Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
With Winter, there's a lot of overcast skies and snow, and that means we're spending more time inside. So Chris says it's time to begin practicing your photography by shooting something from different angles to practice your photo composition. You can do that indoors with your iPhone where it's nice and warm! Just take a picture of a flower vase, for example. Also, pay close attention to how light falls on your subject and how the colors look. How does the color change with light or angle? This will help you understand what light and color does and how to manipulate it on your subject.
Leo isn't sure why more manufacturers don't have this, but his Sony A9 does have that. He can hold up the camera above his head and still see what he's shooting, or hold it down by his waist. It's great to be able to get different perspectives like that. Ironically both Canon and Nikon offer movable screens on their low-end cameras, but Mark wants one on a full-format prosumer model. Leo saw a report from Canon Rumors that Canon has patented a very large swivel display for a 1DX style mirrored camera. They don't offer it yet, but they have the patent.
Chris says that shooting the "Super Moon" isn't really super at all. Even Neil DeGrasse Tyson says that the moon is only maybe .01% closer. But if you want to shoot the moon, here's what you need to keep in mind:
1) It's tiny.
2) It's really bright.
3) It's rather boring.
Trent is a video teacher and he wants to do live Chroma Key with green screen with his kids. How can he do that more affordably? Leo says that lighting is everything. He'll want to be sure the lighting is smooth and even, and doesn't cast a shadow on his green screen. Then he can use software like ManyCam. It works great, according to the chatroom. Wirecast is another option, and it is 30% off for Black Friday.
Nora would like to scan her negatives and slides. What's a good film scanner? She hears that Magnasonic will scan every size negative around. Leo says that he's never heard of it, but it looks like they make a lot of stuff, so it may not be a reliable option. She should check out the Epson Perfection scanners.
Chris is back from his trip to Bhutan, where he took some great shots of the Himalayas. It was a 14-day photo workshop tour that Chris hosted. Check out his pictures here. Chris says it's a great culture with amazing landscape. It could be the best-kept tourism secret on the planet since only about 20,000 people visit there in any given year. There's a lot of unusual stuff you see that forces you to ask yourself "how can I shoot that?" It forces you to use your eye and think freshly about it. Bhutan also has amazing contrasts.
Carey wanted to mention that a friend of his had a photo of her and her husband at a koy pond. Carey used Pixelmator and Luminar to touch up the photo, and then ordered a print of it from Fracture, a company that prints photos on glass. This is just more evidence that there are good alternatives to Adobe Photoshop.
(Disclaimer: Fracture is a sponsor).
Chris says that going on a trip is the worst time to buy a new camera. Don't do it. Use the camera you are most comfortable with so you're not wasting time learning your camera while trying to capturing that "Kodak moment." You want to relax, not be stressed out. Also, avoid a new tripod. Shoot what you know and love. The more relaxed you are, the better your photos will be. Avoid stuff that gets between you and the photo. A ton of protective accessories can be frustrating, but a good filter can't hurt. Make sure you smile a lot when trying to take pictures of people.