Damn! went through four days of not having to report for Jury Duty and on the last day I got tagged. So I will be in beautiful downtown Los Angeles doing my civic duty tomorrow. Wish me a quick and speedy dismissal!
I hope I ma not jinxing this, but so far I have not had to go in for jury duty this week, and only have one more day to go! I have been able to catch up on a lot of back-logged work in the meantime. Fingers crossed that when I call in tomorrow I will be of the hook for another year!
My brother sent this to me and it looks rather interesting. Not so much for commercial work but more for maybe a point `n shoot to connect with iPhoto or the like. Check it out.. it is an SD card for your digital camera with WiFi built in, so when you come back to your computer with your camera your photos will automatically upload without even having to plug your camera into the computer… interesting…. ain’t technology great!
Next week I have to take care of what seems to now be my annual civic duty. I’ll be on Jury Duty all next week so thankfully all of my projects have scheduled around it (without me even asking). So once again I will try to get a post in as often as possible, we’ll just have to see how cooperative the L.A. judicial system is with this self employed photographer!
We have been waiting here at the studio for a couple months to get updated Epson Drivers for OS X 10.5 (Leopard). With the upgrade to the new operating system the old drivers offered limited functionality for our larger printers and it put a few projects on hold. Over the past couple of weeks Epson has finally released updated drivers for the new operating system and we are back in full swing again. I don’t think they have gotten drivers out for ALL of their printers but some of the more popular large format printer drivers are finally here.
They have also made a huge (in my opinion) improvement in the sub-menus of the driver. The “Print Settings” and “Color Management” menus have been combined. These were THE ONLY two menus I ever used and having them combined is great because now we can just visit one sub-menu for all of out print jobs.
They have also simplified the media selection menu in the “Print Settings” dialog which makes selecting your paper much nicer as well!
You might have assumed that since we picked up the new Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III to replace our Mark II’s that we would be selling our old Mark II’s. You would be correct. While still a tremendous camera it there really is no point in hanging onto them when you have something that is superior. But at the same time Selling a pice of equipment that you paid $8000.00 for just a few short years ago for $3500.00 is certainly a hard pill to swallow. I have without a doubt made my money off of these fine cameras, but still…! This is a new paradigm we are in, this digital age of ours!
I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but while the media is constantly talking about the economy tanking (frankly I think they are talking that into existence!) we are putting out a record number of estimates here in the Los Angeles area! Granted, that doesn’t mean a lot till the job actually comes through, but frankly I think this year will be just fine. I know that when the economy goes down quite often the first thing to go is advertising budgets, but does that really make sense? If folks are pulling back, would you not want to advertise to make sure what they are spending goes towards your product?
Well … from this Los Angeles Photographer, I have nothing but optimism for this year!
Always keeping up with the latest and greatest in technology, we have migrated from Canon’s EOS 1Ds MkII 16.7 MP camera bodies to the new Canon EOS 1Ds MkIII 21.1 MP body. We just got our hands on these hard to come by bodies and are using them to replace our existing MkII’s. Hopefully we’ll get the time to bang off a few shots to share… (I know .. we haven’t even posted H3DII images yet….)
We are editing a documentary film project this week…so we of course are working long and tedious hours. But hopefully we will be done in a few days and can get back to the real business of taking photos!
There is other news, but will have to wait to share it for a day where we have a bit more time…
In case you had not noticed, Apple has new Mac Pro Towers out (as of last week). This week is MacWorld and who knows whether they will introduce even more new hardware or whether there will be new software additions. Today is Steve Jobs’ Keynote address, and you know something has to be coming!
It’s hard enough to keep up with cameras these days but every six months we get taunted with new computer stuff as well. (Here comes the old “In my day”!….) It used to be (back in the days of film) that a photographer would by the best equipment in the industry and for the most part he was set, that was it, his equipment would for the most part last him his career. These days we are upgrading equipment (which costs 3x as much) every two or three years.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE technology, we can do so much more these days, especially in house, and believe me I am all about re-investing in my own business, it’s just that is does get a bit old having this much money flow out on a constant basis. Alas there are much more significant things to complain about, so I’ll just shut up now.
Talk about a skanky company…. I called Broadway Photo today to try and purchase a hard to find piece of equipment. After begrudgingly telling me that they had it in stock the arrogant salesman of course tried to talk me into an overpriced warranty (which in the past I have purchased and NEVER used) then tried to tell me that there were different “levels” of batteries available for the product and that the one that came with it would only provide 1 hour of operation and that if I wanted to buy one that provided 5 hours of operation it was $395. I know for a fact that the manufacturer only makes one style of battery .. no one else makes them, and they are $195 from any reputable establishment. When I declined all of this and we got to the point of “shipping” he provided me the option of 2 Day for $395 (hmmm – I see a pattern here) When I declined and said I would just do Ground, he quoted me $295. Everyone else on the web charged $40 for the same shipping. Not to mention the fact that they were selling the product for $500 over MSRP because the product is currently in short supply. When I asked why the shipping was so high he said it was for insurance and when I indicated that was a bit exorbitant he educated me to the fact that I was not “ready” for this product. Inferring that some how the product was “above” me and beyond my reach…. and then…. he hung up me.
SO… My big alert to anyone shopping for Photographic Equipment is to STAY AWAY FROM BROADWAY PHOTO AT ANY AND ALL COST!!!!
One of the things I love about what I do is the constant variety and the “something new every day”. We have been cranking out estimates here at the beginning of the year, and now just waiting to see if any of them come to fruition! One of todays estimates included the need for a mother duck and ducklings..which reminded me of how much I love the whole “every day something different”!
At any rate I thought I would share one of regular resources that we use when we need animal talent… Hollywood Animals. We have used them for dogs, mice, alligators and much more. The folk there are great! Wendy, Heather, the whole gang.
The animals are always great, and it is such a blast to shoot with animals.. you never know what you might (or might not) get!
We currently have all of our portfolios custom made, and made such that the pages are interchangeable. But right before we switched to our current “look” we were having portfolios permanently bound to take on the look of an actual “book”.
We were doing cloth bound books and slip cases with our logo embossed on both. They looked great but the big drawback is that once there we done.. that was it.. there was no changing them. Which in the scheme of things is not a very good idea for professional photographers. I have found you should always be able to add new shots or take old shots out of a portfolio at a moments notice.
These particular portfolios were never intended to be a long term solution, but should you ever have a body of work that will most likely remain unchanged, it is a great presentation.
We used A-1 Bookbinding in Downtown Los Angeles.
Wanted to share a few more shots from the Dreams for Children Documentary…
This series is of Jorge, who was the oldest of the three boys that we filmed and photographed for the project.
On day two of the project we were at the orphanage and Jorge discovered that the video camera’s LCD screen showed a real time image of what was going on in front of the lens.. You can probably figure out the rest. Needless to say Daniel (the cinematographer) was trapped for a while.
In shooting the “Dreams for Children” Documentary, we were working with five orphans from El Rancho del Niño Orphanage. We were with them over the five days we were in Guaymas, Mexico. Three of the boys were like brothers and were so warm and affectionate, it made it difficult not to pack them in our bags and take them home. But evidently Americans are not allowed to adopt these kids for whatever reason…
I shot a lot of frames of the kids, they were just so photogenic and easy to shoot. They were not camera shy and at the same time were not hams! They just did what they did, tried to cooperate and behaved so beautifully.
This image of Miguelito was shot in open shade at the orphanage at ISO 200 with my 35mm-350mm set at 180mm at 1/160th @ f5.0
The orphanage that we filmed part of the documentary at last week was El Rancho del Niño. It was run by several nuns. There were 40 children there of varying ages, but most were very young. As we shuttled the kids to and from different locations they were transported on one of two rickety buses. One morning after shooting at the orphanage the kids and nuns loaded onto one of their buses to head over to the beach location. This image was taken then…
We just returned from Mexico on Sunday. Specifically Guaymas and San Carlos in Sonora. We were asked to take part in a documentary being produced for the Dreams for Children Foundation. We were shooting stills and in addition I was asked to co-direct the short that is being made for fund raising and awareness.
The foundation is the brain-child of founder Carolyn Samuell (pictured below) and strives to meet the needs of children across the globe. This particular project focuses on an orphanage outside of Guaymas in Sonora Mexico. We were down there only five days but fell in love with the area and the amazing kids at the orphanage.
There was a much broader cast of characters and we will try to share them with you over the next few posts.
And so we start another year.. with lots of potential and possibility. We are kicking off the new year around here with a bunch of projects. More United Healthcare projects, an annual report for Wescom Credit Union and a documentary project in Mexico, we we are just back from. More detail on that one in the days to come.. Meantime hope your 2008 is spectacular!