16. March, 2007 - weekend fun

Been a full weekend so far, and I’m not sure whether I’m going to get out and do anything today or not, so I’ll procrastinate a bit with some typing.

Auto Body Experience
Auto Body Experience

Friday night was the Auto Body Experience show at the Eagle’s Club. I’ve tried taking pictures of them there before with mixed results, so I set off this time with my IR-converted D-50 and IR-converted Vivitar 285-HV. I had planned to keep the flash off-camera, but due to bad prep work, ended up shooting with it in the hot-shoe. And I didn’t get as many photos as I’d have liked, since my camera battery crapped out after the first set. Remember: proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

In any case, I got a few photos I’m happy with. But I struggled with a variety of issues. The D-50 might not be the best tool for this job, since going full-manual is kind of a pain with it. I can never remember how to change the aperture while in full-manual mode, which is exactly what I needed to do in this situation as I moved around with the flash. But I can report that the modified flash is only about two stops slower than the unmodified flash (I didn’t have a "spot-on" exposure all night, so I’m guesstimating). That’s not bad, since it meant I could take flash photos from anywhere in the room at ISO 200, and turn the flash down to half-power at ISO 400 in order to spend less time waiting for it to cycle.

I also had focusing problems. I expected that auto-focus was going to be flaky due to the poor lighting in the Eagle’s, but I figured I’d zero in on a recipe eventually. Well, I might have if I’d taken a manual-focus lens, but the kit lens from the D-50 is miserable when you’re trying to manually focus it. I'll bring a different lens next time I try this experiment.

Still, in spite of these problems, I got about a 10% hit-rate on “good enough for flickr” photos out of the evening. That’s about what I expected, so I’d call the experiment a success.

Saturday was the single-game ticket sales out at the Saints. It’s an occasion we mark with a gathering in the parking lot. Since I’d been out late the night before, I arrived a little late, and didn’t bring any food to cook. But there were free hot dogs and brats provided by the Saints, plus Lynn cooked up some Reubens, so I didn’t go hungry. Had a good time seeing the tailgating gang again, and got to give Bruce the Bacon is a Vegetable apron I’d found for him.

After that, it was time to head home for a nap. And then an evening of TV. I was tired and smelling of wood-smoke from the bonfire in the afternoon, and just being lazy was a perfect way to end the day.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:01:58.