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.

LED Lighting With The Spectra 900F

Posted: November 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chimera, Manfrotto | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

As an editorial photographer photographing on location and traveling by air frequently, I need sturdy, compacted and powerful lights. Now that editorial photographers have to create videos along with still photographs the lights should be able to do double duty for still and motion. LEDs are the perfect choice since they are very sturdy so able to withstand the baggage handlers and inspections. The bulbs last a long time, up to 50,000 hours with little change in intensity and color balance. LEDs draw little power so hooking up to outlets that also have computer inline do not have the same hazardous that strobe surges create or the power draw of tungsten. The new Spectra series from Manfrotto fit the bill perfectly.

Manfrotto Spectra

The Spectra 900F is a daylight only balance powerful on or off camera LED compact light. It has a 50 degree wide beam. As you can see from the picture you get the light, ball head and three large filters in CTO, 1/4 CTO and opal diffusion. The ball head allows you to either mount the Spectra to the hot/cold shoe on your camera or by using the 1/4” threading allows various mounting possibilities. You might like to use the new lightweight Manfrotto NanoPole Stand with the Spectra 900F, I’ll describe it more fully in another blog entry. The Spectra 900F works for about an hour at the highest setting on 6 AA batteries, AC adapter, or D-Tap adapter for various power sources.

Manfrotto Spectra 900F LED Glamour

I was able to use the 900F by itself and with other Spectras for a variety of photographs and videos. I stretched the Spectras to the limit of their capabilities. In the 50’s glamour shot above, I used direct light for the main light high and to one side creating a small shadow under the nose and gently contouring the face. I used a Spectra as a back rim light to softly fill the shadow on the face, neck and shoulder and help give highlights to the hair. To make the background more interesting and add to the 50’s glamour look I used a third Spectra shining through a Chimera Window Pattern Kit to cast a palm leaf pattern.

LeeWhite_Spectra LED lightingFor more information:



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China the Revisit Totally Different

Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

As a location photographer in 2001 I visted China, I finally I got a chance to return only to find many changes.  The people are still friendly but the pace at least in the cities has sped up.  Instead of bikes filling the streets, it is motorbikes filling the streets and sidewalks.  In China the electric bikes are cheap and you do not need a license.  Motorcycles that use gas and cars do require a driver’s licnese.  You can imagine the amazing traffic this creates.  Everyone just goes - pedestrians, bikes (yes, there still are a few), electric bikes, motorcycle, cars, bus and trucks weave about in a dance of bear misses with car horns setting the beat.

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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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Think Tank Photo Designs Carrying Solutions for the Working Photographer

Posted: May 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: video, video production | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Hurry and get your submissions in.  The contest closes Sunday May 26th, so you only have a week!

The prizes for the Best Overall and Best Documentary categories in the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest are the Airport 4-Sight Rolling Camera Bag and Airport International Rolling Camera Bag.

Think Tank Photo Airport  4-Sight

Think Tank Photo Airport 4-Sight

The Airport 4-Sight™ is the most convenient, lightweight camera bag solution on 4-wheels. With the introduction of the 4-Sight, Think Tank Photo has created an entire new category of lightweight rolling camera bags.  Features: International and U.S. carry-on size, 4 wheel rollers minimize effort when transporting gear, especially in crowds and airports, Side rolling feature easily navigates narrow confines such as airplane aisles,  two position locking handle for better ergonomic needs, Lightweight, yet offers outstanding protection for Pro DSLR kit and other fragile accessories, 3 handles for easy retrieval from overhead bins, integrated removable Cable Management organizer, lockable zipper slides on main compartment.

Airport International Rolling Camera Bag

Airport International Rolling Camera Bag

The Airport Internationalâ„¢ V 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag has been designed to be both huge and small. The perfect roller for traveling both US domestic and overseas, it’s compact yet spacious and fits in overhead bins on most international flights. The Airport International V2.0 is a real workhorse with room to carry two or three pro-size bodies (unattached), all of the standard lenses and other gear a professional or semi-professional photographers may need while working on-location. Front cable & lock secures laptop, keys or other other items, strong rear cable & lock secures entire bag to a fixed object.  Holds up to a 500 f/4 lens, unattached, additional smaller lenses and up to two, professional size camera bodies

Think Tank Photo was founded by professional photojournalists who now firmly occupy the cross-over/convergence space.  Think Tank Photo focuses on studying how photographers work, and developing inventive new carrying solutions to meet their needs. By focusing on “speed” and “accessibility,” we prepare photographers to Be Ready “Before The Moment,” allowing them to document those historic moments that reflect their personal visions and artistic talents. For some companies, it is only about the product. For us, it is more: It is about supporting photographers doing their job. If we can design products that help photographers travel easier, take pictures faster, and organize their gear more efficiently, then we will have accomplished something beyond the bags themselves.

More information at thinktankphoto

Interested in winning one of these cases?  Check out APA’s 2ND Annual  Short Video Contest for 2013.

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Flicker Around The World

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Lee White Photography, Lighting | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

As an editorial photographer based in Los Angeles, California my assignments have given me an opportunity to shoot all over the world.  I have shot photographs and video in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and above the arctic circle (I know it’s not a continent by it’s still very cool).

Any type of travel bring with it certain difficulties and far off lands bring the add problems of different electrical issues.  There are different plugs, voltages and cycling.  I have a fist full of plug adapters.  I shoot my still photography with Balcar multi voltage strobes.  And take special care when setting my shutter speed shooting video.

In the US, it is usually fine to shoot video under fluorescent lights with shutter speeds at 1/48 to 1/60 of a second to prevent flicker and that holds true for any 60 Hz country.  In european countries and other places in the world that use 50 Hz AC power shooting video at 1/100 of a second usually solves the problem of fluorescent flicker.

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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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Making it big in advertising photography

Posted: September 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Seminars & Workshops, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Make it big.  As an advertising photographer in Los Angeles, I learn long ago clients love to see their product large in the photograph.  Although creatively, in the past, this might not have served the purpose well, now it could be the best advice for much of how photography and video is seen.  As more and more photography and video is seen on smaller and smaller screens the only way to really see it is to make the subject big.

My Secrets of Video for Photographers seminars and workshops take me across the nation.  As I flew to Unique Photo in New Jersey to do my events, I had a chance to watch the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Just a month before this I was in Kauai where they filmed much of the movie.  While watching the movie on the tiny screen in the aircraft I could barely recognize the locations I was just at.  If I had seen the movie on a 40 foot theater screen the impact of the locations might have been greater.  As it was, I had to wait for the medium close-ups to close-ups to visually follow the story.  I attribute my less than enthusiastic reaction to the movie to this size issue.

The reverse of this is true when I am watch the Wild China series by the BBC on my iphone.  Most of the action is set in the close-ups with wide vistas used for presenting the overall environment.  Admittedly, Wild China was produced to be seen on TV where Pirates was for the “big” screen which brings me back to thinking about where your images, be them photographs or video, are going to end up.  When you are deciding how to shoot each shot consider how your shots are going to be seen, on a forty foot screen or a four inch screen.

Two Faced

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Time Passing You By?

Posted: September 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

The traditional methods of using a dissolve transition or fading in and out of black are used to show the viewer a passage of time and have recently been added to by the altered speed cutaway.  One method is where there is a cutaway to a subject that is simply sped up such as a condensed sunset.  The other is where one or more parts of the cutaway are sped up.  Either one works well with the shorter shots that we often see in the latest style of storytelling.

Center Speed Up- Click to view

Overall Speed Up - Click to view

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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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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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