Category Archive for: ‘resources’
Ernie Chang is one of my fans from Taipei, Taiwan. I stumbled upon his work after he sent me a message on my Facebook Fan Page. One of the pieces in particular that he had shot intrigued me and when I inquired about how it was done, I was blown away by its sheer simplicity.
Before reading away, I challenge you to take a guess on how it was done!
Long before I started photography, I was always a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy art. I remember hanging on DeviantArt all day, and never missing an issue of ImagineFX. I was especially fascinated with themes that dealt with paintings or virtual creations coming to life, so naturally came the desire to portray them. Never did it occur to me that I could use photography to tackle this theme because I assumed it would either lead to terrible cosplay, or cheesy photo-manipulation. I tried to learn painting and illustration but I just had no talent for it, eventually I moved on. I went on to study Industrial Design in University, and had photography as a hobby.
When I decided to take photography more seriously about two years ago, I started shooting tons of portraits, products, and fashion, and learned to appreciate the great masters such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Steven Meisel. It taught me a lot about lighting and fashion photography, but never quite suppressed the desire to create. So I started conceptualizing ideas what would integrate some of my inspirations to create something fresh.
I wanted to portray a virtual 3D body coming to real life under exposure to light. The first image I pictured in my head was a half-virtual, half-real person done in the same shot. It’s an analogy to a child being born. The light represents exposure to the outside world, resulting in the loss of purity and innocence. I planned it so that the viewer only sees the grid of a body in the first shot, which later reveals itself to be an imperfect nude figure.
The flash lighting was simple: one cheap flashgun coming from the right, and behind the subject. Where the light doesn’t reach, I am left with areas of black which I fill with dotted ambient light. The dots are just round label stickers
available at any stationery store which I spray-painted with a coat of glow-in-the-dark blue paint that you can purchase here
. The glowing stickers, aligned rigidly, create a grid-like effect when the lights are turned off, which was what I needed.
and the setup…
Finding a Model
The shoot required a fully nude, skinny, long-haired model. Since I was on a tight budget, I tried to find someone that would be interested in my project to shoot without any compensation. So on my Facebook fan page I half-jokingly posted: “Looking for someone to sacrifice their body for the sake of art,” and didn’t think much of it. But eventually my classmate picked it up and passed it on to her friend who contacted me to talk about it. It turns out that she was a fine arts student photographing a series of her own nude body as a graduation project. When I told her about my idea, she was quite happy to help out. Moral of the story: ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE!
Setting the Camera
Flash/strobe lighting is significantly brighter than the glowing stickers so to compensate for that, I exposed for the lowest flash intensity and dragged the shutter for an eight-second exposure to capture the glowing light. During this time, the model had to be completely still to avoid any motion blur. When I fired a first test shot, I forgot to change the white balance (left at 3000K), and it produced the exact blue tone I was looking for, no gels or post-production required! The whole set is shot using the Fujifilm X-E1
with XF 35mm f1.4
lens. With an ISO set to 400, and an aperture at F5.6, with a shutter speed of 8 seconds, I shot away:
I am quite pleased with how the results came out am now currently looking for more models to take this concept further. If you’re interested in getting involved, do send me a message on my fan page! I’m also quite curious to see what Von Wong’s going to do with my technique, as he’s promised to do something with it!
I think it doesn’t take that much to carry out an idea. Just keep it simple and use your resources effectively. The lack of gear or funding does not suffice as an excuse to be unproductive. With a little knowledge and some planning, it is not so hard create something unique. Just experiment and have fun with it!
Model and I
For those of you who are curious, here are a couple other projects that I’ve been playing with. I’m slowly starting to develop my own methods in finding new ways use them in commercial photography.
Smoking Speakers concept design. For this shot, I used light painting to accentuate the pitch-black product, while having strobes to light the product nicely.
Atrox concept car design. Light painting by Ernie Chang, lensed by Joe Russo.
More of my work can be found at www.lightmare.net and www.facebook.com/lightmare.ec
Today I’d like to present to you guys a very interesting photographer that I met over in Amsterdam. Richard’s the half-black/half Asian Dutch version of myself (yes, I know, quite confusing). He is hyper, is motivated by creation, loves networking and more often than not takes on more projects he can chew. When I asked him how he managed, he told me how he generated more than 24 hours within a day: Delegating. Without further ado, let me introduce to you: Richard Terborg & the art of delegation.
