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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Strong Support for Smooth Video Moves Manfrotto 536 MPRO 504HD

Posted: April 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Indislider, IndisliderPro, Manfrotto, Sennheiser, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

The Manfrotto 536 MPro is the tripod (sticks) I use along with the 504HD fluid head when I want a solid base.  I’m reminded all the time the lighter the camera, the heavier and sturdier the base needs to be.  Driving to the Salton Sea for a photo trip, I stopped to shoot in the very windy San Gorgonio Wind Farm Pass.  This is where there are wind farms with the large propeller-driven turbines and for good reason.  When I stopped to shoot the clouds passing the mountain top you see in the clip below, I was almost knocked off my feet by the windy gusts.

Click to watch - Manfrotto 536 MPRO for steady telephoto shot on windy day

There would have been no way a light tripod with the very lightweight Panasonic HMC-40 would have ever been stable.  Yes, I could sand bag a lighter tripod but dragging along sand bags to weigh down a light tripod seems counter productive.  Why not start out with a sturdy tripod and eliminate the hassle of sand bags.  In video, you’ll often be applying forces on the tripod as you pivot the fluid head that you do not encounter in still photography.  To pivot the fluid head successfully, you will want a fluid head that you can adjust the drag to just the right amount so you can more easily smoothly pivot the camera.  The New Manfrotto 504HD head has tension adjustments for both pan and tilt plus an adjustable counter balance to deal with different weight cameras.

A great thing about matching the 504HD head with the 536 MPRO tripod is the heights that they can be set at.  The 536 MPRO can go from just inches off the ground to 80 inches which means I can get the angle no matter what.  Plus you have either a 75 or 100mm bowl for the head to set into.  In the picture below, I’m using the 536 MPRO  at the wide leg setting, to support the indiSLIDERpro, a professional duty slider with camera using a Zeiss 28mm/f2 DLSR lens and Sennheiser MKE 400 microphone to capture a CU along the shore of the Salton Sea.

Manfrotto 536 MPRO supports indiSLIDERpro, Zeiss lens and Sennheiser MKE400 at Salton Sea

A quick word about fluid heads.  The Manfrotto 501, 503HDV and 504HD are great fluid heads that have all the adjustments you need for silky smooth moves.  There are very few times that you will not want the option of at least pivoting the camera and a fluid head is the answer.  Being able to finely tune the tension of the head helps you adjust for the weight of the camera gear and speed of the pivot.

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Secrets of Video for Photographers comes to Portland Oregon

Posted: March 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Beachtek, Chimera, Final Cut Studio, G-Technology, Hollywood DI, Hoodman, Indislider, K-tek, Manfrotto, Panasonic, Rawworks, Red Giant Software, Redrock Micro, Sennheiser, SmartSound, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Secrets of video for photographers is coming to Portland for two events that takes away the mystery of video production and replaces it with solid information.  More than just tech talk, Lee White also goes over ideas on how to increase revenue streams and creative strategies.

The evening seminar is two hours jammed packed with need to know info!

When: Friday, April 8, 2011
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm, doors open at 6:30pm
Where: Newspace Center for Photography
1632 S.E. 10th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
Cost: General $10, ASMP members & Students $5
Register Now!

All attendees will receive free SmartSound music and SonicFire music editing software .

Taking the step from stills to video can be a challenging one. You will have to learn how to deal with motion and sound, tell the visual story in a different way. There is new equipment to master. Post-production can be much more involved and time consuming. The explosion of interest in video both by clients and photographers in the last couple of years has opened new creative avenues for photographers. More photographers are being asked to create video content so are facing new challenges in estimating, production and post-production. Come and learn about the latest tools and techniques needed to create video. Learn how to better estimate the time and costs involved and how you need to approach video differently than stills while using your photographic talents to your advantage.

Lee White’s evening lecture presentation and videos will go over the steps photographers need to know in creating video without tearing their hair out.

During the evening Lee will discuss:
• How photographers can get new clients
• The latest in tools that make video production easier
• The all-important planning stage and what new concepts and costs photographers need to think about
• The importance of post-production
• HDSLR vs Camcorder in video production
• How photographers can apply their present skills to video

The latest equipment and software by sponsors Apple, Manfrotto, Panasonic, Zeiss,  Sennheiser, Beachtek. Red Giant Software, SmartSound, G-Technology, Indisystems, Chimera and Casio will be at the event for photographers to see.


Secrets of Video for Photographers workshop

This fast paced all-day workshop is not to be missed.

When: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Where: Andy Batt’s Studio
2021 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Cost: General $150; ASMP members & Students $100 – Lunch included
Register Now!

All attendees will receive free SmartSound music and SonicFire music editing software .

