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.
Posted: December 30th, 2010 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Workflow, video, video production | Tags: California advertising photographer, commercial photographers, Lee White Photography, video, video production | No Comments »
New Secrets of Video Production for Photographers workshops coming in 2011. As 2010 draws to a close, I have found there is an even greater interest than ever in video production by photographers. More and more clients are requesting their photographers supply video along with still images. Photographers are also finding video an excellent way of promoting themselves and their work. Amateur photographers are also enjoying capturing motion and sound.
The interest in my workshops has grown as well, so I am preparing a new series of workshops that give photographers a more hands-on experience. What better way of learning than being guided through the video production process while being involved with creating video content yourself?
I appreciate all the kind comments about my 2010 events like:
“The availability of new imaging tools together with an increased use of video in advertising has created a unique opportunity for still photographers. To take advantage of this new business, an understanding and mastery of the workflow is absolutely essential. Lee White’s Secrets of Video Productions workshops combines a practical and informative overview of these new products, together with a hands-on experience with the HDSLR video workflow. As an APA member and a successful advertising & editorial photographer, Lee provides a unique and personal perspective to the transition from still to a video based production. His workshops are a lively, interactive experience that will benefit any photographer seeking to add video capability to their professional services.”
Richard Schleuning, National Sales Manager, Americas, Carl Zeiss Camera Lens Division
Richard Wiser of VMI Broadcast and Professional Video says, “ I found the information accurate and interesting and your presentation top-notch.”
Dave Busch of QuadPhoto says, “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!”
Michael P. Randazzo says “I enjoyed your class. There are people who learn and teach, like they book learn but you can tell them right away that they never actually did it. I don’t enjoy that as much as seeing someone who does it for a living and as such can teach things you can’t learn from a book. That’s you. It’s easy to tell you have done this and know the really important things about video production.
Though you were much above my needs as I listened, I learned a lot from watching you work and hearing about your experience. Thanks you for a great few hours of your knowledge and experience.”
David Verdini of Verdini Studios says “Thanks for coming to NJ and sharing your experience with us. Although time was short, the amount of practical and quality info that I received is already helping me in planning my next video project. Your delivery and expert knowledge of video made it more credible for me. This made it so I didn’t leave your class with any doubt or confusion and in need of searching for more answers. I also need to thank you for the class on being about the subject advertised not about the teacher’s ego. Again, your knowledge and delivery proved that you are who you are and spoke for itself.”
Posted: November 12th, 2010 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Education, Workflow, video production | Tags: advertising photographer, California advertising photographer, commercial photographers, Los Angeles advertising photographer, photography educator, video, video production | No Comments »
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.
Posted: October 4th, 2010 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Apple, Final Cut Studio | Tags: Apple Computers, Apple's Final Cut Studio, California advertising photographer, Lee White Photography, Los Angeles photographer, photography educator, video | No Comments »
There are times when it is better to double up a Final Cut Pro filter rather than trying to push just one too far. Next time you are faced with a green screen project and are using one of the Final Cut Pro chroma key filters try doubling the filter once you get close to the final result you want.
It is easy to do because you don’t have to start fresh with the filter rather duplicate the original filter setting to refine the effect even more. In Final Cut Pro it is easy do duplicate a filter by simply dragging and dropping the adjusted filter onto the same clip in the timeline.
Posted: September 15th, 2010 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: video | Tags: California advertising photographer, hdslr, hybrid video, Lee White Photography, Los Angeles photographer, video | No Comments »
Nikon announces a 1080p Full HD D7000. Finally, after several years of devoted Nikon users telling me that they want to get into video but were waiting for a Nikon HDSLR with decent video capabilities. And I understand the desire not to switch makers when you have an investment in lenses and dedicated accessories. Well, the wait is possibly over.
