Our list of the 10 most important things you need to know about Magic Lantern (though not necessarily in order).
This was the primary reason I first tried Magic Lantern with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
No newsflash: it’s critical for filmmakers to be able to monitor audio in real time. How else are you going to know that the wireless lav mics you worked so hard to set right have just gotten a burst of static from a passing truck and you need to reshoot?
Magic Lantern allows you to visually monitor audio levels in real-time. While a whole not-so-cottage industry has arisen from the fact that audio is not Canon's strong suit (Zoom H4n,JuicedLink), it sure makes things much easier, less expensive and less bulky when you can feed an audio signal directly into the camera and know what's actually happening with VU meters.
Even more magical, and another glaring omission on too many Canon DSLR’s: no headphone jack. With Magic Lantern installed, not only can you SEE what’s coming across from your audio source – you can HEAR it, thanks to ML wizardry which can turn either the USB port or the remote port into a headphone jack (NB: you’ll need a special cable like this one to adapt the signal out to a regular pair of headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 15 – or risk damaging the ‘phones).
Pro cameras have them; the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7s have them; but most Canons don't. These are a simple set of visual overlays that show you – without having to put on your bifocals or hope your EVF/Screen is properly calibrated – whether you are blowing out your highlights or crushing your blacks.
What was that about bifocals? Even if you have 20/20 vision, achieving critical focus on Canon DSLR’s is notoriously difficult (before I bought an external EVF, I thought it was me – it wasn’t). Focus peaking is another simple visual indicator to help you determine when the thing you want in focus IS in focus. Truly a gift from the Magic Lantern community.
A bit of a surprise when I found this: you can use Magic Lantern to set two different focus points and then let the camera move between them – it’s a software driven focus pull. Very cool feature, though not as flexible as a human being doing the actual job. And, it must be said, both the Canon EOS 70D and Canon EOS Rebel SL1 now allow you to do the same thing more easily in production-robust software.
Maybe the single most exciting feature of Magic Lantern, this allows a filmmaker to capture the full power of Canon’s sensors – and the difference in image quality, along with the ability to operate on the footage in post – is night and day compared to the H.264 output. Then again, so is the increase in storage required and the workflow necessary to bring RAW footage into an NLE, NOT in RAW’s favor. NB: RAW doesn’t work on all Canon DSLR’s, and is still very much in process.
This is a very clever way of increasing the effective dynamic range of Canon DSLR sensors. The ML community has achieved this by programming the software to identify highlights and shadows – and then to differentially set ISO in those areas (low and high, respectively) to prevent highlights from being blown out or shadows to be crushed. With this written, it is achieved at the expense of resolution in those areas (it’s halved), but the result can be stunning nonetheless.
With Magic Lantern, you don’t need an external remote or intervalometer – it’s built right into the software.
ML is an open source collaboration of truly passionate and brilliant people who wanted to get more from Canon hardware than Canon itself would allow. They’ve done an amazing job.
AND IT’S FREE!
But they are equally clear that they do not – cannot – make any claim to being error-free, nor immune from crashing your entire camera. CAVEAT EMPTOR. I’ve personally experienced successfully loading up ML on one flash card and booting into it, but unsuccessful loading it up on to a second card.
Especially with the video-centric Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7s, the marketplace has shifted under Canon’s feet. They may yet rectify this situation at Photokina this fall – but they may not. In the meantime, ML may keep you in the Canon fold for a bit longer.
I mean to take nothing away from Panasonic’s tremendous accomplishment with the GH4.
And I don’t mean to overstate the case.
But am I the only one who’s looking at the little RebelSL1 and see that it has better autofocus than every Canon body with the exception of the 70D and can take ALL current Canon lenses; has low light sensitivity on a par with – actually slightly better than – the GH4; and weighs just 370g without battery or SD card and 492g with; and that it is thus lighter than the Panasonic GH4 similarly configured at 560g?
Of course, the GH4 has better dynamic range and color depth according to DxOMark – and a little thing called internal 4K recording, stellar EVF and more — but hey, Canon, are you listening? You could do this if you truly wanted to.
In the meantime, as I’ve written before, thank goodness we have Magic Lantern.
