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bass ackwards

 1941 chevy hood ornament

1941 chevy hood ornament

i did shoot this ornament from this side, but feel like it needs to be flipped, so it's "looking towards the future." but the drivel filling the space below, is looking back a few days, about a photography class i attended, here in hot, but not yet sultry, florida.


i've always done things in not quite the proper or expected way, be it kid first, wedding second, changing my name for one but not for another. my mother must have been disappointed at the time, and continues to be confused by my choices.

sitting here in florida for the past three days hanging out with hundreds of photographers, wannabes, and world-renown experts in photography and photoshop, taking in my annual training/improving my skills/learn how to do stuff better at work thing. while not feeling like a complete idiot with a camera, i am surrounded by not just a few camera snobs. if it ain't canon or nikon, it ain't shit. 

i'm sorry. your camera has a sony sensor...look it up. 

first day, i took a class on posing people and lighting. need to learn more about it, since i will have to shoot headshots for work. three hours of the instructor's explanations and examples, then an hour letting us take turns with four studio setups with lights and models. 

here i show up with the only sony i have that will accept their flash trigger. even tested that it would actually work with the lights before class. no problemo. 

before she lets us loose to work with the models, she gives us the camera settings for iso, shutter speed and so forth, in manual mode. check, check, and check, but then there is one setting blinking on my screen--m.m. -2.0. i'm in line to shoot and i cannot figure out what the camera needs to make it stop. to me, a negative exposure is going to be dark. i can't find any setting in the menus showing anything but zero.

i ask the people around me, since many actually do take pictures in studios and/or have some intermediate knowledge of what we're doing. camera settings are camera settings, regardless of brand name; it's the menus that are different, that freak people out.

they all take a look at my screen and get a strange look on their face, not recognizing the display.  when they see that it's a sony, they back away as if i've brought a voodoo doll to class and i've already shoved a pin in it. fine. i get out of line and ask the instructor. she can't help either, but says the other settings are good.

i head back to the line i was in, heading to the end, but they had saved my spot, and i was next. fuck. 

i'm seriously shy, and out of my comfort zone as it is, but i go for it, cuz it's my turn, and we're all pretending like we know stuff. 

i walk up and shake hands with the model, in this setup, it' a guy who might as well be ryan reynolds' twin brother. sure i can work with deadpool.

i tell him my name and confess that i am completely out of my element and haven't worked with directing people before. these models expect that, and will help by doing some initial poses to start you shooting. great, right? 

no. i put my camera up to my eye and i see...nothing. it's dark. hmmm. ok, then open the screen on the back of the camera, same thing. hold it up and blindly point it at the guy and squeeze off a few frames, and yes, the big ass lights fire as they should. but i can't see what i'm shooting, so i pass the trigger to the next guy and quickly go back to my seat, not bothering with the other setups.

i know it is probably something simple but i don't know what term to look up to fix it. i send my better half a picture of the flashing display, but he was really very busy with work at that moment and didn't know off the top of his head. 

aside from that, i've only brought two lenses with me. one is perfect for close-up headshots and/or stand from a good distance to get more of the body or motion in the frame, being a prime lens on my crop sensor. not enough space for that, but i really want it's sharpness.  

the other was my wide angle, which, is good for cars, but i really didn't want to be all up in their faces or want the distortion.  

i ended up changing back to my usual settings i like for car shows. everything normal, screen and viewing through eyepiece just as expected. wtf. i just watched everyone else and fired a few shots of models from where i was. then class was over.

wasn't pissed that it didn't work, because it did...there was just a setting that i didn't know and no one to help think it through. 

i was back at my car, trying to decide where to get dinner when my better half calls and says he found out what i needed to do to fix it. really was just a matter of making the camera not use the "live" view feature which was trying to interpret the settings given by the teacher, and making it a very dark screen, as the flash hadn't fired as i looked through the eyepiece yet. a simple menu setting to turn it off, but not in an obvious place when you don't know what you're looking for. 

oh well. not a completely wasted day, but very frustrating.

i did enjoy the older gentleman, who seemed to like to brag about his experience and what he does, in a very loud, deep voice, to anyone and everyone. not only that day, but over the next couple as well. bloviating, self important, and obnoxious.

i guess he is that insecure, he needed to hear everyones' praises when he showed off some of his images. even submitted one for an instructor to critique. teacher said it was ok, not great, more of a lucky shot. he argued with the story behind the picture, how he had to wait to get it, and that the company had used it for a calendar and other things, with him getting paid in benefits like a free membership for a year, etc. i wanted to tell him to just shutup.