My name is Al Jacobson, I have been addicted to making/designing/tinkering/blowing up photographic flash products as a super way of keeping happily active for most of my life.
My love of photography, over 50 years, and the elusive hunt for the once in a lifetime shot keeps me going. You are stalking an idea, a theme or an occasion and the challenge keeps you focused and looking for the trophies to hang on the wall.
I have been building on a very limited basis for the specialized work of advanced amateurs, paparazzi, wedding shooters and the sports guys for a long time. It didn’t make me rich financially, if I had paid myself, I would be broke. Like most hobbyists it never became a full time job, but richer in the sense when your hobby allows you to meet some very special people and fiddle the music you like.
I like simple, easy to use, gear that works and after being a pilot for 28 years I have a dislike for a lot of buttons, led’s, blinkers, gauges and switches. After you have pushed the buttons, bells and whistles... an hour in a 65 HP cub can be like ice cream... Thats why I made my own battery packs initially with like simple designs and I like to share those ideas and ideals with others.
It’s through this sharing with great photographers thats my form of social media. No Farce-book, no Nit-twits, just good friends and the occasional travel project and we have an incredible trip planned for Germany in the fall of 2014 to tour Photokina, ten cities, and Oktoberfest. Read on….
THIS WEBSITE IS HUGE AND CONSISTS OF FOUR SECTIONS
MY PRODUCTS and SERVICES - THE BLACK BOX and TUXEDO, FLASH CHARTS AND ORDERING
If word of the BLACK BOX, or the cure for the fumbling, inadequate, inconsistent use of AA batteries got you here, you are saved. You are in the right place. I built the Black Boxes because I had a need and I share these upgrades with others.This section deals with products I designed and built for myself to be simple and rugged. The Black Box, and the smaller Tuxedo are power packs for the most common strobes on the market today, and also fit many legacy units. Fifty plus years ago I made my first packs. Crude bags holding conglomerations with telephone, RC, lamp and hobby parts.
But this gear is different. Both in process and performance from the cheaper methodology like NiMH powered packs composed of AA batteries you take out and refill. Isn't that what you wanted to get away from? Bumbling, fumbling, unpredictable, AA cells. Lithium AA cells are better but still not right.
On the other side most pro gear is too expensive period. 80% of the top money in this game is probably shared by less than 20% of the folks trying to make it.
In one year alone 8,000 new wedding photographers signed up with one of the professional organizations. When registration lists were checked two years later about the same number had dropped out.
It can be a tough game when you are the one on the stage or podium and just realized you can’t sing… or dance.
PRODUCTS - YOU CAN "DO-IT YOURSELF"
A guide for " Do it Yourself " with great inexpensive products you can build yourself that work as well as the commercial overpriced stuff does.
Just the local hardware store and common everyday tools build inexpensive gizmos to make your life easier. From box holder to flash gear you might just have what you need sitting in your house, the tricks are "exposed" and many may be just the thing you need in an emergency.
For most, all you will need are Allen wrenches, actually one, box wrenches, a pair of pliers, you get the idea. Don't have any knowledge of these tools, ask your wife, obviously she fixes the things around the house.
Newer technology and always improving, we went back to the drawing board and while maintaining our standards in Gizmology, we are now able to offer offer the New Heavier Light Stand adapters for Black Boxes and Tuxedos.
THE WEDDING BOOK and BUSINESS GUIDE
The Wedding Book for Beginners and Pros alike contains sections on business and practice for the new and used Photographer. You learn a lot in 55 years. I am an intersection of knowledge picked up from photographers all over the world. It's amazing how freely they offer good advice which I readily share, usually with a touch of humor and sarcasm.
No sense of humor, then go read the phone book. I will tell you what I think and it will be truthful, no manufacture owns me and a few would like me to go away. It's ingrained for me to slam shams and scams. I write columns and blogs on bad food and bad people all those things you talk about at the water cooler you weren't supposed to. So bad photo gear comes easy…
The Wedding guide and Business Plan are updated daily. It is a lot of information. Better to read it, learn about the forces, mental, chemical, and physical effecting this trial of your patience, rather than have to pay a shrink when you have a breakdown.
It explains the people structure and the pitfalls, what to look out for and how to prepare to be smarter than the "Bridezilla's" of today.
The Wedding Guide shares those thoughts and ideas I started writing about over fifty years ago. In structure, its alive, because Weddings haven’t changed, only some bad actors debuting for their roles on “ Bad Girls” or some other “Kardashian Reality” show.
The second section is the most complete series of both mental structuring, and good business sense to succeed in this business or any other for that matter.
