Canon is using Indiegogo to crowdfund the IVY REC, a ‘Clippable, Go Anywhere Camera’

Earlier this year, at CP+ 2019, Canon showed off a collection of creative concept cameras it has been developing behind-the-scenes for quite some time. Now, Canon has taken the first steps to bring at least one of these cameras to market in the form of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

The first of the concept cameras Canon is hoping to make a reality is the IVY REC, a ‘clippable, go anywhere camera’ along the lines of Google’s Clips camera and Narrative’s Clip camera, neither of which had much market success.

Currently, the Indiegogo campaign page is nothing more than a landing page where you can sign up to receive more information on the camera and updates on when the campaign will go live. According to the campaign page, the IVY REC features a 13-megapixel 1/3-inch CMOS sensor capable of recording 1080 / 60p video.

Note what appears to be a standard 1/4-20 tripod thread beneath the lens of the IVY REC.

Canon says the IVY REC is lightweight, shockproof and waterproof1. The ultra-compact camera also features wireless connectivity via the CanonMini Cam App, which will turn your smartphone into a live view display and allow for wireless transfer of photos and video. Canon also says the square clip section of the camera can double as a primitive viewfinder.

A single dial appears to be the only menu interface on the camera itself, meaning any minute adjustments will need to be done using the accompanying smartphone app.

At first view, both the camera and the crowdfunding campaign appear extremely out of character for Canon, but in a previous interview with DPReview at CP+ 2019, Canon executives noted the company is determined ‘to capture as many customers as [it] can’ and expressed the belief that ‘there’s a new genre of capturing: a new casual capturing market,’ of sorts that has ‘potential for new developments.’ Sure, Canon has the resources to go out and built this concept for the mass market, but a crowdfunding campaign is a simple solution to gauging the public’s interest without investing any additional capital into the concepts.

There’s no pricing information or details on when the crowdfunding campaign will go live, but the landing page does note ‘early birds’ will receive upwards of 30% off the retail price. You can sign up to receive updates and see the information for yourself on the campaign’s landing page.


1Up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1m (3.3ft)

10 Famous Movies That Didn’t Know How To End

So many great films have, for one reason or another, been given less than satisfying endings. Whether it’s because of classic Hollywood censorship or simply a questionable decision from the filmmaker, many of these movies may leave viewers feelings disappointed.

However, every film on this list is worth watching in spite of their disappointing endings. One bad decision does not decrease the quality of the rest of the film, though it does certainly affect the overall experience.

WARNING: Given the nature of this list, spoilers are present in essentially all of the entries.

 

1. The Woman in The Window

The Woman in the Window (1944)

Fritz Lang’s 1944 expressionistic noir follows a similar overly dramatic, fatalistic path as its superior follow up Scarlet Street (a remake of Jean Renoir’s early masterpiece La Chienne).

Both films star noir vets Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, and Dan Duryea, both were directed by Lang, and both films involved an uptight middle-aged man (Robinson) who is, in some way or another, taken advantage of by a beautiful young woman (Bennett). In The Woman in the Window, Bennett’s character is far less cruel than in Scarlet Street, but she still manages to get Robinson under her enchanting spell, and this does not work to his advantage in either film.

The glaring difference between the two films is, of course, the ending. Whereas the ending of Scarlet Street is arguably the most devastating ending of the noir era, its predecessor softens its own shocking ending by clumsily tacking on an early use of the much loathed “it was all a dream” cliché.

Given the time and place this film was made, this was obviously not Lang’s choice. Because the ending involved suicide, the morally based Hayes Code essentially forced Lang to “undo” the suicide by showing the character waking up after the suicide, only to let out a sigh of relief, realizing that all of the miserable events of the last few days had simply be a dream.

Despite its ending, The Woman In The Window is absolutely worth watching. It is especially good if one decides to turn off the film before the true ending occurs, to get an idea of Lang’s original vision.

 

2. Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger than Fiction

How can a film like Marc Forster’s Stranger Than Fiction possibly end? It’s the kind of film that begs for a depressing ending but, much like The Woman in The Window, the fatalism drastically dwindles in the last minute.

Sure, maybe audiences wouldn’t want to see a beloved comedy star like Will Ferrell die after getting brutally run over by a bus. Or maybe this film simply did not take itself seriously enough to have a darker ending. This film could’ve easily been much more than the whimsical fantasy film it insists on being. It could’ve made a powerful statement on artistic integrity and the selfish decisions artists make for their work.

But instead, Stranger Than Fiction lacks the confidence to make such a bold statement, instead only lightly touching on it before saying “never mind” and finishing with a heartwarming scene where, unfortunately, everyone ends up happy.

 

3. Side Street

Yet another classic noir whose powerful ending was diminished by a forced happy ending. One of auteur Anthony Mann’s better films, Side Street tells the story of a naïve mailman who made one mistake that would ruin his entire life, at least it should have.

Farley Granger’s character steals money that belongs to two gangsters and by the end of the film, his one mistake seems to have caught up with him. Following one of the greatest chase scenes in classic Hollywood, Granger ends up with severe bullet wounds and lays dying in the street- a fantastic ending that demonstrates how one seemingly small, quick decision can destroy one’s life. But the wonderful Hollywood system couldn’t leave it as it was.

Granger, who should’ve been dead by this point, is placed onto a stretcher and driven away in an ambulance. The final shot show Granger lying in the ambulance with the narrator reassuring the viewer that “he’ll be alright- just a few light wounds. And don’t worry, he learned his lesson this time!”

Interestingly, the optimistic ending attempts to make the same statement as the darker alternative did, but in a nauseatingly happy manner that will leave the viewer endlessly frustrated.

 

4. The Woman on the Beach

Jean Renoir, arguably the greatest pre-New Wave French director, made one of his first American films, The Woman on the Beach, in 1947. Also starring Joan Bennett, along with Robert Ryan and Charles Bickford, it could also be placed on a list of films that “should’ve been great but weren’t.”