- Von Wong
When Benjamin was in Amsterdam for his workshop, we had a little chat about managing a crew on set. How could I get the same dedication that gets things done on set, doing things that don’t involve shooting? I have been described as “1 man, 7 brains, 2 hands and no time!” As a full-time Conceptual Fashion Photographer, I just love the creative process that comes with every shoot: teaching, helping others, jumping head first into every opportunity, just working hard and having fun with creatives. But doing all of this and putting yourself out there everyday usually comes at the cost of time and sleep (but who really needs that last one anyway)! Before I even realized it, my weekly schedule was: go through the social media channels, look at what other photographers are doing, respond to questions and comments, on to answering emails from other photographers, clients and emailing new clients, scouting for new talent: artists, clothing designers, makeup artists, pretty much any crazy type person! Then you have the editing that needs to get done, new shoots that need to be managed, planning, finding models, location scouting, building sets, buying set supplies, thinking of new concepts. Not done yet! Writing blog posts, working on my coffee table book, uploading new images, doing my administration, planning and organizing workshops for other photographers and myself and, of course, let’s not forget shooting! Sounds insane? It’s easier than you think! I went looking for assistants that would chop off my legs and carry it halfway to help create a few hours to do more things!
The thought of “I can do everything by myself” is something the millenium kids have developed. Instead of finding someone to help with marketing, I first try and learn things myself. Although it’s very fun, it takes time… and that’s time I’m not spending on what really matters or what I need to be doing.
I needed to put the pride and the thought of “well, I’ll just learn that from the internet” aside. I needed to start accepting that there are people out there that know how to do it and can probably do it way faster if I just made a little effort in explaining what I want.
First: Before you can start delegating, you need to find someone to delegate to!
Finding the right person is probably the hardest, but the most important thing. It’s like a person you marry. I started looking for photography/art/design/media schools that were in my city and asked how my company could get on the list of companies that students go through when looking for internships. I quickly found the organization that does this for all the schools in the Netherlands and went through the “checking process”. Before I knew it, I was on the list and was getting letters left and right from students wanting to do their internship with me. So I scheduled some interviews. When you start interviewing, you really have to feel immediately whether or not you will get along with that other person. You will be working together so you need to know if that person is able to handle it. I play open cards from the get go. “This is what i do, this is how I do it. Do you see yourself fit in this? And if so, how?”
Also finding out if the person is able to push back when pushed is important. Working with a lot of creatives means working with a lot of different visions and I personally love it when people speak their mind. Feel something isn’t working? Let us know! “Why do you think that? What would you change?” I’m not looking for someone to sit in a corner and turn a flash power switch on and off. I’m looking for an extra set of eyes, ears and *in zombie voice*: brainzzz! brainzzz! If there’s one piece of advice I can give you: Don’t just run with anyone.
And that is how I found my full-time Assistant/Intern: Juliane Falk. Say hi!
Picture taken by: Jarmal Martis
How do you know what to delegate? Here’s how I did it:
First I started writing down everything I did. Every little thing I could think of for a week as I was doing them or thinking about them. Evernote was my friend! From here, I was able to create two different lists.
The first of all the things I knew my intern was able to do, without too much intervention like: scouting locations, scouting models, pre-selections, mood boards, sketches, getting gear, calling locations, assisting on shoots etc.
The second, of things that just needed to get done that the intern wouldn’t be able to handle such as…finding new clients, art galleries, selling the work, creating invoices, sending out payment reminders, blog text reviewing, etc. Put this list aside.
I took the first list and used it to make daily tasks and broke them down in to-do’s, which I go over with my intern. “How do we go over these daily tasks?” you might ask. What’s the point of living in the future if you’re not using the technology? Intern stays at home, I stay at home and we go through my to-do list and I delegate whatever tasks I can through Skype. Then I give it a deadline. Sometimes giving it insane deadlines that are very tight; only because I have to work with the same as well and it’s good to throw them in the deep to see how they react. ew
This is just to get you started, after a few months I no longer creating the list of things “I still need” or “want to do”. I send them straight to my intern and she just sends me an email or gives a shout with the day and time she put into it and when she will be sending updates about it. It makes all the difference timewise.
Meeting your delegatee halfway when they miss a deadline is the only way to go. Offer a hand if a task is too rigorous or if circumstances make it hard for them to complete it on time.
Third: Rules and Restrictions
This should be clear from the first interview. What is that person allowed to do, and to what end. Keep in mind that they do represent your brand. Taking behind the scenes pictures or video is great! Posting the results online before the client gets the chance to post their own campaign? Not so much! So stating how you work and by what rules you need to work is good to go over with your delegatee. It’s also good practice to share this information before a shoot so that they can learn about every client and their needs. However, you are dealing with a human so do not treat them like a robot. Give them the freedom to do it in their own way, as long as it gets done and done on time.
Fourth: Different People, Different Tasks!
Remember the second list we had? Think that list was going to be the list of things for me to do? Wrong!