Photography and video are coming together. In the last couple of years, the idea of photographers producing video has exploded and photographers now must gear up and learn the language of video. As advertisers and magazines turn to video on the web, cable and mobile devices to get out their message, there are more opportunities than ever for you to do video in tandem with your photography to capture new clients and sell video services to existing clients.

Producing video creates fundamental changes to your workflow. It requires new tools and techniques to take the step from photography to video. You need to learn what the new technologies mean to you from a photographer’s point of view. This is why Lee White, a professional photographer and educator, has created an intensive all day workshop to help guide you into video. This hands-on workshop will go in depth about each step of video production so you can start producing your own video and avoid some of the most dangerous pitfalls.

In the morning, Lee White will go over the fundamentals of video production and direct a plan for a shoot for the afternoon. In the afternoon, we will shoot, and edit and color grade the video.

The Saturday subjects will include:
• The importance of workflow including recording formats and how to use them to your advantage
• Estimating and planning combined photography and video shoots with forms for estimating video production
• Understanding the lighting, filming and sound techniques needed for video
• Hands on experience with camera, lighting and sound equipment
• Editing and color grading demonstrations
• Common issues in directing talent and a chance to direct yourself
• The importance of post-production

The latest equipment and software by sponsors Apple, Manfrotto, Panasonic, Zeiss,  Sennheiser, Beachtek. Red Giant Software, SmartSound, G-Technology, Indisystems and Casio will be at the event for photographers to see in action.

Lecture and workshop are sponsored by Pro Photo Supply and ASMP Oregon.

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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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Secrets at Unique Photo Oct. 22-23

Posted: October 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Beachtek, Final Cut Studio, Hoodman, Indislider, K-tek, LaCie, Redrock Micro, Sennheiser, SmartSound, video production, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I’m going to Unique Photo Superstore to do my Secrets of Video Production for Photographers.  Friday night is the evening presentation where I do an overview of video production from concept to final output.  Saturday’s workshop is where the funny really begins.  Saturday morning is getting everyone up to speed then the afternoon is filled with shooting and editing.  For more information you can go to:


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

These events are sponsored by Zeiss, Redrock Micro, SmartSound, Beachtek, Sennheiser, Apple, Hoodman, Indisystems, Marshall Electronics, LaCie, Chimera, K-Tek, and Agency Access

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Wind, Wind, Go Away

Posted: October 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beachtek, Canon 7d, Sennheiser, video production, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Wind is your enemy when recording sound.  If you even have a slight breeze or air going over the microphone, you can start getting a low rumble. This is especially true if you are trying to record into the tiny microphone in the body of the HDSLRs, so anything you do to improve it helps tremendously.  You will note the pick up area on HDSLRs consists of holes in the camera body without any wind protection.

The best protection against the low rumble caused by air currents is breaking up those currents before they reach the microphone.  On HDSLRs you can double stick some fuzzy material over the microphone holes to do the job.  But remember, this helps eliminate any low rumble from air hitting the holes in the camera but does not improve the quality of the microphone itself.  To get good quality sound recording, you still should use a good microphone like the Sennheiser ME 66, cabled in with a balanced and shielded cable with XLR connectors into a preamp box like the Beachtek that controls the levels and AGC.  I will be writing about the Sennheiser MKE400 in an upcoming entry.

Below is a tiny fuzzy over the tiny microphone holes in a 7D.  Note: attached to the 7D is one of my favorite lenses, the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 Planar.  One of the Zeiss HDSLR series of lenses attributes is the “quiet” silky smooth focusing.

Fuzzy Over Microphone Holes

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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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Photocine Expo Breaking News

Posted: September 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Redrock Micro, video production, Zeiss | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Just back from the Photocine Expo in Hollywood after a great day of seminars and a tantalizing news that Redrock Micro has a new product announcement coming Sunday September 26.

But we don’t have to wait for the latest from Zeiss. Zeiss has just announced a new distagon T* 1.4 35 mm with the bokeh in the out-of-focus areas that the Zeiss HDSLR lens are famous for. As with all the Zeiss HDSLR lenses, the distagon 35mm is color matched to the other lenses in the line and silky smooth right out of the box. On the 7d, the magnification makes it a very fast normal.

Zeiss Distagon 1.4/35mm

Richard Schleuning of Zeiss was a key member of the Photocine expo panel on cine lenses. Brian Valente of Redrock Micro moderated the panel, asking probing questions while Richard gave the attendees in-depth but understandable answers. Among other advice, Richard explained how cine lenses differed from traditional still lenses with longer focus pulls and padded focusing mechanisms adding to smooth accurate follow focusing.

Brian Valente far left, Richard Schluening left center

I can hardly wait for tomorrow’s announcement by Brian from Redrock Micro about their new product. Redrock Micro and Zeiss have long been at the forefront of the HDSLR revolution.

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