At the Singapore Zoo

What ever your opinion is about zoos one thing people can get onboard with is the message of conservation that most zoos preach. It also helps to give kids an appreciation of what’s outside early on in life. If you go to Singapore and you have kids one thing you probably should do is go the their zoo. The offers not only general admission in the day time but also a nighttime zoo, a river ride zoo and a bird park. Though we didn’t do the river or bird park, I’ve heard good things.

On a family trip, we brought along our canon 5D Mark III and trusty GoPro Hero 4 to document the trip. Here are some of the photos and video we took.

Singapore Zoo (1 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (4 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (3 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (2 of 24)

The best exhibit at this zoo in my opinion is the Orangutan enclosure, if you can call it an enclosure. The orangs have a “free roaming” enclosure which means they can cross over into other areas of the park via a network of overhead ropes and access the tops of a couple huge trees. It’s amazing to watch how high they let them go up.

Singapore Zoo (22 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (21 of 24)

Though I can’t recommend riding elephants, it was fun to see my niece and nephew’s reaction to feeding them.

Singapore Zoo (13 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (12 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (11 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (10 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (8 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (7 of 24)

Singapore Zoo (6 of 24)

Blackmagic Production Camera 4k

Last weekend I had a chance to use the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K on a shoot here in San Diego. I had always wanted to get my hands on this camera ever since Blackmagic announced it at last years NAB and I got my chance when I rented one from Pro HD Rentals in Burbank. If you haven’t check out Pro HD they’re awesome and they know what accessories are needed when renting today’s ever-modular camera systems. For example if you go to the two big online lens rental houses they can rent you the camera, but that’s all you get. For proper shooting you’ll still need an external battery then you’ll need rails then a cage with a top handle and maybe you want an XLR audio adaptor for the ¼ inch audio plugs, Pro HD Rentals gives you all that, give them a call and ask for Dan he’s the man.

Even with all the bits and bobs attached to make it viable in the field there are still some quarks about this camera that are hard to get use to. My main issue was how hard it was to see the back of the screen when shooting outside. The Blackmagic Production 4k camera has a 5 inch 800 x 400 resolution touch screen on the back so you would think you wouldn’t need an external monitor. Well you probably do because it’s a touch screen and we all know how greasy and shiny they get. So when shooting outside due to the reflection it was really hard to see if you were in focus and get judge how exposed you were. This screen issue coupled with shooting in the cameras super flat Film mode makes it even harder to judge focus. My suggestion would be to get an external monitor if you are thinking of renting this camera preferably one with a LUT built-in, you’ll be glad you did.

There are many things camera nerds like me like to point out that are wrong with this camera and I hate to be one of those guys. So I’ll point out that none of these problems matter at the end when he sees the picture quality this camera is capable of producing that is quite amazing.

Storytelling Through Wedding Photography

Utilizing the “getting-ready” still photos we took from our own wedding and the rest we took of Charlotte + Grayson’s wedding from details to first dance, we can demonstrate storytelling through wedding photography.

A wedding day is made up of parts:

  • Getting Ready: hair & make-up, dress, shoes, tie, jacket, bride, groom, invitations, rings, dress, shoes
  • On-Location Details: ceremony decor such as alter and flowers
  • First Look: Groom sees Bride before the ceremony
  • Ceremony: guests, groom, flower girl, ring bearer, procession line, bride + father of the bride, mother and father of the groom, kiss
  • Portraits: This can include bride and groom creative portraits and or family portraits
  • Reception Details: reception decor, lights, table, place settings, cake, guest book, guests, atmosphere, toasts and speeches
  • Cake Cut: Bride and Groom
  • First Dance: bride and groom and/or bride and father-of-the-bride

No two weddings are alike so not all weddings will have each and every one of the aforementioned parts, but every wedding tells the story of the individual couples.

Just be sure to get a variety of shots from all the sections that your couple mentions is important to them and you will have produced plenty of wonderful wedding day memories for your friends and clients!

If you have production questions or something you would like us to blog about, please submit your request via social media or in the comments below 🙂 We’d love to hear from you!

NAB 2013: 4k and a handheld RC Gimbal

It’s been a couple of weeks since I got back from NAB, just enough time to let the massive overload of information and products to sink in.   Though as jaded as I am to being pulled into a booth and pitched on a product that I have no interest in there were a couple of things that truly gave me pause.

One is how fast 4k has been adopted as the new acquisition standard among the big camera makers, especially Sony, considering 1080p TV sets have just now settled into their new homes.  Personally I don’t think consumers are ready nor willing yet to pay for a new 4k TV.  But NAB is a broadcasters convention and we’re not talking with consumers here.   We’re talking to industry cohorts and like-minded folk and 4k is here whether we care to acknowledge it or not.  It’s not debatable like 3d has been in previous years as people in production can clearly see the benefit of working in 4k and what 4k can deliver.  I know Sony knows this because their booth was all about 4k, from cameras to monitors to 4k oled TVs that were truly beautiful to look at.  It was really amazing to see how invested they were in 4k, if not the whole company a large part of Sony Entertainment is riding on adoption of this resolution.

A look at the Black Magic Cinema Pocket Camera

A look at the Black Magic Cinema Pocket Camera

Hopefully entry into 4k on the consumer side will come down in price and for us small business owners, freelancers and indie shooters.  I guess we have already seen this happen when BlackMagic announced a camera that effectively gives you a thousand lines of resolution for a thousand dollars times four not to mention a pocket size cinema camera that does 1080p to lossless DNG for under a thousand bucks.

It just takes one and the rest will follow as we have seen from Red.

The other notable mention from NAB was Freefly’s MōVI.  A new concept to most, but for RC octocoptor, hexacopter and quadcoptor hobbyists it was a natural evolution.   The MoVI  is a 3-axis gimbal which hobbyists have already been using, the innovative part is the use of brushless motors.  By specific programing these motors can off set the effects of unwanted shake better than previous servo motors.  These motors have been out for the RC hobbyist since 2006, but only now showing benefits of how they can be use for camera stabilization.   The launch of MōVI will undoubtedly have an impact in the industry especially on the big stabilization players like Tiffen’s Stedicam, Cineflex and CineMoves.  Stabilizing the camera rather than in postproduction is beneficial in many ways, one of which is that you don’t get any cropping into your frame.  My hope is that we get more companies like Freefly that will ultimately drive down price for these rigs.

Freefly's MōVI supporting a 5d mounted on an RC car

Freefly’s MōVI supporting a 5d mounted on a RC car