Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Film with Autofocus, Rack Focus and Manual Focus from Nikon

How to Film with Autofocus, Rack Focus and Manual Focus from Nikon:

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Redefining Micro-Budget Filmmaking: The $6,000 'Layover' (Guest Blog) - TheWrap

Redefining Micro-Budget Filmmaking: The $6,000 'Layover' (Guest Blog) - TheWrap:

"On “Layover,” I used the only camera available to me at the time that would allow me to be light and compact, without drawing attention to myself (since we were shooting guerilla style) and didn't require a ton of light to get an acceptable image (since were shooting the whole film at night). I used the Canon 5D mk II, and we lit the whole movie using a 1×1 LED panel light, china balls, some Home Depot can lights, and 250 watt practical bulbs. That's it. One of the great things about the Canon 5D mk II and mk III is its light sensitivity. You can shoot using much less light than would be required on an Alexa or a RED. It's also small and compact. It's easy to move, to hold for long periods of time, and delivers a beautiful image if used correctly. For the World Premiere of “Layover,” we had the final film blown up to 2K for a DCP and projected onto a 50 foot screen, and it looked really good.


Did we have a professional production sound mixer with thousands of dollars in equipment on set? We did. For one day. And then we realized we couldn't afford it throughout production. So, one of my producers, Vertel Scott, came to me with a solution: an H4N Zoom recorder, wireless lavs, a boom mic and pole. That's it. Our post sound mixer asked us what we had recorded on. I told him and he responded that our rough tracks sounded better than 90 percent of the professional raw audio he gets in."

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lightroom Webinars from Pretty Presets

I have not watched these yet.  The first two look fairly basic, but there should be some useful review material in all three.  It’s always nice to check in from time to time on the basics, because our workflow habits drift over time, and not always in the best ways…  (Bad Habits!)

We recently offered three webinars for different levels of users in Lightroom. I wanted to share each link so you can catch up if you have time!

Lightroom for Beginners: We'll cover basic importing, the develop module, simple edit steps with presets and brushes and a basic export.

*Intermediate Lightroom Webinar*: We'll cover more about collections, keywords, virtual copies, snapshots, editing with presets and brushes, local adjustment tools, syncing, and exporting.

Advanced Lightroom Webinar: We'll cover more about library filters, metadata, shortcuts that save time, taking pics to photoshop and back to LR, and advanced exporting.

14 Fabulous Photography Freebies That Include E-Books, Courses and Presets

14 Fabulous Photography Freebies That Include E-Books, Courses and Presets: "So we, at Light Stalking, decided to indulge our readers once more in freebie fantasy by sharing links to fabulous free stuff. We’ve scouted the whole wide world of web to put together 14 more cool freebies for you that include photography eBooks, online guides & courses and software presets. We hope you like them."

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Some HD-SLR Video Gear Links

Rigs and Accessories - DSLR Video Shooter:

Vidpro MR-400 Motorized Focus & Zoom Rig VIMR400 B&H Photo: "The Vidpro MR-400 Motorized Focus & Zoom Rig features a battery-powered focus and zoom belt drive system, a height-adjustable baseplate, 3-door mattebox, and 5 lb counterweight. Integrated thumb switches on the handles control the drive belts at variable speeds dependant on the pressure you apply. A second set of identical switches is located on a rear-mounted component and enables comfortable control when you have the rig mounted on a tripod. The baseplate and shoulder pad both have 1/4" tripod-mount threads underneath."

Essential HD Video Accessories for DSLRs from Adorama Learning Center: "Convergence is a marvelous thing. The ability to combine the elements of high-tech electronics and software in unprecedented new ways his resulted in such marvels as the iPhone, the Blackberry, 8-megapixel cell phones, and yes, digital SLRs that can shoot HD movies of breathtaking quality. When I asked a PhD physicist and software developer why Nikon, Canon and now Panasonic decided to include HD movie capability in their latest DSLRs, he responded laconically, “Because they can.” Yes, you can shoot HD movies with your HD-enabled DSLR alone without using any accessories whatsoever other than a lens and a high-capacity memory card, but if your aim is to produce professional looking movies and movie clips, the following accessories will certainly help."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Event Photography Training Course

This is one I would like to take, but I need gear first...  I suppose I'll just have to rely on raw brilliance for the time being, and refine that shit later!

Event Photography Training Course: "We Are All Event Photographers—
So Isn't it Time You Became a Great One?
And Maybe Even Made Some Money with
Your Camera?
Let's face it, we are ALL event photographers. Even if you have no desire to shoot professional events for money, if you are the person in your family with a decent camera, then you get called on to shoot the kid's birthday party, your friend's concert, the school play, or the family reunion.

This course teaches you the techniques used by professionals to get great photos—every time—even in the most difficult conditions."

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Free Photography Tutorials on Portraits, Lighting, Photoshop, Lightroom

Free Photography Tutorials on Portraits, Lighting, Photoshop, Lightroom:

Steele Training

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Intro to Shooting on DSLR - Stage 32

Intro to Shooting on DSLR - Stage 32: "Many here on Stage 32 like the idea of producing and shooting your own movies, and often you may have a very limited or no budget available. You will therefore often need to compromise and work around obstacles and challenges.

In this webinar I examine both the benefits of shooting on DSLR's and I also take a look at some of the challenges they often throw up for the filmmaker. Shooting a movie on a DSLR often requires different additional accessories and lenses to turn it from a stills camera into a camera capable of consistently recording high quality moving images. I take a look at some well-known movies where a DSLR has been used, and examine how they have been used there."

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Introducing the New Nikon Educational Series for Videographers | Nikon Cinema

Introducing the New Nikon Educational Series for Videographers | Nikon Cinema: "There’s an art and a science to creating great cinema. You bring the art, we’ll help explain the science.

In this newest educational series, “HD-SLR Video Tips,” Nikon presents tips and techniques to assist you as you build upon/expand your HD-SLR cinematography skills. If you are brand new to filming or simply just don’t know where to start, we’re here to help take the fear out of video capture. Or maybe you have the basics mastered but you’re looking to increase your skill set. Either way, there’s always something new to learn as technology evolves."

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Record Audio: Video Tutorial for Nikon HDSLR from Nikon

How to Record Audio: Video Tutorial for Nikon HDSLR from Nikon: "Audio is the important second half of any movie, whether it's a Hollywood blockbuster, wedding video, documentary short film or home movie.
Many Nikon HDSLRs have a microphone built-in, some even have a stereo microphone built-in. You can use this built-in microphone or if you want more control over how you capture your film’s sound, you can purchase an optional accessory mic such as the Nikon ME-1 Stereo Microphone. To find out more about using the ME-1, read this L&E article."

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A quick look at DSLR video gear

Top Gear Selections For DSLR Video Beginners | Nikon Cinema:

A Look Inside National Geographic Cinematographer/Producer David Wright’s Bag In David’s own words, read more about his choice of gear, plus a few valuable lessons he’s picked up while on the job. These are all things you may wish to consider for your own video workflow.

The unsung hero of every video shoot is the sound-recordist. Whether shooting live action, an interview or other subjects in-between, I am often reminded that great capture with bad audio is unusable. On the other hand, good audio, even if accompanied by inferior imagery, is almost always useful; if your visual capture was not up to snuff you can usually shoot it again!
I’m convinced the Nikon ME-1 is a great way to equip your camera for video work. The ME-1 has impressive specifications and is compact. It is powerful and will pick-up the smallest of sounds.
Also consider an add-on for improved sound—some sort of wind protection to shield the microphone. If you venture out into the wilds to shoot you’ll benefit from a windjammer (windscreen). 
An interesting point about a “traditional” cinema lens is that the aperture ring does not have click stops. Most new photography lenses don’t have an aperture ring; all adjustments are made via a dial on the camera body.
The solution? Use that filter for easy on-the-fly exposure control. Practice with the variable ND filter and gain expertise in maintaining correct exposure by merely spinning the front element. With practice you can take the motion of your subject, combined with your own movement, to hide in-camera adjustments. No one will even be aware that changes have been made.
For my work I often need to look down into a finder instead of the backside of a camera where the LCD screen is. My solution is to add an external electronic viewfinder. These monitors provide extra features such as focus assist modes, histograms for checking exposure and much more. These added tools will likely help boost your confidence in what you are capturing.
The tripod is not only essential for steady telephoto shots, but the better the head, the smoother the movement during video pan or tilt. There are a lot of brands on the market, but my choice for best build quality, design and price is the Miller range of products. For times when I am on foot and/or need to keep a low profile, I’ll also carry a monopod to help steady the capture.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Why Facebook Photos Look so Bad, and the DIY Solution to Fix It

