Droning Around

It's no secret that drones are a hot subject right now. Even my 90 year old Great Aunt knows all about them. So this is an officially unofficial notice that I will eventually start incorporating aerial drone footage into commercial work, after becoming a sort of real pilot. I finally have an excuse to wear my flight suit and helmet.

New Year New Posts Coming

2015 was a busy year with zero blog posts. Here's a test post with empty platitudes about remembering to write about work more often. It will come down if I ever actually get to writing.

How to Pack-Studio Edition

I'm traveling up to Petoskey, Michigan to shoot a fashion job this week. It's pretty straightforward, full length, on white backdrop stuff, but working up in a town that barely has a Radio Shack let alone a real camera store has its challenges as far as gear goes.

And lately, I've been paring down on the amount of stuff I take for any job. One lens instead of three, three lights instead of six, and using a C-stand as a backdrop support-it all saves weight, time, and my assistants back from lifting heavy bags.

But when you have to bring the whole studio with you, it changes your packing list. This is nine bags-light stands, c-stands, video tripod, follow focus rig, six heads in two cases, lenses, bodies and laptops in another two, small modifiers, and then six or so softboxes with assorted speedrings for the two types of lights I use, and 40lbs of sandbags.

This isn't even including the 9' roll of backdrop paper that has to squeeze into my cars 9' 1" main cabin, touching the windshield. 

But what amuses me the most about the setup is where all the bags come from. Most of my gear is as old as my career, some of it was even brought back from my first year of work. The lightstand bag now holds only two c-stands, and a thrift shop golf club bag now holds light stands and grip, including the backdrop kit, tripod and boom arm. It's a rolling case, and probably the heaviest bag to move. 

The pelican case holds two Profoto heads and a 1200 Acute pack ever so nicely, but no room for anything else. A Calumet rolling suitcase holds the four White Lightnings, cords and all the extension cords for the job.

For this job, I'll be shooting some video as well, which means an additional Manfrotto tripod, the backpack with follow focus and all its accessories, and even a Vagabond Lithium battery so I can get extended shooting times without swapping batteries, it just hooks onto the shoulder support and I plug in the camera body and the screen. 

With this setup, you can light anything under the sun, even at high noon. The only thing missing are the two additional Vagabond II batteries that I would take if we actually had to work outside. 

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The Business End

Staring down a few tons of aluminum, steel, electronics and explosives can be an invigorating experience. A few ounces of plastic, glue and paint on the other hand lacks the intimidation factor. However, with some simple lighting and the right camera work, it can be hard to distinguish it from the real deal. 

I started photographing miniatures about five years ago with a little P-51 Mustang I bought online, pre built and painted. It took a few tries, but I turned it into a nice little picture over the english countryside. Something in me wanted to do more models and building, but I never seemed to have the time or the space to do it. 

Once I had the space (dining room tables, entire floors) I started building with an eye towards photographing the results. Which would have been disappointing at first with the glue everywhere, paint peeling off, and decals falling away.

Eventually, I had a fleet of mostly complete, partially well done airplanes from various time periods. None were good enough to photograph the way that first one was, in the full light of day. However, they were not assembled as poorly as they had been painted, and made for an intimidating shape when viewed head on. Trouble is, when your subject is supposed to be 16 feet high, and is actually only five or six inches, perspective comes in.

You need to be low on miniatures, frequently below the surface you're actually shooting on. It makes it a bit harder to get the right proportion of floor visible to apparent height of your camera. When your lens element is about the same size as your subject, something isn't going to fit, and you have to compromise.

However, as demonstrated by the SR-71 here, a smaller lens on a smaller camera lets you split that difference. This was done on my iPhone, held with the lens right above the surface. You get the ground filling in all the way to the lens, and it looks like you're still below a plane only sitting 2 inches off the ground.

But with a real lens on a real camera for real size quality, you can't quite do that. Here my lens is even with the tabletop, minimizing the amount of 'ground' visible to get the right height of the B-25 showing. I could crop down, or move the camera higher to get rid of the bar across the bottom, but I can also spin it as shooting from far enough away with a longer lens. Which is also what it took for some of these. A wide angle lens would be great on a full size plane, but all these were shot with a 70-200 most of the way in.