The films flaws lie within its contrived plot. Robert Ryan is in the Coast Guard and, as given away by the title, meets Joan Bennett on the beach. He becomes friends with her and her blind husband, a former painter.

Ryan and Bennett naturally end up falling in love. Ryan ends up trying to drown Bennett’s husband (Bickford) but to no avail. The film is then rushed into a finale that shows Bickford setting their house on fire, along with all of his paintings. Bennett desperately tries to save the paintings, keeping in mind their great monetary value, but fails. It turns out Bickford burned the paintings as he felt they were an unhealthy obsession of his and needed badly to move on. He asks Peggy to drive him up to New York, telling her that after that, she is free to do what she wants.

This ending makes very little sense, but it isn’t exactly surprising given that the rest of the film suffers from that same issue. Luckily, Renoir would return with some of the most acclaimed films of his career like French Cancan, The River, and The Golden Coach. While many directors like Fritz Lang, Douglas Sirk, and Ernst Lubitsch did their best work after immigrating to the U.S., Jean Renoir most likely should have continued to make his films in France.

 

5. Love on the Run

The ending of Love on the Run isn’t disappointing, but the film as a whole serves as a rather disappointing ending to the greatest series in French cinema, and hardly makes a fitting farewell for a character as beloved as Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud).

Truffaut could have ended the series with its previous installment, the phenomenal Bed & Board, but he must’ve found it to be too negative. Instead, the final sequel Love on the Run is a good film and certainly provides a poignant end for the series in the last few minutes.

But this film’s deepest flaw is the constant use of clips from previous Doinel films- possibly around 30 minutes total of the film are devoted to this. Did Truffaut really not think the story was strong enough to stand on its own? Or was it simply a stylistic decision that ultimately failed?

Though it is at times amusing to see Doinel at different points in his life, especially as a child in The 400 Blows, and to compare with where he is now, pushing 40. But the amusement soon wears off and the viewer is left wondering why Truffaut resorted to such an annoying tactic.

Panasonic releases firmware updates for Lumix Cameras

Panasonic has announced that they will be releasing new firmware updates for the LUMIX S1R, S1, GH5, GH5S, G9, G90/G91/G95, G80/G81/G85 and GX9 at UTC 1:00 on July 9, 2019. The key updates include for the S1R & S1 include improved Body Image Stabilizer performance, with a claimed maximum 6 stops, up from 5.5 and … Continued

The post Panasonic releases firmware updates for Lumix Cameras appeared first on Newsshooter.

Watch PTA’s Thom Yorke Music Video

Paul Thomas Anderson, Thom Yorke, and Netflix walk into a bar…

Writing and directing short films are all the rage right now. Thanks to the rise in digital platforms like Netflix and Quibi, consumers are appreciating content in small doses. New to that list is the new experimental music video from Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Thom Yorke, Dajana Roncione, and a crew of dancers.

Here’s the teaser from Netflix…

Right off the bat, we dig into the world of a “One-reeler.” The film was choreographed by Damien Jalet, who was the choreographer on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria, which had a musical score by Yorke.

Anima is the name of Yorke’s new solo album, since leaving Radiohead. The short is fifteen minutes long. It’s experimental in genre, and follows three Anima songs: “Not the News,” “Traffic,” and “Dawn Chorus.”

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Screenplay Format: How to Write a Script

Screenplay Format: How to Write a Script

Before a Screenwriter can tell that next great love story, historical epic or zany comedy, they need to master screenplay format. Understanding exactly how a script should look and be formatted is important for two main reasons. First, knowledge of each element can go a long way in supporting the more creative aspects of screenwriting, such as creating memorable characters and building a solid story structure. Second, as scripts are meant to be read, a solid screenplay format will help a reader move quickly through the story with ease, as well as indicate to them that the Writer of it is of a professional caliber.

The following guidelines break down screenplay format fundamentals, including:

  1. Font
  2. Point size
  3. Page number
  4. Title page
  5. Scene heading
  6. Character
  7. Action
  8. Dialogue

This is essential learning for aspiring Screenwriters and a helpful reminder even for those who consider themselves veteran scribes.

Screenplay Basics

Font

Probably the most basic of the basics is the type of font used for scripts. The standard in the world of screenplay formatting is Courier. For a Screenwriter to go rogue and use a different font can result in several outcomes. For one, it can indicate to the reader that the Writer of the script is either a novice regarding scripting rules or is simply someone who doesn’t find the rules important enough to abide by them. Two, a script written in another font can throw off the typical time assumed when using Courier, which is one minute of screen time for one page of the script. For these reasons, Writers should stick to the standard of Courier font.

Point Size

Again, as with font, screenplays have a typical point size for all text, which is 12 point. The reason? Much the same as why scripts are written in Courier font. It demonstrates to the reader that the Screenwriter understands standard screenplay format, and it also helps to maintain the usual ratio of one minute of screen time for each page of the script. Moreover, a font smaller than 12 point can make it more difficult to read the screenplay, and a font larger than it may misrepresent there being enough of a story to tell, à la using a larger font for a school essay to hit the required number of pages.

Page Number

It’s important to remember that for many Screenwriters, some of these basic script formatting rules are built into the many types of screenwriting software available to creatives, including the automatic addition of page number in the upper righthand corner of each page, minus the first page of the script. But as with any program that can experience the occasional glitch, Writers should always double-check that their work is properly formatted before sending off their scripts to Agents, Managers, executives or anyone else in a position to help that screenplay come to life. As mentioned, the first page of a script need not have a page number, though every subsequent page should be numbered in proper numerical order.

A font smaller than 12 point can make it more difficult to read the screenplay, and a font larger than it may misrepresent there being enough of a story to tell, à la using a larger font for a school essay to hit the required number of pages.

Title Page

The title page should likewise be part of every script — with one important exception. Many film festivals and contests that host competitions for best screenplay ask that Writers leave off the title page, which typically includes identifying information so that the readers are not in any way biased about the material they are evaluating. Outside of that particular circumstance, Writers should always include a title page when sending out their screenplays. On that page should be the script title, author name and contact information, such as email address and phone number, as well as any WGA or U.S. Copyright registration numbers.

