So I told Mimu that I'd tell everybody she went on a rampage and broke all my gear, because after our shoot, I was down one flash, one lightstand, and one tripod.
Even though it's mostly just that they all picked this weekend to reveal their nonfunctionalness and Mimu had nothing to do with it.
Which means that I'm down to my Sunpak Digital Flash, my good lightstand, and I don't have a stable tripod anymore. Thankfully, I'd recognized that I was running pretty low on backups, so my fun money for this month went into getting a used Sunpak 622... but that it won't be showing up until Thursday or so.
I'm pretty sure that what did the Sunpak 383 Super was the swivel up top. I'm going to see if I can take it apart and see what's wrong, because it's out of warranty. Also, the supply of new 383 Supers seems to have dried up, so I may have to switch to used Vivitars. unless Sunpak has something up their sleeve.
My tripod is a crappy Sunpak tripod and I'm quite content to replace it... just I wanted to do it on my schedule.
Nonetheless, it was super-frustrating because I hate wasting model's time. And it was also frustrating because I booked myself to shoot both nights this weekend and I still had one shoot to go.
Thankfully, I connected the dots in my head and realized that we could meet up with my friend Vicster in Alameda and it's closer to the Fairfield-based model and I could borrow Vicster's 383 Super (which I coaxed her into buying) and tripod. And Vicster's never been on a model shoot with me.
I find that I'm fairly astronomically connected at this point. Especially with respect to the moon and the sun. I've got a vague idea of when the sun's going to set and I've got several good sunrise-sunset calculators. So I can tell you exactly when the sun's going to be in a fun position. And I've also got the phase of the moon in my brain, especially when it's waxing.
The trick is getting the interesting parts of the scene exposed such that the moon doesn't get blown out, so I used a flash as the primary light, the sun as fill, and everything fell mostly into place and I got a correctly exposed shot of each model.
Both Mimu and Kitten were very good about figuring out what sort of wardrobe I preferred to photograph models in and both showed up with a suitcase loaded with stuff. This gets major points in my book because, unless you are modeling somebody else's clothing, you can never have too many options for wardrobe. And while I'm fairly disinterested in my own selection clothing... having models in interesting wardrobe is quite fun for me.
So Mimu and I met up in Fremont and shot along the bay trail and then did indoor lightpaintings. And Kitten and Vicster and I wandered around Alameda.
And now I've got to buy a new tripod and I've got a bunch of images to sort out.
The chaos on Sunday was the part where Vicster's cat Simon ate three raisin scones... and raisins aren't good for cats. As well as the part where we left Vicster's tripod on the roadside... which ended well when she realized it and drove back and collected the tripod, unmolested.
I also accidentally left my roll of Gaffer's tape at Vicster's which is pretty much the end of the world. This is after I left my RB67 at her place the last time I visited.