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Numnuts Goes to Space….

Dec 10

In Friends, On Location at 10:28am


A few folks were interested in the a sketch of the light grid for the hyperwall deal of yesterday, so made a quick Iphone pic of the above. Now, when the figures are silhouetted against the screens, the foreground lighting (the 2 units on left) are off, and you get real mood and saturation.


When you need to see what’s going on the in the foreground, the other two units crank up. One is for the face, and one is for the ground, which is important to see, otherwise the guy just….floats….in….space…..


Easy to trigger the whole deal by just bouncing the commander signal off the drop ceiling. Then, just play with the values and power of the lights. Pretty straight forward. Obviously, the Honl grids are on the foreground lights so they don’t spill everywhere and kill the saturation of the screens.


Hey, leave it to Scott Kelby to take Groups and Channels where they have never been before–T-shirts! And hoodies and coffee mugs. Just ordered a bunch. Pretty cool, and what’s even cooler is that all the dough goes to The Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya, which Scott has been helping for some time now. Check these out at


My bud Moose Peterson is in someplace called Bosque del Apache, which if you say it quick, sounds just like Santa Monica. Anyway, check out his blog ’cause he’s just shooting some amazing bird stuff. Read his blog today, and he says, “Our third day of Base Camp Bosque was a killer! There’s no doubt the bird count is down but it only takes one bird to make my day!” Gosh Moose, I feel the same way!

I gotta get that boy out more often……..more tk…….

Danny North says:

on December 10, 2009 at 10:45 am

Sweet photo, big fan of yours from the UK here.
Love the use of the blue gels.

Are you ever going to come to the UK to teach some courses?

Ron Mandsager says:

on December 10, 2009 at 11:18 am

Great stuff, Joe – as always!!! And I agree w/ RC – a cartoon book of ‘Numnuts’ as an eBook would be out of this world! :)

Marc Durocher says:

on December 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

I don’t usually work with an assistant, but if I did, I could see the Channel / Group shirts would be really handy for any VAL’s (Voice activated Lightstands)!! Then you know which flash is on which group/channel just by looking at the shirt of the person holding the light!

Lyndon Smith says:

on December 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for these last 2 posts. I really appreciate seeing the various options you give the photo editors.

Love the slow shutter zoom shot from yesterday… Warp speed Zulu..Beam me up Scotty…oh yeah!

Jonathan Martinez says:

on December 10, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I love the details and set up diagram. Very imformative and you did an awesome job.


Dan Milham says:

on December 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm

RE: Moose; Kind of depends on who’s giving the bird. Laurie Excell has posted some wonderful shots from the Bosque on her blog.

stephen says:

on December 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm

What kinda birds are you talking about there, Joe? 😛

Lenard says:

on December 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm


Lewis Coward says:

on December 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Simply brilliant Joe .. the diagrams as Jonathan says are so useful. Cheers

Jack Thompson says:

on December 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Love this, copied it down in my flash recipe binder!!!! As Lewis said, these diagrams are very usefull, and humorous (numnuts!!!!).

Joel Bischoff says:

on December 10, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Joe, love the images… but what’s up with the first one (guy pointing) where the center screens look like one big screen. In the second photo, the screens all appear to be square. Did something happen with the printing where they needed to cut out the middle and piece it together? Just wondering whats missing.


Josh Siegel says:

on December 11, 2009 at 9:33 am

I think I am going to get those shirts for my brothers kids and my kids. Make it easier to refer to them by groups and channels..

Mike Neale says:

on December 11, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Ok, Joe,…we are impressed,…perhaps the best written explanation to “Image Statement” and “Goal seeking” in Art that we have ever read. Brilliantly stated.

Also, well done, Drew, with the montage movie,…thanks and “Holy Shit!”,……;-))


JayM says:

on December 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Joe, you’re a God.

Matthew says:

on December 12, 2009 at 9:21 am

As an amateur photographer, I enjoy reading you blog and books very much and I am always impressed by your way of lighting things, but as a full-time scientist I am rather not.

This is, because you may have inspired our companies PR guys a little too much – during the last visit of a photographer in our molecular biology lab, he began to turn off the light and illuminated everything with fancy colors. After our bonny technician pipetted dyed water from one microcentrifuge tube to another for twenty minutes, I think got what he wanted. But let’s face it – nobody seriously works in such an environment, which is for understandable reasons normally lit up by fluorescent lamps.

So although your work in the first instance is art, maybe the next time you also consider the aspect, that you help to generate a wrong impression of how scientists work. If you don’t become too fancy with your ideas, this helps a lot.

Kent Wedding Photographer says:

on December 13, 2009 at 6:53 am

Lighting the ground is a key point most of us would probably not think about normally…. information like this is why I read this blog!

Bob DeChiara says:

on December 13, 2009 at 10:23 am

Joe, your sketches are a true work of art!


Trevor says:

on December 14, 2009 at 7:02 am

Wooohoo!!! Numnuts is back!!….thanks Joe…got the whole picture of the set-up now.. =D. Great work again!!

Börje Ensgård says:

on December 14, 2009 at 7:29 am

Hi there!
Love your work. What app. are you using on the iPhone to get those extraordinary artworks?

Best Regards

Börje Ensgård says:

on December 14, 2009 at 7:43 am

Sorry my Bad


Brian Laurent says:

on December 23, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Joe, thanks for sharing your insights. I’m confused by this about the CLS system: You say the head on the SB-900 commander was pointed up to bounce the signal off the ceiling to the slaves, but I thought the signal wasn’t light, but IR from the face of the SB. And also, doesn’t the little red eye on the sides of the slaves need to be facing the signal? My SB-800s seem to be very sensitive to the angle and direction of the commander signal (I usually use a SU-800) unless I’m in a tiny room. Thanks if you can help me better understand the limitations and possibilities of CLS.

Bob Guercio says:

on January 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Hi All,

This is Michelle’s dad speaking.

It seems like yesterday, 31 years ago, that Joe gave us this 1979 calendar for Christmas. Joe could not have picked a more personal gift for Kathy and myself, especially considering that to say that hours went into it’s preparation would be way off the mark. My guess would be that Joe spent several weeks working on that project so the gift was truly heartfelt! Thanks again Joe.

I’m sure glad that Kathy didn’t put that calendar on the bulletin board in the kitchen to use as our scheduler. It would have been a mess with the usual scrawl marks, crossed out dates and the usual writing wherever room could be found. We used a hallmark calendar for that!

In any case, one final comment in passing! Where have 31 years gone!!


Roxann Fabro says:

on November 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Talk to your vet. This is a tough decision. I made a difficult decision when the cat I adopted from a shelter developed a blockage a few months after I got him. He was a barn cat and ate junk dry food all his life before I got him. As much as I hate Science Diet foods, I put him on the prescription diet to prevent it from happening again. He has not had another blockage and it’s been 3 years. I personally don’t like the choices available out there for cats with this problem right now.

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