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. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


 

11.27.20         movie reviews  

Ninja 3 Domination


This is another 80s classic. I remember we had the VHS tape as a kid and we would play this and terminator over and over and over. My siblings and I had every line memorized.

The production company that made these ninja films, Cannon, had a crazy history. They were the run and gun film studio that just cranked out movies like water. Apparently one year, if I am remembering correctly they had produced some 50 films. An astonishing feat likely to never be repeated. Im not saying they were all good films, but they were films. There is a 2015 Documentary about them on Amazon Prime: Electric Boogaloo - Wild Documentary About Cannon Films

Because of this wild west style of production, they put scripts together pretty quickly, and you get cult classics that are so bad they are good! Even after all these years I found myself quoting the lines and singing the quirky tunes. lol.


11.26.20         tutorial & training videos  

Black Friday Sale 2020


This might be a little confusing so please read this carefully and all the way to the end! (there is 1 completely free and 1 hidden offer here). We reserve the right to update or add at any time based on demand and availability.

These codes (at least for now are set to expire on Cyber Monday Midnight Eastern US time.

There are several deals I am offering, and they are all separate (meaning you can redeem more than one of them, but they each have to be couponed one at a time. I had a special a few weeks ago and many missed out on it and requested it for Black Friday through Cyber Monday:
These first two deals are redeemable only on my new Maven Tutorials Website, which I have included the hyper link for.

Save 25% off of either my Canon 90D Crash Course or Canon R6/R5 Crash Course
Use code: MA25OFF

Save 25% off my Sony A6100/A6400/A6600 Crash Course
Use Code: MAA600025

Save 25% off my Fuji X-T3/X-T4 Crash Course
Use Code: MAXT3425

I have an extremely limited number of 3 Stop Grad ND filters. They literally just arrived and are the highest performing grad filters I have ever tested, even comparing with the big brand names. 1 per customer only please, and on a first come first serve basis. See image below for how they are used MAVEN Grad ND Filter for $99 ($175 regular price)
Use Code: MAGRAD99

I’m also giving away my Lighting Crash Course for FREE!
Use code: MALCCFREE

If you have any issues, please email us at support(at)michaelthemaven.com and we will be happy to help you out!

PS- If there is any other course or product you are interested in, email us at the above email and we will likely offer you a 25% off on those courses/products/filters as well!
The 3 Stop Grad ND filter will allow you to shoot sunsets and horizons in one shot, no need for bracketing or HDR type images. Its one of my best secrets!

11.19.20         movie reviews  

Blue Thunder


This one is on Amazon Prime. Absolute classic from the 80's. I haven't seen it since I was a kid and I just loved it even more this time around. Plenty of action (and FYI warning, nudity in the beginning). Highly recommended!

11.01.20         netflix  

Queens Gambit - Netflix


Fictional story of an orphan, addict, chess prodigy. I thought it was very, very good! There are some wonderful animations about how a chess player can visualize and run different sequences in their minds eye. Its a real thing and can be developed with practice. In fact blindfolded chess masters often say seeing something physically messes up their ability to do this. If you love chess like I do- this is a homerun.

10.31.20         movie reviews  

The Honest Thief


Absolutely Terrible! Avoid at all costs. Boring and predictable.

10.25.20         movie reviews  

TENET


Its been a while- been focusing a lot on my new filters that are coming soon. I am very excited for them.

Movie Theaters opened in Maui recently, and I just found out yesterday, so you can imagine how excited I was to go. I think my last time in a theater was in March! I desperately wanted to see TENET.

I will watch any Chris Nolan film, because I feel he is one of the great filmmakers of our time. Ive heard mixed things about TENET, but if you like Chris Nolan films, you should see it.

TENET, for all of its amazing positives, has one overwhelming and critical achilles heel: It is very hard to follow, at least the first time through.

I am huge fan of these mind bending kinds of movies, and love the risks Nolan took here. It is a fresh concept, and really pushes the boundaries of creativity, but if someone like me, who craves these kinds of films struggled, its likely anyone who doesnt want to think too hard did as well.

Primer, one of my all time favorite movies of all time, was extremely confusing the first time I watched. I knew it was something great, but I didnt fully understand it. So I watched it over and over, 5 times total, in a row, and by the 3-4th time I was thrilled. The 5th time was the cherry on the cake. I believe this is what will be necessary to fully grasp everything that is going on in TENET.

I don't think the basic idea of it is hard to comprehend, it is to the point that suspension of disbelief is satisfied, in order to make it an enjoyable experience. There are elements of Dark Night, Inception, Prestige and other Nolan films going on. It is clear he spent a lot of time thinking about and planning this, but I also feel the result is a product of overthinking, but I easily forgive him for doing so because his films are so fantastic at stimulating thought.

There were also some parts where the dialogue was so fast, or competing with other sounds / too fast /too muffled (sound design) to fully understand what just changed in the plot. Felt like they were trying to edit it down and simplicity was lost along the way, or they were trying to do too much. I had the same sense from his 3rd Batman film, too many elements, trying to do too much.

If you go into it with an open mind and not expecting to understand it all the first time through, it was AMAZING to be back in a theater and I definitely enjoyed that. My plan is to read up on the spoilers online to fill in the gaps, and then Ill likely go back to watch it again, yes in theaters!

08.05.20         tutorial & training videos  

Canon R5 - Free Tutorial by Michael The Maven


Hi Everyone! Ive just finished my free Tutorial on the Canon R5. I am making the assumption that the R6 will function and operate mostly the same with a few video feature and resolution differences. This is the primer for my advanced Crash Course on both cameras. If you are interested in the Canon R5 Crash Course, you can sign up to be notified here:

Enjoy!


08.04.20         photography  

Canon R5/R6 Tutorial Crash Course Now Available!


The Canon R5/R6 Crash Course is NOW Available! Purchase it from the following link:
Canon R5/R6 Tutorial Training Video Crash Course (CLICK HERE)

Be sure to join my Canon R5 / R6 Owners Group on Facebook So you can let me know what bugs you are seeing or which lessons you would like for me to make.

Here is the cover:

07.24.20         personal  

Fusion 360


So I have been quite busy the last few months, I hope to be able to share some of them soon.

One thing I have been spending a lot of time on recently, is design, and I have finally had to pull the trigger to force myself to learn Fusion 360, which is basically Illustrator for CAD. CAD files are geometry and vector shapes, instead of stl files which are mostly just a bunch of triangles put together.

CAD files are the manufacturing design standard and allow for precision plans which can be converted into actual CNC routing for example. In the past, I have relied on an intermediary (a person) to go from my tinkercad designs to CAD, but I have so many projects Im working on, I would rather just learn CAD, and I believe the best program for that is Fusion 360.

Not very intuitive, but it is starting to make sense. I think Ill have the basics down in a few more weeks.

There is a significant learning curve, but tons of videos on Youtube to help.
If you intend to use it for personal use or a start up, there are some trials available and it sometimes goes on sale:

Fusion 360

07.11.20         movie reviews  

Black Book


I found this one on Amazon Prime. Never heard of it before, no recognizable actors. It was surprisingly good! The one thing I didn't like was that most of it is subtitled. There is a surprising amount of violence and also more nudity than I am usually comfortable recommending in a movie, but being that there isn't anything to see in theaters, it was pretty entertaining.

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