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I've had my camera since it arrived in the shop.  (Was on the wait list... one of the first to get)  

I've put about 15k exposures on it and I'm suitably impressed.

That said, I think I may start re-evaluating my "raw" only shooting practice.

Guess how many ISO 100 full size images fit on a 2gb card?

  • Listening to: the baby giggling
  • Reading: the writing on the wall
  • Watching: my finances implode
  • Eating: mother hubbard's cupboards
  • Drinking: coffee
My 5D mk III arrived today.  yay!

Too bad my capture one software can't handle the files yet!  boo-urns.

I suppose I could always shoot jpeg... but what fun is that?
  • Listening to: the baby giggling
  • Reading: the writing on the wall
  • Watching: my finances implode
  • Eating: mother hubbard's cupboards
  • Drinking: coffee
I've decided to write another blog... Strangely enough it's about MONEY!

Seeing that I'm a starving artist, I've had lots of time to think about the absence of disposable income in my pocket.  I've done my homework, I've learned tons and this blog is my way of trying to give back to my friends so they don't turn into poor homeless people when funding for the arts comes to an untimely demise.

If you have a moment, check it out:  thestarvingartistcanada.blogsp…

Yes, it's geared toward the Canadian investor, but the essentials are the same!  (Start early, start early, start early)

  • Listening to: The dishwasher
  • Reading: the writing on the wall
  • Watching: my little boy
  • Eating: mother hubbard's cupboards
  • Drinking: coffee
I'm not dead...  Quite the opposite really.

It all started to begin/unravel last May...  The end of May.

My wife and I found out that we were expecting.  And not just a few weeks either.  We were already at 20 weeks.  (There were no hints.... NONE.  Yes, I can hear you shaking your heads... But we really had no hints of any kind until week 17 that something was up)

So, October 5th, little Adam was born at 5:11am GMT-5.  (Officially GMT-4 thanks to daylight time).

Now that it's 7 weeks after the fact, I haven't really had much time to reflect, as it's been a fun and sleepless ride ever since.

All of your support/jeers/comments/taunts/etc. can be submitted in the following formats:
canned goods (as starving artists, we still have to eat!  I'm hungry.)
Money Order (USPS or Canada Post accepted)
Interac e-mail money transfers
and of course Paypal

  • Listening to: The dishwasher
  • Reading: the writing on the wall
  • Watching: my little boy
  • Eating: mother hubbard's cupboards
  • Drinking: Aberlour (single malt)
I have been wondering as of late how to set my portraiture pricing.

If you set your price too high nobody will call.  If it's too low than you'll be swamped.  However, then factor in the association of value: he charges a lot so he must be good!  Or, he charges so little?  His work must be pretty worthless then.

You've seen my pictures...  What do you think?

1 hour, 1 edit, 1 wardrobe = $?
2 hours, 2 edits, 2 wardrobe = $$?
3 hours, 3 edits, 3 wardobe = $$$?  
MUA included?  
MUA extra?

Thoughts and feelings on this matter would be most appreciated!
  • Listening to: jackhammerzzz
  • Watching: my hopes and dreams fizzle
  • Eating: mother hubbard's cupboards
  • Drinking: air
4000 pageviews...  How decidedly uninspiring.

Perhaps I'll try doing a series of photos with my camera set to 4000K.

In the meantime, visit my blog and click the ads!  It will help keep me out of the poor house!

Blog: musicandmotionphoto.blogspot.c…

  • Listening to: cars
  • Watching: my dwindling bank balance
  • Eating: mother hubbard's cupboards
  • Drinking: coffee
Summer as always has not kept me out of the poor house.

If you know of any work that can be sent my way then I can stop scoping out places to put my cardboard box under the highway.

In other news, if you want to see even more of my work, become a fan of "Cameron Ogilvie Photography" on Facebook.

Sometimes I forget to post stuff here that goes there and/or vice versa.

How's that for redundancy?
  • Listening to: planes
  • Watching: my dwindling bank balance
It's been 2 weeks now and my new lights haven't exploded, melted, or caught fire.  Although I haven't given them much exercise though...  Clients are not beating down my door.  This is becoming an increasingly larger and larger problem...  I've decided I should start scoping out spots under the highway in which to put my new abode which will no doubt take the shape of a larger cardboard box.

So while contemplating how I'm going to get the necessary AC power to my box under the highway, I decided to distract myself with a complete re-build of my website.  This was also prompted by a large shakedown thanks to Apple changing their system from .mac to .me...  Everything changed, but it all stayed the same.  

Anyway, after 3 years of neglect it probably was due for a refresh.  So first thing off, I decided that it was high time to cut off all those annoying people who still live in the 800x600 world and upped the size of my webpage to 1024x768.  Yes I'm sure this will have some of you angrily shaking your fists at me, but ZOMG people!  It's the 21st century!!!  It only costs a few bucks to get yourself into the 1600x1200+ world!

Due to my lousy web coding skills, the page will still display horribly on any hand-held except the iPhone.  Every standard browser I've tested (FF, IE, Safari) all work fine.  On 3 operating systems too.

