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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05.19.17         fun!  

5 Video and Photo Uses for Foam Board




Good ol' foam core (sometimes called foam board or poster board). I have seen it at every dollar store I've ever been to. So for one dollar you can get many, many, uses of this inexpensive paper board. It's surprisingly durable and you don't have to worry too much because it's so cheap to replace. And there's no reason to turn your nose up at it! Even pro's turn to foam core in their professional work because quite simply, it's very useful.

DSLR Video Shooter outlines 5 uses for great effects:

1. Fill
2. Bounce
3. Flag
4. Background
5. Cookie

If you don't know what these terms mean, you really should. They are basic essentials for both photography and videography. If you take a few minutes to check out the video you'll learn exactly what they mean and how to implement them in your next project.

05.18.17         photography  

3 Great Ways to Create Black and White Photos in Lightroom by tutvid




This is a nice 15 minute tutorial on how to get great results when converting an image to black and white in Lightroom. Nathaniel Dodson from tutvid walks us through the three different techniques to try. I like this tutorial because he explains all of his creative choices and workflow decisions. This is very helpful because often times instructors offer concrete direction without ever really telling us why they're doing it. It can be confusing, limit creativity, and hinder the learning process.

I think beginners will find this tutorial especially helpful. It's fairly basic but detailed enough for you to actually learn something about Lightroom. So grab an image you've been interested in seeing in black and white and follow along.

via Fstoppers

05.17.17         instagram  

Behold...cutting technology of its time.... the...



05.16.17         tutorial & training videos  

Panasonic GH5 Tutorial - Slow Motion Book Drop - How to VFR




In this video, Michael demonstrates how to get a clean, professional looking slow motion book drop using the incredible Panasonic GH5 with minimal tools, good at almost any location. Enjoy!

If you own the GH5 and want the fastest and easiest way to learn how to use your camera you should check out Michael's new Panasonic GH5 Crash Course.

05.15.17         video  

Majestic Timelapse of Rare Cloud Phenomenon in Grand Canyon



SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: KAIBAB ELEGY from Harun Mehmedinovic on Vimeo.



Despite being fraught with tourists and its cultural importance cliched by the family vacation, the Grand Canyon is still one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire world. It's one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This is exactly why it's also a favorite of artists.

"This video was filmed as part of SKYGLOW Project, an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible dark sky areas in North America. This project is being produced in collaboration with International Dark-Sky Association, a non-profit fighting for the preservation of night skies around the globe."

Commercial photographer and BBC Earth contributor Harun Mehmedinovic captured this cloud phenomenon in the Grand Canyon. He shot it using Canon a 5DSR & 5DIII. It's certainly beautiful to watch in the timelapse format. Enjoy!


SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: KAIBAB ELEGY from Harun Mehmedinovic on Vimeo.



Despite being fraught with tourists and its cultural importance cliched family vacation, the Grand Canyon is still one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire world. seven natural wonders of the world. It continues to be a major attraction to artists the world over.

05.14.17         photography  

Get Into Marco Work on a Budget


Nothing brings out the "oohs and aahs" quite like macro photography. Spring is here and summer is close behind and it's prime-time for macro work. Seeing tiny worlds in such beautiful detail brings out the dreamer in the best of us. The desire to capture these kinds of stunning images may seem out of reach for someone just starting out or on a tight budget. But it's not true!

As photographer Adam Kappa explains in this video it can be achieved on a budget. All you need is a kit lens, a flash, inexpensive extension tubes, and some DIY innovation. While none of this equipment is ideal, and you may not find it to be the easiest to work with, it's better to start with what you have than to do nothing at all. Patience is key. If you keep working on it you may come up with some beautiful images you can feel proud of.

05.13.17         gadgetry  

Nikon Rig Looks Too Much Like a Gun for TSA


This image showed up a week ago on the TSA's Instagram account. In a humorous post they say;

"This gives "photo shoot" an entirely different meaning. The camera was fine as a carry-on, but due to its similarity to a firearm, the handle/grip/trigger mechanism needed to be place in a checked bag. This was discovered in a carry-on bag at LaGuadia (LGA)."

Well, it's certainly an interestingly designed rig. I can't say I blame the TSA on this one. I'd be more interested to see how this rig was made. :)

05.12.17         photography  

Site Dedicated to 'How to shoot on iPhone 7' by Apple




Apple (particularly Steve Jobs) has always been interested in their products advancing the arena of mobile photography. It is a dedication they've taken seriously. And it's worked. Most people rely solely on the camera in their phone for everything. Today Apple has published a site with 16 short clips about "How to shoot on iPhone 7". It's a slick looking site that could be very helpful to beginners or anyone interested in helpful mobile photography tips. The titles are:

How to shoot a great portrait.
How to shoot a close-up.
How to shoot a vertical Pano.
How to shoot without a flash.
How to shoot action.
How to shoot a selfie with the timer.
How to capture a unique angle.
How to shoot stills while filming.
How to shoot with street light.
How to shoot a bold and simple image.
How to shoot during golden hour.
How to shoot a one-handed selfie.
How to edit a selfie.
How to shoot a sunset silhouette.
How to shoot a group portrait.
How to shoot a backlit subject.

While these videos are only 30-40 seconds long and it's impossible to thoroughly explain almost anything in this timeframe, they're free! Take 5 minutes and check them out. You never know. You may learn something new. Check the videos out HERE and maybe they'll help you get some great shots this weekend.

05.11.17         gadgetry  

Ultimate Film Travel Gear by James Matthews




Essex UK photographer, videographer, director, etc. James Matthews shares this 12 minute video about his travel gear. He's headed for a 2 week trip to Vietnam and he considers this his ultimate travel gear for film. He uses a Sony A7sii and here's a list of the rest of his gear:

F-stop Tilopa Bag
ZhiyunCrane
Sony RX100M4
Canon 10-18mm
Canon 50mm 1.8
Zoom H1
DJI Mavic
Dji Mavic ND Filters
Commlite Adapter
Lav Mic
RYCOTE WIND MUFFS
Neewer Reflector
3.5mm Jack to Jack
RavPower Batterys/Pack
Dicapac Underwater Housing

So what do you think? Too much? Too little? Share your thoughts below.

James is on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

05.10.17         tutorial & training videos  

Panasonic GH5 Crash Course Training Video Available Now!


UPDATE: Panasonic GH5 Crash Course Training Tutorial Available for immediate download! DOWNLOAD NOW!

I am happy to announce that the Panasonic GH5 Crash Course Training video production is underway. We anticipate this will take about 2-3 weeks to put together. If you are interested in the Course, please add your name and email in the comments section and we will let you know as soon as it is ready.

Here is the cover I decided to go with:
Thank you for all of your continued support!

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