I'm Getting Heart Surgery Tomorrow 10-9-19 - Page 9 - Router Forums
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post #81 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 09:52 AM
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So glad you are doing so well
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post #82 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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@CharleyL And here I thought you were going to tell us "Your Assistant" caused your faster heart rate. made me chuckle to think about it. Glad you are coming along good towards getting back on your feet.
Herb
No, only my pacemaker controls my heart rate now. At 77 with as many non-human parts as I have in me now, not much else can affect my heart rate any more.

She's quite pretty though, isn't she, but very skinny and dumb as a brick wall. However, she will hold a pose for me for hours without complaining. She was the cheapest mannequin that I could find on Amazon. I'm able to spend as much time as I need to do my lighting and backdrop experiments by using her. I think I've taken about 300 photos of her so far, but I'm not printing them. I'm trashing all but the ones that turn out best, and taking notes about my lighting setups for each one that I save.

I can't get her to smile and she won't sit down, but I have a plan to build a stand with wheels to attach her upper half to, so she will appear to be sitting. I'll be doing mostly portrait work, so only her head and part of her upper torso is needed to be in the photos anyway. At least this will be closer to the height that I will be working at when posing real people for most of my portrait photos. Dealing with her 5'9" standing height is the one problem that I'm having with her right now. My studio ceiling is only 8' 2" so getting the photography lights positioned above her to reduce shadowing is proving quite difficult.

I bought her clothes from the local thrift store, and the prices were so good that she now has several outfits, just in case I get tired of taking pictures of the same one every day. I recently found several more cheap wigs at $5.98 - $10 each that look very natural, in the Halloween section of Wally World of all places. They make her look so different when wearing each one that I gave each of them a name. So in the posted photo she is Linda with the long blonde hair. Not pictured is Rebecca with longer dark red hair 1/2 way down to her waist, then Connie with not quite shoulder length blond hair, and Vicki with very short dark brown hair. One of my train buddies was visiting my studio the other day and called them "Charley's Angels" after meeting them, and it fits. Unfortunately, only one of them can be present in the room at any given time, so a group photo will require Photoshop. This might happen, but not for a while.

Charley
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post #83 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 01:22 PM
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I took a couple of courses at the Art Center (Los Angeles) when I was young and the live models would never get my heart racing. Photography was a big part of my life for two decades. Was mostly journalism style.

As a kid, our library had a copy of Cartier-Bresson's "Decisive Moment." That taught me about composing in the camera and when setting up a picture, to visualize what I wanted, composition wise. I also had a photography teacher in high school who'd just finished the Brooks Institute (Santa Barbara), who taught lighting and lab stuff. Between the two, I got pretty good. I have never shot a lot of frames, particularly after getting a strobe meter. I often used a 3 strobe setup for feature pictures, but always preferred available light if possible. Most of these pix are on Tri-X, not pushed. I was hired mostly as a photographer for my first daily newspaper job, then they found out I could write.

These are some of my pictures (portfolio) from my daily days. Found out recently all my negatives are now stored in the archives of the Anaheim Historical Society. Need to get a better scanner and head down for a day or two to copy more of them.

How about posting some of your photography work? I always like seeing another pro's work.
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post #84 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 01:26 PM
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What are your plans when you get set up? A portrait studio in your Basement?
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post #85 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 02:39 PM
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I'm also curious about the video part of your plan. Our consulting company has a large number of simple videos as part of our support package for clients. Nothing fancy, just shot during consultations over several years. I have a Nikon SLR I can use for video that does a great job, but now my voice is shot so I can't make them anymore. Tell us more, and post a picture or two - I've heard there's a photographer in the house.

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post #86 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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What are your plans when you get set up? A portrait studio in your Basement?
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A long post, but I tried to answer all of your questions, not just Herb's -

I don't have a basement (not many basements here in the Southeast), but do have the 17 X 26' second master bedroom on the 2nd floor of my house that was no longer being used and I am now converting into the photo/video studio. My house is almost 4,000 sq ft in size on just over 3 acres of lake front property (about 1,600' of shoreline). Two of my youngest sons once shared this upstairs bedroom, but they are now adults and the older one is married and living across town from me. My youngest son is now handicapped and can no longer climb the stairs, so he is living in a first floor bedroom now.

This room has a roughly 6 X 8' walk-in closet attached to it that I'm using for equipment storage and an unfinished master bath is also attached to it that I will be working on finishing in the early part of next year (was supposed to be finished by now). The hall at the top of the stairs is large enough for a small fridge and coffee area, plus a lighted mirror and counter for make-up, and a full length mirror for clothing adjustments. A small garment rack will be there too. Another 38' X 12' very long closet off this hall is being used for family storage and it will also be used to hold any props that need to be stored temporarily outside of the studio.

