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Stepping into a new world

This past week on Tuesday evening I ventured into town for what I thought was gonna be a same ole same ole type of digital media workshop.  To my surprise however, I probably learned more and got new/ better ideas than I ever thought I would.  I attended the Get In Motion Tour hosted by Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow here in Houston, TX.

I’ve attended other workshops and also watched many different training videos for the digital arts but have to say this was by far one of the most enjoyable and beneficial events I have been to.  Jeff and Ross take the world of Filmography (hollywood style shooting of video) and apply it to the new developing world of HDSLR shooting.  They pointed out the difference in camcording (a term they use) and actually shooting video for a client that has meaning and a story behind it.  They use real life examples of footage they have produced for clients showing both what was good and where they should have done better.  Both gentlemen are very helpful if you have questions and show a passion for this industry and want to pass on their knowledge for others to be successful.

For anyone interested in getting into the world of digital video recording using your DSLR camera I would highly recommend attending their class or purchasing their event DVD (DVD to be released later this year).  They were also involved with the shooting of How to Photoshop Everyone and will be releasing later this year the How-To dvd for that production showing their method of shooting and much of the gear they used.

 
I am not affiliated with them or their sponsors, but I do feel that the way they introduce the 
information and the style they are shooting is the next level of HDSLR footage that is going 
to continue to move this industry in to better things.
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Wildlife outside Houston

So this past weekend (Sunday) a friend of mine and her visiting cousin took a trip to Brazos Bend State Park.  The park is located off FM 762 about 30 min south of Sugar Land or an hour south of Cypress (where I hold up).  So we took off early about 6am as to get there when the park opened at 7am and to try and beat some of the heat (ya didn’t happen there).  This park is a great place to visit to take pictures of birds and alligators,  however, I strongly believe that the activity this late in the summer is lacking compared to the spring migration time (March/ April).  There was still some birds on the water to photograph and I have included a few examples below but overall it was a lacking day.

So, if you wanna photograph birds and are in the Houston area, Brazos Bend State Park is a great place to start.  The best times are when the park first opens (or before if you have a pass and on the early guest list) or about an hour or so before sunset.  These seem the best times and when birds are most active.  If you are into macro and like taking pictures of the little crawlers, there are great fields to wade through.  Bugs seem to be best to photograph in the morning or on cool days as they don’t move as quick.

So go check it out and be sure to bring your camera.  It’s a great place to go to get out of the city and easily a day or 1/2 day or even less of a trip from Houston.

You can find my full collection of Brazos Bend State Park photos on my site or by clicking HERE. You can also order unmarked prints if interested through my site as well.  Enjoy cheers.

Photography in the 3rd Dimension

This was shared to me by another photographer and thought I would post it here as well.  This photographer takes pictures not on a flat 2D piece of paper but on 3 dimensional objects.  After applying liquid light he uses a special pinhole camera to expose the surface of the object.  This just shows that the world of photography is limitless and that the imagination is a key driving force to the next step.  Enjoy.

Review: Tenba Large Messenger Bag

The Tenba Messenger Large Photo & Laptop Bag is a great medium to large sized messenger style shoulder bag. At first look it doesn’t look like a camera bag which is a MAJOR plus because you are not walking around with a bag that says “look at me I have thousands in expensive camera gear on me”! I will say that when it comes to a camera bag I am very picky on the feel, look, size, and protection it offers. This Tenba Messenger camera bag is just that; large enough for several lenses, a body or two, and needed accessories. It is by far my favorite!

I bought this camera bag in late 2009 and it has been my one and only every day camera bag of choice since. I have never owned a backpack style bag personally because I never enjoyed how bulky they look and are. Also on a trip to Taiwan with a professor the TSA officer asked my professor (who had a lowepro backpack on) what type of camera system he shot. However, as I walked through the detectors they had no clue that the bag entering the x-ray machine was a camera/ laptop bag. At that moment I knew not only did I have a great bag but I had one that does not look like a camera bag.

Features:

  • Removable photo insert provides padded storage for a SLR body with two or three lenses and a flash.
  • Bottom reinforced with rubberized, moisture and abrasion-resistant panel.
  • Thickly padded, contoured shoulder strap and hand grip for all-day carrying comfort.
  • Dual Duraflex® flap clips provide security, while large Velcro® patches allow for quick ins-and-outs.
  • 3M Scotchlite™ reflective trim on front flap for nighttime visibility.
  • Optional laser-engravable version can be customized with name, logo or other personal identification.

Specifications:

Interior Dimensions

  • Width: 17 inches
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Depth: 5-8 inches

Exterior Dimensions

  • Width: 17.5 inches
  • Height: 12.5 inches
  • Depth: 5.5-8.5 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs

Laptop Compartment Dimensions

  • Width: 16.5 inches
  • Height: 11.5 inches
  • Depth: 1.5-2 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Fits most laptops up to 17-inches

Also Includes

  • 638-251 Messenger Removable Photo Insert

Summary:

First off I must say that this bag is VERY well made and I have been impressed with its ability to stay together under all I have put it through. This included traveling to Asia, around the US, and even being hit by a car on a bicycle (yes I had this bag on me and was hit by a car running a red light and the only damage was a small screen crack on my laptop). As I mentioned earlier I knew I didn’t want a backpack since they are large and bulky and many scream CAMERA. Don’t get me wrong, backpacks are great but for what I was looking for; quick gear access and a bag that looks nothing like a camera bag, this messenger bag works much better. Another major fact to me wanting a shoulder bag is that when I travel, I travel with a hiking backpack which contains all of my change of clothes for the trip and this shoulder bag carrying my gear. That’s it. Both bags are carryon and there’s no need for me to check in any luggage. This helps me save money and headaches by not having to lug suitcases around on subways, buses, trains and planes.

I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling since my big trip to Taiwan but I have taken this bag out on 2 survey boats and it has held up greatly. Both surveys were in the Gulf and lasted for a min of two weeks and this bag allowed me to take everything I needed/ wanted with out fear of damage to my gear. And as states before, no one ever thought I had a camera until they saw me with it on deck. Fully loaded this bag still fit under the seat on the airplane allowing my backpack to fit in the overhead container.

Function:

In regards to capacity, this little bag sure can hold a lot of gear. For a typical trip I usually pack the following:

  • Canon 5d MKII (No Grip)
  • Canon 24-105 f4L (Hood Reversed)
  • Canon 70-200 f2.8IIL (Hood Reversed)
  • Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 (Hood Detached)
  • Canon 15 f2.8 Fisheye
  • Canon EF 1.4x teleconverter
  • Canon 430 EX II flash
  • 6 CF Cards
  • 2 Spare Canon LP-6 Batteries
  • Benro Tripod (Attached to Bottom via bungees)

If I wanna travel a little lighter for the day I’ll leave the teleconverter and 17-35mm at home or in the hotel. Then I walk around with a smaller rig which can make the long 10-12 mile photowalks a bit more bearable.

This bag has 2 main ways of accessing your gear. You can unbuckle the two buckles as seen and then pull up on the flap that is help in place by Velcro but this is can cumbersome and loud depending on your location. However, there is a second method to accessing your gear. If you look below you can see that above the two zipper pockets there is a long (bag length) zipper sticking out. This zipper actually opens up to the main compartment allowing you access to all your gear quickly and quietly. I find that in an urban environment this works great b/c you can pull your camera out, get the show you want, and then put the camera away quickly and smoothly without drawing attention to yourself. This is much better than a backpack that you would have to take off, put on the ground or bench, unzip (exposing most of its contents), and then putting the camera away. This also allows for quicker lens changing so that you don’t miss that great shot. It is truly awesome! =)

Available Colors:

Tenba offers a wide range of colors for this bag that would fit anyone’s pallet. At the time I bought my bag I originally wanted the Green bag but it was sold out everywhere and I was impatient to order it online. So I found a brown one at Camer Co-Op here in Houston and got that one. Not my first color of choice but now its as much apart of me that I can’t imagine having a different colored bag. This bag and I have been through so much! Rain, Snow, Heat, hit by car, and BEER!



The Verdict:

I LOVE THIS BAG AND IT IS AMAZING. Not much else is really needed to be explain that this has been by far one of my most favorite camera bags I have ever owned. It’s not too small and it’s not too big. It’s just the right size for the camera setup I use. I honestly don’t think I could step down to a smaller Tenba messenger or up to a bigger bag. It’s just great in every aspect and suites me very well in my shooting and travel style.

If you like to travel light and have easy, quick access to your gear then this bag is definitely a great option for you. You will not regret it.

Where To Buy:

Find the lowest price on this item in the Pixtus Amazon Store located here:

Tenba Large Messenger: Black

Tenba Large Messenger: Navy Blue

Tenba Large Messenger: Plum

Tenba Large Messenger: Olive

Tenba Large Messenger: Burnt Orange

Tenba Large Messenger: Platinum

Tenba Large Messenger: Chocolate

Canon leading the movie way

Here it is again.  Canon EOS Digital SLR bodies being used to shoot movies and trailers.  From the first big hit of using a Canon EOS 5D mark II in the shooting of the Season Finally of the Fox hit House M.D. the famous 5D2 and 1D4 are being used again in this Lucasfilm trailer.  The upcoming file by George Lucas called “Red Tails” will be utilizing these bodies in the production and shooting of this movie with an early 2012 release.

Red Tails??

