Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Color Grading

All right, so originally I had planned to write my color correction and grading posts together but I realized they might become to lengthy and that it would be too much info to process. Anyways, hopefully breaking them up helps.

Color Grading. Generally a stylized coloring added to the movie to give it a certain mood or feel. Grading can make a you feel the scene is warm, or cold or find yourself in a bleak future or an action film with stars that resemble oompa-loompas (ech-hem the second Transformers movie...).

Originally, when film was shot on actual film and was processed, the end result and product were planned from the beginning. Each step of the journey moved towards the director’s vision. The film stock, lighting, filters, colors used on set were all picked very carefully. And after all of that, a colorist took it and finished the films look with his own processing.

Now a days, with so much of filmmaking becoming digitial (a lot of films are still shot on film but edited digitally), a lot of the finer moments put into development are lost and replaced with the frightening saying “we’ll fix it in post.” Software like Colorista and Magic Bullet are designed to give you high end stylized and popular color grades to add to your film. Adobe After effects is really good for completely removing any undesirable colors or problems found in post. Final Cut Pro can also be sued for Color Grading. However, I don’t feel it’s as powerful as some of the other options.

All this to say that the need for filters and a knowledge for planning your style in preproduction is quickly becoming antiquated. And someone who can do all this is now rare (like… nearing the endangered species list.). I don’t think using film or the need for colorists will go away completely, but it will become extremely uncommon.

Sorry… I’m here to teach you color grading. Not rant about the days of celluloid or the romanticize the silver screen. Ok… so you have a good white balance between your cameras. Contrast and levels are Kosher? Cool. What kind of film are you making?

Recently films have really been laying it on thick with color grading styles to help audiences quickly understand what kind of movie they’re seeing. The Matrix (1999) has green, blue and a red tone depending where in the films universe they are.

Terminator Salvation (2009) and the Book of Eli (2010) and other apocalyptic films tend to bleach out the highlights and tint green the dark tones.

Here, from the opening scene from the Book of Eli, you'll notice that the colors are tweeked so far from the norm that it instantly sets the mood for the rest of the film, letting the audience know that nothing in this world is what we would call "Normal."

The Transformer films (2007, 2009) are well known for over grading the films
I mean Megan Fox has one gnarly spray on tan.

How can you use these to help your production.

Figure out what style you want (preferably before filming).

Keep in mind: Blues give a cooling effect.

Reds/yellows give a warming effect.

High Contrast/De-saturating colors/Bleaching give a sterile or depressing look

Skin tones should still look like Skin tones. The audience will forgive a lot… but make someone the wrong color and people will be upset (again… look at the Transformers films.)

Websites like Kuler can help you determine your color pallet. And often you simply do what’s called a color split. Which looks like this (or what the color split might have looked like for transformers....)

Some examples of how I’ve used color grading (Original shot on the left, graded shot on the right.)

Click the link to see the finished DART trailer.

For the Diaries Trailer, I shot an additional scene with my friend Joel, from Male From Australia.

But the most heavily Color Graded of the 4 Diaries films was Part 3: Quarantine. Which I tried to emulate the Dark Greens and bleach lighter tones for the same type of feel found in several of the action films listed above.

I really recommend taking some time to watch movies new and old and see if you can recognize what style of grading was used, and how it makes you feel. The next post will be about picture styles. I’ll try to shoot a video to demonstrate how that can benefit your color grading. Any questions or comments? Feel free to post below or email me at

All of the above pictures from the films, "Terminator Salvation" "The Matrix" "The Book of Eli" "Transformer Revenge of the Fallen" we're simply used to demonstrate and educate my audience. I have no implied Copy right or claim to any of these film's or their properties. If you're still reading this, and a lawyer or someone who worked on these films... please don't sue me.

The other films and images created by, and belonging to Intense Entertainment are our property. However, I don't mind you using our stuff for educational purposes. Just please give credit where it's due. :) The End.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting Going on Youtube

Hey guys, real quick. saw this just a little bit ago and i think it's a pretty awesome video to check out if you're looking to make youtube videos for a living. or just... because it's awesome. i highly recommend you check it out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Minimalism and Photography/Filmmaking

Here’s a cool word that people keep throwing around. Some of you may know what it means, some maybe not. It seems to be pretty vague, but to put it simply; it’s a life that focuses on less being more.

I actually decided to move the “How I came to practicing minimalism” at the end of this blog as it’s really long and drawn out and I’d rather give you, the reader, the examples that I’m currently using. Feel free to keep reading for the history of if you so please.

However… in this blog I want this blog to focus on how you can apply minimalism to your filmmaking and photography as it might save you some money, and time when packing to head out on a shoot. I’ll briefly cover how I intend to pack my suitcase, my gear bag and how I justify calling myself a Minimalist at all.

Lets start at the bottom. Yes, there’s some conflict having a desire to be in an ever changing, technologically advancing industry. However, I love making films or shooting photography as a hobby, I feel buying equipment doubles as a business expense and a pastime when I purchase something. I’ve also begun letting go of many other hobbies and putting that money towards relieving debt and clearing up space in my house.

I’ve also noticed that while I’m not a hardcore minimalist and will never be able to fully follow that mindset, applying it to certain areas (especially impulse shopping) has seriously reduced the stress I have in my life.

I’ve also learned that spending money on experiences is much more rewarding than spending money on stuff. . I have the travel bug. And if not eating out at restaurants saves me money to travel the country or farther, so be it… it’s a small price to pay.

Now, packing. Seeing as I want to travel and not be over-burdened by bags of stuff I probably won’t use… here’s some tips I intend to put to use on my two week trip around Washington after Christmas.

With space like this... how can I not make it two weeks? My cat Lun Tha passed through to make sure that you could see the scale of the bag.

How I plan to pack is more simple than what I plan to pack… the how is really just use this small suitcase to keep me from needing to check anything if I fly. If I don’t fly, than it’s to keep me light and mobile.

What I’ll pack consists obviously about the weather. One pair of shoes (be that casual or work/tennis), a couple of shirts, two pairs of pants. My goal for packing my clothes is to keep it doable for five days before I need to do laundry. Rolling the clothes tightly will give them wrinkles but will leave me more space in the bag. Basic toiletries will also go in there. Something like toothbrush and paste, a travel thing of soap and shampoo (if I might be somewhere that I can’t just get some complimentary (I love hotels!) and deodorant and finally… cologne. The end. I don’t really need much more than that. It might change if I were going to say… a tropical island. I may leave a pair of pants in exchange for swim trunks and shorts. But whatever. I’ll post some pictures showing how I packed for the two week trip when I pack.

