I recently returned from three weeks in Italy and Paris, France. I was even in Paris on Bastille Day.
In Italy, I visited Rome, Florence, Siena, Sorrento, Pompeii, the Vatican, San Gimignano, Turin, and Milan. In Paris, I visited the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and Versailles.
This post is of my favorite photos from the trip. Check out the whole gallery too.
[Note: These videos might be unsafe for work. Mature content and language.]
Last week, I was asked to shoot video final poetry slam of the Capturing Fire Queer Spoken Word Summit & Slam. It was my first time shooting a poetry slam, as well as my first time shooting in a Busboys & Poets restaurant. Due to cost and turnaround, this was a one-camera shoot. It was really strange doing a one-camera shoot, after so many two-camera shoots. Nonetheless, the performances were short and interesting enough that I didn’t feel I needed to switch to a second camera to keep things engaging. Also, since the performances were meant to be shown straight through, so I didn’t need the second camera to help in covering any edits.
Here are the three finalists in their respective winning order from the final round. While poetry slams aren’t quite my thing, I really enjoyed Joanna Hoffman’s pieces and thought she earned the top spot.
More videos after the break.
In early May, I shot my first wedding, filling in a friend who had to drop out suddenly. I had never shot a wedding, be it in photo or video, so this was a great opportunity. It was also pretty low-key and the families were great to work with. I also realized that monopods really are your friends when you’re moving around a lot.
I was originally going to break the story into three parts, but realized it lent itself well to four parts: the preparations, the ceremony, the transition to the reception, and the reception. Since these were the online versions, I tried to keep them focused on the highlights and humor of the day. Once again, congratulations to Lindsey and TJ!
On Tuesday, the space shuttle Discovery was flown to Dulles-International Airport for transfer to the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Today, the shuttle was finally put in its new home. The Smithsonian and NASA had a ceremony in which NASA transferred ownership of Discovery to the Smithsonian. Discovery took the place of the shuttle Enterprise in the Smithsonian’s collection. It was very interesting seeing the two shuttles nose-to-nose. Enterprise never flew into space and was mostly used for landing tests. On the other hand, Discovery flew 39 missions and logged 365 days in space. I’m actually glad the Smithsonian plans to keep Discovery in its current shape, instead of making it spotless. I think this decision lets Discovery’s hard-working nature come through.
This morning was the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery. During its 27 years of service, the shuttle flew 39 missions. The final flight took it from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the Washington-Dulles International Airport. She now becomes part of the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the National Air & Space Museum. Atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, Discovery flew over a few DC area landmarks, including the National Mall. The shuttle piggybacks on the larger plane because it does not have engines. I stood on the steps of the National Museum of Natural History to get this photo. Having the shuttle fly over the Smithsonian Castle seemed fitting, given its new home.
Close up photo after the break. (more…)
Video gear is expensive. That’s something people in our field know all too well. Yet outside of the core components (cameras, audio gear, lights, a very good tripod), do they need to be so expensive?
Last night I went to the DC Film Alliance’s DC Film Salon, a monthly meeting for DC-area film and video professionals and students. Lat night’s topic was do-it-yourself (DIY) video gear solutions. These includes a homemade dolly system, a homemade steadycam rig, and something the maker called “strollercam.” I’m going to mostly talk about the strollercam, but some other thoughts first.
Most of the speakers emphasized how numerous regular household items work quite well as substitutes for much more expensive gear. For example, one of the speakers showed a bean bag tripod that was essentially a bean bag chair you could buy at Target, to which he added straps to keep it in place on location. The same speaker also showed one of his homemade sand bags. While one bag may cost $30, he probably spent $20 on a bag of sand and the fabric to make two separate sand bags. As the speakers kept saying, there are usually cheaper alternatives to expensive gear.
One of the speakers said that sometimes people looked at his steadycam rig condescendingly but for the most part, that went away once people saw that he handled himself professionally and knowledgeably. He joked that while some people would snootily ask him “is that the swing arm from a computer monitor?”, other people asked the same question gleefully, in awe of his creativity.
A creative solution doesn’t always need to be complex, which brings me to strollercam.
Les Owen, the video producer at the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and owner of LDO Video, needed to do moving and tracking shots in a grocery store. He originally wondered about using grocery carts to stabilize the camera, but other video producers dissuaded him from using the carts, based on their experiences. One day, his wife suggested using a jogging stroller. Les dug it out of storage and then wondered how he could attach a tripod to it. (more…)
While I have spent most of my life in the DC area, I had never actually seen the cherry blossoms at sunrise. I decided to change that oversight on the morning or March 23, 2012.