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The Importance of Quality DSLR Audio: RODE VideoMic GO Review

Jared Polin February 9, 2014 Comments Off

When RODE announced their latest consumer oriented microphone the VideoMic GO I was pretty amazed that it was priced at only $99. As more and more photographers venture into shooting video they quickly realize the importance of quality audio.

Now with the VideoMic Go quality audio does not have to be overly expensive. I recently took this microphone out for a spin to a friends concert.

Brian Marsella is a world famous pianist who creates unbelievable sounding music. His show was the perfect opportunity for me to give this microphone a spin.

The setup is very simple. Place the microphone in the hot shoe, run the single cable to the camera and boom, you are almost ready to record. There are no settings to switch or futz with on the microphone itself, it is simply one cable. On top of no buttons there is no need for separate batteries as the mic gets all it’s power from the camera.

The next step is one of the most important when it comes to capturing solid audio at concerts or in any situation for that matter. You have to set your levels properly. Sure you could leave the audio levels on auto and let the camera do the work. But the results you get tend to leave a little to be desired.
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POSTMAN FRO Said Let There Be Light: F&V Lighting

Jared Polin February 8, 2014 Comments Off

Since coming back from Vegas and doing our first mobile RAWtalk I have been on the search for portable lighting. I want something that is powerful, easy to travel with and affordable. I think I may have found the solution I have been looking for.

I got turned on to F&V Lighting by Todd Wolfe who has been directing music videos, feature films and my FroKnowsPhoto Guides. F&V has a panel system that is light, portable and powerful.

Postman FRO brought a bunch of new toys from them to my door for me to play with. Over the next few months I will be testing out the gear to see first if it is quality and second if it is simple and easy to use.

My hopes are that these lights become my solution for making RAWtalks on the road as well as videos at Allens Camera. These light panels can run off of AC power as well as generic sony rechargeable batteries. I was told that I should get around 8 hours of power out of two batteries running each panel. To have such portable lasting power with bright ass lights is exactly what I am looking for.

I did a lot of research into F&V lighting and found out that for the past couple years they have been an OEM. For those who don’t know what that it is means they have manufactured lighting for other companies to put their name on it. My feeling has always been, if another company is willing to put their name on your OEM product than it must be quality and worth it.

For clarification they are not a sponsor and as of now the units they sent me are for me to test and then send back. If this changes and they let me keep the gear or they become a sponsor I will let you know.

Give them a check out at FVlighting.com

Screen Shot 2014 02 08 at 11.38.56 AM POSTMAN FRO Said Let There Be Light: F&V Lighting

Click here to read the video transcript

Jared Polin: Its postman fro with a package for you. Bing Bong. It’s your generic package. Hello. Anybody in there? I’ve got your package. Its postman fro with the generic package. Yeah. Oh my god it’s my generic package. What could it be? Yeah. It’s so amazing. Okay postman fro thank you alright. Oh I got so much stuff that I needed to help her today. Thank you postman fro for showing up today at my door with this big case. It’s almost a hard case.

Oh yeah smells like footlocker. Footlocker smell not like dirty foot. Anyway what is in this case is what we want to talk about. This is from F&V Lighting. That’s fvlighting.com. If you guys recall back to the froknowsphoto RAWtalk from Las Vegas we had no extra lighting that we traveled with, and I wanted to find a solution to travel with that would give us the lighting solution that I’ve already said three times. That would give us the solution that we were looking for to travel and have a lightning kit that would allow us to bring in our own light, and that’s exactly what F&V Lighting has supplied us with right here. I did my research. I found them as a company that makes LED panels, and they’re not terribly too expensive. This is part of the three LED panel set. This is a one by one, so it’s 12 inches by 12 inches. I believe it has 450 or so LEDs in here individual lights on the back here it has Anton Bauer plate which I didn’t even know what was. But I can attach an AC power adapter here or a battery plate because it uses a generic Sony battery that most video cameras use it. F&V sells for 19 bucks a pop so I put the plate on here, I’ll get anywhere from five to eight hours of life out of that which is pretty insane.

