I'm an advertising photographer/videographer based in Los Angeles, California. My mission is to create striking advertising photography, corporate photography and editorial photography of people for major advertising agencies, fortune 500 corporations and major magazines. I shoot photography and video assignments throughout California including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego as well as the rest of the world. As a photo educator I am happy to share my unique vision and methods. I'm currently teaching classes at College of the Canyons in video production for professional photographers and photography students. I give workshops, seminars and lectures on short form video production at colleges, organizations and conferences around the world.

Final Cut Studio’s Compressor Stands Alone

Posted: May 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Final Cut Studio | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Apple’s Compressor in Final Cut Studio is being improved in each version of Final Cut.  This is good because HDSLRs are now so popular to shoot video and because of the need to transcode the files into a less compressed and more edit friendly codec.  Up until now, you have been able to use Compressor by itself by bringing in files directly into Compressor.  If you did bring the files in directly, then you were able to work in Final Cut Pro at the same time Compressor was encoding.

But, if you wanted to use compressor to encode your sequence from versions of Final Cut Pro up to 7, you would use Menu directions File>Export>Using Compressor… which was handy because this would open Compressor (if not already open) and place the sequence file in the project window of Compressor.  All one had to do was drag the settings, set the destination and submit to start the encoding.  This was great except for one thing, now Compressor was working inside Final Cut Pro instead of as a stand-alone and you were not able to do anything in final Cut Pro until compressor was finished.  If you had an hour encoding, then you had to wait an hour to start using Final Cut Pro again.

Final Cut Studio 3 has changed all that.  Now you do not Export>Using Compressor but you Send To compressor, which means Compressor, although linked to Final Cut Pro, is a stand-alone application.  Final Cut Pro is still able to send your sequence to Compressor and place it in the project window but since Compressor remains as a stand-alone application, you can now continue to use Final Cut Pro as Compressor encodes the sequence.  This is just one of the huge improvements made in Final Cut Studio 3 in the encode area of the suite.

By the way, I always wondered if the three dots after the old Using Compressor… didn’t used to mean, “Go get lunch, I’m going to be awhile”.  It’s time to upgrade!

Final Cut Studio

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Good HDSLR Sound

Posted: May 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Canon 7d, Sennheiser | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sound recording remains the Achilles’ heel of Canon’s HDSLRs.  Although the recent 5D Mark II firmware update lets you manually control audio levels, there still are issues.  The 5d connector is a mini stereo plug, so you have use an adapter to use most professional quality microphones, which use XLR connectors.  Beachtek has a handy solution in the DXA adapters which give you 2 balanced XLR inputs, 1 auxiliary mini-jack input and dual MIC/Line level switches, all packaged in a metal case.  An exception to the XLR connector issue is a wireless system like Sennheiser’s very nice EW G3 100 wireless system that gives you a choice of connecting to the camera via mini plug or XLR adapter.

Sennheiser also has the on-camera mounting MKE400 small shotgun mic which is great for reportage and much better than the onboard mic but not very good for most productions.  On camera is usually not the best position for a microphone as placement is for best picture not best sound.  Of course, there are pigtail adapters from mini plug to XLR but that puts a lot of strain on the mini connector, so try and figure out some method of strain relief.


The 7d is still completely automatic gain controlled, or should I say out of control, audio with no explanation why Canon is able to do a firmware update for the 5D but not the 7D.  Of course, the 7d has the nice selection of video formats, which the 5D does not.  The 7D chip size is close to feature 35mm film size which gives both a similar DOF look, which is another plus. Beachtek comes to the rescue with two DXA adapters that both have agc disablers.  By disabling the agc and manually controlling the audio levels, you will not have the wild swing in your audio recording that often causes distortions and problems in editing your sound.

I will give each of the Beachtek adapters their due in up-coming entries.  Until then, remember sound is often considered 50% of the production until it’s bad sound and then it’s 80%.

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Casio Data Projectors for Photographers on the Go.

Posted: May 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Green | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

A word about the Secrets of Video Production for Photographers events and the data projectors I use to show my Powerpoint  presentations and editing demonstrations.  Some projectors were provided by the hosts, but I was lucky enough to have the compact Casio data projector XJ-S57 as a backup which on select occasions I had to call into service.

While Powerpoints don’t take a lot of processing, it takes quite a bit of processing power on the projectors part to show the Final Cut Studio editing demonstrations I do at a high resolution.  The XJ-S57 handles my FCS demonstrations with ease.

The XJ-S57 is amazingly bright for its size and size is important when traveling.  It is small enough to conveniently fit in with the rest of the precious camera equipment as carry on.  It saved me several times when  there were problems with the rented projectors at the venues.

Casio also has a new green XJ-A series of Eco-Friendly compact data projectors  with a Solid-State light source.  These new projectors use a mercury free laser-LED hybrid light source that is more ecologically friendly with better color.  They are also more economical as the light source lasts much longer and for anyone who ever replaced a bulb in one of these projectors, they know it can easily cost $400 or more.

The new projectors also allow for quick startup/shutdown, which makes them easier to use than other projectors.  Of course, they have maintained the slim design that makes them so convenient.

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Shutterbug Magazine Interviews Lee White

Posted: May 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Maria Piscopo recently interviewed me for Business Trends column in the May SHUTTERBUG MAGAZINE. I discussed how everyone is becoming more attuned to being fed their information with motion images. Marketers have caught on to this and are demanding video as part of more and more assignments.

Now that almost every business of any size has an online presence, there is a dramatic upswing of moving imaging content that photographers can tap into for increased sales. The imaging content can range from simple short clips to slick professional productions.

Weddings have been videoed for many years but now brides are being more familiar with the idea that the photographer can provide video and not have to go to the extra work of finding both a photographer and videographer.

There is more but I’ll let you read the article to find out the rest.

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