Saturday, August 22, 2015

A fun project while waiting for my back to get better

I took a couple of days off from work this week to help my back mend from a mishap last Sunday. [I am writing this on Saturday, six days after the "accident".]

Before I get to the fishing-with-flies part of the story, let me say that I am a big fan of AAA.  I have been a fan because of the great help our local branch has been in arranging details for our last four two-week car trips (two "out west" and two in the Maritime Provinces of Canada).

I am an even bigger fan now.  I had never used roadside assistance before last Sunday, but in the future, should I ever get a flat tire again, AAA will be "Plan A".  Not "Plan B"!!

After I got my flat tire I was able to get off the road and even parked under a shade tree on flat level ground.  The temperature was nevertheless over 90F.  I am too old for this!

I used my Toyota Sienna manual to assist me in locating all the parts needed to change the spare tire.  (I have just learned that some new cars don't even come with a spare tire. Yikes.)  I couldn't believe it, but my spare tire is actually under the middle of the car and must be lowered by rotating a nut under the carpet under the second row of seats.  When you have lowered the little doughnut tire all the way to the pavement, you need to crawl under the car and retrieve it.  I nearly burned myself on the hot pavement.

Next, I proceeded to unscrew the lugs.  Or, I should say I "tried" to unscrew the first lug nut.  But the freaking lug wrench is only 12" long!  What kind of leverage can I get from that, even if I stand on it and jump up and down, which I did after first wrenching my back trying to pull the dang lug wrench up. My back was killing me.  I learned later from a friend that he had experienced the same set of events two years ago and after hearing a "pop" in his back was at first unsure whether he should then call 911 or AAA!  I called AAA.  I was lucky I think.  I only waited 45 minutes, and in the meantime I limped slowly to a Dunkin Donuts only about 100 feet up the street.  I treated myself to a ice coffee with two shots of caramel and two creams, and then decided that a couple of doughnuts would ease the pain.


So... while at home resting and healing this week I coincidentally received a new photographic toy that I wanted to use with my fish fly photography.  I've never had too much luck using a flash with close up photos of flies.  But this new contraption emits light from a larger area, which helps prevent the "hot spots" or bright reflections off of shiny surfaces that I get with a flash.  

It's a bank of LED lights and this is designed for video as it provides constant lighting. It slides right into the hot shoe of any camera.  It is a plastic fitting so I need to be careful.  On the other hand, I expect to use it only for fly photography and always indoors.  Unlike a flash, with constant lighting "what you see is what you get".

Here are a few product shots.

About 50 bucks

The fly is there to help you gauge the size of this

Angled forward toward the camera here, it appears bigger than it is.

Below is what I did with this set up.  These are the Edson Tigers you may have read about in the last few posts.  I like how these turned out.  The colors are brought out nicely.  I do think I should have backed away a bit or zoomed out slightly to provide more space around the fly.  The way they are here, the larger ones are too tightly cropped.

All are tied by Paul DiNolo.

From smallest to largest hook size:


Brk Trt said...

Sorry about your back. I have AAA and have used it many times over the years and they do wonderful work.
Your photography is awesome.

Peter F. said...

Thanks, BT! I'm always experimenting with ways to get good macros. Interestingly for web work a point and shoot like this Panasonic LX5 does a bang up job because small sensors have huge depth of field. (Its the reason just about everything is in focus on a cell phone). The depth of field for web viewing is more important than absolute sharpness. My "good" camera with a macro lens will get a sharper image but with less depth of field... but any increase in sharpness is not noticeable on a computer monitor... generally.

AAA is a good thing! It will be my "Plan A" next time!