Category Archives: Thoughts
I let myself get off game and sent gear out without proper insurance and backup and of course bad stuff happened.
Spent the next day completely ineffective and angry. Head spinning and thinking why would I not follow my own policies and procedures.
At heart I am a creative and while I have run businesses for a long time I always feel at home in the creative position.
I struggle now to automate a business and live a life by design and not by chance.
Oh well. I guess thats why you set up systems and follow them. I would think that after all the experience doing this I wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes.
$10,000 lesson – Don’t rent gear to unknowns without proper deposits and insurance.
Steadicam brings Dynamic Movement to any production and with over 15 years experience as a Operator and Steadicam operator on Television series, Music videos, Commercials and Feature Films, I can bring the necessary ability to complete even the most difficult shots a director can design.
The package includes the following equipment:
Complete Steadicam Pro Bar Bel System:
Sled – with 2” titanium post and electronics – one of the most versatile and stable sleds on the market.
Monitor – TransVideo Cinemonitor III Color LCD Daylight viewable – HI RES and great off angle viewing
Transvideo Frameline generator
RedByte HD –SDI Converter
Bar Bel Arm – 20-70 pound range with titanium springs – smooth and high quality arm
Steadicam Vest – Modified MKIII steadicam vest
Available With Rig (Additional Rental Fees)
Bartech wireless Follow Focus – 1 channels with M1 Motors – accurate, quiet and powerful
Terradek HD Video Transmitter – High quality HD wireless video
Modulus 3000 – Industry standard UHF transmitter with sharkfin attenna and receiver
Docking Bracket – for sled – vest – arm resting and balancing
Various cabling – for all major film and video cameras, Panavision, Arriflex, Moviecam, Cinealta & Varicam
Low Mode Bracket – for cameras without low mode adapters
Weight Sled – for small cameras such as the Canon 5Dmk3 or other DSLR cameras.
Dovetail plates – 3 sizes for all camera systems
Gyros – For added stability on vehicle mounts and hi wind situations
Antlers – For added stability
Vehicle mount – Jerry Hill vehicle mount for any mounting situation: cars – ATV’s – motorcycles and helicopters.
Beautiful shots at competitive rate. We bring experience and style to any production.
So I am working on putting more thoughts to pen – keyboard – internet. Both to improve my writing and to track a life lived. I just watched an old demo reel of mine from 10 years ago and laughed but enjoyed it. Lots of car chases, girls and explosions. Here’s the link –
I have lived life full throttle and definitely wanted to experience many things. Now I see that I have to give some of that back and teach – talk – blog about experiences and how things have worked well and not so well for me. Its actually enjoyable, difficult, therapeutic and something I hope I can keep up with.
One thing for me has been to stay on path. I have be a DP and camera operator my whole professional career but it can be such a wide an varied industry that you can get sidetracked in many ways. Self motivation is key. Next it seem to be self promotion (Which I am horrible at but intend to improve) I have worked with so many people over the years, so many faces and connections that come and go in the blur of production. But I am thankful to each and every one. All experiences in the end are positive, whether in the situation they were horrible or fantastic the add up as the building blocks of life and I am grateful for every moment I have spent shooting and working in the production world.
This business is a craft, with a bunch of art, technical ability, and some situational luck thrown in. When I first started all I wanted to do was load some film in a camera and capture an image, as time progressed I realized that those images had to tell a story in a sensible way. So I watched the past work of masters, went to learn from the current greats, and had lots of trial and error on film.
Today in the digital age we can get so lost in the instant nature of imaging, the shear crushing volume of youtube, social media, and the instagraming of life. But with this instant imaging it brings capabilities that are incredible. My 5D creates an image comparable (or maybe better) for no cost as I used to make with my Arri SR S16 package that wile I felt was a great camera, still cost money and time for film, developing, Telecine, digitizing and finally the editing.
Now with the 5D I can do it quickly and test things that normally would take days in hours. As a young filmmaker you have the tools now to shoot and create and make mistakes, art, anything ! This if taken advantage of is truly a great thing.
Despite the noise of too much media! (more pics, video, words have been stored in the past 4 years than all of previous history) I am confident that the future of creativity is bright and the filmmakers coming up now will be thinking writing and creating projects that will exceed anything every made before in creativity and technical ability.
I hope I can be part of a few projects like this!
Here are my basic setup notes for my Canon 7D. I shoot primarily Wide Angle and use these settings –
My Basic lens setup is either a Tokina 11-16 2.8 or a Canon 16-35 L series 2.8
Camera in manual mode. I prefer this mode as I can make quick adjustments for stills and in video I use it only changing the ISO to Auto.
Menu 1 Settings –
Quality – RAW
Red Eye – off
Beep – On
Review Time – 2 seconds – Allows for a quick glance but doesn’t kill the battery
Peripheral illunin. correct. – Disable
Flash Firing – Enable – I use an Ikelight housing currently with YS90 strobes so I use all manual power settings on the strobes – I will do a additional Post just on strobe lighting as it is an art unto itself.
Menu 2 Settings –
Expo.com./AEB – 0 as I shoot in manual mode this doesn’t affect my exposure.
Auto Lighting Optimizer – Disabled. Can mess with your exposure in unintended ways
White Balance – This can be a bit tricky. I have been using AWB with good results lately. At first I always dialed in my color temp, and I still do in circumstances I can control my lighting. In the open ocean in California – AWB has been the best results for me this year. In Asia it was better setting my color.
Color Space — Adobe RGB – gotta fit in with the standard!
Picture Style – I use neutral as a base. I do have a Cine Style setting I use when working with models underwater. I will do another post focused on underwater models and have setting ideas there.
ISO Auto – I use Max 3200 – Super grainy but can save a shot in a pinch. I do like to keep the ISO as low as possible – usually 160 or 320
Live View Shoot – Enable – Sometimes I have to look at video screen to see pics so this mode can be useful. Makes for slower stills at times
AF Mode – Live Mode – I use the AF-On Button to set focus. I read that focusing on your fins first is useful and since then I have used this technique in the open ocean or when there are lots of particles that con confuse the AF.
Grid Display – off
Metering timer – 10 minutes – I like being able to see exposure at a glance and at the 1 minute setting I am missing it to often UW.
C.Fn I: Exposure
1. Exposure leve increments – 1/3 stop for more accurate exposure
2 ISO speed settings – 1/3 stop for more accurate exposure
3.Exposure ISO expansion – OFF – Some people like this but I have found it to be too grainy at the extremes.
4.Bracketing Auto cancel – ON
5 Bracketing sequence – ): 0.-.+ Hardly ever use bracketing but when I do I prefer this sequence
6.Exposure safety shift ; disable
7. Exposure Flash sync.- Auto
C.Fn II: Image
1. Long Exp. Noise reduction. – off not useful underwater
2. High ISO Speed noise reduction – Standard
3.Image Highlight tone Priority – Disable – can cause overexposure in the highlights
C.Fn III: Autofocus/Drive
1. AI Servo Tracing Sensitivity – I put this one to the right of the middle. Fast but not max
2. AI Servo 1st/2nd Imag priority – 3:Release/tracking priority – to help keep objects
3. AI Servo AF Tracking Method – 0:Main Focus Point Priority – I like to get focus on my subject then move the camera to keep it in focus.
4. Lens Drive When AF impossible: 1:focus search off
5. AF Microadjustment – Disable
6. Select AF area selec. mode
7. Manual AF pt. select pattern – O:stops at af area edges
8. VF Display illumination – Auto
9. Display all AF points – 0:disable
10. Focus display in AI servo/MF – 0:Enable
11. AF beam assisted firing – disable – doesn’t work in housings
12. Orientation linked AF point – 0:same for both Vertic/horiz.
13. mirror lockup – disable
I use the settings on the back by either hitting menu twice or the info button 3 times then the Q (with a box around it) to be able to edit these on the fly (adjusting exposure through iso, aperture or shutter speed)
I tend to start out at 125 shutter at 32o iso and a 4 or 5.6 stop as a base setting and go from there. I sometimes use the same setting but put the iso on auto to help with exposure but still give me a focused sharp subject. I would rather have it get a bit grainy then lose sharp exposure or create blur from motion.
Next time I’ll break down of few photos.
As September begins I wanted to take a quick look back at an incredible packed summer. Both with work and travel, family fun and a few trials as well.