Screenwriting Elements

Scene Heading

Now on to the actual screenplay formatting elements! A Writer can’t tell a story without first alerting the reader to where they are, whether it’s a farmhouse in Kansas or the royal residence of the fictional planet Asgard. Also referred to as sluglines, scene headings identify location and time of day, either independently (ex. “DAY,” “NIGHT,” “MORNING,” etc.) or in relation to the scene preceding it (ex. “CONTINUOUS,” “MOMENTS LATER,” etc.).

Character

This one is fairly straightforward, but the importance of it should not be underestimated, especially when it comes to choosing character names. A first-time reader of a script can get easily confused by characters with similar names such as Ann and Amy, so when selecting names, aim for diversity to minimize mix-ups. Also, while it’s ultimately up to the Writer’s preference, some screenwriting experts recommend always giving a name to even minor characters, such as a Cop or Doctor with just a single line, the reason being that it allows the future Actor playing that role to more deeply identify with it.

Action

The goal of a script is to show and not tell a story. As such, it’s important that Writers not rely on action lines too heavily to explain the narrative. Keep it concise and in service to explaining only what cannot be told through dialogue. Also, Writers should keep in mind that a screenplay is not a novel. Large chunks of text slow the ability of the reader to make it through the script, and more importantly, may dissuade them from continuing to read it at all. Some conventional wisdom is to keep as much “white on the page” as possible, as well as to make sure each page allows the reader to “read vertically” rather than horizontally — i.e. too much description.

Dialogue

Great dialogue is one of the most critical aspects of a good script and probably one of the most difficult aspects of it to explain. Why? Because dialogue relies entirely on the nature of the character speaking it. Is the character a babbler? Are they curt? Do they speak with a dialect that sets them apart from everyone else in the story? Each of these questions points to creating distinct characters that could not be mistaken for anyone else in the narrative, which is one of the most crucial guidelines to keep in mind for dialogue. In fact, some screenwriting experts advocate that each character should be identifiable by their dialogue alone even when their character names are removed from the script.

Parentheticals

Related to dialogue is the use of parentheticals, which typically are used to help inform how a line is spoken by a character. While parentheticals can be useful, a good rule of thumb is that the majority of dialogue — and its intended delivery — should be clear on its own. Therefore, use parentheticals sparingly. Not only can excessive use of them indicate to the reader that the dialogue isn’t strong enough to stand on its own, but also it can hinder a future performance by the Actor playing that role, as they may feel boxed in creatively regarding delivery of their lines.

Extension

Another screenwriting element used in conjunction with character and dialogue is that of extensions. Essentially, when a character name is listed on its own with their dialogue immediately following, it’s assumed that the dialogue is spoken by that character on camera. However, that’s not always the intended case in cinematic storytelling. So to clarify, extensions are used. Two of the most common extensions are “V.O” and “O.S.” The former, which stands for “voiceover,” indicates that the dialogue is being spoken by the character to the reader, audience or themselves internally rather than to another character in their presence. The latter, which stands for “off-screen,” means that the dialogue is being spoken by a character off camera.

Writers should keep in mind that a screenplay is not a novel. Large chunks of text slow the ability of the reader to make it through the script, and more importantly, may dissuade them from continuing to read it at all.

Subheader

In some circumstances, the use of a brand-new scene heading is not necessary. For instance, let’s say two characters are having a conversation with each other within two different rooms in a house. Instead of creating a new scene heading for each line of dialogue between the characters, a Writer may choose instead to use the subheaders “BATHROOM” and “HALLWAY.” However, just as parentheticals should not be excessively relied on in screenplays to help explain dialogue, nor should subheaders be used too frequently to help explain location.

More/Cont’d

As with most screenplay formatting elements, the inclusion of “MORE” and “CONT’D” (short for CONTINUED) will likely be automatically inserted into a screenplay to help preserve fluidity and make sure the reader understands the continuation of dialogue. When there is a page break in a script, but dialogue that continues from one page to the next, “MORE” will be inserted at the bottom of the page to alert the reader that the dialogue continues onto the following page. On that next page, “CONT’D” will be inserted to again reaffirm to the reader that the character’s dialogue is still in progress.

Fade In/Fade Out

Perhaps two of the most exciting screenplay formatting elements are the use of “FADE IN” and “FADE OUT.” Why? Because in many cases, these will be the very first and last words of a script. While some Writers might make alternate creative choices to begin and end their screenplays, these elements are the most common to signify the start and close of the narrative. As such, Writers should include them to help guide the reader into and out of the script.

In mentioning “FADE OUT,” it’s perhaps the ideal time to state that the above screenplay format elements do not encompass all formatting tools at a Writer’s disposal. To fully understand and have a mastery of those elements, Writers should take the time to explore their screenwriting software to learn more about what they can use to help explain their narratives. While a unique story or compelling characters can make a screenplay stand out against the competition, it’s creating a solid script formatting foundation and knowing how to enhance it that will also guide Screenwriters towards future success.

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The Insane Post-Production Process on ‘Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men’

Showtime’s “Of Mics and Men” chronicles the dramatic rise of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, U-God, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, RZA, and GZA are born storytellers. That much is evident from the first scenes of Of Mics and Men, the four-episode docu-series directed by the documentarian and former music journalist Sacha Jenkins.

The series, now streaming on Showtime, illustrates how the lyrical genius of a group of young men from the Staten Island projects gave rise to one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time. Of Mics and Men is a deeply personal journey, told through meticulously sourced archival footage—much of it shown here for the first time. Though it does pay tribute to them, the series doesn’t simply take us through a timeline of Wu-Tang’s accomplishments; it’s more interested in how the rap collective coped with poverty, systemic and overt racism, and other difficulties that face disadvantaged youth, as well as the way the group navigated the tension between brotherhood and the music business, which often threatened to tear it apart.

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Create Content on the Go with Sony RX100 III Video Creator Kit

The new Sony RX100 III Video Creator Kit is a quality budget package for vloggers and low-budget documentary shooters.

Sony announced today their RX100 III Video Creator kit with a retail price of $799.99, roughly $50 more than the price of the RX100 III alone. In addition to the highly rated RX100, the kit includes the following:

  • VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip
  • 64GB SD Memory Card
  • One extra NP-BX1 battery

Also, in support of the release, Sony is releasing written and video content on a rolling basis to help shooters get better images.

RX100 III

There is a lot to love about this tiny camera. While it is not the most current iteration of the RX 100 Series, it is still a competitive budget camera in specs and performance. The camera is targeted at vloggers and budget run-and-gunners. It shoots HD footage and allows simultaneous recording to AVCHD or XAVC S and web-friendly MP4 formats.

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Why Amazon Prime Isn’t Like Traditional Hollywood Studios

A closer look at the streaming giant’s entertainment strategy.

Everyone knows that Amazon has been offering movies and TV through Prime Video for a while, but not everyone knows that Amazon Studios has been releasing films theatrically. It’s no surprise that some of them have flown under the radar—Amazon’s most successful film is Manchester by the Sea, which was nominated for six Oscars, winning two, and grossed $47M at the US box office. Amazon’s second most successful film is The Big Sick, which was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar and grossed $42M in the US. For a multi-billion dollar company, it might seem like these two films don’t really move the needle.

The Hollywood Reporter has a new story out about how Amazon Studios has been struggling to satisfy audiences with its theatrical releases.

I work in theatrical acquisition and distribution, particularly in the international presales market, so I can make a few educated guesses about Amazon’s distribution goals and strategy. Let’s dive in.

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The Complete A – Z Guide to Becoming an Event Photographer

Are you thinking about becoming an event photographer? This article will begin by giving you some insight into what the job entails and the beginning steps for getting started. By its end, you should have a fundamental roadmap for getting started.

Editor’s note: Mik Milman is a professional event photographer based in Los Angeles. This article was also published on Milman’s website.

What is Event Photography?

Event photography can be a wide category of professional photography. We often think of wedding and mitzvah photographers as their own genre of photography, so typically when referring to event photography we are talking about everything else such as birthday parties, corporate events, conferences, red carpets, award ceremonies, marketing events, etc.

Who is it For?

Event photography is well suited for a variety of personality types. Often a photographer’s personality type is reflected in their work. Both the fly on the wall as well as the gregarious type can excel at event photography. But truthfully it is someone that can combine both being an unobtrusive fly on the wall and willing to work a crowd that excels.

Getting Started

Getting started can be tough. It is your classic situation in which you need a portfolio to get work, but you need work to build a portfolio. So how do you get started?

You don’t need to work for free to get started. Rather I suggest you work for yourself. Become the unofficial event photographer in your own life. You do not need to be at a bonafide event to practice and start building an “event” photography portfolio.

There are many events you may already be going to that you can begin documenting for practice. For example: music festivals, art openings, concerts, and more are likely events you are already attending. I am an experienced event photographer. I have shot for companies like Nike and Adobe, but If you look at my portfolio, you can see recent events I photographed for my own enjoyment.

How I got started

When I first moved back to Los Angeles and decided to make my passion my profession, I was faced with the dilemma of not having the portfolio I needed to start doing professional work. Most of my time during and after college was spent making fine art photography. I was confident in my knowledge of photography but knew better than to be presumptuous and assume that it would 100% equip me for professional work.

At that time, the photography market was not as oversaturated as it is today and I knew wedding photography was an easy field to get into, so I decided to pursue it. I knew that the best way to learn was by doing and I wanted to learn the trade from someone with experience. But to even second shoot, I knew I needed a portfolio.

So what did I do? I shot a wedding for just about free. No joke, I think I charged about $180 just to cover my rentals — I didn’t even have all the gear I needed yet! But that one wedding I essentially shot for free landed me a second shooting job with the largest wedding studio in Los Angeles at the time. It was my big break in what was quite honestly a very difficult time for anyone: It was 2008 in the height of the great recession.

How did I make that happen?

I’ll be the first to admit I am not a very organized person. But I was serious about pursuing a career as a photographer. So what I did, was make an excel sheet of every wedding photographer in Los Angeles that I could find. In it, I included the name of the studio, the name of the contact person, their contact info, and any notes I had on them.

I then proceeded to email each of them and follow up with a phone call. Sadly, very few called me back and pretty much none of them were looking to even hire an assistant. However, a couple of them referred me to the studio that had the largest segment of the market at the time. So I gave them a call thinking that they would, of course, blow me off. Strikingly, the next day I got a call!

I set an interview, showed up in a suit, shared my limited wedding portfolio, and was hired on the spot! I remember them telling me something like, “well, we have like 100 people interested in a job with us, but you seem good to us.” Not only did they bring me on on the spot, but it was as a second shooter, not an assistant!

Are You Hungry? Should You Work for Free?

Just because you want something and it is beneficial to you, does not mean you should do it for free. But there are caveats.

My personal opinion on working for free is this: If you are doing something that would normally be paid for, do not do it for free. What do I mean by this? If an organization that can afford a photographer tries to convince you to do something free, never do it. If an organization has no budget for photography but you decide to volunteer your time, that’s ok.

Should You Work for Another Photographer for Free?

That depends. I have brought on interns before that I did not initially pay. I am very generous with my time with interns both on and off the job. When I first bring one on, I start off by taking them along to jobs in which neither myself nor the client would normally require an assistant. I don’t really need their help, they are there to learn. After shadowing me / assisting me for some time, when jobs did come that did had a budget for an assistant, they were always paid.

Although I can not say for certain that all photographers would be as generous with their time as I am, I can imagine many would be happy to have an assistant volunteering their time. Even if they do not train you, you can learn a lot by observing.

What You can Learn from Another Photographer

Second shooting for a seasoned photographer was an exciting experience for me. It was from working with him that I got to practice everything I knew about photography. So much of photography is learned by doing and I got to do so without the pressure of being the main photographer. Understanding concepts of photography is one thing, but putting it into practice is another.

