28 February 2015

Three Objectives for Central America

Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley, A7MkII
"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship."
~ Louisa May Alcott

Some of what I'll be doing for all this time that I'll be spending down in Central America will obviously focus on taking fine art photos, portraiture, and street work. This is what I usually end up coming back with the most. But I'll also be doing a few other things while I'm away, as well. I'll have a lot of down time to catch up on reading and also doing some writing. But here are some other goals and objectives (among several) that I'll share with you right now.
Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley
You always know I always strive to be a better photographer and teacher, so lets start there. If you didn't already suspect or know me, I shoot nudes. That's not all I shoot, but its a definitely a passion of mine. I want to begin there. I want to do a better job of it. Yes. Believe it or not, I have more to learn in that genre. Many of you will probably believe the greater fact is that I ADMIT to needing to learn more. I do not know, as of yet HOW I will approach this objective. I can do my own study and research, but I think I will learn best by consulting with some mentors like Dave Rudin or Dave Levingston. Should I take a class of some sort? Maybe do a workshop that has a direct focus on photographing the nude? Something I have thought of doing for years has been to visit Prague. I find that many photographic artists from just east of Germany and on into Russia have been inspirations to me. I find them to be more in tune with my style or of a such that I aspire to.

In addition to that, I need to make a more concerted effort to actually do more of something with my art nude work. I have terabytes of work that no one has really seen. You've probably only seen maybe a tenth of all the work I've done with Panda. Some of my best work with Emma was never made available for about 8 months before anyone saw it. Kristi C has been a most prolific model for me over the last year. Again, most of it unseen. So big, big focus towards exhibition and a consistent venue to show my art nude work will be a major focus upon my return. I'll likely come out of hiatus on photo competitions and do some of those again, but that's an aside. Exhibition will be a more primary focus when I get back. My work needs to be on walls. This is why I do it...nudes or otherwise. I make my stuff to be viewed in person upon a physical medium.

Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley
"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over."
~ Richard Branson

Let's see...what else? Oh yeah...again, photographically speaking, I want to do better teaching. I'm limiting myself to 10 students a year, doing one-on-one, two-week courses. I used to conduct workshops when I first came to Vegas with my Las Vegas Art Models Group. A max attendance would be 12 photogs. Now I teach one-on-one and I want to do it better. The goal is to make it more fun, better information, and less taxing on myself. I just did two students back to back this month. I don't know how teachers do it every day like that...ALL friggin' year!! My friend, Howard suggested doing tours where I take people on some of my travel excursions. I can see that. I've already been asking family and friends to come visit me for a few days while I'm away. Meet me in El Salvador or Lake Atitlan in Guatemala for a few days. We can do some photowalks or just chill with me sippin' Cuba Libres. I need more and better teaching props. Some concepts I have in my head simply don't exist! I need to find somebody to fabricate some of this stuff for me. I don't want to rely on videos to make my point. Hands on physical props would serve a better purpose. So yes, I want to contemplate how I will do this.

Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley
Video! That's another one. I want to get as good with vids and I am with photowork. I have the A7s, which is excellent for video work. I'll need to get the Atomos Shogun external output monitor/harddrive to do 4K work, since you can't shoot 4K straight to the SD card. But for the time being, 1080p should suffice just nicely. Editing video will also be a key factor, which means I'll also need to bump my subscription to Adobe CC 2014 back to the full version. I downgraded it last Nov to just the Photoshop/Lightroom version. I'll need Adobe Premier Pro back again, in particular. I should also dust off my audio gear. I'll take with me a shotgun mic and maybe my Zoom H4n external audio recorder. My goal is to just make short clips, starting with time-lapse, some slow motion work, and then just build from there. So we'll see. 

25 February 2015

Going Forward with Sony

Art Model Kristi C. ©2015 Terrell Neasley Sony A7s
"If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success."
~ John D. Rockefeller

Okay. So I've already mentioned that I've made a switch in my gear, from Nikon and the D800e to Sony and both the A7s and the A7MarkII. And that's the way I'll be for a while. I have no doubt Sony will come out with a successor to the A7r and there's a significant likelihood that I will reach out for that one too. 

So here's what I like about the Sony system.

I did a post a while back on why I went with Fuji a year ago over Sony. I was highly impressed with the Fuji system for 3 reasons. They have damn excellent lenses and already had a plethora of glass when Sony had maybe 3 at the time for full frame cams. Second, they have an excellent reputation for doing firmware upgrades that actually improve your cameras as opposed to just fixing bugs and adding new languages. Also, Fuji listens to their customer base better than any other camera manufacture that I've seen or heard of.

Art Model Kristi C. ©2015 Terrell Neasley Sony A7s
But Sony is still head and shoulders above them all right now. As far as camera systems go, there is only one company in the business that comes to mind when you think of innovation. Its as if they are willing to listen to any crazy idea, throw money at it, develop it, and see what happens. Granted, they are not as haphazard as that, I'm sure. Canon has used the term "game-changer" with reference to their 70D in their marketing campaigns. I'm here to tell you that Sony is definitely changing the business model of the photographic industry. The top camera manufactures make camera models in varying grades of features, quality, and durability. Sony's top mirrorless system makes one pro camera system and then varies the model based on NEED. If you need a general pro-level system, get the A7MarkII. If you need high resolution, get the A7r. Low-light sensitivity? Get the A7s. A photog can effectively have a need for all 3 systems. Not so, with Nikon or Canon. If you want a second body, you either get a duplicate camera to the main system, or get one of lower quality and ability. So what makes Sony's mirrorless system different from the standard DSLR?

First, there's no need for a mirror. DSLR's are going to have to change. There's no getting around that. I've even said before that somebody is going to make a shutterless system at some point which will take the top off the speed limit of 1/8000ths of a second. Sensor tech is such that turning it on and off will suffice. Shutter speed will become a historic title much the same as how we still call a shutter beyond 30 seconds, "bulb" mode. In a few years, shutter speeds will rival the effective shutter speeds of flash at its shortest duration which is 1/40,000ths of a second with several of today's speedlites. Or at least half that, for now.