The Nikon D7000 is said to start shipping in October and has some very attractive features. First off, is the Full HD 1080p at 24fps which is a step up from the 720p @ 24 fps of past Nikon models. Nikon also expanded the 720p modes to include 30fps and 25fps as well as the 24fps of previous models. An important note here is that the 24 fps is really 23.98fps and 30fps is really 29.97, which is more compatible with NTSC standards as is the 25fps with the PAL standards. I am disappointed that Nikon did not include 720p at 60fps. I love the way 60fps can capture action and I often do a speed change with 60fps to create a smooth semi-slow motion look.
Something that could be more exciting than the 1080p to a number of HDSLR video users and might be a partial Canon killer is the continuous auto focus in video mode. I hear photographers continually complain that they are having problems keeping moving subjects in focus. The wonderful cinematic shallow depth of field that the HDLSRs are famed for is also the bane of many photographers. It takes an experienced focus puller to handle a moving subject especially when the moves are not choreographed in advance. Most photographers are not doing projects that allow for extensive shot blocking and rehearsals plus few have a practiced crewmember that can be dedicated to just pulling focus.
I have not had the chance to see how well the auto focus works or how controllable it is. But, if it works decently at all, I can see several categories of video content creators switching to the D7000 just for the auto focus.
If you’re a Nikon user and have been waiting to jump into video, now might be the time. For more on the D7000 click the image.
Posted: January 31st, 2010 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Apple, Education, Workflow, video | Tags: Apple Computers, Apple's Final Cut Studio, commercial photographers, Lee White Photography, Los Angeles advertising photographer, photography educator, Redrock Micro, Sonicfire Pro, video, video production | No Comments »
My Saturday’s workshop was a fun and educational experience. In the morning, there were a few hours of chatting about video in general and the new skill set needed to estimate and shoot video along with stills. After a quick lunch provided by APA-LA, there was a simple combination photo/video lighting demonstration followed by a hands-on follow focus experience by each attendee.
I then set up a simple commercial spot production and shot clips to be edited into a commercial. Following the production, I delved into putting the clips together in Final Cut Studio to finish the commercial. First, I showed them how to transcode the HDSLR files into a more edit friendly format of ProRes422. You can skip this step with video clips from video cameras like the Panasonic. I brought the clips into Final Cut Pro to edit them into a sequence and did some color correction. I then showed a couple of output options.
Following all that, we had a chance to explore the Sonicfire Pro application and how it creates custom length royalty-free music.
I make sure every attendee to either my Thursday evening presentation or Saturday workshop gets a copy of the Sonicfire Pro application and five free multi-layered music tracks they can use commercially.
Posted: January 20th, 2010 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Apple, Canon, Canon 7d, Workflow, video | Tags: California advertising photographer, Canon 5d, Canon 7d, Los Angeles advertising photographer, sound conversion, video, video production | No Comments »
First, what is being referred to is the sample rate or how many times a second sound is being measured. Without getting too deep into the science behind sound, to have good sound it should be sampled at least at 40 kHz to capture the higher frequencies. So the 5d with its 44.1 kHz is sampling at a rate that is high enough to capture the higher frequencies and is considered CD quality often used for music. Digital video cameras generally use 48 kHz to capture sound, as does the 7d, which is considered one of the professional sample rates.
A warning here is that some DV cameras that offer four tracks of 32 kHz which can lead to compromised sound quality.
To convert 5d’s 44.1 kHz sound to the DV standard of 48 kHz is easy to do. You will actually do it when converting the 5d H264 files to a more friendly format for FCP editing like one of the Apple ProRes422 formats. If you are using Compressor from the Final Cut Studio suite, simply make sure to go to the inspector panel and select sound settings. The settings should be the following: Format: Linear PCM, Channels Stereo (L,R), Rate: 48,000 kHz, Render Settings: Quality Best, Linear PCM Sample size 16 bit. This will bring the audio up to the correct sample rate without distorting the sound.
