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 SmallHD DP4-EVF was designed from the ground up for the DLSR shooter. In dynamic shooting environments pulling critical focus and maintaining correct exposure can be a challenge. The DP4-EVF’s extensive software features are designed to continuously give you the information you need, so you can concentrate on composition.
The DP4-EVF is two tools in one, 1) a world class standalone field monitor and 2) an electronic view finder. There is no other product on the market that provides both of these features in one lightweight integrated package.
Features Most Interest To DSLR Shooters:
Focus Assist Plus provides best in class focus assist technology.
Multiple exposure management tools
DSLR Auto Scale to maximize the size of the displayed image
Integration with both Canon and Nikon battery systems
Bright screen for outdoor shooting
HDMI pass thru to allow others on the set to see the action
SmallHD was founded in by budget conscience filmmakers to deliver innovation and unprecedented customer support for the DLSR shooter. The following is a short list of those innovations.
The super tough nylon construction ensures your precious items remain safely inside the Plasticase NANUK 940 and Plasticase NANUK 945 cases no matter where the journey takes you. The waterproofing seal used in all NANUK watertight cases is custom designed to fit our products. The seal is designed to resist deformation and fatigue, ensuring a long lasting watertight seal. Easy open PowerClaw clamps keep the case tightly closed using compressive force while the integrated slide lock prevents the case from opening during transport or when dropped. Every NANUK case come equipped with two padlockable hasps moulded directly into the case for superior strength. All models have integrated lid stays molded into the hinge that keep the case lid open when you need it to stay open. No more pinched fingers.
NANUK durable protective cases are designed to protect the most sensitive equipment in the harshest environments. Whether transporting your gear through the unforgiving Amazon jungle or across the planet’s most punishing terrain, every detail of NANUK durable hard sided cases has been refined and perfected to offer the utmost in protection and performance. From our high-impact NK-7™ resin to our PowerClaw™ latches, NANUK equipment and industrial cases have been engineered and manufactured to stringent military specifications to surpass the needs of the most demanding users. These virtually indestructible, lightweight, protective watertight cases offer the ultimate grade of protection in a variety of sizes, configurations and colors.
Whether your running up and down stairs, circling the bride or traveling over rugged terrain, The Glidecam hand-held stabilizers are the ultimate production tools that deliver the highest production value to cost ratio of any products in their class.
Each HD-4000 Stabilizer and XR-4000 Stabilizer offset, foam cushioned, Handle Grip is attached to a free floating, three axis Gimbal. This allows your hand to move up and down, and side-to-side, thereby isolating your hand’s unwanted motions from the camera. This up and down movement alleviates the bouncing, pogo type action often associated with our competitor’s system because their handle cannot move up and down. This design feature, coupled with the overall higher inertia of the HD and XR-Series systems, produces superior award winning stabilization when compared with our competition.
Glidecam is presenting the XR-4000 hand-held stabilizer a lightweight, hand-held camcorder stabilizing system designed for compact and full size cameras weighing from 4 to 10 pounds to the winner of Best Overall category.
The Glidecam HD-4000 is the prize for the Best Motion and is the number one selling Hand-Held Stabilizer in the world today and offers advanced features and a degree of sophistication never before seen in a line of Hand-Held Camera Stabilizers.
Interested in winning one of these hand-held stabilizer? Check out APA’s 2ND Annual Short Video Contest for 2013 at www.tinyurl.com/apavideo
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.
As an advertising and editorial photographer in Los Angeles, I usually shoot in RAW so while I always do a white balance before I start shooting. It is basic best practices even if it is not really baked into the image file. It is even more important when one shoots video which has a baked in color balance. Unless you are shooting one of the 4:4:4 video cameras which records all of the color information in the image file you are interpolating down much of the color information to a small percentage of the original. You cannot be far off in your exposure or color balance without downgrading your image in post corrections.
Yet, so often I have to remind photographers who are starting to shoot video that right after getting the exposure setting to white balance the camera. I would say this is important all the time rather than relying on the presets even if you are shooting daylight or professional lights. Very seldom do you really shoot in direct sunlight so there can be a bias in the diffusion material or fill reflectors. Lights get old and change color plus any diffusion can again cause a color shift.
I always carry a 12 inch Lastolite EzyBlance Calibration Card with me. It folds down into a 7inch carry bag and flexes out to 12 inch with a neutral median grey side and neutral white reverse side. The median grey side allows for both setting exposure and white balance. This can be especially helpful to wedding shooters that have to contend with white gowns and black tuxedos under mixed light sources.
