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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Advertising Photography in the New Age

Posted: October 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Lee White Photography | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


As an advertising photographer in Los Angles California, I am called upon to illustrate concepts in my advertising and editorial photography.  The first read should be clear and understandable while there might and hopefully are many other layers and some subtexts with the image.  So what is up with this image?

The first read is that of a women, probably a mother with two boys, probably her sons and brother to each other.  There is no one else in the image so we start with these conclusions.   Now we start to read into the image based on our own biases.

Where is the father?  Is he just outside of frame or hidden by the horizon? Or is this a modern single parent family?  What else is hidden by the sand?  What has caught the boy’s attention?  This brings up why is the view such that we cannot see what the boys are looking at?  Where are they…? at the beach…?in the desert…?  The clothing give so no clue so we are left wondering.

Some advertising and editorial images can be used just to capture the viewer’s attention and bring them into the story told by the text.  I would allow comments and would enjoy them except for the crazy spammers.

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Professional Photographers Find Value in DV Expo

Posted: October 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video production | Tags: , | No Comments »
Leewhitephotography.com composition frence

Leewhitephotography.com composition

As a professional photographer in Los Angeles, California, I’m always looking for ways to improve my photography whether it is still photography or video.  DV Expo was an important resource for professional photographers who want to learn more about producing video.  That was the obvious goal of the Expo.  But there were two sessions that I attended that would be helpful to photographers with shooting stills as well.

On Wednesday, I attend Richard Harrington’s session on Timelapse photography.  It gave me some interesting insights into using long exposures with great depth of field to give a great feeling of motion in Timelapse productions.  Timelapse is a tool that any photographer should have in their skill-set.

Another session I found had some very useful information was Robbie Carman’s all day Friday class on color correction and color grading.  Many of the tools and techniques related directly to handling still photography as well as video.  Some of the most important ideas were that our ability to adapt in seeing color makes it important to have the right environment and not to work to long on an individual image.  Creating a neutral environment with the right lighting is important to judging color and reducing eye fatigue.  Our ability to automatically adapt to new color bias makes it important not to work too long on an individual image while color correcting.  Rather it is better to work on color correcting an image for a short time and then come back to it to have a fresh judgment.

I recommend you consider getting as much information in the fast changing world of digital imaging in both still or motion.  DV Expo is one of the resources you should consider whether it is checking out the exhibit and/or one of more of the sessions.

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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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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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DP4-EVF the Field Monitor and Electronic View Finder in One

Posted: May 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: video, video production | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »
smallHD DP4-EVF

smallHD DP4-EVF

Title: DP4-EVF the Field Monitor and Electronic View Finder in One

The prize for the Best Music Video category in the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest is a smallHD DP4-EVF

The SmallHD DP4-EVF was designed from the ground up for the DLSR shooter. In dynamic shooting environments pulling critical focus and maintaining correct exposure can be a challenge. The DP4-EVF’s extensive software features are designed to continuously give you the information you need, so you can concentrate on composition.

The DP4-EVF is two tools in one, 1) a world class standalone field monitor and 2) an electronic view finder. There is no other product on the market that provides both of these features in one lightweight integrated package.

Features Most Interest To DSLR Shooters:

Focus Assist Plus provides best in class focus assist technology.

Multiple exposure management tools

DSLR Auto Scale to maximize the size of the displayed image

Integration with both Canon and Nikon battery systems

Bright screen for outdoor shooting

Electronic Viewfinder

HDMI pass thru to allow others on the set to see the action

SmallHD was founded in by budget conscience filmmakers to deliver innovation and unprecedented customer support for the DLSR shooter. The following is a short list of those innovations.

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

Interested in winning a production monitor?  Check out APA’s 2ND Annual  Short Video Contest for 2013 at www.tinyurl.com/apavideo.

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Plasticase NANUK Cases for the Ultimate in Protection

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Plasticase NANUK | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The prizes for the Best Overall, Best Comedic Short, Best Audio and Best Spot News/Editorial Feature categories in the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest are the Plasticase NANUK 940 and 945 cases.

plasticase NANUK 940

plasticase NANUK 940

Plasticase NANUK 945

Plasticase NANUK 945

The super tough nylon construction ensures your precious items remain safely inside the Plasticase NANUK 940 and Plasticase NANUK 945 cases no matter where the journey takes you.  The waterproofing seal used in all NANUK watertight cases is custom designed to fit our products. The seal is designed to resist deformation and fatigue, ensuring a long lasting watertight seal.  Easy open PowerClaw clamps keep the case tightly closed using compressive force while the integrated slide lock prevents the case from opening during transport or when dropped. Every NANUK case come equipped with two padlockable hasps moulded directly into the case for superior strength. All models have integrated lid stays molded into the hinge that keep the case lid open when you need it to stay open. No more pinched fingers.

NANUK durable protective cases are designed to protect the most sensitive equipment in the harshest environments. Whether transporting your gear through the unforgiving Amazon jungle or across the planet’s most punishing terrain, every detail of NANUK durable hard sided cases has been refined and perfected to offer the utmost in protection and performance. From our high-impact NK-7™ resin to our PowerClaw™ latches, NANUK equipment and industrial cases have been engineered and manufactured to stringent military specifications to surpass the needs of the most demanding users. These virtually indestructible, lightweight, protective watertight cases offer the ultimate grade of protection in a variety of sizes, configurations and colors.

More information at http:www.nanukcase.com

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Glidecam Smooth Hand-held Video Shots

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: video, video production, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

The prizes for the “Best Motion” and “Best Overall” sponsored by Glidecam – HD-4000 and XR-4000 respectively in the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest.

Whether your running up and down stairs, circling the bride or traveling over rugged terrain, The Glidecam hand-held stabilizers are the ultimate production tools that deliver the highest production value to cost ratio of any products in their class.

Each HD-4000 Stabilizer and XR-4000 Stabilizer offset, foam cushioned, Handle Grip is attached to a free floating, three axis Gimbal.  This allows your hand to move up and down, and side-to-side, thereby isolating your hand’s unwanted motions from the camera.  This up and down movement alleviates the bouncing, pogo type action often associated with our competitor’s system because their handle cannot move up and down.  This design feature, coupled with the overall higher inertia of the HD and XR-Series systems, produces superior award winning stabilization when compared with our competition.

Glidecam XR-4000 stabilizer

Glidecam XR-4000 stabilizer

Glidecam XR-4000 hand-held stabilizer

Glidecam is presenting the XR-4000 hand-held stabilizer a lightweight, hand-held camcorder stabilizing system designed for compact and full size cameras weighing from 4 to 10 pounds to the winner of Best Overall category.

Glidecam HD-4000 hand-held stabilizer

Glidecam HD-4000 hand-held stabilizer

Glidecam HD-4000 hand-held stabilizer

The Glidecam HD-4000 is the prize for the Best Motion and is the number one selling Hand-Held Stabilizer in the world today and offers advanced features and a degree of sophistication never before seen in a line of Hand-Held Camera Stabilizers.

Interested in winning one of these hand-held stabilizer?  Check out APA’s 2ND Annual  Short Video Contest for 2013 at www.tinyurl.com/apavideo

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I Can See Clearly Now

Posted: April 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Hoodman, video production | Tags: , , , | No Comments »
Hoodman Custom Finder Kit

Hoodman Custom Finder Kit

The prize for the Best Spot News/Editorial Feature category in the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest http://tiny.url/apavideo is the Hoodman Custom Finder Kit.  With Custom Finder Kit, Hoodman solves one of the persistent problems we have in viewing the LCD screens while shooting video on our HDSLR. As a professional photographer owning Lee White Photography, I have also shot video for over twenty years.  I have found few things more problematic than dealing with bright conditions and needing to see what the LCD is telling me.  I want to clearly see what my framing is without guessing and that is exactly what the Hoodmanloupe provides me.

The Custom Finder Kit consists of the H32 Hoodloupe with a +3 diopter adjustment and a 1/4 20 mounting solution that attaches to the base of the camera.  The base plates are custom milled with anti-twist bars, handstrap slot and camera sling attachment point.  For more information, go to www.hoodmanusa.com.

To find out how to submit to the APA 2nd Annual Short Video Contest and to read the fine print, please go here. The contest is open to APA and all creative content creators.

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Color Balance Important in Video

Posted: April 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Lighting, Manfrotto, video | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

As an advertising and editorial photographer in Los Angeles, I usually shoot in RAW so while I always do a white balance before I start shooting.  It is basic best practices even if it is not really baked into the image file.  It is even more important when one shoots video which has a baked in color balance.  Unless you are shooting one of the 4:4:4 video cameras which records all of the color information in the image file you are interpolating down much of the color information to a small percentage of the original.  You cannot be far off in your exposure or color balance without downgrading your image in post corrections.

Yet, so often I have to remind photographers who are starting to shoot video that right after getting the exposure setting to white balance the camera.  I would say this is important all the time rather than relying on the presets even if you are shooting daylight or professional lights.  Very seldom do you really shoot in direct sunlight so there can be a bias in the diffusion material or fill reflectors.  Lights get old and change color plus any diffusion can again cause a color shift.

I always carry a 12 inch Lastolite  EzyBlance Calibration Card with me.  It folds down into a 7inch carry bag and flexes out to 12 inch with a neutral median grey side and neutral white reverse side.  The median grey side allows for both setting exposure and white balance.  This can be especially helpful to wedding shooters that have to contend with white gowns and black tuxedos under mixed light sources.

Lastolite EzBalance Calibration Card

Lastolite EzBalance Calibration Card

Go to http://www.lastolite.com/ezybalance.php for more inforamtion.

Another handy device is the SyderCube.  For RAW shooters you can use it alone to find your color balance.  For video you can use it in tandem with the Lastolite  EzyBlance Calibration Card to further refine your color balance.  It has four areas for adjusting your color and exposure – white, median grey, black and black trap.  Again, small enough to easy carry with you. Simple shoot the SyderCube and use the white and median grey sides with the eyedroppers and the black slider in Final Cut Pro to show a slight difference in the black and black trap.  I’ll post a video using the SyderCube for corrections soon.

Datacolor SpyderCube

Datacolor SpyderCube

Go to http://spyder.datacolor.com/portfolio-view/spyder-cube/ for more information.

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