|I have an app for my iPhone and iPad that saves my bacon time after time.|
I pressent to you, the essential and indispensible Sun Seeker: 3D Augmented Reality Viewer By ozPDA
You see, I often find it difficult to know exactly where the sun is going to be when shooting time-lapse. When will it rise and even more importantly… WHERE!?!
This app does several things that let you know a lot of detail about the sun and its position.
1. You can use the GPS and magnetometer to find your location and determine sun data based on your position.
2. You can see a compass view that shows solar position, angle, and elevation for both day & night.
3. A map shows you elevation information for each hour in the day.
4. You can see details about sunrise, sunset, dusk, and twilight
5. You can compensate for time shift and enter a future date to use the app while scouting but see into the future
But the COOLEST feature is by far is the 3D Augmented reality view. You can open the camera on your iPhone or iPad and actually see the horizon with an interactive display. You’ll see a helpful arrow to shot you where the sun is (even if its hidden). You also get a rich overlay which shows you where the sun is moving with times called out. This makes it much easier to frame your shots for time-lapse as well as now where and when the sun will rise or set.
The App sells for $5.99, but is an absolute steal. This hands down makes my time-lapse shooting better as I know how to frame my shots as well as when I need to be in position. Check out the app here to buy or read more reviews. It is currently available for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, an iPad.
For more posts on Time-lapse – visit Triple Exposure – www.3exposure.com
Photo courtesy iStockphoto/Mathieu
While I’m not a road warrior, I easily log 50 flights a year for my job. I’ve had to travel with equipment all over the world for both photo and video projects. Traveling just gets more and more expensive these days. Here are a few rules that I apply to getting there safely with my sanity and equipment intact.
Carry ItI always carry these things onto the plane.
- A roll-on bag with all my lenses and camera bodies. I have had luggage stolen, the thieves know what gear bags look like.
- A laptop shoulder bag. With laptop, power supply, 2 TB of portable storage, and spare cables for all items.
- The Internet. I have an iPad, an iPhone, and a Wireless Modem. Why do I have 3 internet connections at all times? Because its cheaper than paying for WIFI at the airport and hotel. Plus its much more reliable than counting on clients and coffee shops.
- A change of clothes. Because your bag will get lost at the worst time
When it comes to checked luggage, here are some tips to try to stretch your budget.
- Weigh your bags. Weigh your bags before you fly. A simple bathroom scale is worth keeping near your gear.
- Prepay. Some airlines offer annual passes for baggage, while others give you a free bag with their branded credit card.
- Choose wisely. One of my favorite airlines is Virgin America. Not just for their lovely service and planes (with Internet), but for their $25 per bag and up to 10 bags policy.
- Pack a bag. Overweight bags are more expensive than checking another bag. I carry a very lightweight bag inside my suitcase for “overflow.”
- Skycaps are your friend. Those great folks out front of their airport are often nicer than the folks inside. Just walk up and hand them a five or ten dollar bill with your driver’s license.
Rent ItDon’t feel you have to lug all your gear with you. All those bags can sure add up.
Why all this hubbub? These days every dollar counts. Clients don’t really look at your rate plus expenses, they just see the bottom line. In my experience, the better a traveler I am, the more money left over to go in my pocket.
- Hire local. Find a local crew person or assistant for the market you’re traveling to. These can be a lighting assistant or someone to help with gear on the shoot.
- Find a peer. Use the ASMP Find a Photographer app or site to find a photographer to rent gear from. For video crews try the Creative COW services directory.
- Look for a grip house. We typically rent lighting equipment and support gear. from a grip house, which are used by the video and motion picture industries.
|Photoshop has its roots as a video and film application. The print—and more recently, web—industries have claimed it as their own. Now it’s our turn. Digital video has emerged as the fastest growing technology area; more and more books and applications are popping up on the shelves, promising solutions for all skill levels. It is my goal to help you reclaim Photoshop and learn to harness its diverse imaging abilities to enhance your video projects. |
Photoshop has all the tools you need (and many you don’t). Let’s get started by setting up Photoshop to work with our video applications. First we’ll modify its preferences which control how the application functions. To begin, call up your Preferences panel by pressing Cmd+K (Ctrl+K). These Preferences suggestions are based on Photoshop CS5. Most of these options exist in earlier versions of Photoshop, but naming conventions may vary.
