31.8.07

11:19 and counting...

That's how long it will be before my lightscribe disk is done writing. That will make me about one and a half hours late for the hafla. And that pisses me off.

I'd like to blame it on my tardy nature, but that is simply not the case today. Nope, rather it's due to my downloading nature. I downloaded a new codec for my media player. It was a codec from someplace like "Bob's Friendly Codecs." And it had a Trojan in it. The rumor is the Trojan will attach itself to my emails and annoy friends. That would be a problem if the virus were on my laptop instead of my workhorse. We don't do email on the workhorse.

Nope, that computer merely does all the photo work... or at least did until the virus fouled up the works. I've run both Search and Destroy and Avast on it. Both found the virus, but neither has popped it yet. I'm going to try one more time tomorrow and if it is still lame then I'll be retreating to an old restore point and hoping I don't lose anything important on the way.

Heather's First Hafla...




Finally got the pictures from Heather's hafla done and posted. Pity was it had to be a quick edit job so I am not the happiest at how they turned out. Still, considering they were shot in a bar with a flash it could have been worse!


So anyhow, here they are. And prepare for another onslaught - I am sorting through and posting another lot of 150+ from Shimmyfest tomorrow!

28.8.07

subprime nation

just go here and read this

And then for nostalgia's sake (or to inflame your sense of deja vu) rent this.

Oh for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary...

Well, it took me till now, but I finally finished weeding through all the pictures from opening night of Chicago's Shimmyfest. The first day of elemental editing I went through about 650 of the 983 photos (+/-5%). Oy, but that was a day that ended with some severe eyestrain!

There was a lot of heartbreak in the sorting session. Due to the low lighting and prohibition of flash at the event I had to set my ISO high and my f/stop at 2.8 (or lower). That meant a lot of the pictures were flat out rejected due to crappy focus. Sad, but that was the way the ball bounced.

Anyhow, I expect to finish up the editing on them tomorrow night about midnight (I don't work on Thursday and can set some of my own hours at the studio). At that point I'll post them in my photo blog. And I'll link that to this blog.

Once that is done I plan to go through the 176 photos from friend Heather's belly dance gig at Tango in Racine. Those will be posted likely by Friday night.

Oh, and there's a bonus on that one - three men got up out from the bar and started hitting on the belly dancers. The guys were pretty lit. They had to be to let the dancers talk them into putting on hip scarves and practicing shimmies. At one point the leader of the trio walked up to me and started telling me how he would appreciate it if his photos did not appear on the web as he was an officer in the Air Force and didn't want said pictures to embarrass him later in his career.

So naturally I'll be posting those too :)

25.8.07

Oh and by the way...

Last night littleone and I went to see a belly dance performance by one of her friends at a new bar in Racine. I'll post pictures of that as soon as I can.

be careful what you wish for...

you just might get it.

For my part, I got it when I quit the junk job. Fortuna smiled upon me - or at least seemed to - when I found a not only free time but a mentor upon who to spend it. Currently the work schedule it Sun-Wed. Thurs and sometimes Fri are spent helping my mentor in his studio.

Often he asks "Are you getting anything out of this?" He asks it because my work is done for free - there is not a penny of cash involved. That, by the way, was my decision not his. But when he asks this my answer is a quick "Yes, I am learning much," or some variation of this.

So what am I learning? Well, more than the technical side of photography he is teaching me how to run the business and how to package the product. This knowledge is good for both the artist and the businessman, though the artiste sees it as below him. Those of us who have lost work spaces or even living spaces treasure it though.

As to what I have learned in specific, well, just yesterday I finished putting together two wedding albums, correcting print orders, assembling a mat order, and laying everything out. And what is this good for? Well, these albums should retail for approximately $2K each, so the knowledge is worthwhile in my book.

That I now have the software package rep's name is worth even more.

So what's the problem? Well, I am now at the point of trying to shoot and edit every damned thing I can find. And what's bugging me is rotten conditions the shoots occur in. For instance, two days ago I attended the opening night of this event. My wife's belly dance teacher wrangled it so I could take pictures of the opening show, a simple affair with over half a dozen acts designed to whet the viewer's appetite for tonight's main event.

Unfortunately the bad conditions left many of the shots out of focus (due to shooting in f/2.5 or faster), grainy (shooting below 800ISO was simply not an option, and with weird light balance (the lighting was the usual fluorescent/mercury vapor the area uses). Oh, and then there was the "no flash" rule.

These problems make me feel bad first because the results of this shoot will help them decide if they want me to shoot their October event and secondly because I know the dancers play to photographers and the least the photographers can do is get the best shots possible.

A lot of potentially good shots bit the dust the other night. I figure that out of the 983 (+/-2%) taken about 75 might be presentable. Anything that comes out will be posted in my photo blog and I'll link to it here.

Oh, and thanks for the bitch time - I can get back to photo editing now.

21.8.07

"Fuck Me!" said the flea...

I got the most unexpected email today. It was a simple one-line query from asking first if I knew the sender and if so, to respond.

It was signed from my old best friend in high school and through my early 20's. My guess is that one of the old friends I have been corresponding with off and on in Colorado let him know I'd been asking questions about him.

My response was brief, but I hope not terse. We'll see what happens from there.

So the saying from the movie proved right -

a fan-fucking-tastic movie. if you ever get the chance to see it do!

20.8.07

one down two to go...

Paid off Best Buy today. Now to pay down and off the other two. Need to split my extra catering and bar money between paying cc bills and doing some online investing - yes, the recent stock market dive had nothing to do with the sub prime mess. It happened simply because I started investing via sharebuilder.com.

Pat, you were right.

16.8.07

Lovely to see you again my friends

Amazing. I work at a shitty job that takes all my time and I always find time to write and things to grouse about. But quit there and take a job I like and begin planning my life and living it and all of a sudden there is no time to say a thing.

So let me say a couple of things -

tonight I am serving at a $150 a plate wine tasting. It promises to be lucrative as long as I keep my P's and Q's in line. Best guesses are that I will walk away from the evening's work with an extra $200. Hopefully I will impress and this will be a ticket to doing more of these yuppie gourmet grub events.

The money I make will be diverted to two places - my wife's birthday present (HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!!!!) and a month's worth of studio rent so I can start shooting nudes for October's show.

My wife is getting a sword for her birthday. Yes, I will remember to cherish her, respect her and not turn my back on her.

When I get the studio, I will also be buying a new light set. The two will set me back about $700. Pray for me Argentina. With a little luck, this will be offset by photo sales at the show.

This show will be different. No more 2X4 pictures, tiny but cute. Nope, this time I am going for size. The man I am doing studio assistance for says bigger may not be better, but it is more lucrative. So 20X30 here I come.

Oh, speaking of the man I am doing photo assistance for, did I mention I am doing photo assistance for someone? Thought not. Right now I am learning some software and putting together two wedding albums (at $2000 a crack, +/-). I've also done some pictures at a wedding with him and held reflectors on the beach.

When I said $2000 a crack I meant for his business, not me. This is strictly apprentice, which is strictly free. The arrangement is from some stuff I heard on a Kiyosaki CD - work for free, he recommends. Frankly,it is working for me. The money does not get in the way of the learning. Tomorrow, I hope to get two albums now in progress finished. This will work.

Finally, I decided to start investing in stocks via Sharebuilder.com. Leave it to me to do this right before a world stock meltdown. Oh well, it's only $200 at this point and I have only lost about $10 of it. But I'll sit tight and learn something yet.

Sorry no links or tags. Gotta run and buy some pants for tonight yet. Time is short.

We gone, bye bye!