I'm an advertising photographer 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.

Holiday and End of Year Tax Savings

Posted: December 10th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Apple, video | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I hope you will all join me at the Advertising Photographers of America Los Angeles holiday event. You can hear about my up coming video production for photographers events coming in January.

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.

apple-logo-silver-copyI 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.

carl_zeiss_logoZeiss 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

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SECRETS OF VIDEO PRODUCTION FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Posted: November 30th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Apple, Education, Lighting, Workflow, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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

6pm-9pm

5th and Sunset Studios

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


Denver events:

Thursday, January 28 evening presentation

6 pm – 9 pm

Saturday, January 30 workshop

10 am – 5 pm

Sponsored by:

5_sponsors

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Canon 7d video hybrid camera first production model in US

Posted: October 7th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon 7d, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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.

canon_7d_back

Canon 7d back showing video formats

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.

Classic Harley_Davidson on Canon 7d

Classic Harley_Davidson on Canon 7d

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

New Canon 7d camera used by Los Angeles photographer Lee White to shoot video along California coast.

New Canon 7d camera used by Los Angeles photographer Lee White to shoot video along California coast.

1080p @ 30FPS

1080p @ 30FPS

1080p @ 24 FPS

1080p @ 24 FPS

720p @ 60FPS

720p @ 60FPS

wave1080p30-poster

1080p @ 30 FPS

1080p @ 30 FPS

1080p @ 30 FPS

1080p @ 24 FPS

1080p @ 24 FPS

720p @ 60 FPS

720p @ 60 FPS

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Professional Photography and Video Merge into Hybrid

Posted: August 31st, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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.

I’m using a Canon 5d Mark II on a rig by Redrock Mirco. Photo by the well known retoucher Dennis Dunbar.

Lee White using Canon 5d in video mode with Redrock Micro gear.

Lee White using Canon 5d in video mode with Redrock Micro gear.

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Los Angeles commercial photographer Lee White involvement with ESL teacher conference in California.

Posted: April 19th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Advertising, editorial, and corporate photography is the main stay of my Los Angeles advertising photography studio’s work. Since many of my assignments as a corporate and magazine photographer include a video interview, it was natural I would be asked to help out at Ventura College and Santa Barbara City College during video projects. Being involved with photography education, I always feel privileged to assist other educators.

ESL teacher Kari Tudman presenting at CATESOL conference

ESL teacher Kari Tudman presenting at CATESOL conference

Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White presenting at CATESOL conference.

Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White presenting at CATESOL conference.


The CATESOL presentation was given by the well-known ESL teacher, Kari Tudman who used producing a video in class as a classroom community building project. During the class project, I assisted Kari and the students with technical advice and a second camera when needed. Kari and the students did the bulk of the work themselves and a good job at that. The two videos turned out very funny and the students really enjoyed working together. I then did a slight reedit, grading and sweetening of the projects at my Los Angeles photography studio to prepare the two videos for presentation in a large conference room. I also helped out at the presentation to make sure there were no technical problems and answer a few questions.

Photography hints: With over fifteen years of experience in photography education, I find I have benefited as much as I have contributed to any class. Take the opportunity to share your knowledge and give to your community.

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Video class for photographers starting very soon.

Posted: April 4th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education, Lighting, Workflow, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Ready to expand from still photography to HD video? Before you take the plunge, sign up for a highly informative class at Santa Monica College designed to take the photographer through all the steps of preproduction, production and postproduction while building on the skills he already has given by Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White. By the end of the class, an experienced photographer should be able to start producing short form videos.

The class will cover DSLRs with HD video capabilities as well as traditional video cameras , workflow, treatments, estimating, planning, digital formats, camera techniques, lighting equipment and techniques, sound equipment and techniques, narrative techniques, editing with Final Cut Pro and output. At the first class, equipment from Canon, Panasonic, Redrockmicro, Marshall monitors, and Bogen are scheduled for discussion and viewing.

Photographers are particularly well place to learn the video skills that will add value to their services and a new creative outlet.

You need to act fast as there is limited enrollment contact lee@leewhitephoto.com

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Video-Students jumping for joy.

Posted: March 18th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Lee White filming the exciting conclusion of a scene.

Lee White filming the exciting conclusion of a scene.

[caption id="attachment_156" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Lee White with students involved with a class video project. "]Lee White with students involved with a class video project.  [/caption]
Here are a couple of shots, taken with a Canon G9, during a recent video session I did at Santa Barbara City College for a non-photo class. I have been teaching and lecturing in photography classes as well as volunteering to do photography and video for non-photo classes for over fifteen years. I’m always happy to help out and find the student’s enthusiasm contagious.

In the future, I hope to see more interaction between the image making and non-image making classes so image-making students can learn how to deal with situations they will face out of school. Almost all image-makers, except a few fine art creators, have to learn how to communicate with non-image making people and become team players while not losing their individual identity. As image-makers, we are usually part of a collaboration in creating something more than just images, our images are combined with text, spoken language and music to convey a total message that communicates information and emotions about an idea, an event, a service, or a product. The sooner students can enjoy the interaction and creativity that comes with collaboration, the sooner they will be comfortable with the world after school.

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You always have a subject!

Posted: February 25th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Self Portrait

Self Portrait

As an advertising photographer in Los Angeles, California, I have photographed everyone from Hollywood celebrities for international ads to stockholders for corporate annual reports. Being a people photographer, I find it interesting that there is a common belief that one needs a celebrity or at least a model to make a good commercial photo. New photographers sometimes don’t realize celebrities and models are just real people too. Admittedly they have more experience in front of a camera and sometimes the support of professional makeup artist, hair stylist and wardrobe people so are more comfortable being photographed. It’s our jobs as photographers to create a situation where all our subjects response in the way we want.

Creating and controlling a photo session takes practice, I still practice all the time. This brings me to the above self-portrait. Although, I love the interaction with my subjects and find willing people to photograph almost everywhere I go, even if I don’t find a subject, I always have myself. I set my Canon 5d on self timer to capture this shot.

It is good practice being in front of the camera. If you want willing photographic subjects then you should be willing yourself and as a side benefit, you only have to quit shooting when you get tire. Never fear, in the coming posts the pictures I show and discuss will be of models, celebrities, and “real” people, just don’t forget you always have a subject in you.

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Little enough light.

Posted: January 23rd, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I love photographing people on location with just a few small lights that can go outside at a moments notice. Now, coming from a advertising photography background and at times shooting multiple sets with 8X10 film view camera I have strobes and light modifiers enough to light up an office complex at night and have. My studio has dedicated outlets just for strobe packs.

Sometimes it is necessary to have tens of thousands of watts of light available but regardless of how much power you have it is always about crafting the light and getting the most from your subject. I can’t show the recent cover shot from the Comerica Bank photography yet but using the same portable light system I did this editorial photograph.

Sherry King with clouds

Sherry King with clouds

I used a single light to make this dramatic portrait Sherry King. Rather than just accepting the soft light created by a cloudy day, I was able to control the light. I could pick the light’s direction and so select the areas of clouds I wanted behind her. The light on her nicely defined her features and clothing. It equalized the brightness of the subject to the brightness of the background so I could keep good rich cloud detail. You can see I purposely let the light fall off quickly at her lower legs to hide the dirt and sticks. Not only does it hide an ugly foreground it gives a solid base to the picture while still showing she was outside. At times, you need to hide ugly details in plain sight and make them work for you.

With my portable lighting kit I can move about without worrying about plug-ins or generators. I can keep in rhythm with my subject and the energy up.

It is all about having and using the right tools at the right time.

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