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.

Beachtek New Adapter Help Get Better Audio

Posted: June 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Canon 7d, Education, video production | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

In my last entry, I mentioned that the Canon 7D has joined the ranks of DSLR that have manual control of audio.  Great news but it does not relieve the need to connect professional audio gear via the professional XLR connector.  While a simple mini to XLR connector will work it does not handle the issue of the poor preamps in DSLRs.

Beachtek has a wide variety of audio adapters for DSLRs depending on yours needs including their new DXA-SLR Pro.  Beachtek also has a large amount of information on how best to use your Beachtek adapter at http://www.beachtek.com/support/.  They also have a very informative video on getting the best out of your adapter on their home page.

Beachtek-DXA-SLR PRO

Beachtek-DXA-SLR PRO

Here is a sample of the valuable information they have on thier skulpport pages:

“Hiss is a common problem with most of today’s DSLR cameras. The front ends tend to be noisy which can lead to excessive hiss if the levels are not set right. The simple fact is that the higher the gain of the camera preamps, the higher the hiss. The solution obviously is to reduce the noisy gain in the camera and replace it with the very clean gain of our DXA-SLR or DXA-SLR PRO adapters. When no amplification is required as when using wireless mics, our low cost passive DXA-5Da can be used.

When using the DXA-SLR, adjust the level controls on the adapter so that the indicator LED’s flash green. This tells you when you are in the proper recording level window to get the best signal to noise ratio and least amount of hiss. On the DXA-SLR PRO, you can use the built-in VU meters as a guide and set the levels so that the audio is peaking at no more than -12 dB. Use the AGC Disable feature on the adapter to reduce the noise created by the AGC in the camera.

If your camera allows you to disable the AGC from the camera menu, you can use manual mode to get even better audio. On the Canon 5D MK II or MK III set the camera gain to 25% of maximum. On Nikon cameras set it to LEVEL 1 on the older models, or 7 on the newer D4 and D800. In this case, you do not need to use the AGC Disable feature on the adapter – keep the switch to the left so that it is not activated.

It is critical that the levels be set right so that you are not starving the camera for audio as that will increase the internal camera gain which is something you want to avoid. Once the levels are set correctly, you should be able to capture clean, crisp audio.”

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Good DSLR Sound

Posted: January 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Sennheiser | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Recording good sound with your DSLR can be done.  First, understand the built-in camera microphone is almost worthless.  It can be useful if all else fails or to sync two-system sound but very little beyond that.  Recording sound separately (two-system) with a high quality recorder can produce great sound but comes at the cost of additional recording keeping during the shoot, turning on and off two separate systems for each shot and additional edit time even with automatic syncing software.

So how to get the best sound possible with in-camera synced sound?  First start with a professional quality microphone like one of the Sennheiser ME series condenser microphones such as the ME66 short shotgun with the K6 power module or the EW 100 G3 wireless system.

Sennheiser ME66 Microphone in K-Tek Shock Mount ©Lee White

Then use a quality XLR cable to connect it to the camera.  But wait, there is no XLR input on DSLRs.  So to get the XLR cable to work with your DSLR you need an adapter.

Beachtek DXA-5Da Passive Adapter

Some of the best adapters out there are the Beachtek DXA-5Da and DXA-SLR. Harry Kaufmann of Beachtek was kind enough to describe the differences between the Beachtek DXA-5Da and DXA-SLR.   “Both adapters work on any DSLR camera. The only reason that the DXA-5Da is named as it is is because it was originally designed for the Canon 5D. However, it will work equally well on the 7D or any of the other Canon, Panasonic or Nikon cameras. “

Beachtek DXA_SLR Active Adapter

“The DXA-5Da is a passive device which means it does not provide any amplification or phantom power. The passive circuitry keeps things very simple as there is no electronics to get it the way – it uses simple balancing transformers so it is very robust and completely noise free for superb audio. It can also operate with no battery. It is ideal for sensitive mics like the Sennheiser ME66, Rode VideoMic Pro, wireless mics or as an interface to a mixing board – in these cases no amplification or phantom power are required.  The DXA-SLR is a much more sophisticated active device which has built-it low noise preamps and phantom power so it can be used with virtually any microphone.”

