Everybody is talking about the movement to smaller and lighter cameras such as the Sony A7 series, Panasonic GH4, and Fuji models. This new group of mirrorless cameras are known as a DSLM, or digital single-lens mirrorless camera. Let me explain A traditional film camera with an interchangeable lens was known as a single-lens reflex camera (one lens, with a mirror). The mirror provides the photographer with the image you see in the viewfinder. Traditional mirrors show the environment exactly as your eyes would see it. As technology progresses, … [Read more...] about What is a DSLM?
Over the years of photographing weddings I've learned how to edit the amount of gear I take with me. In the beginning, I was unsure of what I'd come across so my car would be stuffed silly with all kinds of things that I never ended up touching. Here's what has stood the test of time and why: 1) Roller Bag: Do your back, neck, and shoulders a favor and use a roller bag. Even a small amount of gear is heavy, particularly when you're carrying it for 7-12 hours while running around a hotel, venue, and reception site. I use ThinkTank's Airport … [Read more...] about Gear I Can’t Live Without On Wedding Day
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
Wedding photography comes with a lot of challenges, although none more panic inducing (for the photographer) than the nice, cushy, 90 minute portrait time you and your client scheduled into the timeline has been eaten up by every other crisis during the day and now you're left with 10 minutes to make MAGIC happen. Awesome (not). With tightened timelines, often you're left with only a small, nearby area to take photos in and if you're like me, that is a problem because I like to give my clients variety in their photos. In the beginning, I used … [Read more...] about Gain Options by Switching Your Camera’s Focal Length
Hopefully you've started on your holiday shopping and aren't waiting till the last minute to get things out for people. If you're short on ideas, here's a list of main gifts that an Apple iPhone photographer or videographer techie would enjoy. I say that these are main gifts, because well... they're not cheap :D Polaroid ZIP printer This little printer is a nice portable printer that allows you to print out 2x3 prints instantly without any smudging! It connects through Bluetooth 4.0 to an app for iOS and Android and utilizes Polaroid's ZINK … [Read more...] about iPhone Photography/Videography Giftlist!
Most people refer to it as a clothes pin; in Hollywood it's referred to as a C-47. They were named that way because back in the day there were 47 pins in a pack. The C stands for clamp, hence C-47. We'll take them and reverse the way they clamp so that they have more of a pinch tip to grab stuff better: I like using these economical tools for clamping gels to lights and softboxes. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores sells them in different sizes and colors. I like using the medium clamps to secure gels inside small to medium softboxes: The … [Read more...] about C-47: The most useful tool you have in your laundry room.
Here is a great economical way to soften your light. They're China Balls: These were used on the set of Grey's Anatomy. You can buy these light diffusers from World Market or Pier 1 Imports. Here's a link to Filmtools. Filmtools is a great resource; however, on some items they are a bit pricey. They cater to the movie and television industry. They range in cost from around $3.75 for a 12" China Ball up to about $17.00 for a 30" China Ball. Most are made of paper; however, some are made of silk. You do not need the silk ones unless you're … [Read more...] about Lighting with China Balls
Are you looking to have more organized shoots? Well scouting your locations in advance is a big help as it lets you plan for what gear to bring and where to shoot. But keeping all those notes and pictures organized can be a problem. Panascout from Panavision (makers of motion picture cameras) makes it easy. You can now capture photos of your locations and annotate them quickly with extra info. Record video or photos with metadata on image and in file metadata Display Date / Time on image Display GPS coordinates on image Display Compass … [Read more...] about The Perfect Location Scouting App
Im in the market for a new camera and its been a struggle to decide which one I want. Being a techie, Ive analyzed every spec and feature from all the cameras, weighed cost and portability, and compared it to the gear I already have. And still no answer. But since Ive done the research, I figured Id share my thoughts with you and maybe it will help me make a decision. Before I decide, the best thing to do is rent each camera from LensRentals.com and test it out myself. While Ive considered it, I don't have any trips or shoots scheduled for the … [Read more...] about The Search for a Perfect Camera
The color management mavens extraordinaire at X-Rite have just announced two new products for photographers who shoot video with video cameras or with DSLRs... ColorChecker Video and ColorChecker Passport Video. Color management comes to video Frequent Photofocus readers know I am a huge proponent of using X-Rite's ColorCheckers to ensure my still photographs are color accurate. I have used the standard 24-patch target since 1981 when I purchased my first one (still have it.) Then, I used it to determine the filter pack for a given emulsion of … [Read more...] about ColorChecker Now for Video!
