Shot Talk

I’ve been so engaged in making wig reviews that I haven’t updated with any photography posts in awhile – I’ve not edited many shots since my Stitch Fix post, since most of my editing time lately has been used up on videos, but I do have a few to share.

But first, speaking of wigs, check out this hilarious description of a wig called “Bailey” by Belle Tress (not familiar with the company):

Written by former employees of the J. Peterman Catalog

It’s awful enough on its own, but when you see the wig it becomes both awful and completely illogical:

So, she’s a badass?

The wig is actually kinda cute; may have to try her someday and see if she does, in fact, inspire me to don a leather biker jacket and go out pool-sharking.

Remember when I said I took some jump pics while shooting for my Stitch Fix post? Well here’s one of them.

And also speaking of wigs, I’ve spent the last week or two trying to learn how to really use my 7D for video beyond just hitting ‘record’ and standing in front of the lens. So far it’s mostly been a failure. I’d like to be able to acheive the clarity and color balance I can now easily do with my photos,  but it still eludes me. I spent all day Saturday (yes it was July 4 but I’m not big on heat, crowds, or fireworks so I stayed home) watching a 9-lesson 7D Video Basics course, making notes, and practicing out loads of test videos to get exactly the look I’ve been wanting – but when I put on my stage makeup and got in front of the camera around 4 PM today it all went to hell. Everything I’d practiced fell apart, for some reason, and I ended up looking like a giant grainy Cheeto in a wig, so I gave up and called it a day.

I may suck at shooting video, but I’m a Bailey-style badass at photography

It wasn’t until later when expressing my frustrations to my husband and he asked me why I wasn’t just using the Auto settings for videos that I realized I’d not even once considered the idea. I’ve never used Auto settings with a DSLR in my life when taking photos, so the option just never popped into my head (although it’s true that the 7D, as a semi-professional camera, only has one Auto mode, and it isn’t technically “full” auto). I want to continue to figure this whole video shooting thing out, but until I do I will most likely start filming in Auto, because my last few videos have been pretty crappy looking due to my experimentation. I need to experiment with camera settings and picture styles when I’m not also attempting to film a wig review, because nothing sucks worse than taking 20-30 minutes to film one 5-minute wig review and discover after uploading that it looks awful (see my Code Mono review as an example – I think that’s the worst video I’ve shot on the 7D so far; but since it was an already ugly wig the bad camera choices didn’t bother me too much – can’t make that one much uglier than it is in real life). Moving on.

This next one is my favorite of all the Stitch Fix jump shots I took:


I knew that skirt would be good for photos, which is mainly why I bought it, but it actually wasn’t a flowy material and I had to manipulate it a lot to get it to look right when leaping. Mission accomplished with this one though – I like how the geometric lines of the skirt’s stripes are mirrored by the fairly perfect triangle my body made here. I have many movement shots taken in this skirt that I want to process, but I’ve not had time to look at them yet.

Here’s another jump shot that took some fancy editing:


Well, not too fancy really; but my left hand in the original shot looked wonky and distracting, so I took my arm from a different shot and layered it over the original. Allow me to explain via before and after (you know how I love those B&A’S):

arm collage
And yes, if you’ve ever wondered what a poorly-timed jump shot looks like, there it is on the right.

You can see how my hand in the original looked too big and flipper-like and just generally not appealing, at least not to me. So, I used the left arm of that second shot to replace it. Magic!

That’s all I have for leaping right now, so let’s move on to the baby shower one of my nieces had last weekend.


In another one of my “wow, you mean there’s an easier way to do this that I should have thought of a long time ago but didn’t” moments, my sister asked me to bring my camera to the shower to take photos for them – something I always dread doing. I don’t have much interest in processing shots such as this,  especially when it takes me so long just to perfect one shot in post and people generally want tons of photos as soon as possible after the event, which leaves me feeling rushed and frustrated. After the shower I immediately came home and set to work editing all the shots I thought were good ones, and after editing the second shot and starting on a third I realized, wait a minute, no one cares about these photos being color balanced, or well-focused, or vividly colored. They just want the shots as a record of the event. So, I stopped editing, converted all the photos from RAW to JPEG using a photo converter I found for free online, and took them straight from my camera and posted them on Facebook for my sister and her daughter to see. Done! Why didn’t I think of that before? It is OK to just shoot in JPEG when the circumstances support it, so I’m glad I did that here. They got to see the photos in a timely manner, and I didn’t die of boredom processing a bunch of shots that didn’t excite me (no offense towards my sister or my niece, of course, but you know what I mean. Eight thousands shots of a woman unwrapping baby gifts gets old FAST). Oh ,and also I took my Canon SL1 to the shower instead of the 7D and it performed nicely once again. I haven’t used that little camera in months, but I’m still glad I bought it (I bought it around this time last year, in fact) and probably should use it more often.