Art Model Kristi C. ©2015 Terrell Neasley Sony A7s
Taking out the mirror has the advantage of making the overall camera smaller and lighter. This has been the trend for the last decade and is probably the number one or possibly the second largest catalyst for more female photographers into the industry. I experienced this the first time I took my D800e to Guatemala for a month. The weight of the camera and lenses was a bit more than I preferred. Presently, I can take two Sony bodies and 3 lenses and not even feel it. Do I sacrifice quality or durability. No. Speed? Not at all. I can do whatever a DSLR does plus some, with the exception of shoot 14 frames/second like Canon's 1Dx. I can match Nikon's 11 fps or Canon's 7DMarkII with Sony's a6000, even though it is a crop sensor camera.

Right now, my work and camera needs demand smaller sizes, superior low-light performances, and an all around general use system. The A7s will do natively, ISO 50-409,600. But its not always about high ISO's. People may balk at the low pixel count, but I can attest to how over-rated people can depend on that stat. The A7s gives me the ability to shoot at the lowest ISO's in the dark and still freeze people moving around. My Nikon D800e or the Fuji XE-2 could do low light photography, but my subject would have to be absolutely still and I'd need higher ISO's. I can now get 1/30th of a shutter at low ISO's whereas I'd be using a half second shutter at high ISO's with either my Nikon or Fuji. That's the benefit of the larger full-frame pixels and Sony's Bionz-X processor.

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
~ C. S. Lewis

Art Model Kristi C. ©2015 Terrell Neasley Sony A7s

Weaknesses? Well, yeah. Every camera system will have compromises, and Sony is no different. From the short time I've been shooting, I know that I won't use my A7s as much where lots of detail is necessary or doing environmental portraits from a distance. I may be a bit biased in this regard because I am used to the 36MP sensor detail of the Nikon D800e. I've also noticed that my sensor is already in need of cleaning on the A7MkII after a recent shoot in the desert during inclement weather conditions and lens changes. Mirrorless systems operate from an open shutter position, which means as soon as you pull off the lens, the sensor is RIGHT there, 17mm back from the lens. This just means you have to be a bit more careful when removing and switching lenses. Battery life is also going to be a compromise. EVERYTHING about Sony Mirrorless systems use juice if the camera is on. Even if you don't use the LCD to compose, the viewfinder is electronic, so you're still using juice for that. The solution, buy friggin more batteries! It takes me all of 4 seconds to replace a battery. Problem solved.

Art Model Kristi C. ©2015 Terrell Neasley Sony A7s
Finally, as far as this post is concerned... the price-point is superb! I can't really find a good reason to spend what I used to on DSLRs when I have another option in what I feel to be a better camera anyway. I'll put my A7MarkII up against a Canon 5DMarkIII any day for pure picture quality. And this is what I'm saying. If you're getting just as good a shot in a smaller package for a lower price, why would you not do that? Having a hard time letting go of all that Canon or Nikon glass? Guess what, get a Metabones adapter and keep it to use with the Sony. Boom. I just made your world better.
***Drops Mic to the floor***

10 February 2015

The Muse and the Model - Panda's Influence

Art Model, Panda © 2014 Terrell Neasley

“I never refused when he wanted to take a picture,” said Eleanor Callahan, the 91-year-old widow of the photographer Harry Callahan. “I never complained, whatever I was doing. If he said: ‘Come quick, Eleanor — there’s a good light,’ I was right there." - New York Times "The Artist's Wife: A Constant Muse Who Never Said No"

So I looked up the definition of a muse. All where fairly consistent in referring to either the mythological daughters of Zeus, to think about something intently, or someone who is a source of inspiration an artist. As artistic endeavors go, I think a muse is a bit more than that. The word even sounds beautiful, "....MUYOOOZ". There are models and then there are muses.

Most all artists who sculpt, paint, draw, or photography the human form need models. As a photographer, I need models in my life constantly. I can't do what I do without models. Sometimes I need a certain shape, style, or hair for a certain project. I can search around and find someone who meets those specs or has the desired characteristics to complete my project. So I'll say a model is project oriented as a requirement to complete a desired goal.

Art Model, Panda © 2014 Terrell Neasley
A muse on the other hand goes a bit further. A muse can start as a model, but then develop into more. In more cases than not, this relationship is derived from a familiarity developed over successive modeling sessions. Then you also have those special cases where a muse pops into your life like magic and bestows gifts that allow you to develop as an artist. So I'll say a muse is craft-oriented as an option to complete a desired evolution in a model/artist relationship. Yeah...that's it.

"I'm not in control of my muse. My muse does all the work."
~ Ray Bradbury

To date, I haven't spent more time shooting any one person more than I have with the phenomenon you all know as Panda. She hasn't lived in Vegas since almost a year now and I gotta say I miss me some Panda. Its not easy to simply find or hire a muse as any artist will attest to. Every now and again, you get a few that stick with you, inspire you, and inevitably make you evolve your style, your craft, and your self as a person. Having one, must less two at any given time is tough. If the chemistry ain't there with the non-verbal cues, then that muse relationship may not develop. You don't identify a muse by her name badge. She doesn't answer a craigslist ad looking for a muse. That relationship isn't usually established right off the bat, but some are and it was my honor to have that with Panda. 

Art Model, Panda © 2014 Terrell Neasley
Now don't get me wrong. Cuz I can definitely see some of ya'll's minds going there. This isn't to say, the artist and muse has to establish a relationship beyond the artistic confines that birthed it. So get your minds out of the gutter. Panda is married with a kid and at no time did I (or will I) disrespect that. In fact, it can be a challenge for some artists to handle that, but for me, the muse relationship was not worth the sacrifice to ever find out. But then some of the most meaningful relationships have indeed sprung from the model/artist relationship. Case in point...my fave photographer and muse combo, Edward Weston and Charis Wilson. A mentor of mine just got married a year or so ago. Same thing. So I'm not say a photog should NEVER get involved with a model, but the situation and timing has to be right. And most of all its gotta be mutual, of course.

