Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Problems and Progress

Time to write a few comments on this new (renewed) passion (obsession). I've been busy reading photo blogs and playing with pictures and trying out Phanfare, an online photo site similar to Flickr but better in my opinion although I'll have to pay for it if I want to continue using it. I've protected most of my albums so only those I want to see can see them but, if you're interested you can have a look at some of my Favorites.

On to the problems. I had ordered a couple of lighting kits from a store in Ohio that arrived while I was on vacation. When I opened them up, one of the strobes was missing. Great. So I phoned the store the next morning and no problems, they would ship it to me. They did so very quickly. Along with the shipping via USPS comes a notification from them via email that allows you to track the progress of the parcel. Very nice. Last Thursday, the notification showed that there was an attempt to deliver it, but no indication in the mail box that the parcel was now waiting at the post office. (My assumption was that it went Canada Post once it crossed the border, just like the previous parcels.) The next day, I inquired at the post office, but they had no record of it. Great......where's my flash? The email notification that evening showed an attempt to deliver on Friday and that a notification had been left. But, I didn't have one.

Yesterday, I returned to the post office, they still had no record. So I went to a couple of couriers just in case it had come through them. No luck, although it turns out I was on the right track. Then I finally punched the number into Canada Post's web site and it showed attempts at delivery but that the parcel was still in Nanaimo, about 50 miles from where I live. So, back to the post office and she suggested that I go to the main post office today and talk to someone named Keith.

So off I went today to the main post office, Keith was out but a very nice postie copied my papers and said he would call and look into it. A little while later he called me and said it showed that it had gone to one of their partners at the border and the only partner they used was Purolator. So I called them and they told me it was at the local Purolator drop off. I went up at lunch and, at last, got my parcel. All along I was annoyed that a drop off card wasn't left, or someone brought it in and forgot it or it got mixed up with something else.

The final irony of it all is that after work today, I took a better look around our porch and, sheesh, there was the card lying beside some rose bushes. All that fretting and fussing and anger for nothing, except they need to use some better stick-um or something.

So, that's the problems. The progress? A union buddy who plays in a band asked if I would take photos for them so they could send them to places interested in hiring them. A good opportunity to continue to practice photography and build a portfolio and maybe someday, I'll actually feel like I can charge a fee for all of this.

My first wedding is coming up in a week and a half and that should be challenging and interesting and scary. Again, it's a freebie and they weren't going to have a photographer, but I still want to do the best job possible. A customer is a customer whether they are paying or not. The benefit for me is building a portfolio, getting experience and finding out if I might be any good at this.

The new picture on my profile is one I took last night using a flash and a shoot through umbrella. I was trying to do an assignment found on the Strobist blog. I didn't quite manage to accomplish the challenge but learned some about lighting. I think the picture is okay, considering it was taken in my kitchen, by myself using the camera's shutter timer. (Okay, my wife did push the button for the last couple of shots for me, including the one I've used.)

Of course, on close inspection I should have trimmed my beard and mustache. Another time.