Interesting iteration from DJI, the Mavic Air.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 11.31.05 AM

Great initial write up about the specs of the new device from DJI. Also interesting that they put the product directly in between the Spark and Mavic Pro. Are they over-iterating? Why put a whole new product out, granted with some neat tech updates, rather than put those updates into the existing products at their next version update?

Anyway, good article here…

The Drone, The News Photog and I.


Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 4.08.45 PM copyI’m writing some classes for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, where I teach video production, about UAS/Drones. Our local Fox affiliate was out today to interview me for a piece about the courses, and drones in general. I so much prefer to be behind the camera than in front.

Cinematography Techniques, on set not in post. What a concept.

Behind the Scenes: Three Cinematography Techniques For Creating a High-End Beauty Video

Great article and video from over at I’ve seen stuff like this done before on sets, but never been a huge fan of doing things in production that I know I can duplicate in post, especially with the proliferation of lens flares and other flashy whiz-bangs that tend to get over used to the point of cliche in this visual medium. But it is nice to see it explained and illustrated in this way, and of course there are instances were it just makes sense to do things in production, and not aways have to “fix it in post” right? So go ahead, make those lens flares on set. Put things in front of the lens to create blurs and vignettes. Just remember that “effect” is baked in to the shot, and at that point, it can’t be “fixed in post.”

Drone First Flight

Had some fun over the past few weeks getting used to flying a DJI Phantom 3 Pro. This is not for commercial purposes at this time as I do not have a pilots license of any sort, but am getting used to just how this tool works and what some of its high and low points are (pun intended). I can only say, there is an massive learning curve, not to the part of simply getting the thing airborne, but to the control factor for making good images and camera moves. It’s actually ridiculously easy to get the thing in the air, assuming you follow the few simple instructions, but once one starts moving it around and attempting slightly more than basic camera moves with it, that seems to be when all neurons need to be firing in top form. It’s at that point when multiple things with the controls and where ones eyes need to be start to demand attention.



I know, I’m behind the curve on this drone thing. I know, EVERYONE and their little nephew has a drone and has their own tech news training channel up on youtube already. I’m fine being behind the curve. And I’m also fine taking my time to make sure I learn how to use it and not be one of the multitude of casualties that has crashed the drone into water, people, trees, buildings, etc. So stay tuned, hopefully I’ll be able to post more shorts like this over the coming weeks and months. One thing is for sure, this is one darn fun activity, and no wonder its shot through the roof (pun intended, again) in popularity amongst hobbyists and professionals.

Have one? Chime in, I’d love to hear your thoughts on getting started, how you use it, etc.

Inbox for gmail

There’s been a ton of stuff written over the last week already about this new tool from Google, so this certainly won’t be a full and redundant review of the tool, more just a brief op/ed about it. 

I’ve been a fan of the Dropbox-owned Mailbox app while using iOS, and now use it on Android, it also has a pretty handy, albeit Beta, app for OS X. One of the best aspects of this tool for productivity and managing and email inbox is the scheduling feature. This has become a must have aspect of any email service, being able to say, “I can’t deal with this one right now, but I know darn-well I’m going to completely forget about it as soon as it drops down past what I can see in the list.” So in Mailbox I can schedule the email to show up again at a pre-determined time or a time of my choosing. Ridiculously handy and a great boone to productivity and inbox management. 

So thankfully Google decided this was a worthwhile thing to duplicate, and it’s in there along with a whole lot of other smart automation as Google does what Google does best, scan your email for various purposes. Google Now is somewhat integrated, as is Reminders, all making this more than just an email inbox, but combining email and general productivity into a onestop shop, so to speak. 

Obviously if you’re a Gmail user, regardless of Android or Chrome or other Google services, you’ve bought into the fact that Google scans that information and uses it for ad sales, but in the case of Google Now, and now Inbox, its all about productivity and presenting useful information that the service is assuming you need at the right time. One can only assume the the service/app will progress and get more useful, and of course I am kind of a nerd about that just loves to geek out with the new tools and toys in these areas, on the device and on the computer. So, there you go. Inbox. Give it a shot if so inclined. I give it a thumbs up.

Final Cut Pro X 10.1, @philiphodgetts, @alex4D, #FCPX

I know, nothing new as of late this afternoon, its been out now for almost a whole day and I’m sure the Twitter-verse is in full force in its comments. I’ve been absent from Twitter today due to actual work so I haven’t been following the inevitable love/hate conversations that usually follow these things.  The two articles I have read though are worth your time if you have an actual dog in this particular fight, or just the casual reader interesting in post production.  Philip Hodgetts always has a good thorough rundown, and Alex Gollner as well gives it a good breakdown.

While I haven’t had a chance to poke around in the new shiny update myself, I am looking forward to this…

Image capture from Philip Hodgetts post, for the record.

Image capture from Philip Hodgetts post, for the record.

I’ve long been waiting for a slightly quicker way to switch between Optimized and Proxy media, especially by way of a keyboard shortcut.  While I didn’t get the keyboard shortcut, at least its not in the Preferences anymore.  This is one of Final Cut Pro X’s strong points, its sort of Offline/Online workflow and the relative ease in switching between them.  Along with a bunch of other interface/editing tweaks, the bigger thing I’m looking forward to digging deep into is the Libraries and new media management tools.  Now to get the update… waiting on the IT department for that… :-/

Back to work.