The “virtual” life series


I am guessing I am not alone, but cannot find a comfort level with the idea of our lives becoming more and more a part of a virtual existence. I am not going to debate the pros and cons of the technology – my professional world would be far more limited without the digital revolution – but I don’t want to cede technology more power than it seems to demand from us either.

The two pieces above are part of a series based on the idea of a digital existence. I will let them speak for themselves. If you have a question or want to experience more, please let me know. Thanks for looking!! The text of the two pieces can be found below:

I Have Been Virtualized

I flicker
and roll
with static
like scattered
bands of
on my

I am neither
the absence
of color;
being nor
non being.

I have been virtualized.


Nothingness Cubed

Modern life
is lived as
a digital pixel
streaming through
glass fiber.

It is
X_es and O_es
to be consciousness.

Reality falls
into a
virtual trap;
an abyss
infinitely deep.

No joy or sadness,
no pain or pleasure,
no connection or separation –
nothingness cubed.

All copy and imagery is copyrighted by the author but may be enjoyed for personal use only.

The Value of the Out of Focus Photograph


Every photographer has shot vast numbers of images that are out of focus, poorly composed or horribly exposed (sometimes all the above simultaneously). Once in a while I find one of these missfires that has a certain graphical appeal. When I do find one, it inspires me to see if I can salvage it with dignity and value in a completely different way.

This image is based on just such a visual mutt. I don’t remember the original subject, but when I stumbled on the image that contained the firey red swish/swirls in it, I was moved, ultimately, to create what you see above. I call it the “Geometric Face of Fire”. The image itself is 38″ tall by 34.5″ wide and is printed in 12 pigmented colors on beautiful paper. I hope you enjoy!

Shaper of Beauty

Poetry composed for and placed over a photograph of a natural scene, tree backlit by sunshine.

Though I have been a photographer all my adult life, I have always from a young age written for my own pleasure. I find that composing poetry in conjunction with a particular image is a way of bringing all my creative sensibilities together. I enjoy the process and the challenges it presents – it feeds my soul.

What you see above is a digital rendering of a 16″ x 22″ fine art print. It is from a body of work that contemplates our spiritual nature using words embedded in natural imagery captured from the world around us.

I hope you find value in the work that I present here. I appreciate the thoughts and opinions of others, so I hope you will touch base if you have a comment or observation. Thanks for looking!!


All copy and imagery is copyrighted by the author but may be enjoyed for personal use only.

Aged Wood Is Nature’s Art

I must admit that I have a decided tilt towards trees in general, even the remnants that fall to the ground as time and the forces of nature stress their limbs. Because of this affinity, when I walk, I often find items that turn my head and draw my eye. The following photographs were all done in early 2012 on a long, cold and windy Saturday afternoon. I had stumbled on their existence a few days prior during a walk along some railroad tracks canopied by pines.

These shots were staged and shot in my studio using a Canon 5DII at ASA 50, an EF100 f2.8IS Macro and a some LED lights from Coolights. I dont usually have a specific goal when I begin the process of playfully creating a still life for the pleasure of doing so – that is, other than rewarding my own eye when I think I am finished.

FYI, the colors are pretty close to the actual colors. I had thought about doing a cross-tint (warmer highlights and quarter tones and cooler three quarter tones and shadows), but decided to leave their natural tones intact. I hope you like them.



WeatheredWood_StillLife_MG_9226Please do not copy or alter these images in any way. ©2013 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

Sachtler Tripod DA75L spreader adjustment

I got an email today (Thanks Benji) that asked if I might describe the process of how to remove and reattach the spreader on the Sachtler DA75L tripod (that comes bundled with the FSB8 fluid head).

I will attempt to do so with a little help of close-up pics of the spreader parts that allow you to remove/adjust the spreader form the way it is assembled when you receive it new from Sachtler. First lets look at the “line art” that Sachtler includes with the product –

This is what I looked at when I got my set up. A bit “sketchy” in terms of pertinent information if you ask me. But there are hints as to how to begin to make adjustments. (BTW, the tripod doesnt actually look exactly like this, so bear with me.

First lets look at the screw that you need to loosen (to the point where it can be removed, but dont completely remove it). And DO NOT remove all the hardware/screws that the left hand drawing suggests that you remove. That makes working with the spreader very difficult and sets you up for a potential loss of those parts.

Once you have completely loosened the screw, turn your attention to the opposite side of the spreader to tripod leg connecter (front of the connecter/leg) –

As seen in the above photo and the right hand illustration in the first picture, you have two holes on the face of the plastic spreader to leg connector. By pressing into this hole, you can pull apart the connecter to release it completely from the leg. See how, in the picture below, that the connecter begins to separate when you push a tooth pic (or something a little stronger) into the hole.