It starts with the attitude. And then, the connection, followed by respect. Suddenly...POOF! You've found your muse. Panda, starting out had the right attitude that fit my work. Understandably, this will be different from one artist to the next, but for me her willingness to pose nude and to fully explore my vision with me, cinched it. Granted, not all muses need to go to the extreme she does. If I could envision it, she was pretty much game. Much like the quote above says, she was a model who didn't say no. And its not so much the fact that she hasn't to day told me "no". I think it speaks more to the kind of relationship that we have wherein she simply trusts me AND that our ideals are so in line that she doesn't NEED to say no. She cares about the art as much as I do. Dunking herself in the frigid Colorado River, AFTER she had already gotten out of it is above and beyond the call of duty. I saw a better spot for a shot only minutes after she dried off and for the sake of the shot, she got back in that water again. 

Art Model, Panda © 2012 Terrell Neasley

We connected quickly. In fact, I would even say we connected prior to actual shooting. I initially didn't believe she was actually sincere about modeling for me the Friday night we met, til she called me again EARLY that next SATURDAY morning to confirm. I knew I had something special on my hands. Her quirky style and those big eyes lent itself to my art like the perfect match. From the start, she listened intently as I described the goals for the upcoming session. Now a good muse will help you figure out your project, but not take over the project. Panda's gift is her ability to sense and anticipate what I'm going to ask for. That's the connection. She can see my non-verbal cues and very accurately and consistently predict what I'm going to ask for her and she simply moves or repositions herself prior to me completing the thought in my head much less getting the words out of my mouth.

Art Model, Panda © 2013 Terrell Neasley

The mutual respect comes by recognizing each others time, effort, and boundaries. Of the 21 shoots we did, non of them were ever quick. Panda doesn't schedule a shoot unless she knows she has the time to give me. This allows things to flow much easier since there is no rushing about. I can take my time and get the shot or let things develop. I try to be conscious of her efforts to deliver for me and try to understand that that level of energy to put up with me is not easily maintained for extended periods of time. And I'm also conscious of the fact that I don't EVER want to piss off her husband by keeping her out too late. I'm not trying to do anything that could result in my work being PandaLESS, so I'm respecting her husband in this relationship as well. And trust me, this dude is as cool as they come. 

I don't know when I will get to shoot her again. I've made an attempt to not discuss her in past tense, as if my shooting days with her is done. She could come back to Vegas or I could go to where she is. Or we could even meet up at some spot in a totally different state (or country!) and shoot there. I'm willing to bet she'll be in front of my lens again. I know you all remain hopeful! 

Art Model, Panda © 2013 Terrell Neasley

21 January 2015

What's in Central America That Keeps Me Going Back

Tikal, Guatemala

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I get asked that question a lot these days as I prepare for my next adventure down South. And the basic answer is that I'm not done with the place yet. THIS particular excursion will take me to all 7 countries revisiting a few spots, but mainly checking out new ones. I'll visit the Caribbean and Pacific sides of just about every country I visit. Belize only has a Caribbean side, but I'll be working my way around both sides of it, nonetheless. Most of my time will be spent in Guatemala and Nicaragua, two countries I am already familiar with. So why the affinity for such places in the world...? Well, I'll tell you.

First, its because of Panama. I spent some time there while in the military. Twice, for jungle training and we got sent down there on another occasion. It was the first place in the world that was absolutely totally different from all I had known. I grew up in Texas and RARELY left the state and hardly traveled more than 200 miles from home. Germany was my first duty station after my enlistment. Germany was different, yes. But I still understood the urban landscape, about catching a cab, the weather was a bit cooler most times, and the people were not entirely different from my home with the exception of the language.

Seven Altars, Livingston, Guatemala
The first time I got off the plane in Panama, I could barely breathe! The humidity in East Texas can get pretty damn muggy. The humidity in Panama required GILLS! And the HEAT! Training was restricted to mornings and afternoons. It was forbidden to do anything requiring exertion  in the middle of the day. I could eat a brat from anywhere in Germany. The first time I burst open a coconut in Panama, I had the runs for two days. EVERYTHING took acclamation.

But it was BEAUTIFUL!!

I recall being on patrol once and as lead element, I halted the formation upon coming to a clearing of the biggest tree I had ever laid eyes on. I had seen taller trees before, but this one was bigger around than a house. A few hundred meters of more machete bush-wacking and I rolled up on another one TWICE as big. One tree you DIDN'T want to have a close encounter with was Black Palm. This tree is the inevitable offspring between a palm tree and a porcupine. The spines that stick out will penetrate damn near anything, but break off with the slightest upward or downward pressure. And then there were also things in the jungle that could kill you. Simply by the grace of God, I avoided a face strike by the countries deadliest snake, the Fer-de-Lance, with its neurotoxic venom. Had it been the more aggressive bushmaster, I'd likely be dead. And oh my God, the last thing you would ever want would be to get held up in the jungle after sunset. We had a squad that was so unfortunate as to experience this. I did not get their story. But I saw the evidence in their demurred stature and swollen/bumpy bodies. I didn't need to know anything else. I simply wasn't going to have my ass in the jungle at night.

Hostel Dorm, Livingston, Guatemala

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

A few times, we got opportunities to visit the nearby city. I stayed close to the base (on one of my visits) at Fort Sherman's Jungle Operations Training Center, but some of us spent time getting into trouble in Colon. I rarely went further than the closest place to get food or see a movie. The times I did get out and about, what I recall most are the women and what I now know were "chicken" buses. If you are an ass-man, you will love Panama. And these buses reminded me of how the homies did their cars with a lot of custom flashy work, but just in a more colorful fashion. I promised myself that I would come back and visit this country again as a civilian without the restrictions I had as a soldier.

Typical Nica breakfast prepared by my host, Dona Lucia!
Another reason is that its CHEAP! Good gracious! My ticket to Guatemala City was listed at $202 one-way. I did some seat upgrades that brought it up to almost twice that, but a round trip ticket can be had for $365 to several places in Central America. I usually have to fly one-way because I'm never certain when I start a trip, when or from where I'll return. Accommodations are also inexpensive. Sure you can pay $100 or more a night in plenty of places. But you can also stay for $20 a night and do VERY well, in some of the most gorgeous spots on the planet. Food can be had for $10 a day and you get FULL. Catch a bus for an 8-hour road trip for $10. If I wasn't moving around so much, I'd probably just rent a residence for a few months for a few hundred or maybe house-sit for nothing. Deals abound! I'll be in at least 20 spots staying in one place for no longer than 4 or 5 days in most cases. I'll be on Little Corn Island for a week in Nicaragua in my own little cottage on the beach. I will even be in a dog-gone treehouse with a queen size bed and hot water shower in Guatemala!

But its also the experiences that keep me returning. I get to better understand new and various cultures. They may be of the same ethnicity, but highland people do it differently than those by the coast. And the Garifuna do it differently than everybody.  Then there are the fellow travelers who come from all over the world just to cross your path. I made many new friends that I still talk to today. And some, not so much. The pics I come back with are some of my best artwork and they make me money. That should be reason enough. And I get better every time I go there. I always come back with great stories. Okay, so I almost got killed a couple times on my last visit. BUT I DIDN'T DIE! And it was mainly my fault. I'll def be more careful this time around. My girl with be with me on this trip so I know I can't take chances like I did on the last one. I love the people. I love the land. What can I say? It keeps me coming back.

Tobacco Caye, Belize

What's next? Well that all depends. I could get a wild hair and keep on after Panama into Colombia and keep skirting South down the Pacific. I'll do that then or on my next excursion, but South America may as well be the next itinerary item, mainly Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. I can break it up and do Brazil and Argentina later. If I don't do South America right off, then Southeast Asia will be the next priority. Now, I'm talking extended visits for the most part. I still want to make my way over to Iceland for a few weeks, but I'm not counting that in my "gone for a while" excursions. I estimate 3 months for this trip in March, but its looking more like a few weeks more if not right at 4. So who knows? Tomorrow is not promised to me. I'll stay focused on the event ahead of me for now.

04 January 2015

Still in Awe of Photography

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” 
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I've been in this game for a while now. At least since 2005 on a serious level. At any given time, its easy to get bored, burned out, or just simply tired of a profession, industry, or business of some sort. Its normal. Things stagnate from time to time. Monotony often sets in and you have to look for a little change in routine or maybe take a break to step away from your profession from time to time. In the Army, as well as all the Armed Services, we were all encouraged to take some R&R to blow off steam on a regular basis. Getting burned out could cause lapses in inspections of equipment or result in attention to detail issues.

I can't say this has been the case with me in photography. I am just as excited about it now as when I saw my first print come to life as it sat in a fresh batch of Kodak D-76 developer. And that was something in and of itself that you just couldn't get tired of. It was like magic. After careful exposure, and burning and dodging in a darkroom, a blank sheet of Ilford Fiber-based Variable Contrast Multigrade IV paper, suddenly came to live with the image you previously captured on film. I'll confess, though. I had my doubts when I switched to digital in 2007. I was a film purist because I felt digital took out the craftsmanship in which I made that print with my hands, manipulating light and shadow to make the final print. Photoshop seemed too much bits and bytes, and not enough of a man-made feel. I got over that the more I realized, its not so much the hands, but more the mind that creates and manipulates the light and shadow.

Art Model, Emma ©2013 Terrell Neasley
I can't say its like this for every photog you meet. I have met quite a few who's camera is more of a job than a creative outlet. They work, earn money, and that's it. No personal projects, just take the money and put the camera down til its time to earn money again. I don't begrudge them. That's their choice. As for me, I think I am still in love with photo for a few reasons.

1. First and foremost, I shoot what I like. You gotta pay me a lot of money to make me shoot something I don't really want to shoot. I learned that when I first got to Vegas and got a gig shooting furniture for a business in the World Market Center here in Vegas for showroom ads. Shooting a white couch under 3 different kinds of light on the showcase floor sucked. Granted, I still didn't know near as much as I do now, but I did it for the money. HATED IT! I learned that early on and it was a blessing. Shoot what you love.

2. I have an inherent desire to be good at whatever I spend the most time in. I study my ass off in most anything I want to know about. But for something I absolutely love, my study habits kick into overdrive. Its not always in a desire to be better. Most times, its because I have something on my brain that I want to create and have to learn how to do it. So I am in a constant state of learning to improve and hone my craft. Additionally, I don't stay on the same thing for too long. One day my thing may be landscape. Another day, its portraits. And then I want to kick it up and do extended exposure. Lastly, I simply hate not knowing. The better you get, the more people you attract. I get other photographers who ask me questions about settings or maybe how to shoot something. Often times I act as a forensic scientist to detect what was wrong or troubleshoot an issue with a camera or image. What's that thick black line that goes all the way across the bottom of your picture? Its a result of using a shutter speed high than the sync speed of your camera when using flash. How do I know that? I didn't want to be afraid of using artificial light, so I studied flash. So study your ass off.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
― W.B. Yeats

3. I associate with a other photographers and learn from mentors. I started the very first Meetup.com photography group here in Las Vegas. It was the Las Vegas Art Models Group mainly for helping photographers learn to work with the nude model as well as helping nude models get hired by photographers. I then assisted one of the attendees of my group, Garrett Winslow, organize another group, the Las Vegas Photographic Society made for photographers to help them network and grow their craft. Over the years, I developed a good reputation, but sharing my knowledge, but also from increasing my knowledge with mentors like Dave Rudin and Dave Proctor, just to name a few. I have also stayed active in online groups to share my work, get feedback, and offer help to others. So don't become an island.

4. I started working in a camera shop. B&C Camera, owned by my good friend and accomplished photographer Joe Dumic. He bought this camera shop when ever other one was failing, turned it around and this store not only survives, but thrives. He's spearheading his third expansion project for B&C Camera in just 4 years. Joe has helped me immensely in my own business operations. However working in a camera store gives me the ability to tap into a knowledge base you won't find anywhere else. I am there only two days a week, but I get to learn about every new camera system that comes out. Technology is changing all the time. Most industries can't say that. A hammer hasn't changed much since its invention. Devices to capture a still image or record one moving, and all the accessories that are invented on a daily basis are improved every day. I get to try out these new systems and get help from the best gurus from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Leica, and also LYTRO! Just today I got an email from Joe inviting me to an exclusive Canon event. Anther great aspect is the customers I meet. I stay on my toes to help those beginner photographers get the right camera, fix their problems, and get ideas on lighting set-ups. But I also meet professional people coming in to get gear as well. Just a couple of days ago, Adan Van Dam, Las Vegas based film producer/director visited the store and I got to learn about his 4K BlackMagic full frame rig. So don't restrict your universe to just the gear you know. And surround yourself with and learn from other great talent.

