Core SWX NANO-C98 for Canon C200, C300, C500 MKII

The NANO-C98 addresses the need for a “pro” style option of power for Canon cameras that accept the Canon BP-A style battery packs such as the Canon C200, C300 Mark II, or the new C500 Mark II. The battery pack is equipped with a 4-stage LED gauge, a 5v USB, and a p-tap. The p-tap … Continued

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Automatic Rotoscoping…For Free

We’re still a few years away from where machine learning AI can produce rotoscoping that rivals what human artists can achieve (though only a very few), but even today machine learning offers results that are more than adequate for color correction, camera tracking garbage mattes, or temp roto for slap comps while waiting on final outsourced roto. And with just a couple of lines of code you—the unskilled, non-programmer—can have that machine learning goodness at your command. What’s better, you can start to learn a little Python in the process.

Most beginner programming tutorials start with some lame text-based guessing game. I say skip to the meat. In this ‘Impossible Shot’ video you’ll get a good intro to programming in Python and come out the other side with an amazing rotoscoping tool that you can put into use in production today.

Half the battle is getting everything installed right, so I’ve made sure to clearly lay out all the details in the video. Below is a summary of what’s covered.

Step 1: Install Anaconda

Anaconda is an amazing installer package for Python that allows you to install third party software without having to search the web for it. It also makes virtual environments easy: virtual environments are development ‘sandboxes’ you can experiment in without messing up any other software installed on your computer. (Click here to download Anaconda for your platform)

Once you have Anaconda installed on your system, open the Anaconda prompt (or the regular Terminal on OS X) and execute the following commands to create and activate a custom virtual environment (which we’ll call ‘autoroto’—you can choose any name you like):

conda create --name autoroto
conda activate autoroto

To exit out of a virtual environment, just type:

conda deactivate

Step 2: Install the libraries we need

We’ll be working with code provided by learnopencv.com, an amazing website for learning about computer vision and machine learning. The great thing about modern programming is that you don’t need to fully understand how something works to use the code. You can treat things like “black boxes” and just reap the benefits.

To use the code, we need to install some of the third party libraries required for it to run. Make sure your virtual environment is activated (see above) and type:

conda install torchvision -c pytorch
conda install -c anaconda pillow

Step 3: Download the sample code

Click here to download the code that we modified from learnopencv.org. We’ll use this as the basis for the auto rotoscoping. Now create a Python file. We’ll be using Wind Personal IDE here, but you can use another if you prefer. An IDE is an ‘Integrated Development Environment,’ basically a word processor specifically designed for writing code. It’ll help error check your programs and give you helpful hints and auto-completion of code as you type. Go ahead and download and install Wing if you want to follow along as closely as possible.

Save an new, empty Python file to the same directory as the sample code you just downloaded (FindMattes.py). Call it ‘autoroto.py ‘. As long as it’s in the same directory as FindMattes.py, Python will have no problem linking to the FindMattes functions.

Step 4: Do an initial auto rotoscoping test

Let’s test out our rotoscoper to see if it actually works before sending a whole image sequence through. Just two lines of code is all it takes to create an automatic roto of an image. In autoroto.py add the following lines, then save the file:

import FindMattes.py as fm
fm.fm.createMatte("Path/to/your/source/image.png", "Path/to/resulting/matte_file.png", 256)

Replace the first part with the path to your test image (keep the quotes around the path. e.g. “C:/Users/yourusername/Documents/myImage.png” or “/Users/yourusername/Documents/myImage.png”), the second with the intended path and name for the resulting matte image (e.g. “C:/Users/yourusername/Documents/myImage_matte.png” or “/Users/yourusername/Documents/myImage_matte.png”), and the last number with the vertical resolution of the output image. My recommendation is to keep this at 256 for testing. Full res 2K and 4K images could take a long time to process on more modest machines.

Now run your program by typing into the command line prompt:

python "Path/to/your/program/autoroto.py"

When you look in the directory you should now find a matte image, automatically rotoscoping identified features of the shot, color-coded according to the 8 bit values listed in FindMattes.py.

