My Norman 200B is so important in my photographic life that I have three of them. All three are at least 25 years old or more. There are all kinds of stories that photographers tell (or at least they used to tell when there were enough of them for a friendly beer quorum) about being in the middle of Alberta on an annual report (when forestry companies were rich enough to have annual reports). They recount of a sudden loss of power in mid shoot of one's rented studio lights. What to do? And then the photographer remembers that there is a little case in the car, or back in the hotel with a Norman 200B. Salvation is at hand and the assignment is successfully finished. Which proves that a small light can go places if it works all the time.
My Norman 200B (actually a pair of them in a metal photo case) has come to the rescue. In May I broke my left elbow. I have been unable to stretch out my left arm completely. My therapist measures the angle by subtracting from 180 degrees. A month and a half ago I was at 27 degrees. With Torquemada type techniques they got that down to 22. But now Maureen my therapist at VGH is measuring 18 and 17 with her special protractor. She looks at me and smiles, "Norman is helping lots." For the last month I have been walking around the block twice a day and wherever I go I carry my metal case containing the two Normans. Maureen suspects that intermittent exercise makes no difference if measured in minutes. But walking with the Normans over longer periods of time is making that difference.
The average person seeing the picture here, that I took of Rebecca in Rosemary's kitchen garden in August, would not suspect that I used an artificial light. But I did. It is lit by a Norman 200B inside a 3x4 ft softbox (it's like a tent) and the sun while present was playing second fiddle.
I never became an engineer because I failed electricity in university. My bête noire was my inability to differentiate among resistance, inductance and capacitance. Little I was to know then that some day I would come to understand exactly what capacitance is all about and that what makes my Normans great battery-powered flashes is that they have dependably tough capacitors.
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