Now… my gear bag. That’s why you’re here right? You don’t care about my clothes or my minimalism other than how it can effect your photo/film situation. Ok well here’s how my ideal would pack and this is also what I’m working towards…

Canon 7d (although maybe later that would change to a 5d… Or a spare body)

Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 lens

Canon 24-70mm 2.8L lens

Canon 50mm 1.8 (could possibly be replaced with a zeiss 1.4, or the canon 1.4)

Canon 70-200mm 2.8L with Image Stabilization.

Canon x1.4 extender

2-4 batteries, charger and international adapter.

Memory cards (currently have two, want 4)

Laptop and external hard drives (preferably 2)

Zacuto Z-finder, Tripod, shoulder brace (and any other things that I need for specific jobs that I might be doing. These are interchangeable. Don’t take them unless you know you’ll need them.)

And of course… any related filters/cables/speedlights/etc.

Surprisingly I think I can get all of this to fit inside the bag I’m currently using. Though, there will come a time when possibly upgrading to something a little more heavy duty will become necessary. And although that seems like a lot… look at some of the stuff people take on EVERY shoot. I look at this list and it seems like a lot, and even just looking at it just makes me anxious because I’d love to get away with less. Maybe time would show me that I could do without all this. But I feel like the lenses cover everything I could need (except for very specific shoots) for the majority of the work I would do.

And if you’re looking at this list, and it seems familiar… well I did mention it previously in another post about "Building Your First Photography Kit." And you’ll also recognize the overall idea has some strong similarity to Chase Jarvis’ post about Mission Critical gear. So that’s where I took the idea from and worked it to fit my needs.

Now for the history (as briefly as I could… feel free to stop reading if you’re not interested) of how I started changing things to this minimalist style:

For me, minimalism began happening when I moved to Central Washington University in Ellensburg. It’s hard to really call my way of living “minimalism” but I had to adapt to living without a lot of my toys and hobbies, and being inconvenienced by not always having what I needed. I still had a lot.

My second year at CWU brought a new roommate (Kyle, the other ninja) who was in the process of minimalizing his life. It was hard for me to understand why we had selling everything and going to such extremes.

When I finished that year, I was done at school and began moving my belongings home. Boxed up, I filled up my car. 3 trips later, I had moved everything home (see what I mean by a lot?). I didn’t really unpack, just stuck the boxes in a storage room in the basement, out of the way. And that’s where it stayed while I packed up a few things and ran off to Australia.

**please note: each step of this process felt extremely rough to me. It was pretty stressful to say the least.**

I worked the baggage system for my flight. Packed to the brim was a duffel bag, my Molle 3 day pack (packed more like a 6 day pack), guitar case with guitar and as much clothing as I could shove in and around Misty (my guitar’s name) and finally my laptop/camera bag. All in all, around 250 lbs of stuff. None of it on wheels. And I packed poorly only taking two pairs of shorts… to Australia.

I immediately began to accumulate stuff. And I didn’t have an apartment yet. The first two weeks of my trip had me carrying all this stuff until I finally settled in.

As the months went on, little piles of knick knacks appeared, stress followed as I lived in a small apartment which felt more and more claustrophobic. The only way I could describe what I was feeling I needed to do was to purge as much as possible before heading home.

I found some blogs (zen habits, and miss minimalist) who helped me better articulate the feelings inside me and I began to pack and make a pile of clothes to donate. When I left Australia, my total weight for baggage was around 175-185 lbs. it was much easier toting that than it had been (plus, I got a cart this time haha).

When I finally began settling in at home and unpacked from both Australia and my time in Ellensburg, I realized there was also years of stuff sitting in boxes that belonged to me from before I left Vancouver. I tore apart my room and basement. I gathered the clothes, toys, stuff, you name it. Things were separated in three piles: donate, sell and trash. I’ve been home nearly a month and I’m still sorting through stuff. And I’ve made nearly $1000 with a lot more money still coming in.

There. That’s my story. Haha goodnight.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Color Correction Basics

All right, I’d like to come back swinging. This is my first real post since getting from Australia. I’ll have a few pictures and a video soon. But I’m talking about the difference between color correction and color grading. And I’ll try to keep it short and I’ll leave out the science. If the science is what you want let me know and I’ll do a post expanding. I’ve just had a few people say they don’t know why.

Color Correction

This has to do with light and how your camera interprets it. Light is measured in Kelvin. Your camera will have auto settings to take care of this part for you, but as you get better with your camera, or use multiple cameras, you’ll want your white balances to match.

The three most common temperatures you’ll be looking at are:

Outdoor/sunlight 5600 K. it generally has a blue tint to it.

Indoor/tungsten 3200 K. this is usually from the general unbalanced store bought bulbs found pretty much everywhere and usually in every light and home.

Fluorescent 3600 K. Found in stores/offices/casts a greenish tint and makes people look ill.

So, every digital camera should have manual white balance controls in the manual that came with it. read it. I say this because it makes sense… they’ve spent a lot of money putting the specific details for white balancing your specific in the manual. So use that. :)

Now… we’ll assume you get the basics of white balancing. However, you’re probably going to at some point work in mixed lighting environments or just had an accident and it got messed up (shoot, I think everyone does this once… or frequently.). We shot in a mixed lighting environment for a school project I did last year.

Diaries Part 2: The Escape was a part of my senior project. And what we didn't realize during the upstairs scenes was that we had three different light temperatures coming into the scene. there was very little we could do to correct this is the time we had... so we shot it and i spent a week tinkering just with that scene to make it work. The trick that actually worked in this case was to find a shot where all three light temperatures were affecting the scene. then try to white balance it as best as i could. this worked for that brief moment, but the rest of the scene looked terrible. so then i desaturated the footage, upped the contrast to compensate, and that turned out pretty good. Then I just needed the rest of the footage to match that scene, and that was easy.

Anyways, that was a tangent. And I didn't really know how to work that into the post. So, let's get back on topic... correcing your footage.

Here's a picture of Joel with some less than stellar white balancing. I promise he's not generally that red... but let's go ahead and make him look a little more healthy. Ok?

In Final Cut Pro, or whichever Editor you choose to use, there will be an effects tab/folder/storage facility where it is kept. Here you'll need to either choose a basic Color Corrector (some of them will even work automatically if you want, other's you'll need to do a little work). I prefer the 3-way color corrector as I'll usually use that to color grade later on... you'll see that below.

