Category Archives: Technology

Hoodman cinema kit Pro

Expanding into DSLR video shooting, I realized that focusing in “live view” can be very tricky. Accurately focusing using a 3 inch monitor is problematic. I found the solution to that in the “Hoodman cinema kit pro“.

Hoodman cinema kit Pro

Use this link to buy the “Hoodman cinema kit Pro” on Amazon: Hoodman HCKP H-LPP3, HMAG3.0, HCrane,And help supporting my blog.

Today’s technology, allows pro photographers to produce high quality video, with the equipment they already have, and feel comfortable using.
The attachments that will transform your DSLR into a movie making machine are many, and choosing the right product was not easy.
While searching, I found that many of the magnifying viewfinders, required gluing an attachment to the camera’s body. I don’t like gluing things to my camera, These glues have a tendency to soften in a hot weather and leave a sticky residue.
Another solution offered, is a fancy rubber band, It may be the cheapest solution but it didn’t feel very solid and may get in the way.

What first attracted me to the Hoodman cinema kit Pro was the concept. It’s a solid rail system that’s attached to your camera’s hot-shoe and allows you to accurately place the rubberized view finder over the LCD panel, in seconds. Focusing the viewfinder on the screen took a slight rotation of the eye-piece. As soon as you’ve aligned the viewfinder, You’re free to move it up and out of the way, and then back in place, It’s consistent, fast and easy.

This kit can be moved to another camera as fast as you can move a speedlight flash from one camera to another. It took about 5 seconds to remove from the package, and about 30 seconds to set-up and master!

I really appreciate solidly build, modular equipment, not to mention great German optics, It looks like this unit will serve me for a long time.

Tech kids

While shooting portraits of her mom, this sweet 5-year-old wanted some camera attention. As soon as her Mom left to change for the next set, I asked her to come up to the set and pretend she’s Mommy, she knew exactly what to do.Tech girl

 

After a few smiles to the camera she was drawn into the computer and didn’t mind the camera anymore.

Tech girl

Climbing trees and playing outdoors were my favorite activities when I was this kid’s age, My fascination with computers started when I was well into my 20’s. For the last 10 years I build and keep up all my computers and love doing that.

I didn’t find computers very practical for myself untill Photoshop 3 came out. Looking at these images made me think whose childhood is more fulfilling, the tree climbers or the tech kids? I don’t have an answer for that.

Innovation in photography

Have you heard of Lytro? This new consumer camera is, In my view, the most dramatic innovation in photography, since adding a lens to the camera-obscura*. It’s the first one to capture a Light Field by measuring the amount of light traveling in every direction through every point in space and by that expanding dynamically the range of fucus. if you haven’t seen it yet, take a pick at the sample pictures in this link, on the linked page, click the area of the picture you’d like to focus on: http://lytro.com It is a true revolution.

This is not an ad nor a recommendation to buy this product, It doesn’t seem to be ready for the professional print market yet, and still, I would love to play with one.

(*pin-hole camera)

Photography equipment

Each piece of Photography equipment I had my hands on through the years, had its own character, feel and purpose. It helped grow my curiosity as well as better understand and refine my practice.

Before laying down the photography equipment I’ve experienced with, here’s a little runt, I would like to stress that I’m completely out of the “brands war”, and here’s why, If you’re shooting a sports event in the park, a model, or a product in the studio; I believe that creating an effective image is mostly influenced by your vision of the subject and your experience, that’s helping you to determine when the setup is ideal and it’s the right moment to make the exposure.

The lens is the most important piece of hardware that will influence the image, and selecting the right lens (focal length, aperture) for a shoot, will influence the image much more than the brand you decide to go with.

If you think one brand or another is “the one to rule them all”, it’s O.K. by me, but that’s not going to determine the artistic value of your image, nor make it more interesting.

Inspiring images can be achieved regardless of the brand used and instead of investing energy in being passionately loyal to brands, I find that being passionately loyal to creating new things, makes much more sense.

I find arguments by Canon Vs. Nikon fans and Mac Vs. Windows users the most redundant. The accumulated time people spend arguing about which brand name is superior to another, could be used to create something that could bring joy or convey an idea and maybe even change the world, (maybe…=).

If you want to be purely technical, a transparency sheet that was exposed using a large format camera, one that was made almost a hundred years ago, have a far better potential to create an awe-inspiring image if only because of its physics, so? you can still make an absolute bore with an 8×10 view camera or make a wonderful one using a “camera obscura” (pinhole camera) or even your smart phone.

After getting this out-of-the-way, here we go,

My first owned camera was Braun’s Nizo, a used super 8 camera I received for my 12th birthday, I really wanted it. it didn’t have sound but it had variable speeds as well as time-lapse, single frame and a standard flash sync socket, I loved animation and used it for stop motion animation, that helped my interest in photography bud.