Going into my first job as a second shooter, I knew my stuff when it came to photography. In fact, I was already teaching it. But shooting with a seasoned professional, I learned how to leverage that knowledge and put it into practice. He provided me with go to settings for different situations and taught me new techniques as well.

Having access to gear

One of my favorite parts about working with an experienced photographer was the access to his gear I had. When I first started out, I shot with a Canon 40D, which I bought with a grant I received to develop a digital photography program for a city of Los Angeles art center. But I had very few lenses AKA one kit lens. But I slowly built my gear up and because I had access to so many lenses, I knew what I wanted. I also learned what the most essential lenses were in an event/wedding photographer’s kit.

What else did I learn?

Although I learned what to do as a wedding/event photographer, I also learned what I personally did not want to do. Eventually, I found my own style and approach, but by working with experienced photographers I had a template to build off of and make my own.

Leverage Your Connections

Perhaps you know someone who is or knows a photographer or maybe you know an event planner. But if that is not the case my advice is to just let people know you are a photographer so that they will think of you when they need one. Do not ignore social media either. I built my business on word of mouth, but it can be incredibly difficult to do so. If you are not a fan of social media you should at least be asking clients to review you on review sites.

Buying Photography Gear

Camera bodies

Camera bodies are depreciating assets. If you are still early in the learning phase, by the time you are able to fully utilize your camera, it will have lost significant value and there will be better options out there with more modern tech.

My advice would be to buy the last generation’s model of whatever camera you’re interested in, either new or used. Most depreciation in cameras occur right away and then have a very large reduction in price once a new version comes out. After that, they somewhat level off again.

Use the money you save to start building your lens collection. Remember lenses make images more so than cameras. Additionally, unlike cameras, lenses hardly depreciate in value.

Which lenses to buy

This is simple. The first lens you should buy is a 24-70mm lens. This lens will give you a somewhat wide to somewhat zoomed in field of view. The second lens you should buy is a 70-200mm, which is essential for a lot of different types of event photography, especially when you are required to photograph a speaker on stage for example.

Please note that when shooting with those lenses on a cropped frame camera body, those focal lengths will have the field of view of a 36-105mm and 105-300mm and may not be as suitable if you need a very wide field of view.

The next lens I recommend getting would be on the wide end. I personally use a 17-40mm f/4 lens when I need to get wider than 24mm. Better lenses are made with wider apertures, but I rarely need something so wider than 24mm. When I do, I am typically photographing larger groups or wide “establishing shots” which require narrower apertures to properly get everyone or most things in focus.

When making lens choices, remember that you’re building a photography business and therefore it is helpful to think of purchases as business expenses in which cost vs benefit should be weighed. Personally, I would estimate that my 17-40mm lens is on my camera less than 5% of the time. It is still a necessary lens for what I do, but not worth upgrading. I used to have a fisheye lens. Take a guess how often I used that and why I sold it.

Memory cards

You can save money by not buying memory cards with larger storage capacities. Two 32 gig cards for example typically cost far less than one 64 gig card. But be sure to buy quality memory cards with fast read/write speeds.

Do the research and make sure to buy the fastest memory cards recommended for your camera by its manufacturer. This will make a difference. Buying higher specced cards than what’s recommended may not make a difference. It would be like putting premium gas in a car not designed for it.

Flash

When I started as a photographer there was no viable alternative to a Canon-branded flash. It was essentially a two horse race then, with Nikon as Canon’s only competition. But since then, off-brand manufacturers have closed the gap in the quality of their flashes for a fraction of the cost.

Canon’s latest flagship flash the 600EX II-RT goes for $579 at full price. Meanwhile, the Yongnuo YN600 RT-II comes in at $121. It’s essentially a Canon clone (It’s even named similarly. Don’t ask me how that’s legal), and costs less than a fourth the price.

Personally, I own two Canon flashes, but would not have a problem with purchasing a third party flash as another backup at some point.

Setting Your Rates

There are lots of articles out there on how to set your rates, most of them focusing on itemizing your time and charging appropriately for it. But the brutal truth is that nobody cares about how you value your time. The simplest way to set your rates is to charge what you think you can get based off the market.

Figure out the range in photography rates in your area. Starting out, price your services on the lower, gradually raising them as you gain more work and build your portfolio. When you see a reduction in how much work you are getting, you will know you’ve gone too far.

Booking a Job

Congratulations on your first booking! The following will prepare you for what to expect prior to the day of a job and how to conduct yourself on the day of it.

Except for mitzvahs and weddings, it is very unlikely your client will want to meet in person. They will however likely want to go over details regarding the event prior to the day of shooting. These details may include:

  • A discussion on the timeline of the event.
  • Must have detail shots.
  • VIPs to look for.
  • Types of shots they would like to see.
  • Point person(s) and their contact info.

On the day of your first shoot

I always recommend leaving early for an event. Personally, I figure out how long it will take to get to the job on Google Maps, and I double it. Worst case scenario I get to the area a full hour early and I enjoy a coffee.

It is important to act and dress appropriately. I usually can deduce how formal to dress without asking, but when in doubt, always ask. Still not sure? Then it’s better to overdress than under. Some photographers swear you must wear black. I believe so long as you are not standing out in a bad way, there is some leniency on this. Personally, I either wear black or grey.

Remember to always look pleasant. Smile and people will smile back making great photographs.

What Should Your Focus be When Photographing an Event?

Details matter at an event. Organizers put in a lot of work to produce an event of any size with many details to show for it. When photographing an event put on to showcase a product, the product should be your focus. That said, be sure to get shots of attendees interacting with the product. You should always discuss what your client is looking for, but this will most likely be it.

Although a photographer’s job is in part to capture details, their focus should typically be on capturing defining moments. These moments tell a story and evoke a feeling regardless of the type of event. Every photograph delivered should be about something. It can be about an emotion, someone’s reaction, or an interaction between people, but there should be meaning behind each image.