In the General category, choose:
- Adobe Color Picker (a consistent, cross-platform color selection tool).
- Image Interpolation set to Bicubic (best for smooth gradients).
- Use Shift Key for Tool Switch unchecked.
- Resize Image During Place checked.
- Zoom Resizes Windows checked.
- Zoom with Scroll Wheel checked.
- Click Next.
The Interface category groups several preferences together that affect the application’s appearance.
- Set UI Font Size set to Medium or Large depending upon the resolution of your display. Use a larger size for bigger monitors.
- Leave Show Channels in Color unchecked. This option affects how your channels and images are viewed and diminish the on-screen viewing quality.
- Uncheck Enable Gestures if using a laptop (unless you love them).
- Click Next.
In the File Handling category, you need to make some changes to ensure cross-platform functionality. Even if your shop only uses Macs or PCs, you will work with others who are on other operating systems. Be cross-platform compliant when saving your Photoshop files.
- Always choose the Save an Icon and Macintosh or Windows Thumbnail options. This will allow you to quickly locate files through visual cues.
- Always append file extension with lower case tags.
- Set Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility to Always.
- Click Next.
The performance category groups several options together which manage your installed RAM and hard drives.
- Memory Usage identifies how much RAM you have installed. Photoshop has a minimum requirement of 1 GB for CS5.
- Allow at least 20 History States (levels of Undo). You will vary this number based on RAM and personal experience as you grow less dependent on undos.
- Memory will generally not be a big deal because you’ll work primarily with low-resolution sources in this book. However, if you have extra (local) drives, make Photoshop aware of them. Set your emptiest drive as the First Scratch Disk. Ideally you will choose a drive that is not the system (boot) drive.
- If you have a robust video card and will be doing a lot of image clean up, then check the boxes for Enable OpenGL Drawing.
- Click Next.
Photoshop uses specialized cursors to make it easier to know which tool is in use.
- Set Painting Cursors to Normal Brush Tip. I personally prefer to check Show Crosshair in Brush Tip. (The Caps Lock key disables this preview feature.)
- Set Other Cursors to Precise. This way, you can actually see your sample point for your Eyedropper and Stamp tools.
- Click Next.
Transparency & Gamut
Under Transparency & Gamut, you can generally leave these options alone. Personal preferences do vary however.
- You can change the grid size to make it easier to see transparent pixels.
- You can change the grid color if you despise light gray. You can also disable the grid altogether. Remember, the grid will not print or show up in your video graphics.
- Click Next.
Find other professionals to work with can seem quite daunting at first. This is especially true if you are changing markets or professional focus. It’s important to realize that the film and video community is well established with its own professional groups and even unions. Finding qualified video crew is not difficult (if you know where to look).
Craigslist is Not Your Friend – Before we tackle where to look, lets get where not to look out of the way. I find that Craigslist (and others like it) are filled with ads looking for crews. Nearly all offer no pay (just experience). As such, most professionals don’t even bother looking here for work. It’s hard to find true talent when you’re surrounded by wannabes looking for a handout.
Professional Groups – There are numerous professional groups in most markets. A simple web search may turn up user groups for specific technology like tools from Apple or Adobe. You can also find groups that maintain directories and member programming such as MCA-I, Women in Film, and others.
Grip and Rental Houses – Many markets have grip and rental houses that rent lighting and support equipment used in the production of film and television projects. These places also rent to other video professionals and usually maintain or even staff crews that can be hired. These are great places to start when you need to hire in a different market.
Teaming – Chances are some of your colleagues are also getting into video production. Work with those you know. I have found that collaboration with colleagues works far better than viewing everyone as your competition. Work openly with those you trust and respect and go out of your way to work together. Those who are worth working with will certainly return the favor in some way.
You can download the free eBook "From Still to Motion – The Business Manifesto" to get practical advice for professionals working in video and new media
This post is sponsored by iStockphoto – www.istockphoto.com/richardharrington.php