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.
As an advertising and editorial photographer / videographer in Los Angeles I’m always testing techniques. I heard that shooting in digital monchrome RAW actually gives a full color RAW that displays in monchrome in picture style. I never take anything on faith without testing first so I when into my backyard to take a few shots with the monochrome picture style to work with.
I was working with one of my favorite lenses the Zeiss Distagon 28mm f2 on an APS-C chip size digital camera giving me an effective 39mm lens. Zeiss also makes another great lens for both still and video which is the Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.4.
Zeiss Distagon 28 mm F2 ZE Lens
So, I’m shooting and I see a Monarch butterfly land on a branch about four feet above me. I have no way of getting closer and I always figure I would rather take the shot and delete it later then miss it. What a surprise when I took the image into the computer and looked at it. At first, I could barely see the butterfly but then I started to blow the image up. I was shocked when I settled on the final cropping and saw the sharpness of the Zeiss lens. The first shot is the full frame shot and then there is the same shot blown up and cropped.
Zeiss Distagon 28mm F2 Lens Full Frame Shot
Zeiss Distagon 28mm F2 Lens with Image Blown Up and Cropped
For more information on the complete line of Carl Zeiss DSLR lenses go to https://photo-shop.zeiss.com.
Getting away from my duties as advertising and editorial photographer in Los Angeles, I spend a long weekend in Death Valley on a Photo Camping trip for Santa Monica College with 80 plus students. I spent the first day scouting locations as it has been awhile since I was last there shooting a series on skeleton images for my stock files.
Skeleton Death Valley by Lee White
This time I shot video as well as still images as I now do for most of my assignments. I had the chanced to fire up the Ki Pro Mini and Panasonic camera powered by the Anton Bauer Dionic 90 battery. I could have also powered an on-broad monitor like the Manhattan HD5 LCD monitor by splitting the feeds from the Anton Bauer. The nice thing about powering everything with the Anton Bauer Dionic 90 is I only have to keep track of one battery and it tells me the amount of power I have left on an easy to read scale on the side of the battery. It’s a real bummer to be dealing with three different sets of batteries.
Anton Bauer Dionic 90, Ki Pro Mini, Panasonic HMC40 supported by Redrock Micro and Manfrotto Photo/video head and MPRO 536 tripod in Death Valley
The Ki Pro Mini allowed me to record into PRORES right from the camera so no transcoding was needed to start editing. I could unmount the CF card from the KI Pro Mini and bring the files right into any NLE for editing.
To hold everything I used Redrock Micro gear including their matte box with their 4.5 X6 Circular Pola filter to bring out the colors in the sky and ground. I lucked out by getting to the outlook to the valley just a day after a good rain so the colors were still brilliant. The problem with Death Valley is how dry the conditions are which often hide the mineral rich landscape under a layer of dust. There were also some clouds left over from the recent storm that cleared completely out by the early afternoon. The skies are also often clear of clouds and somewhat filled with dust from wind and the many visitors. I suggest waiting until a spring or fall storm if you can when visiting the valley.
I did get to use my favorite fluid head from Manfrotto their new photo/video head. It is the smoothest lightweight head I have used and it has the added bonus of multiple vertical positions as well as horizontal. You can get more information on all the equipment at www.antonbauer.com, www.aja.com, www.redrockmicro.com and www.manfrotto.com. Music from Smartsound a www.smartsound.com.
As an advertising and editorial photographer and videographer in Los Angeles that often shoots on location I’m always on the look out for equipment that both adds production value and is lightweight. Very few pieces of equipment add the production value that Dollies do. Moving the camera smoothly even a short distance will enhance your shots tremendously.
For years I asked around at different conventions and expos if anyone had a rail system two to three feet long that I could make into a short dolly especially that I could mount on a tripod. Everyone thought it was an interesting idea but no one that anything useable then all of a sudden, they were everywhere. There some made of skateboard,wheels while other run on rails or rods.
