Almost Forgot

Here I am sitting in bed, and it just occurred to me that I hadn’t written anything today. My goal for this year is to write ANYTHING once a day and publish it, of course.

Anyhow, earlier this evening, we cooked sesame beef for the first time. I’m kind of enjoying cooking. Now, I’m enjoying the actual act of preparing and cooking food, not the figuring out what to eat or finding ingredients part. Maybe it’s my creative side that enjoys the making something with my hands, I dunno. Long of the short of it is: I’m stuffed from all the food we made, but it was so worth it.

As a third aside on this post about nothing:

One of my best friends was recently hit by a car and is currently in the ICU, and from what I’ve heard, has about four more surgeries left to go. It’s kind of terrifying to think that this sort of thing happened, but here we are. I’m still short on details on why or how it all happened, but we’re hoping that we’ll be able to visit soon, because while we’re practically brothers, we’re not ACTUALLY brothers, so I can’t get in just yet. Either way, I’m incredibly worried, and I have no idea what’s at the other end of this. I’m just hoping that he’ll be able to get back on his feet again and have a somewhat normal life. I couldn’t imagine having a major disability that would keep me from doing what I love. But, I guess, when you love something. You find a way to make it work.

It’s been on my mind for the past couple days, and I figured it would be better to talk a little about it than to keep it bottled up. I’ve sort of incidentally made my cart have phrase for the SpecialKolin Podcast “drive safe” but that was mostly because I would do a lot of recording in the car, so it seemed fitting. And here, at the end of this post, I mean it. Drive safe. Walk safe. Be safe, please. You are important to someone somewhere, so if you don’t want to be safe for yourself, then please do it for them.

My Internal Conundrum With My Camera

I own a Fujifilm X-T2. You’ve probably seen me talk about it or post photos from it a million and one times. As it turns out, I’ve had it for almost three years, now. It’s a really good camera, and I thoroughly enjoy using it. I’ve said many times that it out performs the former staple: the Canon 5D Mark 3, and I stand by that. It’s small, compact, and lightweight, and great for when you’re shooting for a long time or walking or hiking.

Then the Sony a7R III came out. It was announced just in time for our budget to come in where I work, and after reviewing the specs and the image quality, I said that we should get one. After all, we had been using the 5D mk 3 and a 7D for a long while, and it was more than time for us to upgrade.  Now, I knew there would have been an increase in image quality over the X-T2, after all, the a7R II had already been ranked as one of the top performing non-medium format cameras on the market AND it was a full frame camera.

I’ve now spent the past 6-ish months in the Sony mirrorless world, I’ve shot a few events and a lot of automotive and commercial things… you know… work. It’s working great! I’m surprised that I’m not missing the dials or the specific Fujifilm “look” (if you will). I have to say the number one thing that I cannot stand about the a7R III is that the files are massive. I mean, rightly so because they’re twice the quality of the X-T2’s, so I can only fit half as many photos on the same card. The first time I shot a wedding with the a7R III, I was panicking trying to dump photos onto my laptop periodically through the night. Meanwhile, I didn’t need to change out cards once with the X-T2 that event or pretty much any event I’ve shot. Excluding Desert Bus, of course. Overall, 300GB per event is a little scary.

NOW

Sony has released the a7 III. The a7 III has all the nice things about the a7R III and some of the nice things from the a9. It has the same megapixel count as the X-T2, which means smaller file sizes. It also has the newer type of battery from the a9, which means it’s been rated to have the longest battery life of all mirrorless cameras out there right now. It also has an autofocus system similar to the a9, which has AF points that cover most of the sensor. It’s also got the same design and button layout as the a7R III. It’s also been shown to have better low-light performance than the a7R III and shoot better video than the a9.

Basically… the a7 III is perfect for what I do.

My dilemma is this, however: While selling the X-T2 would give me the opportunity to buy the a7 III, I would also be ditching a really good camera. Buuuuuuuut, not only has my Gear Acquisition Syndrome been itching like CRAZY since the announcement, but I also have this wild theory (possibly enabled by G.A.S.) that, in my photographing, I don’t want to be limited by my gear. I don’t want to come back after a shoot or an event to blame any defects in the photos on the gear I was using. I don’t want to have any opportunity to say “well, if I had [whatever] this would have come out better.”

