A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

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 bĂȘte 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.


Previous Posts
The Pupil & The Fencing Master, Maítre Bac Tau

Delirio Amoroso - John Eliot Gardiner & Pacific Ba...

Nelson McLachlan, Sabu & A Manfrotto Super Clamp

Wen Wei Wang, Karissa Barry, Vivaldi & Alison Denh...

Timothy Findley, Yes, His Greatness & Mark Twain, ...

Alejo Carpentier, A Drunken Antonio Vivaldi, Motez...

Wondrous Dance At The Museum Of Anthropology

The Feline Question II

French Ramblers, Hypericum, A Moth & Soldiers In T...

Risky Business, Tellicherry Peppercorns & Grandchi...

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010