Art Model, Faerie ©2012 Terrell Neasley

5. I like to experiment and take chances. I know that every endeavor I take won't pan out. I'm okay with that. Sometimes I lose money. Sometimes, all my efforts are wasted; but are they really? Every time I do something that doesn't pan out, its really a learning experience. I can honestly say, I learn some valuable lessons when I get screwed over, lose an opportunity, or otherwise fail. I learn how to be wiser with my selections on who I deal with, prepare better, and thus protect myself better from unfortunate events. Learning these lessons early on help keep the ripples from these mistakes small. I don't mind small mistakes. And catching them early keeps the big ones at bay. So learn to play and don't be afraid to fail.

I could list several more, but this post is getting long. To add 3 more, persistence despite rough times, doing your own personal projects, constantly looking at other great work, teaching photography, and traveling would be key elements that definitely aid in my ability to stay locked in on photo. In all these years, photo has never been a dried up concept for me. And you know...another great motivator is that if you're good enough, people will pay you to keep doing what you do. So.... Amazing, isn't it?

29 December 2014

Adding a Little Bit [More] of Crazy

Street work, Managua, Nicaragua © 2014 Terrell Neasley
There are definitely some aspects about 2014 that I'm much rather forget. As the holiday season comes to a close, its customary to look back at what you've done and make plans on the new year. I still can't say I have any regrets for this past year. You have to take the good with the bad. I've definitely had some crazy in my life. But here's my new motto for the 2015 seasons ahead...

"No Great Mind has Ever Existed without a Touch of Madness" 
~ Aristotle 

Volcanic Mountains, Antigua, Guatemala ©2012 Terrell Neasley
So I'mma go with the flow and embrace a little bit of crazy. I know...I know, to most of you, I'm already a little bit off my rocker. Granted. But I'm not talking normal standards of insanity. I'm speaking relatively to the effect of crazy to somebody who is already crazy. Know what I mean.

I already operate off the beaten path, so to speak. So I'll embrace a little bit more crazy and see what happens. Kind of like the mad scientist that takes a sip of his own diabolical concoction or devious potion and then just wait to see what happens. So if my nose hairs start growing profusely, just ignore it. You'll know I'm trying out some strange mix. Hopefully I won't lose my mind. Any further. I want to take my photography up a few notches (As I always do. No comfort zones for me!) and this time I'm gonna do so unbounded. I'm going to just try things and then just wait to see what happens. Whatever comes to mind, I'm going to just let it loose. When I'm not actively engaged on a project, I'll keep shooting until something else nutty inspires me.

Caribbean Island of Tobacco Caye, Belize ©2012 Terrell Neasley
But I'm starting off the year with another trip to Central America. Well, maybe not literally start the year, as I did last year. I won't head out til March, but it'll begin there, methinks. I'm going to cut my classes and private instruction time to concentrate on other endeavors for the year. I'll still take on students after I get back, but not near so many as this past year. I'll do 5 slots for January and February, first come first serve. Then I'm going on hiatus from teaching for a bit. I expect this trip to take me into the middle of June, but I will likely not do any teaching gigs til the fall. Yep...trying to make summer plans as well. Don't even get me started on the art nude shoots I refuse to let get by me this summer. So lotta work.

Southern Coast of Nicaragua, ©2014 Terrell Neasley
While in Central America, I'll concentrate on my fine art and comeback with some amazing work for you to buy! I'll be working more night time projects, which is why I picked up this Sony A7s. This thing is awesome and has been the best pick camera on many a camera reviewer sites. I'll likely get one more camera, probably the A7MarkII and one more lens. I already have the full-frame 35mm, and 55mm, but I still need a wide-angle lens. I've already done agreements to shoot some of the properties I'll be staying at during my journey. I'll be in roughly 25 different hotels, hostels, resorts, and getaways. It will definitely be cool to get some interior, property, and staff work done in exchange for a free stay for my girlfriend and I. So I'll definitely need either the Rokinon 14mm, (as I used with my Nikon D800E before I sold it), or the Sony/Zeiss 16-35mm sweetness in a glass lens made for Sony. I've been doing all primes with Fuji and Sony, but that 16-35 is a piece of art. I might have to bend a little bit. My hotel clients will really appreciate either, because they both do excellent work. And its a fun thing for me cuz I like shooting nice interiors.

Outside of all that, lets just see where my head takes me over the next three hundred or so days. And if you want to pick up any of my work, let me know and we can hammer something out. I've got plenty to choose from on my website. Just keep in mind, while I currently don't shoot large format, my prints, however, are! I don't like my art displayed small. So if you love being at 16x20 or larger, feel free to give me a shout! I won't say I'm cheap, but you'll love it. I print on the good stuff. I certainly hope to come back with more artwork that you love to look at. Stay tuned in. Can't wait for March!

04 December 2014

Another New Paradigm - The Sony A7s

Art Model, Kristi C ©2014 Terrell Neasley
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” ― Frank Zappa

Its happened. I've made another major change in my photographic evolution. For the first time in my photographic life, I'm DSLR-less. Or more commonly stated. I've gone Mirrorless. So this makes the third time I've made a metamorphosis like this. It first started when I chose to leave film and jump into the digital world in the fall of 2007. I was already a Canon user and felt no real reason to NOT be Canon just because I no longer used film and darkroom techniques to create my images. That was a hard switch, but I felt the Canon 40D did the job as about as good as I could get in film and stay within a budget. I think I paid about $1500 or so and got some speedlites and umbrellas to put on stands for my lighting gear. That's how I started. I used the Canon ST-E2 Infrared transmitters to trigger my 430EXII Speedlights. I quickly learned its limitations and rented the Canon 5DMarkII full frame system and fell in love with it. I paired it with a 7D and felt unstoppable. I eventually acquired a full line-up of Canon L-Series lenses, to include the 24mm Tilt-Shift (which made me money by simply having the lens ON my camera. It got attention and got me gigs), as well as my favorite the 85mm 1.2. The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II was by far my sharpest and fastest lens to focus with, but the shallow depth of field of the 85mm 1.2 held my heart.

