Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
Chris says that everyone is going to be out, trying to take pictures of the solar eclipse. You know all the warnings, already. So Chris wants to talk about something completely different for shooting the eclipse. Chris suggests ignoring the eclipse altogether and take pictures of those watching the eclipse instead! Eclipse photos will be a dime a dozen. But shooting pictures of those watching it will be much more compelling. It's the perfect opportunity to do street photography and capturing reactions of people seeing something they've never seen before.
Rick wants to know what alternatives he has to Google's Picasa. Leo says that since Google killed Picasa, they've moved all the tools and incorporated them into Google Photos. Leo says that it's very good and gives him the benefit of categorization and organization of his photos through facial recognition and machine learning.
John has a mobile studio in an RV that he uses to allow people to cast anywhere. They use the TriCaster and his question is about saving all the streams on hard drives. Leo says that backing up that data and saving it is important, but he can spend a lot of money saving it all. Leo only saves that which is pertinent to the show, although he records 24/7 for replay purposes. But then they edit out dead footage for the online archive.
John should check out Quick-Cast.com.
Chris is just finishing up a book on Wide Angle Photography. The human eye is roughly 180 degrees from one edge of the human eye to another. A shorter focal length than 50mm is considered wide angle. The larger the number in mm, the narrower the angle. The thing about wide angle is that you have the advantage of being able to include more information in the image. They're great for portraits and landscapes. But the downside is, the wider the angle, the more distorted the image will look. Suddenly your subject's head will look larger, or features on their face will become exaggerated.
Burke wants to know if he can create enhanced images in Google Photos like HDR? Leo says he can do some basic enhancements through Google Photos, but for real HDR, he'll be better off using Photomatix. It's not cheap, though, at $100. There's probably some cheaper ones out there. He should check out Topaz Studio and StuckinCustoms.com for other recommendations.
Burke has a Canon ZR65 miniDV camcorder, so it's old. He can connect it to FireWire, but when his old computer died, he lost the ability to connect because FireWire isn't used anymore. Leo says that's because there's much faster options now with USB 3. He can get a FireWire to USB 3 converter. Monoprice will probably have one.
When shooting the solar eclipse, Chris recommends stacking ND filters and never look directly at the sun. Leo says that BMWMRC is the one he uses. Chris says that's one of the best. It's German, so of course!
Chris also just had one of his top photo seminars, a week long workshop on photography and he decided that we could join in too with a list of great projects to try and practice with:
Ed is a photographer and he needs a laptop that can handle huge files he shoots with his Nikon D4. Dell's XPS 13 would be a good option.
Leo uses a Lenovo X1 Yoga because it uses an OLED screen with superior color gamut. He can even choose Adobe RGB as his screen choice. That's fantastic for a photographer. Asus and HP both make good laptops now as well.
Lou is a comedian and he's having issues with recording video using his DSLR. It stops after about a half hour. Leo says that is a restriction of the European Union, but here in the US, there's several firmware updates and hacks to disable it. The best is the Magic Lantern for Canon. If he does a Google search for Panasonic GH4 hacks, he should be able to figure it out.
Gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) is a common malady with photographers who think that upgrading their gear or getting more gear will make them better photographers. It's not really the case, usually. But Chris says that getting better gear can help by expanding the toolset you can use to take pictures. As long as you actually use them. But often, a trip will trigger GAS in them.
Today's topic is shooting a solar eclipse. There's an eclipse coming in a few weeks (Aug. 21) and Chris has a few tips on how to shoot them: