Archive for Diverse and Eclectic Productions

Just posted recently updated gear list for 3 1/2 season backpacking on a new page

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Travel, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by William Hooks

I hope that this information will be of help to those who ‘d like to get in the ultralight backpacking game, and even stimulate discussion of other’s experiences and lists.

I didn’t include detailed discussion of options such as UL canister stoves from Soto and Snowpeak which I use as substitutes for alcohol stoves whe n they are prohibited by regulations (as is happening in some CA locales due to extreme drought conditions), and some other alternative gear I use at times. I didn’t include equipment for more comprehensive video in the backcountry, as much of that is mentioned incidentally in my separate gear list for alpine mountaineering.

Have fun out there- and vote anything but Republican (I mean, stay safe)!

Returned from start of winter in the Sierra Nevada on backpacking trip

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Travel, Video with tags , on September 29, 2014 by William Hooks

We camped initially at 4000′ in Ancient Bristlecone Campground (jct of 168 and 395) and 2 Belgian tourists had an auto accident directly in front of the site that evening. We attempted to help them on this very windy night, including trying to set up their huge dome tent which blew down… we were fine in my MSR E-Wing tarp.

Yesterday, we got into our second camp at 11,600′ near Paiute Lake in the Sierra. It snowed almost all day and night. We returned to the car at mid-day today, enjoyed Bishop, CA and returned to the LA area this evening.

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To the Dark Side… I ‘ve gone Canon 5D Mark III

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2013 by William Hooks

After much consideration, I’ve taken the leap to the Canon HD-DSLR system and sold my Nikon system except for the Coolpix S9100. Admitting that I miss the built-in intervalometer of the D600 and especially its ability to create in-camera timelapses…..

Key features of the Canon 5D Mark III (5D3) over the Nikon D600 —FOR ME
1- Tethered shooting with Lightroom 4 (no need to upgrade to version 5)-but caveat emptor…
2- Power aperture in LiveView
3- LV histogram
4- CF and SD cards; I prefer the durability and ease of writing on CF cards in general, and the ease of just inserting an SD card into my notebook’s built-in slot is there when desired
5- Native ISO of 12800 for video
6- Selected better specs for stills incl bracketing, 6FPS, AF points, advanced multiple exposure
7- Time code, including drop-frame and other features (record and playback); at the least this will be used for shot logging, and potentially for post (multicam sync)
8- Ability to manually adjust sound settings, ISO, and exposure while recording video-silently!
9- Accepts the same Hoodman Custom Finder Baseplate
10- Video can be actuated remotely with a $30 RC-6 IR wireless unit and tethered for video and stills via a free
EOS Utility software download (Nikon-it’s free)
11- Extensive video clip info available after recording
12- In-camera slow motion review
13- EF lenses compatible with a wide variety of dedicated, advanced cinema systems such as BlackMagic, EOS C
Cinema camcorder series, and RED. I anticipate at some point venturing into the C 100/ C 300 universe.
14- This camera is a current industry standard for HD-DSLR filmmaking. As such, there is free and paid firmare and software available which is uniquely designed for Canon/5D3 such as the free Technicolor and Marvel Picture Styles.
There are also a number of hardware items made by Manfrotto and other companies which are specific to Canon firmware, such as the Sympla Remote Controller.

Taken in totality, I found these and other considerations to be compelling. Among the other things I though about was the issue of normalizing or standardizing the cameras throughout my crew- and everyone else is already using 5D2, 6D, and 7D. Doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t use Nikons in the future, I ‘m a huge fan of their lenses and flash for example. Very likely I’ll be using a Nikon D5200 for backpacking and timelapses. But for now, I’m starting off very happy indeed with the 5D3.

More stills from the ArtBus shoot- including the Nikon D4 on a hi-hat

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by William Hooks

I used my 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor on the D4. The Hi-hat was wonderful for use in close and in small spaces. I had to take special care to warn of its presense because it’s so small, and had a $5000 camera on it.

The Marshall 5″ HDMI monitor works very well with this setup, allowing easy exposure checking, focus, and viewing; it also provides the option of flip-image (useful for the jib setup).

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