Why Facebook Photos Look so Bad, and the DIY Solution to Fix It: "With the largest public repository of photos on the Web, it’s not surprising that Facebook has and continues to employ heavy compression to all of the 250 billion images they store. Facebook never intended to be a high quality archiving service of photos, but rather, photos act as social glue for the social media giant.

But seriously, why do your photos look so bad?"

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Old Monitor & Card Specs

Just some notes for myself about some of the gear I have laying around...

Dell 1503FP

Mfr Date: 2001/02

Quick Specifications  See all specs
Display Type: LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
Diagonal size: 15.0 in
Display interface: DVI / VGA (HD-15)
Dot pitch: 0.297 mm
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Contrast ratio: 300:1

Product Information
The Dell 1503FP LCD monitor ensures crisp and clear picture quality with 1024 x 768p max resolution. The 4:3 aspect ratio of this Dell 15-inch monitor provides a wide screen viewing experience. The 200.0 cd/m2 brightness level of this Dell LCD monitor offers bright and lively images. The 300:1 contrast ratio of the Dell 1503FP LCD monitor darkens the black and whitens the white level for an outstanding screen performance. The anti-glare feature of this Dell 15-inch monitor lets you watch reflection-free images. This Dell LCD monitor is ideal for home, small offices, and a corporate environment.
Product Identifiers
Additional MPN32DVX

Key Features
Display TechnologyFlat Panel LCD TFT (Active Matrix), LCD, LCD Flat Panel LCD TFT (Active Matrix), LCD Flat Panel LCD TFT (Active Matrix) LCD Flat Panel LCD TFT (Active Matrix)
Screen Size15"
Maximum Resolution1024 x 768
Aspect Ratio4:3
Contrast Ratio200:1,300:1
Refresh Rate75 Hz

Technical Features
Synchronization Range - Vertical60 - 75 kHz
Synchronization Range - Horizontal31 - 60 kHz
Max Viewing Angle Horizontal100°
Max Viewing Angle Vertical80°
Regulatory ApprovalBSMI, Energy Star, Energy star, FCC, NOM, TCO-99
Form FactorDesktop

Analog Video Input Connector1 x 15 Pin D-Sub connector
Digital Video Input StandardDVI-D

Monitor ColorBlack

Dell E152FPb

Mfr Date: 2003/12

Product Information
This 15-inch Dell E monitor is functional, contemporary, and capable of taking your computing experience to a higher level and delivering outstanding graphics as you add to your system's performance. The great mid-sized screen on this Dell E monitor helps you to take advantage of the ample screen size and put more open documents next to each other. With its charcoal gray body, this 15-inch LCD monitor will be a classic upgrade for any computer. The exceptional display resolution on the Dell E152FPB makes it easy for you to open more documents at the same time without using multiple monitors. Because this Dell E monitor has a lightning fast 25ms response time, you can avoid distortion and ghosts while viewing movies. Since this 15-inch LCD monitor has detailed liquid crystal technology, you can take advantage of its reduced footprint and significantly reduced heat radiation. In addition, you can change the display settings till you get them just the way you want them to maximize your reading proficiency or office productivity since the Dell E152FPB features effective controls.
Product Identifiers
Additional MPNE152FPB

Key Features
Product LineDell E
Display TechnologyLCD
Screen Size15"
Maximum Resolution1024 x 768
Aspect Ratio4:3
Contrast Ratio350:1
Response Time25 ms