There’s a dimmer up here. You’ve got your power switch. So I want to travel with something like this. Three of these lights are going to put out enough light for us that it’s going to be just worth it for us to travel with. There’s also the diffusion panels right here. So we’ll figure out how to attach to those to the front, looks like there’s some screwy mic screwersin [Phonetic] [0:02:28] and really you also have fold up small light stands not very big, not very heavy. And the idea here is I’m not sure that we can travel with this case itself, but it is possible that I can get a pelican case that this whole thing fits in, or I can get a pelican case that we can take everything out of it and put it in so we can travel and check it underneath the airplane because that’s what we would love to do.

But I’m really looking forward to use these. These are the daylight version. They also make a tungsten version. I’m really looking forward to it because we want a solution and I think this could come in handy especially when I go to Allen’s Camera to make my video so that’s one thing they sent me. They also sent me this panel right here. This goes on top of your camera. So if you’re running and gunning and you need to get some extra light you could also have some an assistant hold it wherever they want. It takes I believe its six double As or you would get one of the rechargeable batteries, which I highly recommend doing. And then the last thing that they sent to try out is a ring light of LEDs with multiple – there it is. There’s all the LEDs. We have multiple diffusion panels on the front. It also is dimmable here on the back and takes a rechargeable battery. This one doesn’t take double As but I’m really thinking that this would be great for stills. You put your lens through here like this hold on, on the lens through here. This would be like ooh. And what it does to put is – puts the ring light around people’s eyes, which is pretty darn good.

So really, that’s a quick look at some of the F&V Lighting that postman fro brought. I highly suggest you check out F&V Lighting. They are not a sponsor, but maybe one day they will be if I decide that I like it, and they have some marketing dollars and we like it, but oh my God you could be like an airplane person or you could be like ooh, ooh, ooh you know like this one, but anyway, these are pretty cool. I’m like, and I think you guys would like to check out their stuff. Just take a look at the site fvlighting.com. Thank you postman fro Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, see ya.

Here, have one of my Matisyahu RAW Files to Edit.

Jared Polin February 6, 2014 Comments Off

CLICK HERE to download this RAW File.

A few months back I was asked to join Matisyahu in the studio to capture some candid images. I have not been able to share any of the images until they have been officially released.

Now that Matisyahu is using this image as the featured image and profile picture on his fan page I can share it with you.

Instead of just posting the final image with a watermark as a low res I decided to do something different. I am giving you all the RAW File to tweak edit and print any way you would like. Please keep in mind that I own this image and I am giving you permission to use for personal use only. Do not try to sell or put your name on the image.

Now that that is out of the way you are free to print and share this image as long as you give me credit and link back to my facebook or website.

How would you edit this file? What would you do that I didn’t do? Would you keep it Color or go Black and White?

CLICK HERE to download this RAW File.

Click Here to post the image in the Fro Forum.

12356096225 f843b535da Here, have one of my Matisyahu RAW Files to Edit.

I want to CRITIQUE Your Website: Rapid Fire Website Critique

Jared Polin February 5, 2014 Comments Off

Click Here to get your 14 day FREE Trail of Squarespace. If you decide to sign up for their service please use code “FROTUBE” to get 10% off your first purchase.

As a photographer your website is how you showcase your images to the world. Your choice of layout, design and images will impact how your photography is perceived.

If your site is not easy to navigate or confusing, people may not last long on it. If you have to many pictures, people may get bored and move on.

In this first Rapid Fire Website Critique I take a look at Graham Images. The design is simple and clean and pretty much easy to navigate. I think with some slight design and image choice tweaks that this site will become more effective.

If you would like to submit your website for a critique you can do so over on the website. Please use the same form as the AdoramaPIX Rapid Fire Critique.

How to NEVER Miss Your Focus For Self Portraits

Jared Polin January 31, 2014 Comments Off

Here is a quick tip for how to never miss your focus for a self portrait or video.

As you know I have been making videos for the past few years. But what many people don’t know is how in the world do I get my focus so dead on when I am making videos with myself.

Everything I am about to say will apply for self portraits or videos that you will shoot of yourself.

When I first started I would prefocus on the back of the chair. But there is a problem with that. Being that I used a very shallow depth of field when I would sit in the chair the focus would be off. Why would it be off you may be asking? It would be off because I in essence focused behind me and not where it should have been on me.

The simple way around this was to prefocus on something that would more closely replicate my body. The answer was the mannequin that you see in the video above.

So now when I am making videos and no one is around to help me get my focus, I simply prefocus on something and lock the camera down.