WoMP: Flash/Strobes 01Nov12

WoMP: Flash/Strobes

For the record, I use the term “flash” and “strobe” interchangeably. Shutter, Meet Light: The continuous light portion of this is Photography 101.  As your shutter slows, it allows more light in over a longer period of time.  That makes your image brighter, and...

WoMP: iPhone 5 05Oct12

WoMP: iPhone 5

Doin’ It With The Lights Out: While the Nikon D3s isn’t the shiniest/newest camera off the line, it still has class-leading ISO performance.  That’s about as good as it gets.  The iPhone dragged it’s shutter to a half-second in order to get an exposure.  That’s...

WoMP: Lighting 11Sep12

WoMP: Lighting

In this episode we focus on what sorts of cheap lights we might use for production, what some of their limitations are, and how good we can make them look. How Much Can You Put Out? I couldn’t find bulbs with exact matches in exposure.  People selling you fluorescents tend to say they are 5x brighter for the same power.  In my experience it’s much lower than that when you need a harder source with throw, and it’s higher than that when you want a softer source (since fluorescents are naturally larger sources and need less light-blocking diffusion to get a similar softness). Four Bulbs One Guy:  This one is pretty self...

WoMP: Sound Recording 19Aug12

WoMP: Sound Recording

This episode of Weapons of Mass Production really focuses on sound recording techniques.  One of the things I was trying to do was make it fairly brand-agnostic.  The only make/model I call out is a cheap piece of crap.  The point is that recording clean field sound is much more about...

WoMP: Greener Screen 31Jul12

WoMP: Greener Screen

This is the latest of my not-quite-safe-for-work-but-ultimately-harmless camera/filmmaking/review show thing (I need to work on that pitch). We focus on greenscreen, and in particular finding just the right shade of paint.  It actually ended up being immensely challenging. Some background: ...

Workshop: DSLR Video 20Jun12

Workshop: DSLR Video

I’ll be teaching a fun workshop on June 24th for Capital Photography Center.  The workshop is all about using stills cameras to shoot video.  It’s going to be catered towards people that are fairly comfortable on the still-camera side of things, and are trying to get a better...

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D mkIII Shootout Part II 18May12

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D ...

This is part 2 of my previous test. It is even more idiotic, but I find the results very interesting, particularly for stills shooters. Pedantic analysis below. Test 7: Got Bits? This is my favorite test. I might have to come up with a normalized (repeatable) version of this. Because I think...

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D mkIII Shootout 04Apr12

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D ...

This was by no means a comprehensive test, but I did try to make it as (i) real-world relevant as possible, (ii) accurate, (iii) idiotic. For my rambling analysis of the tests, read on.  It’s pretty boring though.  You’ll probably learn more and be more entertained just watching...

Writers’ Roundtable 05Jan12

Writers’ Roundtable

NEXT ROUNDTABLE:  TBD I’m organizing a regular writers’ read-through roundtable: a few screenwriters get together, take turns reading each other scenes/short scripts aloud, and briefly talk about them.  Rinse, repeat.  This is an opportunity to get together with a handful of fellow screenwriters, and work on our writing in a relaxed round-table environment. Writing screenplays is tough when you’re in a lonesome bubble.  My favorite aspect of my college screenwriting class wasn’t discussing theory and structure and studying the greats.  It was doing table reads of scripts-in-progress, discussing what was working and...

My Un-Shredding Brother on NPR 11Dec11

My Un-Shredding Brother on NPR

Big ups to my brother Otávio and his team that won the DARPA Shredder Challenge.  DARPA brought them out to DC for the weekend to give a presentation about their process, and present them with their comedy-sized $50,000 check.  The prize was hard-earned, seeing as how the team spent around a...

All Your Shreds Are Belong To U.S. 25Nov11

All Your Shreds Are Belong To U.S.

Shout out this week to my brother Otávio (of Word Lens fame) and his team that is taking part in the DARPA Challenge.  This time the challenge is to reconstruct shredded documents.  There’s a series of increasingly complex ‘puzzles’ that are just shredded documents that must...

Underwater 1, Kevin 0 08Aug10

Underwater 1, Kevin 0

Touché water, touché. My current photographic push is trying to come up with great underwater photography.  The addendum to this challenge is: doing it without spending a ton of money.  Step #1:  Buy a ridiculously cheap underwater bag for my DSLR.  For $120 a company named DiCAPac makes...

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