ME

With some down time and working from home I have been thinking of different things to work on and one thing I thought would be cool would be to create a video introduction. Some of you may not know me and some of you may. This video will give you a quick rundown on who I am.

Thanks for watching and I will be back soon with more posts. Things are hectic as you all know.

Peace!

Enhancing a video

During this time everyone is inside, staying safe or not going out in groups. I decided last weekend I would go on a hike since there are usually not many people out on the trails. I get restless inside, especially on a Saturday or Sunday.

After the recent rain, there was a good amount of water running off of the cliff/bluffs on this trail. That all led to some waterfalls and I am not sure if they’re normally running like they were that day since I have never been down this trail before.

Now to the topic. I didn’t take my audio recorder and I didn’t have my on-camera mic attached at the time I took all of these shots in this video. So, when I was editing the video I thought it would be a much better experience to watch if I added some natural sounds to the video. There is so much more you can do to enhance a video with just using the right audio and though this is a very simple example of that, I am excited to get more into this as I start researching techniques more and learning myself.

Check out the video and let me know what you all think!

 

Thanks for coming back for another blog. I think I might do one more blog this week about my experience and thoughts on the situation the world is in right now. Mostly for myself to look back and see years down the road, on how I was taking it and my thought process during it vs after it’s over.

Check out my other videos while you’re probably stuck at home. Find me on Instagram @derekliving and @DLsports. I am also on Twitter @ThatPhotog1

 

Peace!

Shooting sports photography on Film

Purchasing a Nikon F4 has been a great experience so far. I like the change from digital to film when I need a challenge. I have a 20mm f2.8 lens(I wrote about it in a previous post) and I took it to the courts recently and shot some college basketball and high school basketball. I shot with 400asa film and though it worked, I could have done things differently to get better results.

Things I could have changed up to get better shots would be… a Faster shutter speed but to get that I would have had to have a higher ASA film. 400asa isn’t that high when you’re in a dark gym, even at f2.8 and 20mm. The shots, for the most part, are sharp but you can see some motion for sure! I am new to film so I don’t know if changing the ASA dial would have changed anything.. like if I turned it to 800ASA would I actually gain that light. Though if that would work, I am sure the grain would be pretty high and I am willing to take because grain doesn’t bother me, even in my digital work.

Another thing I could have done was found better angles to shoot from since 20mm is so wide but, I enjoyed the look I got from this first roll of shooting sports. With the two gyms, I tried it at, you have to watch out for the dance team or cheer squad so the corners or under the basket are your only options but I also didn’t move around as much as I could have since I was working and the film side was simply for my personal experience so I had to focus on the games for the most part.

Below is are examples of the shots I took. Minimal or no cropping was done and I did adjust the white balance as it was off to the greenish/yellow side of things.

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Hope you all enjoyed.. feel free to comment any questions or find me on instagram :@ DLsports or @ derekliving.

Twitter: ThatPhotog1

 

PEACE!…oh, also stay safe out there and don’t go out in groups.

Changing things up

I have been getting back into more sports photography as of recently. I kind of fell out for a while. Not much passion to pursue it unless it was a paying gig. But, I have gone to a couple of college games recently to shoot and work on a different style and also just see if I can really do it with a Canon 5d Mark IV, which is not known as a sports camera. It’s much slower than my old Nikon d3 when it comes to frames per second.

It was a learning experience to get used to the slower FPS speed but I have come out with some decent shots at the 3 games I went and shot at Pitt State with it and the 70-200 f2.8.

Recently I picked up a GoPro Hero 5 black and thought why not show a pov day at a game. Which it ended up being more of a sample but check it out!

 

It was just a random idea and something I have tried multiple times with football but never took the time to sync it up to show the final images. This video does not come close to total amount of final images, it’s just a sample of the POV look. This angle is not by choice. Shooting in the corner is the worst angle possible. I would much rather be closer to under the basket but in D2 college’s they put the Cheer and dance along the baseline from side to side so the corner is it.

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Hope you enjoyed this. Be sure to check out the video!

Until next time!

Peace

A Sunday spent in Arkansas

With warmer weather comes more adventures and many other things. I can’t wait to get out and explore some new places this spring and summer. Sunday it was 60 degrees out, so we made the drive down to NW Arkansas to do some hiking, eat at our favorite fish spot for lunch and then head to the museum. I just wanted to share some of the images and a short video I put together from our Sunday.

First stop: Tanyard Creek in Bella Vista, Arkansas

It’s a super easy trail that goes along a creek that is fed by a nearby lake.

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This obviously doesn’t show much of the creek and the overall look of it, but I have been multiple times and I always take the wider shots and am never happy with them. So, I pulled out my 85mm and took some tighter shots from the day. These are just a couple of my favorites. There seems to be more moss build up and I don’t know if the warmer weather has something to do with that but it was very green in the creek this time around which was pretty cool because the water is always super clear so the moss added a new hue to the water.

