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9 July 2014 - 16:20Capilano Suspension Bridge 125th Anniversary

Another interesting project!  I was a bit at odds shooting talent on a treadmill and having them pose at the same time… probably mostly for insurance issues, but I conceded to the client wishes.   The concept was of two people walking across a suspension bridge over a period of 125 years.  All the images were digitally separated, replaced in the bridge scene and then re-photographed in stop motion for this animated commercial.

 

The post work was all done by Blatant Studios.  They definitely had the lions share of the work getting these images to a final animation.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.59.37 AM

Green is one of  the most available colors in backgrounds and props, but if you ever have the opportunity, go with blue screen as it’s a much more natural cutaway against people, especially when placement is to be with an outdoor setting like this project.  We are much more used to see a blue cast on skin which naturally comes from the sky.  If there was an opportunity to coordinate with the stylist ahead of time I would have definitely gone with a blue cutaway.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.59.49 AM

 The clients wanted to see live images during the shoot.  I normally work with an SD card which works much better for burst shooting without buffer issues.  Here I was tethered to the computer and it was a exercise in patience.  Whenever my camera powered down, everything had to be rebooted.   There were also buffer issues uploading images to the screen and approximately 3-5 sec image delays to preview, but I guess it’s not horrible when you’re working with 32 mb files.   It’s disappointing to have such high end gear with such a weak link when it come to data transmission… Canon get to work and fix this!    I’m going to be purchasing a Cam Ranger shortly and see if that give me any speed gain using secondary jpeg files… the main benefit is that the system is wireless and should eliminate the occasional dropped connections you get with the tether cables.

 

 

 

 

 

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech, Photoshoots

10 October 2012 - 2:31Email issues with Mountain Lion

Sorry if this blog is a bit off topic and nerdy… I hope this would help someone else as I could not find any useful info online about this.   If you are using Mountain Lion and a custom email client set up as a POP account, then maybe I have some good news.  After the update to 10.8.2 my mail went to hell.   My email ‘kinda’ worked and when i went to connection doctor it looked like a stoplight of red and green dots.   I called my internet hosting company, my internet provider and Apple.

My emails worked fine on the ipad, iphone and my laptop (ver 10.6) so through a process of elimination,  I figured the problem stemmed from the newest ML Upgrage (Both my computers were down).

For some reason,  my computer was not trusting the certificate provided by my internet provider (shaw).   When I talked to their techs, they just said to hit the ‘connect’ button.

I don’t know why only ML did not accept the certificate, but the Apple mail specialist told me to ‘show certificate’ and then to click the box next to ‘always trust … ‘   For some reason all the certificates were expired and not updating.

Here’s an example of the certificate window where i changed the setting.  The ‘verify certificate’ window showed up when i was trying to connect to my mail,  otherwise I’m not sure how to access it.

The apple tech also informed me that POP accounts are only suppose to be accessed by one device at a time…  this was total news to me as I have always had multiple computers pulling emails from the same account for years.   I think the problem was more pronounced with the Iphone and Ipad doing constant reads and a basic incompatibility within ML to handle this.  What you need to do is turn off  ‘push’ notifications and turn on ‘manual email fetching’ on your mobile devices.   Here is an image from my iphone settings under ‘mail, contacts, calendars’:

The 3rd thing to change is your outgoing port from within Mail on your computer .  Under the account setting in mail,  you click on any account and navigate down to ‘outgoing mail server’ and click ‘edit SMTP Server List’

The default ports button should be active,  change it to Custom Port and enter ‘587’.  SSL should also be off,  I’m not sure why but both the provider and many web help pages indicate this.

There is apparently some port issues on 25 with some providers, the general consensus I’ve read online is this fix usually works.

One last note,   before this whole process, I deleted all my mail boxes and prefs hoping that would fix the problem…NOT!   If these previous ‘fixes’ I posted don’t help,  go to the beginning and do this.  A quick way to the mail folder is press ‘option’ while opening ‘GO’ at the top of your desktop.  Navigate to ‘library’ which has now popped up,  then ‘Mail / V2 / Mail data’ and delete the ‘accounts.plist’

Then go back into ‘V2’ and delete or drag your mail boxes (eg:  POP-Bryan@bwp)  somewhere (to save your messages).   You will have to re add all the accounts manually again within the Mail program,  do a screen capture or make a note of the settings before deleting your prefs!

I hope you are not experience half the hell I went through!

– Bryan

 

 

 

 

 

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech, quirky and unrelated

30 November 2011 - 6:02Creative beauty shot – Teal

This creative was with Colleen Napier.   I let her loose on Teal to do any look she liked and this was the result.

I had some nice pieces of jewellery from Carola Bun from a previous shoot, so I thought i would put the choker to good use again.  Both images were shot against a white background with the add’l effects added in Photoshop.  I’ve been on a trend lately of desaturating my images and dialing the color temperatures down.  The top image has a bit more green in the undertone… I wanted this look to approach an ‘old photograph’ with fogged highlights, but with a modern look.  Traditionally aged images have bluer blacks and yellowed highlights… which is why i went green/yellow.

I tried a couple composite images with this next shot, but since i did not originally plan on changing the background, it was hard to  separate her hair from the similar toned background (would of normally shot this high key).  I saw a neat filter once on a website: Auto FX Mystical2 … although the program is a bit pricey ($200),  and you can certainly achieve the effect in Photoshop manually,  you will be getting to your results much faster.