The Red Tails were a group of the first African American pilots in WWII that fought for the UNITED STATES of America.  They did not receive the name Red Tails until 1944 when they painted the tails of their P-47’s red.  This group of aviators is known as the Tuskegee Airmen.  More can be found on them here.

More information and some behind the scene footage can be found by Philip Bloom.

This truly shows that the world of DSLR is changing and growing in a way that no one ever saw coming, and that Canon is on the forefront of it and leading the way.

PS: forgot to mention “Captain American: The First Avenger”  action scenes were also captured on Canon EOS DSLR’s

Great Price on Lightroom 3

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Right now B&H Photo Video  is offering $100.00USD off (instant rebate) on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 until August 20th 2011.  This is an awesome program for processing and organizing your images.

I moved from using Adobe Bridge as my first step processor in post work until I discovered the new and very much improved Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.  From importing to making adjustments to your images, Lightroom has a lot of settings to use to help hasten your workflow.

You can find the discount HERE . Enjoy.

Get’n Muddy

Wasn’t a photography trip but as always took the camera along with me and a buddy and I took some pics.  Took the Jeep off-road’n today at a nice place just north of Houston. Was a great trip to finally get the Jeep back out on the trails and have some fun playing in the mud.  I’ve attached below just a few pictures from the trip.  Not many were taken as the trip was cut short when I broke one of my fuel lines.  Got the Jeep home okay after towing it with two tow straps and a family members truck.  Time to fix her up stronger and get back out there.  I mounted up a tripod inside my cab and shot some video from the 5D2 and will be processing that in the upcoming week.  Not really accustom to post editing video so it’ll be fun learning and tackling this.   Enjoy.

Mighty Duo (Photo by: Chris Beveridge)

Posing (Photo by: Chris Beveridge)

Life Line (Photo by: Daron Cole)

 

 

creativeLIVE Workshops

For those that don’t know creativeLIVE hosts workshops via web broadcast from their Seattle stupid on all different types of digital media topics.  The workshops are free to view life via their webcast through their website creativeLIVE.com.  I personally have found many of their workshops to be very educational and helpful in different aspects of the digital arts.  Just earlier this month they had the Director of Photography for the FOX hit House M.D. on to talk about and teach how they have been using the Canon 5D Mark II to shoot the show.  For me it opened my eyes and mind to an area I had no knowledge about before and now know many of the basics to produce simple clips.  Even if you miss the workshop they allow you to purchase them for a very reasonable price ($50-100 usually).  A great price in my opinion for the detail and information you get.

What sparked this post is that upcoming in September (20th – 23rd) Lesa Snider will be doing a 4 day Adobe CS5 workshop.  This is a great opportunity for those that don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of this program or those that do and just wanna learn more.

Just so everyone knows I do not represent, work for, speak for, gain benefits from, or am affiliated with in any way, creativeLIVE.  I am just passing on a great site that I feel can teach a lot of useful information for a great price (FREE).

In action

As a photographer we always find ourselves behind the viewfinder and never really in front of the lens.  One of the hardest things for a photographer (at least in my case) is to take or even accept a picture of ourselves being taken.  This leads to some interesting things.

We have loads of photographs of other people from all over the world or where ever we have been.  Thousands upon thousands of files that have nothing to due with the person take the photo.  There’s why it’s always fun to stand back and take a photo of a photographer working, trying to capture that moment and freeze it in time.  When out and about photographers can be seen doing all kinds of crazy things just trying and looking for that perfect spot to capture the beauty of the world around them.

A while ago (couple months) I went out to the Bolivar Flats with another photographer to shoot the birds along the coast line.  Little did I know that wail crawling along the ground trying to sneak up on some birds to photographer I was actually the subject of a photograph.  I always do enjoy these as you really get a since in what a photographer will really do just to get that one image.  I know I have done some crazy things.

Photographer in Action (Photo by: Andrew (Cerbera LM @ TPF))

Houston Dynamo Girls

2011 Houston Dynamo Girls

So last night I got the privilege to cover for one of the photographers for the Dynamo Girls.  I must say, it really made a difference talking and meeting with many of them.  A lot of people believe outside that the dancers for professional sports teams are just stuck up beauties. However, this is as far from the truth when it comes to these wonderful ladies.  Not only are they accepting to outsiders they show loads of support for their team and the fans.  They have the upmost respect for other and are not even full time dancers.  Many of them have jobs outside of the Dynamo world and some even finishing up school to be successful personal in the world.

All I have to say is it was a pleasure to shoot for these ladies and meet some of them.  For all the fans that are shy to go up and say hi to them don’t be.  They seem to enjoy interacting with the fans knowing that the support of the Dynamos we all have in common.

Find all my images from this exciting game at my gallery by clicking HERE