Rooting thru the archives: Christmas Filler 22
neil posted in Travel on December 26th, 2008
Rooting thru the archives: Christmas Filler 10
neil posted in Travel on December 24th, 2008
With no photo updates this Christmas, I’ve decided to root around in my archives from this year and show you some pictures that I don’t think have been posted big on my blog before. The first is of Simon Messenger, outgoing sports union president, taken in my last year as Sports Union photographer. It was part of a table tennis promotional shoot so it was semi posed. Umbrella from rear camera right and strobe on a lightstand behind Simon.
There’s Nae Lead in My Pencil!3
neil posted in Travel on December 20th, 2008
I have most of my lenses in my hand baggage, my check-in is full of lighting gear and I have’nt a battery to power my camera body. Its not my fault either! The only time I’ve felt like this before is when I showed up to a meeting with a pen that turned out to be an empty tube with a lid. Christmas on a cameraphone anyone? Wonder what the flash synch is?
Oh and I’m writing this on a bus travelling through Glasgow. Thats pretty cool that is.
I had a photo in my head….1
neil posted in Travel on December 11th, 2008
and I got it out. So here it is courtesy of hard work by JR and James Robertson. Cheers guys!
“Build your lighting from back to front” - David Hobby
“I have purple spots in my eyes…” - JR
“Can you do that blowing thing again?” James Robertson
London Strobist Seminar!0
neil posted in Travel on December 9th, 2008
I attended the 6th December Strobist seminar at ULU in London given by David Hobby. 40 people filled a warm classroom to hear how off camera lighting could improve their photography. If you’ve been following strobist for some time and have employed the basic techniques practically several times then the seminar itself was relatively old hat. The group ranged from “what is strobist?” to “Strobist meetup junkie” so David could’nt radically tailor his teaching. There has been some discussion of this on the meetup thread here. I found watching him teach enormously instructive however, he has some very good teaching habits. Although I knew most of the information imparted and had about eleven hours sleep in the previous fourty eight, I still had no problems staying alert. There was a petting zoo of flash equipment on the table, available for play during the break. JR the tame Sony shooter managed to suprise David with a double jointed Sony flash unit.
A nice chap called Telmo had brought along his shiny new 5D mk2 and I got to play with that. The entire group was relaxed and friendly. Friendly abuse was doled out during the icebreaker session and later shoots and conversation
was easy during the breaks. In the afternoon the session changed to a practical one as David did a series of quick
portraits while explaining how he was coping with the challenges posed by an ugly small room. A stealthy party slipped me
Davids spare PW and I was able to punk his flash units. I think he figured out someone had got control when I shot this.
Peter a nice man from the German company California Sunbounce gave one away by a series of coin tosses. When the security gaurds started to get angry we were evicted to the pub. We spent hours discussing the fine arts of strobism, like how to deal with inquisitive police men, how not to say the words “radio” and “trigger” when describing a pocketwizard to airport security, how to earn a little money and how to appreciate ale. I managed to collar David to look at my portfolio which was fairly intense, I need to look again at my lighting, and he threw about fifty ideas at me. I felt a little like the poor saps in Noel Edmonds “grab a grand” box with the ideas blowing around me and my mind struggling to ram them somewhere they would stick. After David left things quitened down, I met some London strobists and chatted about mountainbiking for a bit before heading home.
neil posted in bikes, Neil on December 4th, 2008
George and I arranged to go out for some night-riding practice in Edinburgh’s Pentland hills this freezing Scottish week. We headed out after work on the ice sheet that was the canal towpath. Seeing how icy it was, it was tempting to call it quits and nip back to a warm pub or living room. Its at times like this I remember this XKCD cartoon:
We persevered out to the water of leith. We rode dreading the quiet moments when the ice was so glassy that tyres were’nt cracking it. Thankfully the path along the Water of Leith provided crunchy crackling ice/snow and we made it to Bonaly without incident. From there it was a steep climb in snow. Halfway up we met two riders coming down. George says they looked like they were having a good time, I was just amused to see we were’nt the only dafties out in the hills. Coming out of the trees we were treated to a surreal orange landscape of orange sky lighting up orange snow with black undergrowth reaching through. The snow was loosish and deep enough to cause some problems ascending. I thanked my lucky stars (and lazyness) that I had chosen to ride with flat pedals while Georges SPD cleats filled with snow.
While contouring to our descent we took a wrong turn and wound up on a path heading far too deep into the hills. The snow made correcting this easy as we found some rabbit tracks going the right direction and descended in the Lagomorph’s footprints. We turned downhill above Dreghorn barracks, the path dissapearing into a bumpy field of snow. Old habits on this favourite descent guided me true as we half rode half skiied in roughly the right direction. All normal technical skills went out the window, weight well over the back wheel and the back brake heavy was my simple but effective technique. The last part of the descent has a fun stream crossing through a gap in a fence with a small jump, with increasing confidence I built speed towards it until my light revealled a huge blob of snow. Someone had built a snowman covering three quarters of the gap. I caught a flicker of something thin angling out from its tubby body and flattened myself against my bars. Its skinny spikey arm flew above me. Stopping, I took some pictures on my phone and performed a swift amputation. Job done, adventure had between work and sleep. Living for the weekend? Pffft! (though I’ve got something cool to do this weekend)