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.
I’m going to Unique Photo Superstore to do my Secrets of Video Production for Photographers. Friday night is the evening presentation where I do an overview of video production from concept to final output. Saturday’s workshop is where the funny really begins. Saturday morning is getting everyone up to speed then the afternoon is filled with shooting and editing. For more information you can go to:
Marshall promised a great new 5 inch monitor for the top of HDSLR use at NAB and now they are shipping them. The V-LCD50-HDMI 5″ monitor is packed with features found in more expensive models. This compact LED-backlit confidence monitor offers amazing picture performance and excellent viewing angles for users simply looking for a portable, yet versatile monitoring solution. 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. High Resolution (800×480) LED-backlit LCD Display. Professional features includes False Color and Peaking Filters, Pixel-to-Pixel, Image Flip, Freeze Frame and Safe Makers. Lightweight and compact design—weighs only 0.55 lbs (240g) which easily mounts on most cameras (hot shoe adapter included) and can be operated in the field with just 4 AA alkaline batteries.
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.
Brian Valente from Redrock Micro gave me a sneak peak this morning of their newest product an EVF (Electric Viewfinder). We had to be very secretive as we were at the Photocine Expom so I could take a quick shot and audio clip under less than ideal. Brian did a great job of describing the functions of their new EVF so click on the picture below to hear what it is all about.
Brian Valente with Redrock Micro's EVF
Admittedly, this product is not for every photographer just getting into video but it is good to be aware of what is out there so when the time comes you know what is available. Once I get my hands on one I’ll be able to give you my impressions. I’m excited about the idea of having an active viewfinder with the chance to also have a feed to a secondary monitor.
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.
Cinematographer Gale Tattersall, DP of the TV show House mentioned the value of Marshall Monitor’s Peaking filter. Focusing with any present HDSLR is an issue. Canon DSLR lenses with their very short focus pulls are problematic which is exaggerated by the very shallow depth of field. Gale used a series of Canon lenses with the assistance of Marshall’s HDMI 7 inch monitor in Peaking Filter mode to keep critical focus. I might have suggested considering the use of either Zeiss’s HDSLR or Cine Lenses with long focus pulls and color matched glass.
Either way, Marshall’s Peaking Filter would have come in handy. A peaking filter is used to help in getting a sharp focus which is especially hard with the tiny LCD on the back of HDSLRs that is normally used. How it works is the picture is turned into Black and White on the Marshall V-LCD70XP HDMI monitor with a red color appearing in the edges of areas where the picture is in focus. Peaking Filters work best after setting the picture to the best exposure and there is good contrast in the areas that need to be focused on.
There is the added benefit of being able to place the camera in positions, such a high or low angles, where focusing with the camera’s LCD would be difficult, by using the appropriate length HDMI cable and being able to continue to pull focus.
Secrets of Video Production for Photographers is coming to Charlotte on June 18 and 19. I’m looking forward to my first visit to what promises to be a charming city.
Friday night is going to be the APA evening presentation from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Paradox Film & digital where I give a basic outline of the process of video production. I do this keeping in mind video is an additional component to a still production. I will discuss the techniques and tools needed to do video production. See http://charlotte.apanational.com for more details.
Saturday’s workshop is always fun and informative as I have more time to really get into video production. In the morning, we look at the basics from a different point of view and then build on those basics including when to call in a post house like Rawworks to help. In the early afternoon we do some lighting and camera techniques followed by a short commercial shoot with the latest equipment from Manfrotto, Panasonic, Ziess, Marshall Electronics, Redrock Micro, Beachtek, Sennhieser, K-Tek, Hoodman, and LaCie. I then take that video into Final Cut Studio, edit it and output it for various distribution methods. The day gives anyone interested in video production a good outline to follow in video productions. See www.tiny.cc/june18 for more details.
Video production is changing by the day and can be confusing to photographers just getting into motion. Having a working understanding of the overall picture, helps give the photographer getting into video production an understanding of how to judge what equipment and software to use.
Christopher Lozano www.tlsHollywood.com did this time lapse click (MOVIE) of the LA evening presentation.
Cinematographer Gale Tattersall, DP of the TV show House, who was part of Canon’s Cine Expo EOS presentation on using the Canon 5D for the final episode, mentioned using Marshall Monitor for False Color. First, you should know what False Color is and how to use it.
