All my blog posts will be now be posted at http://www.leewhitephotography.com/blog. Please visit me there.
The holidays are here and so is the end of the tax year. While you’re out getting gifts for everyone else, think about what you might like for a gift to yourself. With all the early mornings and late nights you spend happily toiling away at making images, you deserve to take advantage of whatever tax saving you can while getting the equipment and software that make your life easier. Of course, always check with your tax advisor before making purchases.
I want to remind you of the Apple Member Purchase Program available for APA members. Do any of us ever have enough computing power? The iPhone can be like an office in your pocket. I have fellow APA members that have their portfolios and videos on their iPhones to show anytime and anyplace, plus they can email images to potential clients in an instant.
Adbase has a load of services for your online marketing needs and is offering 25% until December 30th. Call to see how this fits in with the 15% APA members get as a membership benefit. Make sure you know what your needs are and how they can help you before signing up. Check out their website and don’t be afraid to call them to get answers to all your questions. The phone number is on the home page.
Zeiss is quickly developing a line of Canon ZE lenses with two new additions of the Makro-Planar T* 2/50 and 2/100. Both macro lenses render objects in close-up on a scale of 1:2. To enable such detail, these lenses include Carl Zeiss’s acclaimed “floating elements” design. This special lens alignment enables high optical performance across the entire focusing range, from 0.24 m to infinity as in the case of the 2/50 ZE lens. The Makro-Planar T* 2/50 and Makro-Planar T* 2/100 are currently available for F bayonet (ZF) and K bayonet (ZK) cameras. The Makro-Planar T* 2/50 is also available as a ZF.2 version. Both lens systems are optimized for analog and full-format digital SLR cameras.
The Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE will begin shipping in December 2009 and the Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE will be available in early 2010.
There are loads more local and national member benefits at the Los Angeles chapter website apa-la.com under the drop down menu MEMBERSHIP
In the last year, the idea of photographers producing video has exploded and photographers are now gearing up to take advantage of this interest. 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 a fundamental change in your workflow, so you need 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 has created two events to help guide you into video. The first is a two–hour evening event that will go over the steps you as a photographer need to know to create video productions. The second is a one-day workshop that will go in-depth about each step so you can start producing your own video.
The Thursday evening will include:
Companies showing the latest in video equipment and software for video suitable for photographers getting into video.
A raffle for a copy of Apple’s Final Cut Studio editing software
FREE SOFTWARE: SmartSound will give each attendee a free copy of their Sonicfire Pro 5 software along with free royalty-free music.
A presentation that covers:
- The photographer’s unique position for this new market
- The creative planning stage and new concepts photographers need to think about
- Pre-production considerations when planning a video shoot
- Understanding lighting, filming and sound techniques for video
- Post-production in the photographer’s studio
The Saturday workshop will include:
- How photographers can apply their present skills to video
- The importance of workflow including recording formats
- Estimating and planning combined photography and video productions
- Tools and techniques of video production
- Camera, lighting and grip equipment demonstrations
- Editing demonstrations
For more information on the workshop visit: Video Workshop
LEE WHITE is presently instructing two college classes on HD video production for photographers at Santa Monica College. One is an intensive six-week class for professionals and the other is a sixteen-week class for photography students at the college. Lee has been a professional advertising photographer for more than thirty years. While still a student at Art Center, College of Design, he shot images for movie posters for Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount. Shortly after starting his professional career, he became involved with photomatics for companies such as Mattel plus shooting on set and so began his career-long adventure with narrative imaging. Over a decade ago, Lee started shooting digital video for clients and has experienced video production on all levels from feature films to simple web content.
Los Angeles events:
Thursday, January 14 evening presentation
12322 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 900064
Saturday, January 16 workshop
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Helms Daylight Studio
3221 Hutchin Ave #E,
Los Angeles, CA 90034
For more information on the workshop visit: Video Workshop
Thursday, January 28 evening presentation
6 pm – 9 pm
Saturday, January 30 workshop
10 am – 5 pm
You’re hearing it here first, all the rumors you have heard about a apple having a black Friday is true! Visit our Association online store the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27th for a special holiday shopping event. You’ll find dozens of great iPod, iPhone, and Mac gift ideas – all with free shipping. Remember, you can order for yourself or on behalf of friends and family!
Also, don’t forget to visit our Association Online Store on Monday, November 30th to learn about exclusive products available only on the Apple Online Store. Association customers will also receive free shipping on all items in their Apple online store. This includes items priced under $50. This is a great time to purchase Mac and iPod accessories for the holidays and to make equipment purchases before the 2009 tax year is up!
Now that the Canon 7d is out, can new video from Nikon and Panasonic be far behind? Some more interesting new products are out to help photographers move into doing short form video. One of the problems that photographers got away from long ago was the need to use constant lights with the advent of strobes. The constant lights were hot both to handle and on the subject, it took a lot of wattage to get a decent exposure, and were 3200 K so had to be gelled to balance with daylight which brought down the power even more. Well, as wonderful as strobes are and I’m a big advocate of using them whenever possible except for a very few highly specialized stop motion systems, they are useless for video.