Step 5: Ask the user for folders

So the thing works, but you want to be able to use for any old image sequence, right? Well, here’s the full code. I step through the entire thing in reasonable detail in the video, but if you’re desperate just to have the working version…type away.

import FindMattes as fm
import tkinter as tk
from tkinter import filedialog
from tkinter import simpledialog as sd
from os import listdir
# Get the file directory
root = tk.Tk()
root.withdraw()
directoryName = filedialog.askdirectory(parent=root, initialdir="/", title = 'Please select a directory')
matteHeight = sd.askinteger("Set the matte size", "Output matte vertical resolution (256 recommended for quick tests)?", parent=root,initialvalue=256)
listOfFiles = listdir(directoryName)
for currentFile in listOfFiles:
    sourceFile = directoryName + "/" + currentFile
    mainNameEnd = currentFile.find('.')
    nameForMatte = currentFile[:mainNameEnd] + "_matte" + currentFile[mainNameEnd:]
    fullPathMatteName = directoryName + "/" + nameForMatte
    fm.createMatte(sourceFile, fullPathMatteName, matteHeight)
    print("Just created: " + nameForMatte)

 

Step 6: Test the results in a compositor

After you’ve entered the above code in your autoroto.py file, save it, then run the code again from the command line:

python "Path/to/your/program/autoroto.py"

Then hop in to your favorite compositor, use a chroma key to isolate specific colors in the matte, then use it for whatever creative or utilitarian purpose you have in mind.

Step 0: Save time and watch the Impossible Shots walkthrough at moviola.com


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Teradek Prism

Teradek has announced the Prism, a 4K HEVC encoder/decoder solution for broadcast, live production, and Pro AV applications. Prism is the first of a brand new line of codecs that will revolutionize professional IP video workflows. With room for up to 9 blades in a 2RU chassis, Prism can encode or decode up to 4Kp60 … Continued

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What’s the True Meaning Behind ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Aliens?’

James Cameron is one of the best writer/directors of all time. Find out what was going through his head when he worked on “Aliens” and “Terminator”.

One of the best things about BAFTA Guru is that they really dig into filmmakers’ artistic intent and the reasons why they create film and television. This week, they tackled James Cameron. (Not literally.)

Cameron is one of my favorite filmmakers and one of the best all-time entertainers.

His films are always thought-provoking and have a high degree of effort and preparation behind them.

Today I want to go over some of the answers Cameron gave to BAFTA Guru in their interview and talk about the meaning behind his most popular work.

Let’s dig in.

What’s the True Meaning Behind The Terminator and Aliens?

What an excellent video!

The legend of James Cameron is almost as unbelievable as his films. He was a guy who got an opportunity on Piranha 2, had the film snatched away from him, and wound up relying on his storytelling skills to get back in the good graces of Hollywood.

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It’s Affordable. It Records Internally. Meet Deity’s New HD-TX Transmitter

New Deity wireless transmitter has built-in recording.

Deity has been quietly becoming a favorite among those needing quality audio without breaking the bank. They offer a range of shotguns, lavs, and on-camera mics that harness the best qualities of its more expensive competitors while still keeping you on a modest budget. We detailed the Deity Connect wireless system over a year ago, which runs off the 2.4 GHz frequency band, and now, they’ve added a plug-on style transmitter dubbed HD-TX. Being part of Deity Connect, it too is a 2.4 Ghz system but packs in similar tech we see from Audio Limited, Lectrosonics, WisyCom, and Zaxcom.

It features 24bit 48kHz recording, encrypted audio and selectable RF output of 10, 25, 50 and 100mW. They also added an auto RF output feature, included 75Hz and 150Hz low cut filters, an analog limiter, +48V phantom power, a boost frequency between 7KHz – 20Khz and a headphone jack directly on the unit for live monitoring and playback. Playback you say? Yes. The most notable feature is its built-in recording.

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SIGMA shows at IBC 2019 the new “Classic Prime Line” Cinema lenses

More new lenses for cinematographers are announced in time for IBC 2019: now Sigma shows its new series in the SIGMA CINE LENS, the “FF Classic Prime Line”.

With cutting-edge technology, SIGMA’s new “Classic Art Prime” offers unrivaled expression for artists. That what the company says introducing the new lenses. FF High Speed Prime Line has been offering the highest resolving power in its class, that is compatible with 8K shooting with large format sensors, while achieving outstanding compact design. Based on this product line, the FF Classic Prime Line incorporates more non-coated optical elements to achieve, says the company, “unrivaled expression.”

The lenses in this new family retain the high resolution capability that SIGMA CINE LENS is well known for, and offers a unique combination of low contrast and artistic flare/ghost in the image. As with all other lenses from the FF High Speed Prime Line, it creates, says SIGMA,”beautiful bokeh effects to improve creativity.”

SIGMA shows at IBC 2019 the new “FF Classic Prime Line” Cinema lenses

Ten lenses, from 14 to 135mm

FF Classic Prime Line has implemented newly developed coatings on the glass elements and offers consistent T value across the lineup (14mm and 135mm at T3.2 and the rest of the lenses at T2.5). This will greatly contribute to the effective workflow in postproduction. Furthermore, it is compatible with the communication protocol of Cooke “/i Technology”, thus an ideal tool for shooting and editing with the latest technology, such as VFX. A special coating is implemented on the front and rear elements so that the lens durability is ensured as with all other cine lenses from SIGMA.