Another handy device is the SyderCube. For RAW shooters you can use it alone to find your color balance. For video you can use it in tandem with the Lastolite EzyBlance Calibration Card to further refine your color balance. It has four areas for adjusting your color and exposure – white, median grey, black and black trap. Again, small enough to easy carry with you. Simple shoot the SyderCube and use the white and median grey sides with the eyedroppers and the black slider in Final Cut Pro to show a slight difference in the black and black trap. I’ll post a video using the SyderCube for corrections soon.
I’ve been working with the Sachtler Ace M Fluid Head with 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod over the last few months and want to share some observations about it. So, let’s start at the top ad work our way down. The Ace M is made of a lightweight carbon fiber composite material. The camera plate is nice and long so as to accommodate just about any camera you might want to use. There is an optional camera plate for DLSRs. The head has a payload of up to 8.8 lbs. Both the plate and the top of the head have scale marks so you can find the balance you like and by noting the position on the scales you are able to quickly reposition the camera to the same balance point. The plate is held in place by a tightening knob on the side of the head just ahead of the safety release for the plate.
As we move down the head, in the back, under the balance plate is a place to store 1/4” and 3/8” camera screws which is handy. Along the left side is the tilt lock and in the center is a large tilt dial making it easy to set the tension dial with three settings of drag and 0 for no drag. Next to the tilt tension dial is a smaller counter balance dial that has 0 to 5 steps of counterbalance for just about any camera system you would put on the head. It seems like I have to tilt the camera forward or back a bit after adjusting the setting to activate the tilt drag and counterbalance to the new setting. Below the tilt tension dial is the spirit level which is clear but is not illuminated which can make it hard to use in low light situations.
Moving on to the front of the head there is a locking knob for the pan and just below that is the large pan tension adjust dial with three settings plus 0. This is nice because no matter how you position the system you are able to quickly ajust the pan drag setting. I like the that the large dials for both the tilt and pan tension settings makes setting them easy. Quick mention about the Pan Bar which is only on the right side but is adjustable for angle and tilt.
The head is supported on a 75mm ball allowing for a tilt range of +90 degrees to -75 degrees. The ball fits into the 75mm bowl in the two 2-stage aluminum tripod with a mid-level spreader and with a foot spreader version available. I find the mid-level spreader easier to deal with and still gives me the rigidity I want. The legs are the split uppers with single sticks for the bottom two sections. The system tops out at 66.5” and folders down to 33.5”. The feet are a adjustable from soft rubber to spikes depending on the terrain.
Lee White working with Sachtler Ace M Fluid Head with 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod
Shooting with the Ace is a pleasure; the tension adjustment range is suitable for a variety of subjects. I found the pan and tilt to be smooth from beginning to end without the jump that sometimes happens at the beginning with some heads. Equally important there is no spring back when I stop the move. The head is solid so I did not have to worry about holding it in place for the couple of beats I usually like at the end of my moves. Check out the surfing shot I just did as an example. I used the Panasonic HMC 40 recording onto a Hoodman Raw STEEL SDHC card to capture the shot.
As an advertising and editorial photographer and videographer, much of my work consist of assignments where the subject is defined for me. I have the challenge of discovering the best way of illustrating the purpose of the photograph depending on the requirements of the client. It can be rewarding when that moment happens and you know you are on the right track.
It is totally different when there is no assignment or even a specific purpose for my photography. Each day I get up looking forward to the chance make an image. Note, I said “make an image” not just take a photograph. Anyone with a camera can take a photograph by just pushing the shutter, to me that is not making an image but just recording a scene.
I was recently listening to how Sam Abell talked about making his layered images and the discovery process he went through. It reminded me that it sometimes takes trial and error before setting on an image that you like. I think most photographers go through a similar process of sorting out how and what to use in making images.
This evening, just after sunset, as I strolled among a nearby beach, I found the tide was unusually low. I noticed it exposed the ocean floor that normally would be under several feet of water. There as a different texture to the sand and some interesting patterns. But, in the quickly fading light there was not quite enough drawing of the contours. Then, I saw the piece of seaweed in the first image which looked promising but again the light had faded a little to much. There was still enough side light to create interest but the values were now too close to really make a statement.
As I walked along, I noted shore birds wading near the shore with beautiful golden light reflecting off their white chest feathers. But, I was not prepared with a long enough lens to make anything worth while.
As I walked past the birds, I started to notice some chest feathers had come loose from those birds and were now sitting on some of those ocean bottom contours. I selected the ones I felt would make the most interesting images and quickly composed them in the fading light. See my final picks below.
Feather Sand #1
Feather on Sand #2
Feather on Sand #3
Feather on Sand #4
Feather on Sand #5
As you can see by the time I found the last feather, the light had almost faded to nothing.
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.
☞☛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.