Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New facebook page

Follow me on my new facebook page.


Push the “like” tab . I seem to be using the new facebook page more than this blog as you’ll see.

I still plan on posting here as well for now. It seems a little redundant to me really, but it seems we need to stay current on as many social media sites as possible. I’m try’n peeps!


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We started our Learning Tree shoot in a class room situation at their offices. I’ve shot several times in this classroom, but we did it a little differently this time. I’ve lit this room several different ways, bouncing heads into the ceiling, soft boxes off camera, HMI’s punching through the windows, but this time I opted for hanging Kino Flo’s from the ceiling, skinned with #250 diffusion.  The client specified they wanted a very nice pool of even soft lighting. For all you grip fans out there, here is my advice for hanging Kino’s from drop ceiling situations. I originally was going to use a scissor clamp, since that’s what they are designed for, but upon my pre-light day to test these out, I discovered not all drop ceilings are treated equally. The scissor clamps did not fit on these ceilings. I opted to mount baby plates on some 1×6 boards and slide them on top of the frame by removing the panel. A much better solution since the weight is now distributed over two of the frame bars, instead of just one. This worked out beautifully. It also keeps the head a few inches taller in frame, which was critical for these low ceilings.

Baby plates mounted to 1x6 boards

Our stage 10

Next, we went to a studio situation. Well, this is even better for control if you have the option. We had a rather large shot list to try and get as many points of view as we can with these scenarios. Shooting on a large cove would allow this. I wanted to surround the talent in the tables with soft light on all sides. We mounted several heads on speed rail for the cove walls, and punched in 4 more heads through a large silk for the foreground. This worked out beautifully. The only trick was to keep adjusting the power output for the narrow depth of field shots (F4) to wider depth of field shots to around an (F11). Assistant Hugh did a fine job sprinting around the cove to adjust power settings though.

Notice the jib for the camera. Certainly not necessary for a still shoot, this is for the smooth flowing video shots. Although, since we were constantly changing angles and heights, it was great to be able to do that on the fly with the jib, as oppossed to re-adjusting the tripod legs all day.

We were able to shoot at the swanky Quixote Studios in Los Angeles. Right next door, were the standing sets for Criminal Minds. Great fun to go explore their sets since they were on location

Wacky Stephanie doing her thing

Hugh doing his thing????

Wardrobe stylist Annett

How the talent get pampered on set

Results of some pampering

Beautiful model

Client and crew shot

Thank you Learning Tree!  Looking forward to next time.

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Canon C300

Early this month, Canon announced their new, much-anticipated Cinema EOS C300 video camera. Some of its key features are a Super 35mm size sensor, 12-stops of dynamic range, on-board 50 Mbps recording to CF cards and HD-SDI outputs. The camera comes in two versions, one with a Canon EF mount and the other with a PL mount. The sensor is 4K (3840 x 2160) in resolution, with a unique color pattern that produces a very clean 1920×1080 signal. From early testing of the camera, they find no rolling shutter artifacts, moire issues, or other problems found on HDSLR camera sensors. The sensor has a native ISO of 850 and produces a clean signal all the way up to 20,000 ISO, giving amazing low light performance. And in the case that you have too much light, the camera also has built in ND filters.

The body of the camera is something in-between a video camera and an SLR. It is light, compact and designed to be handheld, with a detachable hand grip that can control the camera. . The camera’s 4″ LCD screen and audio interfaces are also detachable. The LCD screen attachment can be positioned in many different locations and rotated for better viewing. It also features full menu control, audio control and two XLR inputs. The LCD unit connects to the camera with two cables, giving it a lot of placement flexibility. The rear of the camera also has a small LCD panel, which features camera status info such as frame rate, shutter and ISO. Dials on the back of the camera and hand grip can quickly switch through these settings.

The camera has two CF cards slots and records in the same format as the XF305 and 105 cameras. This is a 50 Mbps 422 8-bit MPEG2 compression. Video can be recorded to either card, or both at the same time for redundant recording. Video resolutions and frame rates include 1920×1080 at 23.98p, 29.97p and 59.94i fps. Additionally, a true 24p mode is available for those doing film outputs. In 1280×720 mode, frame rates from 1-60p are also available for slow motion. All of these signals can be sent out over HD-SDI or HDMI, which gives you an uncompressed 8-bit signal. The camera also has genlock, timcode, and LANC connections for multi-cam operation and remote control. A WiFi port is also available, and with an additional accessory you can control the camera with a tablet.

Internally, the camera has a host of impressive functions including full painting controls for scene files. Many different gamma modes are available including one that matches Canon’s HDSLRcameras, as well as a Canon Log mode for the most dynamic range (learn more about Canon Loghere). Setting can be saved to an SD card, and moved between cameras. A waveform and vector scope are also built in for adjusting exposure and color.

