Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863)

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2011!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Frio Coldshoe Adapter Review

There's a new kid in town in the cold shoe department!  From the same awesome guys that came up with the Orbis Ring Flash adapter, comes the all new Frio Universal adapter.  This cool little guy will connect any hotshoe flash to any 1/4-20 threaded stud and it connects very securely.

Its made of a hard, durable plastic, is very light weight, and is smaller than the standard plastic shoe that comes with most flashes.  This little guy is so small that you can literally pack 10 of these in any bag and take up little to no space.

But does it work, you say?

Let's check it out...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Party Portraits

If you're a photographer, chances are, your friends and family have become very accustomed to seeing you with a camera.  As a matter of fact, if you're like me, then they might even think there's something terribly wrong with you, or perhaps wonder if you're sick (mentally or otherwise) if you show up to any gathering and don't have a camera with you.  I've been toting a camera around with me everywhere I go for so long now, that I've sorta become the de facto staff photographer for any social gathering.

This is actually a good thing though, because its a low pressure way to experiment with different techniques while not worrying about actually pissing off upsetting paying clients.  Sometimes though, you might feel that slight pinch from your friends and family expecting top quality work (since you're a photographer) but really all you want to do is snap a few photos of the event and have a good time.  Ever happen to you?

I digress.