Braun Nizo S56
Braun Nizo S56

At 15 I went to art school, majoring photography. Not to rush to large cost, I received my first SLR, it was a Fujica with the screw on lens, most other kids had a Canon or Nikon, I liked having a unique camera and not having to go with the flow.

Fujica st705
Fujica st705

When I was about 20, the Fujica was stolen from my best friend’s house, I replaced it with a Nikkormat that I still remember as having one of the best light meters I’ve seen and was making great exposures if you paid attention to the needle.

1965 Nikkormat FS
1965 Nikkormat FS

At 23 I joined a commercial photographer’s studio, that’s where I learned how to manipulate the Sinar P2, I did work with large formats at school, but being an assistant to such a talented and capable guy really reveled to me the full potential of large format cameras and professional lighting equipment, like Broncolor power packs and advanced lighting control methods.

Sinar P2
Sinar P2

When I opened my studio, I used a borrowed 4×5 Toyo at first and about a year after I bought the Sinar F2 which is the lighter and more mobile version of the P2.

Sinar f2
Sinar f2
Sinar f2
Sinar f2

As an assistant I used the Minolta flash meter.

Minolta Auto Meter IV F
Minolta Auto Meter IV F

I later purchased a Gossen meter for myself.

Gossen Variosix F
Gossen Variosix F

While working as an assistant, a great opportunity came to me, a business man who loved cameras and came to the studio for a visit, told me he bought a new Nikon with a couple of lenses but felt it’s too much for him, he sold me his set for a very good price, wanting to support a young artist. I still have that body though I’ve not used it for a very long time. I still use all my manual Nikon lenses.

Nikon F3
Nikon F3

As an assistant I operated the Hasselblad C500.

Hasselblad C500
Hasselblad C500

for my studio I bought the Mamiya RB67. I love the square 6 by 6 c”m medium format and great optics of the Hasselblad and I love the 6 by 7 c”m format of the Mamiya and its great optics, both are very good. medium format has beautiful depth of field.

Mamiya RB67
Mamiya RB67

When moving to digital, I learned that the Nikon system started to use non standard attachments to be able to do some elementary things like attaching a shutter release cable or a sync cord and was very finicky about which old Nikon lenses it’s compatible with, my protest was getting a Fuji body and it was an easy decision for me, given it was much more compatible with a variety of Nikon equipment I already had, then the new digital Nikon bodies, go figure.

Fuji FinePix S2
Fuji FinePix S2

Currently, my main body is a Nikon D90. using the right lenses makes this camera a very versatile Instrument. It fits most of my projects.

I always shoot Raw.

nikon D90
Nikon D90 12.3MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)

For every camera I’ve used after turning professional, I had at least 3 lenses, a wide, a normal and a telephoto.

These days I’m using “Alien Bees” as my lighting system, I really like it. I’m using it with chimera soft boxes and other light modifying methods.

I may add the full lenses and lighting equipment I’ve experienced with in a later date.

Other then my photo equipment, I find the Wacom tablet to be an essential part of my setup, I find it impossible to be accurate and flowing with that little brick known as a computer mouse. I tried many other tablet makes and find Wacom to be reliable and far superior to all the other tablets I’ve tried, and believe me I tried. That’s about the only tool I have that can make me a bit preachy.

Wacom Intuos 4
Latest Wacom Intuos Medium Pen Tablet

For all my projects I’m using at least one of the Adobe creative cloud tools, or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.

Get CS6 Master collection
Get Adobe CS6 Master Collection

Update:

I have recently joined the Adobe cloud and I’m not looking back. The Adobe cloud is a subscription plan that allows me to work with all of Adobe’s products!

Including:

Adobe Cloud Membership
Adobe Creative Cloud Membership options

Photoshop CS6 Extended
Illustrator® CS6
InDesign® CS6
Acrobat® X Pro
Flash® Professional CS6
Flash Builder® 4.6 Premium Edition
Dreamweaver® CS6
Fireworks® CS6
Adobe Premiere® Pro CS6
After Effects® CS6
Adobe Audition® CS6
SpeedGrade™ CS6
Prelude™ CS6
Encore CS6
Bridge CS6
Media Encoder CS6

Since I’ve expended to video, Photoshop, Lightroom and Dreamweaver were not enough. I needed a professional video and sound editing software and since Adobe Cloud allow me to work with any and all of their software, I now added Premier, After Effects and Audition to my arsenal, as well as other production software and services, If you make your living from design, photography or video production, the cloud is the best productivity “tool belt” you can have.