What's in your bag? Do you really think that the cameras and lenses that are in my bag are going to get you my job? Stop! I'm not being arrogant, however, how you shoot and I shoot are so radically different it doesn't matter if you use the same gear as I do. We are creative knuckleheads and do what we do as individuals. Wanna know about some of the "stuff" that's in my bag? Allow me to share with you my camera brethren:Altoids, gum, Mentos, or anything that will freshen your breath. I hate working around bad breath. Whether it is from food, … [Read more...] about “What’s in Your Bag?” Stuff!
I'm a huge advocate of creating depth in a photograph. One of the ways is to use a back light or at times referred to as a hair light when shooting talent. Some of the challenges I might have are when the talent has blonde or gray / silver colored hair. I'll lose hair detail in the hair light. I found a great method for helping gain back that detail without losing the depth that a hair light can create. First I'll spray paint the inside of one of my reflectors from metal to flat white. This will soften the contrast: The next thing I will add … [Read more...] about Hot Hair Lights
I know, I know: you can't possibly use a tripod in portraiture because you're moving around too much, and reframing, and chasing kids, and it'll just get in the way and slow you down. I've heard all the reasons before, and I used to say the same things. Until I made a real effort to use a tripod in every shoot, I couldn't believe I really needed it. Now I can't shoot without it and my pictures are better, the expressions are more genuine, and my keeper rate is far higher. Getting that black box of metal and glass out from in front of your face … [Read more...] about Three Tips for Using a Tripod in Portraiture
"Your greatest curse could be your greatest blessing" Shadows, at times they are such a curse, but with a bit of creative manipulating they can be a wonderful blessing. When working on a Hollywood set there are times I'll will have the Grips (the guys who rig things, their name comes from old Hollywood "because you needed a strong hand grip to secure things") set up a diffusion panel for me. If its going to be a full length shot for one or more talent you might end up seeing the edge of a 6x6, or up to a 20x20 foot frame's shadow. Its a ugly … [Read more...] about Camouflaging Shadows
Have you ever wished for more control on your Canon DSLR? In this tutorialfrom the series presented by lynda.com authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman dig deep into a hacked Canon camera. This option really enhances what you can do with a DSLR using Magic Lantern. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD6hGk2FGio This specific tutorial is from the Video Gear Weekly series presented by lynda.com authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman. The complete course is presented as a weekly lynda.com series and offers reviews and tips on the latest … [Read more...] about Hacking a Canon Camera with Magic Lantern Menus
As a landscape photographer and workshop leader, Ive seen many gear failures. Tripod legs fall apart, ballheads bind up, and tiny screws come loose all of the time. When you are miles from your car and your gear fails, a quick field repair will save your shoot and preserve your sanity. As a die-hard gear geek, I have many tools and gadgets. Some have proven indispensable, other indefensible. Lets compare my four favorite pocket tools to see which have earned a home in my camera bag. Really Right Stuff MTX … [Read more...] about Fools Don’t Bring Tools – Photography Multitools Compared
Mirrorless has come a long way since its introduction into the market. With technology advancing and improving so quickly, it is to no surprise that a technology companies, like Samsung, are able to produce amazing photography equipment alongside the other devices they make. Those in the industry aren't radically surprised by the great mirrorless cameras that other other technology companies has been producing (Sony, Panasonic), but when Samsung steps up to the plate with their flagship NX1 and its pretty awesome feature set, there's bound to … [Read more...] about A Quick Look at the Samsung’s NX1
NOTE: Cross-Posted at WeShootFuji.com I used a Sony A7r II for a half hour this week. Its one of the most hyped cameras of the century. I admit my bias is against Sony stuff (so feel free to ignore this opinion if you like) but I did try to be as open minded as I could be when I got my hands on this camera. I didn't do an in-depth test because lets face it, Ill never be a Sony shooter. But I did want to see how it compared to a Fuji X-T1. Quick verdict? 1. X-T1 has a better electronic viewfinder (Sony smears when you pan.) 2. X-T1 has … [Read more...] about 15 Points Of Comparison Between The Sony A7r II & The Fuji X-T1
I'm six foot four and built like a pro wrestler. If it weren't for TSA Pre my camera bag would be dismantled every time I fly. It just seems that I attract attention from "authority figures" just about every single time. Toss in dark skin and my propensity for bringing a camera just about everywhere I go, and I am a magnet for the "tripod police." An Alternative to Tripods I've found the perfect solution... the Platypod Pro. This tripod alternative lets me use a full size ball-head without the need to carry a tripod. So let's break down … [Read more...] about How to Beat the Tripod Police Without Sacrificing Stability
When I first started out with photography, natural light was my best friend. I didn't have money for lights, so I learned to shoot using what was available to me. Shoot after shoot, I'd tuck a little money away into a gear fund to save up for lights. Natural light can get you pretty far, but adding just one light can really take you up to the next level. On a recent video shoot, I was able to snap a comparison frame between a shot lit naturally and a shot lit with a mix of natural and artificial light. The building I was in had massive … [Read more...] about Adding Light – The Difference Just One Light Can Make
