X-Rite Nano Color Checker

It wasn’t that long ago when X-Rite announced a ginormous Mega Color checker, well now they have gone to the opposite extreme with the X-Rite Nano. The Nano is a super-small, flat version of the classic target, specifically designed for extremely small items or close-up photography. The announcement sparked one person on Twitter to say … Continued

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Yongnuo YN200 Speedlite pocket-sized flash officially launched

Following its unveiling earlier this month, Yongnuo has officially launched its new YN200 Speedlite, a compact TTL / HSS flash that strongly resembles the Godox AD200. As previously detailed, the Yongnuo YN200 offers a 200W output via a 2900mAh Lithium-ion battery and removable bare bulb (the head is not modular, however).

The YN200 Speedlite supports Yongnuo’s newly announcement 560 PRO radio system, which integrates the YN-622 and YN560 radio systems. The pocket flash features an attachment bayonet for use with accessories, including a reflective cover. Yongnuo boasts an ‘extreme speed’ recycling time of 2 seconds and support for up to 500 full-power flashes before needing to recharge.

The company lists the following specs for its new flash:

Model: YN200
Flash output: 200W
Guide No: 60m @ ISO100 (using the reflector)
Color temperature: 5600k
Power: 14.4V 2900mAh lithium battery
Recycle time: About 0.01 – 2s
Power Adjustment: 1/1 – 1/64
Full power flashes: Up to 500
Groups: A/B/C/D/E/F + 16 channels
Trigger mode: Radio slave mode (YN560), optical transmission mode (SC/SN), S1, S2, synchronous interface trigger
Flash mode: TTL, M, Multi
Sync port: 3.5mm
Charging: USB Type-C
Firmware upgrade: micro-USB
Dimensions: 205 x 78 x 53mm without flash tube (8 x 3 x 2in)
Weight: 540g (1.1kbs) without battery and flash tube

Yongnuo is selling the YN200 Speedlite on eBay for $249 USD, as well as in a bundle featuring the flash and YN560-TX PRO transmitter for $301 USD. The flash also appears to be for sale on Amazon from a third-party seller.

DJI Digital FPV System

DJI has announced the new Digital FPV System which offers HD 720p/120fps resolution transmission for a better FPV flying experience. We have seen FPV drones being used more and more for cinematography purposes. You may have seen some of these newer FPV drones, carrying a full RED camera package. Unlike traditional aerial cinematography, FPV drones … Continued

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HitFilm 13 Is Making Your Life Easier With 3D Camera Tracking

Get excited, gang: Foundry 3D camera tracking is now part of FXHome HitFilm 13.

Last spring at NAB, FXHome announced some exciting new features were coming to HitFilm, including a collaboration with the Foundry, which brings integration of their CameraTracker technology into the HitFilm timeline for adding 3D elements directly into a 2D scene. Editors and visual effects artists can now create a virtual camera whose movement matches the original camera without ever having to leave HitFilm to create it.

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Photography Isn’t Always Fun

Photography Isn't Always Fun

Photography is supposed to be a fun thing; after all, it is something we all willingly choose to do, as opposed to a career chosen out of necessity. But that doesn’t mean it always is; in fact, sometimes, it’s downright tedious. This great video follows a landscape photographer as he discusses how the job isn’t always as great as we make it out to be and why that’s still ok.

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The Awesome Action in The Matrix Was More Important Than You Might Realize

Exposition is hard to hide. Rewatching The Matrix might help.

The Matrix has one of the most complicated plots of the 20th and 21st centuries. It’s a science fiction and action genre movie that asks a ton of questions that cut to the core of our existence. Even crazier?

It actually delivers some satisfying answers!

When the movie came out everyone wanted to talk about alternate realities, machines, philosophy, and lots of other deep topics.

But what if I told you that… the best gift The Matrix gave audiences was not bullet-time of the Keanu Reeves action hero… it was how well it hid exposition.

Check out the video essay from Lessons from the Screenplay, but after the jump, we’ll spell it all out for you so you won’t forget the key takeaways and you’ll be able to make them part of your process.

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A Mistake Many Photographers Make When Trying to Get New Clients

A Mistake Many Photographers Make When Trying to Get New Clients

Getting new clients is exciting, but often difficult. If you’ve got no mutual connection, no contact to introduce you, or no event you can bump in to them at, you’re against the odds. So don’t make it even harder.

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In Media Res Examples Can Help You Start Writing the Right Way

Struggling to know how to start your story? Beginning something in media res is always a great way. But what does it mean?

We’re used to hearing that the beginning is usually a great place to start a story. Some movies like Memento begin at the end.

But there is another way…

*FREEZE FRAME*

“Yep, that’s me. I bet you’re wondering how I got here.”

You’ve seen stories start that way, right?

That’s called beginning in media res. We all know opening scenes are pretty important, but the same philosophy for them actually translates into how you write other scenes in your screenplay.

Let’s dive into some in media res examples and talk about why when used correctly it can help propel your story forward.

What does “In Media Res” mean?

In Media Res Definition

In medias res is Latin roughly translated to “into the middle of things.” It describes a story that begins in the middle, at a crucial point in the action.

Who coined the term?

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A First Look at the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

A First Look at the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron’s 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD lens for Sony mirrorless cameras has been an absolute runaway success, with its combination of portability, image quality, and affordable cost winning over many photographers and videographers. The 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD follows a similar design philosophy, and many people are already excited about the lens. This great video takes a first look at the lens to help you decide if you should add it to your arsenal.

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Forget Gaff Tape, Use This to Hide a Lav

Never pull out chest hair again!

You show up to your video gig, and create an amazing interview setup. But when your interviewee walks in the door, he’s wearing an extra-low, ultra-white V-neck shirt that would make Jude Law blush. Where are you going to put that damned lav mic?

