Processing the rushes from the OmniGuide shoot the other day. Kudos to Chris for yet again stepping up and being an extra in one of our shots.
As he says… “It’s better to look like a doctor, than be a doctor!”
One view into the commercial photography/film business...
F’d up times for photographers. Stephen Colbert comments on the Chicago Sun Times choice to lay off its entire photographer staff.
With so much location and travel work going on these days, it was nice to have a change and be back in the studio for a day of shooting on the cyc wall.
The AM was spent shooting the talent with the clients machines and equipment, and the afternoon was spent shooting hands holding medical tools on the light table. Of course thanks to Michelle from TEAM for fantastic makeup work, and to Chis for the long day.
The highlight of the day was the chance to work with JC, a great model we brought up from NYC.
I want to thank the judges deeply for including my work in this years Communication Arts Photography Annual. It’s certainly a huge honor and I am flattered to be included. I cant show the image yet, but stay tuned for CA’s announcement!
Spring is here and its the season for Higher Ed Photography. Now that the weather is booming, Chris and I have been flat out shooting as much as possible before the students leave for the summer. April alone has had us out to five campuses! Shooting higher ed is particularly fun because of the diversity of images. Much like an annual report shoot, higher ed photography runs the gamut and encompasses every kind of genera including portraits, macro work, science/technology, sports/action, product photography, and general lifestyle.
To cover as much ground in a day, we try to move light. Typically we can shoot everything we need with: Profoto Acute B (battery strobes,) One large stand, Profoto Octa, (2) D4′s, 14mm, 16mm, 17-35mm, 24-70mm, 60mm macro (w/ extension tubes) 70-200mm, 300mm 2.8, Gitzo carbon Fiber tripod, and plenty of cards. This kit condenses down to two pelican cases and is perfect for Chris and I to get in and out with a small footprint.
We have been working on a cool job where we are shooting 360 degree photographs for a BioMed client at some of their facilities. Chris, Heather and I headed down to Baltimore to shoot the lab.
In a nutshell… Travel, shoot all the rooms with the 360 robot, head back to the studio to stitch em together. After that, my web programmer puts the modules together for a micro-site we are building.
Its kind of cool. Once its finished, I will try to write a review of the Gigapan Epic Pro. So far it seems to work pretty cool.
For those other aircraft nuts out there… EAA opened the media registration for the 2013 Airventure event AKA Oshkosh! We will be out again this summer shooting for a couple of clients. If you’ve never been, its insane!
There are all sorts of wonderful sounds in this world… But none I think more exciting that the shrill horn and clackity diesel engine of the UPS truck at the loading dock.
Today, our driver “Pouch” dropped of some new goodies. I love shooting with long glass, and the Nikkor 600mm f4 is right up there with the coolest of Nikon lenses. A bit nuttier than the 300mm f2.8, this lens is over the top, and with the Silent Wave motor and VRII (vibration resistance) is totally over the top.
All I can say is… “preposterous.”
As one of my early mentors once said, “CA is the best advertising money can’t buy.”
Just a friendly reminder that the CA photo annual competition deadline is tomorrow March 15th. If your entering, good luck!
Just got sent this link from one of our viewers… Say it ain’t so! Bummer news for Sony.
This really just pisses me off. Almost three years ago, I few out to CA for a visit at RED. We were all set and ready to buy a body, but wanted to just ask some questions in person and get the real skinny on things like their post production workflow. The story’s now old hat and water under the bridge, but the long and the short of it was that I felt they weren’t very pleasant to us and pretty much wasted our time out there treating us like small potatoes.
In my opinion, RED made the choice to forgo consumers like us. Sony saw the need, and worked hard to fill the space. Shame on RED for crying to the courts. For us, the Sony platform has been so easy. We consider them a partner in our film work and are oh so glad we never bought a RED.
Years ago, when I first got into this game, lots of the photographers I used to assist for were in the stock photo biz. I remember one in particular who used to talk about $100k years in stock sales alone. It was a really good gig, and those who knew how to play it certainly benefited.
Alas, like everything, times changed. The onslaught of the internet and the digital revolution quickly torpedoed how stock was handled. An image that used to sell for $10,000, soon was selling for $100. The cheapening of the image is something that all older photographers lament, and have come to grips with the understanding that the “good old days” are gone forever.
That said, I am starting to see a respect and proper valuation of the image slowly returning to the landscape. It will still take a couple of years to fully resolve, but the market is beginning to come to grips with the fact that regardless of how images are captured, (digital or not) there still needs to be good photographer behind the camera.
Even though I have been shooting for twenty years, it is still a secret thrill to see my images in print. I thought I’d share one of my favorite images that was purchased by Boat U.S. for one of their campaigns.
Ironic to be posting after such a long hiatus. One of the last blog post I did was the day before I gave a lecture at Rule Boston on the importance of blogging… I had a good stretch at 1 post every four days for almost 4 years. Guess we all need a break.
Lots has been going on in between the cracks and silence. Some E.U. travel, lots of West Coast trips, and some new faces in the Studio.
We got slammed with the blizzard with a 6′ drift against the studio door. I wish I could have shot a photo from inside looking at the snow pack, but alas the door opens to the outside…
Just before the blizzard hit, we got into the city to start on the latest film project. For this one, we are excited to be working again with Eric Norman of Hopewell. These interviews were relatively easy from a technical standpoint as they were shot with available light. I really do love shooting with that Sony F3. Such a fun camera, gonna miss it when our new Sony F5 arrives.
Every year as the dog days of summer begin to give up their ghosts, I always look forward to the aerial season. Year after year as the red and yellow leaves pop around New England, we take to the skies to shoot industrial complexes, quads, and campuses.
After some real crappy weather, we finally got a chance to get up in the air and shoot in earnest. Right on the cusp and almost missing the peak, last week we finished up some really nice flying and put some gorgeous aerial work in the can.
Even as the chill wears off from door-off heli flying, I look forward to perhaps one last late December “first snow” flight. As always, thanks to Stephen at Blue Hill Helicopters for getting us back on the ground safe and sound!
I just landed at LAX for a quick job. 6am outbound, 4hr drive to San Luis Obiz, work tomorrow and redeye home.
I know better, but in a moment of weakness I didn’t follow my personal rule and rented a car from Dollar rather than Hertz.
After a six hour spam-can cross country cattle ride with some dude aromatizing the cabin with his G.I. fragrance, we are now stuck in the endless line at the rental counter.
Companies that cater to the business traveler have it all figured out. It’s painless and even semi-enjoyable.
In life, you get what you pay for, and on the road, this is key. Net net is after a long farty flight, it ain’t worth the $30.
Use the Hertz Gold!
Just a quick reminder that we will be speaking at Rule Boston this Wed at the learning Lab. The lecture will be about Behind the Scenes films and a bit of how we use the blog and social media.
See you there!
Our component was the interview with Alan Klapmeier as well as associated “B” roll up at their new facility at the Brunswick Executive Airport in Brunswick Maine. As I mentioned in a prior post, Alan Klapmeirer was one of the founders of the Cirrus Aircraft, and a tremendous innovator in the aviation industry.
To see how we shot Alan’s interview, click here:
Chris and I headed down to Washington D.C. Today for the day.
Since we just have one film interview, we are traving light and carrying only the bare essentials. This includes the pre-built camera (hand carry,) lens case (also stuffed with batteries and audio gear,) and a tripod bag.
On tap for today: 3am call at the studio, 6am flight to BWI, 4pm interview, 9pm return, and a whole lot of Smithsonian in between…
This month we have been engaged in an interesting film project.
One of our legacy clients approached us to produce a film that will celebrate the achievements of one of their founders. The time frame was incredibly short, the subject matter spanned four decades, and there were almost twenty individuals that wanted to provide testimony. We were able to work most of the travel into the short time schedule, however there were three individuals (one in Georgia, and two in Palo Alto) that would just be impossible to get to within the time frame.