Photographing miniatures in a convincing manner is something of a bygone technique with the ease that we can strip and place the full size item from a source image. But to get access to these kinds of subjects is an arduous process, let alone to be able to set up any kind of lighting and positioning you want. And it's always fun when people ask if it's the real steel or a model, and even better when they don't ask, and believe the picture outright.

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Working in Detroit

What am I shooting in the middle of the (hot) street with the instagramming audience behind me? Something big, concrete, ferocious, and distinctly a Detroit icon. Check it out after the jump.

It's a 2 story tall Tiger adorning the front of Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. Oh, and their cheerleading "Energy Squad" that pumps up the crowd during home games.

This shot was a lesson in backup plans, stretching the abilities of your equipment, and being in the right place at the right time.

For being in the right place: I called up a friend of mine to do a portrait, and even though he's got a modeling portfolio full of work we did, he always seems to be down to do more. However, his friend that accompanied him on the shoot had other plans.

The very next day, he called and told me to put in a bid to shoot something for the Detroit Tigers. His friend works in the marketing department, checked out my work, and wanted to use me for a short-notice shoot that had been put on the backburner, but needed to be done NOW.

After a quick meeting, I had gone right up to meet the Marketing VP, and scheduled for just a few days ahead. At the end of the meeting, the weather was suddenly called into question.

Everyone's weather app was showing light rain, and three of the four shots we had discussed relied on being outdoors, and on the field. Only one shot could be accomplished if we were rained out, but there was no additional time for weather days while trying to coordinate 30 cheerleaders, some who even lived across the border in Canada.

Backup plans: I had to quickly suggest another two shots minimum that could be done even if Downtown Detroit was flooding. Covered locations in the stadium that would still give us a decent view had to be scouted in addition to the primary shots. It was a definite compromise that nobody wanted to make, but we had to work around any possibility.

Stretching your equipment: I run with a lot of lights, much to the dismay of my assistant who had to move them around to our final FIVE locations in the park. Part of this job was also studio headshots, which meant four of my six lights were tied up in the conference room, ready to go.

Of course, when we showed up, it was raining. We got the studio up and running, and while we started on headshots, we kept an eye on the weather. After only an hour, we got the call that there was at least nothing wet coming down. Running with the only spare lights, a Profoto Acute 1200 and two heads, I had to light 30 girls and one massive tiger.

Profoto 1200's are nothing to sneeze at, but at the distance we needed to be at to fit the whole tiger AND the park sign in, even at full power they were barely adding enough. If we had to overpower the sun, we may have had to compromise in post production, adding cost to the job. But the overcast day meant nice diffuse light, and just a touch was needed for some direction.

This was the weather through the entire shoot, and we still had four more locations to go, including one with the city skyline (cloud covered) and one on the field. It was also here that I learned asking politely will get you far in life, but not everywhere, as we were kicked off the field so they could finish prepping for the game in less than two hours.

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I'm very excited to announce that Google selected me to be a participant in a just-launched program called Helpouts, where people can get real time video help from an expert. They contacted me to be one of the photography experts on the site, and asked me to set up a unique Helpout program that revolved around the type of work I do. 

And most of what I do is lighting, which is probably best taught in person, hands on with gear, or at least in tutorial style videos that can be watched at leisure. So I had to change gears a little bit and include the part of my workshops that we don't always get to do in the way I'd like.

Portfolio reviews are important to any photographer, at virtually every stage of their career. Getting feedback from friends and family is a good place to start, but many believe that this sort of help can actually be counterproductive. Of course your mom thinks your work is great. Mine has never had a bad thing to say about even my worst photos.

So I'm glad to share my experiences and give any photographer, from the new-camera-in-box to working professional like myself, a portfolio and marketing critique and review. Any photographer can benefit from a new set of eyes going through their work and offering a different perspective on how it's all presented. I'm hoping the Helpout program will be a part of my workshops in the future for people that need the time for some one-on-one advice.

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Bags and Bags and Bags

After moving home to Detroit a few months ago, I received the expected chorus of 'wait, you LEFT New York to find more work?'

Yes, I left NYC to pursue new clients in my hometown and expand my creativity in ways I felt I couldn't do in the city.

And it's worked, quite well actually. One client that's been listed, but hasn't had a post yet, was worth the entire move alone. And this stunning Gator bag that's been half drawn as though to depict it's original planning stages was a part of it as well.

Most of my work in NYC was E-comm, for The Evolution Store where this guy's siblings may have ended up, and other designers, jewelry makers, restaurants and more. One market I hadn't tapped into yet was a little bit further from home than I expected, but a working vacation is never a bad thing.

It also turns out that leaving NYC was the way to get my work back there. Granted, a line sheet isn't the most glamorous of things, nor will it have my name attached, but it's being shown during Fashion Week to potential buyers.

I worked with a much larger team than I usually do for products (usually just myself) and it was needed. Over 120 bags and accessories in three days of shooting involving an assistant/stylist, two production managers, a graphic designer, and the owner herself with high expectations.

Once we got a system going, and named a few newly minted bags ourselves, this job looked like a drop and pop on the surface, but with the variety of materials used, including python, leather, sheepskin and stingray, we had to tweak lighting every time we changed to a different kind of bag.

While I'd love to take my sweet time on each bag and perfect lighting on each one, I've at least developed a system that looks good on a variety of subjects with as minimal changes as necessary. We even adapted my top-down back to a shoot into table so we wouldn't waste the 15 minutes or so changing tables.

I've also got my magical traveling studio down pat, removing a bunch of stuff that we can easily buy once on location, and bringing just the essentials and irreplaceables. There's no real camera store for over 100 miles, so new 1DMKIV batteries are out of the question.

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Detroit Dirt

Upon my move back to Michigan, I set a goal of acquiring clients that were Detroit specific. If you haven't noticed, Detroit is going through a rough patch right now, but thats when you get in at the ground level, and build the infrastructure and creative resources a city will need. 

Pashon has a similar idea thats even more involved. Detroit Dirt is a food waste management/recycling business that turns your leftovers into someone else's garden patch. Bringing in food from office buildings, hotels, entertainment venues and even the Detroit Zoo, Pashon composts the waste downtown as a service, then sells compost to consumers. 

I met Pashon while photographing for one of her clients at the Cadillac Urban Garden downtown, sponsored by Ideal Group. We set up to do an environmental portrait that could be used for a number of things-versatile imagery. I had already conceptualized this shot before even knowing how the compost yard would look. 

This is how it looked. But bigger. This is the tip of one pile out of dozens that ran about 30 yards long, and over 7 feet high. Sometimes I have to roll around on the ground to get my favorite low angle shots. Not this time, not even an option. It had also just rained the day before, and while the weather had cleared up beautifully, the ground had not. 

Shooting with a single Profoto head into a PCB Parabolic (that took a tumble, snapped, but has since been repaired), I filled in Pashon's front with the light while letting the sun behind her create a nice front rim. Typically, I'd cross light and have the sources from two opposite directions, but this was a bit more natural of a shot and didn't need to have fancy rims and the like.
Dirt (and or the cleverly coined zoo-poo) was obviously the theme for our shots, even though the message of Detroit Dirt is rejuvenating and rebuilding downtown. In the early stages, I like the idea of brushing the dirt off and just getting started. Detroit has a long way to go, and Pashon is here making it happen. I just take the pictures. 

You can find out more about Detroit Dirt and the mission at their site here.

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Single Light Knockout

I've been using Profoto lights for over 5 years now, and I'm still in love with them. It's not that the light itself looks better than my other lights, per se, but I do find myself relegating my other heads to backdrop duty almost exclusively so I can put the Acute kit up front and center. 

