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 also teaching classes at Santa Monica College in video production for professional photographers and photography students.
The prize for the Best Spot News/Editorial Feature category in the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest http://tiny.url/apavideo is the Hoodman Custom Finder Kit. With Custom Finder Kit, Hoodman solves one of the persistent problems we have in viewing the LCD screens while shooting video on our HDSLR. As a professional photographer owning Lee White Photography, I have also shot video for over twenty years. I have found few things more problematic than dealing with bright conditions and needing to see what the LCD is telling me. I want to clearly see what my framing is without guessing and that is exactly what the Hoodmanloupe provides me.
The Custom Finder Kit consists of the H32 Hoodloupe with a +3 diopter adjustment and a 1/4 20 mounting solution that attaches to the base of the camera. The base plates are custom milled with anti-twist bars, handstrap slot and camera sling attachment point. For more information, go to www.hoodmanusa.com.
To find out how to submit to the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest and to read the fine print, please go here. The contest is open to APA and all creative content creators.
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.
As an advertising photographer videographer based in Los Angeles who goes on location, Showcase Photo Video in Atlanta is the kind of store I dream of finding. It is easy to find just off the I-85 in central Atlanta. As soon as you walk it shows they know photography and video. It is a bright and organized store that seemingly has everything right where it should be and I mean everything. The selection of gear is tremendous.
The staff working at Showcase are friendly and knowledgeable. They take the time to talk with you so they can make sure what you get fits your needs. They know about photography and video so can offer a selection of solutions for your needs. While setting up for my Secrets of Video for Photography events they hosted, we had a nice chat about the latest equipment I am showing including the amazing Manfrotto 050 photo/video fluid head that solves many of the problems with shooting photos and video on a tripod. They also were at my events last year at the APA Atlanta chapter on video for photographers to make sure they were up on the latest.
Showcase Photo Video also has the Showcase School which is dedicated to photo and video education. The school has a wide variety of classes from very basic to professional level. www.theshowcaseschool.com
Showcase Photo Video is a great resource for those working anywhere in the south eastern United States. They are at 2323 Cheshire Bridge Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30324. 800.886.1976 www.showcaseinc.com.
Secrets of video for photographers is coming to Portland for two events that takes away the mystery of video production and replaces it with solid information. More than just tech talk, Lee White also goes over ideas on how to increase revenue streams and creative strategies.
The evening seminar is two hours jammed packed with need to know info!
All attendees will receive free SmartSound music and SonicFire music editing software .
Taking the step from stills to video can be a challenging one. You will have to learn how to deal with motion and sound, tell the visual story in a different way. There is new equipment to master. Post-production can be much more involved and time consuming. The explosion of interest in video both by clients and photographers in the last couple of years has opened new creative avenues for photographers. More photographers are being asked to create video content so are facing new challenges in estimating, production and post-production. Come and learn about the latest tools and techniques needed to create video. Learn how to better estimate the time and costs involved and how you need to approach video differently than stills while using your photographic talents to your advantage.
Lee White’s evening lecture presentation and videos will go over the steps photographers need to know in creating video without tearing their hair out.
During the evening Lee will discuss:
• How photographers can get new clients
• The latest in tools that make video production easier
• The all-important planning stage and what new concepts and costs photographers need to think about
• The importance of post-production
• HDSLR vs Camcorder in video production
• How photographers can apply their present skills to video
The latest equipment and software by sponsors Apple, Manfrotto, Panasonic, Zeiss, Sennheiser, Beachtek. Red Giant Software, SmartSound, G-Technology, Indisystems, Chimera and Casio will be at the event for photographers to see.
This fast paced all-day workshop is not to be missed.
When: Saturday, April 9, 2011 Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm Where: Andy Batt’s Studio
2021 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 Cost: General $150; ASMP members & Students $100 – Lunch included Register Now!
All attendees will receive free SmartSound music and SonicFire music editing software .
Photography and video are coming together. In the last couple of years, the idea of photographers producing video has exploded and photographers now must gear up and learn the language of video. As advertisers and magazines turn to video on the web, cable and mobile devices to get out their message, there are more opportunities than ever for you to do video in tandem with your photography to capture new clients and sell video services to existing clients.
Producing video creates fundamental changes to your workflow. It requires new tools and techniques to take the step from photography to video. You need to learn what the new technologies mean to you from a photographer’s point of view. This is why Lee White, a professional photographer and educator, has created an intensive all day workshop to help guide you into video. This hands-on workshop will go in depth about each step of video production so you can start producing your own video and avoid some of the most dangerous pitfalls.