Posted: January 2nd, 2010 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Apple, Education, Lighting, Workflow | Tags: advertising photographer, Apple Computers, Apple Final Cut Studio, Beachtek adapters, Canon 7d, dramatic lighting, Hoodman CF card, Hoodman SDHC card, LaCie hard drives, Lee White Photography, Panasonic HMC-40, Redrock Micro, royalty free music, Sonicfire 5, video, video production, Zeiss lenses | No Comments »
Secrets of Video Production for Photographers
There has been an explosion of interest in video both by clients and photographers in the last year. Fueled by technology that is making video easier to produce and distribute, a vast new market is being created for photographers with the right skills.
Workshop info and dates below evening events info
Thursday evening Events
9pm Dinner 6-7 pm Presentation starts 7:15 pm
Lee White’s evening presentation including videos will go over the steps photographers need to know in creating video and photography in tandem.
During the evening he will discuss:
- The photographer’s unique position for this new market
- How photographers can apply their present skills to video
- The creative planning stage and what new concepts photographers need to think about
- Pre-production and additional considerations when shooting video
- The tools and techniques of video production
- Post-production in the photographer’s studio
FREE SOFTWARE: SmartSound will give each attendee a free copy of their Sonicfire Pro 5 software along with free royalty-free music.
There will be a copy of Apple’s Final Cut Studio raffled off.
More giveaways from LaCie and Hoodman.
The latest equipment and software by Apple, Panasonic, Zeiss, Redrock Micro, SmartSound, Beachtek, LaCie and Hoodman among others will be at the event for photographers to see.
Los Angeles information for Thursday January 14
6pm-9pm Dinner 6-7 pm Presentation starts 7:15 pm
5th and Sunset Studios,12322 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 900064
How much: APA MEMBERS ARE FREE! Full time students $20 with id all others $35 RSVP Call 323-933-1631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Denver information for Thursday January 28
6pm -9pm Dinner 6-7 pm Presentation starts 7:15 pm
Stage 3 at Denver Pro Photo,235 South Cherokee Street,Denver, CO 80223
Atlanta information for Thursday February 4
BIG Studio, Suite E, 887 West Marietta Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30318
$10 for APA members – $15 at the door
$20 for AIGA or ASMP members – $25 at the door
$25 for non-members – $35 at the door
FREE for student & assistant APA members
$5 for students or assistants
Join the APA and your admission is free!
Contact Lindsay Lewis APA Atlanta Director
Please check back for New York February 11 and Chicago March 4
Now is the point in time when photography and video come together. In the last year, the idea of photographers producing video has exploded and photographers are now gearing up to take advantage of this interest. 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 a fundamental change in your workflow, so you need 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 has created an intensive all day workshop to help guide you into video. This workshop will go in depth about each step of video production so you can start producing your own video.
The Saturday subjects will include:
- The importance of workflow including recording formats
- Estimating and planning combined photography and video shoots
- Understanding lighting, filming and sound techniques for video
- Camera, lighting and grip equipment demonstrations
- Editing demonstrations
FREE SOFTWARE: SmartSound will give each attendee a free copy of their Sonicfire Pro 5 software along with free royalty-free music.
More giveaways from LaCie and Hoodman.
The latest equipment and software by Apple, Panasonic, Zeiss, Redrock Micro, SmartSound, Beachtek, LaCie and Hoodman will be demonstrated.
Los Angeles information for Saturday January 16
Helms Daylight Studio
3221 Hutchin Ave. #E
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Cost: $149.95 per person, APA members will receive a 10% discount refund* on confirmation of valid membership.
*Please put membership number in special instructions to seller and the discount refund will be given at the workshop as the APA member enters.
Posted: October 14th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon 7d, Lighting, photo lighting, video | Tags: California advertising photographer, dramatic lighting, editorial photographer, Lee White, Litepanels Micro, Los Angeles advertising photographer, Los Angeles photographer, video, Zeiss 28mm lens | No Comments »
Now that the Canon 7d is out, can new video from Nikon and Panasonic be far behind? Some more interesting new products are out to help photographers move into doing short form video. One of the problems that photographers got away from long ago was the need to use constant lights with the advent of strobes. The constant lights were hot both to handle and on the subject, it took a lot of wattage to get a decent exposure, and were 3200 K so had to be gelled to balance with daylight which brought down the power even more. Well, as wonderful as strobes are and I’m a big advocate of using them whenever possible except for a very few highly specialized stop motion systems, they are useless for video.