Art Model, Kristi C ©2014 Terrell Neasley
And so it came, as all things must, the end of my fellowship with Canon. My desire to travel quickly became a priority and my intention was to go medium format. And then Nikon came out with the D800/D800E. I was disappointed in the Canon 5DMarkIII. It just didn't have the resolution and detail I desired for my artwork. A friend of mine showed me what the D800E could do and I quickly noted that what I saw was exactly what went on in my head. Oddly enough I paired it with a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 image stabilized lens and it served me far better than Nikon's own 24-70. I took it to Guatemala and Belize in 2012 and got exactly what I wanted. Match made in Heaven, right. Well, kinda...

The D800E fit my hands well. The size and weight were great for what I do here in the US...but abroad? Not so much. I thought I could carry fewer lenses by packing the 28-300mm and the 50mm 1.4. The 50mm did work. The 28-300mm did as well, but not quite as well. I began to see extensive Chromatic Aberation problems with the lens when the lighting conditions were higher in contrast such as the bright sun coming through the trees. This meant that I could no longer cut corners and would have to bring out the good stuff and carry more and more costly lenses on my next trip. But this notion did not appeal to me. I backpack. I don't have roller bags when I travel. Carrying all that heavy gear in Guatemala, the D800E and the 2 lenses were already bothersome. I just couldn't imagine carrying even more gear.

So then I got the Fujifilm X-E2 for my next trip to Central America. Right before I left, I picked up the camera kit, which came with the metal barrel 18-55mm f/2.8-4 and aperture ring, along with the 35mm 1.4. Fuji has an excellent line-up of cameras and especially lenses. I came back after almost 3 months in Nicaragua with EXCELLENT work. I even took it on a pro gig in L.A. on my way back to Las Vegas. The Fujifilm X-E2 is the first mirrorless camera that I purchased, but I still worked with my D800E in and around Vegas.

Art Model, Kristi C ©2014 Terrell Neasley
But now, that's all changed since I'm doing more work with low-light, nighttime, and astronomy...particularly with shooting nudes in these settings. This is where Sony has solved this problem. There's not another camera on the planet that have these attributes better than the A7s. Its another learning curve to get used to, but frankly, I like it. As of last week, I made my 3rd evolution and ventured into the little-known world of Mirrorless Interchangeble Lens Cameras as my sole system of choice. I still have the APS-C sensor Fujifilm X-E2, but I no longer have my Nikon D800E. I am 100% Mirrorless. My needs have changed and I had no problem with making the adjustment...again. I needed lighter weight systems and I needed the ability to shoot better in lower light. Usually, all that's necessary is a tripod, a cable-release and some patience. But sometimes the elements in my composition would move, such as the clouds, and I needed much shorter shutter times. And then there are a few other reasons I won't get into at the moment, but suffice to say, I think this is special. The full-frame A7s simply gives me what I need in order to get what's in my head to in front of my eyes. I've had a few people speak negatively on my decisions in this regard, but I'll save that for another post.

Art Model, Kristi C ©2014 Terrell Neasley
For now, I'll have images edited before long and I'll continue to test and learn this new system. I still have another body, another lens, and a couple more things to get to prepare me for my next adventure. I think that'll be the new A7MarkII or a new Fujifilm system. I'm pretty sure, that'll be it. I picked up the 35mm 2.8 yesterday and still need the 55mm 1.8, along with at least 1 Rokinon lens, but maybe two. Over the past few months, you've seen me blog about what I thought were shortcomings in the lack of innovation of Canon and Nikon. Well, now I've put my money with my words and made that change.

15 November 2014


Art Model and Performer, Mercy ©2011 Terrell Neasley. Men's Room.
Sometimes you just have to get off your ass and go. I'm still harping on the Bringing Back the Passion that I started earlier this month. I followed that post up with a post on Flash and then again with Ambient (light) as some easy alternatives to help you blow on those embers that could ignite your photo passions again. So LOCATION is what I wanna cover at the moment. Why? Cuz its easy. You simply get your ass up out of the house and go someplace with the explicit and direct intent to photograph something.

Sometimes people will tell you to start in your own back yard. Nah. Not good enough. You are still too comfortable in your own house and yard. I don't see that as "blowing on any embers". To fan the flame, you have to go beyond, but you still need a place to start. Downtown is good enough as a beginning point if you like. I live in Vegas, so downtown here is the Las Vegas strip. Or so you might believe. Actually, downtown is FREEMONT STREET! Its a little different but yet similar to the Strip. A different kind of folk walk those streets and a many of characters will present themselves for your photographic pleasure.

Art Model and Blogger, Wonderhussy ©2008 Terrell Neasley
Erotic Heritage Museum
But there are still other urban areas in Vegas and you have them where you live too. Well, unless you're living out in the sticks, in which case you might have a further drive than most. But Street Photography can be the thing you need to rejuvenate and get a fresh start in photo again. Look up some examples of popular street photo work. Not to necessarily copy or emulate, but rather to just see what the possibilities are. Walk around first before you even pull your camera out. Observe. Listen. Smell. See the potential scenes that lie before you. In the Army, as we'd begin our patrols, we would stop a few hundred meters in, take a knee and become familiar with the sights, sound, and smells, of the environment we were about to immerse ourselves in. We called it SLLS, or sills. Its the same thing here. In this case, it can help you see and anticipate events that might be developing and thus better prepare you to capture that decisive moment. This can make the difference between THAT shot and JUST ANY OLD shot.

You can pick a theme to help you focus and look for something. Shooting the homeless has been very popular, but I find that to be a tough one sometimes, personally. You may want to concentrate on signs or door knobs. I've done newspaper wracks and stands. Shooting bus stops might be an option as well as photographing street vendors. You can also change your perspective a little. Everything doesn't have to be done from an eye level perspective! Get down! I mean it. Get low to the ground and see the world how a dog might view it. Or change it up and shoot from above and get a bird's eye view of things. Just change it up so things don't get predictable or boring. You may do photo for yourself, but you still want others to see it. Show them something fresh.

