So I should be shooting a video for a friend of mine this Saturday at a club he DJ's at up north. Only problem is the Nikon doesn't exactly have good low level lighting video capturing capabilities, it needs some extra light to make use of the 720p.
I figured I couldn't afford an LED video light (just yet!) so I browsed over the internet to see if I could buy something that may do the same job for cheaper. I found a Rolson 72 LED Camping light on Amazon for £6.35 inc postage. I did what any other DIYer would do, I bought two, one to play with and one to keep. Now how did I attach the LED light to the camera? Like this:
I know it's a little crude, but it does the job and that's the main thing. I just used a busted camera shoe flash and some string and tied it all together, I even tried some wrapped up foam to see how it diffused the light. I've given it a test and it's not bad, it feels a little Blair Witch though as the LED doesn't throw light around too well as it more directs the light to one spot. As soon as I've taken some decent video I'll blog the results, but for now enjoy the DIYness.
So two years ago I made a steadicam with the help of Johnny Chung Lee and his $14 camera stabilizer. Two years on and I haven't had much joy with it, or really much practice. I've been doing a few videos here and there and came across this video by MSLATER:
So it's time to make a new toy and I've just started by collecting the materials. First thing that came through was the Traxxas Universal Joint that I bought on eBay. Now I'm waiting on the bearings and will continue making and blogging as I go along. Can't wait!
So I'm really inspired by car videos and I've always liked the style in which they are shot and put together with some kind of funky music. I found out that a lot of them use a panning rig of some sort to get smooth camera panning movements as well as steady cam's. I've already made a steady cam so I thought I'd make a glide track (as I can't afford the £200 wicked awesome version) so here's my attempt using:
2 Homebase ball bearing drawer rails
2 Chrome Homebase drawer handles
A tripod head from one of those cheapy little tripods
Some wood and screws
A bit of tennis grip
Here's how it came out:
Pretty happy as it cost around £22 to make as opposed to the £200 version. When I can save up I'll get a proper one, but for now I thought I'd make a cheaper one to make sure I can use it and develop some shots, I guess that way I'd know if it would be worth it. There are a few niggles:
The drawer rails each have 3 extendable sections which jolt the camera and thus the video shakes
Once the camera is attached and the rails extended you need to hold it down on the opposite end
There's no tripod mount
Other than that it's pretty sturdy and works well, you just need to watch your panning movements and keep them as smooth as possible, so practice, practice. I'll probably end up making another version and iron out the problems., but for now I want to make videos. So here is the first one, taken at Castle Combe Circuit in Chippenham with my local Mini club the MMC
I think it turned out well. I hope to do more of this in the future as I find it more hands and tactile at the beginning then to compile it all and bring it together virtually covers a lot of my own creative interests. Stay tuned!
After going to sleep late on the Saturday I woke up super duper early to go to MITP or Mini In The Pod at Santa Pod Raceway. It wasn't as busy as I expected, I think the previous day's weather put people off but it happened to be a pleasant day, nice and relaxed! So I took the opportunity to take only a few photos as previous shows I'd go crazy snapping away. Here are a few shots that I edited, I think these were the best shots of the day.
Here's an experiment I tried this evening with the Mini. Photos for the DHR image were taken on the Nikon d5000 with the standard kit lens (Nikkor 18-55mm) and taken into Photomatix. Hopefully the first of many.
Mum was sifting through some old clothes and she found a couple of dad's late 70's, tailor made blazers. I'll end up either ebaying them but before that I got dad to try them on. The blue number was the jacket that dad wore when he first arrived in England in August 1975.
Mum said that when he she met dad, he would still get his clothes tailor made back home in the Philippines and get them sent to England. She showed me some white flares that dad apparently measured her up for and sent the details back 'home' for the trousers to be made. Either they didn't make clothes that fit the properly or they were just as picky as I am with my clothes! He's not too bothered with fashion anymore, he prefers to be comfy clothes. I wonder how long it will be before I want to just wear 'comfy' clothes... whatever that means!? He's still a cool dude in my books.
Managed to pick up a Nikon FG-20 35mm film SLR with a Nikon 50mm f1:8 Series E lens... which basically means... I CAN USE IT ON MY NIKON! SCORE! I was initially looking at the Nikkor AF prime lenses online but they were coming in at £94.00 on Amazon, which I couldn't really afford. So the camera and lens came at a steal for £10!
This lens makes the d5000 so portable. It does however mean that you have to compose your shots with more thought as it it is a prime lens.
It's definitely an experience using a prime lens, you tend to be skipping back and forth trying to get everything in the picture. Then you have to manually adjust the aperture ring and manual focus using the range finder within the view finder. It's going to take a fare bit of practice... luckily you don't have to pay for film or batteries anymore!
So I thought... "I have a DSLR now, I better try out Photomatix and some HDR!" Well I didn't say that out loud, but I thought it in my head. Here's a pic of the back garden, with the 3 bracketed exposures.
I liked the saturated colours. I'm definitely going to have to play around more with this! Once I figured out how to the bracketing on the d5000 it was a case uploading and bringing together in Photomatix, which took around 5 minutes. Twas only an experiment, but I really like the results!
So I've always wanted a DSLR and could never afford one. So this summer instead of going on holiday abroad (as I usually do every summer), I decided to invest in one. I had to settle on a budget first or else I would have gone for the Canon 550d or the lower end Canon 500d. Instead I went with the Nikon d5000.
Being new to the DSLR game I had no idea what to expect, but I did go into Jessops and had a play with it. I have had an old 35mm SLR so was used to the manual controls... to a degree, but this is another level as it also has 720p HD capabilities. I like the feel of the camera as it's quite light (in comparison to the Nikon d90) therefore making it more portable and it has a tilt screen. Wasn't sure about the tilt screen... that's until I had a little play. Anyhoo... since last week I've rediscovered my old Flickr account and Vimeo.
Here's a few photos I've taken so far:
And a video I created for a friend of his Supercharged 1330 Rover Mini: