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.

The Zone System Overly Simplified

Posted: September 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Workflow | No Comments »

Starting as an advertising and editorial photographer in the 80’s I had the advantage of large format Polaroid and using a view camera. This meant with a little experience I had the ability to see a fairly good approximation of what the film would look like after inspecting the Polaroid which was very helpful for a advertising photographer. It also meant I could adjust the film by the individual sheet of film. As just a means of expediency, I would bracket my exposure and run a series of developments so if I was a little off I could compensate. Since almost all of my advertising and even editorial subjects allowed me to light them, I had control over contrast and form. So all this means I had little use for the formal use of the Zone System. I exclusively shot transparency film which is very much like today’s digital in that it was very unforgiving to over exposure. I would expose of the highlight and light for the shadows and form.

There sere some areas that were similar to the Zone System in careful consideration of exposure and the individual processing of sheets of film. I also use Pre-visualization to the degree I carefully worked toward a controlled result.

Now, I have an opportunity to revisit the methods of the Zone System and see how it can apply to my work. As a whole, I think a working understanding of the traditional Black and White process is very beneficial to photographers. Right off film is organic and I think people and especially artists (photographers) respond positively to its inherent natural qualities. I think we perceive the different between the random nature of film emulsions compared to the structured nature of pixels this includes film images that have been scanned. Then there is the craft in that very few steps in film can be poorly handled and satisfactorily adjusted for later which to a great degree is the value of the Zone System. Digital allows for a number of postproduction adjustment that appear to correct poor craftsman ship. This is especially true when the only platform for viewing is the already glowing monitor. 

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© how do you register your copyright?

Posted: May 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video production, Workflow | Comments Off

Registering your copyright is fairly easy.  You can register your copyright of images online, by mail or by hand.  Registering online is the less expensive costing $35 and quickest way.  By mail is the next easiest but takes longer and is more expensive at $60.  By hand is the least convenient unless you live near the copyright office in Washington DC and costs the same as by mail which is $60 and more than online.

You can register online at http://www.copyright.gov/eco/notice.html

Why go to the trouble of registering your copyright if you get it by simply take the images?  See the next post.

I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV so this is only my understanding of the copyright situation and is not legal advice.  You should always seek out your legal advice from a qualified attorney. 

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© why register your copyright?

Posted: May 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video production, Workflow | Comments Off

Why register your copyright? “Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in successful litigation.”  Copyright Office, Website.


I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV so this is only my understanding of the copyright situation and is not legal advice.  You should always seek out your legal advice from a qualified attorney.

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© copyright when is it created?

Posted: May 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video production, Workflow | No Comments »

The copyright of a image or motion picture – video is created as soon as the image, be it a still or video frame, is created.  In other words push the shutter and you create a copyright of the frame as you create the frame itself. 

But what about registering that copyright?  Is that automatically done as well?  Find out about that in the next post.


I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV so this is only my understanding of the copyright situation and is not legal advice.  You should always seek out your legal advice from a qualified attorney.

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© copyright what is it?

Posted: May 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video production, Workflow | Comments Off

As a professional photographer and videographer in Los Angeles shooting advertising and editorial assignments, I copyright everything I do. 

What is copyright? It is exactly what it sounds like, the right to copy.  The copyright owner has the right to control who gets to use copies of a image or motion picture (video).

In the next post learn when the copyright is created.


I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV so this is only my understanding of the copyright situation and is not legal advice.  You should always seek out your legal advice from a qualified attorney.

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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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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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Agency access Helping You to Find Clients

Posted: May 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Agencyaccess, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Last chance! Hurry and get your submissions in to the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest.  The contest closes Sunday June 2th, so you only have a week!

The prize for the “Best Overall” category is partly sponsored by Agency Access and is a 1 year membership to TV/Broadcast Database

The Agency Access membership lists are the key to your direct marketing success. No matter your market or budget, Agency Access has an option for you. And with the launch of the brand-new TV Database, you can open up new markets with buyers who hire for TV media. A brand-new Broadcast database of 6,000 creative contacts with jobs in broadcast media. Recognizing the fundamental effect evolving motion-graphics technologies would have on visual arts markets, Agency Access set out over a year ago to create a new database of television – and broadcast-industry contacts, and to make it the most updated and refined list of potential buyers in those select markets.

