When The Crazy People Start To Make Sense

_dsc9458Pointing no fingers here, and naming no names. But some of the nerds, geeks, and fanboys that were seen while I was in the photo trade are starting to become relevant. And it frightens me.

Oh, I’m not going to say that the man who kept returning his brand new lenses for replacement because he kept finding imaginary specks of dirt in them was right – he wasn’t – but what he was doing was actually sensible to himself. He was trying to find perfection in a world that promises it but never delivers. His imaginary specks of dust were there in his mind – we just needed to think of a way of washing that.

I remember seeing images of an event photographer somewhere in Asia who decided that he needed studio lighting – main, fill, and hair light –  on all of his event shots. But he did not want to have light stands so he hung all three lights from himself on extendable stalks. His progress through a crowd must have been memorable to see.

Or the early-bird environmental recorder who purchased two of the early GoPro cameras and mounted them on a mast…which he attached to his bike. I am not sure if he went pedalling through the Perth suburbs looking for girls or trouble, but seeing a Google Earth camera car do the same recently showed that there was a purpose after all.

The event man is the one that I want to study. I shoot some dance shows where I want to shift rapidly from portrait to landscape orientation, but need to have even flash illumination while I do it. I’ve long given up on TTL shooting for these images as it uses more battery than pure manual and can lead to wild variations in exposure between frames . The dancer’s costumes reflect a great deal of light.

Putting the speed-light on the hot shoe is convenient but means that the shadow shifts with the change in camera angle. Putting a Stroboframe flip bracket on it cures this but adds weight and an awkward articulation to the whole rig. You always seem to be flopping something out of the way. A light stand with the light on it and a wireless link is good, but not if the theatre is crowded.

So I wonder if the time has come to take a leaf from the Asian chap and attach the flash to my body – perhaps a rig that clips onto the chest and raises the flash above shoulder level facing forward. After all, that’s the direction I am looking at the time. Or a flash attached to the top of a construction worker’s hard hat…Oh God, now I’m getting as weird as them…



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