Whether you’re shooting video or stills, portable LED lights have become very widely-accepted for use indoors or out because of their portability and their small size/weight. I’ve used half a dozen different brands of LED lights. They all have the basics in common. They typically run on battery (some on battery or AC/DC), they don’t get hot to the touch like traditional strobes or non-LED constant lighting. They are almost all very lightweight and portable. I evaluated three such lights from Polaroid. Yes Polaroid. While you may remember … [Read more...] about Polaroid Portable LED Lights – First Look
Sometimes I forget to pack a remote shutter release when I stumble upon an HDR scene. Luckily I can set up a Sony A7 series camera to shoot a bracketed series of images with a self-timer. Press the Menu button on the upper-left backside of the camera. Navigate to the page 2 of the Image menu and scroll down to Bracket Settings. Press Ok. Inside Bracket Settings, click on Self Timer. I like to assign a 2-second self timer. Scroll down to BRK 2 and click Ok. To shoot with the self-timer, all you need to do is enable the Continuous … [Read more...] about Setting a Self Timer for Bracketing HDR Images on Sony Cameras
There are so many different types of tripod heads and it can get confusing on which one to use depending on what you’re shooting. I like it when my gear complements my photography, rather than getting in the way or making my job harder. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types of tripod heads. Ball Heads Ball heads are the most popular tripod head for photography. The rotating ball lets you position the camera in almost any way imaginable, with a locking screw letting you lock the ball in position. It gives you the most flexibility in … [Read more...] about Breaking Down the Different Types of Tripod Heads
Nikon and Canon cameras have a button on the camera body to enable a bracketing mode. Sony cameras don’t…I’d buried under the shooting mode menu. Once you know what you’re looking for and configure your settings, it’s very easy to switch in and out of bracketing mode. Let’s go through the settings and get set up. To enable bracketing, we need to change the Drive Mode of the camera. You can do this one of two ways: Press the left side of the circular wheel on the back of the camera Go into the Menu, navigate to page 2 of the Image … [Read more...] about Setting up Bracketing on Sony Cameras
There are a wide variety of digital cameras available than can shoot video. In this section, we’ll primarily explore the options available when shooting DSLR video. However the core technology discussed is also relevant to most video cameras being produced today. Which type of camera will work best for you? It depends to a great extent on the type of work you do. Choosing the Right Camera for Video Shooting Digital still cameras have recently gained a new feature: the ability to shoot high definition video. Still photographers are … [Read more...] about Choosing the Right Camera for Video Shooting
While DSLR video cameras are very capable, there are some times when it’s going to be better to use a traditional video camera. There are a number of functions that are either missing on DSLRs or are not well-suited to the form factor. Here are some considerations that would make a traditional video camera a better choice. Autofocus - Many DSLR cameras simply can’t autofocus when they are in video shooting mode. And the ones that do autofocus may do it with too much “searching.” Consumer video cameras often feature autofocus options. … [Read more...] about When Should You use a Traditional Video Camera Instead of a DSLR?
Shooting video on a DSLR, Mirrorless or Micro Four Thirds camera can be challenging. Let's look at how to choose the right camera or camera configuration for the task at hand. Even if you only have one camera to use, you can figure out how to optimize your set-up for the job. Form Factor Shooting video on a DSLR camera is currently not a well-designed experience in terms of ergonomics. The technical need to shoot with the camera’s mirror open requires the photographer to compose a shot using the DSLR’s LiveView feature or LCD monitor. As … [Read more...] about How to Get a Stable Shot When Shooting Video
When shooting video on a DSLR, you will be recording to one of the camera’s memory slots to a card. You’ll often feel as though you don’t have many choices when it comes to choosing your camera storage format. While some manufacturers support more than one format (offering both a CompactFlash and a Secure Digital card slot), the choice is still made by the camera manufacturer. Card format Knowing what each format is capable of is important. All modern storage formats have their advantages and limitations. You can use this knowledge when … [Read more...] about Advice When Shooting Video to a Memory Card
Correct exposure for video capture is complicated by several factors. Even if you’ve mastered it for stills workflows, additional limitations make video capture more difficult. As a photographer, you’re can take advantage of shooting in different program modes for unique situations. Perhaps you enjoy the ease of aperture priority. When shooting video, you will generally achieve best results by switching all controls over to manual. Your basic tools for exposure control are ISO and aperture. Unfortunately, with video you’ll lose the shutter … [Read more...] about How to Expose a Video Shot