Now this is what you call attention to detail – yes, my sister did color in the “her” and the “she” on those candy wrappers by hand

Annnd to wrap this up (candy wrappers, get it?), I did get the Urban Gypsy wig in Saturday; i attempted to review it but that’s when I experienced my camera video settings disaster that turned me blurry and orange, so I ended up chucking it and deciding to film it over later. You may or may not be happy to hear that UG has way more hair than the Kell wig by FY I reviewed last week, so it’s much more wearable and not a piece of crap, at least – but it IS a bit cray cray on me:


That was a very grainy video test shot, so I edited the hell out of it to make it look better; unfortunately getting rid of the noise meant over-smoothing the image, but I did it anyway. As you can see, Urban Gypsy is a LOTTA hair, and pretty wild, but it’s heaps better than Kell and on the right person, and some styling skills, it’s workable, and even fun.

The photo was not all that fun, however, so I zipped on over to Pixlr and jazzed it up:


As I said before, I should be able to get a decent review of her sometime early this week. We’ll see. And now it’s time to perform my annual dear-God-it’s-12:30-AM-so-why-the-hell-are-you-idiots-still-shooting-off-fireworks ritual of peering out the front windows straining to see which drunk morons are incapable of telling time, then cursing them silently for an hour or two because I’m too chicken to go confront them about it. Because, you know, fireworks involve fire, and usually also involve drunk morons, at least on our street – so I’m not willing to risk it.

Perhaps while i wait for them to calm down I’ll pull up one of my favorite new weird video obsessions: please hit play and enjoy Vitas performing his insane, manic-depressive-space-alien-on-Ecstasy song “The 7th Element.” You will not be able to get this craziness out of your head. And no, Vitas is not the most handsome serial killer the world has ever seen; he’s actually an oddly talented Russian singer who’s some sort of God in his home country, and – not surprisingly – China. He has a beautiful five-octave voice, and if you look him up on YouTube you can find video of him singing a hauntingly beautiful version of Ave Maria while dressed as a freaky space alien. He also performs fairly normal songs while looking like a completely normal human being, but I guess he was going through some sort of wacked-out David Bowie/Pee Wee Herman stage when this was filmed. But for now, just enjoy the madness that is The 7th Element (and in spite of the fact that the poor video quality makes it appear this performance was filmed in the 1980’s, it was actually done in 2000. I love the internet).


13 thoughts on “Shot Talk

  1. Cynthia, you need your own talk show/gallery display/comedy act/acrobatic show and please don’t charge admission for the fun and gut wrenching laughter. I did have a flashback to the description of BelleTress wig as it said it was written by the former employees of the J Peterman catalogue – fond memories of the Jerry Seinfeld series. Didn’t Elaine work for J. Peterman? I so enjoy your immense talent, creativity, joy of life and the ease at which you jump from topic to topic. Your poems are simple lines but carry depth and a fascination of life as you see it. You remind me of Peter Pan – you never grow old and love adventures. Thank you for the happiness you bring.

    • She did! I found out quite recently that it was actually a real company with catalogs utilizing descriptions just like the ones the Seinfeld show used – I think the story goes that it had gone out of business before Seinfeld added them to the show, and at some point they were brought back to life; I think it was someone from the show who bought the rights to the company or something, but either way they are back to putting out catalogs and selling clothes. And yes the catalogs still write those crazy descriptions!

  2. I actually did some product for J Peterman. The man was just as you would imagine. I would bet
    you could work some “magic” with Bailey !! Great stuff again. Tks.

  3. That happens here every 4th. I simply call the cops to report the noise disturbance after 12:00 which is our city ordinance then he haw peeking out the blinds fwhen the drunk morons run around trying to find the person who will take accountability for the problem…..priceless!

    Then the next morning I go out early while the neighbors are still hung over and asleep to pick up trash out of my yard. Especially since it seems they aim their stupid fireworks at my yard in particular. Once I have it all bagged up I then enjoy standing on the sidewalk in front of said neighbors house while throwing handfuls of their fireworks trash into their yard like confetti 🙂
    Gotta love living in a subdivision. Lol

  4. Actually that description almost motivated me to order that wig. I need a little more badass in my life. Gorgeous shower shot and I had never realized that about Her+sheys.

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