The ideal complement to our global database of over 90,000 creatives, the TV/Broadcast Database is a highly targeted marketing tool for illustrators becoming animators, photographers becoming videographers and any freelance artist trying to connect with broadcast-industry contacts – art directors, creative directors, television producers, traffic managers and more.

A list membership also lets you:

Search the database by contact, company or brand

Create as many customized lists as you need

Refresh your lists with recent additions whenever you want

Download data and create your own labels and reports

Use our Database Changes feature to monitor who’s moving where

Other Agency Access services include:

Email marketing, campaign manager, design services, direct marketing, and consulting.

For more information visit Agency Access

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Controlled Vocabulary Controls Your Keywording

Posted: May 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Workflow | Tags: , , | No Comments » Controlled Vocabulary

The prize for APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest “Best Comedic Short” and “Best Overall”categories  is sponsored by Controlled Vocabulary and is a 1 year Controlled Vocabulary Library.

The Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog (CVKC) is ideal for creative pros that want a thorough set of terms for keywording images for use in their choice of a number of professional metadata annotation tools. Version 3.0 contains approximately 11,000 keyword terms organized in a hierarchical structure with segregated synonyms. A broad range of people, lifestyle, and concept themes are included. Use of the CVKC insures consistency in the selection and spelling of specific keyword terms and helps guide the keyworder to appropriate synonyms.

Takes the Guess Work out of Searching:

A controlled vocabulary makes a database easier to search. Since we have many different ways of describing concepts, drawing all of these terms together under a single word or phrase in a database makes searching the database more efficient as it eliminates guess work. However, arriving at this efficiency requires consistency on the part of the individual indexing the database and the use of pre-determined terms.

A Familiar Concept:

It’s likely you are already familiar with the concept of controlled vocabulary. Phonebook Yellow Page listings are arranged using controlled vocabulary. For example, a search for “Car Dealers” leads you to a note to “see Automobile Dealers.” At a basic level, this is how a controlled vocabulary system works.

One Search is All it Takes:

Conducting a search in a database that uses controlled vocabulary or indexing terms is efficient and precise. The biggest advantage to controlled vocabulary is that once you do find the correct term, most of the information you need is grouped together in one place, saving you the time of having to search under all of the other synonyms for that term.

For more information go to Controlled Vocabulary

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First Cut Pro for Your Collaboration Needs

Posted: May 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: video, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The prize for the Best Documentary category in the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest is a 1- year subscription to First Cut Pro’s “Power User” Account.

Valued at over $1400/year, the power user account gives you full access to First Cut’s professional video collaboration tool that saves you time and money during post-production and editing.  You’ll have nearly unlimited resources to share, collaborate and organize your post-production efforts with over 56 video viewing rooms, 7 concurrent projects, and up to 20 collaborators on each viewing room per month.  In addition, you will have full access to our excellent service/support and continual product updates.

First Cut Pro is a professional video collaboration software built to streamline the video post-production and editing process. This software focuses on three vital aspects of the feedback and approval process: collection of feedback, organization of video notes and integration into the current post-production environment.

They have integrated feature-set is host agnostic which utilizes the security and availability of major video hosting services. Leveraging that technology, they deliver content to video stakeholders in a web-based viewing environment enriched with tools to provide frame-specific feedback on the various cuts made during post-production.

Supporting a streamlined feedback collection, they have built and continue to improve upon, a project management interface. The interface is intended to clearly deliver video notes to project managers and editors for review. During the note-review process, users are able to identify important edits to be made based on the content of the notes generated by the viewing room and it’s viewers.

They have built the ability to export specified video notes into a number of formats. First Cut Pro currently supports the ability to export markers to .CSV files for a spreadsheet, .XML metadata files for Adobe Premier/After Effects and Apple’s Final Cut Pro (7 and 10), as well as a formatted .txt file for import into AVID Media Composer. Combined with the other features available in First Cut Pro, our marker export feature allows collaborators to easily provide actionable feedback directly to editors in the simplest way possible.

First Cut Pro creates a user-friendly environment that promotes collaboration during video post-production. The ability to simultaneously contribute allows for increased communication among team members, optimized time usage of all stakeholders decreasing total post-production cycle time, and reduced confusion during the feedback process.

Find out more at http://www.firstcutpro.com

Interested in winning a year of First Cut Pro?  Check out APA’s 2ND Annual  Short Video Contest for 2013 at www.tinyurl.com/apavideo.

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