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.

Zeiss 28mm F2 Lens Shockingly Sharp

Posted: October 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

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.

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New Secrets of Video Production for Photographers workshops in 2011

Posted: December 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: video, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , , | 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.”

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Future of Photography

Posted: November 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , | 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.

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Are Your CF and SDHC Cards Fast Enough for Video

Posted: October 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Hoodman, video, video production | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

When shooting video, it is more important than ever to shoot to the right kind of card.  If you don’t, the video might look fine when playing it back on the camera, but when you get to editing the clips, you will find dropped frames.  These are not the dropped frames you get from using a slow hard drive (see entry on hard drives) where the frame is in the file but the drive is just too slow to show every individual frame, but where the frame was not recorded to the file.

For video recording, you need to use a CF UDMA or SDHC card of the right class or higher.  These cards have ways of transferring the data at a higher rate than regular cards, which is needed when dealing with the amount of data created shooting HD video.  The camera’s instruction book will tell you what the requirements are.

I like the RAW series of CF and SDHC cards made by Hoodman (see the side bar) for a number of reasons.  They are made in America, unlike much of the other video equipment we use.  They are single layer and have had a zero failure rate so far.  They are rated for 500,000 life cycles which means they will outlive me even if I filled them up and downloaded them 10 times a day for the next 130+ years.  The cards speeds are some of the fastest in the world.

Raw CF card

Raw SDHC card

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Charlotte Gets Secrets of Video Production for Photographers

Posted: June 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Agencyaccess, Apple, Beachtek, Education, Hoodman, K-tek, Litepanels, Manfrotto, Panasonic, Rawworks, Redrock Micro, Sennheiser, SmartSound, video, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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.

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Final Cut Studio’s Compressor Stands Alone

Posted: May 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Final Cut Studio | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Apple’s Compressor in Final Cut Studio is being improved in each version of Final Cut.  This is good because HDSLRs are now so popular to shoot video and because of the need to transcode the files into a less compressed and more edit friendly codec.  Up until now, you have been able to use Compressor by itself by bringing in files directly into Compressor.  If you did bring the files in directly, then you were able to work in Final Cut Pro at the same time Compressor was encoding.

But, if you wanted to use compressor to encode your sequence from versions of Final Cut Pro up to 7, you would use Menu directions File>Export>Using Compressor… which was handy because this would open Compressor (if not already open) and place the sequence file in the project window of Compressor.  All one had to do was drag the settings, set the destination and submit to start the encoding.  This was great except for one thing, now Compressor was working inside Final Cut Pro instead of as a stand-alone and you were not able to do anything in final Cut Pro until compressor was finished.  If you had an hour encoding, then you had to wait an hour to start using Final Cut Pro again.

Final Cut Studio 3 has changed all that.  Now you do not Export>Using Compressor but you Send To compressor, which means Compressor, although linked to Final Cut Pro, is a stand-alone application.  Final Cut Pro is still able to send your sequence to Compressor and place it in the project window but since Compressor remains as a stand-alone application, you can now continue to use Final Cut Pro as Compressor encodes the sequence.  This is just one of the huge improvements made in Final Cut Studio 3 in the encode area of the suite.

By the way, I always wondered if the three dots after the old Using Compressor… didn’t used to mean, “Go get lunch, I’m going to be awhile”.  It’s time to upgrade!

Final Cut Studio

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Chicago Welcomes Secrets of Video Production

Posted: April 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Education, Litepanels, Panasonic, Rawworks, Redrock Micro, Sennheiser, SmartSound, video, video production, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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.

Workshop image including Lastolite light modifiers, Manfrotto 536 MPRO tripod (sticks) ©Megan Erskine

Lee White preparing to shoot commercial with model Maya using Marshall Electronics V-LCD70P-HDMI, Redrock Micro eyeSpy, Beachtech audio adapter DXA-5D ©callielipkin

Lee white talking about framing which is illustrated in the Marshall Electronics V-LCD70P-HDMI ©Megan Erskine

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Secrets of Video Production Blows into the Windy City, Chicago

Posted: March 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Education, video, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Video production for photographers is coming to Chicago on April 16 and 17. I’m looking forward to the windy city right after visiting NAB in Las Vegas for a few days.
Friday night is going to be the APA evening presentation from 6:30pm to 9:00pm where I give a basic outline of the process of video production within a still production and the additional software and equipment needed. Richard Wiser of VMI Broadcast and Professional video said of the evening, “ I found the information accurate and interesting and your presentation top-notch.” See http://midwest.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 about 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 their own productions. See www.tiny.cc/chiapr17 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 a understanding of how to judge what equipment and software to use. Once the photographer is producing video, there are a number of ways to market their new skill set to current and potential clients.

Christopher Lozano www.tlsHollywood.com did this time lapse click (MOVIE) of the LA evening presentation.

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New York’s chance to see Secrets of Video Production for Photographers

Posted: February 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Tomorrow, February 11 New York gets to see the first of two video production events.  Thursday evening I will outline what photographers should consider in planning, estimating, techniques and tools when producing videos.   And, of course, I get to get away a Final Cut Studio $1000.00 value and Smartsound Sonicfire with royalty free music.

Saturday’s workshop, February 13, www.tiny.cc/nyfeb13 is where I can really get into what photographers need to know about pre-production, production and post-production.  We get to talk about video, do some lighting and shooting and then get into the editing of what we just shot.

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Atlanta “Secrets of Video Production for Photographers”

Posted: February 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Education, Lighting, video, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

There was another big turn out for my Atlanta “Secrets of Video Production for Photographers” given for APA Atlanta.  Along with gear I had from my sponsors Apple, Manfrotto, Zeiss, Panasonic, SmartSound, RedRock Micro, Beachtek, Marshall Electronics, Sennheiser, LaCie and Hoodman, Apple was there showing Final Cut Studio and gave away a $1000.00 Final Cut Studio suite of video editing software.  The Zeiss representative showed their special Canon and Nikon mount lenses with long focus barrels and color-matched glass.

Showcase camera store of Atlanta, a beautiful fully stocked professional camera store, also supplied additional gear from the above mentioned sponsors to give attendees a chance to see the various pieces of equipment up close and personal.

Big Studio, 404-874-6111, was a wonderful host of both the Thursday evening event and Saturday workshop.  It is a great studio to work in and Megan the studio manager was both gracious and professional.

Below are pictures Lindsay Lewis the director of APA Atlanta took during my evening presentation.  The first is me talking about the false color filter of Marshall Electronics V-LCD70P-HDMI monitor.  The second is me talking about the Sonicfire Pro program and five royalty-free multi music tracks.   I have arranged for every attendee to either of my events to get the music tracks for free.

Lee White with Marshall Electronic false color filter

The Saturday workshop was especially interesting for me, as I got to really delve into shooting video with stills then editing.   We talked about planning and equipment in the morning and after the lunch I provided from a tasty deli nearby, we got into the gear.

Everyone had a chance to try some hands on using a complete video rig.  I did a couple of lighting demos and shot a short commercial.  The picture below shows me shooting the commercial using a Reckrock Micro rig with a microFollowFocus geared to a Zeiss ZE 50mm F1.4 lens, on Manfrotto  sticks (tripod) and fluid head with a Beachtek 5d audio adapter cabled to a Sennheiser ME66 microphone.  On top of the rig, you can see the Marshall monitor showing the camera feed.  In the foreground is a Litepanels MicroPro LED light and in the background a medium Lastolite Skylite diffuser.

After shooting the video, I took it into Apple’s Final Cut Studio and showed how to transcode the files into a more edit friendly format using Compressor onto a LaCie rugged drive.  A step you can bypass when using video cameras from Panasonic.   Then I show everyone how to get the files into Final cut Pro, edit them into a commercial and output several distribution formats.  I ended the workshop by showing how easy it is to match music from SmartSound’s Sonicfire Pro with video or pictures.

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