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.

Don’t Shoot Like a Drunken Pirate

Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Hoodman, Litepanels, Manfrotto, video production | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Anyone who has attended one of my Secrets of Video Production for Photographers knows I am a big advocate of sticks (tripod) like Manfrotto’s 536 MPRO with a fluid head such as the new Manfrotto HDV 504 for stability while shooting video. In the Pirate Faire, spreading sticks would have been an undue hazard to passersby in the crowded aisles but hand holding an HDSLR was not a good solution either. HDSLRs are simply not well designed for smooth handheld video. The usual jerky movements of handheld video draws attention to the camera and away from the story which unless it is a very highly dramatic reportage scene is counter-productive.

A shoulder rig from Redrock Micro was certainly a possibility and had I needed to move while shooting, it would have been the obvious solution. At an NAB presentation earlier this year, producers at National Geographic said camerapersons have requested being able to go back to shoulder mount cameras for some projects for the added stability. I came up with another solution because I was not going to need to chase the action but could plant myself in one spot and shoot.

The Manfrotto 3216 monopod worked perfectly. It was compact and easy to carry, quick to extend to any height I needed yet reduced the danger of tripping unaware passersby. I used a 3262QR ball head with quick release but had I needed to tilt up or down, I might have chosen a 501 fluid head. The Hoodman Cine Kit Pro made it easy to see the LCD when shooting in the bright sun.

Next time you’re tempted to handhold an HDSLR, try a monopod and see if your video looks less like it was shot by a drunken pirate.

Click to watch clip

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Talk Like a Pirate Day

Posted: September 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Hoodman, Litepanels, video production | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Talk Like a Pirate Day was the perfect day to go to the annual Pirate Faire and get in a little filming.  It was a bright sunny afternoon so seeing the LCD in liveview mode on the 7D was going to be a challenge.  I knew the action was going to be fast and unscripted so I had to be able to quickly get the framing and start shooting.

I decided this would be the perfect time to give the Hoodman Cine Kit Pro a workout.  In the past, I had simply held the Hoodman Loupe against the back of the camera with my hand but over time that becomes uncomfortable and awkward.  This time I wanted to be ready quickly and be able to shoot over a period of time which made the Cine Kit Pro a possible solution.

Initially the Cine Kit Pro might look like a little overkill, but once you understand the built-in features, it makes sense.  The loupe is held into place with the crane arm that slides and locks into the camera’s hot shoe.  It has a cold shoe on top for small lights like the Litepanels MicroPro.   This meant  I could walk around with the camera with the loupe in place ready to block out the sun for a clear view of the LCD .  The cool thing about the crane arm is it can swing up and to either side moving the loupe completely out the way of the viewfinder which is certainly easier than unhooking and resetting the loupe each time you need the viewfinder.

The crane is sturdy so with the normal amount of care, I easily spent the afternoon walking around ready to shoot.  When I came across a group of belly dancers that presented an interesting opportunity, all I had to do was frame and shoot.  With the Cine Kit Pro, the bright sun was no problem and I could focus and zoom instead of holding the loupe.

I was able to shoot a variety of clips of the dancers that will make up content for future blog entries on color balance and color matching in Final Cut Pro.

Hoodman Cine Kit Pro in action

Hoodman Cine Kit Pro Close Up

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