“Classic Art Prime” is a new solution from SIGMA that is required for the most advanced technology for classical expression. The “look” that FF Classic Prime Line can offer will enable cinematographers to explore new possibilities in movie creation.

The FF Classic Prime Line features a PL mount compatible with  Cooke /i Technology. The new family will be launched by the end of 2019, and is only sold as a set of 10 primes.

From September 13th to 17th, SIGMA is going to display this new product at the IBC 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

 

 

The post SIGMA shows at IBC 2019 the new “Classic Prime Line” Cinema lenses appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

BPS 053: Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas with Jennifer Dornbush

Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas with Jennifer Dornbush Today on the show we have author Jennifer Dornbush who has written the book Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas. We sit down and discuss all thing forensics. We even discuss the im[pact of the OJ Simpson case on the world of…

The post BPS 053: Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas with Jennifer Dornbush appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.

Finally, an Anamorphic iPhone Lens

SANDMARC’s new anamorphic lens is about to make iPhone filmmaking more cinematic.

ICYMI, Apple announced a new iPhone and it put video center stage.

As the iPhone “goes pro”, we need to keep an eye on what accessories are critical to it making that leap. Which brings us to the anamorphic lens…

Love them or hate them, these lenses, with their inimitable flares and evocative sense of nostalgia, have come to define modern cinematography. The problem is, they’re expensive; Panavision anamorphic or Cooke lenses, for example, could set you back thousands at a rental house. But now SANDMARC has a solution.

iPhone filmmaking is about to get more cinematic with the release of the SANDMARC anamorphic lens, which retails for less than $200. With a 2.4:1 aspect ratio, requisite lens flares, and oval bokeh, the 1.33x lens captures more horizontal information by squeezing the image. Its circular shape is compatible with SANDMARC’s existing filter lineup

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LaCie’s announces new Rugged SSDs, including one with a built-in SD card reader

Storage company LaCie has introduced three new portable, rugged SSDs that it says are designed specifically for creative, media, and entertainment pros who need ample storage while working remotely. The company’s new lineup consists of the LaCie Rugged SSD, Pro, and BOSS SSD models, each offering high durability alongside features targeted at different user needs.

The most notable of the three new models is the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro, a device featuring Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1, a Seagate FireCuda NVMe SSD with speeds up to 2800MB/s, and an IP67 resistance rating against dust and water. This device is designed for digital imaging technicians and filmmakers dealing with up to 8K footage.

Joining the Pro model is LaCie’s new Rugged SSD, an alternative for media professionals who have less demanding needs. This model features USB 3.1 Gen2 and a Seagate FireCuda NVMe SSD with speeds up to 950MB/s. According to the company, that’s fast enough for handling up to 4K video. As with the Pro model, this drive is secured in a durable housing with an IP67 rating, plus crush resistance and drop tolerance.

Finally, LaCie’s new Rugged BOSS SSD is designed for photographers and filmmakers, offering a 1TB SSD with speeds up to 430MB/s. As well, this drive is unique due to the housing’s built-in SD card slot alongside the USB port, as well as its built-in display for seeing the real-time status on data transfers, battery life, and available capacity. The housing is dust, splash, and drop-resistant and the drive works with a companion mobile app for managing content.

The LaCie Rugged SSD lineup will be available at the following prices:

  • LaCie Rugged SSD: 500GB ($179.99), 1TB ($299.99), and 2TB ($499.99).
  • LaCie Rugged SSD Pro: 1TB ($399.99) and 2TB ($699.99)
  • LaCie Rugged BOSS SSD: 1TB ($449.99)

We Tested The BMPCC6K At Burning Man and It Was (Low) Lit

We took Blackmagic’s latest into the field to capture some unique images. Here are the results.

When it comes to putting the BMPCC6K through its paces, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better, or at the very least, more exciting place to do it than at Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert.

We were able to capture some beautiful, rich images with the BMPCC6K throughout the day and during Golden Hour, but once the sun had set, we were able to take the camera for a real spin.

Being out in the desert at nightfall allowed us to examine the low-light capabilities of this shooter, and with all of the kaleidoscopic lights, lasers, and burning effigies in the background, dynamic range was an entertaining test to perform.

The footage was edited and graded in Davinci Resolve.

For more details check out our full hands-on review of the camera. The camera sells for $2495.

