I am fortunate to have several groups of wild horses and burros that live within a 20-minute drive of my home. They are one of my favorite subjects to photograph with the stark Nevada desert as a backdrop. While I did not own horses as a kid, I grew up around them and am very comfortable in their presence. Recently, I was reminded that most folks have no idea how to behave around horses. Too often, people assume they are gentle, docile creatures and many are. But, wild or domesticated, horses are half-ton animals who are built to bolt and, … [Read more...] about Staying Safe Around Wild Horses
Your footage does not exist until it exists in at least two other places than the source. Then, and only then, should you reuse source media. The adage above is as close to a truism as one can find in digital video production. At the start of my production career, Alex Lindsay hammered it into me on every shoot. Today, it is one of the first things I teach new folks. Nowhere is the risk of ignoring this adage greater than when one is in the field, away from ample electrical outlets and clean, flat surfaces. Even when power and workspace … [Read more...] about OFFLOAD = Peace of Mind
A while back, I was chatting with Scott Bourne about the emerging 4K acquisition standard and the video camera "arms race" originally started by Red Digital Cinema. At the time, he said "Rich Harrington is always talking about 4K as well. I get it. It's a bigger frame, but I am not sure how that will impact still photographers." Over the last eighteen months, a lot has changed. Panasonic, Sony, GoPro and, most recently, Canon have brought new 4K capable cameras to market. Even our smartphones now capture 4K video. With this in mind, you may … [Read more...] about 4K. What’s all the Hubub, Bub?
It is not often one finds someone willing to traipse around the chilly Alaskan countryside, looking for moose. But, that is precisely what I found when I met Clemens Vanderwerf last spring. We had already spent a week on the Kachemak Bay photographing eagles, sea otters, Stellar's Sea Lions and a host of pelagic seabirds. But on my last day, I wanted to go looking for moose in the countryside and Clemens joined me. We saw several moose off in the distance, but none close enough to make it worth pulling out our cameras. Clemens had a flight … [Read more...] about Offbeat with Clemens Vanderwerf
Well, this moves the needle. Lately, GoPro has been taking a bit of a beating as more players like Sony, Nikon and, if rumors are to be believed, Olympus have entered the fray. Yesterday, GoPro and Periscope announced a new integration that allows GoPro owners to connect their cameras to the Periscope app. On the surface, this might seem a bit frivolous; it is anything but. At NAB 2015, GoPro, in partnership with Vislink, announced the HEROCast. At $7,500, the HEROCast turns the GoPro into a compact, wireless remote head for integration … [Read more...] about GoPro + Periscope = DroneCast
GoPro created the action camera segment. Many others followed but, with the exception of Sony, all have met with limited success. With today's announcement at CES, Nikon enters the fray and brings something entirely new to the table … 360 degree video. Named the "Key Mission" (KM), Nikon's first action cam is scheduled to deliver 360 degree, 4K video, the backbone of Virtual Reality (VR) capture. Technical details of the new camera remain vague, including battery life, price, recording codecs/formats and a delivery date. Slightly … [Read more...] about Nikon Challenges GoPro With 360/VR Capture
Joel Grimes' work is instantly recognizable. From powerful, dynamic posing, to a rich, yet desaturated, HDR look, to masterful compositing which is both surreal and firmly grounded in reality, his photography is iconic. His work has such intensity that, when I met Joel a few years back, expected him to be equally intense and, perhaps, aloof. Instead, Joel is easy-going, approachable and generous with his time and knowledge. With that in mind, let's hear from Joel. Aside from the mechanics of photography (e.g. the exposure triangle, … [Read more...] about Offbeat with Joel Grimes
A little over year ago, I stumbled across an amazing image on Facebook that someone was passing off as a production still from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Knowing how closely J.J. Abrams protects his mystery box, I was dubious and started digging. That search lead me to Matthew Callahan and the toy photography project that would come to be known as Galactic Warfighters. I have been a huge fan ever since. Not long after, I reached out to Matthew, who, as Marine Corps Combat Correspondent, was stationed in Okinawa at the time. This fact … [Read more...] about Galactic Warfighters: Much More Than Toys
Today, the FAA formally announced plans for the registration of small unmanned aircraft (UAS), better known as "drones". The new laws apply to any UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras. Effective December 21st, all owners of qualifying drones are required to register them with the FAA. Failure to comply may result in civil and criminal penalties. Registration includes a $5 fee, which will be refunded for all registrations submitted before January … [Read more...] about Like It Or Not, All Drones Must Be Registered
Lately, I have been researching studio configurations. Jeremy Cowart's Triptik Studio Walkthrough got the juices flowing; especially the rolling backdrop that doubles as storage for bounces, flags and other gear. My space is an open floorplan and I already have plenty of stuff on casters, including my edit desk. I'd never thought of something like Cowart's rolling wall. Genius! I made a mental note to do something similar and moved on. Then, I stumbled across the video below from on Lifehacker. Ramsey's concept is a bit different than … [Read more...] about Benchmark: DIY Rolling Studio Gear Rack
Check out the rest of Organize Your Photos: DAM Foundations Consolidate Conform Cull Copy Clear You have rebuilt your photo archive. Now, you have a collection of hard drives, USB drives and CF/SD card that need to be addressed. To start, decide which drives stay and which should go. Here are a few things to consider: How old is the drive? The older the drive gets, the more likely it is to fail. How big is the drive? If you only shoot stills, field drives of 250-500GB might be worth keeping. If you shoot video, 1TB might be … [Read more...] about Clear: Securely Wipe Old Drives
