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Friday, April 27, 2012

When to grab the Camera

As a former TV news photojournalist, I'm always ready to grab the video camera and go to where ever I hear sirens.  But last night my natural "news" instincts didn't kick in.  

Our neighborhood got caught right in the middle of a tornado warning...and I mean right in the middle.  TV weather technology pinpointed a tornado going right over our house, and as many neighbors could later a test to...they saw swirling debris over our homes.  But instead of grabbing my camera, I grabbed my son and wife to make sure they were safe and then went outside to talk with neighbors to make sure they wer all safe.  I didn't really think about getting pictures untul later when the cost was clear.  

There was a time when I might have been a little disappointed with myself for having negnected to grab my camera, but today I'm glad that I reacted the way I did...being more concerned about my family and friends, and not as concerned about "getting the shot." 

9:38 am cdt          Comments

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Food Network Steadicam
The Food Network Steadicam operator(s) are really good.  I got caught up watching Chef Ann Burrell's show today and the operator was great.  He kept up with her movements and never lost headroom or horizon.  And the static shots never moved.  Very nice!
9:00 pm cdt          Comments

Steadicam Love

In 1990, I purchased my first Steadicam.  It was the old EFP version designed to handle video cameras and light weight film cameras.  But this is not when I actually fell in love with the Steadicam.  

A year earlier, I have flown up to Toronto, Canada for a week long Steadicam workshop, just to see if I really wanted to start this adventure, and even more-so, to see if I could handle this rig.  This is where the romance began.  

The instructors were great!  They were some of the really "big names" in the film industry.  From that moment I was hooked.  

Fast forward a few years.  Actually, 11 years.  My EFP is gathering more dust than video shoots, I'm married and looking to buy a home.  Economics dictates that the EFP must find a new home...and it does.

Fast forward a few years.   Actually, 6 years.  My small video production company is growing and I decide to buy a "generic" Steadicam from another vendor.  Again, economics dictates that I can't afford a "real" Steadicam, so I purchase an older Varizoom Aviator from a vendor in New York City.  

The Aviator can hold cameras up to 15 lbs, so it should do.  I'm shooting with a Canon XLH1, so the Aviator is almost maxed out, but it's working fine.  Unfortunately, all the upgrades to the Aviator that Varizoom has made, don't apply to my older model...so it's time for more back exercises!

Keep watch here and I'll post more about the Aviator and post videos soon.    

Thanks,

Phil 

 

 

10:54 am cdt          Comments


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