Tag Archives: photography

Sea Point Sunset

A beautiful mid-winter sunset sky, shot from our balcony on Saturday 16th July. Part of a longer series I’m shooting in and around Sea Point, Cape Town that I hope will see the light of day at some point…

Very much experimental, and lots still to learn, but if you are interested in the setup:

  • Canon 7D with Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L.
  • Shot at f/2.8 Aperture Priority with a 6 second interval between shots. 817 photos – until the shutter speed > longer than the time interval, and it shutdown…
  • GBDeflicker used in After Effects to help with perceptible brightness fluctuations.
  • Photo-JPEG Compression.
  • iMovie for sound and titles.

Experimenting with Canon 7d video

Once I purchased my Canon 7D in October last year I knew it would be the start of a new hideous lens and camera accessories addiction.

I purchased my first prime lens – the Canon 50mm 1.4f in December to experiment with more portrait photography. Love it. However, I find myself currently fascinated by the new infinite possibilities of videography with the 7D and more wide angled lens. I embarrassingly spend every spare moment I have watching beautifully captured short films on Vimeo and YouTube.

It seems I’m not the only one getting slowly sucked into the world of story telling though DSLR video, both Lisa Bettany and Cameron Moll are both bulking up on Canon kit and producing some great content. Not forgetting to mention this beautiful (albeit somewhat techy) video I found on YouTube about Patrick Murphy-Racey, a seasoned photographer experimenting with DLSR video with masterful results:

See the original video discussed in the clip above here.

Geek kit I’m after

Tokina ATX 116 PRO DX AF11-16mm F/2.8 Canon

An ultra-wide angle lens with a fast 2.8 aperture for better photography in low-light situations.

Rode Microphones VideoMic

The on-board Mic of the Canon 7d is very basic, with a directional shock-mounted mic you get far better audio without the body noise and low frequency rumble.

Litepanels Micro

Good lighting is a must for more professional looking videos, bringing a character to life without the unwanted shadows.

Steadicam Merlin

Offering light, agile, seamless shooting for today’s videographers. I’d love one of these one day, but it’ll have to wait for now as a seemingly basic piece of equipment like this costs a lot of money.

See some footage taken with the Tokina lens and a Steadicam Merlin here.

Zacuto Z-Finder

The Z-Finder is an Optical Viewfinder that allows DSLR cameras to have the correct form factor for video. The larger viewfinder allows you to ensure perfect manual focusing at all times.

Inspiration

  • I’ve always been inspired by the multi-talented Hillman Curtis, an early flash designer, turned digital designer, turned film maker. Do yourself a video and watch some of his short films.
  • More recently I discovered Philip Bloom – an evangelist of DSLR film-making who’s short films and DLSR video tutorials/reviews have influenced many. Even George Lucas is interested in Philip Bloom’s DLSR video skills and recently flew him over to discuss techniques for a new movie.
  • VBS.TV – a great source of short films covering all sort of subjects. I’m sure some are shot on DSLRs.

Feedback

I’ve done a fair amount of research and hope to make some of these purchases soon, but would really appreciate some feedback from more seasoned Canon DSLR photographers. Also if there are any 7D short films you’ve seen and enjoyed please provide some link love below in the comments to feed my addiction :)

My latest toy

I’ve had my Canon 350D for about 3 years now, and it’s served me well, but it was getting tired. As I’ve developed more and more of an interest in photography I’ve been looking for an upgrade. Since the launch of the Canon 5D Mark II I’ve been saving pennies to get hold of it. It’s a SIGNIFICANT upgrade. Then the Canon 7d was released.

canon_7d

There is loads of discussion online about the Canon 5D Mark II vs the new Canon 7d, launched late September here in the UK. The big, noticeable difference that justifies the more expensive 5d is the full frame sensor vs the 7d crop sensor. Not sure about the difference – read this article. Apart from that though it seems the Canon 7d boasts some newer features that’s got 5d owners quite jealous.

Even Hitler…

YouTube Preview Image

I’m definitely not going to try promote the 7d as a better camera than the 5d, but seeing I’m not a professional photographer and prefer my wildlife and sports to portrait and landscape photography I don’t necessarily need a full frame sensor.

Why the 7D? It has a dual processor, one specifically dedicated to dealing with noise reduction, an 18 mega pixel CMOS sensor, 100% view finder coverage, captures images at 8 frames per second, and has improved movie capturing facilities shooting beautiful full HD movies with options for 24 fps to create the cinematic feel that I can’t wait to play with. It also has a built-in flash, that the 5D lacks, meaning you need to carry a bulky flash wherever you go, OK for the pros, mission for us more amateur photographers.

I bought the camera with the 18-135 kit lens which compliments my 70-300 IS tele-lens very nicely and beats my old 350D kit lens hands down <puke>. It’s a lens that has a range that is hugely multi-functional and means less time inter-changing lens. Although I’m definitely still planning on getting a 50 or 60mm lens for them close ups.

More photos on Flickr

More photos on Flickr

I’ve already had a play with the camera and the 24p HD video functionality this weekend at a local rugby match between Richmond and Henley, watch the movie on Vimeo in HD. Excuse the newbie no-no’s. Next time I’ll use a tripod.

I’m in love.

James Nachtwey’s one wish

James Nachtwey, one of the world’s greatest photojournalists and winner of the 2007 TEDPrize, received “one wish to change the world”.

I’m working on a story that the world needs to know about. I wish for you to help me break it, in a way that provides spectacular proof of the power of news photography in the digital age.

Head on over to Nachtwey’s TEDPrize page and watch his moving presentation, it is worth every second of the 23.41 minutes out of your busy day. If you are too busy to even click on that link just watch it right below. Now you have no excuses… Continue Reading →