I had planned on writing this post a few weeks ago but certain things kept me from starting. The timing is actually perfect as today Canon announced their new Canon 1D X. The 1D X is Canon’s next big camera with all of the features anyone could ask for…Typically just after such an announcement all of the interwebs explode with gear lust. Even the Nikon shooters chime in noting that Nikon will announce a new model within a few weeks and of course it will have a better this or that.
I’ve written before that it isn’t about your gear and we know it’s a matter of what you do with it. But it seems every time a friend or co-worker begins the search for a camera they start to read…then read some more and the pressure starts. They read about the Digital Rebel being a good entry level camera….and then an expert writes that the Nikon is slightly better because you can shoot raccoons in your backyard in pure darkness. They go on to read about their “need” for a prime lens and how shooting jpegs isn’t the way to go. It goes on and on and they feel the pressure. The Rebel isn’t good enough anymore….they need the Canon 5D because someone told them they do.
I saw the picture above while driving one day and knew it would make the perfect example for a post on photography peer pressure. I’m guessing if Mike had called around or looked at selling land on the internet he would have read about how he had to have a custom sign with his realtors photo on it….bold graphics with a catchy phrase….and others would have told him how he should run an ad in Los Angeles Realty magazine.
Maybe Mike knows what works and went with what he had. His name, a sign and his phone number. Maybe Mike sells property all the time with this simple method. Learn from Mike and keep it simple…
How often are you gonna shoot raccoons in the dark? Ignore the pressure.Read More/Leave Comment
Just over a year ago the 2010 Red Bull Rampage came to a close with Cam Zink as the overall winner. Glad I’m not a judge in this event as all of the runs had something special in them. It’s one of those events where television and the internet just don’t quite show you what it’s really like. Big..fast..crazy..and an amazing amount of talent.
Since Red Bull runs the event every other year there will not be a Rampage this year….so I offer up a few more photos of last years event below.
Looking forward to 2012.
Keep an eye on Redbull’s site for details on the 2012 event.
Click images for a larger view.
Read More/Leave Comment
After months of waiting and watching the trailer probably 50 times, I received my copy of the Art of Flight. Upon opening the slick black case with its subtle graphics I discovered two discs. One Blu ray and one standard DVD. Thanks guys an extra point for providing both versions. I put that Blu ray in…turned on the surround sound and then it happened….the movie began and the lies started flowing out like a dam break. Confused? Yeah I was too…there is no way this movie wasn’t shot on a green screen. The images were mind blowing…too good! I began to craft a strongly worded letter in my mind of what I was going to say when I wrote the guys at Brain Farm. I was quickly interrupted when the action started. Duped again…impossible snow board moves that could only be crafted by a master of CGI. By this time I knew writing the letter would be easy because I had even more fuel for my fire. I would somehow manage to finish this movie trying to contain my ooohs and aaahs keeping in mind it was all smoke and mirrors.
Instead of writing a letter I thought I’d use the power of the internet and write a blog post about my experience. I did in fact buy this movie and I did sit back and watch it. And couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole night. I’m hoping by now you know I’m kidding about the green screen and CGI stuff….The Art of Flight is amazing! I’d type up a bunch of reasons that you should own it, but I’ll just suggest you watch the trailer again…and then buy it.
I’m really looking forward to see what’s next from Brain Farm.Read More/Leave Comment
A friend of mine, Charles Mcpadden, has spent numerous hours over the last few months putting together a narrated slide show documenting a friends loss….and the events surrounding it.
I thought it was worth sharing here.
Happy to have a full page shot in this months Dirt Rag Magazine. This is a shot I’ve been holding on to hoping to get published somewhere and it’s nice to see it in print.Read More/Leave Comment
If you follow my photography at all you already know I’m a big fan of off camera flash. When I’m thinking of future shots I usually have my light kit in mind. Bringing the light kit to the BMX track isn’t really an option for me. I think it’s too dangerous to have all that gear right next to the track. So my option becomes using on camera flash via the Canon 580ex. When I think on camera flash it’s usually 2nd curtain sync. 2nd curtain in a nutshell allows the flash to go off at the very end of your exposure. This allows me to shoot at extremely slow shutter speeds and still freeze the action.
The results with 2nd curtain can be very interesting and allows you a ton of freedom to experiment. I wont go into the tech details of the process, but will provide a link if you want to read more on the process.
Took me a while to get back into the groove of having the flash on the camera and remembering what settings were needed. I did at least remember where to turn on 2nd curtain on the 580.
Click images for larger views.
Shot with the: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4 and Canon 580ex flashRead More/Leave Comment
I was able to attend a local 9/11 anniversary event yesterday…..Interesting to hear the first hand account of World Trade Center survivor Judith Dawn Francis who was interviewed by Pastor Todd Clark of Discovery Church.Read More/Leave Comment
I kept hearing all the hype of big waves in Southern California all of last week..decided to go a take a look for myself. Took a quick early morning trip to Point Dume and was greeted by morning fog. Didn’t make for great action shots, but did get some landscape shots that I am happy with. Put together a little video too. Click images for a larger view….Read More/Leave Comment
The jump from camcorder to DSLR by Jerry Hooper
I made the jump. I went from HDVC, hi-def video camcorder, to a DSLR, Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. I saw what these new DSLR cameras could do, and I wanted in. I had to have the incredible high quality images taken from one of those ‘really nice cameras’. So, I jumped, and at the sticker price, there would be no going back.
On Tuesday, I shot for the last time with my Canon Vixia HV30. I cannot even remember what the footage was of. On Wednesday, I unboxed a new Canon 7d. On Saturday I was in the field testing; a swimming party. Remember the television show LOST? That would be me standing by the pool – camera in hand with the bewildered look on my face. LOST.
I felt like the old dog learning new tricks must have felt like; at a complete and utter loss. Suddenly, nothing about shooting video was familiar. There was no tape, no tape eject button. There was no zoom push/pull button. Without a doubt, I was not in Kansas anymore. On a whim, I flipped a switch that said ’Video mode’ and and pressed the record button. The camera geared up, clicked, something spun and locked in place. In that moment, I felt a rush of excitement. My heart rate jumped, I became shaky and giddy; like a kid with a new toy. This was an excitement that came in 24 frames per second, or in 720p, or however I wanted it. The 7d and I were live.
Like any videographer would do, I placed my eye up against the eye peice. Nothing. Puzzled, I backed away from the camera body and looked at the display, I was filming the fence. Nice. The swimmers were nowhere to be found in the frame. Repoised and slightly the 7d wiser, I once again slowly raised the camera display. I saw the red recording light; I saw swimmers. I said to myself, “This here footage is going to be epic and maybe even viral, if it gets enough views.” My euphoria came to a screeching halt when I realized what would come next: focusing. Manual focusing while holding the camera. Keeping the camera steady. Picking the right shutter speed and aperture settings all at the same time. I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat.
A few weeks have passed since the epic swim party field test shoot and the learning is still, how do you say; curving? For example, the choice of lenses are unending, I’m not used to changing lenses for video. Now I use a smart card and a card reader. Importing footage is a cinch. Ten minutes of video doesn’t mean ten minutes of importing like it meant with tape. All of the camera settings are manual; almost nothing in video mode is automatic. The results, however, are surreal. The picture quality is like in comparison to viewing photos in a plastic photo album to seeing a movie at IMAX. Remember that feeling all you veterans out there?
The ability of this DSLR is incredible and I have not even begun to tap its arsenal of features that’ll make me look like a pro. With great anticipation I eagerly anticipate my next shoot.
And if you are wondering, my epic swim video has 47 views.Read More/Leave Comment
Tiger Woods won’t let me be his new caddy. Honestly I haven’t called him to apply, but I think it’d be a pretty cool job. I’ve played a round or two of golf each year since I was a kid and I have a decent set of golf clubs. I watch at least 30 minutes of the major tournaments and have even been to Tiger’s tournament here in SoCal. I’ll go as far as saying there have been a few people impressed with how far I can drive a golf ball. Doesn’t make me qualified you say? I’m crazy to even be thinking about it? Maybe so…
The paragraph above does sound crazy now that I type it out…but how different is it than today’s crop of photographers, myself included. When does the switch go off in our brains that say “yes I’m going to go out and become a photographer”? We had a class in high school and maybe even shot some photos with a Polaroid when we were younger. We own a decent camera…perhaps one that is a few steps above entry level. Maybe we’ve impressed our friends with some photos we’ve taken and ran them through a few steps in Photoshop. They ask us to take their Christmas card photos or shoot their cousins wedding for free. We read how-to’s online and some attend a workshop put on by a “real” pro. We post some shots on Facebook and our friends “Like” them and stroke the ego even more. Then I guess it happens….the next step….it must be starting your own photography business. Another “cool” job!
I’m not saying that it can’t happen. And I don’t think Im comparing apples and oranges here. I’m wondering why it sounds so much easier than being Tiger’s new caddy. Maybe like my golf game it should remain a hobby?
Anyone have Tiger’s number?Read More/Leave Comment