Unprocessed HDR Image: 0 EV
Unprocessed HDR Image: 0 EV

I’ve been taking Trey Ratcliff’s Complete HDR course over the summer. The course is a series of 20 videos covering every aspect of HDR photography along with 75 images to practice with. The images supplied are the same ones that Trey uses in the training videos.

For those of you somewhat new to photography, or have never heard of HDR photography, let me give you a short explanation. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It’s using post-processing to combine several images of the same scene, each made at a different exposure. The purpose is to overcome the limitations of the camera’s sensor in capturing the entire range of light available in a scene.… More

Chasing the Light

I just finished reading one of Ian Plant’s new eBooks titled Chasing the Light: Essential Tips For Taking Great Photos. The book is nothing less than 240 pages of spectacular. Ian has knocked the ball out of the park once again.

Chasing the Light is an informational book full of photographic knowledge, image studies, and creative tips. Every page has something of value for the photographer to learn. What makes this book something special though, is how Ian has carefully balanced the information with gorgeous, inspirational wildlife and landscape photography that illustrates each topic being presented.

Broken into six sections, Ian discusses every aspect of light imaginable.… More

Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)I recently read a short article by photographer and entrepreneur, James Clear titled, Email is Where Keystrokes Go to Die. James, reflecting on a speech given by Scott Hanselman of Microsoft, states that we only get so many keystrokes in our lifetime, and we are wasting them on emails that will only be read by one person. Instead, you should share your keystrokes with many people by blogging or writing that book you’ve been thinking about forever. And this concept of sharing with many instead of a few, or one, applies to other avenues of creativity such as photography and music.… More

My month of video training just flew by. Video production is one of those subjects that I could easily spend the rest of the year exploring and writing about. But, the goal was to sample and learn the basics of video, which I believe I accomplished. Granted I have a lot to learn yet, but I am now able to setup my camera, light the set and add some good quality sound to my videos. That’s more than I could do at the beginning of the month.

What did I learn during the Month of Video Production?

Setting Up The DSLR

  • Set the white balance manually in order to prevent automatic white balance changes during production.

Similar to video lighting, you don’t have to make a huge investment in sound equipment to start out in video production. There are free and low-cost options available to use until you are sure you want to pursue video more actively. You will quickly discover however, that the more you invest in sound equipment, the better your sound quality is.

Free Sound Option

Any camera capable of shooting video, also has the capability to record sound. This includes pro video cameras, camcorders, DSLR’s, point-and-shoot cameras, and even cell phones. Typically, the professional quality video cameras have high quality shotgun microphones attached to them.More

If you are just starting out in video production, you don’t need to go crazy and spend a lot of money on video lighting. There are several free and low-cost options available.

Natural and Existing Lighting (free options)

You really don’t need to invest in any lighting to get started in video. Mother Nature provides a wonderful light source if you know how to make use of it.  Here are a few ways to utilize the sun and existing lighting.

  • Outdoors on overcast days. A slightly overcast day is one of the best sources of natural light. It’s natures giant softbox giving you a nice even lighting.

When learning to shoot video with a DSLR camera, the first thing I discovered is that I had to learn several things simultaneously. In order to experiment with camera settings, I needed to at least have a decent foundation of good lighting and white balance. In order to experiment around with different types of sound recordings, I needed to know a little bit about the camera settings.

Basically, while experimenting with the various camera settings, lighting conditions and sound recording systems, I had to set up and record a series of short videos and stills. But rather that discuss all of these at the same time, I will be breaking up camera settings, video lighting, and sound recording into at least three separate posts.… More