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ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography
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Day 101 - Money, Money, Money! (30 Days of Rants & Raves - 04)
Meh! Nothing about today's photo turned out as I had hoped it would. The original idea I had simply did not work. Nothing I did in Photoshop seemed to work today, so I went with the least Photoshopped image, and I'm not even satisfied with this one. My hand looks weirdly big and fat, for one thing. Probably because my lens was set at 35mm. That's about the only thing I can figure, anyway.
The point of this image, to shed the moaning and groaning of the previous paragraph, is actually a rave. As of today, Monday, Martin Luther King Day (here in the U.S.), I am debt-free! It's taken a lot of work (a whole lot of overtime) and a lot of sacrifice (going without a lot of things for a long time), too. Where I work, the overtime we've been allowed to work all year long last year and this is coming to an end at the end of this month, so I'm now making a point to start working more overtime than I had been.
Back in October, I'd managed to pay my car off, which left a debt-consolidation loan I'd taken out in November of last year. It was a 5-year loan and I'd made a point to send in more than the minimum payment right from the start. Once I'd paid off my car, I took the money I'd been setting aside for that every month and started applying it to the loan. The result is that what was a 5-year loan got paid off in 14 MONTHS!
I'm going to hazard this prognostication: I foresee the purchase of more photography equipment in the near future. :P :D LOL
(FOOTNOTE: The money I have in hand, $120, is one-third the cost of one of the flashes available for my camera at Amazon (Canon Speedlite 580EX II), and about one-half the cost of the other (Canon Speedlite 430EX II). My plan is to use the overtime I earn for the rest of the month to buy one of the flashes I've mentioned, a stand, an umbrella, and a Justin Clamp, at the very least. I'd also like to mention that because today is a national holiday and is recognised by my employer (they don't recognise all holidays), I will earn even more money because I will be working the holiday. I dressed myself up in a shirt-and-tie — even though I actually don't like to wear a tie — to represent my success at achieving this goal.)
Photography tip: Fun with t-stops
Here's a quick descent into geekdom. I've seen hundreds of new macro lens owners run to me with the same question: "When I focus closely, my maximum aperture closes a LOT! Is my lens broken? Was it made cheaply?"
Nope. In fact, your aperture isn't really changing at all. All that happens is that to come up with a good, general-purpose macro design, there is a trade-off that at super-close distances, a "bellows effect" means that the lens is less effective at transmitting light. (Something that's measured in t-stops) Note, though, that the aperture of the lens isn't closing down (measured in f-stops). But new lenses and cameras are smart, so they let you know "Hey! You're not getting as much light as you might think, and you'll want to adjust for that!"
Confused yet? Maybe this video will help. We start out with a way-out-of-focus image of a nickel, and there's a big ol' blown highlight. Note that as I use the Nikon 60mm AF-S macro to focus all the way in, the exposure gets darker, and the blown highlight goes away. But the *aperture* doesn't change -- you don't all of a sudden see more depth-of-field.
So don't freak out when you buy a new macro, but adjust your ISO or flash power accordingly when shooting close-up.
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