Going by the same principle of finding an intern, I was soon looking for someone to keep track of invoices, orders and especially taxes! Always giving myself the excuses “this would be way too expensive!” and “I can do those taxes myself!” I finally sat down and called in reinforcements. Telling them my story, where I’m at and how they could help me. I got so many cool responses from great people that were there to show me the way and before you knew it, I had a bookkeeper!
Soon after came help for finding new clients and help with all around communication and marketing in the form of an agent! I am now represented by the agency Draumlist.
From this came tasks I could delegate closer to home. My wife, Karin van de Kuilen, has been a drawer and painter forever! Why couldn’t she paint me a cool new set? So I started adding her in the mix and before you knew it she was helping out sketching shoots, set building, painting props, building props etc.
My sister, Thelea Terborg, awesome blogger! Crazy with words! And now even a wizz in marketing! She goes over all the text I write, making sure everything looks nice and pretty and gets new blog topics ready that I sometimes forget to write down. I couldn’t ask all of this from 1 person and doing it all by myself was not going to work for long.
Different people love doing different things. Find out what other people love to do, and see if you can help out each other doing what you love.
If you want to follow me, the crazy people that like working with me or if you have any questions or just want to say hi. follow my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RichardTerborg.Photos
Today, I would like to introduce you guys to a friend and fellow photographer of mine. She’s one of those crazy creative souls that has actually figured out how to blend sci-fi, science and photography into an abstract art form! When I stumbled across her 2 years ago, she was a painter but after a couple years of hard work, passion and experimentation she’s come out with a body of work I have never quite seen before. I think you’ll enjoy it (and be sure to scroll to the bottom!). Presenting to you: Anick Morel
It all began two years ago when I came across an article about a burning light bulb that reignited my creativity.
I’ve always liked photography but never had the time to explore that medium seriously until recently.
My first experiments with burning light bulbs were quite rough. At first, I would miss the critical moment when the “explosion” was as its best. But after dozen of attempts, I started to get the hang of things. The light bulb burns for about 3 seconds so you have plenty of time to get the perfect shot.
I love science. I love physic and chemistry phenomena. I love light bulbs. The beauty, intricacy and delicacy of the smoke coming from the burning tungsten wire is what attracts me most. I love the fact that light bulbs are easily obtained and that you can do a lot with them (photography speaking) So far, I haven’t run out of experiments I can do with a burning light bulb: you can photograph them with the glass partially broken or with no glass at all, can put different chemicals on it (like fireworks powders), turn the bulb upside down, put glass above it, etc.
All my images are shot in camera. Since the smoke is white, I use Lightroom to bring colours to the image. And then use Photoshop to erase imperfections and bring out the details. Sometimes, like with chemicals, you won’t need to add colours in post production. These days, I treat my images so they have a painterly feel to them. It adds a new dimension.
From there, I started scouring the web for new and exciting things to photograph. One of the things I stumbled upon was cream. Cream is like liquid smoke. I enjoy the cream technique because just like the light bulb, it creates beautiful ethereal shapes going from translucent to opaque.
When you pour it into water, it just slowly descent and makes little medusa shapes. Very inspiring. What’s more, you can colour cream with food colouring and/or choose the density of the cream (10%, 15% or 35%).
Timing is not a factor when you photograph cream but the container is. You need a flat surface (like an aquarium) if you don’t want your image to be distorted and be out of focus. Oddly enough, the biggest challenge is the speed of pouring the cream into the water. Much like the light bulb, you need to practice a little to get it right. But when you master the pouring, the rest comes easy.
One more effect I’ve discovered along the way is the magic of the soap bubble. I really love this technique even if it gives limited results. Photographing bubbles can be a little tricky; Their lifespan is not very long, the wall of the bubble is always in motion and you need a good light source placed at a strategic place to see the the colours.
What fascinates me is the colours that dance on the surface of the bubble. It comes from the light being reflected from both the inner and outer surface of the wall of the soap bubble. Soap molecules have one end that repels water, and another that attracts it, and these molecules move to the inner and outer surfaces, thrusting their water-repelling ends out into the air, and their “heads” inwards.
A good macro lens is a must since the area of the bubble you want to capture is very small. And if your camera has a lot of MP, you will be able to blow up the image without loosing definition. If you want to extend the life span of your bubble, add some glycerin.
As you might have noticed, all my abstracts involved a little bit of science. It’s because, and I’ll proudly admit it, I’m a geek. I’m into RPGs and LARPing. I Love fantasy, science-fiction and horror novels. I was an avid comic book reader in my teen years. And because I am a geek, I started a brand new series involving super heroes logos.
