I just finished post on two videos – both part of a project shot this past August. 44 North Coffee is an artisanal roaster in Deer Isle, ME. Founded in 2010 by Melissa Raftery and Megan Wood in the historic Deer Isle schoolhouse.
Melissa and Megan roast 10-12 varieties of beans. Most are origins but they often have a few blends as well. They pride themselves on freshness, ethical sourcing, and custom roasting. All I can say is they must have some kind of magic mojo happening on the second floor of the schoolhouse. Maybe it’s having to carry the 150 lb. bags up the stairs, maybe it’s having to get fresh green coffee beans from the ends of the earth to Deer Isle. Whatever it is… it works. The Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is to die for. I should know, we have torn through 9 pounds of it since the summer.
Trust me, get the Yirgacheffe. If you don’t have a grinder get one, too. We didn’t and now we do. This one is great, Grind Central, and it can grind the perfect amount for a 12-cup machine.
Too good for grinding and brewing en masse? Pooh-poohing using a coffeemaker? Well, here’s 44 North barista, Anne Bryant, to show you how to slow-drip the perfect cup of coffee:
Tech notes: the videos were shot on a Canon C300 using a mix of monopod, tripod, handheld and a 28″ Kessler Stealth Slider (really great – lightweight, tripod mountable, and just enough lateral movement.)
Canon announced this morning that its innovative dual-pixel auto-focus capability will be coming to the C300 in May. It’s exciting to see this an option – it will be a $500 service-center based upgrade, similar to the C100.
For a sense of how it will work Canon & Joe Simon recently published a video showing its implementation on the Canon C100:
The above is clearly not a real wedding but a shoot set up for the video so keep that in mind. That said, dual pixel AF was first introduced in a dslr, the Canon 70D, and users have been very happy with it.
Also of note in Canon’s press release is the announcement of a new remote control for the C series cameras and pro camcorders, the RC-V100. It is wired via a 15 foot cable and it offers full access to practically all of the functions of the cameras. It’s expensive ($3k list price) but it’ll be interesting to see how responsive it is, e.g. if one can pull-focus with it without the need for anything else (though the dials may be way to small?) I have not used the C300′s wireless controller but this will provide another option for controlling the camera should it be inaccessible, up on a jib, etc.
While speaking C300 – I have been using the new firmware, for a couple of months now and it is a big improvement. The two features I use the most are the focus shift and the lens exchange function. The former allows you to place the focus point in different areas of the frame once you have hit the magnify button. The latter I assigned to button #5 and it provides some peace of mind when switching lenses, putting the camera in a temporary sleep mode.
The focus shift is very helpful when racking focus from one point to another. You can focus on point A, keep the screen or viewfinder in magnify mode, move the focus point to your point B, start filming and then shift your focus as needed.
Rounding out today’s C300 news, Zacuto recently announced a new Z-finder for the C300 and C500. Similar in concept to the Deity Mira, it also turns the camera’s screen into an EVF. Zacuto says its finder will be lighter, easier to mount, and they have built a system around it to adapt it to a shoulder rig.
Zacuto’s new C300/500 helmet and handle look promising. It has always irked me that the C300′s handle never locks down 100%. There is always a bit of play to it. I have looked at other cheese plate type caps for the C300 but none have a quick release handle. Zacuto’s does.
Sweat dripping, ice dripping. Is there a big difference? Stuck in the longest winter in memory it is a good opportunity to think back to the summer when it was so hot and humid that just the barest of movement could soak through a shirt.
Almost six months ago to the day I ventured down to Woolwich, NJ, for B, Buick’s owner magazine to photograph Diane Dobson, her Buick Enclave, and her family. Diane had recently made the switch from Mercedes to Buick.
90% humidity, using what shade we could and a Profoto 600B + beauty dish for fill. Here’s a BTS photo of the setup.
Capping off 2013, one of the busiest years of my career, I created images for Princeton University’s Office of Finance and Treasury’s annual report – Report of the Treasurer 2012-13, Princeton’s Libraries: Our Intellectual Endowment. That’s a mouthful but with ten libraries across campus there is a lot to cover. The project featured newly commissioned work as well as images from my previous projects.
All images were captured with Canon 1D Xs. The covers were available light shot right after sunset. It was pouring rain but I just kept shooting and wiping off the camera. It was nice to still get dead on focus (along with the 1D X’s great dynamic range.) ISO 8,000 for the back cover, ISO 16,000 for the front.