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The Director of ‘Shazam!’ Gives You His Best Filmmaking Advice

David F. Sandberg, director of genre films like “Shazam!,” “Lights Out,” and “Annabelle Creation,” has great advice for making movies.

Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg acknowledges that you are always growing and developing as you continue through a creative career, but you pick up what works best along the way.

And he should know.

His career spans over a dozen short and feature films, and he’s found out a lot during his career. He presented a few pieces of advice for young filmmakers on his YouTube channel, for which he goes by the very awesome pseudonym ponysmasher. Watch it below.

1. More characters means more difficulty.

Sandberg points out that each feature he’s made has included more and more cast members. Lights Out, for instance, was focused mostly on a small family, while Shazam! expanded to include the inhabitants of a foster home and a bunch of heroes and villains.

There are practical issues of blocking and coverage, which require different camera set-ups. So by the time 14 characters are in one scene in Shazam!, that becomes a lot to track.

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Joel Grimes on How to Be a Successful Photographer

Joel Grimes on How to Be a Successful Photographer

As I’ve gotten older, one thing I’ve learned is that it’s often easier and quicker to learn from someone else who has “been there and done that” than it is to learn by trial and error on your own. In this video, Serge Ramelli interviews Joel Grimes about what it takes to be a successful photographer.

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Flash Duration: How to Avoid Blurred Flash Images

‘Flash duration’ isn’t a very glamorous topic, but it’s certainly something that every single photographer that uses flash should be aware of.

When we first learn photography, we are taught that ‘flash freezes motion’, and although this is true, it is an extremely relative term. In this article we’re going to look at exactly how frozen the motion actually is, and how we can limit that motion or movement in our shots as much as possible when using flash.

Take a look at the side by side shot below of me photographing some silver cake decorating balls falling onto a metal plate. Both of those images were taken with flash, but both display very different results. Your idea of ‘frozen motion’ may be different to somebody else’s.

Both images of metal balls in motion taken with flash, but both with very different results.

What is Flash Duration

Oddly this is a piece of information that is always simply assumed by many. Very few lighting companies ever explain it and when they do they simply quote a figure that holds little relevance to most of us. For example, when you see flash duration quoted by lighting companies, it looks like this:

But what does that string of letters and numbers mean?

Essentially the flash is not instant, but in fact lasts a period of time. That period of time where the flash is visible is measured in fractions of seconds. So for example we have the flash above lasting a 220th of a second at its longest point. The second, much bigger number is 10,000th of a second and that is the fastest possible flash time this particular strobe has to offer.

The numbers in brackets after that means something else which I wont be covering in this article as I’ll be focusing on practical tests not charts and graphs. Essentially the T number refers to the amount of power dissipated at certain points of the flash duration. You’ll most commonly see T0.5 and T0.1 listed. T0.5 measures the time it takes for 50% of the total flash power to be dissipated and T0.1 is the time it takes for 90% of the total flash to be emitted.

Essentially, I believe you need to be looking at the T0.1 number as this best describes the actual flash duration in my opinion and be wary of readings that don’t show any T value or only show the T0.5.

PRO TIP: If you ever want to check the flash duration of a potential strobe, simply Google ‘pdf manual of strobename’ then simply scroll down to the bottom of the pdf in question and look for ‘Technical Details’ and it’ll be listed in there.

Should I Care About Flash Duration?

The short answer is: maybe. If you’re shooting weddings with speedlights at a venue of people, then flash duration is hardly going to matter at this level. Your flash will most certainly freeze aunty Susan as she tries to mount the cake table at 2am. If, on the other hand, you are a still life shooter who will be photographing liquid in motion and trying to focus stack multiple frames that need to be painfully accurate: then yes, flash duration is absolutely critical.

For those of us somewhere in the middle who photograph fashion or portraits: yes, flash duration is important and I recommend you being aware of it, but most of the time you won’t notice it.

I only worry when the subject is dancing and/or I have a wind machine stripping the color out of a models hair at full blast. Most strobes will have shooters like us covered, but I still think there are things we can be doing to ensure we get the cleanest and sharpest results with whatever strobe we’re using.

Testing Flash Duration

This is a pretty basic test and anybody can do it. Yes, there are plenty of very precise ways of measuring flash duration with sound triggers and infrared gates etc. but here I’m simply dropping silver cake decorating balls from a height of 3 feet onto a metal plate below and pressing the shutter with my finger. I tested a variety of strobes, including a speedlight, and I took shots with all of the flashes at max power as well as lowest power to show the differences.

My objective was to see movement in the objects, so I kept my aperture at a consistent f/22 to show as much in focus as possible. As a result of this high aperture, I adjusted the ISO dramatically on the camera to compensate for exposure differences in the strobes at max and min power.