No Comments | Tags: Makeup Techniques, Photography Tech, Photoshoots

7 October 2011 - 2:22Splashtop App… Big thumbs up!!!

Every now and then something comes across your desk that changes the way you work; the brick phone,  dial up internet,  facebook,  angry birds, etc.    I’m gonna put this app in that group… it feels like the edge of change!  Right now the current version is about three bucks at the app store (their competitors are charging $30!!).   The nice thing is it’s universal for PC’s and Mac’s alike… and even android users.   I have to say however that my Mac experience linking it to the Ipad and Iphone was seamless.

After you download the software online and install onto your device, there is one more download to the computer you want to sync to.  You are able to sync to as many computers (Mac and PC) as you like and access them all through this interface.

The nice thing about the computer install program, is that they also include an uninstall script.  This program is downloaded from their website.

Click on the computer you wish to access ( I only have one set up at the moment), and you are taken to this window asking for your access code which you set up on you computer.   This can be auto filled or entered each time you access, but I highly suggest manually entering an intricate password  each time… it is the internet after all.

Voila!  you are now remotely controlling your computer (this take your system out of sleep/screensaver mode… keep this in mind as your system is now unlocked wherever it is)  What I find amazing is that you can operate any of your programs as if you were there… even ram hogs like photoshop and lightroom on your ipad(android, iphone, etc)

This is the window that shows up with a three finger tap.  My screen is set to native resolution which displays my entire (home) monitor, and can be switched between monitors (I have 2).   You can also choose  between ipad resolution and a fixed resolution.   The desktop can be scaled and moved between two fingers so you don’t need a magnifying glass.

So why do this anyway?    If you have ever had to help your parents or anyone over the phone  for ‘tech’ help?  Now they can watch live (and there is live voice too) while you navigate around the computer from another location.   Personally, I think back to my last trip to Mexico when I had a magazine call for some images and  could not get to my raid array to send them.   Now it’s as easy as signing in, accessing my files and remotely sending them from my home email.

So far Wifi has worked very well.  Now i need to experiment with my phone on the G3 network.   It would also be worthwhile to have a mouse with the ipad which would make this program so much more functional, but currently that is only available through a jailbreak.

Downsides:

  • I am not able to activate my screen saver and lock the computer remotely (takes 15 min to fall in to sleep mode) because the screen does not let me put it all the way into the corner to activate the hot button… it may work in other screen resolutions.
  • It’s challenging to get use to tapping instead of ‘clicking’… prefer a mouse option!

Upsides:

  • everything else!

You can read more at http://www.splashtop.com/

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech

2 September 2011 - 1:08Data Backup !!!!!

I sure hope you are regularly backing up your data!  For years i had thought CD’s were a safe choice to keep my important files.  Back then we were led on that this was the best choice.   Not until years later after backing up data to a raid array did I discover that certain brands of CD (Ridata for one) had high failure rates (5 discs / 100) starting to show up after 4 years.  Two more years later it was 7/100.

Now everything is safely backed up on a Raid array… or so I thought!  One day when two computers simultaneously accessed the same file… Boom!… Lost the Raid.  It took three months and two data recovery companies (Was going to cost me $3K) before i realized it was unrecoverable.    I though using a raid with a hot spare drive kept me safe with an archive of dvd’s as backup.    Now there are three raids on premise all mirroring each other… maybe overkill but better than then lose all those years of hard work… keeping my fingers crossed we don’t get that big solar flare but we’d all be screwed at that point anyway.

I have never been comfortable with shipping my info into cyberspace to backup companies (icloud)  and i did not like how Time machine kept filling up my entire hard drives.  I have tried so many backup programs that have fallen short.   At a recent seminar i was turned on to Chronosync… I tried the demo software and was impressed enough to buy it… and write about it!

It’s really impressive how much control this backup software give you.  One really great feature could be backing up your data to a laptop from your tower,  taking the laptop home and working on files, then the next day ChronoSync will update your laptop files back onto the tower, keeping everything current.

For my own situation with Raids topping 3 TB of data,  doing a full backup literally takes 6-12 hours.  ChronoSync intelligently looks for ‘Changes’ between files update and can  delete them from your backup drive to mirror you master drive.   The first time pressing the ‘sync’ button was scary and I tried to call the company to make sure all the settings were right… sadly they have no phone support.  I diligently  read the manual a few times… not that this was a difficult process, but when it comes to this much digital info, you really don’t want to make a mistake.  In the end it was easy and I was impressed that it could scan  two 3TB raids,  disseminate file differences and do a  50 GB backup all under 30 minutes.

The program is $40… heres’ the link:

http://www.econtechnologies.com/pages/cs/chrono_overview.html

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech

18 August 2011 - 16:03LightTrac…iphone/ipad app

What an amazing app for the phone and Ipad.  So many times i have had to work with existing lighting that was not quite where i wanted it.  You start by either finding your current location (GPS) or searching for a specific location.  The one downfall i have noticed is when you move locations on the map by scrolling manually,  you must remember to hit the ‘update’ icon or your values will not be correct… hopefully that will be fixed in an update.

The Yellow line is the angle the sun rises in the morning, the red is the current sun angle/elevation and the blue is where the sun sets.   You can manually scroll the sun throughout the day to see where the elevation and angle is at for specific times of the day.  In the example below i was trying to figure out what time to shoot on the roof of the building below  (along the linear skylights)  for the sun to be at my models back…  approx 8:40 pm which was very close to sunset.

You can also move the calendar ahead days, months and years (if you do lots of scrolling).  It’s a simple app, only a few $ and for those times you need it totally useful.

Heres an image from that rooftop pictured in LightTrac:

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech