Saturday, March 14, 2015

Working atop the Skyjack Lift

On March 10, 2015 the body of the fallen soldier Sgt. Andrew Joseph Droin was repatriated to Canada. Although this time it was a full Canadian military funeral, the family preferred to keep media away. Therefore all of us were kept behind the fence during arrival.

Media kept behind the fence at the CFB Trenton during Sgt. Andrew Joseph Droin's body arrival. Photo by Mark Blanchard, Global TV.

For this live pool camera assignment, Mark Blanchard, Global TV, arranged for the Skyjack lift. Obvious advantage would be staying high and filming above the fence. But there were the problems too.
Selfie from up above. The signal has been tested. Ready to go.

The first one: if the cameraman is afraid of height, it does not look like a good idea.

The second one is work safety. Working with the Skyjack requires using harness, safety vest and some training. One would have to know the do's and dont's of how to stay safe and sound, and naturally - the ways to operate the lift. The controls are up above with the cameraman. I had to bring myself down safely. There is also a danger in placing the lift on the working road, next to the traffic. Sizable vehicle losing control and jamming into the lift could possibly knock it off. Nasty.

The Skyjack lift parked on the side of the road for the live signal of the repatriation ceremony at CFB Trenton. Photo by Mark Blanchard, Global TV.
The third one, the most important for the broadcasters: the higher the platform, the less steady it is. The wind, the traffic, the cameraman's breath shakes the platform. And it shows, especially when filming with the telephoto lens.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stock face

I have to warn you: the picture below is not mine. I mean the face is not mine, and I have not taken the photo. The face has a powerful smile and strong potential for the stock image.

The framed commercial is placed inside the public washroom in Montreal. I wonder if the models think of where their likeness may appear after they sign it off.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another Way to Screw Up Your Lens

Looking for the so called "vintage look" seemed to have become a trend lately. Basic idea is simple - stay away from the L-series lens, or anything that cost you more than $10. The quest for clean and sharp photograph has reversed.

And we seem to have an answer to almost Prince Hamlet's question - the prime or the zoom? It does not matter. The sink drain will do.

Jeff Carter is trying to do just that - adding a piece of plumbing to the front element.

On the other hand one has to admit that this is exactly how the photography had started - with a pin hole in the barn wall. So here we go again, running in circles. Trying to be creative.

I have to admit that long time ago I tried to use medium format magnifier lens with the 35 mm camera myself, but decided against it exactly because of the "trash" look it gave to the images.

So cheers to the home made optics engineering! My verdict though is that the cheap lens look and the vintage look are not the same.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Turn Your $1000 Lens into a $10 Lens

Gone are the times when the photographers longed for fast expensive lenses. Nowadays creative hack can turn decent iPhone photo into a revolting Polaroid-like square with few button clicks.

So if you happened to buy a prosumer DSLR and (god forbids!) a L-lens, you can still make you images look like crap by wrapping the front element into piece of plastic.

The advice and the photo are borrowed from here:

Monday, July 29, 2013

1950 Packard Eight

This beautiful bird was sitting on the top of the hood of another beauty in its own.

This is a 1950 Packard Eight, a show car presented last week at the Racetracks Car Show.

I carried two cameras on me that day - Canon G1 X for generic and wide shots and Canon 5D2 with Canon 100 mm 2.8 lens for details.

I will let you guess which shot was taken with what camera/lens.

And please see entire 1950 Packard Eight series in larger format.