The Results

The Old

First I tested a very old flash head that is about 20 years old. This is an extreme case, and you’re unlikely to see results like this with any modern strobe, but I felt it might be useful for comparison.

The strobe in question was an old Bowens Esprit 500W head.

Many older strobes like this will produce movement blur at any strobe power, but in many cases you will get a clearer image at maximum power. If you look closely, you’ll see that at max power you get a ball outline and then a tail of motion. This is where the flash dumps a huge amount of power at first and then, as the gas in the tube subsides, you get that tail of movement that slowly disappears.

In the minimum power shot, the ball doesn’t have a clean edge that then tapers off; instead, you simply get nothing but blur. This is how many older strobes dealt with lower power outputs. You simply got the gas burn over a period of time compared to a quick, short dump of a little bit of power.

As I mentioned above, this is rare, as most modern strobes do not have this same way of releasing power gradually anymore. What I will say is that you will start to get this consistent blurred look with old and tired flash tubes. Essentially, the xenon gas within the tubes is getting tired and less efficient.

If you start to think your images are blurred a little at the edges, then consider doing a test like this to see if it’s the bulbs that need replacing.

The New

Now let’s look at some more modern strobes and see how they perform.

First up, let’s see one of the standard Godox heads; or, in this instance, the Pixapro Citi 600 TTL.

If you were curious, here’s the official number on flash duration from the online pdf for the Citi600. They very kindly show us min and max power durations and they tell us it’s T0.1. -top marks Godox for your transparency on this info.

The resulting images are a little more in line with what we’re used to seeing with flash, especially the minimum power shot. In that image the balls have been captured relatively cleanly and there is minimal blurring, especially when compared to the max power image.

In the max power shot, there is some blurring. Although it’s nowhere near as bad as in older strobes, I’d still consider that a problem for anything that is moving at any speed in your image.

The New-er

Next up, I tested my everyday workhorse strobes: the Bowens XMTs. These heads are 500W which is a fairly standard power output for most monobloc style strobes. In fact, all the strobes I tested here are monoblocs and if you’re not sure what I mean by that then take a look at the power pack explanation below.

To the well-informed among you, you’ll likely already know that the Bowens XMTs are made by the same company as the Citi 600’s mentioned above. The Chinese company Godox makes both of these strobes, albeit the Bowens manufacturing requirements were a little different and in my opinion a little stricter, resulting in a slightly more consistent head, but then the higher price would also reflect that.

Regardless, take a look at the resulting images below to see how it faired in this flash duration test at max and minimum power.

If you were curious, here’s the official Bowens statement from their online XMT pdf regarding flash duration. Naughtily, Bowens only quotes the fastest duration (lowest power) and they omit the T value. This usually means that it’s the t0.5 as that’s often faster and makes the strobe look better.

As always, I’ll let the images above do the talking, but as before, the max power shot shows significantly more blur than the min power shot. I’d argue that the XMT was marginally more consistent in producing cleaner, crisper shots at both max and min power, but like I said, it’s marginal.

The… Speedlight

Seeing as I had everything set up, I thought I might dig out my old speedlight to also run the same test just to see how it faired. Full disclosure, I’ve not used a speedlight in decades so this old Nikon SB-600 is a little out of date, albeit hardly used. My point being that I have no data to say how much better speedlights are today compared to what we’re looking at here.

Either way, with that knowledge in mind, take a look at the resulting images and take from them what you will.

If you were curious, here’s the official flash durations on the SB-600 from the Nikon online pdf. Here is where I struggle to believe the data as my tests showed a very different result to this. Apparently at its lowest power (M 1/64) it has a flash duration of 1/25000, which is over twice as fast as the strobes we previously tested … hmm. Plus, at its highest power (M1/1) it has a flash duration of 900th of second. The resulting images I took sadly do not look like this is 3x faster than the previous strobes at full power either.

As with the strobes, the max power shot produced a very blurred shot, but the min power shot was surprisingly crisp.

The only other element worth mentioning here is that the speedlight at max power acted like the older strobe did. It releases a lot of power over a period of time, not a big hit of power, which then tapers off as modern strobes do. This results in a more consistent blurred image compared to a crisp one that tapers off to blur.

Conclusions

Was there anything to learn from all of this? What does this mean to you as a flash shooter? Should you be looking out for certain flashes in the future? Should you be shooting any differently? All of these questions are valid, but you firstly need to know where you stand in all of this.