Monitor ColorCharcoal Gray

Hanns.G HS191D 19" LCD Monitor

MFR Date: 2007/04

Product Information
This 19-inch Hanns.G monitor is modern, appealing, and made for people who want to upgrade their computer graphics. This Hanns.G monitor makes it easy for you to stave off the tangle of extra cables required for external speakers with its high-quality built-in speakers. This LCD monitor helps you to admire the solid viewing experience and enjoy enhanced gameplay thanks to its detailed advanced image technology. As the Hanns.G HS191D has powerful controls, you can easily modify the display settings to your specifications to maximize your office productivity or reading proficiency. The excellent 1280 x 1024 resolution featured on this Hanns.G monitor allows you to see more of your game space at once without getting a bigger monitor. What's more, this LCD monitor has an excellent moderate-sized screen, so you can take advantage of the ample screen size and put more open documents next to each other. With its black and silver body, the Hanns.G HS191D is a stylish addition to any computer system.
Product Identifiers

Key Features
Display TechnologyLCD
Screen Size19"
Aspect Ratio5:4
Contrast Ratio700:1
Response Time8 ms

Monitor ColorBlack & Silver


  • Widescreen
  • 19 inches
  • 1280 x 1024
  • 300 cd/m²
  • 700:1
  • 8 ms
  • Matte / anti-glare
  • DVI, VGA
  • Speakers (Integrated)
  • 12 x 15 x 2.5 in

Screen size19 inches
Screen resolution1280 x 1024
Aspect ratio5:4
Screen typeLCD (Color)
Brightness300 cd/m²
Contrast ratio700:1
Refresh rate60 Hz
Response time8 ms
Viewing angle150° (horizontal)
135° (vertical)
Screen surfaceMatte / anti-glare
Advanced picture
Dot pitch0.29 mm
Color support16-bit / 16.7 million color

Hyundai N71S

Product Information
This 17-inch Hyundai ImageQuest monitor is full-featured and appealing, and it is designed for people who want to upgrade their computer graphics. With the exceptional moderate-sized display featured on this Hyundai ImageQuest monitor, you can make use of the ample screen size and put more open documents next to each other. Be the envy of your friends with this LCD monitor and its classic black body. The Hyundai N71S allows you to effortlessly add immersive sound to your interactive gaming and home entertainment with its high-fidelity built-in speakers. Tweak the contrast, sharpness, and color balance the way you want it with the handy controls found on this Hyundai ImageQuest monitor. With the brilliant liquid crystal technology on this LCD monitor, you can appreciate the wonderful viewing experience and enjoy an improved computing environment. In addition, the Hyundai N71S makes it easy for you to fit more detail on your screen without taking up too much desk space thanks to its excellent 1280 x 1024 display resolution.
Product Features
  • Wide viewing area
    It is available to appreciate its vivid display from all directions - right and left, up and down - since the wide viewing angle has been applied.
  • A clear contrast ration between light and shade and a high response rate
    You can feel clear cut images without smudges in the screen even when enjoying a speedy action movie and a game because the super-high speed in response rate panel is applied.
  • Support high resolution
    It is easy to read documents because the super-high speed in response rate panel is applied.
  • Automatic adjustment function
    With one-button, you can conveniently adjust its optimized contrast and brightness.
  • Wall mounting meeting the VESA
    It is designed for easy of use by supporting wall mounting meeting the VESA requirement.

Product Identifiers
Additional MPNN71S

Key Features
Product LineHyundai ImageQuest
Display TechnologyFlat Panel LCD TFT (Active Matrix), LCD
Screen Size17"
Aspect Ratio5:4
Contrast Ratio500:1
Response Time8 ms

Technical Features
Synchronization Range - Vertical60 - 75 kHz
Synchronization Range - Horizontal30 - 80 kHz
Max Viewing Angle Horizontal150°
Max Viewing Angle Vertical130°
Regulatory ApprovalCB, CCC, CE, FCC, GOST-R, TCO-03, TUV GS, TUV-GS, UL
Color Support24-bit (16.7M Colors)
Form FactorDesktop

Audio OutputHeadphones, Speaker(s)
Analog Video Input Connector1 x 15 Pin D-Sub connector

Depth7 in.

Monitor ColorBlack
Monitor Platform SourcePC
PNY Geforce 7600GS 512MB Agp

Quick SpecificationsSee all specs Graphics Processor / VendornVidia GeForce 7600 GS Max Resolution (external)2560 x 1600 Video Memory Installed512 MB Slot typeAGP 8x CompatibilityPC TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM 128-bit Max monitors supported2