Archive for March, 2012

ENG setup for ANSWER Event, 3/26/12

Posted in Photojournalism, Reviews, Video on March 27, 2012 by William Hooks

I used the RedRock Micro Event rig with a Nikon D5100, a Marshall 5″ HDMI monitor, 24-70mm f/2.8 Nikkor, and the Rode NTG-2 shotgun microphone. The mic output was relayed directly to the camera, via an XLR-3mm plug converter.The RRM follow-focus was also used. My SanDisc 16GB Extreme Pro (class 10) card was more than sufficient.

Due to the late afternoon timing with excellent ambient lighting, no artificial lights were needed.

Because of the Nikon EN-EL3e add-on battery pack, I was able to use the monitor for several hours with no concern for power.  I often find that the 24-70 is a very good compromise for a single lens doing interviews and B-roll in average light, with f/2.8 available and utiliarian zoom range on either FX or DX cameras. The fact that it’s parfocal is a bonus, if zooming is to be done. I usually like to set focus at the long end of a zoom, observing that this procedure tends to yield the best overall results.

For sound levels, I pre-tested the NTG-2 with the D5100 set to medium and high sensitivity and found that as usual, the +2 (medium) setting was best while monitoring with headphones and the Zoom H4N DAR.

ENG was straightforward with the D5100 for several reasons: first, it’s a very light camera for a full HD-DSLR and is easy to use on a light rig for hours at a time. Second, the main video controls can be accessed with only the right hand- allowing constant support of the rig from the left hand. In particular, placement of the video ON/OFF button is such that I can simply hold the camera and toggle without any shifting of position. Third, aperture can be adjusted while in LiveView- unlike with the D7000.  Although I appreciate the dual cards and improved build quality of that camera, this is a significant advantage of the D5100 for video.


ANSWER Coalition-sponsored event, Monday 26 March: For Trayvon Martin

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Photojournalism, Video on March 25, 2012 by William Hooks

In honor of the memory of this young man from Florida whom I will never know, on Monday I plan to document the outpouring of sympathy and empathy for his parents in downtown Los Angeles. In the process I hope to assemble a series of interviews with persons attending the event, to  allow them to speak about what they perceive has happened regarding this case.

As an editorial comment, I’d like to express that it is my fondest wish that the person who killed him be arrested, charged, prosecuted, and if convicted that he receive an appropriate sentence. As a recent juror, I’m keenly aware of the fact that at least in this country and for at least some defendants, there is the presumption of innocence.  The problem from my perspective is that all too often ‘certain’ members of our society are denied the rights others enjoy, for reasons I had hoped were relegated to history. So far, that hope has not been realized.

By the way, don’t worry : I ‘ll leave my Skittles and iced tea at home.



Thanks again, Mimi Yip- a good studio fashion shoot

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Studio Portraiture, Video on March 17, 2012 by William Hooks


Nikon D7000, 85mm f/1.8 G Nikkor

Lighting: one Photogenic head in front w beauty dish, 2 in rear with L blocks to reduce flare; black paper backdrop

Mimi is both a model and photographer, based in the Los Angeles area.

I used the new Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G Nikkor and have been impressed with the lens, for both video and stills. This optic is less than 1/3 the price of the 85 f/1.4….hmm…..

Adobe CS6 reportedly due in the near future

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Video on March 13, 2012 by William Hooks

You know how it is… by the time you have worked with CSx for a while and feel relatively comfortable, well………………….CSx+1…….


Seriously- I really enjoy using Premiere Pro CS5.5 with Audition for sound editing, and importing stills from Photoshop and the new Lightroom 4 ; the latter has enhanced video editing capacity.

I wish that it were easier to link edits in LR4 and PS with the main video editor, Pr Pro!!!! I’m still trying to make that workflow seamless.

Marshall Electronics has Nikon users in mind- the V-BR5-NEL3 battery pack

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Video on March 6, 2012 by William Hooks

This $50 item greatly extends the field life of my two 5″ HDMI video monitors, from about 1-1 1/2 hr with AA batteries to adding another approximately 6 hr due to the added Nikon EN-EL3e batteries for each unit. The total battery life in good conditions amounts to about 8 hours of continuous use, making a huge difference in practical application.

Another advantage is that no tools are needed to attach or detach these from the monitor’s rear panel as they fit directly over the default battery cover; the included plug fits the lower left-hand corner’s 5V -DC input.

I went to the Marshall facility in El Segundo, CA to get mine after ordering by phone at (310)-333-0606.