Short film about the life of a Crossfit Box Owner.Read More
The 2015 Untied Way of Scotland County's Womanless Beauty Pageant!Read More
Memories are so important to capture. Perhaps the most important investment you can make!Read More
Moore County Chamber of Commerce produces an awesome, annual event known as the Culinary Showcase, which is held at The Pinehurst Resort! We recently captured the event and was blown away by participation from local vendors, sponsors and the community!Read More
Crossfit has always seemed to receive negative light for injuries. So one must ask, how and why do people get injured. That is exactly what we discuss!Read More
New Ability That Photographers Don't Want You To Know About!
I know this post will cause many of my photo friends to criticize me and be all butt-hurt. But honestly I think most of them will agree that photography has been a dying biz for some time now. Everyone with a smartphone and editing app thinks they're photographers. It shows in a lot of work I come across in my daily business life. Not to mention there are so many willing to do so much now for soooo much cheaper than others, just to make a dollar. Putting a crippling value on those who are actually VERY talented in their craft.
However, there is another side of photographers and especially videographers who understand that tech is every changing. Some embrace it, while others swear to never let go of the past and insist on holding on the "good ole days". Such as when digital came out and many swore it would never take off (how's that going?)...
There has long been the argument by photographers and videographers of what is the most important type of media you should have at your wedding. Photographers obviously say photos are most important. Videographers say video is the most important (and we all know video is, lol). Traditionally, photographers have always been the first vendors (outside of the venue and/or planner) to be hired. I know because we are often the last venue to get called. Wedding films most often seems to be an afterthought after a majority of the budget has been spent. Leaving unfortunate brides scrambling to wheel and deal to find someone to simply record the wedding (note the record word... Not to be confused with film).
Though photography has always reined as the media of choice for almost all weddings I have to agree that if you can afford and/or find a TRUE ARTISTIC Photographer, who knows true lighting techniques, and when to take the picture, (instead of a continuous shooting fanatic who is shooting like they are using a .50 cal machine gun), you are in store for some wonderful photography.
But if a photo is worth 1000 words, a great wedding film is worth a million! There is nothing like watching a well put together highlight of your wedding day! Plain and simple. I'm not talking about an over the top Hollywood Trailer (though they are nice for social media and marketing) I am talking about a highlight film (also by shot an artist) that showcases the trueness of the day. The love between the bride, groom and family. One that when you watch it, all the memories, feelings and even smells you forgot come rolling back!
But now brides don't HAVE to chose one of the other and/or two vendors! They can get ONE vendor to do both!
Something New Is Out!
There are camera's that are shaping the video and photo industry at the prosumer level. The Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S (Click Here For My Sony Review In The Works)! These cameras shoots 4k resolution video mode! The GH4 shoots 4k internally, the A7S shoots 4k to an external recorder! While the tech specs may not interest clients, it defiantly will interest wedding and event media vendors. Previously to get photos out of video that were printable, you had to use a very high end Red Cinema Camera that cost 10's of thousands. Not with the GH4 and A7S. Both have their ups and downs but viewing a vendors work will always show the quality!
Pros -vs- Cons
While new equipment is great, there are still con's!
The Perfect Moment!!! When a photographer is taking a photo, they are shooting one shot and are even in continuous shooting, they are limited by the speed of the camera. But, while shooting video, we get 24, 30, 60 and up to 120 frames per second (most film in 24 or 30). Which means we can chose the most perfect "micro moment" or "micro expressions" to freeze and export! For example, the first kiss... While the kiss is "The Kiss", its most often the moments right before the lips touch, while they are reaching out, awaiting contact, that say's ALL the photo needs to say! So with video, as long as the camera is rolling and the film captures it, the artist can grab the PERFECT MOMENT most photographers miss!
While shooting 1080p you could get away with only using the photos digitally and/or printing smaller than a 4x7, but with 4k video now, you can print larger and still hold image quality!
You will only need to hire one GOOD videographer / cinematographer who understands how to shoot for both and who can produce both products with great quality and vision!
Potentially Less vendors running around your event and stumbling over one another! This also leads to only dealing with ONE vendor for media instead of two. Making the initial stage of hiring and the end process of receiving your media easier!
While some vendors won't turn away clients because they will loose money, keep in mind that not every video vendor can shoot both! Shooting film with photos in mind requires a film artist to know their equipment and limitations. It also requires them to think like a photographer at times when if comes to shutter speeds other technical specs! Just make sure the vendor you are trying talking to can show products you are asking for! Proof is always in the pudding if you will!
Lighting for video and photos are different. Now if you only plan on using a "natural light" photographer (typically those who don't care to learn how to use a flash or money for HDMI or other continual lighting...) then this won't matter. But for those who want perfection and creativity in lighting then this is a con you need to know.... Video typically uses continuous lighting as photographers typically flash like the paparazzi at events. While most modern videographers / cinematographers don't use lighting (in most situations) due to equipment they use, you are going to miss technical lighting flash offers, unless you want a bright light continuously lurking around the rooms of your reception (not cool).
Another miss is the RAW format you get with todays cameras. RAW images allow you amazing control in post editing. The two new cameras released that shoot in 4k, don't film in RAW format. Show while they can make amazing photos from video they, won't have the editing ability RAW images offer. But honestly, you can edit the jpg files you pull from the video to still look amazing!
Not all vendors can produce both... While many may think they can or may promise they can, not all can. This is something new to not only photographers, but videographers as well! It's imperative your vendor understands the tech side so they don't produce fuzzy photos due to poor shutter speed selection. So this is not a tech for mom and pop or uncle Willie! lol
Staging or Posing is an art! Photographer do this often, way more than most videographers I have come across. So if you want the traditional photos of family and friends in cool poses, it may not happen depending on the creativity of the vendor. Trust me, posing can be very difficult to master and you know bad posing when you see it!
Well trained and knowledgeable videographers can do this with 1080p footage. You just simply won't be able to print very much. But if you are leaving the photos digital for online use or thumb drive storage, it doesn't matter. I just beg that clients keep in mind there are vendors who can do this, just make sure they have the creative vision and knowledge to shoot both!
There is ever changing tech in our field. We don't know what tomorrow holds. However, I firmly believe that photos are dwindling away and one day video will be even more amazing and this will be the way most will capture still frames as memories!
While this technique may not be for every client, it is a very real, viable options for all!
And, it's something we recently started doing!!! lol So if you need us, you know what to do! We travel all over NC, SC, the USA and the world!!
Contact Us @ www.nFocusPictures.com
We have recently been involved in a lot of Crossfit events as well as filming smaller commercial shoots for their gyms (In the Crossfit world a gym is a "Box").
Crossfit is simply the most rigorous exercise program I have ever come across! I have lifted, done cardio via running, cycling, etc. I have been around the block in terms of average everyday fitness. But I can tell you, Crossfit is not average! I did Crossfit back in 2005 before Crossfit became what it is today. I fell out of training for a long time for one reason or another (excuses really) and since I have started coming back around, I can quickly see that Crossfit is BOOMING! The workouts are serious, but the camaraderie and benefits are simply better than any other fitness club out there!
Think about it... You go to the gym... Perhaps you have a partner that you stay on a routine with. Perhaps you don't. Maybe your partner shows up most of the time, maybe they don't. Maybe you are the partner that never shows up! Either way, Crossfit isn't like that. Everyone does the same workout in time slots the gym designates. For example a gym may have mooring workouts at 7AM and 8AM. An afternoon workout at 11am and 12PM. Then the evening workouts at 5PM, 6PM, and 7PM. They call these workouts WOD's (work out of the day). So all the people who show up, show up with the intent to work out! Everyone pushes each other. Everyone is constantly motivating you. They have coaches that walk the floors during the WOD and help with technique and motivation. And since everyone is doing the same workout, there is a natural push to do more, be better and go faster than those beside you! After a WOD, there are typically discussions among those who just completed the WOD, about the workout and individual success and/or failure. But the environment is simply amazing! It is a community workout at its best and I could go on and on about it and its structure, how to do it, how it works above the local gym level, etc. We have all heard about the Crossfit Games. If not, research it and be AMAZED! It leaves the most fit people wondering if they are actually even close to fit. Honestly they are probably not even close to the competitors at the level of the games. But you can watch some film on it and judge for yourself. It's mind blowing. However, there are people out there that say Crossfit isn't this or that. Those people simply can't believe they wasted all their time only lifting. Those are the same people who probably skip leg days in the normal gyms. lol... But I don't think, no matter what side of the fence you are on, you can argue the shear tenacity of the workouts in Crossfit gyms.
On To The Media Work!
Like I said, we have been filming and recently started doing photographs at events held by a few boxes around us in NC and SC. It is so awesome to apart of these events and environments as people work together. Here is some of the recent work we have done.
These photographs are from a recent event held at Crossfit Ft Bragg located in Spring Lake, NC. Below that is also their "About Us" film we created for them!
Here is another short. It is a testimonial film we created for another Crossfit box in Myrtle Beach, SC called Breakers Crossfit!
This is not a tech spec review! This is simply my review of this gear and what I have experienced with this camera. There is a lot of info that will be posted here that others won't post. There will be lots of stuff not posted here that others will post. lol... But I am sure if you are looking to buy this camera, my perspective will def help with your decision!
Enjoy as I post now and keep posting about this cam as I use it more and more.
Sooo.... We decided to hold of on the Panasonic GH4 and go with the Sony A7S after stepping away from Canon gear as our usual everyday shooting gear. (4K Coming Soon)!!! There is A LOT to talk about and I don't have a great deal of time today so I am going to be doing a revolving review as I get more and more comfortable with this new gear.
1st... Let me say to move away from one camera system I am so familiar with to a whole new system is mind blowing. This camera has more buttons than the space station it seems like compared to many other cameras and especially since I was so use to using Canon gear, breaking out of my comfort zone has been a definite change. Not a bad one, but a change none the less. When I first saw the A7S I said, 'This thing has a freaking keyboard wrapped around it"! It does have a number of buttons, but after a few days of playing around with it, I am starting to get it!
What I immediately notice about the A7S is the body. Its slim, sleek design makes it seem like a consumer sized camera body. But its no doubt built well and buttons seem to be strong and built with durability in mind.
Speaking of buttons.... From what I have read about the A7S, it was designed with video and low light in mind (S means sensitivity), but if it was meant for video, they put the tinniest button on this thing to start and stop recording... The button isn't located on the main top right or top right front either, it is located on the right side of the camera. Not such a bad deal if you use the monitor to film, but starting and stoping from that button using its AMAZING EVF would be cumbersome. But no big deal, just seems a bit misplaced.
SDXC, Class 10, UHS-1.... Do no be fooled into thinking a SDHC will work for every feature on this camera. It won't. If you want to use the 50mbps, XAVCS format, you will need SDXC. Nothing worse than trying to set up the camera for testing and being told the SDHC chip I had wouldn't support the format I wanted....
This thing is awesome! Its clear with high contrast 2.4 million dot XGA, OLED and just awesome!. However you can't frown on the display in daylight either! Its the same way! This picture taken with my iPhone 5S doesn't even come close to how clear and crisp this EVF is!
It has a sensor just above it that turns the back display off when you put your face (or hand) against the viewfinder. Thought the sensor hasn't really caused any issues yet, I can see how it could be for some.
So Sony allows you to download its Apps using its PlayMemories Camera Apps Store to this camera and I am sure this isn't the first camera Sony has allowed you to do this with, but its the first camera I have done it with! They don't have a ton of them you can download, but it is pretty cool to have that ability. I recently purchased the time-lapse app to test it. This particular app has presets for time-lapse situations you may want to use. Such as sunrises, sets, etc... You can manually adjust the presets so that is pretty awesome! The presets seem to be fairly accurate with the way I have done a few before, but what I don't like about them I can change manually.
They also have an app called remote that will allow me to use the A7S with my iPhone as the remote. It will also send images to my iPhone in files sizes up to 2MB's directly. It will also connect to my computer using a Wifi network to transfer files! Awesome stuff! But check out the apps! I have no doubt many many more will come!
