Recently my vacations have been very water based. I think my kids might be part fish, they never want to leave the water. We were in Lake Tahoe this past weekend. Usually, my camera gear is stranded on the beach as I spend most of my time in the water. I could get high end underwater gear but this is a vacation not work so I wanted something small and fun. Therefore, I ordered an Aquapac 104 Phone/GPS Case from L.L. Bean ($30) for my iPhone. For the most part, the case worked great. My iPhone didn’t get wet or damage. The material that the case is made out of gives a slight softness to the photos and videos, which I didn’t mind. At the end of the day, you really need to clean the Aquapac case with soap and water to keep it clear.
When I was out of the water I was able to take photos and video without a problem. Once the camera was in the water I couldn’t get the iPhone screen to respond to my touch. I’m not sure if this would happen in warmer water like Hawaii. The water in Lake Tahoe is ice cold. In order to take video I started recording before going under water and that worked fine. I used iMovie on the iPhone to edit the movie. It’s amazing that the whole thing can be captured and edited right on the iPhone. Above is a quick movie I made with my kids.
You can see the video on Vimeo or Youtube
I’ve really enjoyed making videos. My latest one is a study in making movement and interest with stationary objectsin this case, lamps. It is a classic studio setting, yet I tried to capture the personality of the playful lamp designs.
I’ll talk more about how the video was made in a later post. Check back or subscribe to my RSS feed.
I was very excited to get permission from Indianna Hale to use the song, “nowhere to be.” You can see more of her amazing music at http://www.myspace.com/indiannahale
You can see the video on Vimeo or youtube.
I’ve been wanting to try out a Steadicam for my Canon 5D Mark II for awhile now. I wasn’t sure which kind to get and the more research I did the more confusing it became. I finally concluded that the Merlin Steadicam was the best fit for what I needed.
I’m a strong believer in renting something before you buy. Everyone that I spoke to said that a Steadicam was something that needed lots of practice and it wasn’t something you could rent for the day. I went against my own advice and bought the Merlin Steadicam. When the Steadicam arrived I thought I was going to pull it out of the box and start filming (duh, see above about the warnings regarding practice).
I spent most of the day learning to balance the camera. Setting up the camera was much harder than I thought. Once I got things configured I went out and started filming. My assistant Michael and I tested walking, running, panning, and walking on stairs. Things were looking good, but we wanted to test something that combined all the challenges at once. We found a block-long flight of stairs to test on that would work perfectly. We needed something to track as we were testing, so of course I volunteered to ride my bike down the stairs as Michael filmed.
I was very impressed with how smoothly things looked considering we didn’t have much practice. If this had been filmed without the Steadicam the movie would have been extremely jumpy and unwatchable.
The purpose of the movie was really an exercise to see how the Steadicam would perform in a difficult situation with very little training. I was very happy with the results and am excited to see how much better it will look once we REALLY figure things out.
You can also watch the video on youtube.com http://youtu.be/PbiVNb7I65Y
I’ve posted the Macworld cover time lapse video on YouTube. It’s the same video just another avenue for viewing. The main difference is you can now watch the video from any mobile phone that supports YouTube, such as the iPhone.
After working on the latest cover for MacWorld Magazine I wanted to show what is involved in making a cover. I focused on the three main areas: the photography, photoshop and design. I chose a time lapse format to convey lots of information in a small amount of time. The only drawback of time lapse is that since half a day goes by in 30 seconds, the whole process seam so easy! Lots of details were left out of the design process (like the cover meetings and rounds of layout options). I began to photograph the design process after the layouts had already been narrowed down to just three cover designs.
After working on the latest cover for Macworld Magazine I wanted to show what is involved in making a cover. I focused on the three main areas: the photography, photoshop and design. I chose a time lapse format to convey lots of information in a small amount of time. The only drawback of time lapse is that since half a day goes by in 30 seconds, the whole process seam so easy! Lots of details were left out of the design process (like the cover meetings and rounds of layout options). I began to photograph the design process after the layouts had already been narrowed down to just three cover designs.
On the technical side, for the time lapse video, I used the Canon 5D Mark II with a 24mm-70mm zoom. I chose the 5D because of its great image quality with high ISO’s. Canon’s sRAW1 gave me the flexibility of a RAW file with the file size of a jpeg. The actual Macworld cover was taken with a Phase One P65+ digital back attached to a 4×5 Sinar X camera with a 65mm lens.
Many thanks to Rob Schultz for allowing me to invade his office and literally shoot over his shoulder.
The music was used with permission by The Brokenmusicbox. You can see more of their music at http://www.myspace.com/tbmb