No More Dingle Dangle With Your Phone battery!

This item just came in from the folks at Mophie. The Juice Pack Connect!

You know em, you love, and they have been taking care of your mobile battery needs for years.
Now that smartphones can charge wirelessly, many of us have been depending on A: an external battery with a cable, or B: laying your phone onto a charging stand or discs.
While this stops your easy use of the phone, it may not be convenient.
Mophie came out with a system, that includes a wireless battery, a small flat dock for your phone, and have incorporated a phone stand as well. Continue Reading »

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 – Cyber Monday Edition!

As we start the headlong process into the holiday season, Cyber Monday is considered the next big deal day after Black Friday.
We have looked around to see what may be a good choice for your hard earned dollars and came up with these:
Platypod– this is a set of tools that should be in your kit to get those hard to line up shots. Close to the ground , strapped on a tree, balanced on rocks, or whatever else you can think of, versatility is the name of the game. Go basic, or go for this complete set-up with the biggest savings today. (it may say Friday, but i have been assured prices are still good!)

Peak Design has some of the best bags, and straps out there. Now with a great deal! Continue Reading »

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 #4 – Turn The Page!

Just going to take a break from the gear for a sec. And yes, Cyber Monday is here.
Honestly, there have not been crazy deals in abundance this year. With ordering down, products from Asia coming in slower, there is less inventory to begin with, so not as much need to blow it out the prices.
However, there are some solid deals, and for your year end purchases, and gifting ideas, we’re here for you.

Now let’s tuck into some book suggestions for this year:

A brand new addition came from a current exhibit at The Whitney MuseumWorking Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop, Working Together is an exhibition that chronicles the formative years of the Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers established in New York City in 1963. “Kamoinge” comes from the language of the Kikuyu people of Kenya, meaning “a group of people acting together,” and reflects the ideal that animated the collective. They told the stories of their lives with a first hand knowledge that had been missing.

Then we have The Life and Work of Sid Grossman

A member of the Photo League, his work leans a bit to the Life magazine way of seeing, and the printing is exquisite in the book. Not new, but a pleasure to look at.

One of the most iconic jazz photographs ever, was the
shot that Art Kane did of all of the luminaries of Jazz, taken on the steps of a brownstone in Harlem.
This book, ART KANE. HARLEM 1958, gives you an insight into the making of that image, and a great read.

Gordon Parks was a master photographer, cinematographer, director. You would do well to have any of his many books, so here is a a possible start: Half Past Autumn: A Retrospective

or perhaps this volume: Gordon Parks: The New Tide: Early Work 1940–1950

I know, the suggestions are leaning more towards the humanity side of photography.
Here’s another!
Sabine Weiss. catalogue d’exposition – I’ve suggested this book before, and she was just awarded a major honor at Arles. You may not of heard of her, but you have to discover her work.
Books are bit harder to come by, but not impossible. A special gift indeed.

Family of Man – As always, this is a book that should be in everyones library. 256 photographers documented the human condition from birth to death, in cultures all over the world. The exhibit was shown in 1955 at MOMA, and to this day, is still the most viewed photo exhibit in history. many photographers have cited this book as the inspiration for their photographic life. I certainly do. And at about $16 for the paperback, it should be in everyone’s library.

The Photographers Playbook – In case you may be getting creatively, stuck this is one of the best collections of project starters for the photographer in your life.

This one is not a photo book, but a book about the artist’s process – The Artist’s Way

It’s the 25th anniversary edition, and many of my creative mentors have used this book, and it’s suggested techniques.

Find your creative voice.

I know there are many choices out there for your gifting choices, and each giftee’s leanings will influence your purchase. These are just one way to go!

These books, are usually not discounted, except on Amazon, so those links are included here.

More Gift Guides coming shortly!

 

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 # 3 – Have A Listen!

As we go headlong into the holiday season, and you have able to gather your thoughts, perhaps you figured that others may like to hear what’s on your mind.

Yes, we are talking about PODCASTS!!
It’s a perfect outlet for yourself, your insta followers, and your perspective clients.

The following gear selections are reccos based on real life usage. On microphones, the ones listed below are my personal preference, but if you go to a brick and mortar pro audio store, put your ear to a few to select your fave.

The most user friendly, quality unit out there, is hands down the  Rodecaster !

And you have to love a company that constantly upgrades the firmware. Rode does a great job. 4 XLRs, deep dive audio controls, an 8 pad loaded with your fave music bumpers, or sound fx, plus bluetooth, so you can do interviews over your phone wirelessly. Winner!