For the compass and people shots I opted for my LED lights. Originally purchased for video, I find myself using these more and more on stills shoots. The compass has two 1x1s for fill and a 3″ fresnel to create the highlight raking across the floor. Ted Stanley is lit similarly with two 1x1s adding some local contrast and a 3″ fresnel highlighting his face. Katie Buzard has a 3″ fresnel on a compact stand on camera right lighting her face and three 1x1s up high filling in the background. Mick and Jessica have two 1x1s accentuating the pool of light on them. For all, the LEDs were filtered to match the existing room lights.
The Engineering Library is a composite image to capture the highlights and shadows. Ambient light and a Canon 24 TS-E 24mm II lens (tilt/shift) was used.
Additional Princeton University Library images from the blog:
Not one, not two, not three but four franchisee testimonials shot for Supercuts, its parent company, Regis, and working with St. Jacques this past fall. The projects had me traveling between New Jersey and Texas/Oklahoma. I shot both stills and video. The stills ads are in process but here are the just completed videos (with my stills shots as thumbnails.)
All four were directed, shot, and edited by me. Art direction by Joey Greenstein. On two, I also played the interviewer. In terms of setups there are two BTS shots in previous blog posts here and here.
Chris Serrano of Tuscon, AZ and owner of eight-four Supercuts. Filmed in Oklahoma City, OK.
Jim Puryear of Graham, TX and owner of ten Supercuts. Filmed in Graham and Decatur, TX.
Gary Robins of West Chester, PA and owner of forty-one Supercuts. Filmed in Havertown, PA.
Jeff & Chris Montemurro of Milford, PA and owners of five Supercuts. Filmed in Sparta, NJ.
On Tuesday the 10th during our first big snowfall I was shooting interiors of Peretsman-Scully Hall, a new building on Princeton University’s campus designed by José Rafael Moneo Vallés. The building is about 95% done and I have been photographing it as time, weather, and construction allows.
This past fall it was exteriors just before we lost the leaves. Now, it was some of the recently completed interior spaces. The snow, though, was unscheduled. It along with the frosted glass wrapping the building and the relative quiet left in the wake of work crews fleeing the weather was much like being in the world’s classiest igloo.
It’s Mac Pro day! A long time coming to say the least but I have to say that I find myself hesitant.
I am very happy with my late 2012/early 2013 iMac (which replaced my ’06 Mac Pro) and I love its screen. I used to have two top of the line NEC 27″ displays and I don’t miss them. Running one of them along side my iMac, it came to feel dull and fuzzy. So far, I have not missed the NEC’s Adobe RGB color gamut either.
So, where does that leave us?
-I’d be more tempted to jump for the new Mac Pro if they had updated the Apple’s Thunderbolt Display along with it (adding USB 3 and the thinner less reflective screen.) Though maybe USB 3 in the display is less of an issue with the Mac Pro having so many ports?
-At first glance the new Mac Pro does not look to be as wildly overpriced as it first appeared, historically speaking. A new 6-core 3.5GHz with 32GB ram, 512GB storage, upgraded D700 GPUs, and AppleCare comes in at $5,500. Exactly what a BTO Mac Pro cost me in 2006.
-In the new Mac Pro’s favor is the new FCP X which has clearly been optimized for it.
-It would be great to get a sense of how much faster a new Mac Pro will be compared to a recent iMac prior to purchasing. If one is looking to make year end purchase this looks unlikely to happen.
Update: Mac Pro shipping dates are already slipping to February. So, no rush & it allows time for reviews to come out and to see if Apple will update the Thunderbolt display.
AnandTech Mac Pro Review (link added 1/3/14)
Larry Jordan on new Mac Pro (link added 1/15/14)
Larry Jordan testing Mac Pro vs. iMac Compression Speeds (link aded 1/15/14)
FCP X 10.1
This looks to be a great update. It’s interesting to note how much FCP X has followed Aperture’s playbook. Horrible launch, quick updates to get up to speed, then adding features. Expanding from internal library based to freedom to keep assets where it best works for the user.
Some key changes that jumped out at me:
-Better management of assets.
-Only open what you need.
-You can now edit the audio, detach it from multi-cam clips.
-Improved image stabilization.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Look here for more info on the changes:
- Canon C300 Workflow - FCP, FCP X, Avid & Premiere
- Canon 1Ds Mark III Now Shoots Video
- Canon C300: FCP X vs. XF Utility for Backup/Archive
- Stopping Short of Rails
- The Conservator
- Slow Dripping the Brew
- Late 2012 Video Smackdown
- 5D Mark III - Quick Initial Thoughts
- C300 Firmware 18.104.22.168.00, Canon Tethering under Mavericks, and App Nap
- Aperture 2 - Custom Web Pages