Tags: Magic Lantern, CanonPhoto, Photo Assisatnts, Photo Assistant, Photo Studio
Manfrotto has announced a new line of backpacks and accessories, the Pro Light series. The new line includes backpacks designed for both still photographers and videographers, holsters and rain covers, all designed with an emphasis on portability and versatility. The five styles of backpacks for still photographers offer side access for another route to your gear and are priced from $220 - $310 USD/£199.95 - £249.95 GBP. See the video and press release below for more information.
Manfrotto Pro Light Bags Backpack MB PL-3N1-25 from Manfrotto on Vimeo.
Lightweight, Durable Pro Light Collection Strikes the Perfect Balance for Professionals on the Move
Upper Saddle River, N.J. (August 11, 2014) – Manfrotto, a leading global distributor of premium photo, video and lighting support products and accessories, proudly introduces its new Pro Light Bags Collection, designed for on-the-move professional photographers, videographers and advanced hobbyists. Crafted using the most innovative materials and design techniques, the Pro Light bags are the lightest carrying solutions in the Manfrotto range, while providing superior protection and ease of access.
"Manfrotto offers the most comprehensive range of premier quality carrying solutions on the market today, each of which was designed with specific users and applications in mind," said Paul Zakrzewski, Director of Marketing for Manfrotto Distribution, Inc. "The Pro Light Collection is certainly no exception in that it was created to meet the needs of professionals on the go. These bags were designed specifically for professionals who need to carry a lot of high end gear in a comfortable, highly-protective case and then have quick, easy access to all that gear at the drop of a hat."
Manfrotto's Pro Light bag line offers a comprehensive range of carrying solutions designed specifically for photographers and videographers who need to bring a considerable amount of gear on active assignments. Versatile, functional and extremely ergonomic, Manfrotto's Pro Light photo bag range features a number of intuitive, creative solutions that facilitate rapid access to equipment. The 3N1 Backpacks, for example, enable users to rotate the backpack to their chest and access their gear via the fast-opening side pocket within seconds -- without ever having to remove the bag from their body.
"Innovation is a major part of the Manfrotto DNA and the Pro Light Collection is representative of that," noted Zakrzewski. "As the needs and preferences of the photo and video communities continue to evolve, so must the equipment that we develop to support them in their work. With the addition of the Pro Light Collection to the Manfrotto family of bags, we now offer innovative, reliable carrying solutions for all skill levels, personal preferences, and imaging missions."
Pro Light bags have top wearability and ergonomic access solutions, combined with a stylish Italian design true to the Manfrotto brand. Its tough outer layer and high-resistant nylon legs provide the greatest protection to the gear inside.
Key features of Manfrotto's Pro Light bags include:
Manfrotto's Pro Light Bags Collection includes a total of 28 product SKUs, including holsters, photo backpacks, video backpacks, rolling organizers, video cases, and accessories such as element covers and camera straps. The bags are available now at retailers nationwide, and range in price from $44.00 to $550.00.
To learn more about Manfrotto's extensive range of bag options and collections, visit http://www.manfrotto.us/camera-bags-collection.
For additional information or to learn more about Manfrotto's photo and video products and accessories, visit www.manfrotto.us. Follow Manfrotto on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ManfrottoSoX or on Twitter @manfrotto_us.
Tags: Manfrotto, Photo, Photographer, Photography, Photo Assistant, Photo Assistants, Photographers Assistant
Lady Gaga by Robert Wilson - "Ingres"
Lady Gaga posed for nearly 6 hours to appear in Robert Wilson's video portrait, recreating Ingres' 19th century portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière. The moving portrait hung at the Louvre last year and was brought to New York's Watermill Center last month.
Tags: Robert Wilson, Lady Gaga, Living Portrait, Photo, Photography, Photographer, Photo Assistant, Photo Assistants, Photographers Assistant
Following Helmut Newtons lead and using the same publisher: TASCHEN, Annie Leibovitz publishes Her Life’s Work in a Limited Edition Book that looks strangely like the Helmut Newton book SUMO that was published nearly 15 years ago. Were the Helmut Newton presentation included it's own fold out chromed metal table; Annie's book gets a Tripod on clear plexi treatment. I gotta say that for $2500 it should really be a Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod.
When you’ve captured as many photographs as renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz long and storied career surly made it a difficult task to choose the best works for this publication; consider that fact that she has been Shooting for over 40 years for clients such as: Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.