Canon also has announced several new lenses that are geared for cinema use. These lenses have the same wide aperture as found in Canon’s L series still lenses, and will also come in their EF lens mount. They feature the smooth gearing that cinematographer demand for pulling focus and iris. Here are the three lenses announced, note the low T stop:

  • Canon Prime Lens 24mm T1.5
  • Canon Prime Lens 50mm T1.3
  • Canon Prime Lens 85mm T1.3

Canon’s zoom lenses announced at NAB will also be made available in EF mount. The zooms go from 14.5-60mm T2.6 and 30-300mm T2.95-T3.7 and should be available in the first quarter of next year.

The C300 is the first camera in Canon’s new Cinema EOS line.  The C300 EF and PL should be available in January with a list price around $20,000

Now for the kicker, the C300 will be available in January with a list price around……….$20,000    

A far cry from the 5D Mkll in around $2,500. You can’t really compare the two I suppose, two different beasts.

*Thank you AbleCine for the technical breakdown. www.ablecine.com

Now is it just me, or does the shape feel like it coming back to the classic 16mm film camera that’s been around for ages,the Bolex H16

Bolex h16

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BritWeek 2011

Okay, I’m really getting bad on keeping up with this blog. The last couple of months have been really busy shooting, so I guess I don’t sit down here as often as I should.

One of the things I love about this business if the mix of things I get to shoot. Over the last several weeks I ‘ve been shooting for a large medical client, an international high-tech company and for BritWeek. They all are so different in their photo needs. Below are some images from the BritWeek 2011 events. Soooooo different then my normal commercial clients where I have total control of what I’m shooting. This shooting brings me back to my roots, of really trying to get the story telling images as they unravel, and I better be quick. Lighting is always a challenge at these events, as you can see, the lighting I’m dealing with is often extremely dark, which adds to the challenge. Thank god for these newer DSLR’s where I can kick up the ISO to incredible levels, i..e 6400 sometimes, otherwise there is no shot at all. Yes you might get a little noise, but honestly that doesn’t bother me so much. Finding the story telling image is way more important then a little noise.

These images of Seal onstage were just a kick to shoot, due to how I was practically on stage with him. What a performer!!

Enjoy, and I hope not to wait so long in between posts.


Seal and British Consul General enjoying a concert

American Idol finalist Lauren Alaina

American Idol top 6

Actress Minnie Driver

Actress Amelia Jackson-Gray

Actress Amelia Jackson-Gray

Singer/songwriter Daniel Bedingfield

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I was really pleased to be able to shoot one of the iconic hotels in Los Angeles , The Beverly Hilton. This hotel opened in 1955 by Conrad Hilton with great fanfare as you can see from the video above. Merv Griffin took over owner ship of the hotel from 1987 until 2003. So much history has passed through those front doors. Now days, the hotel is most known as the home of The Golden Globes for the past 35 years.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that when Zsa Zsa Gabor and Conrad Hilton were married, Zsa Zsa always traveled with her poodle. On one of their many trips, the couple went to Chicago where the manager of the hotel (a Hilton of course) informed them that dogs were not allowed – and there would be no exceptions, even for the wife of the founder. Apparently this situation turned into a learning experience for the hotelier. When he opened his flagship property, The Beverly Hilton, dogs were allowed from the first day – making it one of the first pet-friendly hotels in the United States.

After several scouting trips, I knew we need to do some extensive lighting and compositing as you can see from some early scouting shots of the front.

Sun Seeker App in use!

Existing fountain lighting

I think we're going to need some lighti

Always enjoy putting our heads together with my clients

To view more of my Hotel and Resort work, visit:  www.rexgelertproductions.com

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Okay, I love golf. I don’t play near enough! So, it was a little frustrating this week when I was shooting a video project for Callaway Golf at their test center, and I didn’t hit one golf ball all day! Geez, you might as well drag me through a chocolate store, and not let me get a peanut cluster!
Minus that little frustration, we had a good time shooting a couple of the key people at Callaway as they talked about the development process of new clubs. it’s really amazing, the art and science behind making of a golf club.

Thanks gang!

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I had another shoot with two of my long time clients, Cathy and Julia . I’ve been shooting with them for many years, and we ALWAYS have lots of laughs together. This shoot was no exception, although, the client, BARD Biopsy Systems handles issues that are not a laughing matter, breast cancer. We hired 50 extras to portray a great concept that my client came up with. Take a look at these shots before the final image to see if you can guess where we were going with all these people.

Why are we standing here like this?

The life of an extra

Andrea keeping up with the 50 models

Lets move the girl in pink over a bit

The client having some laughs with creative team of Cathy and Julia

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Last week I was fortunate enough to witness this amazing piece of music played by two extraordinary musicians. We are working on a video for a client that had this piece of music commissioned for him as a gift to his wife, WOW, makes us mere mortals something to live up to right? This video is a small clip from the rehearsal performance.  I played in orchestras, and bands all through my school years, but I can’ t imagine playing this. The marimba player, (Ji Hye Jung, amazing talent)  has to read two lines of music , hitting 4 notes simaltaniously with her mallets. Watch the speed of this close up. The violin player ( Catherine Leonard ) you’ll hear in the background has just as a difficult part.

I’m posting this as a point to the appreciation of another art form other then photography or video. You have to appreciate this talent.

See video clip below:

Marimba sheet music

If you’re interested in the two artitist discussing this piece with the creative director of CamerataPacifica, check this link out on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uTJufaOXZg

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NAB 2010 gadgets

I just got back from a couple days at NAB in Las Vegas. I wanted to share with you some of my findings.

There were two very prominent topics in this years NAB show, and they were everywhere:


On the 3D side, I went to the Panasonic booth for their 3D experience. I really wasn’t all that impressed. I just don’t feel like the steroscopic 3D is quite there. I had a slight headache watching some of the footage. Things will be changing in this arena very fast though.

Before I get to DSLR film making, I wanted to mention the other hot topic of , online content.  Online content is king. We all know about the advent of the online magazines and the devices that read them, I’ve mentioned this several times on older posts. With the release of Apple’s ipad, that topic is hotter then ever. One major problem is that Mr. Jobs over at Apple doesn’t want to play nice. He seems to be playing strong arm with the content creators, device manufactures and software developers. It’s “my way or the high-way” type of mentality. It’s quite frustrating on a lot of levels. The big issue especially for me is the non-compatibility of Flash on his new baby. We want full feature content on the ipad, including motion graphics and video. The problem is most of that content for web is Flash based.

I had a talk with a person at The New York Times booth about their introduction of the NY Times online version that will be readable through their Times Reader software powered by Adobe Air. They are very excited about it, as well they should be. Although, for the time being we won’t be able to view the full features of this site with our new ipad. That’s a shame because that’s excactly why we want the ipad.
You know there are developers in their offices, workshops and basements all over working on this issue of ipad compatibility.
I did run into one company at NAB that was working on just this.
They are simplifying the publishing of mobile video assets for ALL devices, INCLUDING the ipad. I am going to be learning a lot more about this company in the coming months. Stay tuned for more on this in coming posts.

Here are a few of my favorite booths and speakers from the show.

It was great to have hands on experience with a lot of the manufactors of the tools I will be using in the DSLR film making side of things.

The first is Red Rock Micro, they make the rigs that make it much easier to turn our 35DSLR ( Canon 5d MK11) into a very viable film making camera:

The cinema bundle with follow focus control
The brand new remote control follow focus, WITH YOUR IPHONE!

Redrock Micro remote follow focus with YOUR IPHONE

Another leader in the DSLR rigs and gear is Zacuto:

Zacuto DSLR rigs and viewfinders

Viewfinders and rigs for the DSLR

Here’s a new jib / slider combo rig I really like by Porta Jib. To be able to have a two-in one device like this could be very useful on a lot of shoots. You normally would need two different rigs for this application.

Slider and Jib all in one, “Sweet”

Porta Jib Explorer:

As far as favorite speakers, I would have to give that to Shane Hurlbut. Shane is a veteran cinematographer shooting for major motion pictures that has made a mid-career change to shooting very high level films with the DSLRs, specifically Canon’s 5 and 7 D’s.

Beautiful work and a very entertaining energetic guy, way to go Shane.


Another great presentation was from Alex Buono, Director of Photography for NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Alex is in charge of shooting all of the pre-show titles, new talent intros and mock commercials for the show. He showed us a reel of all the latest work he just shot for the show, all on the 5D and 7D. Those motion shots from the top of the taxi cab at the beginning of the show, 5D!  This camera is really changing the world of cinema.

See some of it here: http://www.dslr-cinematography.com/news/2009/9/29/saturday-night-live-shoots-canon-7d-and-5d-mark-ii.html

Stay tuned for my new demo reel, I’m all pumped up!

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Olympic Fever

Okay, I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, I’m not sure where the time has gone. Oh, I know, I’ve been glued to the Winter Olympics. I love this spectacle every four years, well two, when you go from summer to winter Olympics. I must say that the winter, kicks some butt over the summer version in my mind. Where else can you see a person flying down a hill on two thin slats of wood (or some other composite) over 90 miles per hour. It’s INSANE, and I love it. The human interest stories of the athletes is as compelling as the action sometimes.

When I was going to college for my photography many years ago, my first passion was photojournalism, and if I could have been shooting for Sports Illustrated, all the better. Okay, if National Geographic called back then, I wouldn’t have denied their call either.

I have posted images from the Boston Globes Big Picture before, but it’s worthy of another.

This looks like it could have been a setup commercial shot. Great shot.

The Big Picture is one of my favorite blogs to follow.


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