We’ve covered nearly every trick in the book for hiding lavs, but here’s a new tutorial that shares a secret ingredient you might’ve never heard about: toupee tape.

As Sidney Diongzon explains, toupee tape is the softest and least irritating tape you can get to stick to human skin. Check out his video:

Here are a few takeaways from Sidney, plus a few tips about stuff he doesn’t mention.

Visible lav mics funk up suspension of disbelief

“It’s like seeing a fly on your TV when you’re watching a movie,” says Sidney. Word. We agree with you one-hundred-percent.

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Tarantino’s Most Unique Trademark: The Way He Steals

Tarantino might be the greatest, most unique postmodern pastiche artists ever.

What is it that makes director Quentin Tarantino unique? Is it his snappy dialogue, his memorable characters, or is it his liberal, even playful use of violence? Sure, all of these things set him apart from his contemporaries, but there’s something else that makes his films so iconic: he steals.

In this video essay from Insider, we’ll take a look at how Tarantino uses movie references in his own work through his own version of “stealing”

“Stealing” in a Good Way

Okay, before anyone gets in a tizzy, let’s quickly go over what we’re talking about when we refer to “stealing”.

No, I nor the video assumes Tarantino straight-up takes ideas from other filmmakers and claims them as his own. You might be thinking, “Oh, well…I guess he just likes to pay homage to his favorite films.” Again, no.

The video references a 1994 interview Tarantino gave Empire Magazine in which the director calls what he does “stealing,” saying, “Great artists steal.”

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Your First Year as a Professional Photographer: What Can You Expect?

Your First Year as a Professional Photographer: What Can You Expect?

Taking the jump into becoming a professional photographer can be a bit daunting, and you might be wondering if the move is right for you and what you can expect. This great video features a photographer discussing what his first year as a full-time professional was like after leaving a corporate job and offering some great tips and advice for those of you thinking of taking the plunge yourselves.

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Three Simple Reasons to Return to the Same Location

Three Simple Reasons to Return to the Same Location

Returning to the same landscape photography location several times can vastly improve your photos. Here are three reasons to why returning is a good idea.

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Fstoppers Reviews Cinetracer: Learn Cinematography by Gaming

Fstoppers Reviews Cinetracer: Learn Cinematography by Gaming

Envision flying around with a jet pack creating massive film sets like you are a cinematography superhero. Cinetracer is a realistic cinematography simulator where you play a Director, and your quest is to make an epic movie. The real purpose of this program is to create beautiful storyboards for pitching.

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JPEGmini Brings Its File Size Shrinking Tech to Capture One

JPEGmini has announced a new plug-in that brings its widely used JPEG file size shrinking technology to Capture One Pro 12.

Phase One released Capture One Pro 12 back in November 2018, opening the door to third-party plug-ins for the first time, and JPEGmini was selected as one of the first software companies to create a plugin for the photo editing software.

Photographers exporting photos from Capture One can now choose to have JPEGmini automatically optimize the JPEGs for the smallest possible file size while retaining the same image quality.

“The resulting benefits will be faster uploading times, better UX and faster loading websites, thus improving Google search rank and customer satisfaction,” JPEGmini says.

DPReview tested the new plug-in using full-size JPEGs captured with a Canon EOS R and achieved a nearly 75% reduction in file size when exporting from Capture One 12 — 30MB files were shrunk down to 7-8MB without any change in dimensions or loss in apparent image quality.

The new JPEGmini Capture One plugin is bundled within the $89 JPEGmini Pro Suite, which also includes the standalone app (priced at $59 by itself), the Lightroom plug-in, and the Photoshop extension. You can also test out the software before you buy by downloading a free trial.

US senator targets ‘addictive’ social media features with newly proposed SMART Act

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has introduced the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act, a bill that — if passed — would restrict social media platforms from using ‘addictive and deceptive techniques’ allegedly intended to ‘exploit users.’ The restrictions would apply to ‘certain features’ like endless scrolling; the bill would also require companies to provide a way for users to monitor their social media usage and would require ‘choice parity for consent.’

Senator Hawley accuses big tech companies of designing social media platforms to capture users’ attention to sell their attention to advertisers. The legislation targets multiple design elements that are allegedly addictive, including endlessly scrolling pages that auto-load new content when the user nears the bottom, as well as auto-playing videos and arguably pointless achievements earned by using the platforms.

The legislation targets multiple design elements that are allegedly addictive, including endlessly scrolling pages that auto-load new content when the user nears the bottom, as well as auto-playing videos and arguably pointless achievements earned by using the platforms.

The bill would provide exceptions for certain design choices, such as allowing achievement badges that ‘substantially increase’ the user’s access to new features or services, as well as exclusions for social media platforms that mainly revolve around music streaming and for music playlists.

If the legislation were passed, social media companies would be required to feature natural stopping points on their platforms, eliminating the popular infinite newsfeed design, and these platforms would also need to make it easier for users to decline consent by prominently displaying ‘decline’ boxes with the same size and design as ‘accept’ boxes.

Beyond the stated restrictions, the bill would grant the HHS and FTC authority to ‘ban other similar practices,’ something that would expire after three years unless Congress ratified it. Speaking about his proposed SMART Act, Sen. Hawley said:

‘Big tech has embraced a business model of addiction. Too much of the ‘innovation’ in this space is designed not to create better products, but to capture more attention by using psychological tricks that make it difficult to look away. This legislation will put an end to that and encourage real innovation by tech companies.’

Though some aspects of the bill are welcome, namely the built-in ability to monitor usage and more easily decline specific requests, some users may not be happy about the loss of auto-playing videos on platforms like YouTube, which eliminates the need to manually click the ‘next’ button, and infinite scrolling, which is very convenient when scrolling through image platforms.