27 01, 2017

The Grunge Look

2017-05-19T23:56:10+00:00Photography, Photography, People|

The grunge look is perfect for football photos. The original image was captured on a Canon 5D mkIII at ISO 25,600 at F5.6 with a shutter speed of about 1/640. A 150 – 500mm lens is my favorite for covering most of the field.

I start the process in camera raw by desaturating the image and then adding contrast. I open it in Photoshop. Working with 2 layers I add noise and mask out part of one layer so the athlete pops out of the photo.

8 11, 2016

Audio for Food and Beverage Videos

2017-05-19T23:56:10+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Product, Video|

beer-pour-still008
The sizzle helps you taste the food and just hearing a beer being poured into a glass can crank up your thirst. Most of the audio for food and beverage videos is recorded separately for the best quality and, keep in mind, there is no audio recorded with slow motion video. For the slow motion clips I formed the visuals in the timeline first. Then I knew how long the sound had to be to sync with the visuals. Watch the video.
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A match ignites in a fraction of a second but in this video the match took 7 seconds to ignite (1/8 speed). I slowed the speed of the audio clip to 40% and duplicated it on 2 more audio tracks with some overlap to cover the 7 seconds. The beer pour was done in a similar way. The “plop” sound of the olives dropping into the martini glass required a speed of just 35% for the audio clip. Sound is important and audio for food and beverage videos has it’s own unique chalenges.

28 10, 2016

Slow Motion Food and Beverage Videos

2017-05-19T23:56:10+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Video|

“See what you can’t see”. slowing the action of a pour or food preparation can increase the viewer’s anticipation of what it’s going to taste like. Use this visual effect in your slow motion food and beverage videos. Watch the short video here.
martini-still004_650w120 frames per second is good for some slow motion shots. 240 frames per second renders amazing slow motion but may be too slow for your viewers. Here’s what I mean. At 240 fps pouring a beer that takes about 6 seconds will take 48 seconds to play back that clip,, or 8 times as long. Your viewers will fall off their bar stools waiting for their beer. Recording at 120fps will take 4 times as long to play back the clip. This is why I record with 2 cameras for my slow motion food and beverage videos. One camera records in normal speed and I cut between the 2 views (and 2 speeds). In post I may speed up the slow motion clip and slow down the clip recorded at normal speed.
strawberries-still001_650wThe shutter speed of at least 1/240 second will freeze the action when exporting a still frame as you see in the 2 images above. Slow motion enhances any production.

19 10, 2016

Lighting Food & Beverage Videos

2017-05-19T23:56:10+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Product, Video|

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Did you ever hear the term “You eat with your eyes”? Food should look good. You should see the texture of the food and want to taste it. Arguably, the most important part of production may be lighting food & beverage videos. First you backlight the food. Use a soft box to resemble window light coming from behind the table. Then add a kicker light at a low angle to add texture to the food. Use a spot light or barn doors to concentrate the light on the food first, then some light can spill onto the tabletop and other props if it adds to the ambiance. Here is a link to the video.

Glass and translucent beverages require backlighting to show the color of the beverage and make them glow.

beer-still003
I will color balance the cameras to the main light which will be white. Then I add gels to the kicker and side lights to add warmth to the food and/or the table top as I did from both sides of the beer set in the above image.  1/2 CTO or a full CTO filter works well to create the ambiance of a restaurant or amber lights in a home.

Cameras and lenses:
Selective focus is important to draw the attention to the food or drinks you are promoting. I will record with 2 cameras for 2 different angles for pouring beverages or when recording slow motion. I like to record the action in normal speed as well to have that option in post. In post I may also blur what is not important. I may soften some background props if they draw the viewers eye away from the featured item. Using the gaussian blur in post is important because I can match the look of the 2 cameras because the depth of field may differ according to the focal length of the lens or the distance from the product when recording.

5 10, 2016

Lighting Equipment

2017-05-19T23:56:10+00:00Photography, Photography, Architecture, Photography, People, Product|

Whether you have a microchip or a 30 foot RV we have the lighting equipment for your product photos. We have enough strobes to light almost any room or building.

A few of the different lighting options from diffused to spot.

A few of the different lighting options from diffused to spot.

I personally enjoy the challenge of lighting different subjects in various locations as well as in the studio, and it doesn’t matter if the product is reflective or translucent. We have photographed people in just about every place for business portraits, lifestyle and sports. Give us a challenge, we’re ready for it.

20 09, 2016

Editing Skills

2017-05-19T23:56:10+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Video|

The cast and crew in Sedona Arizona

The cast and crew in Sedona Arizona

We had a lot of fun working on the productions you see in our capabilities video shooting action scenes of the UTVs on Schnebley Hill Road in Sedona, and meeting Michael Floyd, the wide receiver for the Cardinals, while filming the Vita Coco spot. You can view the demo video here.

Here is the technical stuff for editing this video:

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3D Intro:
While assembling this demo video I added 3D graphics to my logo using After Effects. First, my logo was separated into 8 different layers in Photoshop. In After Effects I moved the different layers in 3D space and added a light to cast shadows and a camera with a pan motion across the text so the shadows would move. The logo layers all rotate together. I used parenting to link the logo layers to a null object that had rotation animation applied.

I used alpha channels to reveal video playing through the text during the three equipment segments. At many edit points I added lighting effects using light leaks clips (flashing, moving colors) with a screen blend mode to add some sparkle to transition points.

Green screen was used for two clips to composite a layer over background video. The editing skills used were mostly with the ultra key effect in Premiere Pro. Lens flare effect was added to the lighting equipment scene and it’s opacity (brightness) was keyframed as I passed in front of the light. We displayed most of the equipment we bring to the production including a 10″ Kessler Crane.
cc-crane-still-650wI used curves for color correction to match clips from three different cameras, Panasonic, Canon and GoPro.

