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
Triggertrap just released Version 4.1 of their already-amazing iOS app. Their developers re-wrote the core of the app to bring some pretty cool new features. For those that don't know, Triggertrap is a camera remote control solution that uses your smartphone to trigger your camera. The app can use things like the face detection sensor, motion sensors, internal cocks, GPS, sound and vibration sensors to trigger a camera. Whether you want to capture an epic timelapse movie, a dramatic long exposure shot or dive into explosive high-speed … [Read more...] about Triggertrap iOS Version 4.1
Some of the most used tools on a Hollywood set are C-Stands and Apple Boxes. Then there are these little babies, Baby Plates. What is a Baby Plate you ask? It's a 5/8 stud, about 3" tall, welded onto a 3.5" x 6" metal plate. It has many uses. Allow me to share a few of those that I've used on the set. One of the most common uses for a Baby Plate is a very low light stand:It has a very solid feel and is very stable for most strobe heads. As you can see in the picture, this Baby Plate has 8 holes in its base. Some will have 4. The purpose for … [Read more...] about No Sippy Cups here, just Baby Plates
Nikon had a big day earlier this week at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. In addition to launching a totally-new 360 camera, Nikon also launched a new flagship D5 FX camera, as well as a D500 DX camera. D5 The D5 has a long list of impressive specs: 20.83mp CMOS full-frame sensor Unprecedented native ISO range, from 100 to 102,400 [expandable from 50 (Lo-1) to a staggering ISO 3,280,000 (Hi-5)] 4K UHD video (3840x2160 at 30p) only 3 minutes record time at high quality uncompressed 4k HDMI output capability to record 4K UHD … [Read more...] about Nikon Introduces the new Flagship D5 and D500 Cameras at CES
Its a beautiful sunny day, you're shooting indoors looking out to a sliding glass door or window and its brighter outside than on your set. Your talent is moving so HDR is not an option. You really don't want a silhouette, if you expose for the talent then your sliding glass door or window blows out with light, what do you do? Allow me to share with you about Black Scrim material. You can purchase it as a open ended flag with various sizes as shown here at B&H, or just the fabric, stretching it over a 18x18 frame as seen here from NCIS:For … [Read more...] about Scrim for Lighting Detail
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
Drones are really a lot of fun once you safely learn to fly them. Here are a few important tips to help you get up and flying. I didn't list them in any particular order, so be sure to read through all of them before you get started. Know how to shut your drone off quickly! As youre learning to fly your drone, things can sometimes get out of control. The best thing to do is land the drone and shut it off. Practice just turning it on and off, without lifting it from the ground. Find a large, open area outside for your first flight. Its going … [Read more...] about 10 Tips for New Drone Flyers
GoPro cameras have become incredibly popular for capturing point-of-view and action shots (both photo and video). They'e also an excellent way for a photographer to get behind the scenes footage or time lapses of a project while working. The camera itself is a little awkward to hold though due to its small size. Hence the need for something to mount it to. Enter the GoPro 3-Way (yes they trademarked it, and I am sure they giggled as they asked their lawyers to do so). What Is It? The GoPro 3-Way offers three ways of holding or supporting a … [Read more...] about GoPro 3-Way: A Unique Camera Accessory
What started out as a quick 36-hour trip to Pittsburgh turned into a full-scale video production to help out a friend of mine with a shoot. Luckily for me I was traveling as a one-man band and because Im flexible, I was able to gain a new client. Originally I was headed to pick up a production van for one of my main clients when I saw a Facebook post looking for somebody to shoot a testimonial video of a lawyer. At first, the idea was to just take a backpack to Pittsburgh and drive the vehicle back to Connecticut, but then things got a little … [Read more...] about 36 Hours in Pittsburgh | Tips for Packing Essential Gear
This week we catch up with a photographer and a Lightroom expert. First Pamela Berry talks with photographer and music video producer Chris Horseman. Then Robert Vanelli talks with Bryan O'Neil Highes from Adobe about his photography, Lightroom, and Lightroom Mobile. Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Chris Hershman Chris Hershman is a Chicago-based filmmaker, photographer and musician. At a young age he began photographing bands throughout the Midwest, with his work evolving into video … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast December 25, 2015 — Chris Hershman and Bryan O’Neil Hughes
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?
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
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.
Media professionals can all relate to the long production day. Whether youre a landscape photographer waking up at zero dark thirty to capture the first light or a wedding photographer shooting from bridal prep straight through to the reception, weve all had those days. In the video world, Ive had my share of long production days, especially when theyre back to back. While Im not one to jump out of bed ready to go, there are a few routine things I do to make dealing with long production days easier. Get Yourself Organized Have the location … [Read more...] about Preparing for a Long Production Day