It occurs to me that most Americans have never had to use a fire extinguisher. Therefore, when it comes to this sort of thing, I'm a bit more qualified than most. After being friends with Cpt. Destructo for so long, you might even say I'm an authority.
But even I learned a few things last night.
We stood a very dense, very dry Christmas tree in a cinder block. Cinder is an apt word. Anyway, I set the D200 to interval mode, and shot all these pictures two seconds apart. I set the camera on manual, thinking I was all smart and stuff, but that turned out to be a mistake. In fact, the whole night turned out to be a mistake. One big, face-searing, glorious mistake. Lessons learned:
1. Shutter priority is better than manual. It may look dark when the Christmas tree isn't burning. Then it will be daylight.
2. To determine the amount of clear area you need for safely burning a Christmas tree, multiply the tree's height in inches times four hundred thousand.
3. You have five seconds between ignition and full involvement.
4. When Cpt. Destructo is speechless, you have a problem.
5. In the time it takes you to say "This was your idea," it has become too hot to get close enough to use the fire extinguisher.
6. Someone will have to take one for the
neighborhood team and use the fire extinguisher anyway. That someone is usually the person to blame photographer.
Bonus lesson: Rocket blowers are great for getting ash off your camera!
30 January 2011
23 January 2011
I just found out. I shot one assignment with the man, years ago, as a test to see if I was up to the job. He drove me around in his Miata like a bat out of hell, and when he said that if it were up to him we'd all still be shooting FM2s, I knew Steve Dixon was my kinda guy. Asheville's journalistic scene just got a little less old school.
This is not as easy as it sounds. How do I know? She made me to it, too.
The other thing is that, to accomplish the photo in my head, I'd need a pretty good macro lens, a pretty sturdy tripod, good light, a lens that can stop waaaay down, and probably a neutral-density filter. Oh, and one of those things they strap your head into at the eye doctor.
In the absence of all of these (well, except the tripod: love my 'frotto) I used my Zero Image 2k.
I'm not where I want to be with the pinhole thing. Every shot seems like a science experiment, rather than a photograph. It's just not raw and vital enough for me. But I went to art school, and I was taught the higher knowledge withheld from the average modern man, and I know how to fix this problem. How does one make art out of otherwise-drab work? Self F***IN' portraits!
That's the best I can do, unless I find women who are willing to be underexposed, blurry, and nude. Plus, here's a candle burning for eight minutes:
Asheville's chapter of the The American Society of Media Photographers held an awesome holiday throw-down at Steve McBride's studio last weekend. I showed up for the tail end of things with my Pentacon Six and Tri-X pushed to 1600.
Reggie Tidwell of Curve Theory:
Arlen Somebodyorother of Iris Photo + Digital Imaging: