Mack Reed over at LAVoice wrote this excellent piece about the efforts the LAPD are putting in to get the dealers off the street in Skid Row. It is the best article I've read about the problems going on there right now and the LAPD's response that I have read so far.
I've been leading the Downtown Art Ride for almost a year now and in the last 6 months or so I've brought my 20D, and now my 30D, with me on every ride. I have been trying to get a portrait of every artist that I've run in to. On this last ride I think I photographed over 20 artists, you can check out the September Art Ride photos here.
I've been busy and haven't had much to say here on eecue.com, but I've posted over on blogging.la about my private tour of the Banksy exhibition.
Penelope and I are very lucky to have two wonderful cats to share our loft with. Evita and Isabella were nice enough to pose for me yesterday after I unpacked my new camera, a Canon EOS 30D. Setup used for the following shots:
- Canon EOS 30D
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L
- Canon Speedlite 580EX
- Stofen Omnibounce
- Stratos 835 Flash Bracket
- Canon Off Camera Shoe Cable
- Hoodman 2GB CF 150/133X
As I mentioned earlier, my 20D's shutter is kaput after about 50,000 exposures over that last 2 years. Today I made my way down to Samy's Camera on Fairfax and picked up a Canon EOS 30D. One of the cool things about Samy's is that, although their website always has lower prices than they advertise in their store, they will always match their website pricing, plus shipping. The 30D ended up costing me $1216.97 plus tax, which is more than I would have paid if I had ordered it from B&H or Adorama, but I would have had to wait a week before it came, and I need it for a shoot I am doing on Friday. Another cool thing about Samy's, and any retail store front for that matter, is that they are willing to work with you on pricing and I got a good deal on a Stratos flash bracket, a Hoodman 2GB 150x CF card, a Stofen Omni Bounce, and an Off Camera Flash Cable.
One of the first things I noticed about the 30D is that the shutter mechanism, which is rated to 100,000 exposures, is much quieter than the one in my 20D. I am not sure if this is because my 20D's shutter mechanism was on its last legs and was starting to die, but it was at least twice as loud as the one in my 30D. Of course the 30D also has spot metering (finally!!!) as well as nice big 2.5" LCD. I am a little bummed that the body shape changed as my Really Right Stuff L Bracket will no longer fit, but that's ok, I really should have one on both of my rigs. I am already very happy with the test shots I took using the flash bracket, having it off camera really makes a big difference.
Last night I got an email from the commander of the Search and Rescue (SAR) team that I am a part of, about a mutual-aid callout on San Jacinto for a missing hiker. I got the call at about 2230 and quickly responded that I would be there. I got about 4 hours of sleep as I had to wake up at 0330 in order to be at the Sheriff's Office at 0500 to pick up one of the Sheriff's vehicles and drive to the base of the tram by 0600 hours. I am not normally one to be on time, but when it comes to searches it is important to be punctual as someone's life is on the line.
At the briefing my teammate Mark Kinsey and I got our mission which entailed us riding up to the San Jacinto peak on Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's gargantuan Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King known as Air Rescue 5 then riding the hoist down to the summit and then hiking cross country through the west side of San Jacinto and eventually coming to a trail that would take us to the tram. I was excited about riding in a helicopter, as the last time I had the pleasure of rotor based travel I was in Search and Rescue in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Zipping down from a hovering helicopter on a piece of aircraft cable attached to my seat harness whilst carrying my 24 hour pack was quite a rush. Once I was on the peak and I unclipped from the hoist I snapped a few photos of the bird and Mark and I made our way across the ridge.
The mission was supposed to be technical so we kept our harnesses on, but we never ended up needing them apart from the helicopter bit. It was really just bouldering for the first mile or so until we turned down towards the saddle between two peaks, at which point we had to walk on top of dense brush for about another 1/2 mile dropping several hundred vertical feet. After the brush it was fairly easy going for the next couple of miles until we hit more dense brush and it started raining. Despite the rain and the brush we made good time and soon enough we were on a real trail. We double-timed it back to the tram and made our way down to the command post for debriefing at around 1530.
We didn't find any tracks or signs of the missing subject, but hopefully other teams will find him tomorrow. [You can find the rest of the photos here]
Update They found him and he is ok!
Yesterday Penelope and I made a trip down to the San Diego Zoo and about half way through our adventures my camera started taking photos on its own in rapid succession while flashing Error 99 on the LCD. I tried pulling the batteries and letting it sit for a while, but that didn't cut it. I looked through my photo archive and I've taken well over 50,000 photos with it since I bought it in February 2005. Looks like I will be without a digital SLR (still have a film SLR body) for a couple of weeks while I get it repaired.
Update After finding someone who had the exact same problem that I did and emailing said person, I found out that I needed to replace my shutter. Canon will do it for $196 which also includes a complete overhaul and cleaning of the camera. It takes 7-10 business days to complete. I am sending it off today.