In the morning, Lee White will go over the fundamentals of video production and direct a plan for a shoot for the afternoon. In the afternoon, we will shoot, and edit and color grade the video.
The Saturday subjects will include:
• The importance of workflow including recording formats and how to use them to your advantage
• Estimating and planning combined photography and video shoots with forms for estimating video production
• Understanding the lighting, filming and sound techniques needed for video
• Hands on experience with camera, lighting and sound equipment
• Editing and color grading demonstrations
• Common issues in directing talent and a chance to direct yourself
• The importance of post-production
The latest equipment and software by sponsors Apple, Manfrotto, Panasonic, Zeiss, Sennheiser, Beachtek. Red Giant Software, SmartSound, G-Technology, Indisystems and Casio will be at the event for photographers to see in action.
Where do I think photography is going in the next five years? I just got back from being on an advisory panel at Brooks, Institute of Photography that addressed just this issue. I was asked to prepare a 5 minute presentation about my current role in the industry and where I think the industry is moving. Below is pretty much the text from my presentation.
Before I forget, I want to say what a pleasure it was to be on a panel with so many thoughtful and articulate professionals that were so willing to give their considered opinions. A special shout out to Jeff Sedlik of the Plus Coalition, who’s incredible efforts are going to protect our rights as creators. You should all go to the plus site, http://www.useplus.com, to see find out how best to deal with the coming copyright reform.
Now to my presentation:
I am a professional photographer and I create advertising and editorial content in the form of still images and video. I have also been giving a series of seminars and workshops around the country called “The Secrets of Video Production for Photographers.” Plus, I instruct six and sixteen-week college classes in video production for photographers.
And now for my vision of photography in the future. I think that photography is going to thrive and become a hybrid. It is going to thrive because we have become an image thirsty world. We take large gulps of visual content and have an appetite for an ever-increasing amount of new material. Photography, or I should say photographers, will become more of a hybrid than we already are. We already digitally process, manipulate and output our own content to a greater degree than ever before and we are now starting to include motion and sound.
If you notice, both articles and printed ads, not only use photography, but now often have a “go to the web for more information” component. Here are just a few examples I was able to quickly find after being asked to be on the panel.
Point of Purchase Business Size Card Found Next to Product in Store
Article in Videography Magazine
(Note: each uses a photograph to draw the reader in and then suggests the web for more information)
Since bandwidth is now fast and cheap, it is almost as easy to provide video on the web as still images.
Personal electronic devices such as the personal computers, smart phones and smart pads are the entertainment norm for Generation Y. And along with that, comes a thirst for ways of communicating that grabs the attention of eyes that are now bombarded by content. Just think about the office worker of the past who besides a visit to the water cooler or occasionally flipping through a magazine, had no access to outside influences while working. Now it is the norm for that same worker to spend some part of his day surfing the web. TV commercials have gone from 60 seconds to fifteen seconds partly due to cost and partly from the short attention span of viewers. Content users realize this and are looking for the best ways of grabbing that viewer’s attention and what better way than movement and sound?
While traveling the country speaking to photographers, in every city I experienced photographers telling me that clients are asking for video along with still images. Whether or not clients have a use for it right now, they feel the need to get it. I attribute this to things like the easy access to moving entertainment via the web and camera advertisements that show “professional like video” can easily be shot with just about any digital camera. The result of this thirst for video content in tandem with stills is lost jobs for photographers who cannot provide video or worse yet, lost clients, when skilled photographers who are not trained in video production make bad videos. That quick video favor can turn into a quick disaster.
The video component to still photography assignments has happened much quicker than what we experienced with the conversion from analog to digital. As a photographer, if you are not prepared to do video, be prepared to lose more and more jobs to photographers who are prepared.
The good news is everyone is right. It is easier now than ever before to create good video, technically. The bad news is it takes some new skills and changing how photographers tell the story from stills to video. Remember, video is a bunch of still images strung together, so photographers already have many of the skills needed for the basic visuals. How to manage that bunch of stills so they tell an interesting story is new to photographers.
Photographers also face the issue of sound which they have not had to deal with in the past. The videos they are faced with are usually short form advertising or editorial videos which have different requirements than feature film production or news reporting taught in cinema classes. The crew make up is different and the focus on still and video creation together add certain unique challenges. But with the right training, all of these challenges can be met and can enhance the abilities and profits of the new hybrid photographer.
Photography is going to evolve. Just as it added color to B&W, then digital to analog, it is adding motion and sound to still photography assignments.
I have mentioned how handy the Chimera Window Patterns kit was after using it during my Secrets of Video Production for Photographers in Charlotte N.C., New Jersey and again at my Brooks Institute of Photography presentation.
