Over the past few years, I have sunk a bit of money into gear to feed my photography habit. [If you think it’s weird a blog about photography doesn’t have any photos, you’re right. I just haven’t taken the time to do that part, yet.] So, anyway, I finally realized the gear is fun, but it’s the photo that matters. My wife, who is an artist, does better with composition and lighting with the crappy point and shoot than I do with all the gadgets. I am have been the worst about collecting gear instead of developing talent. Well, no more. It’s all on eBay now. I have to keep one camera for clinical photos until I can fund the purchase of the Fuji, then the 400D is on the auction block, too. It would be neat to keep this small but quirky collection, but I better get rid of it while there’s still film being made. If you want to see anything I have still for sale, here’s the link.
I don’t presume to know much about diet. But, with the new fad diets around, why not try em? Apparently according to this article, the link between animal fats and heart disease does not exist. Of course, the author Nina Teicholz has a book coming out next week. In spite of this apparent journalistic disingenuity, I have tried patterning my diet around three basic things: eliminating all vegetable oils, eating fewer carbs (because eliminating them is painful and stupid), and eating meats without worrying too much about fat content.
I am a 43 year old male professional. I am on a dual blood pressure drug, and I am supposed to be on one for cholesterol. I don’t take it, because it makes me feel like I have been beaten with a baseball bat. I am 6′ 0″ and I weigh(ed) 216 last Friday. That;s when I started my new “diet.” Since any diet is by its sheer nature a bit more of a suggestion than a regimen, I have been pretty faithful to the premises of animal fats only, and low carbs. This morning I weighed 210. Shocking? No. I fluctuate a bit. Also, the result could be from a) an actual dietary carbohydrate sensitivity, or b) simple reduction in caloric intake. I haven’t bothered counting calories, because I will never count calories. I don’t care enough to make that part of my routine. Either I keep it simple, or I don’t do it.
Now, the plan is to continue on this path for 1 month, and then have my blood drawn and cholesterol and lipids checked. I’ll even get the BP checked. I will even let you know what I’ve been eating, if this works! If not, I don’t want anyone else trying to replicate my experiment.
I now have OCF capacity. I ordered a few things from MPEX, highly recommended by David Hobby on his strobist blog, and by me. First, MPEX* is top notch. While you are browsing their website, you are very likely to have someone ask if you need help in their chat window. Everyone I chatted with over the course of a few days seemed knowledgeable and helpful. So, if you need anything camera, visit them at www.mpex.com.
*Not sponsored by MPEX or anyone else—I just like to tell people about good service.
Now, on to the gear.
This is a really cool flash unit. Lumopro claims a guide number of 110. I really don’t know enough about it to say whether that’s accurate, but it is quite powerful on 1/1 and is variable all the way down to 1/128 power in 1/3 stop increments. MPEX sold it to me for $20 off their listed price online, because I ordered it as part of a package. I don’t have any idea how long they plan on bundling and discounting stuff, but it seems that’s really common for them. Great folks. The flash has a 2-year warranty.
Again, bundled with the other stuff, they knocked $35 off the list price, which brought it down in range of the Ray Flash 2, which looks a little cheap.
The Starving-Student one-light kit. In my browser, the LP 180 flash is already selected, making the total $334.28. Without the flash, that’s more like $150, for which you get a stand, a universal translator for a really reliable wired sync, a swivel for mounting the flash and the umbrella, a white satin shoot-through umbrella, and a nice soft case for carrying stuff around. This isn’t the most compact of kits, so I really don’t plan on carrying it everywhere, but the case is a nice touch. A bunch of other gewgaws came with it, too, for making your own grid snoot, color correcting your light CTO or CTB, other color gels, and restricting or modifying the light in any way you’d like to MacGyver it. Nice, but I’m just learning the basics of OCF, yet. So I could really have done without the extra 38 bucks worth of stuff, but the discount on just the flash and the orbis was more than that. AND all the other package discounts came to another $17.50. Basically they cut 72 bucks off retail, and then tacked on $38 worth of stuff—so I really can’t complain.
Eventually, I will start posting some photos. I will probably get reamed by real photographers, but I don’t care. This is a learning experience. If it helps someone else get a leg up quicker than me, I am all for that.
Peace. Go flash somebody.