Studio Tag

Every mothballed battleship needs a dedicated maintenance crew to make sure that the guns still work, the boiler is swept out, and the plug is still in the bilges. Plus you need to rotate the rats. Photographic organisations - clubs, businesses, and studios - need to do the same if they are going to be laid up in ordinary for several months.  Now is the time to go through your check list; Has everyone who owes you money paid it to you? If they are still dragging the chain get in touch with them and yank it smartly. It never does to be the last shy person in the line of creditors when the bottom of the money pot starts to appear. You may not be nice, but you might be paid. Does everyone know that you are still alive? I don't mean literally, though that is a thought...

And what better tradition than to cut out pictures of the presents you want and leave them casually around the house for the family to see. Or beside their cereal bowls at breakfast. Or nailed to the door. Try to be subtle. I am going to print out several copies of the pictures you see in this column - I have a Gitzo tripod, you see, and at present it has a lesser maker's adjustable head on top of it. Of course that's working fine but in the face of something as magnificent as this device, I am helpless. The advantages of three-way heads are many fold; they can be quite a bit tougher for a smaller profile than their ball-head alternative. They can also be more precise in movement, as you shift one plane of movement at a time. You can frequently come back to the same position reliably. I was dead pleased with what I saw, desiring it mightily...

Okay, it's time to be honest with ourselves. There are things that we desire, but can neither justify nor afford. And I'm not just talking about the kick line in the Zeigfield Follies - I mean the stuff that raises the real lust; photographic equipment. There. I've said it. The cat is out of the bag and yowling to be let out the front door. In five minutes it'll be yowling to be let in. Anyone want a cat? They're cheaper than camera accessories. The heading image is the thing I want, but cannot afford. The desire is purely visceral - there is no actual need for the device. Yet...

Or how to go viral without going bacterial. When I pulled the Joby Gorillapod Mobile RIG off the Murray Street rack this week I thought of it as just another trendy apparatus to do interviews with. It wasn't until I looked more closely at the illustration on the front of the packet that the true nature hit me - this is a rig designed for the inveterate vloger and selfist. And it's made to go out in the field to capture the full horror. Actually it's rather an engaging little fellow - like a small mannequin holding up a camera, light, microphone, and mobile phone as monitor screen. I would suppose that the phone is simultaneously streaming whatever is being recorded of the speaker to the social media and/or external storage. Well, if you're going to do it, this is a good a way of getting a steady image and watching yourself as you do it. The Gorilla Pods have always been effective as mini tripods or wrapped around solid structures. Not so sure about the footage taken if you're going to hold...

I always love to see Three Legged Thing products - they are colourful in a world that is becoming just black, silver, and grey. Like little sports cars on the road in bright paint jobs - they make photography fun. These Three Legged Thing QRII LC brackets make it more steady too - they are anodized aluminium L-brackets that will fit many DSLR and mirror-less cameras. I found orange and blue and there may be green available as well. The bracket is essentially Arca-Swiss size but has been made universal for most cameras. The side piece can be unbolted from the baseplate if you only want a bottom rail - though I often use  the side rail on my bracket in the studio when a portrait-mode picture is needed. There are several threaded sockets in strategic places and very sturdy strap attachment points at the top and side. I use a wide woven cotton strap on mine. Note as well, the rubber non-slip grip at the bottom of the baseplate that should protect the finish on your camera. The included carabiner is possibly intended to...