I can say without a doubt this camera produces some amazing footage just from what I have seen in the short few days I have had it. It is a very clean HD image! I first used the S-Log profile in my initial handling of this camera to see exactly what it did as I have read soooo much about it. It looked stunning in terms of range! The blacks looked awesome! I am not a great color grading editor but some of the preset I added to it from FCPX made this footage stand out! It also has its own feel to it... Not like the Canon image you get... As awesome as the footage from Canon DSLRs are, this footage is better in my eyes. Just seems cleaner, more crispy feeling. And this is with the Sony F4 24-70mm Zeiss glass. So not even a prime lens! Thats encouraging! But I haven't played too much yet with the profiles as of yet! I will share when I do get some footage put together!
This camera has picture profiles. Don't confuse it with picture effects. Like Canon has C-log for the C100 and others, this camera features S-Log. Known as PP7 in the picture profile menu. Below are what the Picture Profiles are and what they are called!
PP1: Example setting using [Movie] gamma
PP2: Example setting using [Still] gamma
PP3: Example setting of natural color tone using the ITU709 gamma
PP4: Example setting of a color tone faithful to the [ITU709] standard
PP5: Example setting using [Cine1] gamma
PP6: Example setting using [Cine2] gamma
PP7: Example setting using [S-Log2] gamma
So I took this camera out with the Sony Carl Zeiss FE 4/24-70 and did a few still with it in standard mode. The images are awesome! They are clear, crisp and the color is amazing straight from the camera!
Also, while the camera does say you can get 12MP out of a photo, let it be known that you must be in RAW to get those 12MP's. The highest end jpeg you can get is 10MP.
Photo and video auto focus is pretty dog-on good. It is fast as anything but I would say you can get it on the first try 75% of the time and getting the Green Conformation square is key to success as expected. But getting that square isn't always so easy. I had the settings set for center focus all day.
As far as video auto focus, this camera will make you lazy.. lol.... I found myself trusting the camera more and more during a commercial shoot. It is so nice to be able to point the camera, auto focus and hit the record button. Then to shift focus, point in the direction you want to shift your focus to, hit the auto focus mode and it SMOOTHLY shifts focus to your new target. The camera makes the transition amazingly! Like I said it takes some time to learn and get use to perfecting the art of it, but its an amazing feature I have missed from Canon gear. Not to mention the OSS the Sony lens provides makes hand holding an actual option to use!
I was honestly, honestly, excited to be using the camera on my last shoot. And found myself still excited about it after the shoot! I even sent a text to another shoot and told him I was done with Canon! lol...
I will post more about the video and camera later as I get the commercial shoot edited. I will also share some more photos.
Time-Lapse with the Sony A7S
While out and about on a mini family vacation/ commercial shoot, I decided to test out the capability of the time-lapse app that you can download from the Sony camera app store online. After struggling for a bit to let go of what I thought I knew about photo time-lapse, I let the app do the time-lapse in 24p instead of stills. The results are mind blowing! I had to adjust some of the settings as the presets didn't take a shot as often as I thought needed. The clouds where I was for the Super Moon (July 12, 2014) were moving way to fast to capture every 10 seconds like the night sky preset was set at. So I moved it to 3 secs and let it roll! I have seen some other reviews about how bad this app is... But I thought it was a breath of fresh air once I realized how to use it! Once you have selected the application you want to use, you can adjust setting of the time-lapse mode you selected. Then you can change to specifics while leaving the overall capture mode the same or even create a custom time-lapse from the menu.
Keep Checking In And See Updates! Feel Free To Ask Questions!
To View More Post Or To See Work From Us, Visit www.nFocusPictures.com!
What A Time In Film Tech!!!
This has been an exciting week for film and photography. The new Sony A7S is coming out July 1st that host a full frame, mirror less sensor with serious dynamic range and a ISO that reaches beyond 400,000... WOW. Talks of other cameras and future cameras are stirring up. Blogs are being fired up with lots of videos to show capabilities. It is most definitely and exciting time to be in this field!
Enters in the Panasonic GH4! This camera is turning heads! People are ditching their Canon full frame gear and selling out for this under $2k micro 4/3's sized sensor that shoots 4K footage internally. Other blogs report that Canon has expressed their lack of concern for the abilities they are willing to offer to consumers in this price range and the fact they not too long ago, released their version of a 4K cam that costs well over $5k, means they can't backtrack and eat their own product line.
It is crazy and its no different for us here at nFocus. We have ALWAYS, been Canon faithfuls and we will continue to use Canon's to shoot in certain situations, but we are also jumping ship in terms of staying with a company that hasn't really brought innovation, to small production since the release of the 5D Mk II (which was industry changing)!
Yes, we are purchasing the GH4's to add to our gear box. Some cinematographers and videographers are wondering why! For us the answer is simple! 4K! We feel this is going to revolutionize the product line we offer and the way we shoot our events! We can now send out a well trained videographer with a GH4 shooting 4K, who can cover let's say, a wedding. That cinematographer will come back with the video for the clients film, as well as some amazing frames we can pull photos out of directly from the 4K footage. 4K footage will leave you with a photo somewhere around 8 mega pixels. Plenty to use for digital display as well as some decent printing ability! In essence, we can now be the wedding videographer and offer a package of photos w/ the film!
4K brings a whole new detail to films. Check out this video review! There are blogs out there that show the comparison with footage from both the GH4 and Canon 5D MK III. Its actually worth watching to see. The GH4 has so much more detail and sharpness in some aspects that the full frame doesn't.
Noise isn't very attractive in most situations. To us anyways. Obviously a full frame sensor does well in low light; or at least better than a 4/3 sensor does as its sensor is bigger and gathers more light. 4/3 isn't well known for their low light ability. But with this camera, unless you are shooting in almost complete darkness with no lighting on camera, I happen to think it should be ok.
The 4/3's look is a bit different than that of the Canon we are used to shooting. One of my biggest concerns is losing the sharp, clean, image I have come to love with most of our films straight out of camera... However, I know with a little more skill in color grading, we can achieve close to the same look and feel as we are use too.
While we will still continue to use Canon gear for some situations, we will most likely be using the GH4 and building our stock in 4/3 lenses in hopes that the GH5 is even more awesome!
It also is a wonderful thing that micro 4/3 camera and lens sizes are drastically smaller. Which mean less to carry, which means more time to focus on the shoot and less about lugging around heave gear.
Another Pro that makes us, Happy Happy Happy is that fact that the Panasonic HD 2.8 lenses have O.I.S. which is something Canon lacks in most all of its L-Series Lenses!
While the GH4 is turning heads now... We can't wait to see what comes next!
To View More Post Or To See Work From Us, Visit www.nFocusPictures.com!
A three-time U.S. Open Site. A three-time winner of Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine’s Best Golf Resort in America award and home of the famous No. 2 golf course! It was also the location of the 2014 USGA Open!
But one secret about this location and venue you can't keep is about how beautiful the weddings are here! This venue is southern elegance and southern charm at its best! Located The Village of Pinehurst, there is a ton to do and a ton of ways to pamper yourself! Starting with The Spa at Pinehurst!
This venue also hosts an amazing rooms and lodging in The Carolina Hotel! From a Villa to a traditional room, you are sure to be pleased! Between The Carolina, The Holly Inn, The Manor, and The Condo's, there is plenty of room and plenty to chose from!
First class lodging is just one aspect of this amazing venue! Perhaps the first thing you will notice when you get on grounds is the staff! We are wedding videographers who have filmed all up and down the east coast from small churches to The Plaza Hotel in NYC. But NONE, have compared to the staff like that of this resort! They are ALL, always happy and helpful! Wether you are booking something, checking in, or simply asking direction they are always willing to help and always awesome!
From golf and lodging, relaxing at the spa and staff we turn to catering and the culinary staff... Yet another strength of this fine resort! In the weddings we have be so honored to be apart of here, we seen many styles and tastes. From hand carved meats and buffet styles to traditional service they can do it all at your request and no matter your request you are getting quality food and service!
There is a ton to choose from out of this venue! They have room after room and venue after venue to hold and host your event! But I wouldn't delay in booking them as your venue! The host an amazing amount of events each year! Thats not even including weddings!
For more information, check out their wedding page as well as some photos from previous weddings they have hosted!
Below are a few stills of our own from the clients film that we previously filmed there! Yes we can pull amazing photos from our videos!