Lets have some fun with your next video.

6 09, 2016

Audio Equipment for video

2017-05-19T23:56:11+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Video|

audio with Sadie_650 wide

We own two Zoom audio recorders and 6 mics to record the best, clear sound in any location. We own the Sennheizer wireless system and use it to record your vocals or to send all the audio from a sound board to our recorders in a convention/meeting room. When outdoors we use a blimp and/or fuzzy rat to remove wind noise. Watch our Capabilities Video.

Importance of post production: For unwanted sounds that are out of our control, like air vents and noise from your work environment, we will reduce or eliminate them using powerful tools in Adobe Audition. Additional training in the “Sound Advice” class increased my knowledge of audio equipment for video recording and sound mixing.

30 08, 2016

Video Lighting Equipment

2017-05-19T23:56:11+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Video|

A sample of the lighting equipment we bring to the production.

A sample of the lighting equipment we bring to the production.

We have 35 years experience lighting people, product and architecture for commercial photography assignments and 9 years with video lighting equipment. We own 14 lights ranging from 200 watts to 2,000 watts. We use color gels, diffusion and soft boxes to balance and soften the light. We also use a 12’ x 12’ silk to diffuse the contrasty Arizona sun.

Lighting for an interview for Fresh Start Women's Foundation.

Lighting for an interview for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

Importance of post production: In addition to global color correction, we can change the color or saturation of one element of your scene using powerful secondary color correction tools.

23 08, 2016

Video Camera Equipment: Part 1,

2017-05-19T23:56:11+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Video|

Our cameras, the 6' dolly, 10' crane and Glidecam.

Our cameras, the 6′ dolly, 10′ crane and Glidecam.

We own four professional cameras, two Canon DSLRs, a Panasonic and, for tight or wet situations, a GoPro. The Canon cameras with the full size sensor produce beautiful images with less noise and a shallow depth of field which directs the viewers attention to the subject in focus. They are very versatile. We have one 50mm prime lens and 4 zoom lenses which cover from 16mm wide angle to 500mm. We have custom settings preset to quickly move from a controlled set to a run-and-gun situation so we won’t miss anything. We have another custom setting (flat CineStyle) for contrasty lighting on location that we cannot control. We’ll record it flat, then enhance the footage in post. Of all of the professional video camera equipment the Canon cameras are the best tool for low light situations.

The Panasonic is great for recording longer events, conventions and meetings. It’s also our go-to camera when we use the jib because it can be controlled from the base of the jib arm.

The GoPro fits just about anywhere, it’s waterproof and shock resistant. we can mount it just about anywhere; front wheel suspension, on the spoiler of a race car, atop a 24 foot boom pole, on an athlete’s head, and in a puddle to get shots not possible with other cameras. With built in Wi-Fi we can monitor what the camera is seeing from our iPad.

The GoPro adds exciting shots not possible with other cameras.

The GoPro adds exciting shots not possible with other cameras.

How do we move the cameras? We own 2 fluid head tripods, a 6’ dolly, a 10’ jib and a GlideCam.

Importance of Post production: With professional color grading we can match the look of different cameras and different settings.

25 05, 2016

Usa a GoPro for social Media Photos

2017-05-19T23:56:11+00:00Photography, Photography, People, Video|

Beach day 2 wave 600wThis summer you know that you, your family and friends are heading to the beach, lake or pool. You also know that you are going to post photos on social media. How do you get that perfect shot? Here is a great way to get the perfect shot while you are splashing about. Get a GoPro. Put it in video mode, 1080 HD or 2.7k, and do selfie movies. Then go through the frames one at a time and export a still frame. You will have 30 images per second to pick from. It will be a good size for social media at 72 dpi. In the sun the GoPro will use a shutter speed of 1/2000 second which freezes the wave crashing on your head as in the above photo of my son.
Just push the shutter button to start recording as the wave slams you. keep recording until you come up for air. Remember to stop recording. Of course you get more dramatic images if you are surfing or water skiing.

Beach Day 3.Bianca 600wMy daughter prefers to dive under the waves

The GoPro software is easy to use. After you import the clips in step 1, do this;
1. Step 2; Edit.
2. Select the desired video clip so that it is displayed in the Player window.
3. Scrub through the footage till you see the perfect image and the frozen splash. Place the playhead so that the frame you want to export is displayed in the player window, then selecting Share > Export Still.
4. Then just select the image Name, Location and Size to Export (small, medium, large, & native) and click Export.
5. Check out the location you specified to verify that the image was created.

Use burst mode for high res images for printing

In continuous photo mode you can capture up to 10 photos per second but it will stop at 30 photos, or 3 seconds. It needs a few seconds to write all that data to the SD card. you can miss some good action with this mode. Here are directions from GoPro’s web site.
Getting Started – Changing Burst Settings
1. Navigate to settings screen using the ‘mode’ button.
2.Select using the capture button.
3. Press the ‘mode’ button three times, you should notice a small camera icon at the top of the LCD display, a number divided by another in seconds. Eg. 30/1s meaning 30 frames per 1 second.
4. Press the capture button to enter this where you will see a range of settings to choose from.
5. You then choose the setting which best suits what you wish to capture.
Beach day 2-crop 600wVideo cameras normally use a shutter speed of about 1/50 second which blurs most action. The blur helps to give the illusion of smooth motion. The GoPro may record at 1/2000 second which freezes the water splashing for crisp still photos. They are low res but perfect for social media.
If you plan to use a GoPro for social media photos you should buy a floaty ($9), or, I would suggest the “handler” ($29) to keep the GoPro afloat, a must for young children. Be sure to stop recording.