Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Portrait

 We photographers love nothing more than setting up six tripods, yards and yards of material and big heavy flash boxes, not to mention all the wires, cables and huge heavy batteries to make them work in the soft boxes we put together to soften the same light.  Whew!

To be honest, that's not true at all.  In fact, it's so labor intensive that I sold and/or gave away all my portrait gear.  Okay, I kept a few pieces ... the tripods.  Setting up all that gear takes almost an hour, while the actual picture taking lasts less than five minutes.  Two minutes if you have a good model. 

That's why I called Cris instead of doing these portraits myself.  Add to the above the adjustments to the images, along with a website where people can see the proofs, and printing them out all takes money and time.  Now you know why photographers are so expensive.  It's not just having a camera.

And so ..... after all of that ..... here's my portrait for the wall in my fancy dancy tuxedo.  I can't complain, I would just prefer I looked 30 years younger!  Totally weird to see myself in a tux.

I was back at the Lodge last night to see a demo of the new Point of Sale system they are considering.  Now the waitresses won't be running back and forth to the kitchen so much ... our orders will go in instantly instead of thirty minutes later AND we can pay at the table instead of waiting for the gals to write up a ticket.  It's a win-win situation!!

It also keeps tabs on employee hours, products used ... I mean this thing could probably buy your lottery ticket for you and let you know if you won!  It does everything!!  Finally we are moving on up from manual to electronic.

I thought maybe I should do the same.  Happy Birthday to me!!  I skipped over that day previously, but decided I should move into the future with the latest and greatest Portrait Lighting.  Actually, these lights can be used for anything ... even outside night lighting.  

Look Ma .... no wires or big batteries.  This is all you need to light up your world.  Actually you only need ONE because there are two tops to the same light depending on how much light you need.  Attach a trigger to your camera and you can put this light anywhere.  Wireless stuff is amazing!!!  No more models tripping over extension cords!!
I added one soft box for good measure, just because sometimes you really do want to take photos of people.  You go to all the expense of buying the big flashy light thing, then you have to soften that light with what else ... a soft box.  

The good news is it folds up completely flat.  Well, it SHOULD, if I could only figure out how to twist it ... you know, like the sunscreen springy thingy for your car windshield?  I have the hardest time with those.

At any rate, it will be fun to play around with.  It's probably going to be difficult to get the skunks to pose and say cheese, but I'll give it a shot.


  1. Nice picture...can't argue about that Nancy. As they say, "aging like a fine bottle of wine" only get better, except for all those aches and pains that go along with it.

    1. Luckily I do okay with those aches and pains once I start moving around!! LOL

  2. Happy belated birthday and what a nice photo of you to commemorate the occasion! I have no idea what you are talking about soft box and lighting equipment, but maybe if you can teach us a bit through your photography and blog, we'll learn something ;-)

    1. Thank you Marlene!! For sure I'll throw in a bit here and there about photography.

  3. Follow up to A,James
    The Starlink site advertises an equipment cost of $499 for the antenna and router and a monthly price of $99.17 Sadly, that’s more than the original guesstimate cost of $80 a month,2,4,11 but it’s still cheaper than some of Viasat and HughesNet’s higher-end plans.
    To compare, a satellite internet plan from Viasat ranges from $30 to $150 a month for download speeds of 12 Mbps up to 100 Mbps, and HughesNet plans range from about $60 to $150 a month for download speeds of 25 Mbps.
    * Starlink price: $99/mo.
    * Equipment cost: $499 for the phased array antenna and router
    It only works in one location it’s not for the traveling RVer
    My information is they do have dead spots occasionally as satellites pass you only have a small window of opportunity Where it switches from one satellite to the next
    One could put the $1700 to better use you figure one year of standalone Internet from a local provider would be substantially less

    1. It might be worth it if I just had decent internet in California. The MiFi actually works great everywhere but here!! All the big farmers use Starlink.

  4. Info FYI
    If you have a neighbor that has Internet that would be kind enough that the two of you split the cost all you need is a (Ubiquiti )Nano Station m2 antenna . Mounted at the highest point of your house or stick it in the window that is aimed towards the house.It picks up the signal from your friends computer and all you do is enter in the password and you have an open Wi-Fi For half the cost of full price local Internet this unit also cheats you could pick up an open non-locked Wi-Fi system up to about a 1 mile away (McDonald’s Dunkin’ Donuts Home Depot any Business that has an open public Wi-Fi
    Or go into The phone store that you that you’re affiliated with and find out where their free Wi-Fi networks are in your area this unit will bounce off of that as well or you could tether to your laptop Just because you have a cell phone doesn’t mean you’re locked into that. if you go into AT&T you can get a $30 a month 30 gig SIMs chip (Bring your tablet with you)
    Which can go into your tablet Which would be faster than your phone because you’re bouncing off the WiFi repeater
    There are more ways to skin this cat you just need to do the homework

    One other very important thing if you have any 2G or 3G phones Unload them do not put a 4G or 5G sim card in a 2G-3G it will turn all your service off 2G and 3G are not compatible with today’s phones
    In spite of the fact that you would like to hoard them there are of no use you’re better off selling them and you can sell them at Walmart you might get enough to get a chicken sandwich Unless you wanna take the time to put them on eBay you might get two chicken sandwiches so don’t try to use your 3G or less phones guarantee you’ll have issues I speak from experience

    1. Can't use neighbor's internet. They have Xfinity and it hardly ever works even though they pay a chunk for it every month. Their service is worse than mine! LOL

  5. All that photography stuff is waaayyy over my head too, as Marlene says, since I'm a point, zoom, shoot kind of gal. 📸
    I learned something today for your next portrait (yours is lovely by the way!) say "Yah!" instead of cheese. I just heard that it is supposed to give us a more natural smile. :)

    1. Photography really isn't hard, there's lot of tips for point and shoot too. In fact, we usually shoot what amounts to half-automatic. I'll post a few easy things.