Are you a still life shooter that needs to capture crisp water splash shots for focus stacking? It’s unlikely you’d be reading this if you were, but if that is you, flash duration is one of the most important elements in your image. In fact, I’d argue that the flash you use is even more important than the camera you use. But for the rest of us: yes, flash duration is important and it’s a serious factor that needs to be considered when taking an image; no, it’s certainly not a deal breaker.

If there is one major thing we can all see immediately from these test shots, then it’s the fact that lower flash power shots produce FAR crisper and sharper images when compared to the max power versions.

In this digital age of incredibly impressive cameras at low prices, this info that movement in a shot is so heavily affected by flash power is actually very useful. Cameras are now so good that even at high ISOs, the image quality is excellent.

But let me explain…

Let’s say you have a model shoot and she is wearing a flowing dress. Let’s also say that she is dancing and you have a fan blowing her hair and dress as she moves. This resulting shot will have a lot of movement, what with her moving, her dress moving, and her hair moving. Catching the sharpest possible image is likely going to be a priority, so what should we set our camera and flash to so we can achieve the sharpest shot?

We can set our camera to ISO 50 for the best possible image quality in-camera, but we would then have to turn our strobe power up quite high. Yes, we could open up the aperture, but with her dancing around, we don’t want to miss focus at f/2.8. We want at least f/5.6 so as to get her all focus.

This image was synthesised in Photoshop for illustrative purposes, but it does show that the decision between strobe power and ISO is a very real one when considering the sharpness of moving elements within a shot.

One option here could be to shoot at ISO 400 or even 800 quite comfortably in terms of image quality (especially for any decent camera made in the last few years) and then turn the power of our strobe way down so as to ensure a crisp and sharp image.

Can you now start to see how this knowledge of how flash duration works can actually aid you in your decision making?

When you buy a digital camera now, it may not be simply a case of switching your ISO to 100 as soon as it leaves the box and never touching it again. Playing with your ISO and flash power may now enable you to get sharper images in the future and it’s definitely worth your consideration no matter what you’re shooting.

Closing Comments

Of course, there are ways around all of this. There are ways to shoot at ISO 50 and have the flash pumping out at full power and get some crisp shots… it’ll just cost you the same as a small bedsit in central London.

For example, the rather impressive Profoto D2 boasts some very eye-wateringly fast flash durations thanks to its specific ‘freeze mode’ (albeit recorded at t0.5 not t0.1… naughty Profoto.)

The slightly complicated, but very comprehensive flash durations at min and max powers of the Profoto D2.

But like I said, this incredibly fast flash duration comes at a cost…

The £1,875 price tag of the Profoto D2 is for ONE head by the way!

If ultra-fast flash durations is your priority, then you would do very well with this strobe if you can afford it. For the rest of us though, being aware of where our strobes falls short in flash duration is useful and if need be, we should be willing to adjust our ISOs to get a crisper shot without fear of losing too much image quality when we inevitably upload the final shot to Instagram anyway!


About the author: Jake Hicks is an editorial and fashion photographer based in Reading, UK. He specializes in keeping the skill in the camera and not just on the screen. If you’d like to learn more about his incredibly popular gelled lighting and post-pro techniques, visit this link for more info. You can find more of his work and writing on his website, Facebook, 500px, Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr. This article was also published here and is being republished with permission.

My Tether Trolley Set Up

My Tether Trolley Set Up

If you are an avid instagram user, you have probably noticed that almost all professionals tether their cameras with bright orange cables to a computer, there is a lot of kit involved in this and finding all the parts can be tricky when you don’t know what you are looking for.

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“I am Interested in Multiple Uses of Power and the Different Forms of Violence and Abuse That Take Place in Close Relationships”: Five Questions for Disco Director Jorunn Myklebust Syversen

Religious extremism and its cult-like symptoms are of intense interest to filmmaker Jorunn Myklebust Syversen, her two feature films, Hoggeren (The Three Feller) and Disco offering ample evidence of this. The two films portray cultural manipulation from the top down, with the hierarchies of religious institutions providing the confinements for their leading characters. Premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Disco links professional shortcomings to a lack of belief in the holy spirit. Disco tells the story of 19-year-old Mirjam, a world champion freestyle disco dancer whose stepfather serves as pastor of the local church, Freedom. Once Mirjam’s success in […]

Irix announces an 11mm F4.3 cine lens for Canon EF, Sony E, MFT and Arri PL mounts

Lens manufacturer Irix has launched a new 11mm T4.3 lens for Canon EF, Sony E, MFT and Arri PL camera systems.

The lens, which appears to be a cine version of its 11mm F/4 lens, is constructed with a magnesium housing with various rubber seals for weather resistance. It’s comprised of 16 elements including four high-refractive index (HR) elements, three aspherical elements and two low-dispersion (ED) elements.

