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.

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10.26.16         video  

Tutorial On How to Make Your Own Camera Rig On A Budget

This tutorial by DSLR Video Shooter is moderately involved but the money savings and end result might be worth it to you if you're looking to get into the filmmaking game.

For just $240 Caleb Pike constructs a versatile and sturdy box for housing all your video making necessities in one place. It decreases clutter, organizes your shooting flow, and make accessibility easy. Time is money when you're shooting and this tutorial save you both. Check it out below.

10.25.16         featured photographers  

PANO | Los Angeles by Joe Capra

When professional photographer Joe Capra first set out to make a "true" panoramic time-lapse he wasn't too happy with the results. According to the video description he was having trouble syncing his cameras (among other things). When a client approached him to get some panoramic time-lapse views of Los Angeles he gave it another shot.

This time, using two Canon 5D Mark III's, he had great success. The client fell though but he decided to push on with this ambitious project. Two years later and a HUGE 10K x 4K resolution, the result is six minutes of gorgeous time-lapse in true panoramic form of Los Angeles.

You can check out Joe's on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM.

10.24.16         instagram  

New Epic Shootout Coming soon - Nikon D500 vs Fuji...

New Epic Shootout Coming soon - Nikon D500 vs Fuji XT2 - #nikond500 #fujixt2 #epicshootout

10.23.16         photography  

Tips On Photography Pet Portraits

Maybe you have a passion for photography and animals. And why not!? They're such great subjects and bring all kinds of personality and beauty to a photo shoot. Great pictures can really make a HUGE difference in finding a forever home for animals in need too. Volunteering your photography to an animal shelter can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do - plus it'll build your portfolio if you want to do pet portraits professionally.

If you're just starting out the tips in this video could be a big help. Check it out below and if you have some time, check out this article from Fstoppers about the benefits of volunteering for an animals rescue/shelter.

10.22.16         movie reviews  

Jack Reacher - Never Go Back

I was a fan of the original: Jack Reacher and like the concept of his character. One thing that is a problem, his character is too smart, too good, too fast, too ninja, too MacQuiver, not enough weaknesses / flaws. It is hard to feel lots of empathy for a character who does suffer or cannot lose. I call this the "Superman Problem". My favorite movies feature a character who has weaknesses that really could do him/her in when faced with a formidable enemy. While this isn't a movie you would want to see for acting alone, Im always impressed with Tom Cruise, he is doing great for 54 years old.

JR #2 is decent, but not quite as good as the first. While I would say the first was a "see in theaters", this second one is a definite rental, maybe in theaters if you really don't have anything else to do & liked the first one.

10.22.16         featured photographers  

Traveling the World Capturing Airports

Mike Kelley is an architectural photographer based in Los Angels. He likes to make composite photographs and working with long exposures. He says he travels quite a bit so why not combine his travels with a photo project? That's how his series "Airports" was born.

He spent two years chasing planes and making out of this world images. Check out a little behind-the-scenes video below but make sure to check out the cool images HERE.

10.21.16         video  

Inverse Square Law for Cinematographers

The definition of the Inverse Square Law; "a law stating that the intensity of an effect such as illumination or gravitational force changes in inverse proportion to the square of the distance from the source." It sounds far more complicated than it really is. Greg from Lens Pro To Go breaks it down in this easy to understand tutorial.

This tutorial is made for cinematography. However, all of these principles translate to photography as well. Once you understand this law of light you'll find that you're better able to control the look and feel of your work.

10.20.16         featured photographers  

The Work of Visual Artist/Photographer Erik Johansson

This is actually an ad for Volvo but it's so beautifully done and gives insight into one of the best photographers working today.

Erik is known for his meticulous photo manipulations that blend reality with surrealism. Sometimes his final images are made from hundreds of images. The way he approaches his work very interesting. Concepts and vision come first. Then he sets out to make those concepts a reality.

I highly recommend you check out his portfolio HERE for some major inspiration or to just spend an hour looking at beautiful images.

For those interested, here's a list of the gear Erik currently uses (from his website):

"A short summary of the tools I use the most to create my photos":

Camera: Hasselblad H6D-50c
Lenses: Hasselblad 24mm, 35-90mm, 50mm, 120mm
Light: Elinchrom RX, Canon Speedlites, "the sun"
Monitor: Eizo Coloredge CG318-4k
Computer: Home-built PC, Windows 10
Softwares: Adobe Photoshop CC & Adobe Lightroom

10.19.16         tutorial & training videos  

35mm Motion Picture vs 35mm Still Photography - What are differences?

What is the historic difference in sizes between 35mm for stills vs 35mm for motion picture, sometimes both are referred to correctly as "Full Frame"?: Click here to learn more about film sizes.

I also often hear criticism of APS-C cameras & certain crop factors being "deal breakers" as video cameras (this is almost exclusively coming from my photography friends btw), and I hope this video clears up what Super 35mm is, and that yes it is normal to shoot high end motion picture with a 1.5x crop sensor. (My cinematography friends will think this is funny for me to make this video).

In fact, there are only a few dedicated video cameras that have very large sensors:

Click here for a list of video cameras with very large sensors.

This is part one of a series of videos I have coming that defines some of the misperceptions and tools of DSLR and mirrorless video cameras as they apply to cinematography type work. It is my hope that it better defines the correct terms and reduces some of the confusion.

For my full line of camera crash course training tutorials and speciality courses check out my online store by clicking HERE.

10.17.16         video  

Filmmaker Creates Crazy 1000W LED Light for his Drone

If you check out his Instagram of follow his YouTube channel you'll discover that filmmaker Daniel Riley has a passion for outside-the-box thinking and creating innovative gadgets.

In the video below Daniel explains how he built and attached the 1000w LED light strip to his Freefly Alta drone. He only gets ten minutes of use out of each flight but man the footage he gets is really cool. It's hard light so it's dramatic and moody. It gives a really unique effect that's extremely cinematic and engaging. Check it out below.

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