Archive | January, 2011

Pizza

31 Jan

I made myself pizza.

The left half is zucchini, mozzarella, and onion,

the other half is eggplant, ham, onion, and cheese.

DSLR Wishlist

31 Jan

Since I’m gonna start getting paid soon and will have my own money to spend, I’ve been making a list of things I want to get for my Canon 60D. I will be buying 1 or 2 things from this list every month or so, depending on the price and my financial status. But for now, I’d like to share my list with you.

1. Yongnuo YN-465 Speedlight

I’m starting to get interested in flash photography, and have been looking for a nice flash. I found a cheap Chinese brand on eBay called Yongnuo. After doing some research on the net, I found out that they are  a popular choice for many people who are looking for a cheap third party flash. There are many models on the market, and I’ve decided that YN-465 is the right model for me. It has a TTL function when it’s connected to the hot shoe of the camera.

It comes with a stand, a diffuser and a pouch. A really good bargain I say.

2. Cactus V5 Duo

My friend Arpad, who is a professional photographer, told me that if I was gonna get a speedlight, I need to have the option to use it off camera. I did some research about off-camera flash photography and was impressed with the difference between on-camera flash. 60D has a built-in infrared transmitter, but YN-465 doesn’t respond to it. Arpad also told me that radio transmitters were way better than infrared. I found a cheap reliable wireless flash transceiver kit called Cactus V5 by Gadget Infinity. They look sleek and appears to work well too.

3. Battery grip BG-E9 for Canon 60D

I’m tired of worrying about the battery running out when I’m shooting videos outside. I also hate twisting my arm around the camera when shooting vertical shots. There are lots of third party battery grips manufactured in China and they are pretty reliable too. They often come with 2 batteries which can be charged with the original Canon chargers.They also hold 6 AA batteries, so if you happen to run out of all batteries, you can just go into a store nearby and get batteries and start shooting again!

4.Cullmann 519 Tripod

My tripod is more than 20 years old. It doesn’t allow the camera to be set vertically. When I wanna extend the legs, i have to unscrew the joints instead of this quick release clamp thing. It’s so low too…. I wasn’t willing to spend so much on a tripod, but Arpad told me to get at least ones not made from plastic. He introduced me this model which is made of aluminum and magnesium. It goes pretty high and also pretty low. For more info, click here.

5. Cullmann strap 600

I just hate the stock strap that says Canon Canon EOS 60d all over it. I wanted something more low profile and more comfy.

It has a cushion thingy for the shoulder so it should be good.

6. Rode Videomic Pro

I wanna shoot more videos, and the built-in mic just doesn’t cut it. A famous videographer once said that a bad video can be saved with a great audio, but a shitty audio will ruin a great video. This is why I’ve decided to go for a new expensive broadcast quality videomic by Rode. One of my favorite videographer Philip Bloom also recommends this mic, so the quality is guaranteed. It has a new shock mount and the size is greatly reduced. I really need this bad boy.

7. Jag35 Monitor X

To get a good focus is the key to a great video, and that’s hard when you only have a 3 inch LCD screen, and even harder in the sun when you can barely see what’s on the screen. There are many solutions to this like Zacuto Z-finders and LCDVF, but I have sticking my eyes on the loupe, mainly cuz I wear glasses. I like the style of turning the 60D’s LCD screen towards me and look into it while also being able to see the surroundings. That’s why I’ve decided to get a Monitor X. It’s a magnifier that mounts on the LCD screen. It magnifies the image on the LCD screen just enough to see it clearly. It comes with a sunshade which you can also stick against your face to gain stability and block the sun out. Good shit.

8. Variable Fader ND

I knew about ND filters, but I wasn’t really interested in them until I saw this video. What it basically does is it cuts off extra light when you are outside shooting in a strong daylight. You can adjust the amount of light that is cut off by the filter too. You can limit the amount of light by changing the F number, but then you will lose the wonderful shallow depth of field look. You can also increase the shutter speed, but that would give you a choppy video instead of a cinematic smooth feel. You will understand it if you watch the video.

It’s necessary for both photos and video, but I’ll be getting these primarily for videos. There are many cheap brands on eBay, and I was worried about the quality of those cheap ones, but I talked to this one guy who has them and said they are great. The second video is the test he did.

9. Rubber lens hood

Once I put the ND filters on the lens, I will not be able to put the original lens hood on because of the different radius. I really want a lens hood to protect the filter and also prevent glares. The same company that sells the filters also sells rubber lens hood for a very cheap price.

10. Transcend 16 GB SDHC Class 10

I only have a 8 GB Class 10 SDHC which only record around 23 mins. Philip Bloom said that 16 GB is just the right size, so I’ll take his advice and go for a 16 GB card.

11. Sigma 50mm F1.4, a lens around 85mm, and also something around 20mm.

I need a good fast prime lens. That’s all I can say.

12. Some zoom lens above 50mm with image stabilizer.

I’m gonna be shooting most of my videos hand-held when not using a tripod, and fast prime lenses that don’t have a stabilizer is gonna be a pain in the ass for hand-held shots. I have a Tamron 17-50mm right now, so I am thinking about getting a zoom lens with IS above 50mm so that I can cover most distances with 2 lenses.

Akame’s WaterFalls

30 Jan

Pics I took while strolling through Akame park in Mie.
Some of the waterfalls were shot with a shutter speed of 2sec. If I had a tripod it would have helped.

My way to work

27 Jan

Here is a video version of the previous post.

For some reason, the right half of the video is being blocked….Please watch this on vimeo.

Some pics on the way to work

27 Jan

When I walk from my house to work, I cross a bridge and walk along the ISAR river. I took some pics, so here they are.

Simply beautiful…

26 Jan

One of my favorite videographers is Philip Bloom. He recently posted a new video he shot of a beautiful property in Italy using 2 Canon 5DmkIIs, 1 7D, and 1 Canon 1DmkiV. Here are some info from his original post:

Gigs don’t get much better than this!

At the end of last summer I went off to Italy to the Umbria/ Tuscany border to film a property for a high profile client of mine. The brief was to capture the flavour of the property. The ambience. What was not wanted was a real estate video at all, something much more like my Skywalker Ranch film. It is to go on the website for the rental of the property.

So I went to the property and stayed there for a week. I know…what a drag! I took an absolute shit load of gear with me! Why? Because I could. There was no excess baggage costs on the flight so why not?

Kit wise I took two Canon 5DmkIIs, 1 7D, and 1 Canon 1DmkiV. Lenses…erm…lots…check them out below. Mostly L series Canon lenses, 1.4x and 2x extenders, tilt shift lenses, big zooms, amazing wide angle lenses like the 14mm L series and the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8…the essential lens for any crop sensor Canon.

Other gear was my Kessler Crane 2 foot Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly, a 3 foot normal Pocket Dolly from Kessler Crane, the Oracle and Elektra Drive motor system for the timelapses, a miller solo 3 stage carbon fibre tripod with DS20 head (which I took in the pool right up to the head…it is a fresh water pool and it seems fine, the water was also totally calm so no chance of getting the camera/ lens wet but still made me a little nervous!), a manfrotto flat head tripod with 503 head for the pocket dolly, a couple of Gitzo traveller tripods…what else was there? Oh, lots of timelapse controllers, loads of batteries, cards, my Macbook Pro and some hard drives!

I also had some Vari NDs from Singh Ray and some Fader NDs. Oh and one final important bit of kit. Some nice fat cuban cigars for those long nights of timelapses!

Other gear was my Kessler Crane 2 foot Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly, a 3 foot normal Pocket Dolly from Kessler Crane, the Oracle and Elektra Drive motor system for the timelapses, a miller solo 3 stage carbon fibre tripod with DS20 head (which I took in the pool right up to the head…it is a fresh water pool and it seems fine, the water was also totally calm so no chance of getting the camera/ lens wet but still made me a little nervous!), a manfrotto flat head tripod with 503 head for the pocket dolly, a couple of Gitzo traveller tripods…what else was there? Oh, lots of timelapse controllers, loads of batteries, cards, my Macbook Pro and some hard drives!

I also had some Vari NDs from Singh Ray and some Fader NDs. Oh and one final important bit of kit. Some nice fat cuban cigars for those long nights of timelapses!

Going extreme with my brand new lens, miller tripod and 5Dmk2! 

It was a very relaxed shoot. Myself and my assistant Daniele Cuccia who took all the photos stayed in the property for the 5 nights…we were up all night most times doing the night time astro timelapses with the Kessler Crane Oracle Controller and ones which were static. The joy of having four cameras was we could get four different shots a night and pick and choose the best ones. Unfortunately even though they were supposed to be off the water sprinklers kept coming on as you can see in a couple of them, fortunately the cameras were not damaged!

When I shot the house, Daniele and I had to cover over all of the lights lighting up the house as if we didn’t the house would be exposed correctly but the stars would have been too dark. So we used dirt, old tiles, rocks and covered over them all, leaving the barest amount of light on the building and the cameras were able to take 30 seconds exposures and capture the stars really well. The shots with Elektra Drive and Oracle worked especially well. One of them looks hyper real and almost CGI…but I assure you it isn’t!

This was the first time I used the new Canon 70-200mm F2.8L II IS and I found moire on some shots that my version one would not have had issues with, the lens is just too damn sharp…it’s better than the video can handle!! A fader ND/ Vari ND softened it enough to remove them I found later on…

Having 5 full days to shoot something like was a luxury, but we didn’t waste the time, the property is huge and we wanted to capture it properly and some of the shots took a fair bit of setting up and waiting for the right light…

Anyway sit back, relax and be transported to a truly beautiful place!
For more information and pictures, visit the original post (link above), but for now, here is the video.

[Landshut] Here + There

26 Jan

Here are some pics I took at night near my house in Landshut. My 20 year old tripod doesn’t allow the camera to be set vertically, so I couldn’t get the whole church in the frame…

There’s a local beer brewery less than a minute from my house. There are two huge tanks which are visible from outside.

The church is around 10 mins from where I live, and it’s got a nice tower. There side wall is covered with some stone panels with something written on them, but I didn’t bother to read them…The windows looked cool though.

Btw, I’ve decided to put watermarks on all the pics that I will be uploading online. Not that anybody’s gonna misuse them or anything, but…u know.

My Crib

22 Jan

If you check my facebook, you might already know that a kind Japanese neighbor has allowed me to use his wireless LAN until I get my own connection, which is hopefully sometimes next week…

The WLAN is slow, and the connection breaks very regularly, but at least I am online!

I will make a video during this weekend showing you guys my new crib here in Landshut. Stay tuned.

Eiken needs internet

20 Jan

I chatted with Eiken yesterday. It was surprising to hear from him because he just moved to the south of Germany on that day!
He was at McDonalds using the their wifi service.
At least wifi is common in Germany…
I wish shops and Cafes in Japan will provide more service with wifi. At least they are trying…

Moleskin

20 Jan


Two new Moleskin notebooks arrived today from amazon!
One of them is a 2011 Weekly calender and the other is a Film Journal!
Now I have 5 Moleskins! Very simple and stylish.