Archive for November, 2011

Dotline Pico Flex Dolly

Posted in Reviews, Travel, Video on November 27, 2011 by William Hooks

This very inexpensive, compact and versatile item is shown in the images below and allows use of small HD-DSLR’s and compact cameras. It’s also easy to add up to 2 articulated arms to employ microphones, lighting and/or monitors. I like these features, but wish that the unit included pre-marked lines for precise adjustment of circular and other camera motions and that it was slightly longer to make adjustments of the ball head easier, when the arms are attached.


Overall I like this dolly, for interiors and appropriate exterior shots when a smooth surface is available.

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Burning DVD’s of video projects using Adobe Premiere Elements 9

Posted in Reviews, Video on November 21, 2011 by William Hooks

During my DVD burn session, this evening I wanted to relate what I’ve learned about Premiere Elements 9 (PE9) as a way of sharing my videos.

First, I ‘ve observed that it’s straightforward and easy to accomplish IF your computer in FACT meets the stated requirements posted by Adobe’s website for PE9. This applies to their full program, Premiere Pro CS5.5  as well- and it requires a great deal more computing power than PE9, even without considering optional linked applications such as AfterEffects for motion graphics and Audition for high-end audio editing /output. I’m able to burn many DVD’s containing approx 30 min content in about that same time (half hour).

Second, be careful to correctly specify what DVD format you ‘d like to use such as Dolby Widescreen vs Dolby regulation format while setting up the burn in the program. It’s very helpful that you can easily arrange to burn multiple copies at this stage.

Third, it becomes clear why full HD (1080p) is preferred for DVD while 720p is fine for web output, as full HD is also suitable for Blu-Ray and looks excellent at large viewing dimensions. I prefer to produce video in 1080p unless I’m sure that I will not need more than 720p file sizes at the preproduction/production stages of the project.

Fourth, pay close attention to the quality of your audio during production as you may have relatively little fine-tuning control of this aspect with your DVD player system.

I currently use Memorex DVD-R 16x (120 min) 4.7 GB DVD’s. Please refer to my equipment page for more on what notebook I use.



Day of Action Events, Los Angeles, CA

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Photojournalism, Video on November 18, 2011 by William Hooks

I completed HD-video coverage of the -sponsored union action in downtown this afternoon, proceeding from the OccupyLA encampment area at 1st and Spring Streets to the financial district, including a large protest at the bank of my personal (at least prior) choice- Bof A.

See the postings to go online later at their website for more information and to witness, from several POV’s, what transpired there. The law enforcement presense was substantial and there was  what  seemed to me a schizophrenic relationship between that contingent and the crowd; uneasy and tentative but with, to my knowledge, no use of chemical agents or projectiles. Others also covering the day may have obtained new information regarding this issue….

This material will also contribute to my ongoing documentary of the Occupy movement. I used the D7000 for 1080p/24 files, and the Audio Technica 8004L handheld omni microphone for direct capture. The D3s went with me for the few stills I made.


OccupyLA-related coverage tomorrow, 17 Nov 2011:

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Photojournalism, Video on November 17, 2011 by William Hooks

I plan to shoot HD video and stills tomorrow in downtown Los Angeles, covering aspects of the worker’s movement for the organization  which is based in Inglewood.

If you’re also documenting the events occurring tomorrow, I hope to connect with you. Stay safe—-






Weekend Video Workshop completed

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Video on November 15, 2011 by William Hooks


I finished a very enjoyable videography workshop in southern CA recently, and wish to extend an invitation to those interested in this subject to contact me for more information.

Currently I’m continuing to plan for a rock climbing documentary to be shot in Joshua Tree NP, as well as covering the Occupy movement mostly with regard to the Los Angeles activities. I’ll also be conducting  a landscape photography workshop in Joshua Tree, which is most likely to be held in January 2012.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season – and remember: stay thirsty.

Attention readers: RE donations and guest blogging, site platforms

Posted in Captain's Personal Log on November 5, 2011 by William Hooks

Thanks for all of your support since the inception of my blog-site. I’m delighted to write that I intend to continue to post the best content of which I’m capable and if you’d like to help with donations, or with guest blogs, please see my pages regarding these topics.


On my Guest Blog page, there is additional information about some subjects which have been often brought up in comments here; please read my notes on these subjects if they are of interest to you.

Again, thank you and let’s get back to work……





Editorial Comment: Occupy LA and Occupy Oakland

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Photojournalism, Video on November 2, 2011 by William Hooks

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I’m very pleased to learn that Occupy LA plans to march in solidarity with the Oakland contingent this evening.  If possible,I will be there to cover this event.

I personally feel that the Occupy movement is not only legitimate and important, but necessary at this point in the history of the US as a formal expression of the situations  experienced by 99% of its people- among themselves and to the 1%. It’s essential that the many diverse grievances they report be heard around the country and the world, with a sense of desperation- because it is my belief that if they are not addressed, the next time they are raised may well be in the context of violent revolution.

In short: most people understand whether they’re being exploited without the need for a university degree…..