19Mar

Chantillys St. Patrick’s Day Show

st pats 2I don’t normally shoot shows without a lot of planning, but I had the chance to bring my camera to a St. Patrick’s Day show of the Chantillys this past weekend. Sure, the PA system was pretty weak but everyone had a great time and loved the show. As for me, it was another chance to play with my new camera.

This is bare camera, no tripod even. However, I did bolt it to my figrig which helped a lot as far as smoothing out some movements. For those who don’t know, a figrig is a pretty simple and very cheap device that looks like… a wheel. You bolt your cam in the middle of the wheel. Easy!

View a QuickTime movie of the show (it’s a largish download but worth it)

Flickr Photo Set of a few stills I shot during the show.

19Mar

Chantillys St. Patrick’s Day Show

st pats 2I don’t normally shoot shows without a lot of planning, but I had the chance to bring my camera to a St. Patrick’s Day show of the Chantillys this past weekend. Sure, the PA system was pretty weak but everyone had a great time and loved the show. As for me, it was another chance to play with my new camera.

This is bare camera, no tripod even. However, I did bolt it to my figrig which helped a lot as far as smoothing out some movements. For those who don’t know, a figrig is a pretty simple and very cheap device that looks like… a wheel. You bolt your cam in the middle of the wheel. Easy!

View a QuickTime movie of the show (it’s a largish download but worth it)

Flickr Photo Set of a few stills I shot during the show.

13Mar

High Def Camera Test1: Time Lapse

timeLapse1Click for a 720p high definition Quicktime movie compressed using H264 “best” settings.

I wasn’t a fan of the HVX200 at first. I prefer to rent something a bit more high end most of the time, but one has to use the right tool for the job, and for a lot of jobs the HVX200 is a good choice.

As it stands, the HVX200 can use a lot of the same gear that my old DVX100 used. Plus it gives me a much better 4:2:2 colorspace for my shots than the various HDV cameras out there- which is important given the amount of compositing I tend to do. Speaking as someone who has pulled many a key with a HDV 4:2:0 colorspace camera, I say this rocks.

So far the limited record time P2 format has not even been an issue. I’m battle testing this camera now in preparation for using it on paying gigs and my own projects.

6Mar

Misc. Thoughts

I’m doing a render right now of some new stuff for a show that’ll be playing at a local theater (I refuse to say “theatre”) in about 2 weeks. I got the chance to do some skin repair/digital makeup for one of the actors in post, plus some after effects work. I’ll probably post something about all that eventually.

But as I wait, there’s a few things that run through my mind:

1) Why does Google have a huge wing of their company devoted to the US Government and military defense? Seriously- they do.

2) Why are the most popular videos online not the well-crafted ones that tell stories but instead are usually just women jumping up and down or accidentally showing nipple (or both)?

What do these things have to do with each other?

I guess this should keep me busy for awhile, but it won’t. Because, like most of you, I have a very short attention span. And really, isn’t that truly how governments and corporations get away with all the rotten things they do? Just bore me, and I’ll move on. It’s brilliant, really. Too bad it doesn’t work on the personal level. Can you imagine how awesome that would be? I imagine it’d go something like this:

“You horrible gender-neutral person! I can’t believe you sodomized twelve of my goats!”

“Yes, well, have you noticed that the refractive qualities of the splendiforously green foiliage supports over two thousand species of insects? There’s the grasshopper, the ant, the fly (over 12 varieties of those), the common sloth, the…(droning on ad infinitum and yes I’m aware a sloth is not an insect, but again I have a short attention span)”

“Ooo! I see something shiny over there- later!”

And that thought is not really too far out there. After all, there is a variety of goat that, as part of its defense mechanisms, faints.

Maybe this is something Google’s miltary defense division should investigate…

28Feb

Liquor Store

Another walk with my camera. I added a lot of new photos to my ongoing series on flickr here.

I’m not sure why walking around LA with a camera intrigues me so much. I guess part of it is I think people here- and everywhere, really- tend to blow on through without taking a moment to look around at things. And that’s a shame.

Besides, walking is good for you.

9Feb

Learning A New Thing

I’ve wanted a digital SLR for a long time. Years, actually. And since I’d been acquiring a small number of manual focus Nikon lenses for my “Frankencamera” movie camera system, I figured it was finally time to take the plunge.

This was taken with natural light and no reflectors or diffusers or anything. Just me and this refurbished Nikon D80 and a manual 50mm lens from the 1970s. Everything’s set to manual… which means it is a bit harder to take good pix, but the good pix tend to look way better than anything shot on “auto”.

I’m using this camera to learn more about composition, framing, light- all that useful cinematography stuff I was supposed to learn at UCLA. But I am also using it to help myself get a new perspective on Los Angeles. Sometimes a new perspective is a damn fine thing.

Click the pic to see it bigger.

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