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Thread: Milling about in mass confusion...

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Milling about in mass confusion...

    I was a member of a group picture taken at the American Maltese Specialty in San Diego, yesterday. There were seven of us, with our rescue dogs. The master of ceremonies told the story of each dog, then we posed for a group picture.

    There were only seven people in the group but, the photographer didn't know how to arrange them so that he could get us all in! He would say, people, you are not close enough and then give a silly grin and wait for the group to do their own thing. After a few minutes, I took over and arranged our group. After all, seven folks, even with our rescue dogs, is a pretty small group to arrange.

    I might have had an inkling regarding this professional photographer for the dog show because he was using a half of a Styrofoam picnic plate taped to his flash as his reflector/diffuser. Sure, that works! However, I would never show up as a professional photographer for an event with a picnic plate taped to my flash. Especially when you can purchase a diffuser/reflector like this ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/220980576819...84.m1497.l2649 ) for less than five U.S. Dollars from Hong Kong through eBay. That's kind of like showing up using a plastic supermarket bag to hold your equipment. It would work to hold your gear but, it sure wouldn't "look professional!"

  2. #2

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    Re: Milling about in mass confusion...

    Funny story richard. Hey wait a minute, i use several chinet plates, glued together , for a flash bounce............ (really i do, works great, but as you said, wouldn't use it for a "real" job.)

  3. #3

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    Re: Milling about in mass confusion...

    I've even seen a white shirt used for a bounce ... while it was still attached to the gentleman!

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Milling about in mass confusion...

    I have used the lily white palm of my hand as a reflector once but, I would hope that I would use something better on a paid job. The Chinet plate looked like it would do the job quite well and is a great idea if I ever lose my Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro.

    However, I have always laid out my gear for a job on a table (or on a floor if the gear is too big - like my motion picture gear was in the past). I inventory my gear and THEN pack it! If I tried to pack the gear as I go along, I could easily forget a small but, vital piece. BTW: I pack my clothing and personal items this way also, laying out the kit on the bed and THEN packing the suitcase or suitcases. I never forget anything this way because if I neglected to pack it, it would remain on the bed in plain sight.

    When I did 16mm motion picture gear, I would often carry lights, sound recording equipment, and of course film; sometimes several TONS of gear.

    I would have a written inventory from which I would check off the gear and then pack it.

    Each case containing equipment (we often used aluminum suitcase-size Haliburton cases) was numbered and had its own inventory. The cases with our personal clothing and gear were also included in the numbering system. When I flew (either commercial or military) I would inventory the cases by the number (much easier to tell if one is missing).

    Of course, the gear had to be stored as check-on baggage, I often carried several tons (4-man crew) of gear and there was no way it would fit in the overhead reck in the passenger cabin.

    In those days (pre 9/11/2001) we locked our cases using hasps thet he had riveted onto the Haliburton cases and we used a set of padlocks that would unlock with a single key. Each man in the crew carried a copy of the key for the sake of redundancy. We once experimented with combination locks but, these took too long to open. Keys were easier and quicker.

    My crew never lost one piece of camera gear from airlines mishandling in the literally millions of miles I traveled.

    A funny story: I did "almost" lose an 16mm Arriflex camera. I was being transferred from ship to ship at sea via helicopter. I would be lowered down to the pitching deck of the ship by the helicopter winch (I did 14 ships in 8 days on one job). I would always go down the line first and then then have my gear lowered. I always instructed the helicopter crewman to loop the cable AROUND the case. However, one lazy crewman just snapped the winch cable to the plastic handle which snapped off when it was being lowered. I found out that the Haliburton case would float. We recovered the case from the ocean and the camera was dry but, the foam was damp and had to be discarded because the foam packing would disintegrate if in contact with salt water.

    There are waterproof (not water resistant like the Haliburtons) cases being used not, But, we did not have the luxury of Pelican-like cases in those days.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Milling about in mass confusion...

    Let me add empty Javex bottle with the top cut off, styrofoam cup and several layers of Kleenex held on a flash with rubber bands. What's that old saying; "necessity is the mother of invention". That certainly applies to every photographer I have ever known. Coreplast is cheap and makes for wonderful reflectors too.

    I rather suspect that the reason we see so many light modifiers out there is that there is no one-size fits all solution, so photographers (and film makers / videographers) have to be very creative. Richard; I think you were spoilt during your Navy days. The older photographers and film makers I know have wonderful stories as to how they had large crews in the past, but now it's often just you and possibly the creative director doing everything yourselves.

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    Re: Milling about in mass confusion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I've even seen a white shirt used for a bounce ... while it was still attached to the gentleman!
    Been there, done that...

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