These highlights offer a window into what it was like to be there. Always shoot with intention and never raise your camera to your eye just to snap a shot. Event organizers and marketers do not need thousands of lousy images, they need photographs they can actually use. At private events, people want emotion-filled images that bring them back to a moment. Capturing the height of an expression can be a ringing reminder of exactly how they felt in that moment.

Below is a List of your Main Shot Types when Shooting an Event

Establishing shots

You do not need many of these. A few wide shots are essential to give a sense of place. I will typically shoot these at 17mm with my 17-40mm lens. I try to get a shot from several different perspectives. Shots like these can be each corner of a banquet hall, a wide shot of a crowd from a stage, shots of several booths at a convention, etc.

Detail shots

There are many ways to shoot detail shots. I have shot these with a 24-70mm lens, 70-200mm lens, 50mm vintage lenses, 135mm lens and more. These shots will compliment your wider establishing shots to tell a story.

Close candids

These are the shots that really capture the emotional high points of an event. They can be shot in a variety of ways, but usually with a telephoto lens and a shallow depth of field in order to focus the viewer’s reaction on the emotion of the shot.

Candid interactions

Similar to close candids, candid interactions but provide context to the moment you are highlighting. In other words, you can see the person or persons the subject is interacting with.

Posed

Sometimes you will shoot posed portraits of an individual, but most of the time posed portraits are of groups of two or more. These are simple to do. Anytime you see a small group conversing, approach them with a smile and simply ask, “hey can I get a shot of you guys?” These should be shot at narrow enough apertures to capture everyone in focus.

f/2.8 or lower can work depending on distance, focal length, and how similarly distanced they are to you, but a rule of thumb I use is to shoot at f/4 or higher to capture groups of three or more. I usually do not feel the need to go any higher unless the group is somewhat staggered in distance from me.

How to Choose Which Images to Deliver

It is your job to cull your images. Do not put the burden of this on your client.

People that hire you to photograph a private event do not want to sort through a dozen images of the same thing. Every image should offer something distinct. If you do a burst shot of an expression, deliver only the best one in color but consider using a second one for a black and white conversion.

Sometimes you are hired solely to document an event and your images will end up in a corporate black hole never to be seen. But most often you are creating content for marketing purposes or the client’s website. When making photographs your goal should be on capturing images that can be used for that purpose. When editing down your images, make it easier for your client to find these images by editing out bad and mediocre work.

How I cull and select images

I want to be straightforward with you. I detest this process. What I enjoy most about photography is the shooting. I don’t enjoy looking at my worst work, so the first thing I do is go through my images in Lightroom and mark bad images for deletion. I do this by using the hotkey “x” on the keyboard.

I set Lightroom to filter out images marked this way so that I do not have to see them. Because I have no use for them, once I finish selecting every image I do not want, I set my filters so that only these images are visible, I select them all (with CTRL+A on PC or CMND+A on a Mac) and delete them. With practice, it will become much easier to select images you definitely do not want to deliver in one pass, but initially and for a while, you will likely have to make several passes to mark them all.

Partly this is because we are more attached to our images when they are fresh. Additionally, mediocre images might seem pretty good when next to a bad one, but once you remove all the really bad images, it will become more apparent to you that some are mediocre. I also recommend taking a break for a while after you’ve completed your editing process to make one more pass to see if you can edit your work down further.

Rating your photos

Lightroom gives you several ways to rate your photos other than rejecting them or selecting them. There are also color labels and star ratings available to you. Everyone has a different way of utilizing these rating methods. I will not get into them here, but I would like to share with you how I decide what gets delivered to my clients. At this point, I do not rate every image to determine this, but I think of my images in these terms:

5 Stars = Excellent image worthy of being in my portfolio

4 Stars = Very good image. Perfect for posting to social media or my own marketing. Worthy of being posted in my portfolio if it is important subject matter: a presidential candidate or celebrity for example.

3 Stars = a good image. These will likely be the bulk of what you deliver.

2 Stars = Not worth delivering to my client except for special circumstances. For example: the only shot of an important person at an event or an important family member at a private party. Of course, you should avoid letting this happen in the first place by knowing who to photograph.

Delivering Your Images

Delivery time should be discussed prior to booking. It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver. I personally tell my clients it will take about a week and work hard to complete my edits before then.

There are several photo hosting sites available to you. Personally, I use SmugMug because it both hosts the photos so that they can be downloaded by my clients, but they also beautifully display the images.

Maintaining Your Clients

Your relationship with your client should not stop after delivering your images. If you did a great job, they will want to use you again. However, it’s not a bad idea to periodically remind them that you exist. Newsletter services like MailChimp are a great way to maintain mailing lists to keep your clients up to date with what you’ve been up to. I recommend sending something out monthly or bi-monthly. You do not want to spam your clients.

Conclusion

At this point, you should have both a roadmap for getting into professional event photography as well as have a general idea of what you are getting into. Remember that professional photography is an increasingly competitive field which will take hard work, time, and perseverance to succeed at.


P.S. Are you interested in knowing what event planners may be looking for when hiring photographers? Check out my article I wrote on hiring an event photographer.


About the author: Mik Milman is an event photographer who specializes in documenting authentic moments and interactions. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Milman has been working in Los Angeles for over 10 years. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and YouTube. This article was also published here.

Sony announces a new RX100 III Video Creator Kit with grip, SD card and additional battery

Sony has announced its new RX100 III Video Creator Kit, a product bundle that combines the RX100 III with Sony’s VCT-SGR1 grip, a 64GB SD card and an additional NP-BX1 battery.

Like most video creator kits, the RX100 III Video Creator Kit is designed to be an all-in-one solution for creators looking to get their foot in the door with a simple Full HD video setup.

At the heart of the RX100 III is Sony’s Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor, capable of recording 50Mbps 1080 / 60p video through the F1.8-2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm lens. Combine those specs with the 3-inch tilting screen and the ability to control both image capture and zoom with the VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip and you have yourself a solid vlogging setup.