If you look closely under each circle, you'll find a little tear dropper. if you click on this and then click onto your footage on some place that SHOULD be white, the software will adjust the wheel and bring a more appropriate white balance to the clip.

I should also note that each wheel represents an approximate light value. dark tones, middle tones, and light tones. so each wheel will only effect the corresponding tones.

This is probably the quickest way to correct for white ballance. however it's not perfect.

With any luck... it should look something like... this:

You could do it manually… and if you’re getting paid, I’d recommending putting in the extra effort (put some time into practicing, in case you DO sometime need to do it the hard way for some reason.) you will get better results. However, if it’s just for fun, fix it quickly and move on to the fun parts. :) Next I’ll talk color grading as that’s a lot more interesting .

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shot on the Nikon D7000

Here's a video that was shared with me the other day. I thought i'd mention it to you guys because it's shot with the new Nikon D7000 and a Rode Video mic. Normally I only talk about Canon because that's where the majority of my knowledge for DSLR filmmaking is. However the stuff I've seen made with the D7000 is amazing and might be worth checking out if you're really interested in getting your own DSLR to start filming with. feel free to check it out and leave any comments down below. :)

**I know nothing of this church other than what i saw on the website. But I just wanted to share this with you because I think it's really well done, fairly simple and the colors represented in the final product are amazing. I have no idea what was used for editing and if any color grading was used (i'd assume yes, because I live in Portland and I'm pretty sure the rivers around here aren't Gold. 0:00-0:02) :) Enjoy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sorry it's been so long...

Hey guys, I apologize for how long it's been since my last post. My 1 to 2 post a week average has taken a hit. But I'm back in the states finally, and i have a lot of pictures to go through, and video too. But I've got some fun things in store, so stay tuned and hopefully I'll have something with some meet before the week is over.

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Bucket List

It's been something i've thought about before, but have seemed to find reason to put off actually creating one. Well, I know someday I am going to die. And I intend to die with a smile on my face.

This whole thing started because of I said to my friend Joël (Male From Australia) that I am bored. I recently finished my classes, have nothing that I HAVE to be doing. And he informed me that I’m not making the most of my time. He also suggested I make a list of things to do before I die.

So I did. I just jotted down a few ideas, and then they started pouring out of me. All these things that are important for me to try to squeeze into my life at some point. And not just write them down, but make an effort to check them off.

Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman did it in 2007, and look how happy they look.

Troy and Abed from NBC’s Community did it during their freshman year of college (their list consisted of classic college film moments that constitute a great freshman year of college.).

So, why shouldn’t I have a list of things that I want to do? I talk about these plans; road trips, adventures, things that probably seem really random to other people.

Well, my dear Joël.

I would like some time to announce my list. And while I understand that the “List” is meant to be kept private… I don’t want to keep it to myself. I want my friends and family to hold me accountable for at least trying to make this stuff happen. So, I’ll work on it until January 1st, 2011 (or close to then… I may be on the road traveling that week, in which case it’ll go up as soon as possible) I’ll post my list as it is at that point on my page. And as I accomplish things, I’ll check them off while adding new things as I’m inspired.

Feel free to steal my ideas from my list and use them in your own. The list shouldn’t be mine to keep, but to share and hopefully help spawn new and awesome ideas for you to want to do while you’re still able to smile.

Someday we’re all going to die.
Until then, I’ve got stuff to do.

Depth of Field, Sensor Size, and Rack Focusing.

I’ve had this thought for a while and it’s more of an observation. The effect of pulling focus (I prefer the term “rack focus” because that’s what I was taught to use.), which consists of starting a shot focused on one object, and then shifting focus to another object, has become a gimmick. Or, I suppose is quickly becoming one. For aspiring filmmakers, like me, the majority of training we get with cameras usually falls completely on small-sensored Prosumer (Professional-Consumer) grade cameras.

Panasonic HMC150

The small sensor in these cameras creates a very wide Depth of Field (DoF, the point of focus and the area in front and behind that is also in focus.), which all but eliminates the ability to use the awesome and dramatic rack focus. Getting a rack focus with these cameras usually involves moving the objects well away from each other, and placing the camera a considerable distance away and zooming in. this generally makes it unreasonable to perform, let alone do a good rack focus (and placing a follow focus on the camera just seems silly.)

Zacuto Follow Focus on camera

Here’s a pretty popular follow focus that can be used to very accurately dial in the focus of a shot.

So pretty much, the only way to achieve this effect was the high end professional cameras or film cameras. However, with the arrival of Full frame and crop sensors in DSLR’s (like the sensors used in the Canon 5dII and the 7d), the ability to rack a shot became much easier to accomplish.

Now, two things determine how easily a rack focus can be done: How open the iris is, and how large the sensor is.

With DSLR’s it’s relatively easy to get lenses that stop open to 1.2, or 1.4. Unlike the Prosumer cameras with fixed lenses that generally open to 3, or 4.5 (if you’re lucky.) **Edit: apparently the HMC150b shown above opens to 1.6, so that was a bad example. Haha**

So why does this matter? With the iris open, more light is let in and scatters around the inside of the lens, making the DoF shallow. As you close the iris, less light is let in… actually this is probably the most confusing thing my teachers refused to teach us. Just trust me that a shallower DoF comes from a larger Iris. If you’d really like to understand the science behind it, let me know and I’ll post some links to help explain it.

You can try a simple experiment to see this in action though. First, go outside and find a row of objects; Flowers, or columns, or something that you can view several of, side by side. Then pick your widest f-stop (lowest number) and take a picture. Then, switch to your smallest f-stop (highest number) and take a picture. I’d recommend setting the camera to Aperture Priority (Av on Canon, found on the circular dial on top of the camera) Which of these two pictures gave a more shallow depth of field?

The Dial on the left needs to lineup "Av" with the white hash.

**Note: something to keep in mind. Iris and Aperture are used interchangeably. They are measured in stops (with an “F” which stands for Focal Ratio.). the large the F-stop number (ex. 16, 22) the smaller the iris and the less light that enters the camera. The smaller the F-stop number, the larger the iris, the greater the amount of light that enters. If you stop-up (open iris), you double the light coming in. if you stop down (close iris) you halve the light.

Sensors! A larger sensor allows for more detail to be captured. We’ll keep it simple: Bigger is better when it comes to the relationship of sensor size and achieving a shallow DoF. This is why Prosumer cameras struggle to have the Shallow Depth of Field, that is found in Cinema cameras, their sensor is smaller.