DXA-5Da Adapter Controls

DXA-SLR Adapter Controls

Photos courtesy of Beachtek

Both can disable the AGC and let you set the audio levels manually.  So, if your microphone is a condenser type and you can power it with a battery in the microphone or inside the XLR cable the Beachtek DXA-5Da is a good choice.  If you need to power the microphone from the adapter or to boost the amplification of a less sensitive microphone then the Beachtek DXA-SLR is the right choice.

You can get more information on the Beachtek site at http://www.beachtek.com/ and Sennheiser site at http://www.sennheiserusa.com/.

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Secrets of Video for Photographers comes to Portland Oregon

Posted: March 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Beachtek, Chimera, Final Cut Studio, G-Technology, Hollywood DI, Hoodman, Indislider, K-tek, Manfrotto, Panasonic, Rawworks, Red Giant Software, Redrock Micro, Sennheiser, SmartSound, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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!

When: Friday, April 8, 2011
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm, doors open at 6:30pm
Where: Newspace Center for Photography
1632 S.E. 10th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
Cost: General $10, ASMP members & Students $5
Register Now!

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.

_____________________________________________________

Secrets of Video for Photographers workshop

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.

Lecture and workshop are sponsored by Pro Photo Supply and ASMP Oregon.

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Control Audio with BEACHTEK DXA-SLR

Posted: March 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, video, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

As a professional photographer shooting video for a variety of client needs I don’t always have the budget to include a sound person as crew on every shoot I do.  Beachtek has provided me a solution to controlling my audio.

The Beachtek DXA-SLR audio adapter replaces the DXA-5D I enjoyed using last year to adapt and control professional audio gear for use with my video capable DSLR. It is small and can be attached to a camera body via the 1/4-20 stud and also accepts a 1/4-20 thread for mounting on a tripod or other support.

Beachtek DXA-SLR

Image courtesy of Beachtek

Hint: It can save major time during shooting and editing if the audio and video is synced.  Although there is very good audio/video-syncing software you still have to keep the audio and video files coordinated or you can have a major mess.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recording good sound with any of the present day DSLRs is the lack of XLR professional audio connectors and in some cases audio level (trim) controls.  The Beachtek DXA-SLR handles both of these issues allowing you to record synced sound right in the camera.   It has a right and left channel XLR input connector with individual level controls, which allows for inputs from one or two sources using the industry standard balanced and shielded audio cables used with professional microphones.  The adapter can also supply the 49v power needed by condenser microphones drawing the power from the standard 9V battery used to power the adapter itself.  Adding to the professional capabilities is the line or microphone switch for each of the XLR channels.  Each of the two channels has a good and peak level indictor.  The DXA-SLR adapter also has a stereo mini plug input for devices like the Sennheiser EW100 Wireless kits I often use when a boomed microphone is impractical.

The DXA-SLR has a switch, which turns on and off the Automatic Gain Control disabler, which when on keeps the AGC in cameras, like the 7D in check.  Automatic Gain Control can create wild swings in audio levels, which causes major problems with your recorded audio.

There is a headphone mini jack with a volume control to listen to what you are recording and playback from the camera.  For playback you do need to hook up the camera playback via the two RCA inputs on the DXA-SLR.  There is also a high or low gain setting for the preamplifiers in the adapter.

Take a look at the diagram below to get a better idea of all the controls the DXA-SLR has for your audio needs.

