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Monday, 31 December 2012

HD DSLR video quick shoot mode.

As new year approaches maybe your wanting to shoot some video quickly on your HD ready DSLR, here is a quick and simple way to record.

If you have never shot video before select a easy to use shoot mode like P Mode

To get nice tones switch through the white balance until you get a tone you like.

Pre focus on a subject the same distance you want in focus

The preview on the back of the screen will give you an idea whether the exposure is good.

Assuming all looks good, start recording.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Music V The photography Business.

Both the Music and The Photography Business face challenges, at the same time there is real opportunity.

These two industry's have seen massive growth then faced in different ways uncertain futures.

The opportunity for photographers is to embrace new areas of work and market new skill sets.

Video is one such opportunity that in part is popular by sites like YouTube so the amount of people looking for dynamic content is ever increasing. Some photographers who wish to stay at the front are embracing it.

Creativity and price is key.

Some photographers have held back from venturing into this media however established photographers are increasing including this as part of the services they offer.

One thing is for sure, times are changing, so accept, embrace this roller coaster.

Friday, 28 December 2012

VIDEO Adele - Rolling In The Deep.

Great track from Adele, great video.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Just a quick post after enjoying the last few days of the Christmas holidays.

Got to say it was good to STOP.

The focus for me is now on the new year, making the most of this quiet time doing just a few catch up jobs.

What a difference a year makes, got to say I am excited about the opportunities next year.

Thanks to everyone who has worked with me in 2012.

Whatever you are doing I wish you all the best and hope 2013 is good for you.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

HD DSLR Film making Canon EF lenses or Zeiss ZE lenses for HDSLR video?

Original post by Vincent Laforet

Should you buy Canon EF lenses or Zeiss ZE lenses for HDSLR video?   

I recently tested two wide angle Zeiss ZE SLR lenses – one that is currently available (25mm 1:2), and another that won’t be available until May of this year (15mm 1:2.8) and thought that this would be a good time to partially help answer this question.

First – Canon EF lenses obviously have incredibly high speed (USM) Ultrasonic autofocus motors built in, whereas Zeiss ZE lenses are purely manual focus lenses.   For still photographers this is going to be a big factor – needless to say, the edge goes to Canon if you need autofocus. 

But with Ultrasonic autofocus comes a significant problem for filmmakers:  given that the Canon lenses use magnets to make the connections between the lens focus ring and the inner focusing mechanism – it is common to have the lens be far less consistent with focusing marks. 

Furthermore, if you continue to rotate the lens past either the infinity or the macro limit on a USM Canon lens – you will effectively lose all of your focus marks as the lens focusing ring will turn indefinitely.  This can be costly in terms of the time you’ll lose by having to remeasure the marks on set.   Zeiss lenses are purely mechanical (no magnets) and therefore they stop at infinity, and at the macro points.   Therefore you will never loose a focus mark, nor will one "drift" over time as Canon EF (magnetic) lenses often do.  This should be a pretty significant consideration for HDSLR filmmakers in my opinion – I know it is for me.    

Canon lenses are also designed for autofocus use and they are not as clearly marked (in terms of distance markings) and generally do not have as much of a rotation on the focus ring as the Zeiss optics do either – meaning that they are harder to focus manually.  This is especially true (and an important factor) when it comes to wide angle lenses.

Last but not least:  the optics:  

This is a general statement – but the Zeiss and Canon lenses tend to be pretty even when you look at the focal lengths from 85mm and longer.   That being said, Zeiss lenses are generally sharper amongst the wide focal lengths.  You’ll notice this pretty significantly when you look at the edges of your frame, and when you shoot wide open (when you compare the Zeiss and Canon lenses that is – see below for examples that illustrate this point.)   As you close down your aperture, this distinction becomes less apparent (you’ll also notice that there is less chromatic aberration with the Zeiss lenses when compared to the Canon EF lenses, especially with wider lenses.)

Therefore – wide angle Zeiss ZE lenses are pretty much the way to go for HDSLR filmmaking in my opinion – notably with anything from a 15mm through a 24mm lens.  

Of course the big brothers to the Zeiss ZE lenses – the Zeiss CP.2 lenses are BUILT for cinema and they are also at a significantly higher price point.   With CP.2 lenses, the rotation of the lens focusing barrel is 300 degrees and very clearly marked when compared to the Zeiss ZE and Canon EF lenses, which makes focusing SIGNIFICANTLY easier by a large factor.   The aperture ring (or iris) is also fluid –  whereas both the Canon EF and Zeiss ZE lenses can only make 1/3 stop jumps which is far too noticeable with video if you are trying to close the iris down or up while you are shooting video.   

I am very much looking forward to testing the new series of Canon Cinema Prime lenses (they have announced a 24mm f/1.5, a 50mm f/1.3,  and an 85mm f/1.3)  But there is one thing that is surprising:  they are only being released with EF lens mounts.   The Zeiss CP.2 lenses have a kit that allows you to swap mounts – from EF to the cinema standard PL mounts.   This is a HUGE advantage – as you can use all CP.2 lenses on both Canon cameras as well as ALL CINEMA cameras in the world regardless of brand.  I use my CP.2s with the C300 for example – as well as the RED Epic camera and other cinema cameras with the PL mounts.   Swapping the mounts takes but a few minutes per lens and can easily be done out in the field with just a TORX screwdriver.   This makes the CP.2 lenses fantastic long-term investments.

The PL Lens mount is also significantly more suited for cinema – the lenses don’t flex when you focus (unlike the Canon EF mount which does flex when you focus the lens with a follow focus or motor, given the way it is designed.)   Therefore I see the CP.2 lenses to be a clear solution in terms of a solid long term investment.    Check out the LENS section of this blog for more information on these lenses.   If you can’t make the type of investment in the CP.2 lenses – your next best option are the ZE lenses. The optics in the ZE and CP.2 lenses are identical for those that are curious – although I am told the "pick of the litter" in terms of optics are chosen for the CP.2 lenses.  The ZE lenses cannot be converted to PL mounts to be clear.
So back to the new lenses from Zeiss:
The first is the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 ZE, which won’t be out until May.   I was fortunate to have gotten my hands on this lens recently, and the optics are incredibly sharp – perhaps the sharpest wide angle still 35mm SLR lens I have ever tested.  Unlike  the 15mm f/2.8Canon lens (which has been discontinued in favor of the 8-15mm f/4 zoom) – the Zeiss lens isn’t a fisheye, it is a rectilinear lens,  and the distortion is minimal, despite its 110 degree field of view.  The lens should actually be compared to the Canon 14mm f/2.8, which also uses an aspherical lens element. 

Look through the pictures of my tests of these two lenses below:

 Here is the Canon 14mm 2.8 - click on the picture for a full resolution image.

Above is the Canon 14mm 2.8 - (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

Above is the Zeiss ZE 15mm 2.8 – you’ll notice the 1mm difference is more noticeable than one might think…  (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

Here is a crop of the edge of the Canon 14mm 2.8.  You’ll see that the image blurs on the edges losing significant detail relative to the Zeiss 15mm below.  (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

With the Zeiss 15mm 2.8 crop of the wide image above – you’ll notice that while the lens is not as wide, it is significantly sharper on the edges, this is a huge plus for landscape and landscape photographers and filmmakers in general.  (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

The second lens that Zeiss is releasing, is the new Zeiss 25mm f/2 ZE, which is currently available.  Like the other ZE lenses, this lens is Manual focus only – but incredibly sharp.  It’s faster than it’s CP.2 counter part, which is T2.9, but slightly slower than the Canon 24mm, which clocks in at f/1.4.   But the performance wide open is hands down better than the Canon at either  f/1.4 or f/2.0.

There are more examples after the break below.

Above is the Zeiss 25mm 2.0 full frame.  (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

Notice how sharp the edge detail is on the top left corner.  (I did not have a Canon 24mm 1.4 version II  on hand to make a comparison unfortunately – but I can speak from experience and past tests that the Zeiss lens is sharper on the edges hands down.)   (Click on the picture for a full resolution image)

Here is an other example of the Canon 14mm 2.8 vs the Zeiss 15mm 2.8 below.

Canon 14mm 2.8 full frame  (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

Crop of the top right of the image on the Canon 14mm 2.8 -  (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

Zeiss ZE 15mm 2.8 full frame (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

Crop of the top right of the image on the Zeiss ZE 15mm 2.8 – notice how much sharperthe cables   (Click on the picture for a full resolution image.)