So why did I say rack focusing is a gimmick? Can’t it be used dramatically the way God intended? Yes. But just like how alcohol can bring joy and elation, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Like I said earlier, a lot of students like myself had a hard time achieving rack focuses. But now we can use this effect whenever.

I see it constantly in my videos and in other peoples. We focus on one flower to the next, or through a series of bottles. There’s no stopping it. Eventually we look for excuses to rack instead of using is subtly to draw the audience’s eye. It’s as if we learned to watercolor and now we think that we are Picasso.

I’m guilty of this, and I could point fingers at others who abuse this gift. But as I’ve been sitting, going through gig after gig of footage from the last five months, I realized that every other shot I have is racked. And as I pound my head against the wall, I know that if someone had brought me this footage, I might have accidentally harmed them for putting me through that. And that’s why racking your focus is in danger of becoming a gimmick (Think lens flares in the new Star Trek, or Transformers films. Or Styles of Color Grading being used in films like Transformers, the matrix and any apocalypse film… but that’s another blog post I’m still working on for later. Haha)

And the moral of the story is? Think before you rack. Modesty is a virtue. Rack with caution. I’d hate for any harm to come to you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Life in Transit

My Life in Transit.


To say I feel a need to pack light is an understatement. I feel myself wanting to carry less and less. And needing a permanent dwelling with nice and fancy things is simply becoming less important. I just want that which I need to be happy. Food, shelter, my girlfriend, and a bag with my camera and clothes.

It’s nearly time to head home and I feel myself already looking for the next trip. The next place I’ll go. The idea of living in a studio apartment with brick walls and big windows and maybe a small studio in one corner seems nice to me. This hopefully won’t be permanent but will work for a couple of years.

Stu told me I’d get the travel bug. He was correct. I just keep thinking about all the places I want to go. Someone asked why all my places are cliché and northern hemisphere… well because I’m just getting started and those places like… all of Europe, are places that I’ve wanted to go to and they’re so rich with culture and history that I figure, I can make a grand trip through Europe, maybe hit up some of Canada and then start thinking about those other places. Plus another trip to Australia would be nice. One where I bring the money to actually travel and enjoy all these awesome places that I didn’t get to see.


I’m finding a rough learning curve with my camera. And I’m starting to understand why professionals carry two or more. So they don’t have to change lenses or settings and so they can just grab the camera they need without stopping as often. I’m not at this point. I’m still trying to get comfortable with what I’ve got. And it’s taking a while. I feel a little frustrated, and defeated because I take pictures and they’re not very good. I used to get better results with a camera that cost a third of the price of my 7d and needed less fixing in post. I was more comfortable with the button layout and settings and it just seemed to be more intuitive. And my best results were achieved with film cameras that were 20 and 30 years old.

And I’m realizing film is and was by far my favorite way to shoot photography. Something about having everything manual, and paying so much for film requires you to think a little bit more. And then getting your hands dirty during development really meant you pick and choose the best in order to spend your time wisely. I’m not sure I like this shooting in bulk. It’s a very “accuracy by volume” approach.


This weekend in Brisbane was the world’s largest Zombie walk. They cleverly used this event as a way to increase awareness of brain cancer. 4000 people registered, but there was certainly a lot more than that. The costumes were so creative and I’m so glad I got to participate. I really enjoyed just checking out all the movie references and hanging out with friends. I took quite a few pictures, but I think the best stuff I got was video of the day. Sadly editing that will wait until I’m back home in Vancouver.



As for other news… I’m done as a student. At least one that attends uni and has formal education. I feel that I should say “but I’m not done learning from life, because someone always feel the need to rain on my parade and be a smart ass and remind me that life never stops with the lessons (I’m glaring at some of you, by the way…). Just let me have my moment! I’ll be heading home from Brisbane soon and am trying to set myself up to hit the ground running. I really want to start working and putting money aside to remove some of these student loans I’ve “acquired.”



A part of me feels it’s necessary to speak on my disappointment with my home university’s program. Please understand that I don’t blame the teachers for this as I feel they’re all very knowledgeable. I feel the problem is in the school itself. Maybe there was not enough funding in the major, or a lack of faculty to teach specific technical courses. I’ve realized that our school forced us (members of the film production major) to take three separate critical analysis courses (which is a separate major) in order to obtain our degree, but we spent almost no time doing hands on technical training outside of our initial tutorials. And our cameras we’re ENG (Electronic News Gathering) cameras with small sensors, which don’t have the ability to allow a lot of creativity (like playing with depth of field, or rack focusing very easily.).


It could be argued that the field and studio production courses would be that training, but I see that more as preparation for a job in the news industry. Some of it does translate, but so little of our curriculum focused on FILM making. Not once did I use a film or video camera with changeable lenses (at least not until I bought my own.), and the courses I took on lighting and using Photoshop and after effects were guided by a faculty member, but not ordinarily taught to students. This may sound like complaints, and that’s exactly what it is. I went to this school to learn technical skills to help me walk out of uni with the ability to get hired in the industry. Instead, what I’m finding is that I know so little that I need to teach myself (very quickly) how to fill in the gaps that the school left me with. The skills I learned here will not pay the bills.

I am trying to include pictures with my posts so that you can see what I’m doing and make it a little more interesting for you, the reader. Thanks again for tuning in. this might have been a little more “ranty” and I’ll have more technical posts coming up soon.



Sorry, one more thing. My time abroad has given me the chance to meet some really awesome and interesting individuals. However, I’ve also met a lot of people who we’re not so awesome. I feel that I’m more often than not a good person and I treat people with respect, unless given serious reason not too. However, having spent a lot of time defending myself as an American against people who’ve probably never even been to America has really become taxing. My tolerance for someone’s prejudice is pretty low and I’m trying really hard to be polite and not react, thus giving him or her more reason to dislike me or any other American’s they meet. I feel that these people, are no better than the person they accuse me of being. I’ve done nothing to them, and wouldn’t insult or offend them and yet I’ve been called a lot of names and been blatantly disrespected by complete strangers. I feel myself changing in response and I’m becoming more defensive and close-minded. It hasn’t been occurring enough to get this reaction from me. However, I still feel myself changing. I don’t like it. And hopefully this won’t be a permanent change. And when I get home, I’ll get back to loving everybody equally. Even if they have a giant hypocritical stick up their ass.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Building your first Photography Kit

I really enjoy helping people learn about a topic I’m passionate about. Like zombies. And photography. Photography probably being more practical… but ya know. I’ve just recently in the last year began building my photo/filmmaking kit. I’ve stretched myself thin buying the camera I want and a couple lenses. So I want to take a few minutes and give some lessons I’ve learned from others, and learned from my own experience (sometimes the hard way…) so that maybe you can improve, or at least get off to a better start than I did.

Now, it should be known, this may not work exactly right for everyone. But I will assume you’re a starving student like I was, choosing to buy equipment instead of eating, like I also did. However I don’t recommend this. Most artists’ work doesn’t become famous until after they’re dead. But that doesn’t mean you should rush the process. :p

Camera Body
All right, so you’re looking into a new camera, possibly your first. DSLRs are a beautiful way to go. Though they’re expensive to start with, they don’t have, as many recurring costs like Film will. DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex, which refers to the off set position of the lens and the eyepiece. A mirror reflects the image coming through the lens (which is upside down) up into a pentaprism, which flips the image right side up and makes it viewable for the photographer. When the camera trigger is pulled, the mirror is flipped out of the way, and then the film (or in the case of a DSLR the sensor) is exposed, creating the image. If you want more information about the process of film being exposed… uhh, we’ll go into that later. Right now I’m trying to help you build your basic kit. Stop distracting me :p haha

Why was all that important? It wasn’t really… except now you’ll understand why it’s called an SLR. So what brand do you buy? And then what model? Well… personally I feel this is based on a few things:
What are you doing with this camera? Is it strictly photography? Videography?
What’s your budget? Sky’s the limit? You’ve been saving for three years?
And finally what’s your experience level? A beginner may want something a little easier to learn on than something more "higher end."

**I’ve only used Canon’s and Nikon’s. So that is where my focus is going to be. I’ll stick more with Canon’s because that’s where I’ve been investing my money and in my opinion they’re the better camera. There’s nothing wrong with the other brands, but I’ll be referencing canon’s specifically as I don’t have as much personal experience with other brands.**

I think the biggest obstacle you’ll find is budget. Yes, it would be awesome to own the sweetest, fastest, hottest piece of technology out on the market… however if you’re just beginning, you’ll probably find this unnecessary. Both Canon and Nikon (and probably others as well) have several different models that fall into the different price ranges you’ll be looking at. For your first camera body, whatever your budget is, 2/3s of that should be for the body. Roughly. Just remember, camera bodies will come and go, lenses are the real investment.

So what are you doing with this camera? If it’s just for junior’s soccer game or family outings and you’d like minimal control of your functions… then I’d recommend a consumer level hand held camcorder. They’re a couple hundred dollars and they’ll do what you want. And this blog won’t apply too much to you.

Some of the things that should help determine which camera is in your best interest are the features. Things like:
The ISO rating (in DSLR terms, this is representative and not quite the same thing as it is in film.) which represents the sensitivity to light of the sensor. The higher the ISO, the more “noise” you’ll find in your image.

The size of the sensor. The larger the sensor, the more shallow Depth of Field (the amount of the shot, which is in focus) can become (which is one of the big reasons while moviemaking with DSLR’s is become so popular. This also increases the cameras sensitivity to light, allowing it to be used in lower light conditions with less noise.

How many pictures it can take in a second (though this is really only a crucial thing in sports photography and performance photography.)

These are some of the factors you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. Depending on what you’re using your camera for will help determine which camera to get.

So what are you using this camera for? I got off on a tangent a little bit trying to get you thinking about you’re really wanting to accomplish here. Traveling, and taking photos of the family. You’ll probably be fine with a simple point and shoot camera. However if you’re looking at something for art, portraits, or possibly sports photography then a DSLR is the way to go. Now evaluate whether you really need that “recording video” function. Is it really necessary? It is becoming standard on a lot of cameras, so you may not really need to worry about NOT getting it and instead you’ll just have it as an option.

I’m a filmmaker though. Photography is fun, and occasionally it pays the bills. But I bought my Canon 7d to help with making movies. Not all models have a physical button you push to start and stop video recording. Some you have to go into the menu and do it that way. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (the Canon 5d mk2 doesn’t have this function, but it’s sensor is bigger than the 7d resulting in a better image), however it’s annoying not to have a little switch on the body of the camera. Personally, I’d recommend you look at budget and see what you can afford. The Canon 7d gained popularity because it shoots 1080 at 24p (24p is the closest to cinema film cameras that digital cameras have come to so far.) and really gives it that filmic look. It also has other options like shooting at 30 frames per second, or 60 frames per second.

**Tangent to clarify. For those that are wondering: 1080 is what is defined as “high definition.” If you have a HD TV, it is probably 1080 pixels vertically. 24, 30, 60 are the number of frames per second in relation to the number of times a screen is refreshed. “P” or progressive and “I” for Interlaced refer to the way the image is refreshed. I can go into that some other time. Or feel free to Google it. There are a lot of people who are better informed than me. Or at least will explain it more clearly haha.

So really, when determining the body, it’s about budget. I wanted the 7d because it had the features I wanted. I happened to get a really good deal on it, but normally it’s going to cost you roughly $1600-1700 just for the body. The Canon Rebel t2i has almost identical internals as the 7d, but is half the price because it’s ISO isn’t as high, and its build isn’t quite as good of quality. Still a really good camera though. It can be found here.

To kit or not to kit lens…

Everywhere you go, you’ll hear professionals complain about the kit lens that comes with the camera. And they’re right too. It is not a great lens. It usually stretches from a wide angle to somewhere in the 100mm range and the largest aperture it has is usually f3.5. Which is not that great. Really, your decision to get the kit lens or not should be based on your budget again. If you’re set on the canon 7d and have an extra $2000 for lenses, don’t waste money on the kit lens. Buy the body, and take that extra $200 you saved and put it towards a better lens. If you’re already struggling and know that “2/3’s” of your budget for a body is stretching it, get the kit lens. It’s not a lens that will blow you away, but it will get the job done. And sometimes, when you’re just getting started that’s the most important thing. I did not buy a kit lens. Instead I bought a couple of prime lenses and found myself really wishing I had a lens with some focal variability. I eventually bought something a little better than the kit lens, but I’m already looking to replace it.

So look at your budget and decide what you can afford. And for the rest of this, I’m going to assume you’re reading this and wanting to shoot for filmmaking, not really photography. However, this will still be useful for beginning photographers, I’m just going to talk more about it from the filmmakers stand point as that’s what I know more of.

So regardless of what you’ve decided about your kit lens, you might want to look at some other lenses. If you’re going with Canon, you’re going to hear about the L series lenses. The cream of the crop (I’m not even sure what that saying means… but yeah) and the bee’s knees (again… weird way to describe awesome). And they are some of the finest glass you’re going to find. However… for filmmaking, these probably aren’t the way to go. First of all, their prices are very expensive for anything with an f-stop below 2.4. Second, they’re too sharp. A lot of reviewers complain that for filmmaking they are too crisp. I was surprised to see so many people say that you should NOT use L series lenses for Filmmaking with a DSLR.

Now, there are companies coming out with cinema style lenses that are designed to help the filmmaker bridge that gap between DSLR and Cinema lenses, some even modding their cameras to take cinema lenses (PL mounts, which permanently alter a DSLR’s body.). Companies like Zeiss, which are known for an extremely high focal radius, and sharp, fast glass. But these are going to cost you your first-born grandchildren.
That’s a bit extreme, but you get the idea. So lets look at some lenses that might be good if you want a kit with one, two or possibly three lenses.

The first one I bought, I adore and it’s probably the one that’s on my camera the most often. It’s a Canon 50mm EF 1.8, or the “nifty fifty.” It’s about $100 and for the price, you can’t go wrong. My only wish is that the focal ring we’re located in a different position, but… I won’t complain too hard at that price. For about $200 more you can get a 50mm 1.4 from canon, which I keep hearing is amazing. But that 1.8 works great for someone on a tight budget and I think it’s the first lens you HAVE to have for your kit if you’re going to be filmmaking.

**Note: this is a prime lens, and does not do any kind of zoom at all. That’s part of why it can have such a wide aperture and still be so cheap.

The second I feel is a must is one I wish I had known about earlier. It’s the Tokina 11-16mm EFS f2.8. I’ve used this lens for a project. It was awesome and having that slight variability in focal length was huge. It might be a little more spendy than you’d like to spend right away, so maybe save this purchase for a little later into your film career. It’s $700 and sometimes a bit of a trick to track down. I find several on, but if you’d like reviews to read, I’d recommend viewing the item on B&H.

**Note: notice the EFS after the focal length of the lens? Not in the link, but the actual description of the lens. That means it’s for a crop sensor, as found in the 7d, and t2i and 1d (although the 1d will vignette a bit with this lens). This camera was specifically built for the crop sensor in the named cameras. For full frame sensors, look for EF as found in the nifty fifty. All EF lenses will work on crop sensors, but EFS lenses won’t work for full frame sensors so keep that in mind. I’ll talk about that more later when I get to sensors.

Finally I think I think it’s important to have some variable focal length lenses, or zoom lenses. You’ll sacrifice larger apertures for affordability, but you’ll be able to cover a wider focal range. Which I think becomes important when you have to do some photography, or just to cover all your bases. This is an area where there’s a lot of debate. I’m still torn here, as I’m not sure what I want. I want L series lenses for photography, but that goes against what I said earlier for filmmaking. A lot of times, what I’ve read from the high-end professionals are: find two lenses that will cover your 28mm-100mm range, and then one that will cover your 100-300mm range. Chase Jarvis uses a Nikkor 24-70 and a Nikkor 70-200mm for his Nikon cameras. Although he’s a photographer. His video guy uses an 18-200mm Nikkor lens. It all just depends. For now… look for something that will cover the bases, and then later look to upgrade. That’s currently where I’m at.

Future Proofing:
This is kind of a simple idea: Bodies come and go, but lenses are the investment. Or lenses are forever. Lenses are a women’s best friend. Wait… well whatever version of this saying you, take and live by just remember that the lenses are what last. So when looking to buy lenses, for whatever camera you start to use, make sure they’re future proof. As in: EF lenses will work on all of Canon’s EOS DSLR’s. The EFS lenses will not however work on the full frame sensor found in the Canon 5d. So buying EFS lenses is fine, as long as you don’t upgrade to the 5d, which a lot of people seem to like to do. Just keep this in mind and pay attention to the lenses you’re getting. It would be awful to spend all your money on EFS lenses, upgrade to a 5d and realize you have no lenses to put on it. Shop smart! Shop S-Mart!

You probably know what a tripod is. It’s that three legged thing that stabilizes your camera. This is an essential piece of kit. And yes, you can buy tripods for as little as $100 and they’ll get the job done. This might not be a bad way to go. But if you’re looking for something with a little more class and something that acts more like a tripod used in filmmaking, then you’re looking for something with a “fluid head.” A fluid head simply allows for smooth pans (making the camera point left to right) tilt (look up and down.). There’s all sorts of cool and fancy things you can also get like hydraulic things that make the head piston up to get your camera higher, and spikes in the feet and things like this. You’ll also hear a lot of times that the only tripod worth getting is Manfrotto, or (insert another name here). What happens here is you end up paying more for the name than necessarily the quality of the tripod. Manfrotto is good, and you’d have a great tripod if you chose them. But there are several tripod companies that are less well known that work pretty well. However, this is an area that’s hard to tell you what YOU need. Personally I’d recommend going into a photography shop, trying several out with your camera on it, and then ordering it online (sorry small businesses…). There are a couple that you can get that seem to be pretty nice deals. The one I’m ordering comes with a bag for the tripod and dolly wheels. It’s $219, which is pretty hard to go wrong with.

Just remember:
Fluid head for smooth movements.
Some sort of leveling bubble, or some sort of leveling helper. DO NOT EYE BALL IT! Please. I beg you. Get a tripod with a leveling device.
A bag is nice.
Dolly wheels are totally unnecessary at this stage, but if they come with the tripod… why not.

Hopefully that helps a little bit. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but so much personal preference comes into buying the tripod, I really feel I can just say, “pick which one you can afford that you like the best.”

Here’s a list of several more things you really should squeeze into your budget. There are some things on here that I wish I had more of, and suffer from not having.

1. Batteries: I think when you’re just starting out; having a spare battery is probably sufficient. But two would be awesome. I desperately need a spare battery. Don’t make my mistake.

