I spent much of the last two nights playing with my new USB Midi keyboard which interfaces to my music mixing program, and my new Sennheiser headphones. What a hoot! I have access to great Steinway piano samples, Hammond B3 and even Moog synthesizer setups, and a bunch of music clips I can mix together. This is a lot of fun, and I can see I’ll have to use it as a reward for work done or else I’ll never get anything else accomplished. I’ll be posting some MP3’s of my compositions and mixes soon.
But hey, this is a photography blog, so I’ll talk about a couple other things that Santa brought me. One was a flash bracket for my camera which allows me to raise my flash off the camera to help reduce red-eye and improve lighting. The other toy is called a Lightsphere and is used to diffuse the light from the flash to soften the impact on the subject. This will really help some settings where I need to use the camera flash, such as sunset and shooting into shade.
This photo is of our trusty dog Emma, a german shepherd / yellow lab mix, to our best guess. We rescued her from the pound 9 years ago and she is truly a wonderful and smart mutt. She was my willing model today as I tested out my new gear. You can see very natural lighting here, with no sharp shadows or blown out highlights, even though I was shooting indoors in a basement lit only with overhead flourescent light. This was ISO800 f/3.5 and 1/160 sec exposure with my attached flash sporting a new Gary Fong Lightsphere.