[OM] Some days you are the shiny bicycle, other days, just the greasy ch

Subject: [OM] Some days you are the shiny bicycle, other days, just the greasy chain
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 09:54:46 -0500
I've found that these things are cyclical. But I had a realization
last night as I was editing some portraits. I really don't like
shooting portraits. It's not that I dislike it, but it's not something
that really cranks me up. It's not that I'm bad at it either--I can
hold my own. But as I was slaving away, I asked myself "If it wasn't
for the money, would I be doing this right now?"


But that's how I feel this week. Yes, I'm doing it for the money and
begrudging the time commitment. I'm already working LONG hours, living
away from home three nights a week and constantly on the go. There are
two rolls of processed film sitting on the desk which I haven't even
held up to the light yet. This is just another thing stealing time.

However, on the flip side, I AM doing this for the money. If I wasn't
doing this, I'd be delivering pizzas or serving skinny lattes. It's
not that I still wouldn't be torching the candle anyway. So, is doing
portraiture on the side all that bad? It is clean work, I'm my own
boss, I get to charge whatever I want (if I charge too much, I don't
get the jobs, if I charge too little, it's a waste of my time), and I
get to play with cameras and lights. What's really not to like?

Like I said, just a mood I'm going through. But one thing that did
bother me is that the last session involved hauling all my mismatched
studio lighting to a location (in-home) photo shoot. My dirtbag
wireless remotes have been getting to the point where I just need to
throw them away. My umbrellas are shot and everything is just getting
old and clunky. I was even shooting with the ancient E-1. The only
thing really wonderful were the lenses (oh, those lenses!!!). Maybe
it's time to get some new stuff--nobody ever accused me of not getting
the most out of the least.

So, with a little soul-searching, I asked myself if it's the equipment
issues causing me to feel this way? Well, when 20% of the shots are
garbage because not all the flashes fired, misfired or whatever, that
can change your outlook a bit. Maybe I'm getting lazy and liking to
not have to actually work at this. I don't know.

Results were fine. I haven't lost the ability to deliver the goods.
But I am wondering if it's time to just bite the bullet and get a
bunch of new stuff which is more automated and flexible. I'm also
thinking about my back and the literal pain involved in carrying all
this gear around. A set of four dedicated flashes and in-camera TTL
with ratios and all that jazz might be cool. Just have to figure out
the modifiers and stands.

Maybe what really bugged me was that I wanted to shoot both of these
last ones on film, but had to sling digital instead. First one was a
difficult and uncooperative teenager, the second was difficult and
uncooperative lighting. So, the OM-4T didn't even get pulled out of
the bag.

Next week, different mood. I'll be back to being the shiny bicycle
again. But today, I'm just a greasy chain.

AG Schnozz
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