If you want to shoot video, now there are a number of choices beyond the old tungsten lights. One type that is finding favor with cinematographers is the new LED light. As a light source, they are powerful (for their size), small, sturdy, draw little power and a are daylight-balanced source that run very cool. As of now, to light large areas you still might need a number of 1 x1 panels that can cost quite a bit but that will surely change in the near future. For now you can start by trying one of the smaller battery powered on camera LED lights like the Litepanels Mirco or MicroPro. Powerful enough to light small scenes or use as a fill in some cases, it can be dimmed with little color change. I have found them useful off camera for interviews or as a kicker and on camera for an eye-light and run and gun situations. I wish I had had some when filming in the catacombs of Paris a few years ago. The quarters were cramped with no place for stands and these LED lights could have been hand held right where I needed them. Image by © Lee White
Litepanels Micro LED
Zeiss continues to grow their line of Canon mount manual focus lenses that are especially suited for the DSLRs with video capabilities. The latest is the ZEISS Distagon T* 2/28 ZE which is a moderate wide-angle lens designed for full-frame (D)SLR cameras, delivering a 74-degree field of view. Like the other Zeiss ZE lenses, it incorporates a CPU and data contacts for communication with the camera body and long focus pull. This lens is meant to be used on the Canon cameras such as the 5d Mark II and the new 7d. As I have mentioned before, Zeiss already has a line of Nikon lenses for video capable DSLRs.
Zeiss Distagon F2 28mm lens for Canon
Posted: October 7th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon 7d, video | Tags: advertising photographer, California advertising photographer, California coast, california photographers, Canon 7d, first production Canon 7d model in US, hybrid video, Lee White, Los Angeles photographer, photography educator, video | No Comments »
Canon 7d the new DSLR with expanded video capabilities; I just received one of the first production Canon 7d cameras in the US. It probably comes as no surprise to most of my clients and professional friends, since I have been shooting tandem stills and video in my projects for a decade now, that I would be one of the first to get this camera. In fact if you look back a few blog entries, you will find I announce the 7d just a few hours after Canon officially announced it in Sweden in the middle of our night. Why Sweden? I have no idea. I like Sweden; I have shot in Sweden and found it a beautiful and welcoming country.
Since many of my projects include video as well as stills, a DSLR with good video capabilities was something I am very interested in. Yes, I shot with the Canon 5d MarkII and found it somewhat lacking in a few critical areas. Mainly it was restricted to the one HD format of 1080p (progressive) at a true 30FPS, which is a non-standard frame rate for anything. Plus the sound is not only automatic gain controlled but also recorded in 44,100 kHz, which is CD quality instead of 48,000 kHz, which is digital video quality.
The canon 7d has taken care of the format issues by giving us five HD formats – Full HD in1080p at 23.976, 1080p at 25 and 1080p at 29.97, HD in 720p at 59.94 and 50, all of which are standards for NTSC and PAL, see one of the images below. The audio is still automatic gain control but has been bumped up to a DV standard of 48,000 kHz in linear PCM. At this point, I should probably bring up the chip size which is the smaller 22.3 x 14.9 AFS-C which some might think is not the direction to be going in but I find it a positive move. This is near the same size as 35mm movie film and so the look is very similar. One of the problems I found shooting with the Mark II was the depth of field at times was so shallow that even trained actors would shift slightly and end up out of focus on close-ups. Remember the auto focus is virtually non-existent shooting video with these cameras; you need to manually pull focus if you are tracking focus.
