I’m slowly adding pictures to my photo gallery. I still have most of a year’s pictures left to work though, but I’m starting to make headway.

I rented a set of lights and a couple backdrops from Glazers' this weekend. On Saturday, I shot a ton of Halloween pictures at church, and then followed up with Christmas-card pictures of the kids on Sunday afternoon. I'm kind of amazed that the Halloween pictures are done; I had around 450 shots to sort through, and it took a few hours to get everything categorized, sorted, rotated, and uploaded to the website. The only thing left to do is color-correct everything and burn a CD for Costco to print.

I think I'm finally getting the hang of lighting, at least when I'm working with small groups. I'm actually happy with most of the Halloween shots; last year's shots were kind of spotty, and I had to throw a lot of shots out because of inconsistent lighting. I was planning on renting a lighting kit with 3 heads, but Glazers was almost completely out of stock by early last week, so I had to settle for the same 2-head Dyna-Lite kit that I've rented 3 or 4 times before. I used one of the Dyna-Lite heads at 45 degrees on my right with a big umbrella, and then put the other head on the left, as close to the background as I could get it. I then used a couple black foam-core boards to keep that head from spilling onto the backdrop or directly into my lens. Finally, I used a 550EX on-camera in manual mode for fill, and as a wireless trigger for the Dyna-Lites. Since I was too cheap to rent a light meter, I set things up by shooting a white card with each light in turn and then adjusting it via the D60's histogram; the main light was at F11, the side light was F8, and the 550EX was around F5.6. This would have been a lot easier if the Dyna-Light let you set the power of each head individually; as it is, you can set 125/250/500 Ws per head, and then adjust the total power output, but you can't fine-tune the heads with respect to each other. I think I'll rent something a bit bigger next time and see how that goes.

I’m occasionally amazed that I’m still enjoying photography; it’s been nearly 4 years now. I’m obviously not the world’s greatest photographer, but it’s still fun.