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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
As Halloween approaches I know there are those of you who desire to shoot some ghoulish images. I thought I would have some fun and share some tips from the set. You see I shoot crime scenes all year round and have acquired some techniques I'd love to share. Editor's Note: The following photos are a bit gory, but they are fake. Not real. For this particular effect you need: some latex gloves, F/X blood (though water soluble is still very messy), and you'll need a very ripe banana. With all the Halloween stores open now get yourself some … [Read more...] about Halloween Effects from Hollywood *NSFW*
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 recently spoke at an ASMP event in Michigan on how photographers could increase their business opportunities as well as expand into video. The goal was to offer practical advice. This class is unedited, so you hear the occasional things that go wrong in a live presentation (like people coughing in the audience). But the content is good and I hope super helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKOUvc9msWI Please share if you know a photographer or video professional who would benefit. … [Read more...] about An In-Depth Look at Selling, Budgeting, and Planning Video Projects
A common question that is asked in many photography social media forums is for recommendations on where to find a location that meets specific needs. In most cases there will be a nice location already submitted to Shootipedia. Shootipedia is a website that was created to allow photographers to find and share locations that they have shot at. I'm finding I use this resource more and more lately. http://www.shootipedia.com/ If you are in an area where theres not a lot of references, get involved. Let others know to mark those places. If you … [Read more...] about How to Find Your Perfect Location for a Photo Shoot?