My year in review 2008


Thought I’d jot down some of the things that went down for me in the year that was 2008.

But before I do that, I thought I’d summarise , simply, this year was full of amazing people. I feel so privileged every day that I get to meet and hang out with cool, smart and inspiring people.

To everyone who had an influence in me becoming a better person this year, thank you! Most of you know who you are (you’re probably referenced in the post somewhere) and some of you are just so awesome that you have no idea of your impact.

This year was also full of travelling and speaking. I think I developed more as a public speaker this year more than any other.

Just for fun, I compiled a Wordle of all of the keywords from the feedback given at all of my talks this year.

session feedback wordle 2008

And now the gory details of my year:

Professionally, 2009 looks like i”s going to be a big year. Things will change at work with new leadership and the sad departure of, IMHO, one of the last managers who “gets it”. We’ll find out this time next year I guess.

Thanks for being a part for 2008, and I look forward to an even more exciting 2009!

My new (Strobist) photography studio rig

I have finally set up my studio the way I want it. I’ve gone with a totally battery operated studio, that’s right not a single power cable in sight. Pretty much a standard Strobist setup.

The kit looks something like this:

3 x Vivitar 285HV flashes
The standard recommendation from any strobitst. I’m very happy with them, especially as they only set me back US$89 each. B&H Photo (where I got mine) seems to offer the most cost effective shipping and they got here really fast.

The only down side of the Vivitars is the 10 second cycle time when on full power. This can be rectified by buying the AC adapter for it. But I’m ok with it as I don’t find myself using full power all that often.

3 x Cactus V2s wireless receivers + 1 x Cactus V2s wireless transmitter
These are budget triggers but they do the job. I’e yet to have them fail to fire on me. They’re US$34 a pair and US$20 for the receivers only. I’m very happy with mine. These guys are the de-facto standard budget strobist trigger.

3 x Phototgen cushioned light stands
These stands feel very study. They’re also cushioned and best of all, they’re very light. They’ll set you back $78 each (shipped) on ebay. I saved heaps on shipping as I bought in bulk.

3 x Hot shoe brackets
These are used to mount the triggers to my light stands. They set me back about $25 each (on ebay) and they came with reflector umbrellas. All up, they’re average. There are much nicer heavy duty ones out there.

3 x Umbrellas
I’e got 1 x shoot through and 2 x reflector umbrellas. They’re a little small but they do the trick as I didn’t pay much for them since they came with my shoe brackets. I reckon a proper softbox is in order one day.

1 x Shutter release
You can pick these up for very little on ebay. I find it very handy when I’m doing tethered shooting as i always keep it in my hand and don’t have to make my way to the camera every time I want to shoot.

Tethered Shooting
I’m using the Canon EOS Utility to shoot tethered. I”s free from Canon.

I then couple that with FastPictureViewer. FastPictureViewer is damn awesome and free (for personal use). It’s ideal as I’m shooting to my Eee PC which is very low res (1024×600). Reason I mention this is most remote capture software (ie the ones that come from Canon) can’t handle low res screens.

That is my setup. 100% battery operated and portable. Now, I have no excuse for not shooting awesome pics. Ok, off to win the Canon Photo5 competition 🙂

I am a “Tool Of The Web”

Got some old fashioned ink in today’s Australian.


Also, you can see one of them new fandangled “web versions” (minus my purdy photo) over here.

There’s something still cool about seeing yourself in actual print over having it online only.