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 lucky and many times been fortunate to be in the right time at the right place. It’s what keeps me going.
This is a different website than you are accustomed to. It is huge, packed with information. No big sales, no glitzy stuff, no carts, no nothing, except knowledge and a few ideas (some say a few thousand) to help you survive in the photographic industry. My goal is to get you thinking, simplifying the job and perhaps helping you to make some money. Thats the satisfaction I get. Basically there are three sections here and each is very diversified and informational.
I’m old school in ethics, but well versed in modern methods and I build 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 of fifty years allows you to meet some very special people and fiddle the music you like.
I’m a shooter and a writer, seven websites on Sports, Weddings, Events, Political Journalism, Industrial, Food, been there done that. So why build packs? keeps the mind going, the arthritic fingers moving and the phone ringing. Actually it started because I needed more reliability than what was out there. Thats also why my photo is a cartoon, a few politicians and a few restaurants would like to see me run over by a bus. When you ask me what I shoot with, I tell folks Nikon, SONY, Metz, Bogen, a couple GLOCKS, and a 9 shot IPSC loaded Remington 1187 Custom with Ghost sights, and a Cree Firefox on the bottom.
I like simple, easy to use, gear that works and after being licensed as a private 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 and work on electronics ... an hour in a 65 HP cub can be like ice cream…you sit back, go nowhere slow and smell the roses with an occasional landfill thrown in.
Thats why I made my own battery packs initially with likeable simple designs and I like to share those ideas and ideals with others. But sharing ( this site is a lot bigger than you think) sometimes means long reads and some can’t seem to navigate. Those are the ones who didn’t read the manual that came with their car, haven’t picked up a book in ages, and can’t change a flat. We are diligently working on a navigation kit with coloring books and crayons for the sharing impaired. In the meantime use the site guide.
SECTION ONE - PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
The PRODUCTS AND SERVICES tab explains what we offer in terms of pricing of battery packs, brackets, cable shortening, and so forth.
If you see something you like to order, and it’s a battery pack please consult the FLASH CHART tab to order the correct cable for your flash. With information in hand you go to the HOW TO ORDER tab and that’s all there is.
I work with flashes and power supplies, and to keep costs down to you, I “frugalize" on fancy web based buying services and ordering pages. I make simple products that work and make you money and keep my costs down to serve you better. I also like simple websites that I can change easily and keep up to date. You are not buying a glitzy web page, I put my money in the products to keep prices down.
I delve into almost every facet of photography by direct contact with my customers and getting lots of tips and feedback and I share. I have a good idea of what works out there, great ideas for helping your business. 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 upgraded projects with others.
This section deals with products I designed and built to be simple and rugged. The Black Box, is a PRO series, and the smaller Tuxedo and HUSKY are cost efficient smaller power packs for the most common strobes on the market today, and also fit many legacy units.
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. Just ask Boeing and your cellphone supplier about Lithium. 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.
THE SECOND SECTION : 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. I love dreaming this stuff up. It’s humor for me. I am a student of simplicity with degrees from Ace Hardware, Lowes and Home Depot.
- Some findings 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 must be the one who 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 THIRD SECTION: THE WEDDING BOOK, EVENT SHOOTER and BUSINESS GUIDE
For forty plus years and over 450 weddingsI learned a lot from the Brides I shot, from those with resplendent tears of joy to those whose glowing red pustules where the eyes were must have been the daughters of Mephistopheles. Many who were so far gone from reality should of been shot with the telephoto lens mounted on a Winchester 338 with either Lapua or Barnes best.
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 and rewarding 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. Mostly politicians, TV religious false prophets who steal from Grandmas for profits, and SEX, 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.
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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