Before it’s said, I also do believe in the cliché of it doesn’t matter what camera you use, it’s about the person behind the camera. However, when you’re capable of doing well with a decent camera, imagine what you can do with a better camera, or even THE BEST camera? And yes, yes, yes, lighting is much more important than the camera you have, but I’m doing alright with light right now, considering that most of what I do with my personal work is with natural light and lighting modifiers. I could go on and on about lighting, too, but this is about cameras.

I dunno, this got a little rambly, and I’m not sure where to end it. So… how about support my Patreon so I can have my cake and eat it too?

What is Blahg? How blahg?

GOT DAN WHY HAVE I NOT WRITTEN A SINGLE THING ON HERE SINCE BEFORE I LEFT FOR DESERT BUS???

The answer is simple: I’m super forgetful and I have a one-track mind when I’m fairly stressed out.

ANYHOW, back to our normal programming… The house is done! We’ve been working on this whole thing for over a year, now, and FINALLY we’re moved in! Wow, so many things already written in all caps, I’m going to try to stray away from that for the rest of this post.

Now that we’re in the house, I’ve started the process of making the house a little more tech friendly. First up, I’ve finished terminating the ethernet lines, so now we have a nice little patch panel in our master bedroom closet, and a switch on it’s way so every room will have gigabit ethernet. Which will be nice between my streaming office/studio and since we consume streaming content in the living room and bed room. For whatever reason, when wiring the house’s ethernet, our electrician put a drop outside, so with that in mind, I’m thinking of putting a security camera out where it’s at. Up next is connecting up our connected garage door opener. Which would have already come in handy with us leaving the house a couple times and eventually feeling unsure of whether or not we’ve closed the garage door.

On a less technical side, I’m going to need to figure something out with our gutters. I am super inept when it comes to gutters, but I know I don’t need my downspouts dumping water so close to my foundation, so some french drain creation is in my near future.

Also, holy moly do we need some furniture.

On a programming related note: Let’s See a Movie will be making a return now that we’re no longer moving. The SpecialKolin Podcast will be back again, I promise. Also, I’m going to be doing some tech tests for the streaming office, but streams will hopefully resume, as long as those tests work out. Also, I really want to finish writing my Desert Bus 2017 retrospective, soooooo maybe eventually I’ll publish it. God knows I want to. A short version can be found in this tweet from a couple weeks ago.

Desert Bus for Hope 2017

About this time every year, I start going on and on about this thing called Desert Bus for Hope. If you’ve never heard of it, I feel like I’ve failed somewhere along the line, but also it’s essentially a charity drive that benefits the Child’s Play charity. During Desert Bus for Hope, a driver plays the game Desert Bus, a game where you drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada in real time. You drive on a straight road in the desert, there are no other cars, no people, just you and the bus. As you can imagine, this is kinda boring, so during the drive there are live auctions, giveaways, special guests, and of course shenanigans ensue. 2017 marks the eleventh year that Loading Ready Run has been putting on this strange thing they do. Most importantly, this year they needed an extra photographer.

This is where I come in. I’ve been watching and supporting Desert Bus every year for the past seven years or so. So when I heard the call, I put my hand up as quick as possible. Which brings me to where I am now. I’m going to be the second photographer at Desert Bus! I’m very excited especially now that I’ve traveled across the country just to be a part of this amazing thing. Naturally, the proceeds from Desert Bus go straight to Child’s Play, so this position is super volunteer, as in I paid to get out here and for my accommodations. Unfortunately, this means that I’m not going to be able to donate as much as I usually do. So, this year, I’m hoping that all of you can find it in your heart to give a little more. Not just for me, but for the children!

To see me in action, be sure to follow along at http://desertbus.org and their Facebook Page as well.

SpecialKolin Podcast – Episode 9

Recorded: October 3rd, 2017

This time around, Kolin talks about:

– Fujifilm X-T2
– GoPro Hero 6 (Raw footage: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/9/29/16385642/gopro-hero-6-black-4k-60-sample-footage)
– Las Vegas

Find more of what I do and more podcasts at:
http://attackofthebeards.com
http://specialkolin.com