Chimera Window Pattern projected on wall
In Charlotte N.C.
In talking with Terry Monahan of Chimera, he was kind enough to share a system he has developed to make the Window Pattern kit even easier to use. This system holds everything, light source and window pattern, on one stand to make it easy to move as a single unit. The Chimera softbox also controls the light spill.
As you might remember, one of the great things about the Window Patterns is that changing the pattern is a snap, as each of the many different patterns is attached by Velcro to the matte. Since there is Velcro on both sides of the matte, you can also combine two patterns to make a third.
To see Terry’s system visit http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=200389&id=110580113666
While everyone is chasing the extremely shallow depth of field that the HDSLR give us, especially in the full size sensors, we should realize there is a different between film and digital. Admittedly, shallow DOF gives you the ability to direct the viewers attention to where you want. Also some lenses like the Zeiss HDSLR lenses are made to give you beautiful boken (aesthetic quality of the blur) in the out of focus areas. Used correctly DOF is a powerful storytelling tool in either the shallow or deep form.
Initially, what is sometimes not understood is that there is a difference between film and digital in how the image transitions from in to out of focus. Film gives you a smoother transition due to the different size silver grains, where digital is a uniform array of pixels causing a sharper delineation. Now that you are aware of this difference you can use it to your advantage either by stopping down in digital a bit to make focus a little deeper or keeping it very shallow making the image pop.
A big hit at Photocine Expo causing crowds around the Marshall booth was their new V-LCD50-HDMI Monitor. This monitor includes the great features I love about the V-LCD70P-HDMI but in a small package. Coming in at only 7.85Wx4.39Hx1.5D it gives you a low profile with a big picture. Those who want to shoot with the monitor camera mounted will be happy that it comes with a hot shoe adapter included along with a 1/4-20 bottom mount for support systems, cranes and jibs.
It keeps the False Color Filter for judging exposure that I talked about in my July 8 entry and peaking Filter for focus in my July 10 entry. Both False Color and Peaking make shooting with any video camera easier but especially HDSLR. The V-LCD50-HDMI offers standard features including a wide variety of formats and markers, 4 user-configurable front panel function buttons, RGB Check Field / Field Detect, RGB gain and bias control. More features included are Image Flip, Freeze Frame, and HDMI Auto Color Space and Ratio detect.
V-LCD50-HDMI Front Panel
The V-LCD50-HDMI also has the new feature of running off four AA batteries instead of the video batteries the 70P uses, both monitors accept AC power with the correct adapter. With a MRSP of $599.00 it puts a high quality american made monitor in the reach of everyone.
Thursday August 12, Brooks Institute of Photography hosted my Secrets of Video Production on what turned out to be one of the first truly sunny summer days this season. Both students and a large number of faculty attended my presentation held in one of the school’s spacious studios. The theme was tabletop so I was able to spotlight the Indisliderpro with the Manfrotto 501 fluid head supported on Manfrotto 536 MPRO legs. Everyone was impressed with how sturdy and versatile the IndisliderPro was both when mounted on the Manfrotto legs and when placed right on the tabletop. Everyone appreciated the value of the False Color and Peaking filters of the Marshall’s monitor and enjoyed being able to see what was going on as some of the students tried out the techniques I presented. RedRockMicro’s support system and microFollowFocus was instrumental in demonstrating techniques like rack focus. The cucaloris effect of the Chimera Window Patterns added life to both the background of some setups and dappled light directly on one setup illustrating a push-in technique with the Indisliderpro. The LEDs from Litepanels were used as both main sources and kickers along with both the Lastolite Triflip and Skylite light modifiers.
Everything was shot to a RAW 16GB CF card and down loaded through the high speed RAW Firewire card reader on to LaCie harddrives supporting editing in Final Cut Pro on MacBook Pro. Along with demonstrating a number of tabletop shooting situations, I had enough time to show a very basic NLE workflow. Student received a Sonicfire Pro disk and suggestions on the use of royalty-free music in their future video and still to video productions.
The students asked lots of questions and quite a few got a chance to try the equipment for themselves in actual shooting situations.
Below is the tabletop wine video we did in the workshop.
Below is the tabletop push-in we did in the workshop.
☞☛Mt. SAC, Walnut, CA Two-day workshop April 19-20, 2013
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
Just past - 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
Just past - Sennheiser sound capture event at Santa Monica College May 3 see blog http://www.leewhitephotography.com/blog/?p=825
Past - Panel discussion for Brooks, Institute of Photography.