Monday, June 11, 2012


So for a while I thought I was being great and updating my blog...except I never checked it. I wrote up a whole series for some photographer friends they recently mentioned they didn't see it. Lo and behold, I never published them. So...I did a quick check on them, but here are the links to them, as they make a bit more sense in order. They'll pop open in a new window, so you can jump back to this list):


Camera calibration is a huge deal. In particular, with live television, where I do most of my work, our video engineer will take a good deal of time ensuring that all of our cameras perfectly match. He has the ability to tweak more settings than you can on your DSLR...but in an ideal setup, when I work with him as the Lighting Designer, it should minimize what and how much he has to manipulate. I'll spend a lot of time tweaking lights, LED's, and gels to make sure the lighting is even, maybe specialized for a host and generally "works." Why, when he has all of that latitude in the cameras? Because if he has to swing from Person A to Person B, live on air, he needs to have faith that they will be close to matching without having to hit every switch and dial. A lot of this pre processing can be applied to photography with a couple of tools.

Color Temperature Part 2

So hopefully you have a better idea about color temperature after my thoughts about it. Here's where you can have some fun with it and a huge tip for making your life easier if you shoot RAW. One other fun aspect to a lot of these tips-if you're shooting video, they are especially relevant. It's a cheap and easy way to get some really funky and interesting visual effects for stills and for video. Pop ahead for more!

JPEG vs Raw

So here is a note for those of you who are unconcerned about white balance because you're shooting in RAW...I agree, you can probably leave it on AWB and be fine. Dandy even. However, a couple of my thoughts, my shooting style and my approach...

Color Temperature is NOT Subjective

I just had to lead off with a reference to one of the dumbest things I've heard. It isn't subjective. It's quantifiable, difficult to fully grasp all of the niceties, and vitally important. If you've made the DIY Fluorescent Hot Light or just want to wrap your head around Color temperature a little more, jump ahead with me!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Let's Build a Fluorescent Hot Light for Photography doubt you have Kino Flo in your mind when it comes to a fluorescent unit. For the unfamiliar, it is a company that makes robust, fluorescent units. Some are dimmable, some are hot only...and they put out beautiful light. Super soft.  Controllable. If you can use a Kino unit, give it a try.

The problem-to buy, they aren't in the reach of many hobbyist photogs. Even a relatively basic unit, like the 4Bank 4' unit, it's about $1100. It's a perfect short/medium throw unit-it puts out about 85 footcandles with a 100° spread, from a distance of 6'. You could comfortably shoot at a f4.0 or f5.6 and a speedy shutter.

What I recommend to most folks is to make a mimic (at least for photography purposes) of this unit.
Take the jump to learn about how I've done this before.

A Note for Photographers...

Hey guys. I'm about to embark on putting together a few posts about camera work and photography at the request of a few friends.

I'm a Lighting Designer by trade, and have been working in television for about 10 years. Though by no means do I consider myself a professional cameraman or photographer, my interaction and working with them means I know more than a little bit about cameras.

I figure I'll hit a few of the high points of questions that I'm asked frequently and how I work with them, in particular in relation to "hot lights", fluorescents, color temperature (and correction), and a few other tricks that I've picked up along the way. Those are some of the most requested topics people pick my brain about...anything you want to hear about?

Next: Let's Build a Fluorescent Hot Light!