Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Gear

Those who are "blessed" to hear me complain about gear-talk on forums know I feel it is mostly useless discussion.  It bothers me when people feel they "need" super-high end gear because its "great" in low light -- so they can make party snaps.  It also bugs me me when I see people think the best autofocus is needed -- to make snaps of their dog playing in the backyard.  Its not the end product these people want that bugs me, its the fact they aren't able to see they are just like me.  They just want fun toys.  I don't need half the stuff I have to make pictures I like.  But, I do use it all to make pictures, just maybe in a different way than I would if I limited my kit.  But I won't try to justify myself by making up lame rationalizations. Its okay to want something even if you don't "need" it.  Sometimes.

That being said, what did I get?  I picked up a few light modifiers for my Alien Bees.  I got their large standard softbox.  Its on clearance!  If you want one go get it before they are gone.  I also picked up one of their new beauty dishes, a pair of grids, and a third Bee, an AB1600.  What does this do for me?  It gives me a few more choices for the look of my light.  The dish intrigues me the most, but I haven't played with it yet.  I did setup the large softbox to see how hard it was to build.  I then made a few pics with it. 

The new Bee gives me twice as much power as my older lights, and allows me to "count" on some 2 light setups.  I don't like needing equipment for a planned, involved picture that does not have a backup.  How much would it suck to rent a sports car, find a few willing models, travel 50 miles to a location you paid to use, and have gear you need (cause you don't have a backup!)  for your planned shot decide to stop working?

The grids should allow me to control where the light goes a little easier.  I've found its generally not hard to get light where I want, but its a royal pain to keep it off of areas I don't want lit.

Tobias and Kathryn helped me try out the softbox.  Tobias' reminded me a bit of Jill Greenberg's infamous kid pictures so I quickly processed it in tribute to those.  Some differences are my processing isn't as nice, my light setup isn't wrap around, I'm using a longer lens, and she just did an all around better job. But the main difference is Jill Greenberg got her models to cry by taking candy away from them, Tobias just realized I'm spending his college money on photo gear again!

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