In digital photography, I don't really need a dark room typical of film photography days. My digital darkroom is located in my computers and printers, which are on computer tables that run along one long wall of the photo studio. Two desk top computers, and one lap top serve this purpose well. I will have a new large screen 4K TV on the wall above the PCs that will double as a TV or computer monitor, and a smaller flat screen TV that will display a slide show of some of my work, also mounted to a wall in the studio, or I may locate it on a wall in the make-up area of the hallway.

Since I have no desire to go back into business at my age and health condition, I'm building all of this because it's an item in my "Bucket List". I have been in and out of photography since high school, starting serious photography as a high school yearbook photographer. I was also heavily involved in the stage and auditorium shows put on during high school, and we had a teacher who had once worked in Broadway theater production in NY who taught me a lot about lighting concepts and stage production. After graduating she helped me find work running a Summer Stock Theater where we had off Broadway entertainment, stage shows, and movies to put on every week.

Then in the early 1960's I worked on a camera system that was used to map the moon as part of NASA's Lunar Ranger/Surveyor Program. This was back before digital photography, so a kind of Polaroid process was used to take the photos and develop the film, then the film was scanned and digitally transmitted to a tracking station on Earth where it was again converted into film for later map making. My part in the program was to come up with a way to lock the camera on a position on the Moon surface while the camera shutter was open for time exposure shots of the dark back side of the Moon. It was used for the bright front side as well, but the exposure time was so short that it really wasn't necessary. As each shot was completed, the camera then needed to advance to the next position and repeat the process. All of this was aboard a rocket that was circling the Moon, so something like taking still photos from a car while going fast down a road at night without letting the camera move while the shutter was open for the needed time exposure. The resulting data created maps of the entire Moon's surface to be later used for the Apollo Moon Mission landings.

I heard that later this same control system design that I had helped develop was used to build early smart bombs by continually sampling an image of where the bomb was headed and providing guidance data to keep the bomb on course until it hit the intended target.

During the time that my 4 children were growing up I didn't have the time or money to devote to really good photography, so I went through about a dozen different snap shot cameras just to be able to record our children growing up and their life experiences.

From 1998 to 2004 I owned a digital photo retouching business, doing commercial work for other photographers as well as walk-in business for anyone that wanted it. The economy downturn and my health problems combined to force me to sell that business. Between 1996 and now I've owned 5 different digital cameras of several brands, but now have gone fully Canon for both cameras and lenses.

Now the urge to take good quality photos and have my first portrait/video studio has hit me. I've never owned a dedicated studio before and just kept my photo gear in the back of a closet to be pulled out and set up when needed. I'm combining my knowledge, older equipment, and my knowledge background with a bunch of new equipment in a new dedicated studio in my home where I can experiment and try new ideas in photography, but primarily only as a hobby this time. I'm planning to take many good quality photos of my family and friends, and even some good photos of some of my woodworking projects, and try some new things photography related.

One of these is to experiment with high speed macro photography, like capturing a water drop while falling and splashing. Many others have done this, but I have some different ideas that I want to try. In photography a "Gobo" is a light modifier, anything that can change the way light behaves. I have some Gobo ideas too, like ways of projecting shapes and images onto backgrounds behind those that I'm photographing, so it improves and creates more interest the final photo being taken.

I have three 10' X 14' fabric backdrops, a black, a gray, and a white on rollers attached to the ceiling, and 3 months ago I had started building some angle iron rods for temporarily attaching colored or painted fabric to use as additional backdrops in front of the roller backdrops. I welded a 1/2 X 4" pipe nipple to each end of these 1" angles and screwed 1/2" floor flanges to these nipples with plans to paint and then attach these to the ceiling just ahead of my backdrop rollers, but my declining heart condition kept me from finishing them, and they just laid up against the wall behind the roller backdrops since then. That changed last Friday, when I felt good enough to finish what I had started. They now have a coat of sealer, a coat of white primer, and two coats of white ceiling paint on them and they are ready to be put up, but since they are each 10' long I need to wait until #2 son can come over to help me, which should be some time later this week.

I have an idea of how to make a stand to use the upper half of my mannequin to make her look more like she is at seated height, and will likely begin making saw dust to build this later today. I think I will be using one of the round low Harbor Freight shop stools without the cushion attached and just making a wood adapter to fit it to the lower end of her upper torso. Then she will be roughly at seated height with the air spring lift of the stool still working, so I can adjust her height slightly from there, and she will have wheels for easily moving her around. Most of the portraits that I plan to take will be from above the waist up, so this modification should make Linda the mannequin more closely match the height of those that I plan to take photos of. She's 5'9" when standing now, and nobody in my family or friends that I know are that tall, except for my #3 handicapped son, who can't even get to my photo studio.

I won't post any photos of people that I take or have taken on the internet, out of respect for their privacy, unless I get their written permission to do so. I may later post some photos of the train in my avatar, the carousel, and other photos of the park where they are located though.

I'm going to lunch today with three buddies and their wives who I met while working the train job. Santa and his wife will be joining us today. Did I tell you that I am a close friend of Santa and Mrs. Santa Claus and eat lunch with them almost every Wednesday? (Santa from the Park).

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post #87 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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I'm also curious about the video part of your plan. Our consulting company has a large number of simple videos as part of our support package for clients. Nothing fancy, just shot during consultations over several years. I have a Nikon SLR I can use for video that does a great job, but now my voice is shot so I can't make them anymore. Tell us more, and post a picture or two - I've heard there's a photographer in the house.

Tom, I have offered to help my #2 son and his wife to make videos for their cotton candy business and any other future endeavors. I've also offered to help the RN nurse that lives next to me, who has helped me several times when I needed medical help. She is a health food enthusiast and is promoting a new type multi vitamin. She wants to make some videos about it, so when she is ready I will be helping her make them. She presently is the nurse-on-call for a West Coast insurance company and works online and on the phone from home.

I have the lighting, camera, audio, even wireless microphone equipment, and some video experience and have offered to help both her and my son and daughter-in-law
use my studio to make their videos. No dates have been set as yet for any of this video production. I'm looking to help them, but not expecting any monetary return for either of them.

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post #88 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the fill in. Back in the mid to late 60s I made 16mm non theatrical films for sales, public information and produced a couple of Clean Air (LA) PSAs that ran for years on our TV stations. I actually owned a Moviola, an Auricon and lots of lighting gear in those days. I even cut A and B roll originals for generating internegs a few times. A partner did audio and had a couple of 16mm mag recorders so we could sync sound.

The digital revolution has changed everything, hasn't it. I loved working in B&W in those days and had a darkroom for many years. Finally dumped my darkroom gear a few years ago. Pretty much down to the Nikon with zooms from 28 to 200 mm It shoots really good video and can take an outside microphone. I found a small, 4 channel preamp/mini mixer for multiple mics, but not sure i want to get into it anymore.

I was also a theater guy, community and high school, but left that behind as I got to know more Hollywood types. Theater means long periods of unemployment, day gigs, egocentric people, and I'm too much of a type A. So I moved over to Journalism, where the photography and designer's eye made me a triple threat--Never unemployed. But after a decade, I gave it up and took a job as communications director for a small foundation in a mostly pediatric specalty of optometry. Spent the next 38 years working with these doctors on practice development. Used all my skills, including PR and a deep interest in business development. Was self employed for 35 years, but breathing and weak voice stopped me a couple of years ago. Writing is the main event in my "work" life these days. Struggling to get some serious treatment so I can feel energetic again. Had two minor heart attacks that stents fixed, but no heart damage, just variable high BP.

Recently did a bucket list project myself, converting an old Jr. Hi. cafeteria into a small theater. Still more to do on it, but health issues have bogged me down. Going in for some long delayed tests and procedures to deal with the chronic bronchitis, which is also the source of my unreliable voice. Spent most of the last 38 years doing public speaking, running seminars, teaching. Very hard to deal with not being able to rely on my voice. If we can clear up the voice issue (phlem on my vocal cords), I'd co lead courses with my daughter again. She's pretty good at it, but I am better with number and money issues.

I haven't mastered any video editing software yet. I think that is the Apple world (Final Cut) and I'd have to take a course somewhere to get started on that. Learning new skills is possible, but takes more effort these days.

Thinking back, I'd have to say that there were a few people that were most influential for me; Cartier-Bresson in photography, High School Drama Teacher Richard Miles, my college journalism teacher and the editor of my first daily job, who put me in the news editor's slot where I really shined.

Most of us had people like that, were there some others in your life? How did you get into the space program. BTW, I worked for 2 years early on at North American Aviation, Downey, were they built the Apollo. Their front entry had an 8 ft. diameter model of the moon, almost certainly made from the photos you generated. Hadn't thought of that for years.
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post #89 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 01:35 PM
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Welcome back Charley. A great come back story. Keep on truckin.
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post #90 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Tom, I hate to say this, but it sounds to me like maybe a pacemaker would help you too. I had very much the same symptoms before getting mine, but what triggered the surgery was an ECG taken by my GP doctor that showed that I significant skipping and double beating heart beats. She sent the test results to my heart doctor and a few hours later they were scheduling me with appointments to see the "electrician" at my heart group. Two weeks later I got the pacemaker.

Since the surgery my throat congestion has cleared up, my energy level is way up, and I'm sleeping much better. Everyone says that my complexion isn't gray any more either.
My voice is stronger and clearer now too. Unfortunately, it hasn't done a thing to improve my bad hearing. I was going to get hearing aids before the end of the year, but now paying for a pacemaker, so maybe next year I'll get the hearing aids.

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