The controls on the camera body have changed as well. The on and off switch has moved to just below the mode dial and there is just a lock switch where the on, off and lock used to be. I guess this prevents one from turning the camera off when trying to unlock the settings. There is now a dedicated liveview shooting button that also turns on and off the video recording. The print button has the added feature of being a one touch Raw-Jpeg button. Another completely new button is the Quick Menu button that gives you quick menu in the LCD to change shooting functions.
Canon 7d back showing video formats
Enough tech stuff; what about shooting with the 7d and the images? I was looking forward to trying one of the new Zeiss prime lenses out with the first outing with the 7d but no joy there. I ended up using my trusted Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4 lens but remember the smaller sensor creates a 1.6 magnification. A side note: you can do a decent job of zooming and short follow focus with this lens if you give yourself a bit room to start as the lens seems to jerk a little at the beginning. I wanted to test the contrast range with the 7d considering the 5d has been noted for crushing the blacks so I picked a friend’s gloss black and chrome classic Harley-Davidson (see the video test below) for a dramatic subject. The 7d does show a real time histogram with livepicture in the still mode, but there is no realtime histogram in the video mode. After shooting a bit of footage, I took a look at its histogram and there still appears to be some crushing of the blacks although the highlights seem to have very full gradations and there is good rendition through to the lower values. This is a very unsophiscated real world test but I’m not sure how valuable shooting color charts are either.
Classic Harley_Davidson on Canon 7d
The weekend brought almost 30MPH winds to the California coast preventing my doing the girl at the beach test I did with the 5d. However, it did bring some angry seas with interesting waves, so I tried the different formats to get an idea of the motion representations. I also braved the wind out on the break water to get some clips of the seagulls floating on the winds to get another motion test of the three NTSC HD formats (see sample clips below of coastline, wave and seagulls.)
The clips were converted for the web and so don’t fully represent the original footage which would be impossible to stream. Videos by www.leewhitephoto.com
New Canon 7d camera used by Los Angeles photographer Lee White to shoot video along California coast.
1080p @ 30FPS
1080p @ 24 FPS
720p @ 60FPS
1080p @ 30 FPS
1080p @ 30 FPS
1080p @ 24 FPS
720p @ 60 FPS
Posted: September 1st, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education, Workflow, video | Tags: Add new tag, Canon 5d, commercial photographers, Lee White, Los Angeles photographer, professional photographer, video | No Comments »
Canon 7D DSLR camera with HD video of interest to advertising photographers. I’m looking forward to testing the 7d to see how it might work for the videos I do for my clients. Sept. 1, 2009 2:30 A.M. PST breaking news for those thinking about adding video to their photography and just using one camera for both. Just announced in Sweden a few hours ago was Canon’s 7D with expanded video capablities. In light of the Collision Conference that just happened in Los Angeles this last weekend and the stir created by the video REVERIE created on the 5D Mark II, a new addition to Canon’s DSLR line with video is welcome. The 7D is a less expensive camera than the 5D Mark II using a smaller CMOS chip of 22.3mm x 14.9mm rather than the full frame chip of 36mm x 24mm which give the 7D a magnification factor of 1.6x. It is set to be a 18 megapixel still camera using dual Digic 4 image proscessors that also shoots the two HD formats of 1920 x 1080p and 1280 x 720p. The ISO range is 100 to 6400 like the 5D but tops out at 12,800 expanded unlike the 5D’s expanded reaching 25,600. It has continous raw shooting speed is fast at 8 FPS for 15 frames compared to the 5D at just under 4 FPS. The autofocus has 19 points instead of 9 points for the 5D.
For video, the long hoped for 24FPS (23.976) is here along with 25FPS and 30FPS (29.97) in 1080p with 720p being restricted to 50 or 60FPS. The smaller chip means a depth of field much like that of the 35mm motion picture cameras as they both have about the same size image area. The Canon 7D has an interesting choice of 60FPS for the 720p which helps with fast action, crisper freeze frames and smoother slow motion. It will be interesting to follow the testing of this camera to see how it might best fit into a photographer’s workflow. Canon reportly plans on shipping late September. For more details on this camera visit Canon’s website.