This series combines my love for comic books, science-fiction and abstract. I admit it, I got jealous of all those talented photographers that could create all the wonderful images with heroes and villains, knights and goblins and felt like I had to contribute to the geek world…And so I have in my own way. This series is called: Heroes, Legends and Icons. It’s a small tribute, but I’m only beginning. Heroes of this world take heed, I’m coming after you. Or your logos anyway
Like my previous abstracts, all is done in camera. But unlike the rest, this series is much more figurative. You can clearly see the logo in there. How it’s done is very simple: I take a light bulb with the glass removed and place over it a sheet of glass on top of which I place the logo that has been printed on transparent film. I then shoot from the top.
Post-production is the same process as my other light bulb images. LightRoom and Photoshop. Because of the of the film over the glass, I don’t need to add much colouring to the image.
I will leave you on this little note: If you have a passion or even something you like to do, don’t be afraid to invest a little time (or a lot), energy and a little money into that thing. You don’t know where it can lead you. Or what amazing things you can discover and achieve.
If you like her work, be sure to check out her fan page !
Today I’d like to introduce to you Pratik Naik from Solstice Retouch, a professional high end beauty retoucher that also happens to give workshops all over the world. I had the chance to meet Pratik after I helped him toss together a high end beauty retouching workshop for him over here in Montreal and it’s been one of the most useful workshops I’ve ever taken.
Since I know many of you guys out there are looking to begin giving workshops of your own, I asked if he would be so kind as to write a guest article breaking down the 6 essential things to keep in mind when organizing a retouching or photography workshop.
First and foremost I’d like to thank Ben for having me! He was amazing to approach me in organizing a workshop there and I am eternally grateful.
When he approached me to write this article, I knew it would be one that many of you might find helpful. For those of you who don’t already know me, I invite you to check out my website here . I grew in this industry with a passion to give back. At the time, there wasn’t enough information out there and felt that if ever, I had the opportunity to work in the industry long enough, I would offer a package that would allow people to learn without searching through multiple resources. This is how I ended up offering one on one classes and seminars. I often travel and teach seminars for the most part, with my next one coming up in London on March 16th. I have been teaching retouching for 4 years now.
Now, since I am a retoucher and not a photographer, I will be speaking from my viewpoint. I will elaborate everything in a manner which can also apply to you. Note that there are many ways to run workshops and organize them, so take it with a grain of salt and remember that you can customize this in any way you wish to.
The most important part about teaching, is wanting to teach. If you don’t have a yearning and a passion to show people what you do and make them better, it just won’t work.
Secondly, it’s important to be a people person. I’ve met great artists who are also not good at speaking with people and they are quite shy. I was quite shy as well when I was younger and could barely speak in class. If you’re the same way, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shy, you just may feel uncomfortable talking about things you just have no interest in. When it becomes about your passion, chances are you will feel a lot more comfortable about speaking, so start out with a small group of 3 to 5 and see how it goes!
Third, you must really have something important to say. Don’t host a workshop just to host one. Make sure you have enough substance to contribute where people can learn from. It doesn’t have to encompass everything, just as long as you make it clear about what you will be talking about. Start writing out what you would like to talk about and how you plan to execute it. If it’s about lighting, what type of lighting will you talk about and how will you exactly demonstrate the differences. These are just a few examples. Essentially, be organized and brainstorm!
The most important part about teaching, is wanting to teach.
Lastly, how good are you are communicating what you want to say in a manner that the common person will understand? Do you have the patience to guide people through the process of what you already know in a manner that will allow them to understand it? Along the course of my sessions, I would realize that there are people who almost no nothing at all and you have to talk in a manner that doesn’t intimidate them but helps them understand everything without taking anything for granted.
Have you ever asked someone for help only to be further confused since they used terms that were foreign to you? They would base their answers with an assumption that you have a general understanding of some things. It’s important to not be that person. Make sure you do speak in a manner that doesn’t take anything for granted when teaching. If you have great skills communicating, that is the most important part. It doesn’t matter if you are the world’s best photographer if you can’t communicate it!
Alright, so you really think you’re ready to teach! Now it’s time to organize and plan our your course.
There are a range of options you have to consider that will rely on your own information. It could be a one day course all the way up to a week long course. I have seen everything in between. For me, I really enjoy doing one or two day courses. With retouching, I have effectively figured out how much time people need to go through everything comfortably. In the beginning, I had nothing to fall back on since it was new to me. In time, I began to realize exactly how long my course would run.
I recommend outlining everything you want to talk about and everything you want to demonstrate. With that outline, you can fill in the gaps about what you will need during your course. Will you need models, makeup artists, more lights, modifiers, a bigger studio space? These are the options you will have to run through.
Remember to allocate 20% more time than you expect you will need. In the middle, things happen. People start asking questions, you may have to reiterate yourself, things can go wrong. Allocate time for this, otherwise you won’t make it. Time always flies when it starts rolling!
Remember to allocate 20% more time than you expect you will need.