Sony says the RX100 III Video Creator Kit will retail for $799.99 and will begin shipping July 2019. However, the kit is currently available to pre-order at Adorama for $798 and is listed as available at B&H for $699.99.

Press release:

Sony Launches RX100 III Video Creator Kit

The RX100 III Video Creator Kit Provides the Perfect Video Setup for the Run-and-Gun Creator

SAN DIEGO — July 1, 2019 — Sony Electronics, Inc. today introduced a powerful new tool for vloggers and video creators with the launch of the RX100 III Video Creator Kit. Based around the award-winning compact camera, the Cyber-shot RX100 III, the Video Creator Kit provides an all-in-one kit for video creators.

The Kit features the RX1000 III, with a 180º tiltable LCD screen, 1” Exmor R sensor, BIONZ X processor and 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Lens. The bundle also includes an innovative remote grip that doubles as a mini tripod, a 64GB SD Memory Card and an extra NP-BX1 battery to keep you shooting longer. The RX100 III’s video creator kit has everything you need to take your content on the move.

“Empowering creators is critically important to Sony,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics.“We want to make it as easy as possible for them to realize their vision, to capture content in new and different ways.”Manowitz added, “An excellent all-in-one solution, the new Video Creator Kit is a convenient tool that will encourage many aspiring creators to go out and shoot.”

Fast, Sharp Lens

The DSC-RX100 III sports a fast, sharp F1.8-2.8 Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 24-70mm zoom. With such a versatile range of perspectives between wide-angle and medium-telephoto, it’s perfect for all kinds of videography with beautifully defocused, high-bokeh backgrounds. A premium multi-layered T* coating also dramatically reduces ghost and flare caused by light reflection.

Full HD Video Recording

The DSC-RX100 III records HD movies in the XAVC S format and saves files as MP4, allowing for extensive record times. With 50Mbps Full HD (1920×1080) up to 60p high-quality video recording, XAVC S* enables beautiful video recording with minimal compression noise even in scenes with a lot of movement. The RX100 III also records in AVCHD and easily shareable MP4 HD video.

Versatile Shooting Grip

For the ultimate creative freedom, the RX100 III Video Creator Kit includes the VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip, which allows control of capture and zoom functions directly from the grip and integrates with the RX100 III for ease of use and dynamic filming styles. The ergonomic design is comfortable for both left- and right-handed use, and the pop-out legs convert it into a mini-tripod.

Innovative Design

With a fully-tiltable 3” (1,229K dots) Xtra Fine™ LCD Display it’s possible to check and monitor composition and settings during the entire shoot, thanks to the ability to flip the screen 180º to face the subject, perfect for selfie-style shooting of both still images and video. WhiteMagic™ technology dramatically increases on-screen visibility in bright daylight. The large display delivers brilliant-quality still images and movies while enabling easy focusing operation.

The pop-up EVF viewfinder features an OLED Tru-Finder with a ZEISS T* coating, designed to dramatically reduce reflections that can interfere with composing and viewing stills and videos.

Performance and Image Quality

The backside illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, advanced BIONZ X processor and fast-F1.8-2.8 aperture lens combine to allow for incredible speed and low light versatility for stills as well as beautiful HD video.

The RX100 III features a large 1.0” Exmor R® CMOS image sensor. The back-illuminated technology doubles light sensitivity — a great help when shooting in dimly lit environments. Enjoy reduced noise in your videos and photos, even when capturing night landscapes or indoor scenes.

Full HD Video Capture

The RX100 III captures video in HD in the XAVC S format, allowing full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with low compression, resulting in excellent video quality. The RX100 III can also capture 120fps at 720p, and a dual-video-recording capability allows the camera to record in XAVC S/AVCHD along with MP4 files.

The RX100 also features Intelligent Active Mode, which uses Sony’s frame rate analysis technology and 5-axis image stabilization to dramatically reduce the effects of camera shake when capturing video.

Connections and Sharing

Connect the RX100 III to an external monitor/recorder via HDMI® simultaneously for a bigger view of what you’re recording. The shooting info display can be turned off for an even cleaner view and to capture uncompressed video at much higher bitrates (depending on external recorder and settings). Frame rates include 24p, 60p and 60i.

Connectivity with smartphones for One-touch sharing/One-touch remote has been simplified with Wi-Fi®/NFC control. Easily and instantly transfer videos and photos to your smartphone for sharing with friends and family on social media. In addition, the camera can be controlled remotely using the free Imaging Edge app giving you greater creative freedom.

Pricing and Availability

The RX100 III Video Creator Kit will begin shipping in July 2019 for approximately $799.99. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

Exclusive stories and exciting content shot with the RX100 III can be found at alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony’s Alpha™ brand.

Images taken with the RX100 III can be found at the Sony Photo Gallery and footage from the camera at the Sony Camera Channel on YouTube. For detailed product information, please visit Sony’s Compact Camera information page.

Beef and Meat: Why You Should Follow Filmmakers on Social Media

If you followed Paul Schrader, you’d already know the writer/director had some interesting things to say about fellow filmmaker Brian De Palma this weekend.

If you weren’t on the Internet the past couple of days, you probably missed the brief but quite public beef posted on Paul Schrader’s Facebook page, in which he denounced Brian De Palma’s directing style.

The post has since been deleted, but The Playlist managed to pull the following quote from Schrader’s page, on a thread where the director was discussing Jordan Peele’s Us with followers. After one commenter likened Us to some of De Palma’s work, Schrader replied:

“Don’t get me started on Brian DP. I rewatched Redacted last night because [I] thought that given total artistic freedom he could reach for the stars. And he did. But the stars were beyond his reach. The script is trite, it is weak. That’s because is Brian is trite, Brian is artistically weak. Skate fast on thin ice. That’s his story. That’s his con.”

Read More

Two Essentials for Stress-Free Camera Tethering via USB-C

In the film days, which for me ended in late 2004, instant film was the only way for a photographer (and everyone else on set) to see what was being captured.