Therefore as you can see – there is a significant different along the edges of the frame between the Canon EF lenses and the Zeiss ZE lenses. 

My thoughts
Test your lenses, know what you need balanced with the plus and minus you get from using one system or another.

Canon have have updated various L series lenses, notably the 24-70L 2.8 reworked and updated for the DSLR.

Images and video from the mk2 lens look better out of the camera, as a result may require less editing overall.

Try the options before you buy into one.

Thanks to Vincent Laforet for his post get more over at http://blog.vincentlaforet.com

Friday, 21 December 2012


The next model I recently tested to be signed in New York is...

that would be telling, come back in the new year to find out more.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Model Rob Johnson @ NewYork Model Management

Photographed Rob a month or so ago, it's been all go for him since, quickly signed by New York Model Management.

Model Rob Johnson @ NewYork Model Management

I hear he is going to be making his debut at London Fashion week, onwards and upwards.

Check out New York Model Management and Rob Johnson HERE.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Worth watching are the videos produced for Bruno Mars.

Above is one of his videos I like a lot.

Download the single now on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/looh
'Unorthodox Jukebox' is available NOW on iTunes!: http://smarturl.it/unorthodoxjukebox

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Canon Speedlite 600 EX RT (compared to 580EX II)

The latest addition to the Canon small strobe is the 600EX-RT  here is a quick comparison with the compared to 580EX II.

  1. LCD Display—larger, active-matrix LCD (as shown above, right), capable of displaying a wide range of icons and messages, backlight can be green or orange (I set custom functions so that orange appears when Speedlite is a slave and green in non-wireless and master mode.)
  2. Menu System—it’s now interactive, the menu options and button functions change based upon the Mode
  3. Control via On-Camera LCD—able to be controlled via camera LCD on Canon models intro’d since mid-2007.
  4. Beep—now it’s easy to know when your flash is recycled
  5. Zoom—range is now 20mm-200mm, a small, but helpful, change
  6. Radio Wireless—now has two-way radio built-in that provides much longer range and much wider angle of coverage than with optical wireless. Signal will pentrate walls, softboxes, etc. Master will not beep until all slaves have checked in as ready
  7. Optical Wireless—Full compatibility with optical wireless system used by 500- and 400-series Speedlites (but not able to use radio and optical wireless simultaneously)
  8. Wireless Activation—Dedicated button to activate and change modes in wireless system
  9. Optional Speedlite Transmitter—ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter has radio only (not compatible with optical wireless used in older Speedlites), long range and wide angle of coverage, controls are identical to 600EX-RT
  10. Group Mode—(new with 600EX-RT and requires 2012 or newer model camera) allows for individual control of up to 5 groups. Able to individually control each group: on/off, assign Mode (Ettl, Manual, etc.), and control power functions.
  11. Flash Power—virtually the same as the 580EX-RT.

Find the light, identify the situation.

Find the light, that is my first task when shooting on location.

On location a few test shots quickly reveal the setup that is likely to work, this I refer to as the situation.

Normally a few frames with the available light are enough to help decide the way to go. These test shots will be enough to determine which of the setups available are going to work best with the situation, extreme bright light can cause a few problems. It can reduce your options.

Each setup has its limits, the test shots identify which solution can work with me best to compliment what is there or to over power the ambient, so is the situation a good or bad one, do we need extra lighting to compliment or replace, a cure.

There will be times when the situation is beyond help, with no cure. The experienced pro will move on rather than fight the pointless light fight.

Ultimately there is a lighting solution for every situation.

The difference between the experienced pro and the young photographer is knowing the limits of their kit or which option will work best in that situation.

The flip side to this is investing in the kit that will cover as many bases as possible, so invest in the gear that will best fit your own needs.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Post production, finishing the look.

Post production, this is where I finish the look of the image.

My way is to capture the images in camera that have a basic look ready for my post production workflow.

The previews in camera have to be close to what I need later on. It's important to trust what I see in the back of the camera. This is where a few in camera setting changes are required to give consistent and trust worthy previews.

The basic look is then worked on in Photoshop. I say worked but it is probably more accurate to say massaged as the work that I do generally is to push and pull the files gently.

