I’m almost finished with my July self portrait.
I think it’s in a pretty good place based on my idea.
Tina was gone for the weekend.
Annually, she and some women plan a girls’ weekend in nearby Michigan. They rent a house and spend about 48 hours figuring out why they love their lives outside of Michigan. :)
They have a good time, and Tina always looks forward to going.
It’s good for us, too, because we spend almost every waking hour together every day. We both experience a little separation anxiety when we spend any time apart let alone over night.
Weekends like the last one are good exercises in 1st world pain and torture.
Whenever Tina leaves me, or vice versa, for any spell of time, I’m sure to hurt myself quite badly and/or incur some large bill as the result of — what I’ll blame on — separation anxiety.
When I was in Thailand, I caught an acute stomach bug that laid me up in a Thai hospital over night. Tina was gone to dinner with a friend once and I cut my finger on a shard of glass while cleaning a glass tea kettle. I needed seven stitches. No matter what, if Tina’s gone, I’m a mess.
This weekend was no different.
On Friday night, I found some leftover potatoes in the refrigerator that I was going to cut up and make into fry up as a cubed hash brown type side for some chicken thighs I was grilling. Since they were covered in the fridge, condensation had accumulated in the Tupperware.
I heated some oil in a pan and cut the potatoes. When the pan and oil was hot, I threw them in, resulting in that cataclysmic snap and pop when water meets hot oil. Hot cannonballs of oil splattered out all over my right arm. It looks like a shrapnel wound on my forearm.
That night I played 2.5 hours of pickup soccer at a nearby field and largely forgot about the burns, although, I could feel them from time to time, reminding me of my idiocy.
The next day, all of the red spots turned into blisters.
On Saturday, I biked to the gym to relax by the pool and soak up some sun for awhile. I also wanted to sit in the whirlpool to soak after soccer. But the whirlpool was closed for maintenance.
After strapping my bike helmet on and exiting the gym, my water bottle’s top opened and leaked enough water in my bag that it was dripping on my legs as I walked.
“Shit!” I said to myself. “I hate this bottle.”
So I started turning my bag over to get the puddles out, when my phone slipped out of a front pocket, hit the ground and spiderweb cracked in that all-too-familiar way you’ve seen everyone else’s phone do, but you’ve been so good at avoiding for the past few Smart Phone years.
“Figures! Tina’s out of town.”
Frankly, I’m glad those were the only things that happened. I thought playing soccer, I’m in for it. On Saturday, I did my self portrait which involved fire. That could have been disastrous.
These things likely would have happened whether Tina was here or not. It makes for a better story, though, if everything bad happens when she’s gone.
It’s the closest I get to being superstitious.
Like many photographers, I carry a 50mm lens in my bag.
It’s the focal length I learned on, and it’s like that because it’s the most developed lens of all time.
You can shoot portraits with it. You can shoot landscapes or an interior or two.
So it’s versatile. The one I have isn’t the top of the line model. But it’s decent glass. Coupled with a Canon 5D Mark III, it’s probably a little better than it was with my Mark II.
I stayed away from it for a long time, because shooting it wide open at f1.4 was somewhat impossible. Focus always missed and I’m the kind of guy that wants my focus point sharp. Super sharp. That’s my thing.
But if I shoot at f2.0, I can nail my focus and still get sweet-ass bokeh that we all love.
I hate picking up an Anthropologie catalog and seeing the images soft, but the reason they are used is because they are pretty. But if it’s out of focus, any old fucker could have taken that photo, right? And, yes, Anthropologie is the worst about hiring crap photographers that are somehow passed off as good because their product is beautiful and they’re so in love with it that they let anything pass as good.
While I have gear envy for the $1600 version of the lens, the $400 version fits my needs fine for now. I’m seriously considering buying up all the prime USM lenses to throw in my bag and toss all of my zoom lenses. Prime lenses are made for their focal length and that’s it.
Anyway, just thought I’d pass along this info … just for you.
Our shoot with this lovely makeup artist ended with a hilarious encounter with an older, drunk, latino ice cream peddler who was pining for a photograph with Chelsea … and then another one with Tina.
We knew he was drunk from the smell of his breath, the slur of his words and the little bag of various cans of beer, including Milwaukee’s Best. Chelsea showed her sense or humor well, and was able to scrape together a solid prom-style pose with him, despite his creepiness.
For lighting, we primarily used this portable Chimera beauty dish and I mixed use of our Canon 5D Mark III using a 50mm lens at f2.0. or our Hasselblad H3DII-31 with 80mm lens at f5.6.