Marshall Electronics describes their False Color Filter in the following way:
The False Color filter is used to aid in the setting of camera exposure. As the camera Iris is adjusted, elements of the image will change color based on the luminance or brightness values. This enables proper exposure to be achieved without the use of costly, complicated external test equipment. To best utilize this feature, you must understand the color chart and have a basic understanding of camera exposure. Normally, when shooting subjects like people, it is common practice to set exposure of faces to the equivalent of approximately 56 IRE. The False Color filter will show this area as the color PINK on the monitor. Therefore, as you increase exposure (open the IRIS), your subject will change color as indicated on the chart: PINK, then GREY, then a few shades of YELLOW. Overexposed subjects (above 101 IRE) on the monitor will be shown as RED. In addition, underexposed subjects will show as DEEP-BLUE to DARK-BLUE, with clipped-blacks indicated with a FUCHSIA-like color. Lastly, the color GREEN is used to indicate elements of the image that are approximately 45 IRE. This represents a “neutral” or “mid-level” exposure commonly used for objects (not people).
If you have come to any of my workshops, you have seen a practical demonstration of Marshall’s HDMI monitor’s False Color Filter in setting exposure. The latest Marshall 7 inch HDMI Monitor is the V-LCD70XP HDMI.
Surprisingly, Gale found Marshall’s False Color filter so useful that he seldom used his handheld meter while shooting with the 5D.
Any photographer learning video production would have been very interested in the Cine Gear Expo 2010 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. One of the highlights was cinematographer Gale Tattersall, DP of the TV show House, part of Canon’s EOS presentation on using the Canon 5D for the final episode. I had a chance to chat with Gale for awhile privately before and after the presentation as well, so I was able to get a bit more information on his digital workflow.
Anyone who wants to see top work with a 5D Mark ll should watch the House finale episode. To keep everything I’m going to write about this in the right perspective, we must keep in mind that Gale is the DP for what I hear is the most watched TV show in the world. He has a team of experienced professionals working with him and the resources of a major network behind him. These are not unlimited resources, but they will do. Plus, he was concerned that he and his team only had three weeks of testing to refine the workflow before he started actually using the camera to shoot the episode.
Right off there was some concern about projecting the clips on a full size movie screen at the Expo. Banding is a problem when you start off with a highly compressed format like the H264 coming out of the 5D Mark ll. Everyone in the theater was impressed including Gale and moderator Tim Smith of Canon with how well the picture held up. Remember, they made sure they started with the picture style set at neutral, the exposure was right on (I’ll write about this more later) and the color balance was right where they wanted it. Plus, (and here is a big tip) a little film grain was added to smooth everything out.
Chicago was surprising. As with the other cities, I had no doubt that the photography professionals attending would be welcoming but I had not expected the warmth they extended to me. I did both my Secrets of Video Production for photographers evening presentation and Saturday workshop at Callie Lipkin’s very spacious studio. Callie and her husband/studio manager Robert were great hosts and they have a great space that is also a rental, so if you are in need of a studio in Chicago, give them a call 773.853.2339. APA’s Midwest director Megan was indispensible in getting things set up for my events.
Everyone was intent on learning about video production as this is a no nonsense group of professionals that see video production is the next stage of the now ever-changing landscape of professional image making. They understand the days of being a pure professional photographer are fast disappearing and they are willing to take the next step, which is into video production. I had at least two photographers who drove from Columbus Ohio to attend. Two more came from Milwaukee and plan on sharing what they learned with the rest of the crew at QuadPhoto. Dave Busch of QuadPhoto was nice enough to send me an email that included the following quote, “The combination of facts, experiences and practical ideas you presented will undoubtedly save a lot of money and pain for any photographer that is just beginning to investigate video production. Plus the tools, toys, and software you shared were a real eye opener for those of us who have already started shooting HD video with DSLR. Thanks again for making the event well worth our time and the 180 miles we drove to attend!”
It was exciting to share with them some of the new development I saw at NAB a few days earlier in Vegas, including the exciting developments of Litepanels new hybrid LED that flash sync’s. Zeiss’s new cine compact prime series was well as introducing them to Zeiss’s HDSLR series lenses for Canon and Nikon cameras. Sonicfire’s new Voxal vocal albums and, of course, Redrock Micro’s upcoming wireless follow focus were just a few of the items I told them about.
I have no doubt that the Chicago professionals I met will have little problem making some great short form video content. I look forward to them sharing some of their video experiences with me.
☞☛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.