So trust what you see, and know where to go.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

MOTW Jourdan Copeland for models.com

Model Jourdan Copeland for models.com by jason harry

Shooting Jourdan for his models.com feature, also viewable here

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Model of the Week GIRLS @ models.com

Every week models.com feature the faces of BOYS and GIRL's who they believe could the ones to watch, the future for the fashion industry.

Below are the faces for the GIRLS, click here to visit models.com and find out them and their  agency.

Lightroom for photographers

Lightroom for photographers, well firstly it's important for me to say I am not a user now or ever have been.

Why, I prefer to work on my images from a clean file, bottom up.

When shooting I choose the profile and match custom settings on the job to achieve a look similar to what the client is after, this is saved in camera.

Back at base the RAW is then worked towards the look we signed off in the shoot.

So Lightroom, well it simply has no place for me, it's my choice I am happy to work between Bridge, Camera RAW and the latest version of Photoshop.

Bish bash bosh.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Canon Speedlite, small light to big light

Canon Speedlite, small light to big light setups need not mean an over complicated setup.

Most photographers have in their kit bag two or even three lights, the mount below allows multiple units to be grouped together.

The key to a simple setup like this is the arrangement of the lights, none of them are having to work too hard.

A lot people make incorrect assumptions about the power gains to be had by ganging multiple speedlights. In truth, it's the second flash that gives you the bulk of the extra power.

So you can bump your output by a stop for more power when needed by adding just one flash. Or—and this is usually more important to me—you can trim your recycle time in half by using two flashes and dialing the power down in each.

Whether you do this manually of let the camera do the work via ETTL you choose.

Lighting VIDEO projects

One lighting option for lighting your video projects are the Kinoflo lighting systems. 

Ideal for indoor interviews or lighting close fashion projects.

Kino Flo's Diva-Lite® 401 soft light fixture has a built-in ballast with full range dimming, switching and remote control features. 

The Universal model can be used anywhere in the world from 100VAC to 240VAC.

For more information on the Kinoflo range go here

Model Testing Brad.

Explaining your costs to the client.

For those who feel they need to explain your costs to the client, tell them how long it take in post production to get to the finish product, maybe this is time best spent doing something else.

Savvy clients already know the time involved to shoot and edit a basic video, retouch a beauty shot or retouch 12 high res files.

So instead spend your time looking for the clients that will suit the quality of your work.

More sophisticated clients, appreciate excellent photography. They understand licensing. The are more likely to appreciate YOU.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

WHY choose 1 to 1 for DSLR Video or Photography Training.

If you are thinking 1 to 1 training might be for you for either dslr video or photography training , I have been down both learning routes in the past early in my career. I can say that 1-1 worked best for me as both sides could prepare better, it was planned more and tailored to meet my needs.

Now my 1 to 1 day and hour sessions are available as a scheduled event, if a date listed does not suit you please don't hesitate to contact me so see if we can arrange an alternative date.

A one hour session is ideal for the photographer who needs quick answers on technical issues or some practical training. these typically run after one of my CALUMET workshops

1 to 1 training days can be held in any of the Calumet stores or at a location of your choice.

All of my training hosted at Calumet offers you the opportunity to test the latest equipment from the big brands. In addition to excellent training or advice anyone booking with me is entitled to 20% discount on Calumets own brand products, a nice gesture from them to help you.

To see my scheduled events with calumet
To see my scheduled dates on my site.

Model testing : Stefan

Model Stefan by Jason HarryModel Stefan by Jason Harry

Model Stefan by Jason Harry

Keeping HD DSLR video good quality

Below is a video review of the Atomos Samarai.

Video Review: Atomos Samurai - Harddisk Field Recorder from cinema5D on Vimeo.

The products have been around for a while, for Canon users the firmware update due for release early 2013 will mean products like this are likely to be on the shopping list.

Those new to DSLR video may not easily or immediately see the difference this product make to the output, check in the details.

Would I buy one.... YES.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Canon Speedlite 600EX RT and Controller

Got my hands on the latest release small flash from Canon, the Speedlite 600EX RT.
We ran it on demo for my off camera flash workshop in London... LIKE.

Billed as the top of the range this is Canon’s first Speedlite flash unit to feature inbuilt wireless radio connectivity.

It is a powerful flashgun for use both on and off the camera. Built-in radio triggering offers remote lighting control over distances up to 30m.

