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
This is an exciting week for photographers who love shooting fast-moving subjects. Canon dropped the details of their new flagship camera with up to 16 frames per second, 4K video and screaming-fast processing power. At $6,000 US for the hulking body many speed shooters will drool over the EOS-1 D X Mark II, but only the financially flush will be scooping them up. As if on cue, Sony pulled the covers off their tiny speed demon this morning and it brings some of the rapid-fire prowess of the big professional DSLRs and it does it for 1/6th the … [Read more...] about Sony A6300 – Pocket Monster
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?
So often someone will take the time to light the talent to look great but forget to light the background and give the image some depth: One method is to use a Cucoloris. Some will refer to it a s a cookie cutter:The Cucoloris will create a shadowed texture onto your background depending on the distance the light source is from the Cucoloris. The general rule with light is that the closer the light the softer the light, the larger the light the softer the light. Allow me to show you this theory in practical application:As you can see in the … [Read more...] about Cucoloris for Shadowed Texture
I'm a huge timelapse fan... plus I'm a bit nutty about HDR. In this tutorial I show you how easy it easy to batch process a giant HDR series. I shot in Zion National park and created HDR timelapse movies to tell the whole story. https://youtu.be/GicROfiZdO0 You can learn more in this complete lynda.com course. … [Read more...] about Shooting HDR Timelapse – Developing HDR Photomatix
When youre running your own photography business, taking photos is really only about 25% of your job. You also have to find time for editing, marketing, client meetings, website maintenance, and bookkeeping. Come tax time each April, you may be looking for a few deductions to cut your tax bill. If you use your own car for your business, its an eligible tax deduction. Its also one more thing to keep track of. While I don't run a photography-specific business, I am a professional freelancer. Ive done everything from small photo shoots, to … [Read more...] about Running your Business – Tracking Mileage
One of the most used tools on a Hollywood set, oh heck on any set, is the C-Stand. C in Roman numerals representing the numeral 100 is how the C-Stand got its name, 100's of uses. When closed it's 53" high, it can be extended to 10'6", it usually is ordered with a 40" arm and Grip Head. The C-Stand is a very versatile tool in the photographer's arsenal. Allow me to show you how to take advantage of the C-Stand. One way is a reflector holder:You simply secure a piece of foamcore or any material that you're using to reflect light onto the talent. … [Read more...] about C-Stands 101
When Nikon showed off the D5 at CES last month, Canon devotees muttered, "Just wait!" Now the wait is over and Canon has announced their forthcoming flagship DSLR, the EOS-1 D X Mark II. While the blazing 14 FPS frame rate and shiny new autofocus technology will deservedly garner much of the attention over the next few days, there are a few things about the new beefy camera that are truly surprising to me. For the record, I have been a Canon EOS user for over 20 years and I have a battered old EOS-1 to prove it. I sold my EOS 5D Mark III and 7D … [Read more...] about Canon’s New EOS-1 D X Mark II Brings Some Surprises
As a working professional who relies on Canon gear to run my business, I get excited when I wake up to news that there's a new flagship camera on the market. This morning, Canon dropped the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. While I am a self professed non-techie, I still felt obligated to check out the specs to see what they could mean for me: Price Point: Gulp. Let's face it. This camera is $6 grand ($5,999) and that's a lot of money for most of us. That's twice the price point of what (I would argue) are Canon's most popular pro cameras in the 5D … [Read more...] about My First Impressions of the New Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
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