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.

Professional Photographers Find Value in DV Expo

Posted: October 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video production | Tags: , | No Comments »
Leewhitephotography.com composition frence

Leewhitephotography.com composition

As a professional photographer in Los Angeles, California, I’m always looking for ways to improve my photography whether it is still photography or video.  DV Expo was an important resource for professional photographers who want to learn more about producing video.  That was the obvious goal of the Expo.  But there were two sessions that I attended that would be helpful to photographers with shooting stills as well.

On Wednesday, I attend Richard Harrington’s session on Timelapse photography.  It gave me some interesting insights into using long exposures with great depth of field to give a great feeling of motion in Timelapse productions.  Timelapse is a tool that any photographer should have in their skill-set.

Another session I found had some very useful information was Robbie Carman’s all day Friday class on color correction and color grading.  Many of the tools and techniques related directly to handling still photography as well as video.  Some of the most important ideas were that our ability to adapt in seeing color makes it important to have the right environment and not to work to long on an individual image.  Creating a neutral environment with the right lighting is important to judging color and reducing eye fatigue.  Our ability to automatically adapt to new color bias makes it important not to work too long on an individual image while color correcting.  Rather it is better to work on color correcting an image for a short time and then come back to it to have a fresh judgment.

I recommend you consider getting as much information in the fast changing world of digital imaging in both still or motion.  DV Expo is one of the resources you should consider whether it is checking out the exhibit and/or one of more of the sessions.

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arDV Expo Los Angeles a Photographers Resource

Posted: September 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Redrock Micro, Zeiss | Tags: | No Comments »

As a editorial  photographer in Los Angeles, California that also shoots video I spend today at the DV Expo. There is still time to attend on Thursday September 26, 2013  It is great to catch up with developments that would be useful to professional photographers shooting video.  Brian Valente of RedRock Micro is showing their One Man Crew and Gimbal Gear.  Howard Kaufmann of Beachtek had a number of new and prototype sound adapters like the DXA-SLR PRO ULTRA and adapter rods.  Richard Schleuning of Zeiss showed me some stunningly sharp wide open pictures from their upcoming 50mm lens in their DSLR line.

See the RedRock Micro equipment videos :  RedRock Micro One Man Crew & RedkRock Micro Gimbal

The first day’s conference schedule included  a broad range of useful sessions for professional photographers and videographers.  I sat in on two by Rich Harrington on TimeLapse and Photoshop techniques, two by Abba Shapiro on Directing and Production Gotcha’s, one by Claude Shires on Crowdsourcing and finally Jay Phelps’ Profit from Your Media. The Thursday schedule looks just as interesting so if you can consider getting down to the LA Convention Center to get the latest on the fast changing video landscape.  The Exhibit hall will be open to see the latest and greatest.

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Tribute to Ernie Brooks

Posted: September 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Before going to Art Center College of Design and becoming professional  advertising and editorial photographer in Los Angeles, California I considered going to Brooks, Institute of Photography.  It had an outstanding name as a learning institution for photography.  A number of well known photographers especially underwater photographers have come out of Brooks, Institute of Photography.  It is not surprising that the tribute to Ernie Brooks filled the Arlington Theatre with over 2,000 attendees.

Many that attended seemed to be friends and long time collaborators of Ernie’s.  Some of those show their work to the enjoyment of the rest.  Along with a number of historical presentations were some newer photographs and video created by the speakers.  David Doubilet, a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine, showed some of his split over and under water photographs.

© David Doubilet

Visit his website at www.daviddoubilet.com for more beautiful images.

Howard Hall show some spectacular video footage of the kelp beds of Southern California among other places. Some of the work he has done is in the IMAX format which is an amazing feat to do underwater.

© Howard Hall

Visit his website at www.howardhall.com to see some of his beautiful videos.

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APA Photo Assistant Basic Training in Colorado

Posted: September 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Education | No Comments »

Are you a photo assistant? Do you want to be one? Are looking to jumpstart your new photo career? Then Photo Assistant Basic Training is for you!

In this two day workshop you’ll not only learn essential information on grip and lighting gear, you’ll also learn essential photo shoot protocol, etiquette and secrets that will not only make you a better photo assistant, but will give you lifelong skills that will help you as you start shooting for your own clients.

Sony Artisans of Imagery Brian Smith is teaming up with APA New York Chapter Co-Chair and photographer Tony Gale to present Photo Assistant Basic Training, developed and offered for years by APA chapters to rave reviews across the nation.

With panel discussions, equipment demonstrations from industry experts, and hands-on training, attendees will come away with the essential knowledge and confidence to build your own Pro Assistant reputation. Acquire a comprehensive understanding of professional assisting behavioral guidelines, including contemporary set-etiquette, and discover how this valuable training will get you more call-backs – more repeat clients, more work.

Master Assisting Professionalism. Get booked solid.

Day One

The first day kicks off with the popular “Assistant Panel” which includes experts on working as a photo assistant. Get candid, real world answers to all the questions asked by attendees. Following the panel discussion will be exciting live software and equipment demonstrations with industry reps from Sony, Broncolor, PhotoShelter and Adobe. Industry reps will be on hand to answer all your questions.