2. Memory cards: Whether it’s CF, P2 or SD, get spares. Odds are it’s going to be a CF or SD card (I don’t think any DSLR uses p2). The company I’m in love with is Transcend. I have two 16gb cards in both CF (400x speed) and SD (Class 6). Both have been used and abused and they haven’t even so much as had a hiccup. They’re a lot cheaper than the big name brands, but they’re the exact same cards just with a different label. You can pick them up on for ridiculous prices…
(SD Cards)
(CF Cards)
You will also want card readers for these as well…

3. A Bag to protect your investment. Now… keep in mind, big flashy very obvious camera bags are great for carrying your gear, and for letting thieves know what you’re packing. Try to find things that are inconspicuous. I’m studying abroad in Australia right now and my bag passes pretty well as just a regular backpack. And it holds a lot of stuff. But there’s others out there that to do just as well, and might save you a few bucks. Shop around; see what you like and check review. I’ll include the link to the bag I bought.
This bag is amazing for run and gun if you’re carrying a few lenses and gear. It’s been with me for 8 months now and hasn’t started to show any wear and tear while hiking or traveling to the other side of the world. I love this bag. Plus the left side panel makes grabbing your camera very smooth if you’re surprised by a nice photo opp. And the adjustability of the compartments inside allows me to store all the filters I could dream of. And cards. And hard drives. And everything.

Now the rest of these are not must haves, but highly recommended and are generally really cheap. If you can afford better than “really cheap” do it. Because you do get what you pay for.

1. Filters: like the bag protects your investment, a lot of people use UV filters to protect the glass on their lenses. When you’re just starting, it’s perfectly fine to use a simple Zeikos UV filter to protect your glass. Those other more expensive ones are better… but they can wait until you have the money to afford them. The nice thing about the cheap filters are they usually come in packs for $10-20 depending on the size of your lens and you’ll also get a polarizer and a florescent filter.
(link) (this is the exact set you should use for the nifty fifty.)

2. ND Filters: these allow you to cut the light entering the camera while maintaining the settings you’ve chosen (like aperture for example.) ND stands for Neutral Density. This aren’t really a priority, but you can also find them really cheap on I have seen some variable ND filters which will run you a lot more, but then you’re using one filter for up to four stops of light.

3. Lens pen: these are cheap and sometimes you can get them included in a kit that you’re buying on amazon (that’s how I got mine.) on one end is a brush that gets any large particles off your lens, and the other is a coal covered disk which picks up any smaller particles and removes smudges. At $10, you might as well…

So I think that’s it for getting you started… I really hope this helps. It’s a lot longer than I had intended, but feel free to leave me any comments below with specific questions that I might be able to help with. I had planned to write about sensors and depth of field, but this is already 7 pages in word without double spacing and a lot longer than I had intended. So yeah ☺ good luck and let me know how it goes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Buried" - Rodrigo Cortés

I have much respect for Alfred Hitchcock. The man was an innovator and cinematic genius. So much of him still lives and is regurgitated and emulated in films it’s absurd. There are many people who have tried to do what he has done and in my opinion they all fall severely short.

I saw the film “Buried” with Ryan Reynolds last night. I loved it. I had a little bit of a rough time watching 80 minutes of a movie with someone in a box, but that’s because I’m claustrophobic. I’m sure I upset my neighbors as I writhed and wiggled trying to get comfortable, but I found myself unable to look away from the screen. I was mesmerized.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with “Buried,” it’s a film about a truck driver who is kidnapped, buried in a coffin with a cell phone and a lighter and given two hours to get the money for his ransom, or he will be left to die. That was a horrible sentence I just wrote. But anyways… the premise might seem basic enough, or even seem like some other films you’ve seen before.

Here’s where it differs. Your main character is in a coffin. Probably 1x2x.75meters. And this is where your film takes place. How do you make this interesting for 80 minutes? What about lighting? Changing camera angles? How would you even get a camera in there? The filmmaker rocked in all of these categories. At no point was I bored. In fact, I spent the movie angry, frustrated, exhausted and helpless. The full gamut of emotions felt by the lead actor of this film.

As an aspiring filmmaker I paid close attention to how the shots are worked. How to get in that close to your subject and not make the shots boring or feel repeated as time goes on. I felt this was actually one of the strongest points of the movie (followed closely by Reynolds performance). And the extremely clever uses of lighting used in the film add to the tension. I kept getting a small smirk every time a new color was used in the scene and how there was a completely realistic reason for it. Anyways, moving on.

Ryan Reynolds. I really like this guy. And I think it’s really smart to use a comedic actor in this kind of role. Yes, a dramatic actor could do the job fine. But Reynolds attacks it and makes the timing his own. He delivery of some of the lines serve to break up the tension so that it stays bearable for the audience. If it hadn’t been for this, I don’t think I could have made it through the film. Please also note, that if I seem vague it’s because I feel important you just experience the film knowing as little as possible. More of this may make sense after you’ve seen the film.

Why did I mention Alfred Hitchcock? Watch the movie… specifically the opening credits. Nothing says “I want to be the next Hitchcock” by doing an homage to his opening credits (sequences like the one at the opening of Vertigo were created by Saul Bass.), and with that I really believe he set out to make the next Hitchcockian film (I didn’t coin that term.). Did he succeed? In some places, I believe he succeeded really well. Was it as good as a Hitchcock film? No. but it’s probably the closest I’ve ever seen someone come to really appealing to me in the way Alfred Hitchcock’s films did.

Ok. Now I just noticed something weird about the characters names… I’m wondering if they were named after characters from Hitchcock’s films…
Paul Conroy
Dan Brenner
Mark White
Alan Davenport
Linda Conroy

Wow talk about a bust. For some reason I thought there was some tie to the characters in buried and the names of those in several Hitchcock films. I was very wrong… considering the only character who’s name was even close to that of one I found in a Hitchcock film was a character named Brenner in “The Birds. (1963)”

Anyways, I think it’s a great film. But I know a lot of people will be angry and upset. Boohoo get over it :p or if you really don’t like it. Leave a comment and tell me why. Please say something more than “it was so dumb. What a waste of my time.” Elaborate please. ☺

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Hi. I believe I mentioned that this blog would be moving towards more of a photography and travel and adventure blog and I would begin to leave behind the wonderful world of aus. And so I want to take a few minutes to talk about photography and my rapidly growing obsession with it. Ironically… I won’t be posting any pictures in this (hopefully) brief update.

I love photography. Or more truthfully filmmaking. Rolling a camera on some subject and trying to get the world to see things the way that I do. I’ve been reading every blog and journal and every other source of material I can get my hands on. And I do this until my eyes hurt and my brain shuts down. As my tolerance and excitement increases, the length of time I can do this for also increases. I’ll realize I’ve been perusing these sites of filmmakers and journalists for hours on end and even noticing the sun coming up occasionally. This does not help me finish strong in my last two weeks as a College student.

However, I can’t seem to help myself. I feel like I have so much to learn and I don’t want to stop. I’ve read up on the equipment and lenses and things and seen who feels what’s important to someone’s kit and everything… being on an extremely tight and non-existent budget, I find myself lusting for a lot of expensive toys I can’t afford yet. Which is fine. I can be patient. But reading all these things and seeing the potential of what each piece of equipment will add… I can’t help but get excited. Haha

Currently I’m borrowing a sigma 10mm fish eye for my Canon 7d. the reason was originally to film some Parkour guys downtown in Brisbane this morning. But for the third Saturday in a row, it rained and for the third Saturday in a row… I found no one doing parkour at the place they were supposed to be, at the time they were supposed to be there. It’s getting a little frustrating. I went around still trying to make the most of it, but eventually the feelings of dissapointment and the warmer than desirable rain made me pack up and head home meaning I only took about… 20 pictures. None of which I liked.

Aside from just reading up on lenses and “how to” be awesome with a cameras, I’ve been reading editing techniques, watching tutorials, storing information away for reference and use at a later date. But eventually all the reading and the studying and everything else will only carry me so far. I need to shoot more. Edit more. I want my computer (iMac 27” i7 with 8gb RAM) which is sitting me, nestled up in a corner back in the states missing me very much I’m sure. My laptop can get the job done… eventually. However it takes an eternity compared to my girl back home.

So I’m trying to place a focus on my film work. Shooting, recording, practicing and trying to hone my skills. I want to know my camera inside and out. Originally, I shot with Nikons because their price was closer to my budget. However, the desire to shoot 24p on the 7d eventually won out and I upgraded and began building my kit.

Currently, my minimalistic equipment bag looks like this:
Canon 7d with 1 battery.
Canon 28mm EF f2.8
Canon 50mm EF f1.8
Canon 75-300 EF f3.5-5.6
Canon 28-135 EF f3.5-5.6

And that’s it. I don’t even have a legitimate tripod. But that’s next on my list, followed by a shoulder mount, tokina 11-16mm lens and then an h4n Zoom for audio. But those are quite a ways off. I’ll have to continue to make due and borrow what I can when I can.

I feel myself getting inspired constantly from these professionals that I’m following. Their work is just so far beyond my current skill level and I want so badly to learn from them. I find myself thinking of new script ideas… playing at my weaknesses to hopefully make them strengths. Seeing what excuses to practice compositing techniques I can find (I want to make a video where I go “super-saiyan” and blow up my lap top.) and improve my skills. I’m grabbing at every opportunity I can find to shoot. I’ve been a little let down lately like I said. But I’m hopeful that these other upcoming events will give me some good content to work with.

And I’ve been trying to get into contests. I recently entered a contest here in Australia. Winner gets $50,000 to turn their web-series idea into a full fledged production. And I’m excited. Even though I entered late and my production quality isn’t on par with some of my extremely talented competitors, it’s still practice. And it only fuels me more… you can see the trailer here:

as some of you know, this is a trailer to a series I did for my senior project at Central Washington University. 4 short films in 10 weeks. It turned out amazing considering we had no budget, no time for errors and several things not go as planned (this is always the case though.). I was very pleased with the final product and grateful to everyone who helped out. I had hoped that maybe winning this contest would provide an opportunity to rewrite and reshoot. Regardless of whether I win or not, I would like to rework this storyline and then eventually reshoot some or all of it.

Other contests I am working towards entering have prizes such as free round trip tickets for two to Australia, or an ipad and so on. I’ve stored a lot of usable footage for this contest in particular and have two weeks to finish and get my entry submitted.

I’m also heading to Sydney soon to spend several days with some friends. I am really looking forward to this. I was nervous that I wouldn’t get to travel and see some of the places I want to. I’ve conceded to the fact that I don’t have the money to see everything I’d like… but I’m sure coming back in a few years when I’m more financially stable is a possibility. Or probability.

I’m just rambling. But I feel bad for not updating this more often… so you’re kind of getting all the thoughts that come through my head while I try to catch you up.

I get home in 6 weeks. Some of the first things I intend to do are find work and begin setting money aside. There are also some projects that I would like to do at and around my parents house. They have a lot of cans that I’d like to take in (I can keep what I get for them), and I’d also like to clear out a lot of things that have accumulated in my room and while I was gone. A lot of things I can sell and put away for use later. Like some old props that I don’t need. Toys that I probably won’t get money for, but my nephews might enjoy, or I can give them to the goodwill or something. I just find myself really wanting to place less of a financial and spatial burden on my parents. They’ve done so much for me and it’s time I at least try to start returning the favor.

I’d also like to build a jib and Slider for use on shoots. I think these pieces of equipment will be invaluable, even though they won’t get used all the time. Building them myself saves me about 90% on the total cost… and it’s fun. If you’re interested I can post the links to the DIY’s I found, and at the very least, I’ll post vids of how they turn out.

And lastly: conventions. These are huge for making connections and friends in the industry. Or industries… there are conventions going on all year in different parts of the country. I’m not currently in a position to attend these. However, there are some local ones that I’d like to look into.

Chase Jarvis (professional photographer sometimes does lighting seminars in Seattle, Washington, where you go in for a night or day, or length of time and learn several different elements to lighting off camera with strobes, or with studio lights. At the previous seminar (I guess this is more seminar than convention lol) the strobist, David Hobby ( made an appearance and helped teach as well. Both of these guys are phenomenal photographers. And I would love to get paid to do what they do…

The other one that I’m looking at getting tickets too appeals to the nerd in me more than the photographer/videographer. Comic-con 2011 tickets go on sale in November. For those of you who don’t know, comic-con is a giant convention for everything Nerd. From comic books (as the title of the con suggests) to tv shows and games and everything in between. There are short seminars where you get updates to your favorite shows and news on movies that are coming out. Can get signed pictures with some of your favorite stars and ask them questions. Realizing just how awesome it would be to attend this (finally, after having wanted to go for so long…) I asked my nerdiest friends Michael, James, and Kyle to go with me. I’m not sure it’ll actually happen. But $100 for a 4 day event in California is pretty freaking sweet… I gotta say. And that would be a great opportunity to run around with my camera and any new equipment I may have. ☺ plus there will be some other conventions and contests going on around that time.

Ok so I apologize that this got so random and disorganized. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures from the “one day on earth” shoot that I’m during on 10/10/10 to post in my next blog and I’ll actually be semi-on-topic.

Have a goodnight. ☺