I particularly like the ones from Indisystems. Tim Ovel of Indisystems first developed the IndiSLIDERmini and IndiSLIDERpro rail system. The mini is a small and inexpensive slider that you could fit into stand bag and set up quickly. It takes some practice but you can get decent results with lightweight cameras especially at the amazing price of only $99. The Pro is a heavier weight rail that easily mounts a fluid head with heavier cameras. Both can be mounted on tripods or optional legs. I like mounting either on a sticks like the Manfrotto MPRO 536 with a bowl and half ball for leveling.
Now to the sneak peak. I recently got a new lighter weight full size IndiSLIDERpro. Rather than a solid metal base the rails are held in place with crossbars and reinforced with a center strip. This makes the system very light weight but rigid while still having widely spaced rails for stability. The short video move below was shot recently in Death Valley at Bad Water with IndiSLIDERpro lightweight and a 7D with Zeiss 28mm Distagon ZE lens. Bad Water is the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America.
See the views below with the slider with a Manfrotto 503HDV fluid head on the head plate. For more information on the full line of IndiSLIDERs go to http://www.indisystem.com.
Being an advertising and editorial photographer and videographer in Los Angeles I have spent decades going on location. My advertising and editorial photography assignments have taken me around the world but some of the most fun have been local assignments that I can drive to within a day. This is specially true with what has happened with air travel lately. Not only do I get to take extra equipment, but I get to visit additional locations along the route. I get to stretch my shooting eye along with my legs at these photo stops.
Recently, I drove to Tucson Arizona from Los Angeles so had the chance to drive through the sand dunes near Yuma on I-8. I got there around 3:30 in the afternoon when it was a balmy 105 degrees. There were mild gusts of wind that blew the extra fine sand swirling around my feet. If you watch the video the video closely you will see it flowing over the surface in some of the shots.
Amazingly enough even through it was a Sunday afternoon the dunes were mostly undisturbed. One set of footprints went up the top the major dune but other that that the civilians had not trod over everything since the last thunderstorm wiped away their traces. I wish I could say that about the two people that later walked within feet of my tripod and me continuing on directly into where I was filming. Since both had cameras and were taking pictures I wonder were the courtesy of asking if I was done shooting went but…
Can you tell I edited this on Premiere Pro? Of course, not. Unlike cameras with particular compression formats or lenses with certain characteristics that might be visible in the final video, there is nothing to tell the viewer what software was used to edit the video. A long time Final Cut Pro user I am checking out other NLEs. The attached video was done in a few hours on a friend’s Premiere Pro system.
I had the chance to spend a day training on Premiere Pro in a class by Weynand training at DV Expo in Pasadena, now called Rev Up Transmedia. I found Premiere Pro to be very similar to FCP7. There are some useful features like being able to edit many formats without the need to transcode and the speech to text. There are a are some differences in shortcut keys, color correction, rendering and I’m sure more once I have had a chance to work with Premiere Pro in my own editing suite I’ll find more.
Lee White working with Panasonic HMC 40 on Manfrotto tripod and fluid head
Once again, I’m wearing the most comfortable hat I have ever had, the Redrock Micro cap.
"Secrets of Video Production for Photographers"
College of the Canyons - Photo 177 Video Capture for Still Photographers. A innovative class where students learn to shoot still images and video to complete projects. This class gives the still photographer the skillset to add narrative motion to projects.
College of the Canyons - Photo 280 Large Format Photography and the Zone System. A unique large format class where students will shoot 4x5 film using view cameras and the zone system. They will then develop and enlarge the film for assigned projects.
Beijing, China One-day still photography and video seminar June
Mt. SAC, Walnut, CA Two-day workshop
First day lecture and demo second day shooting and editing
New Jersey, Unique Photo, Video seminar and workshop
Sept 16 and 18 see blog and http://university.uniquephoto.com/e/
Continuing - Photo29 "Video Production for Still Photographers" at Santa Monica College. A class in video production for professional photographers and photography students. http://www.smc.edu/schedules/2011/fall/default.htm
Atlanta, Showcase Photo & Video, Video seminar and Workshop
August 26 and 27 see blog and
Portland, Pro Photo Supply, Video seminar and workshop
June 10 and 11 see blog and
Sennheiser sound capture event at Santa Monica College May 3 see blog http://www.leewhitephotography.com/blog/?p=825
Panel discussion for Brooks, Institute of Photography.