If you want to shoot video, now there are a number of choices beyond the old tungsten lights. One type that is finding favor with cinematographers is the new LED light. As a light source, they are powerful (for their size), small, sturdy, draw little power and a are daylight-balanced source that run very cool. As of now, to light large areas you still might need a number of 1 x1 panels that can cost quite a bit but that will surely change in the near future. For now you can start by trying one of the smaller battery powered on camera LED lights like the Litepanels Mirco or MicroPro. Powerful enough to light small scenes or use as a fill in some cases, it can be dimmed with little color change. I have found them useful off camera for interviews or as a kicker and on camera for an eye-light and run and gun situations. I wish I had had some when filming in the catacombs of Paris a few years ago. The quarters were cramped with no place for stands and these LED lights could have been hand held right where I needed them. Image by © Lee White
Zeiss continues to grow their line of Canon mount manual focus lenses that are especially suited for the DSLRs with video capabilities. The latest is the ZEISS Distagon T* 2/28 ZE which is a moderate wide-angle lens designed for full-frame (D)SLR cameras, delivering a 74-degree field of view. Like the other Zeiss ZE lenses, it incorporates a CPU and data contacts for communication with the camera body and long focus pull. This lens is meant to be used on the Canon cameras such as the 5d Mark II and the new 7d. As I have mentioned before, Zeiss already has a line of Nikon lenses for video capable DSLRs.
Canon 7d the new DSLR with expanded video capabilities; I just received one of the first production Canon 7d cameras in the US. It probably comes as no surprise to most of my clients and professional friends, since I have been shooting tandem stills and video in my projects for a decade now, that I would be one of the first to get this camera. In fact if you look back a few blog entries, you will find I announce the 7d just a few hours after Canon officially announced it in Sweden in the middle of our night. Why Sweden? I have no idea. I like Sweden; I have shot in Sweden and found it a beautiful and welcoming country.
Since many of my projects include video as well as stills, a DSLR with good video capabilities was something I am very interested in. Yes, I shot with the Canon 5d MarkII and found it somewhat lacking in a few critical areas. Mainly it was restricted to the one HD format of 1080p (progressive) at a true 30FPS, which is a non-standard frame rate for anything. Plus the sound is not only automatic gain controlled but also recorded in 44,100 kHz, which is CD quality instead of 48,000 kHz, which is digital video quality.
The canon 7d has taken care of the format issues by giving us five HD formats – Full HD in1080p at 23.976, 1080p at 25 and 1080p at 29.97, HD in 720p at 59.94 and 50, all of which are standards for NTSC and PAL, see one of the images below. The audio is still automatic gain control but has been bumped up to a DV standard of 48,000 kHz in linear PCM. At this point, I should probably bring up the chip size which is the smaller 22.3 x 14.9 AFS-C which some might think is not the direction to be going in but I find it a positive move. This is near the same size as 35mm movie film and so the look is very similar. One of the problems I found shooting with the Mark II was the depth of field at times was so shallow that even trained actors would shift slightly and end up out of focus on close-ups. Remember the auto focus is virtually non-existent shooting video with these cameras; you need to manually pull focus if you are tracking focus.
The controls on the camera body have changed as well. The on and off switch has moved to just below the mode dial and there is just a lock switch where the on, off and lock used to be. I guess this prevents one from turning the camera off when trying to unlock the settings. There is now a dedicated liveview shooting button that also turns on and off the video recording. The print button has the added feature of being a one touch Raw-Jpeg button. Another completely new button is the Quick Menu button that gives you quick menu in the LCD to change shooting functions.
Enough tech stuff; what about shooting with the 7d and the images? I was looking forward to trying one of the new Zeiss prime lenses out with the first outing with the 7d but no joy there. I ended up using my trusted Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4 lens but remember the smaller sensor creates a 1.6 magnification. A side note: you can do a decent job of zooming and short follow focus with this lens if you give yourself a bit room to start as the lens seems to jerk a little at the beginning. I wanted to test the contrast range with the 7d considering the 5d has been noted for crushing the blacks so I picked a friend’s gloss black and chrome classic Harley-Davidson (see the video test below) for a dramatic subject. The 7d does show a real time histogram with livepicture in the still mode, but there is no realtime histogram in the video mode. After shooting a bit of footage, I took a look at its histogram and there still appears to be some crushing of the blacks although the highlights seem to have very full gradations and there is good rendition through to the lower values. This is a very unsophiscated real world test but I’m not sure how valuable shooting color charts are either.
The weekend brought almost 30MPH winds to the California coast preventing my doing the girl at the beach test I did with the 5d. However, it did bring some angry seas with interesting waves, so I tried the different formats to get an idea of the motion representations. I also braved the wind out on the break water to get some clips of the seagulls floating on the winds to get another motion test of the three NTSC HD formats (see sample clips below of coastline, wave and seagulls.)
