New Kit

Some of us here have been working hard. Writing, peddling, Clicking the shutter, etc. Speaking of clicking the shutter, I have recently acquired some new photo tools, including a few of these Sandisk Extreme III cards.
These cards are FAST for the money to be sure. 19 RAW @ 6fps fast, that sure is good enough for me! A pack of five 2gb SD cards can be had at Adorama for $49.95, with free shipping. I'm not sure if they still have the CF cards, but this is a heck of a deal either way! Also, my camera bag now contains some new "creative tools" (read Strobist). This subject is something that I have recently come across while searching for what makes some photos look "pro" and similar ones look "blah" Lighting seems to be the key (who would have thought that lighting and photography were related?). Anyway, it turning out that It is a lot cheaper to buy a couple of used flashes and some radio slaves, then to buy that SUPER PRO looking 70-200 F/2.8 lens. Your photos will look better too. If you're looking to fill up your camera bag with stuff that is actually useful then this setup gives you the most bang for your buck by far. Flashes are not just for night use either, a well placed daytime fill flash makes your image pop. Check out THIS for some great examples, yes some of the image are not quite "hardcore" but look at all the beautiful light.
The best way to get into the flash game is to check out ebay and search "vivitar flash" or "sunpak". You will need at least 2 flashes, nothing fancy but it is best if you can manually adjust the flash output. Also, you can ignore tags like "for nikon" or "for canon". Since you are not directly attaching the flash to the camera none of that will make a difference. After you pick out a flash or two, head over to Gadget Infinity and search "cactus V2s" You will need 1 transmitter, and then 1 receiver for each of your flashes. When the boxes come in the mail get excited and make great pictures. Here is that first image I made with this setup. Far from perfect but not hard on the eyes either.

One word of caution about old flashes. Flashes use an electrical signal (trigger voltage) to fire the flash in sync with the camera. Newer flashes use a trigger voltage of less than 6v and work nicely with modern digital cameras. Older flashes (the vivitar 285 for example) may have a trigger voltage up to 250v. This is enough to fry your camera! so while these older flashes are perfect for use with a radio slave (cheap, reliable, high powered) please do not use them on your camera without checking the trigger voltage before hand. Same goes for monolights (studio flashes). Another word, be careful when playing with flashes! a flash with 4 AA batteries can kill you if dropped into water, I once was changing a flash bulb in a camera and forgot to remove the batteries. Even though the camera was off when I touched a contact with my screwdriver it felt like someone was shaking me as hard as they could. I ended up with some pretty good berns from that. Have fun but be safe.