Monday, May 30, 2011

We Come From The Land of The Ice and Snow...*

Most of this past week was spent out of town – waaaaay out of town – and as far North as a person can possibly go in the United States.  Though I can't give any real specifics about the sort of work that I'd been involved with (NDA's were signed), I can tell you that I traveled around Alaska for a few days, and that I made it as far North as Point Barrow for an afternoon, which IS the Northernmost location (71˚23'20") in the United States.

Point Barrow (and the nearby town of Barrow) is situated about 300 miles above the Arctic Circle, and at this time of year experiences a full twenty-four hours of daylight.  Myself, I wasn't in the area long enough to experience the continuous daylight phenomena this time around, though past projects have had me up in Barrow for extended periods, and I'm very familiar with the "Is it twelve midnight or twelve noon?" sort of confusion that arises after a few days of work in the region.

Here's a quick lil' tourist photo that I took at the Whalebone Arch Park in Barrow.

Shot on my iPhone, this image shows an arch structure – made from the rib-bones of a whale – sticking out of the tundra, with the nearby ice shelf in the background.  Also shown are two small whaling boats (minus their sealskin covers), along with the skullbones of a whale, just below and behind the arch.  Each rib stands about twelve feet in height.

For anyone who might be interested in the technical aspects of this image, I shot this on my iPhone, and then ran the image through a basic Photoshop app to reduce the saturation.  On my main computer, I resized the image and inserted the basic copyright info.

Interestingly, though I also shot much the same image with a "real camera," I much prefer this iPhone image to the so-called real camera photo.  Chase Jarvis has popularized (and trademarked) the phrase "The best camera is the one that's with you."™  I'd like to make a slight adjustment to that statement, and change it so that it goes something like: "The best camera is the one that takes your best pictures, regardless of price or megapixels."

I won't be trademarking that phrase any time soon.


*My sincerest apologies to Led Zeppelin.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mistakes Will Be Made...

Though I've been self-employed in one form or another for more than twenty-five years, I sometimes find myself running into various sorts of business obstacles that make me think: "Hmmmm...  Maybe I should give up this whole 'run your own business thing' and let other people make all of the difficult decisions for me."

I think these thoughts...  And then I start talking with folks who have Monday through Friday "real jobs," and realize that these people also run into obstacles with their work and -- more importantly/depressingly -- often have  to deal with the bullshit hassles of office politics, corporate structure and hierarchy, TPS reports, dress codes, and the monotony of a schedule that repeats day after day, week after week, and year after year.

I then think to myself: "Being self-employed is the best thing that can happen to a person."

Sooooooooo...  What does all of this have to do with the title of this post ("Mistakes Will Be Made...")?

Quite a bit, actually.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hace Frio en Antártica..

As a quick follow up to last week's post about the Frio Cold Shoe, I'd like to point you towards a very clever and cool lil' video that my friend, Zeke Kamm (of Nice Photography Magazine fame), has created, which features the Frio in a starring role.  As luck would have it, a Nasty Clamp also has a role in the video (as a supporting player) along with Sasquatch.

Click below to watch...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Launched! The DIY Photography Lighting Kits!

The chances are good that -- if you're reading this blog -- that you're a bit of a photo gear geek.

Now, before you get your panties all bunched up because I've just called you a "geek," please realize that I'm using the term in the most loving and complimentary way possible.  As far as I'm concerned, a geek is somebody who is deeply intelligent, cares passionately about a particular subject, has in-depth knowledge of that subject, and -- most importantly -- has enough social skills to get by in regular society.

Simply stated: "There ain't nothing wrong with being a geek."

Soooooo...  What does all of this geekery have to do with photo gear?  Well, as luck would have it, quite a lot.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Frio: The Really Cool Hot Shoe

A Quick Note:  This is another post that had originally been written for my "Global Photographer" blog -- a site which I am slowly shutting down.  Much of the content that had been on the GP will eventually get migrated over to The Nasty Blog, though it will take a while.  In the meantime, enjoy this article.  And please, remember that it was first written in September of 2010.  The Frio Hot Shoe is now out on the market and doing quite well.

Depending upon one's reading of history, the camera hot shoe or -- at the very least -- the camera cold shoe has either been around and in use since the mid-1910's, or perhaps since the late 1930's. Again, this all depends on just how one might want to interpret history. And though some important modifications have taken place with regards to hot shoes and their operational electronics (thank you Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Minolta), very few structural changes have taken place in the basic design of the shoes or how they might actually hold onto a flash or other shoe mount accessory.

All that is about to change.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Airports, Barf Bags, and Strobes

A Quick Note!  This is a post (and a video) that I'd originally put up on my "Global Photographer" blog late last year.  The video -- which illustrates a rather novel lighting technique that I often use -- ended up becoming semi-popular, especially among the DIY and Strobist crowd, and so it's worth re-posting this here on The Nasty Blog.  As always, comments are welcome.

While making my way from Portland to Michigan this past Christmas holiday, I decided to crank out a quick lil' quasi-tutorial about lighting, strobes, barf bags, and oatmeal. "Crank out" is the important thing to remember while watching this video, as I was kinda' afraid that airport security might have been lurking around the corner, waiting to give me a smack down, while I was filming.

P.S.:  I've been contacted by several people who -- after watching this video -- would like to know what my oatmeal recipe is.  Please feel free to shoot me an e-mail (get-at-nastyclamps-dot-com), and I'll send back the ingredient list.

P.S.S.: Please forgive the awful white balance.  This was shot rather quickly on a small Flip video camera.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What Is This Nasty Thing?

Sometimes, when trying to define a thing or a process, it's much easier to give a rough outline of what that thing or process is NOT, rather than letting specifics weigh the whole situation down. Keeping this in mind, here's a quick outline of what this blog is not:

This is not a porn site, despite the Nasty name.

This is not a products promotion or aggregator site, though certain products (e.g: "Nasty Clamps") will be given publicity and prominence.  At times, this will due to the simple fact that the products have been designed, marketed, and sold by the creator of this site (again, "Nasty Clamps") though at other times, a product will be featured because...  Well...  Because it's handy and useful.

This is not a blog that's centered specifically on photography, though photographic techniques and technology will often be discussed or demonstrated on the site.

Despite the number of tutorials and demonstrations that will end up on site, this is not a tutorial site.

This is not a blog that will keep you updated on the latest tech tools.  Gizmodo does a great job of doing that anyways.

Lastly -- though very much not leastly -- this is not a blogsite concerned solely with entrepreneurship, though that's a topic which will come up time and time again.

Sooooooooo... What IS this Nasty thing about then?