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Gear pr0n & lecture notes - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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Gear pr0n & lecture notes [Aug. 17th, 2011|08:44 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

The Kickstarter's going very well -- thanks everyone. You can still get in on it here. Shooting for it starts on the 26th of August which I'm very excited about. It's going to look beautiful.

Last Saturday I gave a lecture at the International Center of Photography in New York about the Leaving Dakota project. It went pretty well, but there was this guy, right up front who I happened to be looking at when I started and maybe five minutes into it he blew this "Oh hell, I'm stuck with this jerk for the next forty minutes," sigh and looked down at the floor which freaked me out and I started talking faster. And the faster I talked the more bored he looked. Finally he started looking through his pockets for something to play with and spent a lot of time examining coins and bus tickets. I got fixated first on entertaining this one guy and then later on ending his agony. It was a little unsettling because I have this completely unsubstantiated but nonetheless pervasive belief that I can entertain anyone, look! I'll juggle if need be! -- Not true. I finished 15 minutes early. Next time I'm just going to stare into the projector so I can't see the looks on anyone's faces. Everybody else seemed to enjoy it and I spent some time talking to people about finding inspiration where you can and making the most out of what you've got.....

After that I went to see the Elliot Erwitt exhibit which was ... amazing. All the photos were blown up about four feet across and these shots from the 1950's were razor sharp and beautifully printed. (You can see a photo of his beautiful Leica M3 here, or at least those of you reading in late 2011 can -- those of you reading this in 2020 will probably get a dead link.) There's such mastery in the printing too, very careful dodging and burning, tremendous skill brought those images to paper.

Sunday I was supposed to photograph some of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen but a powerful storm prevented us from meeting, which is sad.

The Monte Verde pen I ordered from Art Brown showed up -- against my expectations it's a really smooth writer, I thought it was going to be fairly toothy but it's not. It's like writing on a warm frying pan with a pen carved out of butter.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!



In other, Crazier, retro news -- I like my G2 so much that I bought a bunch of Tri-X and a developing tank and I'll probably order a film scanner some time soon. I kind of hope it's a fad, because it's sure a pain in the rear to do photos this way. But it's so fun. Sort of. Actually I just wish it was digital.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!



I also saw a lecture on backup technologies for photographers which was very informative. I need to re-think my entire backup strategy. After the lecture I ordered a SATA dock and a couple of 2TB SATA drives -- This really seems to be the way to go, disks are only $75 or so which, when you think about it, is pretty cheap insurance for every image you've taken since 1999. It also got me to start using Apple's Time Machine and backing up my laptop. Previously I'd been keeping important stuff that I was working on with my laptop on MobileMe but one of the lessons of the lecture was "be in control of your bits" -- if me.com goes down, who knows how much Apple's going to care about getting them back.

You need to be constantly thinking "What will happen if my computer is stolen tonight. How much will I lose and how can I keep that from happening?"

That's about that. How's your Wednesday working? What did you learn this week that I ought to know about?




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Comments:
[User Picture]From: gandalfgreyhame
2011-08-17 03:15 pm (UTC)
I feel pretty much the same way about my M4 - I love the camera to death, but I sure wish it was digital.

Film scanners are also their own special brand of evil. I have an Epson V500 which works well enough (here's a sample scanned off of 35mm Plus-X, this is off of 120 Tri-X) but were I shopping for one today I'd get the V700 variant, since it can scan more at once. and if you decide to start scanning 120 negs, you'll really really want to be able to do more than two frames of 6x6 (or one of 6x7!) at a time.
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[User Picture]From: joanarkham
2011-08-17 04:01 pm (UTC)

I love my Epson V500 but the software was written by crack-addled monkeys.

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[User Picture]From: gandalfgreyhame
2011-08-17 04:53 pm (UTC)
That's an insult to crack-addled monkeys the world over.

Even more frustrating for me than the software at the moment is that a spec of dust has recently settled on one of the scanner elements, so I get a nice straight line down all my scans in the exact same place.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-08-17 05:10 pm (UTC)
I want to do 120 probably primarily. I'm looking at the v700 -- is there anything else you'd recommend?
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[User Picture]From: gandalfgreyhame
2011-08-17 07:55 pm (UTC)
I think the V700 is the most reasonable thing that will do medium format. Beyond that you're looking at the Nikon CoolScan 9000 (cool piece of kit, but expensive, hard to find, and poorly supported by Nikon) or drum scanners.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-08-17 03:40 pm (UTC)
Would you be willing to disclose EXIF info on the Monte Verde?

I would also like to request a column on using macro lenses.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-08-17 04:08 pm (UTC)
The Monte Verde was ....

A manual focus Nikon f 3.5 55mm "Micro Nikkor" mounted on a Panasonic GF1 at f 5.6, I think 1/160th of a second at 400 asa.

Macro column request noted. Quite likely, I did a class on it in San Diego a few months back.
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-08-17 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Sir. I'm still trying to learn photography. Hopefully the Studio Photography classes I'm scheduled for will help quite a bit.