Her latest book is a $2,500, 476-page visual retrospective of her career.
CLICK IMAGES TO VIEW LARGER
Annie Leibovitz has photographed everything from politics to fashion, and Rockstars. This massive book will features her most iconic images, as well as some rare photographs. It is scheduled to be offered in two variations: a $2,500 Collector’s Edition and the $5,000 Art Edition.
Collector’s Edition is limited to 10,000 signed and numbered copies. And the Collector’s Edition willalso allow you to choose a dust-jacket for your new coffee table book, with 1 of the following images — Whoopi Goldberg (Berkeley, California, 1984), Keith Haring (New York City, 1986), David Byrne (Los Angeles, 1986), and Patti Smith (New Orleans, 1978).
If the Art Edition (which is yet to be released) is more to your liking you will receive the entire collection of dust-jackets, as well as a signed archival print of Leibovitz’s photograph of Keith Haring. This one is limited to 1,000 copies.
Regardless of what edition you choose, you’ll receive a handy little tripod, designed by Marc Newson, that will cleverly hold your book. Rather appropriate considering this baby costs as much as a pro-level DSLR.
If you have a spare $5000 and just need to have one of these books before they appear on eBay or East Village books, you can head on over to the Taschen site and your very own edition. The Art Edition is not yet released, you can still pre-order it to ensure you aren’t left out of the 1,000-copy run.
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT Annie Leibovitz
Tags: Annie Leibovitz, TASCHEN, Helmut Newton, Book, Fine Art, Photo, Photography, Photographer, Photo Assistant, Photo Assistants, Photographers Assistant
What words would you use to describe your photography brand?
Fun? Reliable? Adventurous? If you struggle to answer, our guide, 10 Branding Secrets for Photographers, will help you define and build a strong brand that will set you apart from the competition and attract the clients you want.
In this guide, you’ll also learn:
How to communicate your photographic style and personality
How to determine what aspects of your business are unique
Why developing a strong name, logo and aesthetic across all platforms is crucial
Why a consistent voice and style must be part of everything you do - including your website, social media, and business cards
Use these 10 secrets to build a brand that attracts your ideal market, accurately communicates your specialty and creates unique experiences for your clients.
Download your copy today!
~The PhotoShelter Team
Tags: PhotoShelter, Branding, Photographer, Photo, Photography, Photo Assistant, Photo Assistants, Photographers Assistant
Last month, Apple announced that they were ceasing development of the beloved Apple Aperture. While the software is still usable and available for purchase and download, it has a timeline on how long it will work, as new camera profiles will no longer be supported. Fortunately, Adobe has made the transition a little easier, with a simple transition guide.
The guide, available for free, will help people move their catalogs and settings from Aperture over to Adobe Lightroom 5 with ease. If you're one of those still grasping on to Aperture, perhaps now is a good time to try out Lightroom 5, which is available for $9.99 along with Adobe Photoshop CC through their Photography Plan.
Click here to view the guide.
Tags: Aperture, Lightroom, Creative Cloud, Photo, Photographer, Photography, Photo Assistant, Photo Assistants, Photographers Assistant
Here is a Kickstarter that we like.
Performance of gas scooter + Eco friendliness of electric scooter = The ProGo 3000 Propane Powered Motor Scooter.
What inspired us here at ProGo started with a question. "Why are small motor scooters not a popular mode of transportation?" They are easy to carry and store. They are extremely cost efficient, especially with todays high gas costs. They are easy to maintain, cheap to own, and a whole lot of fun!!
So why are motor scooters, CURRENTLY, not a popular mode of transportation? To answer this question we have to take a look into both types of motor scooters currently on the market, electric and gas.
READ MORE HERE
Tags: Kickstarter, ProGo, Scooter, Propane, PhotoAssistant, Photo, Photography, Photographer, Photographers assistant
An inspiring new photo show explores how photographers confront and, in many cases, overcome depression and mental illness through creating images. Founded in 2012, the Broken Light Collective provides photographers of all skill levels, who are affected by mental health challenges, with a safe and supportive environment in which to display and develop their work.
The new show, titled From Darkness to Light: Photographs by Broken Light Collective, includes selections from the group, which is comprised of over 10,000 photographers from more than 150 countries. The 36 photographers featured in the exhibition come from all over the globe and have been affected by a range of conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, addiction, and autism.