With new cameras being released every month and new developments in memory card technology, many readers have struggled to find a memory card reader that works well for them. My friend Michael Tapes, designer of LensAlign, was having an issue finding a card reader that could grow with him and evolve as his cameras evolve. The Nikon D5 shoots either dual XQD or dual CF cards, Nikon D810 shoots SD and CF, Nikon D500 shoots XQD and SD, Canon 1DX Mark II shoots CF and CFast cards, and both the Canon 5D Mark III and 5Ds R shoot CF and SD cards. As … [Read more...] about Speed Up your Import Workflow with a New Card Reader
A few weeks ago, I rented a Sony A7s Mark II camera from LensRentals.com for a trip to a few Southern California beaches. After using the camera for about 2 weeks, one of my absolute favorite features of the Sony a7 series cameras is the inclusion of a micro-USB port. Packing so much performance into a small body can really be a draw on the batteries, and Sony's little batteries are some of the worst on the market. Luckily, you can power the camera externally using the micro-USB port on the side of a camera. Now you may be thinking, how am I … [Read more...] about External Power for Sony A7 Series Cameras
As you evaluate cameras for shooting DSLR video, one of the most important factors is the format or codec the camera records in. Different manufacturers use different file formats (and may offer different choices within their own product lines). It is essential that you understand the impact of codec, let’s compare how video compression relates to still compression. When shooting stills, you can often choose to shoot raw, TIFF, or JPEG. Raw files allow for superior latitude during post-processing since raw images are not permanently … [Read more...] about Choosing the Best Capture Format for Recording Video
When shooting video, it is important to achieve a white balancing setting that gives you the desired color temperature at the point of acquisition. While you can apply filters or effects during editing, these can add additional processing time to your workflow. Taking the time to manually white balance your camera will reduce shifts in color temperature as the subjects move in the scene. The last thing you want is shifts in color. https://vimeo.com/37315644 White balance presets All digital cameras have some white balance presets for … [Read more...] about Understanding White Balance & Video
This is part 6 of a series on timelapse photography. Generally you’re going to avoid shooting in an Automated mode like Program, Shutter Priority, or Aperture Priority. You need to shoot manual to really control the camera. Let’s briefly revisit the Exposure triangle: Aperture. Remember the aperture is the size of the opening in your lens. And generally speaking, you're going to adjust this based upon the environment. If shooting mountain ranges or fields, I'm going to go down to a very small aperture, maybe F16. So there's a … [Read more...] about How to Expose the Shot for Timelapse Photography
This is part 4 of a series on timelapse photography. Your camera offers two or even three ways to make a timelapse movie. The method you choose will influence both the quality of the final output and the amount of post processing time. Shooting JPEG You’ll choose JPEG if you're going to be likely recording for very long durations. Because of their smaller file size, you can shoot longer on the same card. JPEGs offer more sizes to choose from in camera, so you can choose an image size that more closely matches the requirements that you … [Read more...] about Choosing the Right Record Format for Timelapse Photography
This is part 3 of a series on timelapse photography. Let’s review some of the most important gear you can use with timelapse photography. This is the bare bones needs that won't set you back a lot of money. Tripod. The very first thing, you need is a rock solid platform. Now, in a pinch you might cradle your camera and set it on rock, but a far better choice is a real tripod. Now, by real I mean, get the best tripod you can afford. You want something solid. Not the rickety thing that you get at a big box electronic store. With … [Read more...] about Essential Equipment for Timelapse Photography
This is part 2 of a series on timelapse photography. When it comes to time-lapse, the primary objective is to get a great exposure in the camera. Revisit the Exposure Triangle, so you balance out the aperture, the ISO, and the shutter speed. This'll give you a proper exposure in camera. More importantly though, you need that exposure to not change over time. So you're going to need to learn to shoot manual. So that the camera doesn't adapt. If you've got a camera in automatic mode, the exposure's going to vary as the camera tries to … [Read more...] about What to Capture for Timelapse Photography
This is part 1 of a series on timelapse photography. Time-lapse photography is the closest thing to how you shoot as a still photographer. It’s essentially clicking a shutter and making a single image, over and over again…potentially thousands of times sequentially. One of the things I love about time-lapse video is how compelling the end product is. It's just magical how you can see the passage of time. In order to do this, there's lots of things to put together. Essentially, hundreds, if not thousands of stills that get assembled into a … [Read more...] about What is Timelapse Photography?