So, check it out if you have time to kill!  Comments and suggestions will be taken and perhaps ignored or perhaps incorporated in due time.
  • Listening to: cars
  • Watching: my dwindling bank balance
  • Drinking: water
This is indeed the second journal instalment about the epic fail my new gear as soon as I get it home and bust it out of the box!  I'm not sure why this horrible bad equipment karma has been following me around wherever I go... But it's been a companion along the way now for 30+ years!

I went to the shop yesterday to buy 2 strobes to complete my kit and end the dependence on the rental department of my favourite local pro-camera gear shop.

I get the kit home, open the box, set up the strobes on a couple light stands, power them up and set them to full power.  I start hitting the "test" fire button on the wireless slave to simulate the kind of duty they would get during one of my portrait sessions...  Flash after flash of very consistent light and things were looking good.  Unfortunately my nose started telling a different story!

One of the flash units, while still working decided to nearly burst into flames!  The case was screamin' hot and the plastic housing was melting!

That can't be good!

So back it went 45 minutes after opening the new box, and once again I came home with a new box of 2 new strobes.  I then repeated the same cycle and PHEW!  They both survived 30 or so full power flashes in a row.

This morning about 1 hour before my clients of the day were about to show up (and the MUA was unpacking her kit) I powered up the 2 flashes and low and behold, the electronics on one croaked!  (Yes, this is the NEW replacement unit I got brand-new in a new package!)  So back it went too!  I drove frantically through down-town traffic whilst trying to call my client to warn them I might be a little late!

Thankfully the 3rd time has been a charm so far...  I got the new flashes home, threw them up on the stands, mounted the softboxes and hoped for the best!

They lasted the 90 minute session without overheating, without bursting into flames and without the electronics croaking!

The session is done but who knows what tomorrow will tell!

When will this black cloud of equipment failure leave me alone??!?!  (It's transcended all genres of my work from music performance, to computer, to audio recording/editing to photographic!

  • Listening to: The wind
  • Watching: my dwindling bank balance
  • Eating: tums
  • Drinking: beer.... lots and lots of beer!
Did another 3 day special for DRC video this past weekend...  Always an interesting job, but the hours are very very long, the hotel was in the worst part of the tourist-trap town and I had to try and fall asleep listening to bad karaoke from the bar across the street.

500 dance numbers in 3 days for over 6000 images all with terrible stage lighting and a few of the lights burned out during the show making the stage lighting even more difficult.

While I was gone, I got 2000 page views...  Which is rather lack-lustre milestone considering there are people on DA with NO deviations of any kind that have more page views than me!  Go figure.
  • Listening to: The rain
  • Watching: my dwindling bank balance
  • Eating: humble pie
  • Drinking: coffee

Right place at the right time

Sat Mar 21, 2009, 7:35 PM
Sometimes you just get lucky...

As some of you may know, I'm a professional musician as well as photographer.  I am one of the first call extras for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

Anyway... I digress!

I showed up last week for the "Pops" expecting to be a musician, but due to a scheduling mis-hap, a photographer was required to get images for the 2009/2010 brochure.  It looked like the session was doomed until at the break I grabbed my portfolio and showed the artistic director.  After a short conversation, and a phone call with the general manager I got hired to do the photos.

Perhaps it was because I have worked with these people since 2001 and call many of them friends, or I know exactly how they move so I can get up close and personal without getting in the way, which led to great images...  Anyway, I was did my thing and they loved the results.  The brochure is due to print this week and will be one of the main staples of advertising for this group for the next year!

There were a couple camera-shy people who made extra-special faces...  But thanks to my 70-200 2.8L IS, I was able to get them when they weren't looking!

The images will appear shortly in my gallery!

  • Listening to: The blender trying to destroy some frozen fruit
  • Watching: my dwindling bank balance
  • Playing: chicken with my bank balance.
  • Drinking: Cesars. (Vodka, clamato, salt/pepper, celery)
A few months ago I bought a new 1.5TB HD.

I installed in in my windoze box, formatted it, and start the laborious process of transfering a copy of EVERYTHING I've ever done as well as all my current work to it.

I had a "raid-5" setup on my computer for a speed and security boost for the past 2 years, but sadly 1 drive of a set of 3 croaked and I decided it was too much of a pain to maintain a raid volume.  (Any time the computer shuts down improperly, the raid array needs to be re-built which takes about 15 hours for a 3-drive 500 GB array!)

So, I opted for the "lets be diligent about backups" method use 2 computers to shadow each other.

Unfortunately after the 3rd reboot, the brand new 1.5 TB drive croaked!

I took it back to the shop and the service guy told me that he sees 10 returns of segate drives per 1 return of a Western Digital drive... So I didn't buy anything, and got a refund.

Now I'm running a little tight with storage space... each client portraiture session takes 4gb of disk space and I only have about 30 gb left....  AAAAAHHHHHH!!!

Anybody have any NAS raid boxes they can give me?  I blew the budget this month on a new softbox.

