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|| News Item: Posted 2001-11-26

Stupid Photographer Tricks
By Al Tielemans, Sports Illustrated

Photo by
I am not one to repair things. I don't find myself particularly handy, and since things usually break on the road I usually send them out for repair, or just buy a new one.

When the dome on my Minolta Flash Meter became loose a few weeks ago, I figured I better glue it back to the mount before it fell off completely. So, naturally, I forgot and the dome popped off during a football game. I rigged the dome with gaffer tape (my one concession to the no-repair policy is anything that can be fixed with gaffer tape...). When I got home Monday I rummaged through my photo-junk - kit and found another dome...but that was loose too, so I figured I'd just pull out the Krazy Glue.

I checked the manual for any dire warnings about using glue on the "spherical diffuser" and found nothing.

So I did it. Perfect.

Now, fortunately it was a crystal clear day, and I decided to calibrate my meters. (I point them directly at the sun at midday on a clear day, and calibrate them to 1/1000 4.07 at 100 ASA)

As I checked the meters, I noticed the one I'd glued started to change 4.06 4.05 4.04 What the???

I popped off the diffuser and found the sensor inside fogged up...I tried to wipe it down with some film cleaner when that didn't work, I realized THAT THE GLUE FUMES WERE MELTING THE SENSOR!!!

I frantically tried contacting Minolta, and after wading through their computer voice bank for a half-hour found a service human who listened, and just said, "Oooohhhhh."

I mentioned the situation to my wife who said, "Yeah, it's Krazy Glue. What did you expect?" Now, I wasn't only angry, but embarrassed as well. I debated telling anyone about this my wife made it seem so obviously stupidmaybe her MBA was worth the money after all.

How could I submit this for repair and save face??

Photo by
Which brings me to part two of this story:

During the NLCS in Atlanta I was eating lunch with Allsport-ers Doug Pensinger and Jonathan Daniel, Reanne Lea Speed (pronounced Rain Lee), a former Braves intern working support for the Series, and my assistant, Chad Roedenmeier.

I broke down and told my embarrassing meter story for the first time and was relieved to hear Jon Daniel say, "I've done that!"

I was not alone!

It was at this point that I realized I had to come clean and write this up for the Hanashiro Papers, to save meters everywhere.

Now back to Rain Lee and Chad. We discussed Rain Lee's name and how it would be a great entertainment name. Doug Pensioner, once he stopped laughing at the Crazy Glue story, commented that Rain Lee Speed should really get a job with NASCAR. She bravely added that when she got to town she was told it was a great porn name. Chad, proving how crucial assistants are, told us how to come up with our own Porn Names:

Your childhood pet's name becomes your first name, and your childhood street name becomes your last name. So, OK, in my wildest dreams, I'm Duke Hunter.

So what does this story have to do with my Krazy Glue dilemma?

I imagined myself a fly on the wall, listening to the snickers of the repair staff at Minolta Service, when that Duke Hunter guy sent in his melted meter.

(Al Tielemans is a staff photographer with Sports Illustrated. If you have any "stupid photographer tricks" and would like to pass them along, please send them to Al in care of:

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