It’s been one year since I last wore a uniform, serving in the U.S. Air Force. It’s a bittersweet thing really. I needed to leave on many different levels, but, like Switch says in The Matrix, “not like this.” This is a long read, so if you want the TL;DR version, skip to the last few paragraphs. Continue reading
Music terminology for videographers
When working with directors and videographers, one of the most common phrases I hear is “I know what I mean, but I don’t know how to say it.” Communication is key on creative projects and getting the composer and director on the same wavelength is vital. Even if you’re not working with a composer directly, music licensing sites like Killer Tracks uses the same sort of terminology for their key words, so knowing how to articulate what you want will help there too.
So, here’s a list of common music terminology to describe the way music sounds that will help with this communication. I’ll also write what is actually going on with the music so it makes more sense. You’ll notice that a lot of the descriptors are the same ones you’d use for visual art forms, so realize that just about any visual descriptor can translate to an auditory one. Continue reading
Drones for Christmas
Over the past few years, remote-controlled multicopters, often referred to as “drones,” have become more sophisticated, less expensive and easier to use. More and more people are taking to the skies in these multicopters ranging from micro quadcopters which fit in the palm of your hand all the way to massive octocopters capable of lifting pro-grade cinema cameras.
With an unprecedented number of these multicopters finding their way into stockings and under trees this holiday season, the important question comes up, “how do I fly mine safely?” Continue reading
In a previous blog (linked here), I discussed some of the safety issues and considerations involved in getting into drone photography. In this blog, I’ll go over some of the parts that make up the drone and what they do. Continue reading
“So kids, you want to be a drone pilot?”
That’s the favorite phrase of my good friend Parker Gyokeres, usually when something goes horribly wrong, which is pretty frequent when you’re dealing with the “electronic divas with bipolar disorder” commonly referred to as drones.
I’m not going to lie, flying remote-controlled aircraft, especially multicopters, is a LOT of fun and I’ve managed to capture some spectacular shots. It immediately adds production value to your project, and turns heads both on location and online. The thing is, there’s a lot more to it than most people realize, and a lot of things that can, and do, go wrong. Continue reading
Behind the Scenes: A Family to Call Her Own
editor’s note: some of this is very much directed at Air Force photojournalists, but most of this should apply to most people.
It started as a personal project, a favor to an old friend and a chance to put my newfound photojournalism skills to good use. The end goal and end product changed several times from first inception, but I’m very happy with how the final product came out.
Working with GoPro Hero3+ Footage
GoPros have certainly come into their own these past few years, becoming capable of high quality video from the most remote locations. This is particularly advantageous for aerial videography because the smaller and lighter a camera is, the smaller the airframe can be, and the longer it can stay in the air.
Here’s the problem though, sometimes you don’t want that fisheye “GoPro” look. It looks great for in-your-face footage of the X-Games, but not a sweeping vista as your aerial platform floats gracefully past.
This tutorial will show you how to get the most out of your GoPro so you can get near dSLR quality in most situations.
For more examples of what footage looks like using this technique, check out this video.
Dawn at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery from Samuel Morse on Vimeo.
Review of the Sony α7R
I received my Sony α7R in the mail a little over a week ago. While I haven’t used it as extensively as I would have liked, I do think I’ve delved deep enough to offer some honest opinions on its functionality. Now, there are plenty of places like DPreview where you can get the full low-down on the specs and features, so I’m going to focus specifically on my own revelations about its functionality.
There was a reviewer who compared the α7R to the original iPhone. I think this thought is spot-on. This camera is ground-breaking and a beautiful glimpse into what the camera industry has in store for us in the future. However, it still has some serious flaws that are just enough that I don’t see this camera getting the mainstream usage future iterations might see. Still, the fact that Sony managed to cram a 36 megapixel full frame (35mm format) sensor into a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is impressive. This means the camera is capable of image quality to rival my Nikon D800.
Let’s get started. Continue reading
Why I’ll likely be buying Sony for a while
Okay, so let’s get the elephant out of the room first. I’m not selling off all my Nikon gear anytime soon, and I still plan to use it extensively for high-profile shooting. In fact, the above photo was shot with my Nikon D800. That said, Sony has really piqued my interest in the past couple of years, to the point that I’m thinking that more of my personal camera gear should be Sony, not Nikon. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Some of it has to do with my shooting style in my off-duty time. Some of it has to do with unique features Sony is putting in their newest cameras. Continue reading
Is same-sex marriage a “human right?”
When I sat down and really thought about whether or not same-sex marriage is a “human right,” the answer turned out to be simpler than I thought.
Marriage in its quintessential form is a religious contract, and therefore protected under freedom of religion. Since more faiths exist than just Christianity, and not even all Christian beliefs prohibit same-sex marriage, freedom of religion is actually more of an argument in favor of same-sex marriage than against it. Oddly enough, this fact is lost on a lot of people who confuse freedom of religion with freedom of their religion.
From a legal standpoint, you can make an argument just as strong: the federal government cannot discriminate based on gender, so it can’t prevent you from marrying someone based on their gender. Simple
If you’re arguing whether or not marriage between members of the same gender is a “human right,” I’d actually say no, but not because it’s same gender. This is where things get a little tricky. I argue that marriage in general is not a “human right” in the strictest sense of the word. It’s a contract between two people, whether religious or secular. A contract is not a human right, nor more than a driver’s license. However, it *is* something we should treat with equality because it’s an offshoot of freedom of choice as well as freedom of religion.