Macro column request noted. Quite likely, I did a class on it in San Diego a few months back.
Check.
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[User Picture]From: cinestress
2011-08-17 03:57 pm (UTC)
Gah. I'm really bad about backing things up. You just reminded me that I really need to think on the best way for me to do that.
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[User Picture]From: shuttergal
2011-08-17 04:29 pm (UTC)
And I hope that your "a couple of drives" means that you are double backing up your stuff. All hard drives have a life expectancy. 2 copies. ALways 2 copies. I am so close.

I miss my Hasselblad and fear picking it up again for provoking a similar response.

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[User Picture]From: skreidle
2011-08-17 05:00 pm (UTC)
I don't delete files from my cameras' memory cards until they're on my computer -and- uploaded to my webhost, minimum. :)
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-08-17 05:09 pm (UTC)
this saved me when i got my camera stolen coming back from shooting Who Killed Amanda Palmer -- I'd backed them up to the computer and left a set of CD's as well. Out there someone has a d300 with a really freaky set of photos on the CF card....
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-08-17 05:08 pm (UTC)
I've already got two copies and four of everything before Jan 1 2011 -- these will be for incremental off-site storage.
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[User Picture]From: skreidle
2011-08-17 05:03 pm (UTC)
Did you see the article I posted about some police making aesthetic judgment call on photographic subjects vs photographer detention?
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-08-17 05:08 pm (UTC)
it was the talk of twitter yesterday. I see dangerous days ahead for William Eggelston.

Edited at 2011-08-17 05:08 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: chang3002
2011-08-17 06:12 pm (UTC)
Say, that's a nice looking pen! What kinda Monte Verde is it?

I just got my second Pilot Vanishing Point and I love it. It's my second fave next to the Lamy 2000.
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[User Picture]From: queclecumber
2011-08-17 08:39 pm (UTC)
I love film! I've mostly been shooting with a digital recently for ease of photo-accessing (no need to develop, dry, cut, enlarge, wash, dry...) and lack of access to a dark room (I sometimes push film and worry about letting someone else develop it), but I'd encourage film use for anyone.

I like the look of film and the limitations; you have to make the most out of your 36 exposures instead of snapping 500 shots and deleting a few hundred of them.

Plus I think I work better with film:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/quins_photos/6052529204/in/set-72157627453647050

Versus digital:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/quins_photos/5372322698/in/set-72157625739983829

(that's probably my best digital photo to date, but I still prefer the grittiness of the film)
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From: zqfmbg
2011-08-17 11:02 pm (UTC)
Automatic network offsite backup is the best way to go, I think -- you don't have to remember to do anything and you're still covered if your house/neighbourhood/city/country/hemisphere burns down. Of course, in the case of all-out nuclear war, you might still lose unless you somehow manage to get offsite storage off the planet... but then, we're all toast anyway, right?

I use a RAID-1 fileserver for storage and then back up to a RAID-1 box elsewhere in my house, a box at work, and a box across the country. I figure that's enough for my gajillion cat photos.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-08-18 12:55 am (UTC)
what's it cost for 3TB of offsite network backup? it doesn't have to be fast -- well, actually, i guess it does if i'm dumping 200 mb a day onto it....
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From: zqfmbg
2011-08-18 12:58 am (UTC)
Depends on the provider, though I know there are several out there that will do unlimited personal backup using a client on your desktop system. I don't use any of them because none of them will run on Linux; instead, I just have a dedicated server from a provider with a big hard drive in it.

200 MB a day might run into your ISP's bandwidth limit. I'd check into that. I'd also check into how fast your connection is, though even at 1.5 Mbps it won't take that long to upload 200 MB.
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[User Picture]From: cyberthorn
2011-08-18 02:22 am (UTC)
I'm currently using Crashplan, with unlimited storage, currently using 175 GB. According to their FAQ:

On what operating systems can I run CrashPlan?
Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

http://www.crashplan.com

I will admit my primary failure is that I haven't tested recovery. But I'm maintaining additional multiple backups onsite as well. I really should test those offsite ones.
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[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2011-08-18 01:02 am (UTC)
Why do the jerks always sit in the front row? Next continuing ed course I teach, I'm totally having something to throw at them. That is, unless my Objection! clue-by-four arrives before then. Totally going to use it as a gavel. And perhaps kick the guy to the back of the class.

But that's because I'm a hell-on-wheels trial attorney at heart. You, kylecassidy, are a Good Person, who cares about being nice. You should keep being you - it makes all of our worlds a better place.
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-08-19 12:02 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hijack this post...

You have no doubt seen this already, but I couldn't help but have an inside scream, "Thief!" when I first saw it.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/defying-gravity-tokyo-photographer-levitates--1308611593-slideshow/


I hope you are (all) well!


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[User Picture]From: dujour
2011-08-20 12:58 am (UTC)
Why, Kyle? Why? Why did you have to not only put up a picture of that pen, but you gave it a good review, as well? Why? I've always wanted a demonstrator. I've managed to keep myself under control. But not only do they have a nice pen at a terrific price, but they sell J. Herbin ink, too. Three of them have been on my wish list for a long time.

* weeps as she pulls out the credit card *
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-08-21 08:06 pm (UTC)
I thought you might like to know that you were quoted on the Lens Rental blog.
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