On the creative side High-speed flash sync enables the Speedlite 600EX to operate at any shutter speed – perfect for fill-in flash on sunny days.

Four AA/LR6 batteries provide silent recycling in as little as 0.1 sec, that will do for me.

Compared to the original 580EX it feels more robust and is packed with features, will run a feature on it very shortly.

600EX RT at Calumet

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Model Testing : Rebekah

Model Rebekah photographed by Jason Harry
Model Rebekah photographed by Jason Harry
Model Rebekah photographed by Jason Harry

A model test shoot from this week, Rebekah... fun and easy to work with, a pleasure.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Making HD video with your DSLR, LONDON.

Just had two enjoyable days delivering my Making HD video with your DSLR workshop in LONDON.

Everyone who attended brought different experience's and knowledge to the group.

The attendees were experienced pro's through to those just starting out, all understood the importance of moving into this area as our clients request ever more from us.

Calumet played a great host as always,really  looking after us.

Thanks to all, it was very enjoyable.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

HD DSLR video workshop, the evolution of the photographer

The skills of the modern photographer are always increasing, HD DSLR video is being asked for more and more by clients.

The push for knowledge should be surpassed by the time and effort honing the skills need to overcome the problems you will face out in the field, get the skills then practise and develop them to suit the needs of your clients.

The workshops I run allow me the time to sit with photographers keen to improve what they are doing either for their personal pleasure or commercially.

My next workshop is in London, two day's of discussion and practical sessions, the subject producing HD video using your DSLR.

So a quick kit bag repack is in order after two days of model testing.

Enjoy your weekend.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Enhance your video with Photoshop

Enhance your video with Photoshop did I say that right... oh yes.

Since CS5 PS has been ideal for me working with video projects.

My workflow with stills and video both are the same, all colour grading takes place in Photoshop, PS is used entirely with my stills workflow and this familiarity together with the presets I have created for that work transfer straight over.

One feature I do like in my video editing software is that all the layers in the PSD files remain fully editable. The PSD files can be modified outside the video editing software in PS with the video project open, with a simple refresh the updated PSD file is copied into in my video editing software.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Photographing Athlete Hannah Whiteley

The Talented Hannah Whiteley, Britain's number 1 professional kite surfer and extreme sports athlete
Athlete Hannah Whiteley by Jason Harry
Athlete Hannah Whiteley by Jason Harry
Athlete Hannah Whiteley by Jason Harry

Hannah's site is http://www.hannahwhiteley.com/

High ISO when shooting video on your DSLR

Making video on your DSLR can be quite demanding, with reduced flexibility certain situations dictate you are likely to be working with a higher ISO than you would normally choose to go to.

Yikes yes that means coming to terms you won't be able to shoot at 200 ISO 8:)

Those new to making video on a DSLR are often suprised when we go through the go to settings.

Also equally amusing are some of the settings people have been working and struggling with. 

The thing is we have all been there.
I find it really rewarding seeing the fast progress, having taken some time out to get the basics covered and enforcing this new knowledge with some practical shooting. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Photographing Model Helen

VIDEO Model Rob Johnson

Model Rob Johnson a new face had his first model photoshoot with me only a few weeks ago.

He is now represented in NY with... New York Model Management, in London with AMCK.

Watch out for this boy in 2013.

Video kindly effected and edited by James at chairTV visit www.chairtv.com

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Photographing the amazing Hannah Whiteley.

Today i photographed the stunning Hannah Whiteley, see her in action in the video blow... amazing.

Hannah Whiteley, Britain’s number one ladies kite surfing champion.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Off Camera Flash enhance it with a Justin Clamp

Off Camera Flash enhance it with a Justin Clamp, also find it listed as the Manfrotto 175F-1 Spring Clamp with Flash Shoe.

Created by Justin from B & H and Joe McNally one evening from a couple of pre existing  Manfrotto parts this piece of kit is in my bag.

Justin clamp or Manfrotto 175F-1 clamp with hot shoe

You can get this item from B & H over in NY or in the UK from Calumet.

You can fit the clamp to a stand or use the clamp side to hold onto any willing surface, if you are using the clamp I do suggest you add some strong tape to make sure the setup is secure.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

VIDEO Kate Moss for MANGO - Behind the scenes.

VIDEO Kate Moss for MANGO - Behind the scenes with Terry Richardson.

Shooting Ellie