Photo Thursday

Self-Portrait, January 2010

Last year, I resolved to post a photo to my blog every Thursday for all of 2009. Thursday was a totally arbitrary day; New Year’s Day was on a Thursday, and I happened to post a photo that day, and decided to run with it (instead of the Photo Friday that many bloggers seem to observe).

I succeeded, for the most part, only missing one Thursday (and I think that was because my webhost had temporarily hosed my blog).

The idea was for me to start photographing more, to make photography a priority in my life. Over the course of the year, I moved away from my original plan of spending Thursday evening photographing, then posting the results that night — I started pulling older photos, or taking up an entire month of Thursdays with the best photos from our vacation(s). Still, I definitely feel that Photo Thursday was an impetus for me to get out and photograph, and I think my skills have improved because of that. I’ve also had more experience with post-processing, and I’m getting a feel for what I want my photos to look like and how to get them there.

This year, I’m going to continue Photo Thursday. I have new toys to try out, like my Holgamod and my Gorillapod and my lighting rig, all of which Aaron got me for Christmas.

For the photography buffs in the house, read on for my lighting geekery. Everyone else, continue to enjoy the weekly photos!

This is what my new lighting rig looks like, still set up in my basement from tonight’s self-portrait photo shoot. The sync cord is a dedicated Nikon hotshoe-to-hotshoe cord, but is a smidge shorter than I’d like (as evidenced by the stretched out coil of cord between the flash and the camera). Apart from that, the only other potential problem was solved by the adapter that came with my Gorillapod — the threads on the stand didn’t fit the threads on the adapter without it.


I’m no longer constrained to bounce flash! Granted, the cat isn’t going to stay still in one place for long, so fancy kitty studio sessions are unlikely, but still. The opportunities! Next year’s Christmas portrait!

Also, may I point out that some of what my mother taught me has stuck. (Jeff from the Commercial Photography class I took in college, too, but I think I learned just as much from sitting in the studio with my Mom during breaks from college.) No glare in my glasses (but check out the catch lights in my eyes!). Small triangle of light on the cheek not facing the key light. (I used a normal incandescent lamp for fill, but it’s hard to tell.) I know I probably screwed up something that pegs me as an amateur, but overall, I’m pleased with this one.

I’m not a professional by any means — I’ll leave that to my Mom, and to Beth — but damned if I’m not feeling pretty good about putting up a light and getting it right the first session.

(Mad props go out to for helping me figure out what equipment to ask Santa for, and how to assemble everything once it arrived.)

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