The question was how to get the interview without getting on another airplane?
To solve this problem, we set up a SKYPE video chat. I knew that if we tried to capture the screen grab it would look crappy. We had to create some context that would put the lesser quality Skype chat in context and make it “believable” to the viewer.
To do this, we set up a scene in the studio whereby we could shoot both the screen and the entire scene. The “A” camera was set back and captured the entire scene, and the “B” camera focused in close on the subject. I would sit just off camera with a web cam positioned such that it would shoot my face for the interview, but I could look right past and watch the subjects face.
It took some jiggering, but a 1/8″ mini cable was run out of the laptop into a splitter and then converted to XLR to feed both cameras. The subject would be fed my audio via the web cam and since the “A” and “B” cameras were getting their audio from the line source, any studio background noise would not be picked up.
I felt that we needed to show some audio source in the wide shot to give the illusion of sound, so we added some studio monitors (speakers) into the scene. This gave a concrete voice to go with the visual. By breaking the fourth wall and showing the cameras, laptop, speakers and wires in the shot, we would be able to give a bit more legitimacy to the gimmick.
It took a bit of getting used to with respect to conducting the interview, but once we were rolling, we seemed to settle in and get some great stuff. Stay tuned for the finished film to see what you think.
I shot some quick photos yesterday. It wasn’t really a big job, just some quick shots that a client needed. Resolution wasn’t an issue, so I grabbed whatever camera was close as I ran out of the studio which was the D800. ISO, white balance, and then I set the cam on high-rez jpg and I blasted away.
This AM I am loading them in Photoshop so I can eMail them out when I realized the computer was taking an exceptionally long time. Strange I thought. This computer is very new and its a rocket ship. Maxed out RAM, 12 core, blah blah blah.
Finally I looked down at the image pane and saw the size of the jpg. 103.4M. WTF? I have been shooting with this cam for almost 9 months now (always NEFs) and had no idea.
I guess we are in a new era…. Good on you Nikon!
I have been asked to give another talk at Rule Boston Camera’s Learning Lab and I am totally pumped. This Sept 19th, I will be giving a presentation about the use of the blog and behind-the-scene videos in the photo/film biz.
To catch my last talk, click here:
If you are in the city then, make sure to stop by.
Today I would have to categorize as a “surgical strike.”
Stumbled onto the 05:30 flight and are changing planes now in Philly on our way to DFW.
We have to finish the job and be back to the airport by 16:30 in order to make our flight home. With just under 7 hrs on the ground in TX, it will be crunch time as soon as we hit the runway.
These are the whacky days that make this job interesting. Gotta love the hustle and bustle!
Sittin at MKE (Milwaukee) on the way home…
This is always my most favorite week of the year because for the past five years, I have had the opportunity to work with a media badge for a client out at Oshkosh for the EAA AirVenture Air show.
If you love airplanes, you should not miss this event as it is one of the premier events in the aviation community. No matter what catches your fancy, you can find it here!
One of the things that I was looking forward to seeing was the Kestrel Aircraft booth. I was really excited to see our film playing in their booth in its intended environment. The client was super happy with how everything turned out, and had nothing but positive things to say about our experience working together.
Im sad to see the week come to an end, but I’m ready to get home and relax for a few days…
Well the 4th of July vacation is over and it’s time to get back to work. Today we begin a string of video jobs for a couple of local bio-tech companies with a location video interview.
It goes without saying, but one of the most important things to do is make sure you don’t forget any gear back in the studio. This is especially true after you have been unplugged for a couple of weeks.
Although it may seem silly, one of the best ways to do this is with a pictogram. You quickly draw out the set with every piece of equipment you will need. It’s a good way to double check you have everything you need lined up at the loading dock before you load the truck.
On the black board, I have drawn the cameras, video monitor, matte boxes, rails, batteries, camera cart, 5 stands, two tripods, lights, flags, wireless microphones, shotgun and boom mic, and seamless paper.
Sure, there are some little odds and ends that don’t make it to the board, but it is a good broad brush technique to keep you on track.