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April 9, 2010 / Steve

Day 98 – Go Green

…. and I don’t mean MSU! 😉

So tired this evening… I waited until the last minute to do the shot, so I put one of my compositional ideas in reserve to use. The shot actually ended up being a lot more complicated than I thought it would be, but I’m pretty happy with the results.

How it was shot:
Camera: 5D Mark II
1/160 sec | f/11 | ISO 100

3 Light Sources:

  • AB800 @ 1/8 power shot into a 64″ PLM (a big ol’ reflective umbrella) with diffuser, at camera left
  • 430EX @ full power from top, pointed straight down and shot through a cardboard tube (as a snoot), gelled yellow, onto a white poster board backdrop
  • 540EZ @ 1/32 power, gelled green at camera right.  In my mind at least, the light from the green gel symbolizes the effort of going green

Here’s what the setup looked like (ignore my messy garage). The little box, car wax, and whatever else you notice in the picture was just used as ballast or to prop stuff up.

Susan and I switched all of our lights out years ago, replacing them with CFL’s. We’ve being using the older incandescent spares in closets and bathrooms ever since, and it’s amazing how fast they die. In comparison, none of the main room lights using CFL’s have died (it’s been years), so they’re doing what they’re supposed to.

At the time we made the switch, the subsequent power bills were substantially lower, directly reflecting our switch to the lower consumption bulbs. I was a little surprised at the time, thinking that maybe all the hype was more than what the net benefit would be. I’ve gotten used to the “sunrise effect”; how the bulbs take about a minute to come to full brightness, and I actually sort of like it now, especially in the mornings.

It seems like most everyone is aware of conservation efforts on many levels now and the government is behind a lot of initiatives, but we could be doing a lot better. Australia for example, started phasing out incandescent bulbs in 2007, understanding that just this change alone would cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tons by 2012. You can’t hardly even buy an incandescent bulb anywhere in their country now.

Next on my list of green-ness is getting in control of all the power wasted by my gadget addiction. I’ve been watching developing products and companies like GreenPlug for a couple of years, as well as other smart powerstrip devices that reduce the power wasted by things just being plugged in. None of these products are quite ready for prime time yet, but they’re close.



Leave a Comment
  1. Bryan / Apr 9 2010 12:24 PM

    I think you skipped April 8th, brah.

    • Steve / Apr 9 2010 12:38 PM

      Nope. Day 98 is April 8. I take a photo every day; can’t always guarantee I’ll post it same day. 🙂

      • Bryan / Apr 9 2010 12:53 PM

        Ah! Noted! 😀

      • Steve / Apr 9 2010 12:55 PM

        I’ll do my best though. Just couldn’t manage it yesterday.

  2. Julie Kanitz / Apr 9 2010 6:36 PM

    nice thought and photo…. I have also switched to the “green” bulbs. Enjoy the weekend. jak

  3. Dave / Apr 12 2010 9:32 PM

    nice use of the green color. It adds a lot to this shot.

  4. Pia / Apr 14 2010 3:58 PM

    Amazing how much work you have to put in to set up for a photo shoot. Totally worth it — great shot!

    • Steve / Apr 14 2010 4:10 PM

      Some days are easier than others. Ironically, it’s when nothing comes together for a shot that I end up doing some elaborate set up to compose a decent picture. The toughest days end up being the most work.

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