Much of it came from field training I wrote and practiced for a large corporation which is still in business. The number one failure in the Wedding-Event game is you. Prospecting for new clients probably stopped after you shot your cousins Wedding. The business is like farming, don't plant seed, don't expect a crop.
The third section is really pointers on gear and will be expanded significantly. I see a lot of dumb trends being pushed missing the whole thing about Weddings, it's not about you, it's about the bride. The gear you select and use are tools, in the hands of a buffoon, they are useless, expensive toys won't save you, it's the simple ideas and tricks that work under stress conditions.
"THE GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHIC BUCKET TRIP EVER PLANNED!"
SEPTEMBER 15-29, 2014
You are invited to be part of a special event, a real dedicated Photographers dream trip. Originally planned for only six of us, we decided to open the trip to other photographers as we were advised adding more people actually lowered rates for all. The ideal number was 26, a balance of keeping the trip big enough to get block discounts and still keeping it an intimate experience.
Taking two years, the trip was planned and executed by photographers, using friends overseas, consultants and one of the team who lived in Germany. We are not a tour company, no time share pitches, no rental cars, no driving and yes, relaxing in our own private coach with folks of similar interest.
By doing all the rote work and planning ourselves, we put a unique one shot deal together at half the going rates, with better locations, timing, and the God’s were good to us in that PHOTOKINA and OKTOBERFEST came at the beginning and the end of the trip timing. This has never to my knowledge happened, you either got one or the other. Pure luck.
It's for all photographers from beginners to professionals all working alongside each other. The trip hits two of Germany’s biggest events, PLUS ten days of the most photographic landscape and people experience and includes:
Attendance at PHOTOKINA. This show only occurs every two years and to be able to fit the worlds greatest photo and electronics trade show in with the OCTOBERFEST, the worlds biggest party.
Almost 7 million attended last year. We will be traveling in our own private passenger deluxe coach and we have secured privately, tickets into OKTOBERFEST as guests, in one of the Paulaner Beer Tents. Getting into a tent is like going for seats at the Superbowl. It was sold out last year for this year.
PLUS - We will be visiting ten of the most notable cities, in southern Germany with a myriad of unique churches, castles, breathtaking landscapes, and with the emphasis on this being a photo and people experience. Entry to Germany through Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Trier, Luxembourg, Speyer, Danauworth, Rothenberg, Wieskirche, Oberammergau, Obersalzberg, Departing Munich back to the States.
26 18 lucky individuals will be privileged to partake and socialize thousands of miles away doing what photographers like to do… taking images… all photographers, a really good mix of beginners who want to learn more, advanced amateurs and pros who all taught, at unique locations, with timely world class events all on one “E” Ticket. And being side by side with those who have answers and are willing to share. Nothing, nothing like this has ever been packed into one trip.
We put the Encyclopedia Britannica into a Readers Digest. Almost a year and a half ago when Tom told me of this idea, I thought he was loosing it. But as a friend, co-worker, and fellow trade show traveler for thirty years, we can call each others ideas crazy or nuts all the time. Nothing personal, we kick things around a lot, OK I delved in.
Everything is locked in, we have the necessary confirmations. Systems are go. Read the whole thing, I had others tell me in the travel industry, asking how did he pull it off… An agent friend told me this on a single basis would almost be double and wouldn't include some of the bennies offered. Another shorter less inclusive trip to IRELAND that just posted is 30% more and has none of the special events we are offering.
Disclaimers and Safe Browsing
This website and my book “The Guide To Weddings” has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and we make no claims it will cure any disease, or malady caused by shooting photos’s at Weddings or at worst someone from the wedding shooting you.
No photographers, brides, grooms, horses, sheep or canines were injured during the writing of this book and if you cannot afford an attorney, my nephew will be available at the usual exaggerated attorney fees for malpractice cases so I can get my cut. We use two, sometimes three ICONS to represent certain circumstance.
"DIGGER" INDICATES UNDER CONSTRUCTION
NO SMOKE NO BULLSH*T - You are about to get truth.
Thoughts Deader than Casey's Balls
>>>>>> MY OTHER WEB SITES <<<<<<
POLITICS, SEX, and RELIGION EXPOSED
Things not spoken about except at the water cooler"
FOOD, FODDER and FOIE GRAS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY
"How to get thrown out as a food critic, tell the truth"
THE CENTRAL COMMAND MEMORIAL
ACCURATE PLATING and WEAPONRY
"Professional Factory Gunsmithing and Plating"
DIAL INDICATOR REPAIR
"Make your Indicator like New"
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