Once you have an outline of what you want to talk about and what you will need, you can get an idea of how much things will cost. For myself, it’s a little easier to do since I don’t need camera and lighting equipment to run a seminar. I just need a laptop, my wacom tablet, a projector, cables, space for people, food, and renting a room. As a photographer, you really need to customize this based on your program. If your program is heavy in lighting and gear that you don’t have, begin calculating the cost of renting gear from your local camera shop or buying it. Consider the cost of the studio space you may have to rent if you need a bigger space. Include the cost of hiring the models and other team members. I would also recommend bringing on an assistant to help you change lighting setups and such if your seminar is intensive in different lighting setups.
Also include the cost of lunch for the attendees and what you plan to bring. Usually, I’ve seen cold sandwiches as a good option as it’s cheap and you can have a variety of options since many people may eat different things. The other half of the times, we would take a break and eat at a local restaurant or you can have them cater too. It all depends on how much time you have.
As a photographer, it would also be important to have backups for your camera and gear on the day of. In case you don’t have a backup solution normally, factor that into the cost of rentals.
Chances are that most of your future workshops will be in another city all together. This is where it gets a little trickier since you do not have the same connections as you do locally. In this situation, you will have to obtain costs based on calling local camera shops and getting in touch with studio owners to see if they have options to rent the studio for a workshop. Chances are, you may even know someone in the city you are going to go to that has a studio. I would always recommend working with someone you already know since the communication is a little bit easier. You can even get referral for local models and makeup artists.
I would always recommend working with someone you already know since the communication is a little bit easier.
If you plan to do a shoot outdoors rather than in studio, you will have to consider the cost of permits (if needed) and finding a location. Again, I recommend getting advice from local photographers in that area about great places to do a shoot. I would also definitely recommend assistants in this situation.
Next, the biggest cost may be the travel expenses. Consider what the average expense of hotels are in that area, the amount you will need for ground transportation, airfare, and estimated food costs for yourself and the team (if you are flying with anyone). Depending on where you go, it may be best to rent a car once you fly in if you have a lot of equipment on you. Many people I know rent most of it wherever they are.
Once you have these major costs outlined based on the city you are planning to go, you can get a estimated price. Increase that by 20% for unexpected costs that you might incur.
Teaching is great! But be sure after all of this, you still make profit off of what you’re doing. The amount you want to give yourself wildly depends what the local market is willing to pay for a workshop vs what you deserve. Sometimes, these figures don’t align. If you’re starting out, I would recommend doing a few workshops priced just high enough to cover the expenses to get an idea of how they are going, if they met the amount of expenses you had estimated, and to see what people are willing to pay.
It’s also a good idea to see how other local workshops are going and how they’re priced. Chances are yours may very well fit into their price structure too.
(The amount )[…] depends what the local market is willing to pay for a workshop vs what you deserve
So for example, if you find that your expenses to do a workshop in a city is $1,700 and you want to make $1,000 from a day’s workshop, this can amount to charging $270 per person for a workshop. This is a low example, but you get the drift.
I can’t give you a figure of how much you should make for a day’s work, as that comes from you, but I would recommend figuring out your expenses vs how much other workshops (that are conducted by people in your experience level) generally charge locally and subtract the difference. If you feel that the amount is more than what you wanted, that is a great sign. This is not to say you should follow everyone else. By all means, definitely price it to your own value and what you believe people will pay for it too.
Now that you have a general cost structure and all the details ready, it’s time to start marketing and planning. I always like to keep my seminar 2 months ahead so that I have enough time should I not get enough feedback to cancel it. The first thing I do is market it before booking my airfaire and everything else.
It’s very important to market and get the word out about your workshop. Whenever I get a workshop together, I create a flyer together that notes the important information such as this (link).
I setup a blog post that talks about what my upcoming seminar will be about along with how people can register for the event. You can spread that post on all social media platforms.
With registration, I personally do it a few ways. Usually I team up with someone who handles the registration of attendees, or you can use a website like http://www.eventbrite.com/. It helps people register for your event. It’s a one stop shop so you can focus on everything else. It allows people to book the event and manages number of open spots. You can also write anything you want there so people can get a description of the event.
The marketing itself will generally be done through social media platforms like facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of friends to spread the information as well. A good tactic is giving a payment for every referral in case you need to, which can be a small sum, but enough to bring in attendees. Another option is also contacting local photo schools and organizations and seeing if you can advertise through them.
You can get really creative with marketing, just look at Ben, he’s the perfect example! He creates excellent behind the scenes videos, that in result bring in many new fans and followers. The more demand he gets, the more awesome workshops he gets to put on for the benefit of the fans. Once someone sees that he is doing a workshop somewhere, people want him everywhere else. So that is how it happens.
Let demand dictate where your workshops is, it will be easier for you and it will be more fun that way. You won’t have to market that much either.
