30Aug White Balance Card
I’ve had my DSLR camera (Canon T2i) for a few years now, and I’m still learning how to use it to it’s full potential as a video camera. Among many of the settings that can be customized with a DSLR, one of the most important is white balance. I came across this bookmarked video from Dave Dugdale while revisiting some of the basics on my Canon DSLR.
I wanted to share this interesting discovery that Dave found while setting white balance with a sheet of paper.
I’ll be honest, I still use white sheets of paper and in most cases I use the camera white balance presets. I’ll just make fine tune adjustments in post if the balance it slightly off.
I actually do own a small white balance/ exposure set that I carry with me in my bag, the Zeikos ZE-DGC Digital Grey Card Set with Lanyard. But I still end up using presets when run-gun shooting. The reason I use the presets is mostly because my Canon T2i isn’t setup to make custom white balance settings very quickly. But as time goes on I am thinking it may be time to invest in something
Magic Lantern makes it a little easier to set white balance by allowing you to roll through the color temperature settings manually and allowing you to select an exact color temperature number that you may want! This is an option that DSLR camera’s don’t have available standard and is worth checking out. Actually, I don’t know of any cameras that offer this option. I have been using this function a little more lately as I see how useful it is. Learn more here.
Down the road, I may look into the EzyBalance card like Dave uses in his video but for now my portable lanyard swatches have worked fine. I think my next step is to get back into the habit of actually using them!
29Aug PVC Mic Stand
Here’s a great little mic stand that you can put together using cheap PVC.
CheapGeek1 shares his simple, sturdy design and shows you just how fast and easy you can create something with PVC.
This is a great little mic stand design that could also be customized to fit your exact needs as well!
Check out the CheapGeek1 youtube channel for more cool tips and tricks!
And you can see more on his website here:
Some components you might need to do this yourself:
This adapter will allow the 1/4-20 bolt adapt into the bottom of your mic clip.
The mic clip listed below is the one that I use, because it can fit a variety of mics (and other production gear).
27Aug Simple GoPro Stabilizer
I’ve been following Mitch Bergsma on youtube for a long time and he’s always got some great tips and tricks for shooting video.
In Mitch’s latest GoPro tip he shares a great way to achieve steady handheld shots.
Taking the K.i.S.S. method literally, you simply place the camera case against your lips (or chin) and you can stabilize your handheld camera!
You also have a better chance of getting your shot as your head follows the action and the camera moves along with it. For even more stability, Mitch also recommends attaching a GoPro Handle like the Grenade grip.
Here’s another tip from Mitch, stand up when riding things like seadoos or horses and your legs will also help to stabilize your GoPro video.
In fact, he’s got an entire series deticated to GoPro filmmaking tips!
(Watch the GoPro Tips Playlist here)
Mitch’s videos are packed with all kinds of other great filmmaking tips and tricks and along with his filmmaking skills, he’s also got some impressive water skiing skills worth checkin’ out!
Check out Mitch’s Youtube channel for more great videos!
Here’s some of the gear Mitch used in his video:
*I added a youtube color grade after uploading.
Shot and recorded with my ipod touch.
App Available here: http://www.gunmoviefx.com
This muzzle flash was created in a few seconds using a FREE App called:
Gun Movie FX – Which features a variety of flashes and blood splatter.
The app adds the gun sound as well. This is possibly the easiest gun effect currently available that I know of.
Here’s another example of the muzzle flash effect. I was able to create this in less then a minute.
On a side note, while surfing Amazon.com, I found that the 4th Gen iPod are currently on sale!
I paid $300 for my 8Gig iPod, now they are available starting at $175!?
CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT!
Until sometime last year, I’ve never heard of these Articulating Friction Arms (aka: magic arms) and after purchasing one for myself, I think I have used it in almost every camera setup since I’ve purchased it. Whether to hold my monitor, a mic, or a light.. or even using it for supporting the camera itself.
These articulating arms have been hard to purchase at a reasonable price. But through The Frugal Filmmaker facebook page I was linked to one of the lowest prices I’ve seen:
These work with a single tightening knob. The pivot points on the ends of the arm move freely and can be set into position. Tighten the knob and everything locks up in the desired position. It’s a very cool device!
When coupled with other devices like the Giottos Quick Release Adapter, and a hand grip this magic arm can be made into a customizable camera support system. This is my T2i setup with the magic arm and some other components.
(pictured above is my personal setup)
This setup has been changed and modified so many times, it’s different for every production I do. And that’s exactly what I love about it, I can customize it to work exactly how I need it for that shoot.
These articulating arms have 1/4-20 screws on each end, so you don’t need extra accessories for most setups. You can directly connect this into the tripod mount of the camera then into the 1/4-20 mount on your device.
Check out this video by Nitsan Pictures to see more variation of how these articulating arms can be used.
One of the best parts about using this articulating arm is that it can be used for all kinds of applications and customized on the spot to work the way you need. That alone makes it worth checking out!
Here’s the link to find out more about this low priced 11″ articulating arm: AVAILABLE HERE
And below are links to some other add on gear mentioned in this article.
21Aug DSLR Lens Grip
I noticed that after long periods of time shooting hand-held run and gun video that my pinky would literally hurt as I would end up using it to support my camera and lens setup.
Well, lately I’ve been holding my camera a new way… by the lens! Instead of the usual ‘photography’ style of holding the grip, I’ve been holding the lens with my left hand and focusing with my right. Despite how odd it may look, it’s surprisingly much more comfortable and ergonomic, similar the the typical ‘video camera’ handgrip setup.
I got the idea to re-grip my DSLR from a video by Dmitri (from megasetphotography.com), he was having issues with his Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD and shared his method of pulling focus while zooming.
I posted an article talking more about it, you can check out that article here.
Unlike Dmitri’s style, I tend to keep the lens at a fixed zoom and generally just adjust my focus with my other hand. And as I mentioned in the video, it may not add any extra stability, but it sure helps relieve a tired hand from the smaller grip of the Canon Rebel series.
Give it a try and see what you think!
A sidenote about the video:
You’ll notice that I’m shooting at 50mm which isn’t ideal for handheld moving shots. I wanted to do an extreme test and see how this method works.
Unfortunately, this test footage doesn’t represent the stability of holding the camera like this. I’ll have to post a follow up sometime to show a better comparison.
Gear used in this episode: