Being in limbo
As a year, 2017 is shaping up to be one of change. I'm moving my studio for one thing. This was actually decided on in 2016 but it was late in the year and I had a lot of work going on so I negotiated with my landlord to go month to month until I found a new place. Thats my first case of "limbo". Then, I brought forth a desire that has always been in the back of my mind and stayed there due to several things besides an empty wallet. I rented a medium format Pentax 645z from time to time and loved the images it produced. There is an instant connection between that format and it's properties and my creative mind's eye. I could afford the buy in for the Pentax but it just lacked quality glass, some that was available was marginal at best and the Pentax lenses made for the 645z cost about as much as the buy in. Then Fuji changed all that with their announcement of a format with the same sensor size, a lineup of lenses you could build on and at a price that while high, it wasn't in the same orbit as the Hasselblad H6 and Phase One XF systems. Yet it could compete. So it was said. I went for it; I mean if not now? When? Goodbye Nikon, hello Fujifilm in a much bigger way. Thats limbo #2. Moving to new equipment also has me looking at my lighting both on location and in studio. Lighting is critical and important to the new format I'm switching to as well. I'm actually circling back around to a more strobist like speedlight based portable lighting setup when I can. I am not getting rid of the Profoto battery lights, I may thin down the stock some, but right now my plan is to just reduce the poundage I lug with when shooting mobile without help. Perhaps combine lighting with a mix of speedlight and strobes. I will be one camera manufacturer now, the same systems more or less, so I can do some things i could not before. Simple is better at this stage of my life and career.
But I'm in limbo (limbos?) right now. I'm waiting for a medium format camera from Fuji. Seems everyone is unless you are in Australia or Europe. I'm in limbo waiting for my new studio. I will have to store for a month and rent space if needed, either another studio or a hotel room. So I need a lighting solution that works without needing an assistant or breaking my back. Enter speedlights. Enter triggers. Hopefully. I use the excellent Fuji X system now that my Nikons are gone and it works well with Profoto and the manual air remote but that stuff is big to carry around. Speedlights can work in many cases. I do at times, need TTL, and when using speedlights, remote power adjustment is handy and thats really only available thru a TTL controlled speedlight. I also need high speed sync support which is usually only available via TTL commands. There has to be some language passed and the ground work is there in TTL lingo. Fuji finally delivered a TTL speed light AND high speed sync support via their firmware. But triggers supporting Fuji TTL are rare. Very rare. Enter Serene Automation and their RoboSHOOT Plus triggers. The ONLY game in town that supports Fuji TTL without an accompanying flash product. Nissan does Fuji TTL but only with Nissin flashes. I have Fuji and Nikon flashes and holy crap if Serene's triggers don't support Fuji and Nikon flashes! I know not how or why John at Serene decided to work with Nikon i-TTL but he did and friends, it works very well indeed. I plan to do a write up about that in a few weeks, once I get more use of the product under my belt as they say. So far, it looks very promising and in my discussion with Mr. RoboSHOOT, John Poremba, I can tell you this company, small as it is, is huge on quality and support. There is a lot going on under the covers with hardware talking to other hardware not of the same family. Not many manufacturers get it right. I think I found one that does. So my time in limbo is being put to use in finding a good, lighter, capable lighting package for both systems.
Being in limbo also means work is VERY slow. I'm not booking large studio gigs right now. I frankly need to find more work and it needs to be mostly non-studio based for now. As if all described above isn't enough, I also need to make some business model changes to satisfy some things on the personal side and to keep those creative juices flowing. Those should be more transparent to my clients, at least I hope so. My move to rebrand my business name will be noticeable but I've tried to incorporate the old with the new. My new business name is looking like its "Kilburg Photography" (thats the DBA) with the use of Wally Kilburg Photography & Services surfacing on the web and Facebook, etc. www.wallykilburg.com I have my new cards, new text based logo, and soon a revamped web page. One thing that will also be evident is I will not be renting the studio much, if ever. Thats one change but I may have an answer for that too, as some things are under development and discussion. I may be able to point you to studio space if needed. Just not mine. I'm still going to be working on portraits, lifestyle, commercial product and marketing photography and exploring other areas more in-depth. But it will be done slightly different. I will know but you all shouldn't see the change.
I am planning right now for a early May move into my new place. I hope to have an open house in June right after, Nothing fancy, but more a chance to see the new place and meet some new "partners" in my studio. No, not true partners per se, but lets say very good friends of the studio, the type that will have input into its use. I'm looking forward to 2017, but its hell being in limbo. Patience was never my strong feature. Luckily, I can geek out over flash triggers while waiting. :)