Once you have it separated you can remove that portion of the spreader from its leg. Obviously, if you want to remove the entire spreader, you must do all three legs. Reattaching the spreader requires one to reverse the process until it is reattached (one exception is that you simply snap the plastic connector back together by lining up the two channels and stops – you dont need to press into the holes to do this). Once you have the connecter re-connected, you insert and tighten the screw that you originally loosened to begin the process.

I hope this is helpful to those who might be as confused as I was when I originally opened the package and realized that my new tripod would not go much lower than 40 inches from the ground.

As a reminder, here is a full length image of the Sachtler DA75L tripod and FSB8 fluid head. This may help you put some of this into perspective. Please note that when the tripod arrives from Sachtler, the spreader is securely attached to the bottom of the top/first/main leg section. That would mean that the legs could not spread nearly as wide as in the photo below, nor could they move up the leg at all. By moving the spreader form the bottom end of the top leg section, the spreader connecters are free to move up and/or down the main tripod leg sections the way they can in the photo below.

Your comments/questions are welcome!

All images and copy ©2010 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

First impressions of the Cool Light CL-LED256

I have looked at this light for a number of months and considered other competitive units that are available (Switronix, Ikan, Lowel, Litepanels, Bescor, Rosco and others) and after reading some recent commentary on Cinema 5D (please forgive me, but I have been unable to re-find the thread after several searches) I purchased the CL-LED256 (256 LED array, 5600K, spot with Sony battery mount).

I must say that I am quite impressed overall. It comes packaged in a nice soft case, the cable, dc power supply and XLR connecter are first rate and the filters are decent as well (more on this in a bit). The removable barndoors are solid and functional and the filter tray is excellent. I really like that the unit has three separate switch banks as well as a dimmer – all of which are solidly constructed. It is made of powder baked aluminum (in black) and, though compact, it has an overall solid feel.

The included stand adapter is OK but I prefer the Lowel adapter pictured in the images below.

This is the Cool Lights CL-LED256 (5600K Spot) with all three light banks turned on – shot with Elinchrom RX monolight strobes.

This is the Cool Lights CL-LED256 (5600K Spot) shot from the rear with the XLR DC adapter connected. Note the long dimmer knob on the bottom right of the fixture.

This is the Cool Lights CL-LED256 (5600K Spot) with the Sony battery attached.

This is the Cool Lights CL-LED256 (5600K Spot) that shows the master and bank light switches. Note the Lowel 5/8 inch light stand adapter.

This is the Cool Lights CL-LED256 (5600K Spot) from the front with the diffusion filter and open barndoors.

Someone on Cinema5D wanted to see the light in action (I know, in some moving image footage) and so did I. So here it is, the light illuminating its own DC power supply and other accessories.

I am actually quite excited about this light, its battery operation (dont have run times yet but will update this as I gain more experience), its solid compact build, the fact that it is 5600K and that it has three light banks as well as dimming capability. It is not really a camera mount light (though some might use it that way) but it is a great little mini spot.

The only observation at the moment that I have is about the filters that come with it. They are good, solid filters, but to my taste, the two minus green filters have about 500K too much amber added. I find that I prefer to use a Rosco 1/2 minus green (#RO3313s). It does lower the K to about 5000K but it matches so much better with the florescent lights that I use and the green is gone (I also filter my florescent lights with Rosco 1/4 or 1/2 minus green filters).

Comments or questions welcomed.

All images and copy ©2010 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

Making of “C clamp sculpture”

Over the last ten days or so I have finally had time to put together some snipets of footage that are captured on my Canon 7d using the Sachtler FSB8 fluid head, Shoot35 CINEfocus mounted on their DSLRmount and rods amd a few seconds of footage using the Kessler CINEslider.

I picked a “subject” that I could easily set up and reposition so I could concentrate my efforts on getting long focus pulls, quick slides and smooth pans. The three C clamps clamped together made a willing subject and had no shyness for its purpose.🙂

Here is the link to Vimeo to see the piece. I welcome comments and observations and am happy to answer questions on how the equipment was used. For your convenience, I am including, here, the production notes from the end of the film so you can more easily read them.

The focus (pun intended) of this short is to acquire, edit and display FF/pan/slider footage that relies on the the Shoot35 CINEfocus (V1), Sachtler FSB8 fluid head and Kessler CINEslider.

All the scenes, in one form or another, are designed to demonstrate pulling focus, pans or slider moves. Since I have only used this equipment a few times (just acquired) and have not done any kind of video work for over 25 years, I thought this might help folks who, like me, are trying to understand the subtle operations of this type of equipment – and to see that it needn’t be intimidating to use.

I am not trying to convey that this piece demonstrates my technical acumen. On the contrary, it is full of weaknesses. But it left me with the hope that, with practice, I might get skilled enough to deliver solid, consistent results that will contribute to a decent production at some point in the future.

I am inviting constructive observations and will be happy to answer any questions about the equipment. Please feel free to contact me.

©2010 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved