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.

Panasonic AG AF100 Storms In

Posted: December 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Panasonic, Redrock Micro, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

California photographers rejoice, the Panasonic AF AG100 video camera is now being shipped!  The Panasonic AG AF100 is already in New York will arrive in Los Angeles just as the rains subside.


Wow, what an incredibly busy time leading up to the holidays!  Clients seemed to be determined to get everything done in the last few weeks of the year so I have not had time to post.  I did get a breather just in time to see the demo of the AG AF100 at EVS matched up with the extraordinary Zeiss Compact Primes.  The Zeiss Compact Primes work beautifully with the AG AF 100 along with a variety of other cameras.  Plus, the RedRock Micro support systems match with the camera/lens combination to make a professional rig.

Zeiss Compact Primes

As you might remember from my past posts, the AF AG100 has the Micro Four Thirds sensor giving that cinematic shallow depth of field that is so desirable.  But it doesn’t stop there; the list of attributes is quite long so I will only mention a few for now.  The AG AF100 accepts a variety of lenses including the above mentioned Zeiss Compact Primes and HDSLR lenses with the correct adapter.

The Panasonic AG AF100 shoots in the AVCHD format giving excellent results on to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards which are very affordable .  It records in multi HD formats at variable frame rates which is amazing for a camera priced this low.  It has HD-SDI output and XLR inputs and a large easy to see with viewfinder.

It has most of the features you would find on a much higher priced professional video camera.  Many of the controls are manual on the camera body so you don’t have to spend time punching through endless menus.  It appears to be a winner.

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Brighter Viewfinder Screen for HDSLRs

Posted: November 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Panasonic, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

At my recent Secrets of Video Production for Photographers, which I gave at Unique Photo in New Jersey at the end of October, a participant asked me about finding an after market viewfinder screen for his Canon 7d.

At the time I had no information but that didn’t last long.  While talking with Richard Schleuning of Zeiss lenses, the company that brought us the incredible HDSLR and Compact Prime CP.2 lenses with more info at http://www.zeiss.com/photo, I found he had the answer.  Now this is not uncommon for Richard as he is a wealth of information not only about Zeiss, but about lenses in general and is always willing to help you find the best solution.  Richard told me that Brightscreen at http://www.brightscreen.com/styles.html has several screens that are brighter plus you can choose from matte or split screen for DSLRs as well as a variety of other cameras.

I know that Richard is at the Zeiss booth at Createasphere happening today at the Burbank Marriott – http://createasphere.com/En/.  I always check in with him at the Zeiss booth at any show, expo or conference because Zeiss is continually bringing out new lenses.  In fact, I’m excited about the idea of matching up Zeiss lenses with the new Panasonic AF-AF100 fourthirds video camera coming out this December.

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Digital Cinematic Focus Too Shallow?

Posted: October 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Education, video, video production, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

While everyone is chasing the extremely shallow depth of field that the HDSLR give us, especially in the full size sensors, we should realize there is a different between film and digital.  Admittedly, shallow DOF gives you the ability to direct the viewers attention to where you want.  Also some lenses like the Zeiss HDSLR lenses are made to give you beautiful boken (aesthetic quality of the blur) in the out of focus areas.  Used correctly DOF is a powerful storytelling tool in either the shallow or deep form.

Initially, what is sometimes not understood is that there is a difference between film and digital in how the image transitions from in to out of focus.  Film gives you a smoother transition due to the different size silver grains, where digital is a uniform array of pixels causing a sharper delineation.  Now that you are aware of this difference you can use it to your advantage either by stopping down in digital a bit to make focus a little deeper or keeping it very shallow making the image pop.

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Panasonic’s AG-AF100 Camcorder Comes on Strong

Posted: September 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Panasonic, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

DV Expo hit Pasadena yesterday and today with an interesting new product from Panasonic, the AG-AF100 camcorder in Full HD (1920 X 1080) and in an almost ready for market mode.  With the camcorder due to ship in December, Jim Wickizer and Cathy Plushner of Panasonic were willing to give me the lowdown on the AG-AF100 features.  It has plenty of features that will attract the photographer starting to shoot video as well as the experienced cinematographer.  The biggest feature might be the micro four thirds mos sensor which is comparable to the super 35 film so it gives you the much desired shallow depth of field for a more cinematic look.

There is the ability to change lenses both inside and outside  the Panasonic line of lenses, some with auto focus capabilities.  This is a perfect place to consider using the incredible Zeiss glass from both the Zeiss line of HDSLR and Cine Prime lenses.  Then there is the widely accepted and powerful AVCHD codec in high quality PH mode that the camera can use which goes out to economical SDHC cards.  There is a DRS (Dynamic Range Stretch) to help control your contrast plus two controllable XLR ins with +48v for audio.  This is a true video camera with the additional features of no recording  time limits, zebras, HD-SDI and HDMI outs along with analog, 3 user buttons, internal ND filter, focus-assist and Wave form display.  It has variable frame rates from 12 to 60 FPS for over and under cranking.  For more information on this exciting new camera visit Panasonic AG-AF100.

AG-AF100 CAMCORDER copyright Panasonic

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The NAB Experience

Posted: April 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I will admit that the first few times I walked the various halls at NAB, I was both a little lost and overwhelmed.  This, of course, was before the recent flood of equipment and software directed toward smaller more independent content makers, especially those using the procomsumer video cameras and HDSLRs.  The majority of the show is still directed at large productions and facilities but there is more and more short form equipment and software showing up each year.

It is so big it takes multiple days to comfortably walk through and have a chance to see even a good portion of the show.  Many of the booths have demos going so you want time to stop and see them.  Often there are a variety of products at each booth and so you might have to go back at a later time to catch the demo you’re most interested in.  All the booths have representatives that given time will go through personal demos and entertain your questions.  I got to see the latest from Manfrotto, Litepanels, Panasonic, Zeiss, RedRock Micro, Smartsound, Sennheiser, Marshall Electronics, Hoodman, K-Tek, and LaCie.  This year I saw a growth in small plug-in creators for Apple products.

There are also a variety of speakers and classes on just about anything to do with every aspect of video and broadcast.  A few are free and interesting but most of these cost some type of conference fee.

If you look around a bit on the web, you can usually find a free pass to the exhibit halls and depending on your pocket book this might be the best way to first experience NAB.  After a few times, there you’ll get up to speed and be in the know about the latest and greatest.

By the way, 3D is all the rage this year with booth after booth touting something involving 3D.  It seems to be up in the air just when and if 3D will truly become widely accepted or remain a mostly theater experience but either way you heard it here first and partly that is what NAB is about; finding out about what might be the next great hit.

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Upcoming new Video Production Products from NAB

Posted: April 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Lighting, video, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

My first day at NAB in Vegas brought into perspective just how quickly the world of video production has changed.  The number of new and innovative products that deal with making video with HDSLRs has increased dramatically.   At the same time, the video cameras are starting to have advancements that are going to blur the line between video and DSLR cameras.

Litepanels by Manfrotto is bringing out a new hybrid LED with a flash function.  Panasonic has a new 4/3 video camera that accepts a variety of still camera lenses.  RedRock Micro has a number of new products for follow focus and cine lenses.  Carl Zeiss has a whole set of new Compact rime CP.2 cine lenses. Hoodman has a number of new recording cards and focusing assists.

These are just a few of the new products I have seen at NAB that in some way will make producing videos easier or slicker.  I will be reviewing these new products I have been shown as they actually become closer to being available.

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NAB inspires with new ideas, techniques and equipment.

Posted: May 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Canon, Education, photo lighting, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Los Angeles photographers have the NAB convention to help keep them up-to-date. Commercial photographers like me often do advertising photography with the flavor of photojournalism to make location photography seem more real including my video work. The new video equipment I saw at NAB will help with that. When I do editorial photography, I often get to do video interviews and some of the new equipment will help with that was well.

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture with Canon 5D

I had some very productive chats with the following representatives and want to thank them for all their information. In chronological order Peter of Lectronics, Fred at Audio Technica, Red of Photoflex, Joey of Mathhews Studio Equipment, Greg at JVC, Douglas at Shure, Ulrich Goetze of California Sunbounce, Mike of Marshall Electronics, Bernie of Panasonic, and Jennifer of dedoweightfilm.de.

California photographers are lucky to have so many resources locally. I have been shooting video for over seven years and there is more demand for it than ever.

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