Beachtek DXA-SLR controls

Image courtesy of Beachtek

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Good HDSLR Sound

Posted: May 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Canon 7d, Sennheiser | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sound recording remains the Achilles’ heel of Canon’s HDSLRs.  Although the recent 5D Mark II firmware update lets you manually control audio levels, there still are issues.  The 5d connector is a mini stereo plug, so you have use an adapter to use most professional quality microphones, which use XLR connectors.  Beachtek has a handy solution in the DXA adapters which give you 2 balanced XLR inputs, 1 auxiliary mini-jack input and dual MIC/Line level switches, all packaged in a metal case.  An exception to the XLR connector issue is a wireless system like Sennheiser’s very nice EW G3 100 wireless system that gives you a choice of connecting to the camera via mini plug or XLR adapter.

Sennheiser also has the on-camera mounting MKE400 small shotgun mic which is great for reportage and much better than the onboard mic but not very good for most productions.  On camera is usually not the best position for a microphone as placement is for best picture not best sound.  Of course, there are pigtail adapters from mini plug to XLR but that puts a lot of strain on the mini connector, so try and figure out some method of strain relief.

Beachtek-DXASLR

The 7d is still completely automatic gain controlled, or should I say out of control, audio with no explanation why Canon is able to do a firmware update for the 5D but not the 7D.  Of course, the 7d has the nice selection of video formats, which the 5D does not.  The 7D chip size is close to feature 35mm film size which gives both a similar DOF look, which is another plus. Beachtek comes to the rescue with two DXA adapters that both have agc disablers.  By disabling the agc and manually controlling the audio levels, you will not have the wild swing in your audio recording that often causes distortions and problems in editing your sound.

I will give each of the Beachtek adapters their due in up-coming entries.  Until then, remember sound is often considered 50% of the production until it’s bad sound and then it’s 80%.

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Snow Storm Could Not Keep Photogs Away!

Posted: February 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Education, video, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

One of those historic snowfalls did not deter New York photographers from getting to Secrets of Video Production for Photographers.  Over 170 professionals enjoyed getting in from the snow and ice in the Root studio to see my Secrets of Video Production for Photographers.  New Yorkers, always being right on top of the latest, asked probing questions and took copious notes.

Just that day, The Wall Street Journal broke the front-page news “Google Jolts Telecom Rivals” about Google starting to supply higher speed connection than presently available.  Google stated it was to improve the rapid downloading of video.  I has been saying this is the year photographers will be have to move into supplying video along with photography or begin to lose ground.

I’m is scheduled to continue spreading the latest in tools and techniques of photography/video in upcoming presentations in Seattle, Chicago and New Jersey.

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Dates: Secrets of Video Production for Photographers

Posted: January 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Education, Lighting, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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 director@apa-la.com

LA Thursday evening event

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

How much: APA MEMBERS ARE FREE! Full time students $10 with id all others $25 RSVP Call 323-933-1631 or email director@apa-la.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Denver Thursday evening event

Atlanta information for Thursday February 4
BIG Studio, Suite E, 887 West Marietta Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30318
www.bigstudiorental.com

Registration:
$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
director@apaatlanta.com

Please check back for New York February 11 and Chicago March 4

Sponsored by: Apple, Panasonic, Zeiss, RedRock Micro, SmartSound, Beachtek, LaCie, Hoodman

Saturday Workshops
10am-5pm

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.

Denver information for Saturday  January 30
Stage 3 at Denver Pro Photo,235 South Cherokee Street, Denver, CO 80223
Cost: Early registration until Jan. 8 $99.95 regular registration after Jan. 8 $129.95 APA members 10% discount.

*Please put APA membership number in special instructions to seller, discount refund will be given at the workshop as the APA member enters.

Atlanta information for Saturday February 6

Where: BIG Studio, Suite E, 887 West Marietta Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30318, (404) 874-6111 www.bigstudiorental.com

Cost: Early registration until Jan. 22 $129.95 regular registration after Jan. 22 $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.

Please check back for New York February 13 and Chicago March 6
sponsored by: Apple, Panasonic, Zeiss, RedRock Micro, SmartSound, Beachtek, LaCie, Hoodman
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