A pro mixer, with less bells and whistles, you have the MixPre 3II . you can have up to 3 mics on this, and yes, you can also do remote interviews via phone, with the proper cable.
A tiny unit that can be power by LP batteries or even your phone charging battery. Small size, with commercial grade quality. This is the unit you want to take on location. They also do regular firmware upgrades, so another solid company.
Add on Rode mic booms, as a perfect way to set whatever mics you choose at the proper height and distance or you and your guests



Sony 7506


Whether you are in a studio, or on location, these headphones are pro quality, at a sweet price point of about $90.
Best part is that these headphones don’t add color to your audio. You can add what you like in the mix, but you’ll hear good, clean sound with these. And for podcasts, you can afford one for each guest!

Then the podcast mics. A few choices out there, but this is the standard. Just do it.
Shure SM7b


Mogami Cables

And to finish out your rig, Mogami cables are the best. There are others you can use, and will work great, no problem. these just finish out a top notch set-up

For the travel set-up with the MixPre 3II, I have found that the Orca-28 is perfection. Just right, quality construction, and it opens up in all the right places. Show up on set ready to go.Orca bag

If you are moving around with the Rodecaster, and for instance, 2 Shure SM7B’s, after searching, this Pelican case is the deal. No wheels, but not a large price tag either. About $140 Pelican Vault

And if you are doing some location sound, these days, a boom set-up is the the deal.

I’m a fan of the Sennheiser MKE 600, and you can get it as a full kit with boom pole if you like.
Or choose your own preferred mic, and the K-Tek is a darn fine boom pole.

 

Yes, this is just a small selection. But a proven selection.
Remember, audio is 50% of your production.Unless it’s bad, then it’s 80%.

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 #2 – Motion Gear

You’ve upgraded your social content, right?
In these crazy times you’ve realized that video gets more traction than straight still posts.
It’s true, as I’m writing a non moving post.
So let’s look at some of the highlights from this past year in the video game, and see what may be right for you, or a giftee.
Light is everything, whether you shape what is natural, or control it.
This year, I watched a pretty solid webinar by Nanlite, and tried a coupla units.
Wow!
Solid high adjustable output, well built, and consistent through the line so you can add additional lights as needed, knowing your color will be consistent.
They have some units with a variety of output, shape, and most importantly, are silent! That seems to be the issue with a lot of units out there.
I went with 2 x 100 units as a start and have been very happy with them. check out the line and see what may be on your list of needs. And yes, part of the line is battery powered as well.
Nanlite Compac 100 Dimmable 5600K Slim Soft Light Studio LED Panel

On the more portable line up, the Lume Cube Go, is always in the bag, and adds that extra bit of kicker for your DSLR/Mirrorless vids, or even yor smartphine vids.

And if you are shooting video with your phone, I’d like to recommend the BeastGrip (Big Sale going on now!). It has all of the handheld versatility you need. Cold shoes all over, you can add more, and it fits a ton of phones. I use it with a Samsung Note 10+ primarily, and sometimes an iPhone 11Pro

 

OK, now let’s up the ante a bit.

If you have gone into the world of sliders, one of the stars in that universe is Edelkrone. Even if your goal is to get a great B-Cam footage of an interview, having a SliderOne V2, with a HeadOne, plus a flex head, will serve you right.

Once you program it with the free app on your phone, you can repeat a motion, so you set and forget it. Sure, you need to keep a distance locked , or a t/ stop that gives you a good depth, this company makes a solid product, and your should have some in your kit. Just make sure you have batts to power em both. They last a long time, so no worry. I’m using my Canon batteries.

 And a huge sale going on RIGHT NOW!!

And when you want to shoot with a larger screen, and take that sweet 4K output out of your camera, and put it onto a SSD drive with no time constraints. (30 min? hahahahah) How about 150 min in 4k on a 1TB drive?

Go for the Atomos Ninja 5

When you want to trick out your rig, and need that cage for your camera, or need an arm to attach a monitor, or any number of ideas you have to make content creation easier, my highest recco for SmallRig. Many items are available here in the US, although originate in Asia. PLUS! Black Friday Deals right now!

I usually go right to the site, and figure out what is needed to make the rig work thew way I want.

here is just some of the range of items they make:

So maybe this became a list of what to ask for the holidays. Or maybe , you just want to make sure your are buying the gear you need before year end.

Whatever the case, stick around as tomorrow we will tackle the audio parts of your content creation, including podcast reccos!!

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