Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12 A Good Day to Launch The Balanced Exposure Forum

I have launched the Balanced Exposure Forum!

With the encouragement of many Facebook friends, I stayed up all night long and created an online photography forum.  It wasn't that hard to do, but that's only because I know a little bit about how forums should work.

For many years, I was a moderator of the Acoustic Guitar Forum... the largest forum of its kind on the internet.  And with the permission of the AGF's owner and senior moderator, I borrowed their rules and regulations and modified it to fit my own forum.

I have not pulled an "all-nighter" in quite a while, but I was excited to get this done.  I contacted Network Solutions (where I host the Balanced Exposure website) and asked what it would take to have my forum server there and the cost was way too prohibitive.  After that call, I was feeling this forum was not going to happen.

But during my Studio Photography class last night, I was encouraged to seek out some of the other options to have a forum and I found a company where I could put the forum for free!  Well, it's not quite 100% free, but compared to the cost I was expecting, it's really quite low monthly.

I hope my students will utilize this new tool to communicate with each other and learn from each other.  I want them to post photos (hopefully using links to other sites like Photobucket, Flicker and others) and also to post classified ads if they are selling their used camera gear.

Stop by the new forum for a while and post something!  To see the forum, you must register as a user.  There's no cost to do that... you just need a screen name and that's why you need to register.

Click here to see the forum!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Goodall RCJC Guitar with Custom Slim Carved Neck

Years ago, I owned a "non-cutaway" version of this guitar called the Goodall RCJ.  It's a Concert Jumbo guitar.  I sold it not because I did not like the tone of Goodall guitars... I couldn't adjust to the chunky neck that it had!  It made it difficult for me to play compared to the slimmer Taylor guitar necks I'm so used to.  So I sold it to buy an R Taylor guitar instead.

I recently traded my maple R Taylor guitar for this 2007 Goodall RCJC guitar.  It's great!  While the R Taylor has better bass response, the Goodall has the kind of clarity and overtones I like.  It's a great sounding guitar.  Similar in sound to the R Taylor, but different as well due to the overtones.  Plus, this guitar has a custom slim carved neck!  That makes the guitar play as easily as a Taylor, but it has the distinctive Goodall tone.

According to Goodall, this hand-built guitar was completed on November 1, 2007 in Hawaii.  In 2009, James Goodall moved his company back to California and that's where current Goodall guitars are manufactured.  Back in Hawaii, he had perhaps 15 employees making guitars.  Today, there is a waiting list of over 2 years if you want a Goodall guitar because only James and his son Luke are making the guitars.

These are not inexpensive guitars by any means, but compared to other hand built guitars, they are very reasonable.

I'm enjoying the guitar and brought it into the studio to take a few photos so everyone else can see it as well.

Per the specifications posted by the seller of the guitar:

Wide bout: 15 7/8 inches
Upper bout: 11 5/8 inches
Waist: 9 15/16 inches
Depth: 4 3/8 inches
Length of box: 20 inches
Overall guitar length: 40 13/16 inches
Scale length: 25 1/2 inches
Nut width 1.75"
Saddle string spacing-2.25"
Solid East Indian Rosewood sides and two-piece back
Solid AAA Grade Sitka spruce top with abalone rosette
Curly Koa binding on body and peghead, with Ebony binding on fingerboard
Gloss finish, except for a satin finish on the Mahogany one-piece neck
Ebony fretboard with abalone diamond-shaped inlays
Ebony bridge
Ebony bridge pins with abalone dots
Ebony peghead veneer with inlaid abalone “G”
Chrome Gotoh 510 tuners with Ebony buttons
Bone nut and saddle

Mamiya RB67 Pro S - Medium Format Film Camera

Years ago, I had several Hasselblad medium format cameras as well as a Bronica SQ-Ai medium format camera. These were square format 2-1/4" x 2-1/4" (6x6 cm) film cameras.

These square format cameras were great for portable use, but the king of s
tudio cameras for medium format could arguably be the Mamiya RB67 camera. This is a 6x7 cm format camera, so it's a rectangular format that had a printable output closest to an 8x10 print.

While I never owned one in the past, I do now. I purchased this camera from a shop in Japan and got the 180mm lens from Hong Kong.

I was surprised that it only took 3 days to ship the camera from Japan to the USA and only 4 days to ship the lens from Hong Kong! That's probably faster than our own USPS could do it from one coast to the other!

Mamiya is still manufacturing these cameras, but now it is known as the RZ67 Professional Pro II D with additional electronic features not found in the original RB67 system.  You can even buy a digital back for this camera and get medium format digital images!

I doubt I will ever shoot with this camera, but I purchased it so that the students could see what a medium format camera is all about. It will be kept in the classroom for all to see.

Crown Graphic Special 4x5 Film Camera

When I was growing up, I played with this camera. My dad had one just like it. When I moved to California, I asked my dad to UPS it to me. He did. Since moving back to Illinois, I have never been able to find it! I think it got "lost" when moving back!

I've always felt bad for losing my dad's camera and decided that one day, I would buy another to replace it. So here it is... a Crown Graphi
c Special 4x5 sheet film field camera! This one is actually in better shape than my dad's camera. My dad passed away quite a few years ago, but I made good on my promise (to myself) to replace it.

I'll never shoot this camera, since it is film, but I will keep it and cherish it anyway. I have it in the classroom for all the students to see and admire as well.

Edit Note:  Turns out I never lost my dad's camera!  It was in a box stuffed in my garage all these years!  Found it again.  So now I have two 4x5 cameras!