The lens weighs 1.1kg (2.43lbs) and features Irix’s Magnetic Mount System, which makes it easy to attach compatible accessories, including the lens hood. Irix has also added its new Multi Start Thread focusing mechanism, which ‘allows quiet and precise focusing even under adverse weather conditions such as rain, humidity or extreme temperatures.’

Other features include a 95mm diameter front flange and Mod 0.8 standard geared rings.

The 11mm T4.3 cine lens will be offered in Arri PL, Canon EF, MFT and Sony E mounts. Pricing and availability has not yet been announced, but ‘will be available shortly.’ For more information, keep up to date on the Irix website.

Irix Cine 11mm T4.3

IRIX, known for high mechanical and optical quality, pleasantly presents the 11mm T4.3 – the second full-frame lens from its new cinematography line. Enjoy the new perspective of super panoramic film shots made with Irix Cine lens!

Irix 11mm T4.3 is the second unique lens from the new Cine line. Its extremely short focal length, rectilinear image projection and the large image circle of 43.3mm (covering the full-frame format) make it one of the most outstanding cine lenses on the market. Depending on the diagonal of the sensor, the lens can provide a moderately wide angle of view for classic wide-angle shots or super-panoramic 123-degree viewing angle in a 2.39:1 widescreen format. Irix 11mm T4.3 thanks to its unique parameters, provides a perspective not available in film optics, thus releasing creativity in creating dynamic shots.SAR

The same, but different optics
The lens optical system is based on the new optical formula, developed especially for cinematic purpose. It consists of 16 optical elements, which four are made with high refractive index (HR) glass, three other have aspherical surfaces and the last two are made with low-dispersion glass (ED). The use of the large front lens and other special glass elements provides crisp cinematic shots in a resolution up to 8K while keeping the focus “breathing” effect at the lowest level. The lens offers a large maximum T number of 4.3 which can be reduced to T22, thanks to the rounded shape of iris blades.

Functional and highly innovative
When designing the lens mechanical system of 11mm T4.3, we used newly developed technical solutions that have been successfully implemented in the Irix Cine 150mm T3.0 lens. The new Multi Start Thread focusing mechanism allows quiet and precise focusing even under adverse weather conditions such as rain, humidity or extreme temperatures. The focusing geared ring rotates 180 degrees and depending on the lens version, has a focusing scale with metric or imperial units.

Thanks to another innovative solution like the adaptive ring, the Irix Cine 11mm T4.3 ensures great ergonomics of operation both by hand and with follow focus mechanism. Moreover, despite the very short optical system layout, geared rings of focus and aperture were placed at the same height as in other Irix Cine lenses – all for better ergonomics and more intuitive use.

The exceptional functionality is a distinctive feature of all Irix products. The same applies to the Irix Cine 11mm T4.3, whose extremely compact design (weights 1,1 kg) has been also equipped with an innovative Magnetic Mount System for accessories. The MMS system allows quick and easy attachment of a variety of dedicated accessories. The lens hood included in the kit with the lens is the first element of the MMS system. The system will be expanded with further accessories in the future.

Prepared for all weather conditions
The ultra-wide field of view of the Irix 11mm T4.3 means that its natural work environment is outdoor. It’s durable magnesium housing and numerous rubber seals guarantee the safety of both the optical system and the camera sensor in every weather conditions.

Designed to work in accordance with film industry standards
The 11mm T4.3 is another lens of the Irix Cine line that proves the newest technical solutions can perfectly harmonize with well-established film industry standards. The lens has a front flange with a diameter of 95mm and geared rings in the Mod 0.8 standard, which ensures its compatibility with most cine gear accessories. Attention to maintaining the standard also applies to the family of Irix cine lenses whose geared rings are in the same position and have unified rotation angle.

Irix Cinematic
The new line of Irix Cine Lenses is created in close cooperation with professional filmmakers; their ideas and suggestions were an important factor in the design process. The designers earlier experience in the field of photography led us to create new and better solutions for Irix Cine products.

Available camera mounts
The new Irix Cine 11mm T4.3 will be offered in following lens mounts: Canon EF, Sony E, MFT and Arri PL.

Price and availability
The price and availability of the Irix Cine 11mm T4.3 lens will be announced shortly.

Photographer Accuses Digital Artist of Photo Theft, Calls Him ‘Thief’ & ‘Liar’

No fewer than 5 different sources sent us the same article this morning from photographer Jason Weingart, in which the extreme weather photog accuses popular digital artist Brent Shavnore of willfully stealing his images, calling him a “thief, poser, coward, and a liar.” Shavnore tells PetaPixel that the entire issue is a misunderstanding, and accuses Weingart of being “childish.”

Shavnore is a digital artist who mainly creates fantastical scenes by compositing images of extreme weather over cityscapes and other locations in Photoshop. His creations are quite popular, earning him over 130K followers on Instagram.

Weingart, a landscape and extreme weather photographer, discovered Shavnore’s work only recently when he found that several of his images had been used without permission in Shavnore’s composites over the years.

When he discovered this issue, Weingart immediately went to Instagram and issued a takedown request, at which point he received the following email from Shavnore.

“I would first like to apologize for the mis-understanding,” writes Shavnore. “I buy all of my images from Shutterstock and Adobe Stock and have licenses for everything I blend together – if you did not authorize your work on Shutterstock or Adobe Stock please let me know which ones are yours so I can notify them and remove them from my page.”

Up until this point, the interaction had been quite civil. However, Weingart wasn’t buying it. After digging further into Shavnore’s archives, he found 11 instances of his work being used on his website, posted for sale on Fine Art America, and even an image that had gotten popular and was credited to Shavnore on Snopes.

“Just to be safe, I searched every thunderstorm image on Adobe Stock and Shutterstock, but found no instances of my work posted for sale on the sites he suggested he purchased them from,” writes Weingart on his blog. “Honestly, I didn’t expect to. His story reeked of BS, but best to be certain.”

Weingart immediately followed up with Shavnore, sending the two emails below asking for proof that these images were licensed, since he couldn’t find these photos on either Shutterstock or Adobe Stock:

After Shavnore ignored these emails, Weingart sent him an invoice to the tune of $9,222.50 for unauthorized commercial use of 3 images (11 total uses), drafted the post that is currently live on his blog, and reached out to Shavnore one more time for comment. He received no response, and published the post without pulling any punches, writing that Shavnore is “a thief, poser, coward, and a liar” whose work “is pure trash that preys on ignorance.”

Of course, as soon as we received these tips, we reached out to Shavnore for comment or clarification, and received a response within 30 minutes. He claims that this is a simple misunderstanding/mistake, and accuses Weingart of “playing childish games on social media.” In his email to us, he claimed the photos were pulled from Pixabay, back before he had the funds to use Shutterstock and Adobe Stock for all of his composites.

“I was not sure what photos he was referring to at first—as everything I have been blending together is stock photography from Shutterstock (which I have hundreds of licenses for) so I assumed it was one of my Shutterstock composites,” he tells PetaPixel. “Looking back at the photos he is referring to, I believe they were from Pixabay a few years ago.”

“When I first started blending photos, I would make sure that I would get them from a free stock photography website like Pixabay and a few other sites-it wasn’t until things really started gaining traction that I transitioned from free-stock photos to paid stock photos,” he continued. “The problem with the free sites is people upload work that is not theirs and pass it off as being royalty free and you run into problems like this.”

Shavnore emphasized that it is no secret he uses stock photos, pointing us to his tutorial video embedded below and offering to send PetaPixel license numbers for all of his work and explain the process.

“I respect photographers rights and would never steal something intentionally. As soon as he identified the photos, they were removed and I apologized for the miscommunication,” he told us. “Mr. Jason and his friends are currently going through my friends list sending messages to all of my friends spreading the false news – which in my mind is pretty immature and harassment. If he feels there is a legal situation, then the best way to handle this is going to be through an attorney, not playing childish games on social media.”

When we spoke with Weingart ahead of publishing this report, he told us that he is indeed exploring legal options, and still hadn’t heard back from Shavnore.

“I just spoke with my legal counsel and they are exploring the possibility of taking Brent to court,” he tells PetaPixel. “It basically comes down to if we think we would actually see any damages but it’s also a matter of showing this kind of thing will not be allowed to happen.”

This incident—be it an honest mistake as Shavnore claims, or willful infringement as Weingart maintains—raises two important questions.

First, does Shavnore’s use qualify as infringement, since appropriation like this is often (controversially) considered fair use by the courts. And second, if Shavnore did indeed download these images off of a free stock website like Pixabay (or Unsplash), who is responsible: Shavnore for not double-checking the copyright status of the works, Pixabay for allowing them to be posted as royalty free stock, or the Pixabay user who posted them?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Image credits: All screenshots by Jason Weingart and used with permission.

CaptureOne Is Worth Every Penny (From the Perspective of a Beauty Photographer)

CaptureOne Is Worth Every Penny (From the Perspective of a Beauty Photographer)

To a lot of photographers, the idea of spending any extra money on another raw processor is too much. But if you have the money, Capture One is worth it. Especially if you work with skin.

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