Archive for October, 2012

Enjoying the first snowstorm of the season in Sequoia National Park, CA

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Travel, Video on October 23, 2012 by William Hooks

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We shot and camped for several days, adding the the footage for the upcoming ETERNAL GRANITE documentary. Visiting Emerald and Heather Lakes in particular was great, with the unsettled weather and remote feeling.

During a timelapse in cold at altitude over about 90 minutes, I was impressed with the endurance of the D600 and its battery. You can view the timelapse at my Facebook site, and see many more still images at Joann Loo’s FB site as well.

I feel confident taking it into full winter in December in the eastern Sierra, when we shoot the final third of this project.

In the western Sierra for the next 3 days (Sequoia National Park), shooting documentary

Posted in Photography, Travel, Video on October 19, 2012 by William Hooks

Part II of the backpacking/mountaineering piece ETERNAL GRANITE will be shot in late fall/early winter conditions, as we head from Lodgepole and Wolverton to the Pear Lake region.

This shoot will involve the Nikon D600 and Rode StereoVideomic Pro, and HDR/timelapse will be done in-camera.

In December we plan to film the third and final part of EG in the eastern Sierra.

Review: Nikon GP-1 GPS unit with D600 FX camera, Adobe Lightroom 4

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Travel, Video on October 13, 2012 by William Hooks

This combination of items has permitted simple, accurate geotagging of both stills and video to Google Maps while online. I must add that the altitude measurements have proven less accurate than the location coordinates, in my experience.

I really like that the GP-1 is so small, compact and light and derives power from cameras- no additional batteries or chargers, and of course the camera can be run on AC-DC converter. Startup for satellite acquisition varies with conditions, but I’ve been satisfied overall on this front.The ports for USB and MC-DC2 wired remote are reliable and I very often use the latter, especially since it allows remote video ON/OFF. With the supplied attachment to the camera strap, this frees the hot shoe of the camera for a microphone or flash, monitor,etc. Am I glad that I kept the 4-pin cable connector for the GPS unit when I sold my D90 or what?

The tight integration between LR4 and Google Maps makes it easy to even retrospectively geotag images and video.

So what?

For me, geotagging is becoming a standard feature for inclusion in my workflow for documentaries, slideshows, and location scouting. I can directly show the audience where the action (or lack of) is taking place. It’s much simpler to organize shots by location at times for editing.

Using an HDMI splitter, 500mm f/4 Nikkor, 2 monitors, and Manfrotto tripod/head

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Video on October 8, 2012 by William Hooks

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This is one setup which allows very fast lens changes from fisheye to super telephoto, thanks to the Acratech adapter interposed between the short Manfrotto tripod plate and the lens or camera itself. If I’m using a RedRock Cinema rig, I attach it with a separate pre-installed long Manfrotto plate. These plates seem very secure for their corresponding loads.

For a multicam shoot, a Giottos tripod is used with its own QR plate and a Weifeng fluid head to run the B camera. Both tripods work with either of my floor dolly models.

The splitter is located on one of the tripod legs in the lower left. The director or talent in front of the camera can view on a separate monitor, at the same time as both the camera operator and the focus puller with this system. The camera, both monitors, LED lighting, and wireless lav microphone can all run from an AC outlet as shown here. All of these components are easy to use with independent batteries, as well.

It would be nice if sound could also be reviewed with no adjustments… but I can still listen to it, simply by disconnecting the splitter from the camera. After all- I’m on budget.

The 10 foot linear trolley setup

Posted in Photography, Video on October 3, 2012 by William Hooks

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This provides about 7 ft of motion, with the Manfrotto video tripod as shown. Fast setup, light, $8 total cost.
I keep the poles from separating by use of a few pieces of gaffer tape, also used for setting the pair of caster rollers on the tripod base into the track so that they don’t rotate out.

If you look closely, there’s also a mounted ball head for low-angle shooting at one of the base arms.