The last stop after lunch was the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. We have been multiple times together and the last time my wife and I actually met Bill Clinton. It is cool to think we have met a former president of the United States. Whether you like him or not, we thought it was a cool experience that some people never get the opportunity to have. Now back to the trip… We were going for a newer installation and let me tell you, it was well worth the 2-hour wait. It’s free and you have a whole museum to walk around while you do so, so the wait isn’t much really. Side note, Crystal Bridges is free to everyone, thanks to Wal-Mart. There are some exhibits you have to pay a fee for, but 95% id say is free and it changes often enough you can go multiple times a year, which I do. Now to the new exhibit, we went for.

Infinite Mirrored Room – My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe by Yayoi Kusama

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Super dark mirrored room and the lantern/balls changed colors the whole time. It was pretty awesome! Photos are grainy but that’s because I forgot to check my setting and my ISO was in Auto and went to 25,600! That is on the Canon 5d Mark Iv with a 35mm F2 lens. Shot at 1/500(Should have gone slower) at f/2.8(should have went f/2) but you have 90sec in the room then you have to get out. Either way, happy with a couple of my images and it was a cool experience!

Above you can see in the video the moss and some of the shots I took while out on the Tanyard Creek trail. I might have some footage of the Mirrored infinite room in my next post or check out my IG @derekliving

Thanks for coming back for another blog!

 

Peace!

Fire down the street

Some background … I was at the gym doing a workout and the windows face the main street where I live. Three fire trucks go by and you don’t really think much of it. Then I am heading home about 10 min later and as I drive the 7 blocks to my house I see lights and smoke and realize they’re at a house a block from mine. So, I run inside and grab my camera and without hesitation throw the Canon 85mm f1.8 onto my Canon 5d Mark Iv.

So, the wife and I drive down to a side street on the backside of the incident and I get out and go out for some photos. This is something I have been wanting to do for a while. That is capturing firefighters at work and with the cold air and slight mist and smoke the atmosphere was creating some interesting lighting. This also caused some tough focusing situations and I was trying to work fast. I switch my focus to single photo instead of servo, so I can have the AF confirmation and it still wasn’t perfect. I didn’t really think of settings as I am trying to capture the situation without missing anything. Most I shot at f2.2 to give me some room on the depth of field and I was at a relatively low ISO. ISO was set to 800 for all the photos and shutter was pretty slow which regret as some photos they were just moving to fast and that caused some blur. I should have gone to 200th of a sec and raised the ISO to help a little bit, but next time am I right?

Also, as of right now, no news of anyone being hurt, as the 30 min I was there, firefighters were in and out and no one was brought out to the EMS. There was crowed standing with the cops on the other side of the street and they might have been the homeowners. No news outlets have posted about this either, so hopefully that means it was a safe exit for the family.

Here are some of the photos I captured.

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The smell of being there took me back. I lost a house due to a fire but mostly smoke damage when I was a kid. I don’t think it really effected me much looking back. Yeah, I had toys and stuff but toys are really just things you play with for a week and then they’re old news. It’s actually an on going joke with my dad that we kindly jab him with off and on. Sure it wasn’t a good thing as we then had to find somewhere to live until we finished the new much smaller house in the same spot but it could have been worse.

Anyways, the lens that I never doubt is the 85mm f1.8. (https://amzn.to/37Ysf9t) For the price and build, this lens is a tank. The autofocus is faster than the L series canon 85mm, the f1.8 is awesome for low-light and portraits, it’s just an awesome lens. I highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a great street photography lens, a portrait lens or a low-light lens with some reach.

If you have any questions, hit me up on instagram as that is the best way. @ derekliving

Until next time!

Peace!

The first roll of 35mm film developed – Nikon f4

Well, today was the day and what I mean by that is, my film came back from Fuji. This is the film I mentioned shooting in a recent blog. I picked up a Nikon f4 and put some Fuji 400 film and went out for a hike and shoot.

The look of film caught me by surprise and I think the reason behind that is because so many people on Instagram go for the film look but are shooting digital with a preset to make it look like the film. That doesn’t cut it when you get a real roll of 35mm film developed. Its such a cool and unique look and I am in love I think. Ha

 

 

I am super excited for the future and hope to make it a part of something bigger than just going out and shooting random stuff. I would love to shoot some portraits with it and my biggest plan is to buy a shutter release trigger and shoot waterfalls and the stars! Yes, the stars! I shoot the stars pretty often in the summer and plan on shooting the milky way a good bit this coming up spring and summer and hope to share that all with you here.

The video above will show you some of my images along with my hike when I first went out. Check it out to see the images, its a super short video! If you shoot film, what do you shoot with?

Thanks for coming back for another blog and I hope you all have a great week!

