Days Of The Dead ~ Atlanta 2017

Had a great time this year at the Days Of The Dead convention here in Atlanta. Always an awesome group of people who come out for this.

In the gallery below I clicked a few shots of some of the greats from horror film history, including Leatherface with a mini chainsaw, and four of the actors who portrayed Jason in Friday the 13th. The discussion with the kids from Stranger Things was absolutely amazing.

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Live Forever

A few weeks ago I went to see The Wolverine in theaters. Pretty good movie, some things were kind of like “oh come on, really?” but over all I enjoyed it. But I’m not here to talk about that movie. I wanted to share one of the previews for another movie. Something that looks really great and I can’t wait to see. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. I thought this preview was really well done and makes the movie look exciting. It also reminded me of a commercial from a few years back. The second video is the Kodak commercial I was thinking of. It is absolutely brilliant and beautifully done. Even if its ironic they are talking about ‘digital’ in the commercial and it was because of digital they went under. Kodak actually created one of the very first consumer digital cameras. They were the forerunner to what was to come with digital slr cameras, but they did not embrace it and crashed/burned because of it.

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Using the Canon 50mm 1.8 for video can be tricky.

So, video? Eveyone says this is a great lens but near impossible to use for video. The focus ring is right on the front on the lens and makes it very difficult to pull focus in video and not end up with your fingers in the shot. Here’s a simple, affective solution. A $4 rubber hood. It works as a sun shade but also prevent your fingers from accidentally being in frame!
Works like a charm. HERE is one on amazon.

Everyone knows the ‘nifty fifty’ and probably just as many own one. This is a great little lens! It actually took me several years to actually get one myself though. I never could bring myself to use this super cheap plastic lens. No image stabilizer, no USM. Wow, I can’t believe what I was missing out on! I had to admit its focus is pretty snappy. If your shooting in a real quite place then the buzz of the autofocus does stand out because its not USM. If you are anywhere with the least bit of noise then you won’t hear it. There are a ton of reviews out there on this lens, field tests, and examples so Im not going into specifics or comparing it to its big brothers that cost X many times more than this one. I can say that I love shooting with this lens which is kind of funny because I shoot a 5d mark III lol and have this little plastic lens on it. I don’t care, it creates beautiful images.

Here’s a shot I grabbed last weekend using this lens. Fun Times!

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A few notes on Follow Focus units for my Canon DSLR.
Of course there are a ton of follow focus units out there, from geared to friction base. You can spend more than a grand on a nice unit, and even the lower cost $350 focus units are super nice to have. I’m not going into big specifics between cinevate, cavision, redrock and so on. Today I wanted to point out two interesting finds that have a different take.

Ok, first lets take a quick look at a typical follow focus and then move on to the two interesting finds. To use one of these your camera has to be on a set of rails. Personally I own a Cavision RFD15BM Basic Mini Single Wheel Follow Focus and I really love it. Mainly I bought this because it fit my budget and have never looked back, its been a GREAT follow focus unit.
Here is a shot of what it looks like.

On to the cool stuff. This seems like a great little unit thats relatively inexpensive. The motor seems a little loud though, so that could mess with your audio. First off is electric follow focus.

Here is the newest find that I CAN”T WAIT to get my hands on. It’s from a group Im not familiar with but called Okii Systems. This looks like such a sweet little idea. You have to use a USM Canon lens for this to work, but it is based off of Canons EOS Utility plugged into the usb of the camera. Check out the site for more specifics on it. As of today its not been released yet, but has a price of $400. THATS AMAZING! Anyways, here a shot of what it looks like. There are a couple videos on their site.

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The modern age digital Holga.

How many of you know what im talking about when I say the “Holga”? Im sure a percent of you are thinking, this guy has spent a little to much time in German hostels. As a female name, its actually has a Danish origin. BUT for the photographers out there you either just gave me a high five, or imagined slapping me in the back of the head. You love her or you hate her. She is the Holga!

The Holga is a all plastic toy camera. You load it with real film, and take actual photographs with the camera, but it is as basic as basic can possibly get. It is a creative camera. A learning tool. My first photography class at Savannah College of Art and Design was centered around this camera. We used this camera for a couple different purposes. We used it to hone our skills in the darkroom because of the unique photographs it produces, but this camera was to teach us to stop worrying about each photograph and details of shutter and aperture and just take a picture. Pure creativity. Many of us fall away from this side of photography because of all the details and specifics our cameras posses. After college a few of my friends traveled Europe with their Holga camera. It was cheap, plastic, could be beat around, did not need batteries, could get wet, and had a spring shutter… I mean it made some wonderful photographs, but they certainly didn’t have to worry about someone stealing their camera.

To be creative and photograph just for creativity. As a photographer, this is rare. Taking photographs with something that produces a low quality crappy image? Why would I do that? I am sure a lot of you do it on a daily basis and never realize it. I call it the modern Holga…… our cell phones. This is something that every one of us has in arms reach nearly 24/7. Our phones take the same quality picture as a Holga, instead of shooting on 120 film, its straight to a memory card where we can see our picture that instant, make quick edits straight from our phone, and even post them for all our friends and family to see within minutes of taking the picture. And the joy of it is we don’t worry about specific focus, what shutter we are using, nothing but pure enjoyment and capturing a moment. To snap a picture out of pure carefree pleasure, not caring how it came out or what the picture even looks like. It’s simply for the creativity and for capturing that moment.

I challenge you to take a photograph every day. Any photograph. Something funny, something enjoyable, something painful. Anythings that is in the moment that makes us smile, makes us cringe, or makes us laugh.

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