Posts Tagged ‘285HV’

You can see by my stubble that I am a web designer

Monday, December 29th, 2008

During my time off for the holidays, I’m growing some epically (is that a word) scraggly stubble, and I figured that was a sign that it was time to update my web site. I’m in the process of working on that now. I bought a copy of the excellent Coda from Panic Software. Not that I’m qualified to use it (I vaguely recall just enough about html and CSS to get myself into trouble), but it’s a very useful tool for creating and maintaining sites in a rational and bloat-free manner. (Coda being bloat-free, not necessarily my site.)

Holiday Stubble

I’ve already fixed some minor problems and started putting myself on a better footing to keep the site up-to-date going forward. I’m also going to take a crack at replacing the flash galleries with plain html. This is partly a preference for not relying on the software tools I used initially to create those galleries (sad to say, it was iPhoto), partly to do with editing and updating these things, and partly an ideological bias against the increasingly commonplace overuse and abuse of flash in web design today. Not, again, that I’m qualified to wage a one-man war against flash, but I know that when I visit web pages, I always find it heartening to encounter a photograph that isn’t encapsulated in stupid a flash interface.


Note that this does not indicate any claim on my part that I’m going to write standards-compliant HTML. Seriously, that’s probably not going to happen, no matter how long my stubble grows.

Nick v. Wireless Flash

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I just got a Cactus V2s wireless flash transmitter and receiver — not exactly top-end technology, and not crazy reliable, but crazy-cheap, and that’s often what matters most.

I tested them out using a Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop, my Vivitar 285HV, and a couple pieces of paper towel:

There were a couple of failures to trigger (2-3 out of probably twenty or thirty shots), but otherwise, they work just fine…

Here’s one directly backlit:

Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop (BW)

The same image in color with less cropping:

Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop

Here’s a front-lit version:

Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop

The black and white image is by far the best, I think. It’s also the one which I find most heartening in regards to flash photography and me. The reason I find it heartening is this: shooting with strobes is (so far as I can tell) all about controlling the process to control the results. It’s like previsualization in that respect, and that’s a problem for me — why engage in an activity when you know its precise outcome in advance? Where there is nothing unexpected, there is no sense of reality. (Per Simone Weil.)

In this case, the flash is revealing the inner structure of the lollipop in a way that I could never have fully previsualized — the flash can, in this instance, be a tool of discovery, rather than an instrument of control.