From the perspective of a celebrity/fashion photographer, these could be some tense moments as celebrities, publicists and clients would gather around to take a look, and hopefully see a flattering result right off the bat.

A smart photographer would make sure to keep the first trials away from the sensitive crowd until a perfected image could be presented.

From a session with David Bowie in 2001, Fujifilm Instant Color Film FP-100c. David was not only one of the greatest subject to photograph, but he also had more knowledge of photography than most art directors, and relied on viewing the Instant Film shots with me for all of the planned set ups of the day.
This image was a spontaneous moment, and no Instant Film was shot. There was only one frame I captured while he was on his knees, shot on Fujifilm Provia medium format film. This one-off shot became my favorite image of the day, and one of the most successful images in my exhibition, ‘David Bowie Unseen’, which travels around the world and just opened in Sweden on June 28th.

Early digital capture with medium format cameras became a viable option in the mid-2000s, something that I had been eagerly awaiting for many years prior.

I was so excited about this new way of shooting, that I convinced clients to take a chance on the emerging technology. In 2004, I was the first photographer to ever shoot a major international L’Oreal Paris campaign with a medium format digital system.

Shot with 6×8 Fujifilm 680III and a 22 megapixel digital back in 2004, in New York and Paris.
Shot with 6×8 Fujifilm 680III and a 22 megapixel digital back in 2004, in New York and Paris.

I adapted my Fujifilm GX 680 III cameras with various custom accessories, such as grips, focusing screen masks, and high powered loops at this time of transition, but of course the only way to work at that time was to shoot tethered to a computer. For many years, the idea of walking around with a camera without a cable attached was just a dream.

As digital cameras evolved to what they are today, shooting tethered to a computer is luckily no longer necessary most of the time, and even art directors and clients often understand that moving around without a cable attached has its advantages, and can allow for greater spontaneity in the process.

However, on the days that shooting to a computer is unavoidable, it is important to have a setup that is reliable and comfortable. I recently wrote an article about working with the Fujifilm GFX system.

The new and ground-breaking GFX 100 is equipped with a USB Type-C port, just like the popular X-T3.

A cable with a straight USB Type-C plug can be a challenge, as these straight plugs stick out very far and get in the way of any L-bracket, even when extended. Surprisingly, the major photography equipment outlets still only sell tethering cables with straight USB Type-C plugs.

However, now a California company called NEWNEX offers a much superior alternative with a right angle plug, which solves the aforementioned problem. As an added bonus, their cable also has much higher performance with a whopping 5Gbps versus 1.5Gbps commonly used cables deliver. NEWNEX also accepts custom orders and I’ve found them to have excellent customer service.

Another important aspect when using USB plugs for tethered shooting is to have the ability to secure the cable and to avoid the plug from being yanked when shooting handheld.

For this, Really Right Stuff has a highly efficient solution: the CA-1 cable anchor for L-plates. This small device, used in combination with a camera rail or with a simple clamp by a computer, provides stability and is very quick and easy to use.

The NEWNEX cable and the RRS anchors are a great combo and make shooting to a computer a lot more enjoyable!


About the author: Markus Klinko is an international fashion/celebrity photographer who has worked with many of today’s most iconic stars of film, music, and fashion. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Klinko’s work on his website and Instagram.

The Art of Portraits: Telling a Story with Gavin Hoey

The Art of Portraits: Telling a Story with Gavin Hoey

When you move beyond the technique of capturing people with appropriate lighting, while maintaining a flattering expression and pose for the subject, what should you be adding or recreating in your imagery next?

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The Instagram Problem: Is Instagram Altering Your Creative Vision?

UK-based photographer and YouTuber Jamie Windsor recently shared an interesting video about what he calls “The Instagram Problem for Photographers.” Namely: that Instagram has quickly become the default method for sharing your work with the world.

On the face of it, this might not seem like a big deal. After all, as Windsor himself points out, it can be incredibly beneficial to “connect with potentially millions of people and instantly share your work with others.” The problem arises when Instagram begins to define your creative vision—when every photograph you take is crafted with that 1080x1080px box in mind.

For photographers who have become stuck in that mindset, Windsor recommends taking a step back and thinking about your photos as a holistic work of art:

“Choos[ing] how to present [your] work is an important part of the artwork, it’s part of the story and the concept,” says Windsor. “Try to think about how your audience could experience your work, rather than just see it.”

Watch the full video above to hear Windor’s whole monologue on the subject. And if you need to hear a few more arguments in favor of printing your photos, there are several more to be found in the PetaPixel archives.

The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #182 – David Robert Jones

On the show this week we sit down with cinematographer David Robert Jones to talk about his diverse body of work, trying not to repeat yourself, and the importance of your collaborators.

It was a great chat but there were some i and out technical issues on the recording side of things but I did my best to clean them up.

David has some great work and definitely check out a small sample of his work below.

Enjoy!

Patreon Podcast – Saving Private Sandwich

Over on Patreon this week a special Saving Private Ryan version of the breakdown podcast.  An interesting one because there is a ton of Sun Sandwich in the movie.

We also have a bonus look at a beautiful night scene from There Will Be Blood that we weren’t able to get to last week.

To see the images and listen to the special breakdown podcast click the link below:

The Wandering DP Patreon

Featured Guest – David Robert Jones

Personal Website:  David Robert Jones

The post The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #182 – David Robert Jones appeared first on Cinematography Podcast & Tutorials.

How I Shot These Studio Beauty Images

How I Shot These Studio Beauty Images

I’ve always loved the color red and the emotions it invokes. I suppose that’s the fun thing about backgrounds, props, and general settings in that a color theme can evoke so many different thoughts and emotions. Needless to say the power of a model is critical but what you can create around the model can go a long way in conveying the feel you’re aiming for.

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Press release: Sony Launches RX100 III Video Creator Kit

Sony just announced this special new RX100III video creator kit. It is in Stock now at BHphoto. Press text: Sony Launches RX100 III Video Creator Kit The RX100 III Video Creator Kit Provides the Perfect Video Setup for the Run-and-Gun…

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