Out and About in Nature
I can dig some urban, but now we're getting into my scene! The woods! The desert! The mountains! As well as the BEACH! Natural surroundings appeal to me most. Especially spots where I have to get off the beaten path a bit. Seeing new things in God's creation can heat up the coldest of passions and make it blaze. I've been to spots that make you want to put down the camera and just keep it to yourself. If you can, bring a friend along whose company you enjoy OR somebody who knows the area and can be a guide of sorts. Its not always fun to get lost ( though sometimes it can be!). I can't tell you how many people I've taken out into the boonies...who have lived nearby all their lives...and yet had never previously seen the beauties that Red Rock has to offer. Or Lake Mead, Valley of Fire, or either of the hot springs near Hoover Dam at Goldstrike and Arizona. All these areas are within a hour of Vegas.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley. Nevada desert
You'll have to find out what appeals to you in these natural settings. For me, I can say a good, unique landscape vista is what I find most captivating. On the other hand, you may be more interested in the wildlife or birds. Photographing big horn sheep will be vastly different than photographing humming birds or egrets, mainly in the lens choices. You'll need some telephoto action, but you don't have to have as fast of a lens as you might with hummingbirds. Flowers are highly popular to shoot. Again, lens choices come into play. If you like to shoot a field of wild flowers, a normal zoom or better yet a wide-angle lens would work. However if you're wanting to get close enough to depict the petals and stamen of the Angel Trumpet flower, then a macro lens is your best business. You may also need to be on a tripod in many cases using a remote switch/cable release.

Book a Flight
Now this requires just a bit more dedication than most people have the stomach for, but hear me out. It doesn't take as much as you think to hop on a plane and go somewhere. You can sign up on some of these websites such as Hitlist (an app, actually) or OneTravel and get updates on cheap flights for places you have let them know you're interested in. I routinely get limited time offers for $100 flights. A flight to San Pedro Sula in Honduras will only run you $350. You can use these opportunities to head to Seattle for the weekend. I already hear what you're saying..."But then you have to find a place to stay!" True. Which is where CouchSurfing.org comes into play. There are people out there that offer their homes to travelers for free. I've meet some great people doing this. Sign up, check it out. Sometimes its short notice. Other times its planned months in advance. So you may have to rent a car, but if you're going to bitch about how expensive that is, then photo may not be for you. I mean, there are deals left and right. YES, you will spend money.

Anonymous Art Model, ©2014 Terrell Neasley San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
You're not gonna do photo without spending money. So either come to terms with that notion or take up treasure hunting with a metal detector on the beach. Some people find that very soothing and quite rewarding. Ain't no shame in that. Photo may not be the thing for you. Me...? I just want you to be happy. Get a camera, take some pics. If it's not for you, take up dance lessons. But my purpose is to holla at you about photo, so that's what I'm about. Its all about choices and what you choose to prioritize. You can make getting that new car stereo for $600 your priority if you so choose. You can also get a new wide-angle lens for your crop-sensor camera for even less than that. Book at trip to El Salvador for that same $600. Whichever will be the more rewarding experience...that's what I want you to go for. Now get to it.

12 November 2014


Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley Lit by small outdoor lamp and laptop computer. Handheld high ISO

“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.”
~ Alfred Stieglitz

Ambient light or constant light is light that's not turning off. It just stays on. It doesn't have to be daylight from the sun. It can be the light on in your house or the light that comes on to illuminate your licence plate when it gets dark. By definition, ambient light is simply the light in your immediate surroundings whether it be artificial or natural. If you are in a dark room lit by a candle, that flicker on the wicker is your ambient light. And that's the cool stuff that I'll be discussing in this post. The natural light photogs can get a little something out of this. Anyone can take a photo in the daylight when all the settings are done in Full Auto or "P"-mode. Just let the camera do all the work and you're good to go. So in bringing back that passion, try this: work with ambient light in the darker settings and use any available light that you can come up with. I've used light from a cell phone held close to a model's face. I've used the moon on a 8 second exposure. Or better yet, work with a Neutral Density filter (which I'll be talking about in another upcoming blog post in more detail).

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Lit by small outdoor lamp and laptop computer. Handheld high ISO
But here are a few things you're gonna need in order to get busy with this concept. In the last post, I set you up with flash and triggers for under $200. In this case, I'm gonna stay in that same neighborhood. I'll begin with a good tripod. I've worked with several new and aspiring photogs who make a dubious mistake in my opinion. And when I say, "in my opinion", it's just that. I'm not quoting law and regulations. Its my perspective that when I see someone spend a grand or more on a good camera and then come into the camera shop looking for a $25 tripod, I'm just gonna say no. And usually the cheapest I get them out of the door with is a $170 Promaster system that will take care of their support and stabilization needs. You simply don't trust a thousand dollars on twenty dollar legs. Just don't do it.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Lit by moonlight about 8 seconds (which blurred clouds) on Tripod
Now you can definitely go way more than what Promaster has to offer. I use a carbon fiber Promaster tripod system for my quick travel work here around the country. Its strong, but smaller and more compact to travel with. But for my main work, I use a bigger, but medium sized Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod with Ball Head Q2 carbon fiber unit that is the most beautiful system out there. Aesthetics usually don't count, but I fell in love with this thing and its gorgeous as well as strong. However, before I venture off to Central America again, I'm picking up another Promaster that's tough, but even smaller than the carbon fiber one I have now. Good sturdy legs are key. Next is having a ball head that can support the weight of your camera when its tilted vertical. I like mine to be extra strong in this regard. When a camera is tilted vertically, its actually off of the tripod's center of gravity. I never use the extended neck on these tripods for that very reason, but sometimes the vertical perspective is necessary.

"What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time."
~ John Berger

You can definitely pick up a used tripod system somewhere. There are super easy to test out and confirm it's serviceability prior to you trusting it with your camera out in the field. If you can get a good one for cheap, go for it. I like mine new and simply won't go for a used support system. That's just me. Every manufacturer will make tripods of various qualities, sizes, max weights, and different price points. Carbon fiber will usually run you double what an aluminum will cost. I like carbon fiber a lot. Find what suits you best in the budget you choose.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Lit by flashlight 2 seconds. Tripod,
but high ISO exposing for stars
The next most important item is going to be a cable release or remote shutter release system that plugs into your camera and allows you to actuate the shutter release without having to touch the camera itself and thus causing camera shake. For my Nikon D800E I have the MC-36A Multifuction Remote Cord, which is basically an intervalometer and a shutter release cable in one. But for my Fujifilm XE-2, I use an old style plunger-type threaded cable release. Promaster makes several for just about every camera system and when I do my one-on-one trainings, I'll generally have my students pick up one for $20 to $30, depending on what cameras system they have.