Day Two

The second day is an immersive hands-on workshop with much of the gear an assistant will most likely encounter on the majority of professional photo shoots. Many aspects of assisting will be explained in great detail including strobes, flags, scrims, set etiquette, the assistant kit, tips on getting work, billing, and how to deal with the dreaded cancellation. Following classroom discussion and demonstrations, participants will work along side the Pro Photographers to discover crucial pro assisting skills.

Space is limited, so register today.

September 21st & 22nd, 2013

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day

lunch included

Separate registration for each day REQUIRED

Sims Studio

2760 Downing Street

Denver, CO 80205

Day One is free to APA Members RSVP to director@apa-la.com

Day One Non Member Fee $40:

Day Two APA Member Fee $40:

Day Two Non Member Fee $80:

This special touring event is brought to you by our generous APA National Sponsors:

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LAST minute!! Art Buyers are waiting! Only a few hours left!

Posted: September 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

LAST minute!!  Art Buyers are waiting!  Only a few hours left!  Enter here NOW:

http://apa.renderbook.com/signup/

REASONS HOME PRIZES CATEGORIES JUDGES FEES GUIDELINES RULES ENTER
FINAL CALL FOR ENTRIES DEADLINE : MIDNIGHT, EDT, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013

(THERE WILL NOT BE ANOTHER DEADLINE EXTENSION)

Compact, Durable, Self-Contained 4k Video Recording
The EOS-1D C is an HD video powerhouse providing cinematographers 4K video capture in a single unit, with no need for external power or recording devices. The EOS-1D C is fully self-contained, with the ergonomic ease-of-use portability one expects from a Canon DSLR. Control layout is intuitive for both still and video shooting and the compact size provides an unobtrusive method to getting your desired footage. The EOS-1D C is also fully sealed for protection against dust and moisture.

Fully Featured 12.0 fps, 18.1 Megapixel Full-Frame DSLR Camera
The EOS-1D C shares its heritage with the EOS-1 Series family and is a world-class DSLR camera besides being a cinema powerhouse. Dual DIGIC 5+ Image Processors and an 18.1 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor provide a burst shot rate of 12.0 fps for capturing the action with exceptional quality. With ISO sensitivity ranging from 100 to 51200, expandable to L: 50, H1: 102,400, H2: 204,800, the EOS-1D C allows you to grab the best possible shot even in the most challenging lighting. The 61-Point High-Density Reticular autofocus system with a coordinated 100,000 pixel RGB metering system provides sharp images with incredible color and clarity. The EOS-1D C is compatible with the full line of Canon EF lenses, including EF Cinema lenses.

Check out all of the features of the EOS-1D C here.

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORIES
Action
Architecture
Conceptual
Fashion
Fine Art / Personal
Landscape
Lifestyle / Wedding
Portrait
Still-Life

STUDENT CATEGORY
The Student Category is open to all kinds of images, and is judged separately.

2012 APA AWARD Winning images (above) left to right: © 2012 Art Streiber, © 2012 Andzei Bochenski, © 2012 Laurie Frankel

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Photographs in Video Production

Posted: July 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Hoodman, video production, Workflow, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

As a professional photographer I have a ready supply of stills that I have taken over the years of landscapes, stilllifes and locations.  These images can be a useful addition to my videos.  Remember “video is simply a bunch of stills put together”. This is one of the ways I multi-purpose my work. There is the different that in some video clips something(s) will change position from frame to frame to make it live action but there are many subjects that don’t necessarily have that attribute.  To name a few: landscape without wind or flowing water, buildings, tabletops and so on, you get the idea.

One of the big advantages of using a still in video is if there is any retouching that needs to be done it is only to one frame as that one frame is duplicated over and over when made into a video clip.  This duplication also means the clip can be as long as you need since there is really no end to the number of times a frame can be reproduced.

When preparing a still for conversion into a video clip you should keep some things in mind.  The nominal resolution of video is 72 so that is the minimum resolution your still should end up as.  A higher resolution will not produce a better image and will take up more file space.  You should end up with an image that is a least the size of the video frame you are using so for Full HD you should start with at least a 1920 X 1080 image.  If you plan on any moves like a pan, tilt, push in or pull out you will need to start out with a still with larger dimensions.  For example, if you plan to push in 200% you need to double the size of the still image.  A Full HD frame being 1920 X 1080 times 2 would result in 3840 X 2160 still image that would allow a 200% push in without showing the pixels larger than normal.

If you don’t know what you are going to exactly to do with each still image you convert you might start out with an approximately 4000 X 2200 @ 72 image and see how they work out.  You don’t want bring in overly larger an images as it will cause unnecessary processing time yet they should be big enough to comfortably try some moves.  If you find you are going to make more than a 200% move on an image you can go back and process a larger image for that particular shot.  That is one of the beauties of using still in video, you can resize and recrop your clip after the shoot.

The image should be output from your image manipulation software as a JPEG at the highest quality with a color space of Adobe RGB.  A tiff is not necessary and although the image will be converted down to a Rec. 709 color space which is like the sRGB color space the additional colors the of Adobe RGB might be useful in the conversion.

Start thinking about some of your images that might be useful in your videos and we will see how easy it is to use stills in a Premiere Pro project in my next entry.

Some of the equipment in my toolbox Ziess Distagon T* 2/28 and Planar T* 1,4/50  lenses which I use to get the sharpest images both for photographs and video plus the RAW Steel Hoodman 1000X UDMA7 CF cards which the fastest and american made cards to record my still images and video.

To be continued.

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Guilin City of Water

Posted: June 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

My first stop as a location photographer in China is Guilin.  As a location photographer, how could I miss a chance to make images of one of the most beautiful places in the world.  The famed city of Karsh hills has the Li river snaking its way between the green velvet foliage covering the peaks you see in most movies of China.  Being the rainy season, there has been a steady rain creating a sea of umbrellas on the sidewalks.  Bright colors and the constant movement remind me of beach balls being tosed about.

 All this rain brings up a few tips for fellow travelers.  Take the new shirts and pants from makers like Patagonia, A16 and REI.  They wisk the mositure away from your skin and dry quickly from your body heat. When you do get back to your hotel, throw them in the bath. Then towel dry before hanging for use the next day.  Of course, take at least two of everything.

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China the Revisit Totally Different

Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

As a location photographer in 2001 I visted China, I finally I got a chance to return only to find many changes.  The people are still friendly but the pace at least in the cities has sped up.  Instead of bikes filling the streets, it is motorbikes filling the streets and sidewalks.  In China the electric bikes are cheap and you do not need a license.  Motorcycles that use gas and cars do require a driver’s licnese.  You can imagine the amazing traffic this creates.  Everyone just goes – pedestrians, bikes (yes, there still are a few), electric bikes, motorcycle, cars, bus and trucks weave about in a dance of bear misses with car horns setting the beat.

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Beachtek New Adapter Help Get Better Audio

Posted: June 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Canon 7d, Education, video production | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

In my last entry, I mentioned that the Canon 7D has joined the ranks of DSLR that have manual control of audio.  Great news but it does not relieve the need to connect professional audio gear via the professional XLR connector.  While a simple mini to XLR connector will work it does not handle the issue of the poor preamps in DSLRs.

Beachtek has a wide variety of audio adapters for DSLRs depending on yours needs including their new DXA-SLR Pro.  Beachtek also has a large amount of information on how best to use your Beachtek adapter at http://www.beachtek.com/support/.  They also have a very informative video on getting the best out of your adapter on their home page.

Beachtek-DXA-SLR PRO

Beachtek-DXA-SLR PRO

Here is a sample of the valuable information they have on thier skulpport pages:

“Hiss is a common problem with most of today’s DSLR cameras. The front ends tend to be noisy which can lead to excessive hiss if the levels are not set right. The simple fact is that the higher the gain of the camera preamps, the higher the hiss. The solution obviously is to reduce the noisy gain in the camera and replace it with the very clean gain of our DXA-SLR or DXA-SLR PRO adapters. When no amplification is required as when using wireless mics, our low cost passive DXA-5Da can be used.

When using the DXA-SLR, adjust the level controls on the adapter so that the indicator LED’s flash green. This tells you when you are in the proper recording level window to get the best signal to noise ratio and least amount of hiss. On the DXA-SLR PRO, you can use the built-in VU meters as a guide and set the levels so that the audio is peaking at no more than -12 dB. Use the AGC Disable feature on the adapter to reduce the noise created by the AGC in the camera.

If your camera allows you to disable the AGC from the camera menu, you can use manual mode to get even better audio. On the Canon 5D MK II or MK III set the camera gain to 25% of maximum. On Nikon cameras set it to LEVEL 1 on the older models, or 7 on the newer D4 and D800. In this case, you do not need to use the AGC Disable feature on the adapter – keep the switch to the left so that it is not activated.

It is critical that the levels be set right so that you are not starving the camera for audio as that will increase the internal camera gain which is something you want to avoid. Once the levels are set correctly, you should be able to capture clean, crisp audio.”

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The Super Fast Hoodman Raw Steel 1000x Compact Flash Card

Posted: May 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Hoodman, video, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

As an advertising photographer that is also into video I’m always looking for the best media I can get.  I want fast, sturdy cards that I can trust to record and keep my data safe.  This is especially true when I travel.  I’m going to be spending over three weeks in China shooting once in a lifetime projects.  I taking the Hoodman Raw Steel 1000x Compact Flash card and 300x SDHC cards.

Hoodman 300x SDHC

Hoodman 300x SDHC

Hoodman Raw Steel 1000x compact=

Hoodman Raw Steel 1000x compact flash card

Just remember to update your firmware to the latest version before trying to use these cards in your cameras.  You might find some side benefits like upgrading the Canon 7D firmware to the 2.3 version will allow you to finally control the audio levels manually.  It does not deal with the issue of connecting professional audio XLR cable which will need to be run through a Beachtek adapter but again there are many advantages in controlling the audio by doing it  that way

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