The good news:  No data was harmed during these annoying and time wasting actions...  But I still need more storage...  GAH!
  • Listening to: the rain wash the salt off the city.
  • Watching: my life slip through my fingers
  • Playing: chicken with my bank balance.
  • Eating: curry
  • Drinking: beer.... lots and lots of beer!
I think *crosses fingers* that I have finally figured out a little more with colour profiling...  I hope.

I have a Greytag McBeth i1 calibrator, it seems to do it's thing, but I was at a loss how to use the resulting profile with photoshop, and Capture-One Pro.  (I'm still not very clear actually!  At least now the colours match on my screen from PS to C1 and in a browser when I post them in a web-gallery)

In other news, I finally got the prints off to the processor from a wedding I shot for a friend back in September.  There's nothing quite like uploading 700 images all at once for prints, clicking the "accept" button and hoping you got your colour profiles right.

No surprise on this one: any time I upload a dance image it gets instantly fave'd by somebody, and way more views than anything else I take pictures of.  Something to do with scantily clad athletic bodies hurtling through the air?  Nah... ;)

I guess if I want to reduce my obscurity level here on DA, I should keep scouring the collections of the dance competition photography for other great images...  Hard to do though, thousands of images from a week-end job...  300 competitors a day 3 to 4 days of work, 10 to 20 images per...  Yeah... that's a lot of clicks.  Working for that contractor is hard to get a large number of keepers only because there is ZERO time to review and purge the duds.  Plus, if you "spray and pray" the computer operator complains because they run out of time and HD space on the presentation computer.
  • Listening to: eggs exploding in the microwave
  • Watching: the ice in the harbour breaking up
  • Playing: viola
  • Eating: exploded eggs
  • Drinking: coffee
It's been far too many days in a row now without a break.  AAAAAAAAH!

I'm loving my new 5D mk II.

I wish I knew about colour profiling though... My colours are still whack!

  • Listening to: The refridgerator slowly dying
  • Eating: fish
  • Drinking: wine
What should I get next?  I need all of this stuff!

Flash headss

tilt-shift lens

macro lens

Thoughts?  Ideas?

  • Listening to: the dog eating crunchy nuggets
  • Playing: games
  • Eating: crackers
  • Drinking: beer

It finally arrived

Thu Dec 18, 2008, 7:11 PM
Wouldn't you know it... This past Monday, I got a call from the camera shop...  The Canon 5D mkii I ordered months ago finally arrived.

It's sitting in my sweaty paws right now.

Sadly, my copy of Capture One Pro is not up to the task of the raw files...  Phase one promises an update "soon"

So now I have to deal with jpegs.

I'll post something fun when I get a good image rather than just the farting around test shots.

In other news, my computer is slowly taking shape again...
  • Listening to: snow falling
  • Reading: e-mails
  • Watching: the dog running in circles
  • Drinking: beer

something always goes...

Sun Dec 14, 2008, 5:36 AM

Yesterday my audio/photo editing computer (the one I basically live on) started performing very very strangely, so I decided it was probably long overdue for a restart.

After the restart, a balloon pops up telling me that my raid(5) array had degraded because of a drive failure.


Thankfully I was able to salvage all my data and dump it over onto my linux machine which has a 1.5TB HD in it.

Then I took the opportunity to spend way too much money on RAM, Motherboard, and shiny new CPU to upgrade my workstation.

Sadly all of my software needs re-installing and man that's a pain!  Takes forever because I need so many different tools to do everything I do!

At least the system decided to crap out during a period of my year where I don't need the computer all that much!

I'd be dead without backups! COOKED! FRIED! TOAST!
  • Listening to: rubber on ice... whirrrrr!
  • Reading: e-mails
  • Watching: the sun rise
  • Drinking: water


Tue Nov 25, 2008, 1:26 PM

Today, I got an e-mail that made my head spin and heart race...

It was from the the company that is largest producer of reality-tv stuff in Canada...

They wanted to book me for a make-over TV show...  Exposure of my work on 4 different networks as well as international syndication in 2 years time.

But alas, my fingers were not fast enough...

The position was filled before I sent off my reply of "YES YES DAMMIT YES NOW!"

  • Listening to: the balloon burst
  • Reading: e-mails
  • Watching: the snow fall
  • Eating: half a roast-beef sandwich
  • Drinking: water


Wed Nov 12, 2008, 5:27 AM
me: "hold it like an LP"
model: "Like a what?"

Because I struggle with colour management, I always ask my model (customer) to hold up the colour card after each lighting change.

My session last Sunday, I asked her to hold the card like a LP, so there were no fingers in the way of any of the colour boxes on the card.

As it turns out, she replied, "I think I remember what those are."

Man I feel old!


Pictures from the session coming soon.
  • Listening to: street noise
  • Watching: the seconds tick by
  • Eating: coffee (Mmm thick thick coffee)
  • Drinking: coffee

product AND people

Fri Aug 29, 2008, 5:32 AM
I survived!

2 models, 1 product, props, make-up, hair, lights, assistant, creative-director (client) and the graphic designer...

After the dust had settled, I was rather happy for my first efforts lighting people rather than just reacting to them.

The shots will be up once the graphic designer mocks up the product!

  • Drinking: coffee