Next all you need is a still subject and the proficiency to shoot them giving the lighting challenges and the uniqueness or limitations of your camera. If you have a Sony A7s (stay tuned), then you don't really have any camera limitations. If you're working with a camera with ISO deficiencies, then yes, you'll have to work within that. But generally speaking, you'll be on a tripod so ISO 100 will usually be the best bet. I say generally, because if you're doing astro work, then max ISO is where you'll be. In either case doing a portrait in single-sourced low light can be both fun and challenging, but its sure to pay off with some good work.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley Lit by small outdoor lamp and laptop computer. Handheld high ISO
You can easily get started by using the obvious sources of light around you. The lamp on your light stand; the light coming off the TV or computer monitor, an overhead patio light. Get creative with it a bit. Try using the refrigerator light, a match, a headlamp, a night light. You can even play with different LED lights you might find in the toy section or automotive departments. Experiment! That's the main aim here. Experimentation and just play. Use a lowest ISO setting on your camera unless you are NOT using a tripod. In which case you want to use the lowest ISO you can get away with. Target an ISO that will allow for a shutter speed of at least 1/60th of a second, but cheat a little if you can. Go to 1/30th or even 1/15th and boost the Exposure Value Compensation up by a stop or two. Have your model be as still as possible. If you are not using a model and are doing night time/low light landscape, well, look to see if the wind is blowing the trees or tall grass and let that determine what your shutter should be. Just go out there and shoot and see what happens.

09 November 2014


Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Studio lighting - Einstein E640 mono-light mounted with a soft box to model's right and Nikon SB-700 with Gary Fong Lightsphere diffuser to the left rear
"In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated."
~ August Sander

In my last post, I mentioned one way to expand your efforts to get excited about photo again was to start using flash in your work. Now, granted...this post won't be necessarily for everybody. Some of you togs already have a great grip on this thing and its not your weakness by any stretch of the imagination. If that's the case, then just enjoy the pictures. However, if you do NOT have an acute aptitude for the ambient and artificial arts, then lets start small and follow me a little ways down the rabbit hole.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Lit with a Maglight for 2 seconds
First things first. Can't be scared of light. As I mentioned in previously, most photog won't use it cuz they're scared of it. Ignorance of a thing is not a reason to fear a thing. Also, light is cheap. Yes, you can go pick up the high end flash by Nikon or Canon and pay skyward of $500 if you want to but come on, its a pop of light. Now speaking mainstream, I like either the Canon 430EX II, which I used for years (along with the 580EX II). With Nikon being my main system, I blast with the Nikon SB-700. Both of these are in the $300 range and that's a good start. These flashes give you lots of latitude and features that eliminate most every possible excuse you may have. You won't outgrow them and they will probably wear out from use long before they become obsolete.

But even if you can't or don't want to swing $300 at the moment, you still have options. First, you can find something used for a hundred or so. Second, you can rent for a weekend for $20 bucks. Third, you can go off-brand with several makers, most notably Yongnuo brands that will be under a $100. Second, you're gonna need some radio triggers. This gives you the ability to take the flash off of the camera, which brings me to my third thing which is a light stand, for something to put the flash on. I'll also add in there to pick up an umbrella holder so the flash can be mounted on something that can allow it to bend and point in any direction. But back to the triggers. This is also too easy. Phottix makes a set for $55, that are great and can be used with any flash system because its manual. There's no TTL setting. All it does is pop when you tell it too. At B&C Camera, you can go to either of the store's two locations in Las Vegas and get a quick run down on how to use them. Easy-Peasy.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Lit with flash from model's right side
"Essentially what photography is is life lit up."
~ Sam Abell

I could throw in one more accessory, which is a flash diffuser of some kind. Is it necessary? Yeah, kinda. I don't really use a flash without something diffusing the light a bit, but I've seen plenty and have done it bare bulb too. Its kind of like a saddle on a horse. You don't HAVE to use one, but if you don't, just know its gonna be a hard ride. Okay, screw it...pick up an umbrella while you're at the camera shop. Now, back to my main thing. For about $200 you can practice and get a better grip on flash and really step up your work. Flash is cool because its lightweight and portable. All you need is some double-A's and you're off and running. Keep in mind. Flash isn't just used for night time shots! The question I get most often is, "Why would you use flash during the day?" Simple... Cuz the sun can cause harsh shadows. Using flash as some fill light is an excellent solution. No your model doesn't have to squint because the sun is in her/his eyes. And you can face the model away from the sun without their faces going into shadow. Oh yeah. Try exposing for that beautiful sunset AND your model without using flash and you'd better be good at composite work. Flash isn't just for studio. I take it with me just about everywhere.

Art Model, Covenant ©2014 Terrell Neasley
Lit with Einstein E640 mono-light with mounted soft box from front

Do yourself a huge favor and just run through the manual. It may look thick but that's just cuz its also in several different languages. Know how to turn it on and set power levels for starters and then go shoot. I'm not often shooting at 1/1, which is the full power setting. I'm usually at 1/8th power or below. Set the flash up about 45 degrees left or right of your subject. Now chances are, you'll have to manually adjust the power settings, but even with that, once you get it within a tolerable range, you can adjust your aperture to control the flash. Big Tip: Shutter Speed controls ambient/constant light (daylight or lighting that stays on). Aperture controls Flash. Opening up the aperture increases the flash's intensity, while closing down does the opposite. So within a certain range of exposure, you can use the aperture settings (shooting in Manual or Aperture Priority Mode) to control the flash output.

Play with this in varying degrees of light as well in different locations. Trust me. It will bring the fun back. If you're going to be in the Las Vegas area or live here, get with me. I do one-on-one training for this stuff. Give me at least a week and you'll be up and running in no time with an excellent understanding of exposure control and flash. And when I talk to you next, we'll get a little bit more into locations.