Initially you may not have the option to enlist help in organizing the event. However, going with an organizer is another option that will allow you to focus on planning for the event itself so that you have everything booked and prepared before the event. As you progress with more workshops, you will begin to find more organizers and promoters that actually take care of everything for you, including location, studio, and marketing! By then you may not even need them, but it does help.
However, in the beginning I recommend doing it on your own so you know everything that goes into it. Through the process, you’ll learn what you will be missing along the way.
Let demand dictate where your workshops is, it will be easier for you and it will be more fun that way.
Part 6: Baby Steps
With all this information in mind, keep in mind that it’s about the baby steps. Start small and do a workshop that is a smaller scale of one you really want to do and see how it goes. If you start large, it may not go as planned and this helps. Over a few years, you will find a system that works for you.
If you start large, it may not go as planned
I hope that this article helps to get your gears up and thinking about your own personal workshops! If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to contact me personally.
If you would like to be kept up to date on Pratik’s latest workshops, contact him directly at [email protected]
Richard Dubois – Fantastic Magazine
Lara Jade for Velvet
Glenn Prasetya for Marie Claire
- Interested in writing a guest post for this blog? Send me an email or leave a comment!
- I will be giving a CRAZY 2.5 day workshop in London, UK on the 22/23/24th of March… Check it out HERE
Should I buy a teleprompter? Why should I get a teleprompter? Which teleprompter should I get? Here are a couple answers to your questions:
As someone who makes BTS videos on a weekly basis, I’ve found that having one of these nifty devices can really help me improve the quality of the videos that I can bring your way. I took a little bit of practice to get things right. Initially I had problems with my eyebrows and expression and looked a little bit forceful… but after a couple tweaks, focusing on getting the right body language and proper camera angle it does deliver some really solid results.
For more information on the PadPrompter itself, I invite you to check it out on their website: www.onetakeonly.com/OneTakeOnly/Pad_Prompter
For a second opinion (and some pretty product shots) I invite you to check out OliviaTech’s review: http://oliviatech.com/pad-prompter-by-one-take-only
Though I definitely need to get a bit more practice with it, here are a couple tips that I’ve found to be helpful when setting up your teleprompter to look the most natural on camera:
For some odd reason, we tend to get our reading faces on when… well, reading off of a teleprompter. This means that it gets rather stiff and unexpressive. Deep breaths, relax and imagine talking to a person. It helps!
Break eye contact
It’s good from time to time to simply break a little eye contact with the camera as you pause to move on to the next paragraph. Either looking slightly away, picking something up, looking at your hands. It helps to break that newscaster vibe and bring a bit more humanity into your presentation
Keep going… and calibrate!
Even with a teleprompter in front of me, I still make mistakes and stumble through words as I go through the presentation. Go through with it anyways instead of restarting from scratch and each run will become more and more fluid. As you go, note which parts you speak too fast/too slow and edit your prompting text until it goes at a natural speed.
That’s about it guys! I can’t quite stress out how useful it is to have a teleprompter if you make BTS videos, coordinate interviews! I think the PadPrompter itself is an amazing product at an extremely competitive price but… don’t take my word for it, feel free to check out on other products that exist on the market and do your own research! Here are a couple search results that came up when typing “Teleprompter” on B&H (they unfortunately don’t carry the pad prompter)
Hey guys, posting this weeks video from all the way over in Seattle! Fellow fan Ngoc Tran flew me over to shoot her graduation so let me know if you want to grab a drink or coffee through my fan page and we’ll try to get in touch
This week I wanted to present to you guys a slightly different video. For those of you who have been following me closely, you’ll know that I’ve been playing more and more in creating my own videos from time to time. Naturally, this means that I’ve been starting to pay more and more attention to the video toys available! While waltzing around Toronto during one of my spontaneous roadtrips, I visited Henry’s Canada and saw that they had a nifty three wheeled device on display! This nifty device happened to be the Cinema Skater by Kamerar. Initially I was quite intrigued by the design… why would anyone want three wheels instead of four so I began fiddling around with it. I noticed that if I configured the wheels properly, I was able to make it spin on itself!
That’s when a little bell went off in my head. I contacted the nice folks over at Kamerar and asked if they would be so kind as to send me a unit for me to review and a couple weeks later I had my own nifty Cinema Skater to play with.
First impressions were that the Cinema Skater was beautifully packaged in a compact stylish box. After playing with it for a couple seconds, I noticed that it was very solidly constructed (easily supported my 150 pounds of Chinese spinning around on top of it!) and that it was very well balanced. The screws holding the wheels were also very easy to tighten to ensure that their orientation doesn’t change once you’ve taken the time to set them properly. My only complaint was that the notches to help you set your angle seemed to be a little haphazardly placed. They didn’t necessarily match up from wheel to wheel making it a little tough to configure the CineSkater to rotate on itself…
But no worries, a ruler and some patience quickly solved that!
