shuffling with the handles (on top of each other) and the battery box will fit on its side. The only thing I didn’t have a chance to do was to weigh the little guy. It’s legal carry on size but I would guess TSA would say the handle assembled would/could be used as a cocktail mixer, so I have shipped this one ahead. The battery box is from Pelican and all I have done is cut dividers to separate the AA’s. You could certainly go with the recharge way, like Eneloop (sp), some of my friends say they are great but I am going to use up my stash until they are all gone before I upgrade. Seems I always buy a handful when I am at the Big Blue Box store, so slap my hands for next time. I will be sure to take some pics when the sand is blowing and pics are flying, til next time…