This week's podcast is in our classic Question and Answer format. We gathered up your questions from blog posts and social media and got some straight answers. Photofocus editor sits down with columnist and Sony Artisan Brian Matiash. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216311126" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="175" iframe="true" /] Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Your Questions Get Answers with Brian Matiash Brian … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast July 25, 2015 — Q&A with Brian Matiash
A recent addition to my bag of tricks is a motorized turntable. This type of product is perfect for creating moving footage of products or detailed items. This works well for things like product demonstrations, award shows, and marketing videos. In my case the Turntable is from eMotimo and it attaches to the TB3 robotic head. Size: 7? x 7? x 2.5? Weight: 2 lbs. Supports: 75 lbs. Precision: Repeatable to less than 100th of a degree. Product Includes: 27:1 geared stepper motor with revolve motor mounts, four bracket X pieces, and 6.5? … [Read more...] about Shooting Turntable Product Shots
I've starting taking on more assignments for inside Lacrosse magazine and for the Florida Launch Lacrosse team. After shooting two games with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, I wanted to see if a new lens would make a difference. The go to lens for sports photographers is a fixed 400mm f/2.8 lens. The cost...a commitment of $12,000.00. Pretty steep. Before I decide between the lens or a full year of college for my son, I called our good friend Chase from Lens Rentals. As luck would have it, one was available on our two day short notice. The cost, … [Read more...] about Try before you buy saved me $12,000.00
My favorite cousin Mary Ann took a long photography trip to India. She wasn't sure how many photos she was going to take. To play it safe, she decided to err on the side of caution and doubled the amount of memory cards she thought she needed. Sounds like a solid plan, but keeping track of so many cards in the field can be challenging especially when they start getting full. Simple Solution Getting a good memory card case is the first step. Think Tank, Vidpro SD1, and Pelican all make great holders. But this next step is the most important. … [Read more...] about A Quick tip to avoid formatting the wrong memory card
This article was cowritten with my friend James Ball Three-point lighting is the basic starting point for film and video. It can also be used well as a portrait lighting approach for photography. What's ideally happening is that the subject is light in a way that illuminates their face (with one side more dominant) and some separation from the background. This method utilizes three light sources focused on the subject from different angles. Mastering this technique is the foundation for more advanced lighting strategies. This approach is the … [Read more...] about The Essentials of Three-point Lighting
LED Lighting is a great way to shoot video and photo projects, but its more expensive than other choices. Fortunately you can extend the budget and your lights usefulness with some key accessories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0FFgHaOZnE In this tutorial, explore some cost-effective options for working with LED lights in your video productions. Watch the follow-up movies within this series at … [Read more...] about How to Stretch Your LED Lighting Budget with Accessories
If youre a business professional, content creator, gamer, or just want to simplify your 4K workspace, your world is about to get faster and simpler. - Thunderbolt Technology Intel just announced Thunderbolt 3 with a USB-C connector supporting single-cable support for dual 4K displays. Thunderbolt was developed to simultaneously support the fastest data and most video bandwidth available on a single cable, while also supplying power. USB-C is the new industry-standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power. It was developed by the … [Read more...] about Just Announced Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C Connector
Passion fuels creativity In between jobs, a few friends and I took a trip to the beach for a little rest and relaxation. Teddy, Alec, Vanelli and myself trekked out to the Sanibel Island Lighthouse just outside Fort Myers, Florida. Some of us, Vanelli, couldn't sit still long enough and decided to come up with a challenge. Armed with just a few beach chairs, a skim board, and our phones, we set out to create something unique - just for fun. After all, thats where you get your best ideas. Alec is an athlete. He's a great lacrosse player, … [Read more...] about Sanibel Island Skim Boarding
Whether you want to fix a problem or simply give your video more style,Adobe Photoshop can help. I've put together an in-depth article to walk you through all the essential steps of fixing your video shots using tools you may already be familiar with. Why Color Correct Video in Adobe Photoshop? When Adobe unveiled the robust video editing capabilities with Photoshop CS6, the response from many was a simple Why? In some regards this is a legitimate question as for most, Photoshop is closely linked with digital photography. Its the tool used … [Read more...] about Color Correcting and Enhancing Video in Photoshop
I don't use neck straps, and I generally advise everyone against them. I think they're a poor design and dangerous to your body--with as much shooting as I do, carrying a camera was damaging my neck. You may have read my review of the Joby wrist strap when I said it's the only strap I'll use. Well, I've got to take those words back: the new Spider Pro Hand Strap is now with me all the time and it's truly the only strap I'll ever use. It's perfect because it's secure, and well designed. Safety First Neck straps let you keep a camera handy, but … [Read more...] about Spider Pro Hand Strap