Thursday, May 26, 2011


A busy week just passed. Busy in the sense of chasing around for your needs and never find a match. Not much to be with my camera (on a vacation from that remember?) and not much to be done with my Ayvarith project and voice recording, only roam, roam, roam...
I've been moving like a bee from one electronics shop to another looking for two things: A shower heater, and a PC terminal head. The former for my bathroom of course, 'cause I'm no Eskimo with the central boiler turned off, and the latter was for my sound trigger circuit, which arrived two weeks ago and never got the chance to work with it because I didn't have the head (they didn't send it along with it) to connect it to my flash. However, I went around that in some primitive way.

Wanted. Cut or a whole.
PC Terminal head (connected to a hotshoe).
Source (B&H)
Monday. Been moving from one store to another looking for a wire with such a head or just the head (better), but all of that went null, except that in one shop specialized in photography tools and lighting equipments had some adapters that I've been looking for in a long time; adapters to fit the small screw of my tripod into the larger hole size of my VR-head. They weren't cheap too! I didn't find though the device that I want, a shower heater. It's common outside, but not in here. I think it is the fantastic solution for the boiler's problem in many houses here, also, it saves energy.
The next day, Tuesday, I went even to the local Canon's (not Shannon, not Conan) store here looking for such a wire. Something I was trying to avoid to do from the beginning because I know the average of prices in such stores. However, the result was null, again. Not only that, but the guy there didn't even realize there is such a cable! Now, being desperate to try my new toy, I decided to do it the manual (unprofessional) way. Well, like I am professional already? All what I wanted to see is if this thing works or not!

At home now, with a sleeping time that got screwed up before my tired dead-body. I don't know even how I'm typing this! Anyway, woke up like 3 hours before midnight, and without a dinner or anything decided to raise up and do my experiment with the sound trigger without the head itself. I've decided to connect the wires from the circuit to the flash directly without a head, simply by plugging the wires into the port or the plug point of the flash unit. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of that setting...

PC terminal plug point at the bottom (2 concentric circles)
It was simply but delicate; the positive (red) wire goes inside the small circle, while the ground (black), with the help of a clip, attached to the outer circle. I was afraid that they would touch and make a short in the middle of my work, but all went fine. Once I connected the wires, the baby started to shoot randomly at my face turning me partially blind. I had to decrease the sensitivity at once!

SK2 or Sound trigger circuit, from Hiviz. Connection wire to the flash unit not assembled here.
Source (Hiviz)

Finding out that the circuit works indeed, does not mean my life will become easier now. The hardships just began in fact. In the darkness I was trying hard to find my way and to set the focus from the right angle and with the right zoom, and after each failing trial I had to collect the coins. Yes, coins. I didn't want to use water here because it is an old idea AND it would make a mess in the place. Coins were better for my situation here. However, after many trials and errors; ups and downs and fixing the power and the angle of the flash, I think I did something suitable (even though it got rejected from some stock sites for noise level, as it was shot in ISO400)...


Some friends suggested that I would clone some coins out to fill in the gap in the middle, as the slide of the coins from my hand was not smoothly done. It is a good idea but I think it might make a repetitive pattern, which I'm trying to avoid most of the time (exceptions: architectural or landscape, where it occurs naturally). Another thing was sort of annoying me here is the flare reflection from the edge of the jar as I was not using a diffuser (and the flash was set to 1/128). With the image above, such settings were modified by RAW editor and later on with some extra layers in Photoshop with dodge and burn techniques (and faux dynamic range increment). The problem is, if the flash was to be hitting on the front, the background (black paper) would turn bluish! It would be awesome if I can, instead of triggering a flash, use some normal light bulbs on light stands (desktop lamps or the like). I bet there is a way, but I'm never good with electronics! Just thinking about it now, seems all what I have to do is bring a desk lamp and instead of having to switch it on, I plug in this circuit as a switch. Well, this is the idea in my mind but seems it's not quite the right thing to do...
However, with this capability, new ideas are flowing in my mind. Damn, I just can't control thinking about it even after the "break" that I was planning for myself.

Finished reading one book already. The fastest read so far. It's the Freelance Photographer's Handbook, by Cliff and Nancy Hollenbeck.

Freelance Photographer's Handbook: Success in Professional Digital Photography, 2nd Edition

I've wrote a review for it on Amazon, and generally I think the book is good, and tough as well. The authors want you to be professional, and that means no DIY stuff or anything like that. Well, I like such stuff!!! Anyway, it is quite the book for beginners and discusses many issues related to the freelance photographer in various aspects, even personal manners and attitude, up to laws and regulations. Maybe most of the talk would be in the circle of the American law, but nevertheless, it is useful to know about such steps and regulations in advance. Who knows; I might have my own business one day? Hmm...
Now the work is on reading the other portraits book which I got from Amazon as well, beside some other book lying at home on my bed waiting to be read!

The Portrait: Understanding Portrait Photography

Time ticks slowly now, and my mind is busy, while the work is piling up. Can I see that someone one day? I think I'm losing my connection with this world...
I need to write more poetry...

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