Once I was certain I could configure the Cinema Skater properly, I invited a buddy Elie Babin to help me experiment with the Cinema Skater. Check out some of the results of gear that was lying around! (screengrabs)
So what else was required?
Excited? Check out the video to see how it was all done!! Hope you guys enjoy this
Disclaimer: The affiliate links in this post help support this website and myself
hard drive after my friends over at the SLRLounge proclaimed it as one of the most durable and affordable portable hard drives on the market. Intrigued, I decided to purchase a pair of my own to put them through some “real life” tests.
The video was quite fun to make and to be very honest we were quite worried the drive wouldn’t survive test one and we’d be left with no hard drive and no video to show for it… but luckily for us the drive actually survived quite impressively all three tests.
So what’s cool about this drive is that it only costs about 120$ for 1TB and comes bundled up WITH USB3.0 which makes it just about the same price as all the other portable hard drives on the market… except it happens to be … that much more durable.
For those of you that want to propose alternative ways to destroy our hard drive, head over to my youtube video and leave a comment or vote on your favorite option there!
Thanks for watching!
PS. Small note. Although this hard drive is DURABLE I would definitely not recommend you to put it through any sort of extreme punishment, If you’re truly looking for an indestructible device you’re better off purchasing something similar to this IoSafe Solo
featured on DIYP.
PPS. For those of you wondering what I taped the hard drive to for the fire test, they’re called NASTY FLAGS
Videography: Eric Sanchez
Assist: Anick Morel & Elie Babin
Today I’d like to take a couple minutes to do a preliminary review The Lightroom 4 Preset System by the SLRLounge. These guys have ambitiously called their product ” The most powerful preset system” and I was quite curious to see what they had managed to cook up.
I took the time to throw together a visual “video” review for those of you who are too lazy to read.
Here’s the video:
Initial Thoughts: Skeptical
|My initial thought when hearing the word “preset” went pretty much in the direction of : Ew. It’s just another set of unoriginal simple cheesy effects. In a best case, perhaps there would be one or two cool effects, but overall… it’s probably not worth having an entire clutter of presets on the left of my Develop panel. Did I really need more of these?
But… Pye over at the SLRLounge insisted that I at least give it a spin repeating over and over that this was really a unique product that didn’t exist elsewhere… that would revolutionize my LR4 workflow.
I was intrigued so I decided to give it a spin.
First run: Pleasantly Surprised
|The installation was straightforward enough. Copy the presets to the presets folder and I was ready to rock & roll. From the start. I was presented with an intuitive and comprehensive workflow. Although SLRLounge had taken the time to prepare a bunch of tutorials to introduce how their preset system worked, it took me little more than 5 seconds to figure it all out.|
Rather than cluster a bunch of presets together, they had them all organized in an intuitive and chronological workflow. Click, apply setting… move on.
Finished playing with “Exposure”
What was cool was that the effects were actually stackable. Unlike standard presets which went completely wonky if you tried to stack them one on top of another, these ones could actually mix and blend without jeopardizing one or the other!
Didn’t like the setting?
Reset that particular setting
Simple. Clean. Efficient.
I was impressed.
What’s so special about it anyways?
For those of you who are familiar with Lightroom, you’re probably not quite impressed with the effects that the preset can achieve. Why? Because you know how to do it on your own… and I absolutely agree with you. There is nothing that these presets do that you cannot do… but what these presets do is help to significantly accelerate your workflow.
Check out the example below:
I have applied three presets in chronological order:
- 015 – (dynamic range) Heavy boost
- 024 – (detail) Medium boost
- 054 – (vignette) Light Vignette
So rather than go into the Develop menu and screw around with Highlights/Shadows… Lights/Darks… Clarity… Sharpening… and Vignette, I can actually get the image pretty close to what I want it to be with simply three clicks. Now although these three clicks may equate only approximately two minute of saved time, going from 2 minutes to 10 seconds to arrive at a pretty similar result is actually a 1200% increase in productivity… which can make a HUGE difference especially when dealing with large number of photographs such as weddings or events.
The Lightroom 4 Preset System currently features a total of six categories of effects. That being said, the only ones that could truly affect my work flow were the first two: My Mixology and Base Adjustments. All the other ones are specifically geared towards special pretty distinct and strong colour effects that simply don’t suit my style. The come off as one click “pow” effects that could most probably work quite well for wedding photography. To be honest I would probably be far more intrigued by them if the option to “dial down the intensity” actually existed but I don’t think Lightroom 4 can actually allow such a thing. Although I can manually lower the intensity in the standard develop tab, it somewhat defeats the purpose of having a preset if you still have to go back into the curve adjustments to tweak things back to how you want them.