 

Peace!

Capturing audio can be tough

Capturing audio can be tough and since I am still pretty new to video and audio gear, I have to find ways to make it work with what I have. With starting my youtube channel and videoing weddings, audio can really add that touch to the video you may need.

So, I went on a search for a budget audio recorder that would be versatile enough to use in many situations. I sat on this Sony recorder for months and during those months I kept saying, ” why don’t I just spring some money and buy a zoom recorder”. The reason for that is because I used Zoom at my old job and I use it at my new job. I know how to use it and I know the quality is pretty amazing when used properly. Then I got looking at the size and so on, then finally I said, I will get the Sony for under $50 and give it a shot and if I don’t like it, I will spring for a Zoom.

This audio recorder is small enough to fit in a pocket of a suit jacket for weddings, no loose parts other than the mic you plugin. It would also work in other ways without the mic that I have and there are plenty more options I haven’t even worked with. I literally opened it up, plugged in my memory car and mic and used it. I have used it on the past few videos with very little post-processing to the audio and it works amazing.

Check out the video below!

Jump to 1:25 for the comparison between the camera audio and the Sony ICD-PX audio

Sony audio recorder: https://amzn.to/2vC1LNl

 

See you all next time! This is my second post today as I also created another video about my Canon 5d mark iv color grading upgrade. Check it out in my last post!

 

Peace!

Color grading on the 5d Mark iv

I have had my Canon 5d mark iv for about 2 years now, which is crazy to think it has already been that long. First got it so I could shoot photos at weddings as a second photographer and that lead to shooting video.

Well, when I first got my 5d Mark Iv it didn’t have C-Log installed on it and as I grew in my video shooting and was getting more and more video work, I felt the upgrade for c-log was something I ought to do. Canon offered the install for $99 and maybe shipping? Either way, I didn’t see the $99 being too steep for the benefits that came along with having c-log, so I sent it off and had it installed.

Fast forwards 6months and I multiples shoots and trips, I can say it was well worth it. I remember color grading before I had log on the camera and any preset you applied made it muddy and noisy with grain and it just didn’t look good at all to my liking. Now with C-log I can actually use a preset and make adjustments and get some cool looking footage out of the 5d mark iv, you can say I love it really. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of editing footage is seeing what you can do with the color grading to make it pop!

Check out my video below to learn some of the benefits and to see the sample footage now that I have c-log. I should do some comparison to footage that is not in c-log to some that is and color grade it to match and see if the difference is noticeable but that’s for another day!

(You can fast forward to 1:49 in the video to bypass my talking of specs of benefits)

 

 

Thanks for coming back for another blog! Hope you have a great week and see you next time!

 

peace!

Why I bought this camera. US GOVT ties.

I bought a new camera and it’s the Nikon f4. It’s a 35mm film camera from the ’80s and I am super excited to get out with it more. I am going to be trying some fun stuff with it in the coming months!

I plan on getting some higher ASA/iso film and a cable shutter release so I can try out astrophotography and see if I can capture some cool film shots of the milky way! Also, I plan on trying out double exposures on film as that is an option on the Nikon f4. For the age of this camera, I feel like it had to be a game-changer back when it came out.

Now to the main reason I picked up the Nikon F4 film camera. Early in my photography journey, I shot all Nikon. I had a Nikon d3s body and Nikon lenses and sports photography was my jam. I had a 70-200mm 120-300mm lens and a 50mm but I really wanted something wider to shoot the stars with and architecture. I had looked around, wasn’t sure about what lens to get so I went to Facebook. I posted asking if anyone had any wide-angle lenses for sale. Looking for a good deal of course and no one had anything, which wasn’t a shocker considering my Facebook is just family, high school classmates I don’t speak to and a couple college teachers and fellow students I had met along the way.

Then a package comes in the mail weeks later. It was from my uncle, a longtime photographer and a government photographer for his whole career until retirement after 30+ years. He had sent me a 20mm f2.8 D lens by Nikon.

So fast forward to why this lens is the reason I bought the Nikon F4. Well, as time has gone by, I have been to a couple jobs through the years and that brought on new gear over time. I bought a Canon 5d mark iv for everything out of sports photography. That lead to buying canon lenses and getting rid of Nikon gear along the way as I can now do any of my sports photography with the 5d mark iv. Recently I have decided to sell all of my Nikon gear but I will not sell lens. It’s a gift I will never get rid of so I decided to keep it and figured why not put it on a camera that it could have been used with back in the day.

Above is the video of me taking the camera out. PHOTOS to come in the near future once they’re developed and I can’t wait to see them. I took some double exposures and just shot some ransom nature stuff. I will be ordering film soon along with the shutter cable release so when it warms up a bit I can go out and shoot some stars.

 

Thanks for coming back for another post. Have a great week!

 

Peace!