Whether its a big job that pops up or even a little one... sometimes an extra set of hands can go a long way. Maybe it's a video project that needs an audio professional or an assistant to help you light a big shoot. The challenge though is that finding other professionals to work with can seem quite daunting at first. This is especially true if you are changing markets or professional focus. It’s important to realize that there's always good help out there. And groups like the film and video community are well established with their own … [Read more...] about Finding and Hiring Video Production Team Members
It is that time of year again. NAB is just around the corner. My inbox and social media have already been flooded with official announcements and "unofficial" leaks. What am I excited to see on the show floor? There is a lot to cover, so let's dive in. Lytro Cinema — Lytro's light field cameras caused quite a stir in the photography community a while back. And, while the consumer market was not ready for the Illium, Lytro has not been idle. I knew they had VR projects in the pipeline, but I did not see Lytro Cinema coming. … [Read more...] about What to Look For At NAB 2016
I've been working from the road for the past several weeks, only stopping home to repack my bags and maybe sleep for a night. One of the ways I stay sane when flying so much is using Bose QC25 noise-cancelling headphones. While being able to catch up on work (or sleep) in peace on the plane, the headphones come with a downside…they need a AAA battery to power the noise cancelling. But they work for about 35 hours on a single AAA battery. Last week, I was boarding an early-morning flight to Atlanta. When I got to my seat, I put on my Bose … [Read more...] about I Didn’t Bring a Backup
Would you like to make some great photos of the night sky? Join Ron Risman and me in Las Vega, NV for a timelapse workshop. The event is being held in conjunction with this year's NAB conference. This is a chance to capture breathtaking time lapse sequences. This hands on workshop will let you capture both day and night time lapses in one of the most beautiful locations in Nevada. Night Sky Time-Lapse Field Workshop Fri. April 15| 11:00 AM - 3 AM Cost $545 The workshop is open to photographers and cinematographers of … [Read more...] about Upcoming Timelapse Workshop in Las Vegas
Think Tank Photo has just announced the release of their latest product, the Production Manager 50, a gigantic roller case designed to hold an immense amount of gear, including lighting equipment and large light modifiers. This case will allow a single photographer to transport what it used to take up to two assistants to move! Its size, in case you were wondering, is impressive; Exterior Dimensions: 17.3” W x 53.1” H x 12.6” D (44 x 135 x 32 cm), Interior Dimensions: 15.6” W x 49.2” H x 10” D (39.5 x 125 x 25 cm), and its Weight: 20.7 – 29.8 … [Read more...] about Think Tank Has Released The Largest Rolling Photography Case Ever!
That’s right…March 31st is World Backup Day! The stories and memories we capture through images are priceless, but they may not last forever without a solid backup plan. On World Backup Day, make sure that you’re precious files are backed up safe and sound. What should I Check Make sure your backup drives are all booting up and spinning Check that there is enough space to continue backing up, or look into getting a larger hard drive If your system has an automated backup, check and make sure it's completing it's backup without … [Read more...] about March 31st is World Backup Day
In what certainly counts as the least surprising Apple keynote in recent years, the company teased two new products on Monday that shrink existing products: a new 4-inch iPhone and 9.7-inch iPad Pro. While the phone is aimed squarely at new customers, the iPad seems to answer many of the complaints existing Apple devotees had of their massive 12-inch iPad Pro which hit the streets six months ago. The new more svelte iPad Pro packs almost all of the processing punch of it's bigger sibling into the more hand-friendly 9.7-inch form factor 200 … [Read more...] about There’s a New, Smaller iPad Pro. Should You Care?
When shooting a portrait or head shot outdoors or inside a studio, I always use a reflector or bounce card to add some sparkle to the subject. This is Emily, I first shot her without any reflected light indoors in my studio. Now, I will add some reflected light directly below her and just out of the bottom frame. Notice Garrett is holding the reflector. Some photographers will ask the talent to just hold the reflector because they have no one to assist them. Get a stand or something, never ask your subject to hold the reflector on … [Read more...] about Reflected Beauty
Timelapses are really cool ways to show time progression and I love to create one or two in every city I travel to. Over the summer, I had a short stay at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta and shot a really cool timelapse of car streaks outside the hotel. It didn't take long and was a lot of fun to produce. https://youtu.be/N7NwnYawroQ What You'll Need Camera with a wide-angle lens Intervalometer (Unless your camera has one built in. I like TriggerTrap) Tripod Extra batteries Step One - Find a great location Just like with an … [Read more...] about Timelapsing Car Streaks at Night
In the financial world, banks spend upwards of $300 acquiring new customers. This takes into consideration marketing, phone centers, customer service, banking center staff, pens/paper/ink, etc. Keeping in mind that some of us own a photography studio/small business, our costs aren't nearly as high; but every customer counts. In the photography world, our clients are our customers. We spend lots of hours on social media, Google Adwords, word-of-mouth advertising and hundred of dollars on flyers, postcards, business cards trying to market our … [Read more...] about Keeping Your Clients means More Business for You
Here's a great tip I got from watching some grips quickly change gels on some frames. In the past, when you removed an old gel or diffusion material you always had the mess of the sticky material. Either the 2-sided tape, or the foam stuff from 3M double stick, which ever material was used it was a challenge. I was observing some grips used the following technique and it was fast. This is a standard 18"x24" frame. The first thing you want to do is apply Blue Painters Tape around the entire frame. Here you can see I'm using 1" … [Read more...] about Getting Taped Up
Few television shows ever achieve the 300th episode milestone. On February 9, 2016 NCIS not only accomplished it, they did so while being the most viewed television show in the world 2 years in a row! I am humbly honored to have been the photographer for 301 of those episodes. 301 you ask? I was involved with the spin off from JAG also. I have been involved with many shows that have achieved the 100th episode, and a few that reached the 200th milestone. 300, that’s a first for me. Allow me to share some thoughts and statistics with you. The … [Read more...] about NCIS 300th Episode