Welcome to Michael’s Blog!

Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist.


06.27.17         photography  

Lexar Memory Cards Are On Their Way Out

Lexar memory cards, which have been one of the most affordable, high performing cards for many years now has officially called it quits. It's too bad, as I have purchased many, many Lexar memory cards over the years. Sounds like they are doing such high volume in B2B that they don't see it worth their time to pursue retail.

Lexar Memory Cards Calls it Quits

06.26.17         book reviews  

Universal Principles of Design

I haven't had the chance to read anything in many, many months as I have been working on The Efficiency Playbook
(scheduled to release on July 15th, 2017). Finally I can pick up something and chip away at it each morning, critical to keeping the saw sharp, and the book I am working on now is called Universal Principles of Design.

If you do anything creative, or any type of work, social communication, etc (and that covers most of us), it will definitely be worth your time and investment to read a good book on design. I have purchased and started several, but this is the one the resonates with my style of thinking best. Short, fast, easy to understand chapters, and it is exhaustive in the number of topics covered. It will give you incredible tools to make your work more efficient. This would be a great read after one finishes The Efficiency Playbook.

Homerun - no question. Highly Recommended

06.25.17         photography  

2 Incredible Features of the OMD EM1ii

We have an Epic Shootout coming next week between the Panasonic GH5 and the Olympus OMD EM1ii. Everyone is raving about the GH5 for its video features, but I have give it to Olympus, I keep on finding more and more to love about it.

2 Killer features it has the do not get the respect (and there are actually more than 2).

1. Its High Res mode. Granted this only really works perfectly on a tripod and with non-moving subjects, but it allows you to get 50 MP (JPEG) and 80 MP images from a 20 MP sensor. Its IBIS tilts the sensor in different directions and creates a composite. 80MP RAW file with a 20 MP sensor?? Yes that is awesome.

2. The HDR feature on the OMD is ridiculous. Not only is it fast and processes in camera, it produces a composite RAW for that HDR shot. Typically you get separate images if at all (often not RAW). This is a RAW HDR shot.

But the in camera JPEGS aren't bad either:

06.24.17         movie reviews  

Transformers - The Last Knight

I had to go see it, lol just because I know how much work goes into a movie like this. Michael Bay has really honed and mastered his craft of CGI, few can match him. I have huge respect for him. That said there were some problems with the script and editing. It was just too long and too many unnecessary scenes. Too many origin stories, I can't keep track of them all.

Its a rental.

06.23.17         photography  

GH5 vs GH4 Dynamic Range Differences

We are wrapping up an Epic Shootout between the GH5 and the Olympus EM1ii, which should published sometime next week, but in the mean time I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek at the dynamic range improvement on the GH5 over the older model.

The GH4 for the beast that it was (and still is) had an achilles heel of ISO performance. I honestly wasn't comfortable with anything over ISO 400.

Take a look at the differences in noise grain at lower ISOs. While I wouldnt say the new GH5 has much greater dynamic range, the actual noise and grains performance is far better than the GH4. Ive been doing many shoots with the GH5 at ISO 800, 4K 60fps and not seeing any issues at all. The sensor is definitely improved, and it appears to be where it needed it most, the noise & grain.

Definitely stay tuned for the Epic Shootout coming soon!

06.22.17         website reviews  

Turo - The Best Rental Car Company You Have Never Heard Of

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Turo.com, the rental car version of AirBnB. Thats right, you get to rent your car to renters for whatever price you decide. This might sound far fetched, but I have used it now. Twice. And I must admit, I will be using it again. There are some things I truly HATE about traditional car rental companies, all the hoop jumping, and especially the fact that many of them don't like debit cards. Ugh.

Combine this with the fact that sometimes rental cars are high in demand, it can be very difficult to find a good deal, like when i went to Kauai. The smallest rentals were nearly $76/day. That is just insane, rental on Turo? $30.

If you have an extra car you are not using, it can also be an opportunity for you to make some good money. The woman I rented from in LA last recently was buying more cars to rent them out on Turo. She basically was running her own small rental car company.

While they are not in every city, they are expanding quickly. Definitely worth checking it out as well as the reviews- And yes they have an Apps on both of the App store:

Turo On Apple App Store

Turo on Google Play

06.21.17         instagram  

I wanted to share this sunset with you guys and...

I wanted to share this sunset with you guys and wish you could all be here in person to see it. It never gets old. If you haven't been to Hawaii, put it on your bucket list. #maui #luckywelivehawaii #77d

06.20.17         photography  

Canon 77D | T7i Tutorial - How to Shoot a Sunset

We are happy to announce that the first draft of the Canon 77D Crash Course Video is now available.

Here is one of the lessons from the course, how to shoot a sunset! One of my favorite ways to shoot. You will need a Cokin P Filter holder, in this case a 77mm thread and also a 1.2 ND filter, I get mine on Amazon, they are about $40.


CLICK HERE FOR Canon 77D / T7i Crash Course Tutorial Video

06.19.17         photography  

Gatorade's Running Waterman

This is amazing to me, not only for the photography side of it, but for the creative thinking in tying in a new artform directly to the product itself (water replenishment). This is what good commercial work is all about!

06.18.17         gadgetry  

Bear Bowl Review

Being that I am pretty much a prepper (for disaster aid preparedness) I am always looking for the latest and greatest camping supplies. I am all about anything and everything I can do to pack a lighter bag. I rarely cook on disaster aid trips, but there have been occasions the need existed, and I have looked at several different kinds of cooking pots and was intrigued with the Bear Bowl which uses a mylar square that folds up on an aluminum base. I received my bear bowl today and here are my thoughts:

They way it folds together, while confusing at first is actually quite genius, I think the concept of the mylar bag as a cooking pot is also brilliant, but there are 3 problems I didnt force when I ordered, nor do I think this could have been portrayed in the promotional launch on kickstarter:

1. It is heavier than I thought it would be, most of this weight is coming from the aluminum base.
2. The aluminum base is a little wider than on the kickstarter video.
3. The aluminum bases edges are rough. Almost (but not quite) sharp enough to cut someone who is mishandling it.

One distinct advantage is does have over aluminum bowls (which weigh about the same) is that it is definitely more compact (flat).

Ill put in it my bag of extra supplies just in case, but I don't think Ill be bringing it with my main bag. Im not seeing the weight savings vs a normal camping pot. If you are interested in the product, my gut feeling is that the biggest, the mama bear would be the one to get.

This is what the display on the kickstarter page:
This is what I received. Look at the increased size of the base.
I do think they have a potentially GREAT product. My recommendation would be to try to figure out how to make it work with just the mylar bag, perhaps reinforced with another material. Make it weight literally almost nothing, then it would be a homerun product . All this said I was happy to check it out and give them a chance.

Bear Bowl Collapsable Cooking Pot

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