Summer started off to a bang with a great campaign for Pure Michigan. Working with Arthur Jeon – Director and Leah Lessard Producer of Om Base Productions www.OmBaseProductions.com . We had a fantastic shoot with a great local crew in Northern Michigan. The spots turned out extremely well and I fell in love with Northern Michigan. Mackinac Island is incredible and I only wish that I could have spent more time there! Lake Michigan is also a wonder of the world, I wish I had time to dive there and see some of the wrecks and life that lies beneath its surface.
In July I started my PADI IDC – Instructor Development Course. I have been a Divemaster for a few years and thought it would be a great step for me. Hone my diving skills and learn to teach. I intend to certify a few divers and teach some great underwater photo workshops in the near future. If anyone is interested in a incredible vacation to Thailand this Winter to Dive and learn some great photography tips (as well as get a PADI Advanced Underwater Certification) send me an email!
The course was a life changing experience – 6 weekends taught through Sports Chalet in West Hills by Perry Boyer A extremely experienced Course Director and all around great guy. I went from not feeling comfortable teaching, to being ready and looking forward to enjoying the experience. The IE (instructor exam) was conducted at PADI in Rancho Santa Margarita and on Catalina Island. A bit harrowing but I passed!
One of the things I have realized is that after working in the film industry for the past 2 decades is that I have accumulated a bit of knowledge. Now I feel ready to give back. Both through instructing and a bit of charity work. Giving makes me feel very happy.
In July I also shot a great Campaign for Toyota. Shooting the 2014 4Runner. Its a fantastic Truck. Tough like you wouldn’t believe and filled with some Great Hi Tech electronics. The system integrates everything from your Iphone, GPS, Satellite Radio / internet, maps, etc. The off road capability is incredible as well. It has some great functions that make traveling difficult terrain a breeze. This Project was directed by Chris Nolan and produced by Laurie Nolan at 90.000ft. http://90000feet.com/Home_-_Recent_Work.html They are a team I truly enjoy working with and have done many projects with over the past several years.
In August I shot at CSUN a new Exercise video called Katami. This program created by the top trainer at Equinox – Paul Katami is going to be the next P90X but better as the program is aimed at all body types and really steps up progressively and safely. Paul is an inspirational trainer and just an incredible guy. Over the previous 100 days myself and a small crew shot the progress of the test group going through the training and the results were amazing. It inspired the director Cameron Casey that he got into training and has lost 30+ pounds of fat and added tons of muscle – He’s a BEAST!!! The project was done through the Archeus Agency with Cameron Casey my longtime partner directing and Susan Agostinelli Producing. WWW.ARCHEUSAGENCY.COM
The location at CSUN was amazing – a new sports facility that opened last year. Perfect to show off the new training methods Paul is introducing to the world.
After I finished the Katami job I took a road trip with Arwen, Aidan and Rob Gosch through Arizona and the Grand Canyon, down to UFO land at Roswell New Mexico and across the West Texas Oil Field to see Ethan Gosch graduate 8 months of intensive Army training – At an Airforce base. I am extremely proud of Ethan and now he makes his way to Germany and beyond to help keep America secure. I wish him safety and a fantastic experience in Europe. The road trip continued with a stop to survive a tornado that landed as we were getting food at Rallys at the Texas/New Mexico Border. The kids were scared but we survived the winds and golf ball sized hail. My gopro was running in the car so I’ll post some footage soon. We continued on stopping to visit Rob’s childhood friend in Albuquerque NM and a quick jaunt up to Santa Fe to check out the Art galleries there. From there we drove to the Painted Desert (frigging beautiful) and the Petrified Forest. Wood into stone is amazing.
Then we hammered another long drive back to LA and the “real world”
On to September — A feature film starting and tons of prep!!!!
I work at a crossroads. Photography, Diving, Flying, Writing, all come together in a type of confusion that I want to sort into synergy. Images have ruled my life since childhood. A TV Addict I have stopped paying for cable, A movie addict I only attend with Children. I want to always expand my knowledge and boundaries, spending my time thought energy on learning and practicing new skills combined with exploration. I have a lived a life less traveled and mostly documenting the world around me. Its a good feeling as I approach the halfway point. All is unknown like a brilliant shining star, but a path exists that I will make on this next part of the journey. I can’t Wait!!!!
Today I am working on both marketing myself and healing myself. Been injured with broken foot and eye and a heart…. But now I can talk about it
Today I updated this site removing some stupid ads that I couldn’t find out until now how they were linked onto the site.