That being said, all is not lost. Rather than play with curves, Pye has told me that the SLRLounge plan son releasing a Split Toning update that I’m quite looking forward to that will be free for anyone who has purchased the preset pack in about a week so … can’t wait for that to come out!
Oh wait, but there’s more!
The Lightroom 4 Preset System actually features a bunch of brush presets that you can use quite easily on a variety of images. If you’re someone that plays around in Lightroom quite heavily without ever bothering to bring things into photoshop the preset brushes are also presented in a well ordered intuitive manner. It’s quite nice that they have included some very quick and easy dodge/burn tools specifically tailored for simple portrait retouching. To be honest, LR4 brush editing has never quite been my thing so I didn’t spend much time on it but I tested them out and they do work very well. It clearly shows that they have spent a lot of time finding the optimal brush settings to perform specific tasks. Very cool.
So in conclusion, I think that the Lightroom 4 Preset System can definitely benefit somebody who is looking to accelerate their workflow. It is NOT a one click miracle system and I definitely wish that they had some more dialled down versions of their curve adjustments but that’s really just me. The fact that they have things set up cleanly and simply will save me enormous amounts of time in my future edits, and I definitely think that any serious event/wedding oriented photographer should definitely consider investing the 100$ into the system. I’m also extremely curious to see what their upcoming free “split-toning” package will contain.
I’ve attached a couple before/after screenshots of shots edited exclusively with the preset system (sorry didnt play in the curves very much) to give you an idea of what the preset system is capable of doing. Didn’t spend more than a minute on each shot! Check it out:
(For those of you too lazy to read the entire blog post, feel free to scroll down for a list of all the pieces I had to buy)
I recently decided to inspire myself from a video I saw posted over at DIY Photography where I saw a fellow photographer by the name of Joe Edelman actually set up a bunch of fluorescent lights on rails and tripods to have a pretty effective and slick home studio.
Rather than Do Things Myself like I was supposed to, my three step plan kinda went something like this:
- Buy the parts
- Get my dad to design the setup
- Get a friend to help drill, dremel and screw things in.
Not a bad plan eh?
The first things I grabbed were a bunch of four light ceiling fixtures. Although there were all sorts of choices (2, 4, 6, 8…) I felt that the fours would really give me a great balance of power and versatility. The Lithonia brand also happened to be the cheapest which suited me just fine! Rather than have a couple of them floating on light stands, I wanted the entire setup to be on rails since my room is relatively small (10 ft x 10 ft) and I really didn’t want to loose space because of tripod feet sticking around.
From there, I grabbed a pocket door kit (also known as Bob in the video) which was substantially more heavy duty than the closet door kit that Joe recommended (better safe than sorry!) with the accompanying 8 foot rails.
Although in theory, simply screwing the closet door kits straight into the ceiling fixtures should have solved all of our issues, my ceiling happens to be pretty high which significantly complicated our lives. Since I didn’t want to be permanently standing on a pedestal everytime I shot a video, I had to figure out a way to lower the entire setup economically.
Thankfully, my dad was readily available for consultation and came up with the brilliant idea of connecting a couple Galvanized 3/4″ Floor Flange to some plastic threaded plumbing rods. Of course as luck would have it, the pocket door kit was only compatible with a 1/2″ flange so we had to buy a bunch of 3/4″ to 1/2″ adapter. What a pain.
I’m not quite certain what I did wrong but I suspect that our canadian prices here are slightly hire than the US ones because my home studio cost me far over the estimated 200$ in Joe Edelman’s version.
Here’s my breakdown:
For a grand total of 550$ + 15% taxes (go Quebec!) = 630$
Add on the cost of the fancy white backdrop + three roller wall mount and I hit 750$… slightly over the budgeted 200$…!
But honestly, the ease to actually pull things down at the flick of a light switch and just be ready to shoot within 5 minutes made it all worthwhile. Total time to put the whole thing together from concept, shopping to ready to go? 3 days.
So the pros and cons of my setup are:
- Zero setup time
- Takes up literally no space at all
- Flexible lighting (two degrees of freedom (back/front and rotation))
- Silent, does not heat up
- 6500K Daylight
- No flicker (even when shooting at higher than 250th shutter speeds. Don’t ask me why, I’m not quite sure but I’m going to guess it has something to do with the “flicker free” that’s marked on my box of fluorescents)
- Only two degrees of freedom (cannot be angled up or down and fixed height)
- Even lighting from all directions. No efficent way to dim a set of fluorescents.
- Slightly expensive.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I have but I definitely plan on upgrading it in the near future with additional light banks and perhaps a dedicated variable height ceiling rail system… maybe after my Von Wong Does Europe tour!