Several blog posts have backed up this infatuation, mostly when it comes to using the bare Profoto dome as a modifier itself. Today's shoot required a bit more omph than even the bare light can provide, so we went with a basic reflector on a wide zoom. 

The punch from the light is phenomenal. We had to feather it way down to cover our foreground for other versions of this picture, and we still maintained a huge advantage over the sun that was almost directly in the frame. 

Doing test shots to warm up while the light comes lower.

I've used other lights with their included reflectors, and none of them, with their un-zoomable setups, come close to creating this kind of light. Just need to add more Profoto modifiers to the collection. 

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Yes, I shot my own engagement as it happened. It's hard to surprise your long-term girlfriend when she knows it's coming, but doesn't know exactly how or when. Birthday weekend and vacation coinciding definitely narrowed down the opportunity to just four days, so it took a little planning to keep it a secret till the last second.

Set on manual to expose for most of the sky, and on a tripod with shutter release going at 1//fps, I converted the photos into this .gif as a little way of sharing with our friends and family and clients the good news.
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Jolita Brilliant Shoot

One of my last shoots in NYC was done right in my neighborhood, West Harlem, with life fitness coach and prolific blogger Jolita Brilliant. I wanted to shoot some running as a followup to the work I did while out in Wyoming, which included these sweeping natural landscapes with a tiny runner in them.

A grittier, city-centric shoot came to be, planned around a highway overpass that had minimal traffic underneath, and was well away from areas that are more guarded by overzealous mall cop types.

I went easy on the modifiers, since we were walking to the shoot location. In fact, we ended up walking around 4 or 5 miles back and forth, playing with some different backdrops and lighting that the area had. Our warm up shots against this building were done with a fair amount of natural light creeping in from the river, less than 20 yards away. The metal siding on the building was fun to bounce light around on, and let me sneak a strobe in there while still looking surprisingly natural.

The final list of modifiers was the magnum reflector shown above and...nothing. The bare bulb continues to be a versatile light, especially in mimicking, adding to, or balancing sunlight. And shooting around 5 in the afternoon, we had a lot of sunlight from the west side of the city, right on the river.

We even squeezed in some no-light shots as the sun went down, with some cool shadows coming through the arches of this ironwork overpass. I've finally come to terms with natural light, and while I'll still go to Profoto right off the bat, sometimes you can do a lot with a little, or nothing at all. 

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Damn Ugly Adobe

From Damn Ugly Photography-Brad Trent, whom I assisted while living in NYC, is a blistering indictment of Adobe and it's practices in pricing, licensing, and now delivering via the cloud its software. 

His post nails it on the head as to why we should as photographers and other creatives tell Adobe that we don't want to license our software every month. Since Adobe is by far and away the first choice in photo manipulation, we may be held captive-but only if we slavishly update our software. 

Check out Brad's post and make your voice heard via the We The People and Change.org petition websites. Most importantly, make your dollars heard and spent on other software until Adobe remembers that it serves US as customers. 

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Studio Setup

As a prelude to an upcoming announcement, I have a simple setup post to share. Drawing on experiences while I was at Hearst Publications, using a light underneath a layer of plexiglass with an elevated piece of regular glass as a shooting surface gives you a beautifully controllable way to shoot certain products on white.

While a white sweep and plexi (also a part of this setup) is great for shooting free-standing products, some things just need to be shot top down for various reasons. It can effectively be used on many other items as well, for a different perspective. I've used this setup for bottles to put the air bubble in front of the glass for a 'hey, wait a minute' reaction from people who expect the bottle to be standing upright.

These insects are laid out to be displayed flat in frames, and none of them will stand upright on their own. Shooting flat was the only option. And while I've shot lots of products that gain depth and dimension from a shadow underneath them, these needed a pure white background for web. Nuking an item with a large softbox overhead is a possibility, but can also necessitate some cleanup and tweaking.

While first trying this out, you may be tempted to put your item right onto the backlight plexiglass and fire away. However, that extra layer of glass, with spacers underneath, makes a huge difference. The black cards are on the plexiglass and they control the flare that would otherwise wash out the sides and edges.

