Category Archives: Audio

A One-Man, Video-Shootin’, Senegalese Band

Photo by Arun Paul. Left to Right: Painter, Doctor, and....Videographer????????

I’m off to Senegal to shoot a short documentary on the volunteer work of my friend Dr. Al Ruenes. Al is a urologist who regularly visits Senegal to teach new techniques to surgeons from all over Africa, and while he’s there, does a whole slew of pro bono procedures for Senegalese patients.

Also coming is renowned plein air artist Bob Beck. He’s going to make paintings of the trip, I’m going to make the short video, and when we get back, we’re going to try to use this stuff to raise money for an operating theater Al hopes to fund in Dakar.

Originally, my son Brian was coming along to do the video duties, and I was just doing stills and audio. But then, young Brian had to go and get a great new gig as an associate producer for a new series at Discovery Channel and couldn’t get the time off.

(Oh sure, let a little thing like a major career move get in the way of a trip with the old man….sheesh, these kids!)

So it’s up to me to do my one-man band routine.

I’m only mildly panicked, as I’ve spent a lot of the summer studying up, shooting a lot of video to try to get my chops somewhat up to snuff.  Even at that, I’ve got a long way to go as a videographer, but I’m ready as I’ll ever be by tonight, anyway!

And just like in my still shooting,  I’ve been researching and finding the smallest, most reasonably-priced stuff that will do the job right.

So it’s going to be a little quiet on the blog for the rest of the month. And comment moderation could be very slow, so if you post a comment and it doesn’t show up for a while, it is nothing more nefarious than a bad or non-existent internet connection in my location!

For a look at the gear I’ll be bringing on this one man band gig, hit the jump. Continue reading »

Tanzania Photo Safari Redux

I had all but given up on the video footage I shot with my D300s when leading a photo safari in Tanzania last February for National Geographic Expeditions. Although I used a beanbag and did my best, the ever so slight movement of the Land Rover, even parked with the engine turned off, were enough to give most of my clips a little shake. A shake that became painfully obvious on my 30″ Cinema Display!

Of course, I didn’t notice it at the time on my LCD—I thought everything looked solid.  Oh, the lessons learned (see the post–Prides Cometh Before a Fall)

I’m working with the son of a friend this summer, trying to learn Final Cut Express, and together, we tried to salvage what we could from my clips, posted above. As regular readers know, I’m currently struggling with video and wondering if I might be better off forgetting the whole thing and sticking to my strong suit, or plunging ahead.

Plunging…hmmn, unfortunately, that’s still the operative word when it comes to my video chops so far. But I’m not giving up yet!

I spent last weekend shooting video of the first ever Jazz Academy at Solebury School, one of the projects of the Jonathan Krist Foundation.

We had students from inner city Camden and bucolic Bucks County side by side all weekend, learning jazz from some great pros like James McBride, George Laks, Brent White, Marlene Rice, Devyn Rush, Jamal and Nasir Dickerson, Hassan Sabree, and Dave Bachart.

Next week, I’m teaching my travel photography class up at the Maine Media Workshops….it’ll be great to be back in New England, teaching a subject that I know something about!

What’s wrong with this picture, er, I mean, this video…

www.whattheduck.net

In the midst of the packing and last minute details for an assignment I’m leaving on tomorrow (note to self: no more blog posts about Photoshop or plug-ins…whoa…you guys are tough, tough, tough), I took stock of my upcoming shopping list for gear, gadgets, and software.

And none of it was for still photo stuff.

I should be upgrading to CS5, but all my cameras are covered by the version of Adobe Camera Raw in CS4 so what I’m really getting ready to plunk down near four figures to upgrade is to Final Cut Studio from Final Cut Express, and not from CS4 to CS5.

And yes, I’d like that tiny new 85mm Nikkor DX  VR macro lens, but what I’m actually buying next is a fairly pricey little Sennheiser wireless mic setup. And I’ve been hitting the videography blogs with alarming regularity.

What the hell is going on? Hit the jump to find out just who, or what, has hijacked my brain.

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May Gear & Gadget Update

Large 220V Powerstrip

Compact Magellan Powerstrip

Kodak Zi 8 pocket camcorder

Wide angle auxiliary lens for Zi 8 (caution: soft corners ahead!)

Polaroid Pogo Printer

Bob’s Maine Media Travel Photo Workshop, July 4-10

The Great Video Dilemma…Redux

It would have been cool to have a video clip of these Shinto priests processing out of the temple after a ceremony, but while my video rig wasn't ready, my camera was! Photo © Bob Krist

Well, my marathon trip is coming to a close in beautiful Istanbul. And one other thing (besides the weather) has been bugging me on the trip.

Whether it’s a speed dating tour like the one I’m currently on, or a more in-depth assignment like my recent city profile of Buenos Aires for National Geographic Traveler, I am having a devil of a time fitting in the time to shoot video, let alone collect audio.

I’ve seen such stunning work from younger PJs who are combining both in beautiful stories. Maybe it’s because I’m from a pre-multi-tasking generation, but I really find it difficult to do both, or all three. I’ve written about this before and it hasn’t gotten any easier since.

I think part of the reason is that, while video-enabled DSLRs produce stunning-looking video, shooting video with them still presents, shall we say, ergonomic challenges.

First you put on your Zacuto viewfinder, then you put on your mic, your mixer, and your follow focus rig, and by the time you do that, the subject you want to video is three towns away, and maybe even retired. When, I wonder, will Nikon or Canon come up with a camera with the same chip, that takes the same lenses, but is actually designed to shoot video and not jerry-rigged to do so?

For my speculation on that and other video ironies, hit the jump.

Continue reading »