Check out the rest of Organize Your Photos: DAM Foundations Consolidate Conform Cull Copy Clear Finally, it is time to bring everything into Lightroom. Before starting, you have a couple of decisions to make. Review the following information and decide where you want your Lightroom assets to live and how you want Lightroom to manage those assets. Three Key Questions One Catalog or Many? You are bringing a lot of images together. Does it make sense to have them all in one Lightroom catalog? Or, should you create … [Read more...] about Copy: Peace of Mind Through Archives
Check out the rest of Organize Your Photos: DAM Foundations Consolidate Conform Cull Copy Clear Up until this point, we have been adding to our DAM drives. Consolidation gathered everything together. Conformation added both order and context to the working DAM drive while identifying possible duplicates within it. Now, act on this information and begin to cull the repository of duplicate data and media you do not need to process. This is the riskiest part of the process because it is subtractive. When the cull is … [Read more...] about Cull: Remove Dupes and Bad Media
Check out the rest of Organize Your Photos: DAM Foundations Consolidate Conform Cull Copy Clear After consolidating source media on the DAM drives, everything is now in one place. Along the way, it is likely that some duplicate data has been created and some media has been copied that we really do not need. At this point, the DAM drives look something like this: Establish A Naming Convention Before cleaning the repository, one must be certain one can make accurate comparisons between folders. To do this, a standard naming … [Read more...] about Conform: Meaningful Folder Structures
Check out the rest of Organize Your Photos: DAM Foundations Consolidate Conform Cull Copy Clear The first step in organizing a new repository is getting the files all in one place. The goal is to clean off all of the various drives on which they are found. In this step, duplicate files and directories will be created. Do not worry. Eventually, duplicates will be removed. Until then, err on the side of caution so, in your zeal to clean and purge, nothing important is lost. Assemble the Ingredients Before starting, … [Read more...] about Consolidate: Create A Rough Repository
Check out the rest of Organize Your Photos: DAM Foundations Consolidate Conform Cull Copy Clear Cleaning up a mismanaged media archive is no small task. Doing it well will take time and effort. Before getting started, there are a few things to consider and several decisions to make to establish a sound Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy. Definitions Become familiar with the following terms. They are regularly used in this guide. Digital Asset Management (DAM): Management tasks and decisions surrounding the ingestion, … [Read more...] about DAM Foundations
As I prepared to migrate my back catalog from Aperture to Lightroom, I realized I had a problem on my hands. When working for clients, I am meticulous about Digital Asset Management (DAM). Files are carefully cataloged and multiple archives are created to hand off. When shooting for myself, not so much. Good Intentions... Bad Execution In the field, I always make two backups. But, I was not very disciplined about moving those archives to my workstation back at the office. As a result, I accumulated a raft of data, floating on a river of … [Read more...] about Organize Your Photos! The Five Cs of DAM Repair
"What you do for a living is not be creative, what you do is ship." Seth Godin At the bottom of this post, you will find a video recently posted by a good friend of mine who owns small game publishing house. He and his partner are well-respected in their industry for delivering quality products that their audience love. So, when he posted this as a call to all creatives, I had to make time to watch. I wasn't disappointed. As creatives, we live and die by our ability to see the world, real or imagined, differently than the average … [Read more...] about Ship or Shut Up
Last July, Apple announced that development on Aperture would cease. Last October, Adobe announced an Aperture Import Plugin for Lightroom. Both announcements garnered groans from me. The writing was on the wall. It was time for me to finally become an Adobe switcher. To explain, I have to share a bit of background. I come from video production. Specifically, I cut my editing teeth on Apple's Final Cut. So naturally, I gravitated to Aperture to manage stills. For the most part, I was content in my Apple bubble. Then, at NAB 2011, as part of … [Read more...] about Why I Am (Finally) Migrating to Lightroom
While they started as first-person POV action cameras, GoPros have become a standard tool in the kits of many cinematographers. Each version of their flagship Hero camera has improved on the design and capabilities of this tiny camera. Now, The folks at GoPro have started putting together a video tutorial series for their flagship product. I've assembled the first three episodes in a playlist for the video above. You can also find the episodes, mixed in with other content, in GoPros's … [Read more...] about The GoPro Field Guide
We have a new GoPro. In fact, we have three. Like many of you, I have been waiting for these new action cameras to drop. Now that they have, let's take a look at what each offers, where it might fit in in your kit and what the new entries might signal about the future of the line. Three New Options Hero Key Feature: Accessible Entry Level Model Price: $130 The Hero replaces the Hero 3 White Edition as the entry level model. At $130, the Hero puts the power of the Hero 3 White into the hands of everyone. This mix of power and … [Read more...] about Say Hello To Your New Hero, from GoPro
Like many of you, I had the Apple product announcement playing in the background at the studio recently. I was excited by the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but what I really wanted to see was the Apple Watch. There are so many possible applications for wearable computing devices and, until Apple, no manufacturer had come close to realizing that potential. Why Does Apple Watch Matter to Photographers? What makes the Apple Watch a potential game changer? A combination of form factor, Bluetooth, WiFi and apps that take advantage of all three. … [Read more...] about Apple Watch | The Photographer’s New Best Friend?
Like many of our readers, I am the resident Photoshop expert among my friends and family. Every year, around this time, I am asked to do at least one custom helmet for a friend's fantasy football team. I usually poke around Google, looking for a template that allows me to be a good friend while working quickly so it does not become a distraction. Until this year, my search has been fruitless. A few weeks ago, I found V2 Revolution Helmet, an Photoshop template from Fraser Davidson (aka rezland). The PSD file is very well organized and easy … [Read more...] about Are You Ready for Some Photoshop Football?
It is not very long, but this video walks through the history of cinema while inspiring the watcher with quotes from famous films. You need not be a filmmaker to be inspired; just a storyteller. https://vimeo.com/100436029 Thanks to David Anderson for making this short film and Cinephilia and Beyond for posting it for me to discover and share. … [Read more...] about 250 Seconds of Storytelling Inspiration
This post is the first in a series that takes our readers behind the scenes of Bokeh, an independent feature film. To get us started, I think it best to explain my role in the production, as it should provide you, the reader, some perspective on the posts to follow. As is often the case in independent feature films, I wear several hats on Bokeh. When on set, I was a Background Player (tourist photographer), Unit Still Photographer and Documentary Videographer. I even have a few frames in the film as a Second Unit Camera Operator, … [Read more...] about What is a Producer?
Before committing myself to photography and video production full-time, I spent the better part of ten years in web design and development. While working in that arena, I discovered the rich world of open source technology and WordPress. One of the folks I met along the way is Aaron Hockley, WordPress evangelist, and fellow photographer. When I found out that Aaron was launching wp-photographers.com, a blog dedicated to helping photographers better understand and manage WordPress, I had to know more. The site launched a few weeks back and … [Read more...] about Finally, A WordPress Site for Photographers
Last year at Photoshop World, I was introduced to Jeremy Cowart's work by a close friend who considers Cowart a big influence on his own work. I liked what I saw and began following Cowart's blog. Recently, he was named the Most Socially Influential Photographer on the Internet. Cowart responded to this accolade with tremendous humility. For me, that is the ultimate one-two punch: talented photographer and genuinely nice person. So, when asked to pick an interview subject for Photofocus, my choice was simple. In a former life, I … [Read more...] about Seven Questions with Jeremy Cowart
I love my GoPro cameras. One is a constant companion in my backpack. A few years ago, I had an idea to shoot a behind-the-scenes time lapse of my near constant travel (e.g. coming/going to the airport, planes taking off/landing). I put fifteen or so videos in the can but soon gave up on the project. The reason was simple. They sucked. Why? The camera was always attached to a moving, unstable object like my backpack or roll-aboard. As a result, the image jerked around too much and, at the time, the GoPro frame was too small to give me … [Read more...] about Hyperlapse delivers smooth POV time lapse
Build your own Raspberry Pi powered touchscreen digital camera with interchangeable lenses! SnapPiCam As you look at the photo above, I am sure some of you are thinking ... "I have no use for such an odd beast." Think again. A while back, I wrote about what I hope to see when GoPro releases the Hero4 camera later this year. Of the five items listed, the first three are all software solutions which should be relatively simple for GoPro to execute. Sadly, as consumers, all we can do is hope that GoPro listens to such requests or a … [Read more...] about The Emerging Open Source Camera
Where to start? In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Hmmm. Like New Zealand, parts of Iceland certainly feel like Middle Earth; more on that in a future post. I suppose, like Bilbo, it is best that I start at the beginning. Some months ago, my friend Geoffrey Orthwein told me he was working on a screenplay with Andrew Sullivan. They hoped to shoot it in the summer of 2014 and asked if I would be interested in producing the film. I have produced a documentary, several podcasts and tons of live events. A feature film is an … [Read more...] about There and Back Again, Iceland