In an attempt to photograph the beautiful mehndi design on my hands, I set up studio in the spare room in my flat. I meticulously followed each step:
1.) Unpack flash-heads, cords, light stands, wires, sandbags, umbrellas, soft boxes, camera, tripod, CF card.
2.) Set up lightstands, tripod, camera.
3.) Attach flash-heads to lightstands, plug in flash-heads to powerstrip, attach softbox and umbrella.
4.) Attach camera to flash-unit.
5.) Turn on power.
6.) Fire away. Fire. Literally a fire in my house.
In my haste to document my beautiful little piece of India, I failed to recall one critical element: US Voltage doesn’t mix with Indian voltage at the wattage level in my flash units. I pressed the shutter and my flash-heads blew and simultaneously started smoking and popping uncontrollably. I even saw a few sparks.
Shrieking with terror, I managed to unplug the power strip before burning the entire building down.
When documenting something really cool, wait until morning so that you can shoot using natural light. Also, orange velvet curtains can smell like smoke for weeks. It’s best to avoid them altogether.