Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Photo that Got Me In Trouble...

Hammock Swinging

Also In This Issue:
  • The Increasing Value of Crappy Shots
  • Video of Hearts for Hue
  • Schedule time with me - I'll undercut Sony's price
  • In the Pipeline

[Special note: I had lofty goals for this blog post.  I was going to share my tests of Sony's new video stabilization phone app for the newer cameras.  My plans got cut short by a life event.  Read to the end for more info. -GF]

The Shot That Got Me in Trouble With My Physicist Friends

The shot at the top of this page is a shot I took in Hawaii back in the 1990's (with film).  The hammock was swinging, and I took my Minolta Maxxum 9xi (hated that camera), set it to a "slow" shutter speed (I think it was about 1/8th or 1/4 of a second).  When you use a slow shutter speed, anything that moves relative to the camera looks blurry.  So placing the camera on my chest and with the self-timer invoked, I got this clever little shot.

"You clearly Photoshopped that!", said one of my know-it-all physicist friends.  Of course I hadn't; and I had a negative to prove it.  Didn't matter.  "Look at the roof!  It's nice and sharp whereas you clearly only blurred the vegetation!"

Hmmm... And I have to tell you that had me scratching my head for awhile.  

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Turning Your Camera into a High-Quality Webcam

[Updated February 9, 2022]

So I've been spending my pandemic downtime learning the ins and outs of livestreaming and how to conduct webinars.  The learning curve wasn't that bad (Photoshop is worse, but that's not nearly as bad as Unix internals, and both of those combined pale in comparison to Torah, which literally takes a lifetime to decipher.  But I digress...)

I think nothing kills online credibility like bad light, bad framing and bad sound, all of which characterize about 99.99% of all Zoom participants.  If you want to be taken seriously as an online educator in photography, you need to employ the techniques of the Hollywood cinematographers and the more successful Twitch streamers.

Let's start with that awful webcam that's built into your laptop.  It just won't do.  Let me share with you a test I did (this was also a high-level test involving live streaming to both Facebook and Youtube - more about that later.)