You want to constrain the item with cards all around, and as close as possible. If all the light is coming from directly underneath, it isn't hitting the sides. Then your main light, or lights, do the heavy lifting and let you sculpt and shape however you like.

In essence, we've taken a typical product sweep and flipped it 90 degrees back. Just make sure you set your exposure 1/3 to 1/2 stop brighter than the reading on the glass alone. This ensures a 100% white background, without overexposing the image from backlight alone.

This should be your final result (creepiness and number of legs may vary). 

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Keeping Creative

If I were to use the phrase 'photographers block', I'm certain I would neither be the first, nor maybe even using the right term to describe what happens when you hit that wall, and can't come up with a single thing to shoot.

But it happens, the same as all creatives run into mental blocks one time, a dozen, or every day of their careers until they get around it, maybe to only find the next obstacle. Photography may be unique from some art forms in that it's both internal and external. You can have the best idea ever, but no means to execute it. Or, you could have all the equipment your heart desires, but nothing to use it on. We rely on internal ideas, and our environments to create our work.

Shooting tabletop as often as I have been these past months has given me a new host of challenges every day, for which I'm grateful. But at the end of the day, feeling somewhat drained and uninspired by pictures of products on white sweeps, I was having trouble getting out to do something different.

There are thousands of photographers offering hundreds of thousands of ideas to get you out and moving, but underneath the inspirational messages, I saw the same words. "Just go DO something." But thats the hardest thing to do on occasion, to get up, grab the camera, and enjoy it.

It took a cross country road trip, and a return to the west coast to remind me that I do in fact enjoy my job, and that the whole world is out there waiting for someone, anyone, to try something interesting. I had to remember that if its all been done before, it can't hurt to do it again, and that eventually I might be the first to do that one cool thing that escaped under the radar.

So for those of us who experience photographers block, or maybe dark cloth? you can read inspirational quotes and posts all day and get a million ideas in your head, but getting out there to do them is where we can all fall apart. I stopped carrying my camera with me every day once I had to for work, feeling like it was more of a bother. That's the block talking. This shot, from inside the airport, wouldn't have been done if I had given in, said I was tired from shooting all week, and left my camera buried deep in the bag.

Instead, it opened me up to a whole world of photography that I want to continue exploring, unleashed a flood of ideas that I pulled into every other category of work I do, and got me excited to be out and about, camera in hand, finger on the shutter.

The block will bring you down and make you feel like it isn't worth doing anymore, you have to find what will make you enjoy it again, not cave your head in thinking of one specific thing to accomplish. Try a new subject, a new edit, or even browse through your own catalog, critique your work, and do it over again. Let ideas come organically from yourself, and then match it to your existing environment.

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I just got back from a week of backpacking, hiking, biking, white-water rafting and other general adventuring in Wyoming, in the middle of a forest fire. The smoke was so bad on arrival, you couldn't see past the terminal glowing in the early evening light. However, it ended up being some of the best light of the trip as the smoke filling the valley provided some diffuse sunlight through a slightly later hour than normal, maximizing my 6:00am wakeup.

Having access to great models can be the difference between a learning experience and new portfolio work. Some contacts put me in touch with models that are being sponsored by some big outdoor brands; Marmot, North Face, Patagonia and more. Though it isn't fair to just call them models-they're athletes, and some really good ones too. It's hard to keep up with a professional runner when your commute is three blocks and a subway ride.

Luckily, some great locations at Jackon Hole's Apres Vous Mountain look good coming and going, so I got to stand relatively still and let the athletes do the work.

And since most of the brands we covered make both active wear and mountaineering equipment, we got to spend a night out camping in view of the Grand Tetons.

The moon was actually full the night after this shot was taken-we had to wait for moonset at about 4:00am to wake up and get the stars behind the tent. An obliging camper was also awake and illuminating their tent for me, while several running cars, presumably with the not so enthusiastic campers sleeping in them, provided some fill on the trees. 30 degree temperatures left a nice sheet of frost on all of the equipment cases left out.

Much coffee was needed after all the early morning calls, running back and forth in the smoke that slowly lifted from the valley, and dragging lighting gear up and down the mountain.
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Bell & Ross

While it was quite the long and productive summer, with new jobs and clients, a road trip, and other comings and goings, one of my favorite shots is brand new, though the parts have been over a year in the making. Pictured is a Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Watch in front of a HGU-55 helmet, with an Aces II ejection seat as the backdrop. Yes, a real ejection seat, pulled from either an A-7 Corsair, that has been turned into my office chair. It's not the most practical chair ever, but it certainly grabs your attention. It'll be the subject of its own shoot in the future. I typically go overboard with lighting on watches, but this one was only two lights through a roll of diffusion on the side. It wasn't easy lining up to get the reflection on the visor to play nice with the watch face, but it paid off in the end to do it in one frame. Some text was added to the seat for a little break in the otherwise monotone image, and color was added back to the lower window since the coating made it look washed out.
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Adventure Time!

Sometimes, you quit your dayjob and take your tiny hybrid cross country in an attempt to find yourself, find your work, and get lost. I took 10 days to drive cross country, Detroit to Los Angeles, to do some photography I've never done before, but always wanted to try. Read on and see more images after the jump. Roadtrip 2012 06-08 California Alex Prius By the time I hit Las Vegas, it had been over 3,000 miles of empty highways, national parks, small towns you don't even notice, and the occasional buffalo to break the landscape. A couple nights spent in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, followed up by desert camping in Joshua Tree National Forest brought me back to summers spent at camp in Canada, and my inner Ansel Adams made an attempt (not developed yet) at serious landscapes with 4x5 film. Roadtrip 2012 06-02 Cody WY Rodeo Bullriding 1 I saw my first rodeo in Cody, Wyoming, in what was a daily event for them in the summer, bought a new cowboy hat that I really want to wear back in NYC, and probably won't. In California, I randomly picked a diner that just happened to be featured by Anthony Bourdain on 'No Reservations'-and it was the best breakfast food of my life. My camera lived under my legs in the car, I'd take nothing shots out the window while driving that never seemed to work out, but I'm glad I have them anyway. A few bottles of Jameson disappeared in the cold nights spent outside, and the slightly warmer night in Vegas took its toll as well. One of the challenges was learning how to use 4x5 film-between keeping track of exposed frames and how to store them in a box still half full of unexposed film. As well as the 8x10 that still has a bum lens that won't focus to infinity (hopefully to be replaced for the return trip). Roadtrip 2012 06-08 Joshua Tree Sunset But having that much time in the car, you learn about yourself, others, and remember why you do what you do. It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life, if not also a little harrowing when you're not sure if you can make it to the next town and find a motel that's still open with vacancies.
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Pro Globe Followup

As brief followup to the last post on the creation of the Home Depot Pro Globe in comparison to the $600 official version, I put these two modifiers head to head in a completely (not) scientifically benchmarked test.

Using my Acute 1200 and each modifier, I rattled off ten shots with each of an Xrite color checker at a properly metered f/8 1/200 5600k, pulled them into photoshop, made two lines, and then checked the color temperature and shifts from one exposure to the next, for both types of globes.

The long and short of it is that the Home Depot version will put a few more points of magenta into your images-something to consider for work showing a lot of skin. You'll need to counteract with a couple points of green to even it out, and that could possibly change the overall look of anything not lit by this modifier. My highest registered value was -15 green to white balance the Home Depot globe, vs -10 green for the Pro Globe. not a huge difference to me, but pixel-peepers may not approve.

I doubt that the shift will be outrageously noticeable in real world applications, and the savings of over $500 for what amounts to a plastic globe and universal speedring wipes any doubt from my mind that this will be an extremely useful mod.
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The 'Pro' Globe

While its certainly true you can slap on a home depot acrylic globe onto your alien bees or white lightning balcar mounts, it lacks a certain elegance and versatility, not to mention the fact that your flash tube is pretty close to the plastic. While you may not ever melt it, I’m one to be over cautious of my equipment and the flammable materials it comes near.

When I actually got my hands on a pro-globe, I was unimpressed by the hardware in relation to its price tag- approximately $300 for the globe or speedring separately. The globe has some nice holes drilled in it, and I’m sure it’s a special blend to be daylight balanced, but that’s about it. The speedring uses tension clips to hold on to the lip of the globe, putting a nice venting gap between the globe and speedring for added cooling.

I was convinced I could do better, for a fraction of the cost. It may or may not be daylight balanced, but it works, and with a very nice upgrade as well.

The original pro-globe is Profoto only. The DIY community, with a mix of lighting equipment and a desire to keep within a budget, is not the primary target of this modifier, thus the influx of modifiers that be used on nearly any type of light. My mod was created for all three kinds of lights I typically use: Alienbees/White Lightning, and my new Profoto Acute 1200 kit. I had just switched out some of the rings on my Alienbees soft boxes to be able to use them on my Profotos, when lightning struck and I figured if I can switch speedrings on those, why not on anything else that uses one?

Using a 12”, no-neck globe found on Amazon and a universal speedring from Calumet, I was able to buy the Profoto speedring insert that was the same size as the balcar inserts from the soft boxes. There were a dozen ways to attach the ring to the globe, most probably better than the one I chose, but drilling four 1/8th inch holes into the globe and threading 100lbs picture hanging wire to hold the ring on was what I ended up doing.

I gave myself a little slack on the wire to create that gap between the ring and globe, and ended up pinching the wires together using those hooks for hanging pictures (you’ll figure out that’s about the only materials I had). This made it so that there was no slop in that gap, so even if the mod is pointing upwards, the gap remains.

Using a 5/8” paddle bit, I promptly ruined my first globe by spinning all the way up and trying to jam it through. On the next globe, I very slowly started the hole, slowed down even more when the paddles hit the acrylic, and then spun up slowly as it began to eat up material.

The mod works best with the Profoto lights, and is what I basically plan on using it for. The adjustable depth you can get with the Profoto design lets you put the light deeper into the globe than the shallow balcar mount, though both work. The balcar mount lines up the flash tube almost even with the gap, creating a brighter line wherever that hits, but if you use the pro globe as a fill or main light up high, it won’t affect it at all.
So if you want to super deluxe your pro globe, here’s the shopping list

12” globe with 5.25” opening
Universal speedring
Alienbee/White lightning insert
Profoto insert

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Mistress Paige

Mistress Paige Pinup Bathing Suit 5
Sometime you get a really cool email. Like, 'I'm a professional dominatrix and I'd like you to shoot some pinup with me' kind of cool. How can you turn that down? And so, despite the job description, Mistress Paige is actually quite a nice girl, until you pay her not to be.

It was also a great chance to try out some new and upgraded equipment. I managed to snag 3 Broncolor Scoro packs that we had been demoing, along with a Hasselblad H4D60, the 40's bigger brother. I'm no stranger to Hasselblad equipment, but its always exciting to see files that come out to nearly 9,000 pixels long and 400+mb tiffs. I Immediately regretted not having a larger external drive to shoot to with me, but we managed to squeeze in over ten gigs of raw files in just about an hour of shooting.

Broncolor packs are known for two things-speed and color accuracy. I've been shooting Profoto for nearly everything up until this point, but the Broncolors blew me away. Dead accurate colors frame to frame is always nice to see, and saves me a lot of time in post work.

And while we didn't really have the subject matter to test out the speed, or flash duration of this particular pack, I did see how I could dial up insanely fast flashes with decent output for the other sports related work that I like to shoot. And the packs are crazy light, which was great since I had to set up and tear down pretty fast, without an assistant.

Mistress Paige, being a thorough professional, came with her hair and makeup already done. This being New York, she told me that she had just gotten off work a few hours ago, re-done her makeup, and come right to our mid-morning shoot. If she was as tired as I was, it didn't show, and she even humored me when I asked her to pose with the last Scoro pack, for posterity's sake of course.

Mistress Paige Pinup Bathing Suit 2

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