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Monday, November 09, 2015

First Friday

This was the first time I've gotten out to First Friday in a while.

I had an invitation to a gallery show and no parental responsibilities, so of course I made my way down there on the way home from work.

That invite, the friend who sent it to me, I was like, I'm not sure who that is. Looks vaguely familiar and we're 'friends' on Facebook so at some point in time I either sent her a friend request or accepted a request. I'm sure she invited all her Facebook friends to the showing, that's what ya do. And it worked, and it was a cool show.

And I ran into my friend Kim at an adjacent gallery. She was showing her landscapes, mostly with bikes propped in them. They're quite stunning, and it always surprises me she takes most of them with an iPhone. She's got a proper camera as well but unlike me she doesn't lunk it around with her every time she goes on a ride. But she's got a wicked eye, and it seems like every time she goes for a bike ride she comes away with a keeper image.

I don't know why I don't make it out to First Fridays more often. I always have fun when I do, but I almost always make excuses. Saw a good band, Odd-O-Matic, saw Julia, Sedona, Kim, Theresa, Richard, a bunch of friends. Saw guys doing a graffiti tribute to the best baseball team of the past 50 years, the 2015 Kansas City Royals.

Had great chats with total strangers, or I guess they're more like new friends now.

I'm still getting used to my speed lights. I always used to rely on available light for shooting these things, and when it works it's a great look, but so many times it just doesn't work. But the shadows, white balance issues, etc., there's a whole learning curve to strobing things. The good news is it's not blurry, the bad news is the colors, that sort of thing.

The other issue that might inspire me to go back to settling for available light: it's bad enough when you whip out an SLR, some people see a camera and they want to hide. A big camera makes them want to hide even harder. Put a big-ass flash on the hot shoe and the scatter, ducking under furniture and crawling into cabinets and trash cans.

That and I have gotten used to the zero delay thing. With a pocket camera, there's a ton of time between when you hit the button and when the frame gets shot, shutter lag. With an SLR, that goes away, but when you add TTL speed lights, well, it's got to make little test fires to meter the scene and you end up hitting the button when your shot is perfect, then a half second later when the shot is gone, the mirror flips up so the sensor can see your now blurry, moving subject making a funny face because they started talking again.

Maybe once I've worn the new off my Antique Road Show speed lights I'll go back to the available light thing. That's only a slight exaggeration, an SB-910 would have set me back as much as I spent on two SB-800s, the flagship wedding photographer flash Nikon quit making in 2007. That's eight years ago, folks. The fact that they still cost a little bit used, well, that's because the SB-800 is still quite popular among photographers (and on some bench tests actually beats the SB-910, though I think the new one has better remote options, i.e. radio).

So remote triggering has improved since 2007 but light is pretty much the same as it's always been.

I was really surprised, actually, of the friends I saw at First Fridays, Lynne showed up. I see her about once a year in person, she's got a lot of plates in the air and she keeps them all spinning somehow. But she doesn't get out to the fun events very often. I've seen her on Tour de Bier, the Tweed Ride, at Velo+ but not as often as I'd like.

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