The goal of the group, according to a recent story in the New York Times, is to use the art of photography as an effective means to fight the stigma and raise public awareness while enhancing the lives of those affected by mental illness.
From Darkness to Light is curated by Danielle Hark and presented through the Fountain Gallery Visiting Artists Program.
The show is on display at the Fountain Gallery, Fountain Gallery, 702 Ninth Avenue in New York City until August 13th.
More info and image here.
Tags: Photo, Photography, PhotographerPhoto Studio, Photo Assistant, Photo Assistants, Photographers Assistant, Dynalite, Canon
All images copyright 2014 Brad Trent
As a young photographer, I had this very dreamy, romanticized idea of what it must be like to shoot celebrities. One of my early photography idols was Bert Stern, and I just figured every shoot with a celebrity might end up like his famous session with Marilyn Monroe where they locked themselves in a suite at the Bel-Air Hotel for three days with a case of '53 Dom Perignon, a couple of cameras and a few props, and emerged totally spent but with a collection of amazing photographs. But I moved to New York a couple of decades later...just about the time when shoots like that were becoming increasingly controlled by managers, publicists, agents and the studio P/R machine. Ideas had to be pre-approved and even then it didn't mean you would get to do them. And three days? More like five minutes after your writer got to ask his five questions, thank you very much! But if you're smart you learn how to work the angles, you keep a few tricks up your sleeve when you don't have the cooperation you had hoped for, and occasionally, you get lucky…
Read more here
Tags: Willem Defoe, Brad Trent, Wall Street Journal, Studio 225 chelsea, Profoto, Hasselblad
A federal court judge in Texas has rejected an argument that the right to photograph or videotape police officers “is not recognized as a constitutional right,” clearing the way for a citizen’s civil rights claim against the City of Austin, its police chief, and various Austin police officers.
“The First Amendment protects the right to videotape police officers in the performance of their official duties, subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane wrote in the decision handed down last week.
The judge also rejected an argument by the defendants that they should be immune from prosecution in the case because the right to photograph police officers performing their duties was not clearly established when they arrested the plaintiff on three separate occasions.
“A robust consensus of circuit courts of appeals that have addressed this issue have concluded that the First Amendment encompasses a right to record public officials as they perform their official duties,” the judge wrote, citing several right-to-record decisions favorable to plaintiffs from around the country.
The plaintiff in the Texas case, Antonio Buehler, was first arrested on January 1, 2012, when he photographed two Austin police officers engaged in a traffic stop in a parking lot. Buehler was refueling his truck nearby when he heard one of the officers yelling, then saw a passenger of the stopped vehicle being “yanked violently” out of the car and thrown to the ground.
Mr. Buehler started taking pictures from a distance, and asked the officers why they were abusing the passenger, according to court papers. One of the officers approached Buehler and arrested him for “resisting arrest, search or transportation” after accusing Buehler of spitting on him, according to court documents.
Buehler filed a complaint with the police, but he alleges that no action was taken. He ended up forming an organization called Peaceful Streets Project to help inform people about their rights “and hold law enforcement accountable.” The organization now routinely video records police officers to prevent and document police brutality, according to court papers.
Mr. Buehler was subsequently arrested for recording the arrest of a man in downtown Austin on August 26, 2012. He was arrested a third time about a month later, also for video recording police performing their duties. Both times he was charged with Interference with Public Duties.
In response, Antonio Buehler sued for violation of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. He also alleged false arrest, excessive force, unlawful search and seizure, and malicious prosecution.
In addition to refusing the city’s motion to throw out Buehler’s federal civil rights claims, Judge Lane sustained his claim for false arrest; his claim that the city and its police chief failed to establish a policy, train, and supervise city police officers about the rights of individuals to record police; and his various state law claims.
But the judge dismissed parts of Buehler’s lawsuit, including claims for malicious prosecution and excessive force, because Buehler’s allegations didn’t meet the legal standards required to sustain those claims.
The ruling was not a final decision on the merits of Buehler’s claims. Instead, it cleared the way for Buehler to continue pursuing the surviving claims.
Tags: First Amendment, 1st Amendment, Texas, Fredom of speach, Photo, Photography, Photographer, Photo Assistant, Photo Assistants, Photographers Assistant