The clips were converted for the web and so don’t fully represent the original footage which would be impossible to stream. Videos by www.leewhitephoto.com
Having one of the first production Canon 7d DSLRs in the US I have to think of what glass I want to put on it. Photographers love their glass, they love the rainbow colors reflecting off the multicoating, the image snapping into focus and the silky smooth feel of a fine rotating focus barrel. Up until now, photographers have had to live with the manufacturers line of lenses which are often very good especially the high end models or after market brands of varying quality with an occasional standout. Now there is a growing line of very high quality lenses that are especially well-suited to the latest DSLRs with video capabilities.
Still photographers now have access to a line of extraordinary Zeiss prime lenses much like feature filmmakers have been able to use for years. (Lenses that are still compatible with many of the electric functions of the camera but that have been set up to have an exquisitely long manual focus pull that make manual follow focus and track focus much easier.) The very wide prime aperture, along with its nine blades, ensure that the effects of the out-of-focus areas of the picture have an attractively balanced “bokeh” so highly prized by cinematographers.
Zeiss has already created a line of Nikon mount lenses and is starting to fill out the Canon mount lens line of a Planar T 1.4/50mm and Planar T 1.4/85mm with the just announced Distagon T 2.8/21mm and more to come. For more information on Carl Zeiss SLR Lenses go to www.zeiss.com/photo.
I have already decided on my first tandem still/video production with a friend’s classic bright red convertible Corvette and a romantic couple along the beautiful California coast.
Canon 7D DSLR camera with HD video of interest to advertising photographers. I’m looking forward to testing the 7d to see how it might work for the videos I do for my clients. Sept. 1, 2009 2:30 A.M. PST breaking news for those thinking about adding video to their photography and just using one camera for both. Just announced in Sweden a few hours ago was Canon’s 7D with expanded video capablities. In light of the Collision Conference that just happened in Los Angeles this last weekend and the stir created by the video REVERIE created on the 5D Mark II, a new addition to Canon’s DSLR line with video is welcome. The 7D is a less expensive camera than the 5D Mark II using a smaller CMOS chip of 22.3mm x 14.9mm rather than the full frame chip of 36mm x 24mm which give the 7D a magnification factor of 1.6x. It is set to be a 18 megapixel still camera using dual Digic 4 image proscessors that also shoots the two HD formats of 1920 x 1080p and 1280 x 720p. The ISO range is 100 to 6400 like the 5D but tops out at 12,800 expanded unlike the 5D’s expanded reaching 25,600. It has continous raw shooting speed is fast at 8 FPS for 15 frames compared to the 5D at just under 4 FPS. The autofocus has 19 points instead of 9 points for the 5D.
For video, the long hoped for 24FPS (23.976) is here along with 25FPS and 30FPS (29.97) in 1080p with 720p being restricted to 50 or 60FPS. The smaller chip means a depth of field much like that of the 35mm motion picture cameras as they both have about the same size image area. The Canon 7D has an interesting choice of 60FPS for the 720p which helps with fast action, crisper freeze frames and smoother slow motion. It will be interesting to follow the testing of this camera to see how it might best fit into a photographer’s workflow. Canon reportly plans on shipping late September. For more details on this camera visit Canon’s website.
As a professional advertising photographer in Los Angeles, video production was a craft that has been around me daily. I photographed the print side of commercials and shot specials on set working closely with the crew. Then almost a decade ago, I saw the desirability of shooting video to extend my creative range and supply clients with more creative services along with my photography. I first shot in standard definition and now shoot in high definition with incredible tools such as the very cinematic Canon 5d Mark II. As the internet was starting to become fast enough to play clips and cable had a growing need for material, my clients have increasingly asked for video shot with my “photographer’s eye”.
I have taken my skills in lighting, composition and mise-en-scene and applied them to the continuous narrative that is video. I first sought out video editors to learn what was needed to join clips together to tell a flowing story. If you know where you want to end up, it is much easier to get there. As I learned editing, it allowed me to understand what needs to be shot and how it needs to edit together. From there it has been practice, shooting for clients and watching the trends in films, commercials and on the web. It has come to a point where I teach a college course for professional photographers who want to learn video.
As a California photographer, I have great weather for healthy lifestyle images all year round. I especially love the summer months for surf and turf images when I get either rich blue skies or dramatic cloud filled backgrounds.
Combining great locations with my lighting style allows for some stunning advertising or editorial photography. Casting of models and/or locations is easy for California photographers and clients in the place where the healthy lifestyle trend was started. Being on the west coast means wide sandy beaches, vast deserts and majestic mountains for striking images.
Corporate imaging here is great too! New facilities in open green areas are ideal for portraying the new face of greener corporations.
Photo hint: Even when shooting at golden hour be ready to use supplemental lighting techniques like strobes or reflectors. You might find the perfect shot is towards the sun which can add real life to an image as well as extra depth. Photography is a craft. Photographed with Canon camera and strobe.