Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa has left the building! ... or a Strobist post-Christmas

Christmas Morning

Ok. This was originally intended as a post-Christmas review of the orgy of greed at our house. But ... then it turned into something else. With apologies to David Hobby and others mentioned in this take on "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". I couldn't help myself. It just took on a life of it's own after the first four lines.

'Twas a night after Christmas, when all through the home,

All the creatures were snoring, all wheezing an "ooooohm";

The stockings still hung by the chimney o'er there,

all emptied out with vague pomp and no care;

The children passed out all quiet in bed

while visions of chocolate and pokemon danced in their heads;

And mamma with her WOW client, and I in my chair,

Had just settle down for a deserved breathe of air.

When out on the lawn there arose such a "WHEE!",

I sprang from my seat to see what it could be.

Away to the front door I grudgingly trudged

Tore open the lock and wickedly judged.

The moon was at peace on my dead front grass,

Giving nothing but darkness to the objects amassed,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a beat up old Pinto aflame at the rear

With a flash totin' driver, so wizened and nobby

I knew in a moment it must be David Hobby.

More rapid than beagles his speedlights they triggered,

and he whistled, and chimped, while his assistants jiggered;

"Now, McNally! now, Wizwow, now Kelby, and Jarvis!

On, Oglethorpe! On, Bounceman, On Honl and Zack Arias!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now flash away, flash away! flash away all!"

As Rosco samples that in the wind blow,

When they meet with an obstacle, gaffer tape will flow.

So up to the house-top the photogs they flew,

with a box full of superclamps and St. Strobist too.

And then, with a ringing, I heard on the roof

The struggling and screaming of each popped flash on it's hoof.

As I drew back my camera and was turning about,

Down the chimney St. Strobist dropped right out.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his toe,

thanks to the great '09 blizzard that covered with snow.

A bundle of goodies he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a UPS guy just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they sparkled! His nose was so blue!

His cheeks were so frozen, his mouth still craving a Dew!

And up on his forehead camped an orange and blue cap,

The Gators, of course, don't you know that you sap?

The stump of a pocket wizard held tight in his hand,

And the signal it triggered on some 4 channel band.

The glasses that shined and a broad grin

that bubbled up and spread from here to therein.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly 'tog,

And I giggled when I saw him, no fear, just agog.

A wink of his eye and a nod of his chin,

Just let me see that this was all sorts of win.

He spoke not a word, but he chimped and he triggered

And filled all the CF cards; then turned and he staggered

And laying his finger aside of his cap

And giving a nod, up the chimney he did flap;

He sprang to his Pinto, to his team gave a "whee!"

And away they all puttered like an alien with bee.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Have fun with your lighting, and with that, good night!"

The photo above is of my daughter on Christmas Day. I'd set up two SB-800's on opposite corners of the room after re-reading the post on Christmas Game Plans: Results from way back in 2007. Didn't get very consistent results because I was using TTL. I think, next year, I'll just slap the pocket wizards in place, dial in a consistent exposure and flash power, and see how much better that works. This photo was one of the best. I like it. TTL worked in this particular case. But ... next time.


J said...

Travis, this is hysterical! Great writing!! and awesome photo. I have yet to try the Christmas morning strobist setup, but I hope to sometime soon!


Travis Campbell said...

Thanks Julia! As I said, it started one way ... and then became a monster all by it's lonesome. I had fun with it though, so that's what counts. Especially at 2am.

I did the christmas setup the night before so it would be ready. WHen I tested with TTL it was working "well enough", but now that I look at the actual RAWs in lightroom, I can see variation there that wasn't very noticeable on the LCD.

It probably didn't help that I had to change out batteries on one of the SB's the next day. I guess it had been awhile since I last used one of the flashes so the eneloops may have been discharged enough over time that it was having trouble keeping up with what I was throwing at it.