Adorable Seal Wants In On The GoPro Action, Photobombs Surf Session

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The surfing seal saying cheese(!!!) to the GoPro.

Like a lot surfers, Matthew Stanley uses a GoPro to capture his surf sessions so he can relive the memory on dry land. The sessions aren’t all remarkable, but every once in a while the surfer has an exceptionally notable day. Take, for example, this past Sunday when Matthew Stanley and Andrew Flounders had a surprise visit in the UK from a seal who clearly wanted to show off for the GoPro.
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Run And Gun Video Rig For $180

I am doing a lot of self hosted videos, and while I love doing those videos, up until now there were two things about them I absolutely hated: Setting up and controlling the camera.

My setup check list was longer that I wanted it to be for a run and gun interview or a self hosted video, it included setting the camera on a tripod and starting to run back and forward between the camera and my mark to frame and focus the shot. I’d usually bring a nano light stand just for that – to assist me with framing myself in the shot and focusing the camera. The other thing I hated was starting and stopping the camera. As a Nikon shooter (D7000) I simply had no way around repeating this for every shot and take: walk to camera; start recording; walk to my mark; do my thing; walk back to the camera; stop recording. It was a nightmare.

I recently changed the way I work in two ways: video setup and audio.

firstly I bought a TPlink MR3040 router which I can use to frame, focus, start and stop the recording. The second thing that changed is that I started using a Rode Video mic pro for my audio. It records directly into the camera (which some will say is a wrongest thing to do to audio, but for what I do, it is more than enough).

Here is the breakdown of my setup: [Read more...]

FFMPEG Adds Support For Magic Lantern RAW Video – On The Way For A Smoother Workflow

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About a year ago the Magic Lantern team took they RAW video recording into the next level providing their own native format – MLV (Magic Lantern Video). While this format could be used to record RAW video the workflow to getting it to PRORES format was a bit cumbersome.

Yesterday, FFmpeg did the first commit to their code-base which to support the MLV format. This could mean great things for the Magic Lantern team. Mostly because FFmpeg is the engine running the video part of many open source programs.

ML’s g3gg0 shares how this came to be (and highlight the importance of open-source royalties-free formats in the process): [Read more...]

Copying Large Video File Across Devices/Drives? This Is How To Make Sure You Don’t Goof Up

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Whether your are a professional photographer or an aspiring photo enthusiast a day will come, when you will need to transfer all your valuable multimedia materials from one storage location to another!

Obviously, a single copy & paste or drag & drop should do the trick! However, please be aware that any backup or data replication scheme is composed of two integral parts: copying and verification!

The fact that you see a complete file list after a quick, copy and paste operation does not ensure the data that you have copied from the source location to the target destination are not corrupted!

You may wonder why have I written this post in the first place? Well, as a matter of fact I have found myself in a position where I needed to send via air mail an USB stick with video material to one of the media agencies we collaborated with. The assignment came literally last minute, and the deadline was within 4 days. [Read more...]

Getting a Complete Day Of Battery power For a camera and Monitor for $150

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If you were not satisfied with the 9 hours battery solution we shared last week, Caleb Pike shares an even better solution that not only lasts more than a day of shooting HD on a DSLR, but it can also power a monitor for that day.

The solution is build around a (bit shaky) NP-F970 Battery Adapter which is compatible with Canon in via a similar adapter to the one we showed last week.

Now Caleb is pretty upfront about the build quality of the unit which apparently is not that awesome, but on the flip side of it, it is very budget friendly. [Read more...]

DIY Doorway Dolly Presentation

Back in the days when blogs were just starting out, there were probably two DIY centric blogs for the creative industry. Your truly ran a small site called DIYP for stills-DIY and cheesycam ran a similarly oriented video site.

If was great to see that they are back at their origins today sharing a Doorway Dolly build. The idea behind a doorway dolly is that an operator can push and pull the dolly while a tripod or a photographer is standing on it. The nice thing about it is that you can operate it without tracks and still get tracking shots. The down side is that you need a super smooth floor (like a PVC floor) to get good shots. [Read more...]

How to Prepare Gear for Massive Video Shoots Abroad

One of the biggest challenges with any creative production is gear management. At the start of my time as a creative, I don’t know how many times I have arrived at a location and realized a crucial part of my kit was missing. However, like most things, you only learn from your mistakes and what I have learned is that it is extremely important to create checklists and prep gear BEFORE heading out to shoot. Although it does take more time to do this, it will save you time and heartache from going out to get a shot and realizing you don’t have everything you need.

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Now I must admit, my least favorite part about filmmaking is the gear prepping. It’s a fine balance between taking too much and taking not enough and this battle is unique for every job. This is especially critical when traveling. With this post, what I hope to do is talk about how to prep your kit when traveling abroad. I will use a recent project to Cuba as the case study.
*Note: I am by no means an expert but here is what I have learned up until this point. [Read more...]

How To Convert Photography Lenses into Cine Lenses

If you’ve been making the conversion from shooting stills to shooting DSLR video you probably have an array of lenses from the stills days.

If you are solely doing video, there may be a lot of sense to convert your stills lenses to cine lenses. Caleb Pike has a great tutorial on converting your DSLR lenses to easily accommodate a video workflow.

Caleb starts with a set of 3 Olympus OM lenses: 35-70 F4, 75-150 F4 and 50mm F1.8 at total of about $200 and  lists a few major differences between the way DSLR lenses are built and the way cine lenses are built, he also explains how to adjust the lens for cine use. [Read more...]

Build a 3D Printed, Ultralight, 3-axis Modular Time-Lapse Motion Control System

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If you are looking into a well built Time lapse motion controller, you may have noticed how expensive these things are. An eMotimo TB3 for example (review | buy) will set you back about a grand and a Syrp Genie is not far behind (unboxing | buy). And none will provide full 3 axis motion control. So of course a possible solution would be to build a time lapse motion controller yourself. It is not an easy task, and gladly, Doug Urquhart over at Instructables is giving a pretty comprehensive tutorial.

Doug used his build to create such stunning works as the eye of the beholder below [Read more...]

Google Declares War On Vertical Video

If you use an Android device (or just read photo and tech blog) there was no way to avoid hearing about Google’s blitz into the Camera app realm with their new Google Camera. The camera has many new features (like adaptive lens blur, Photo spheres and others).

Interestedly, it looks like Google also declared a war on vertical video (also known as VSS or vertical video syndrome).

When you switch into video more the camera app will provide a ‘gentle’ reminder in the form of a ‘please rotate’ icon. This icon should alert you  on the fact that you are not shooting horizontally as any educated photographer should be shooting. [Read more...]