Welcome to Michael’s Blog!

Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist.


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Michael's 2016 International Photography Contest
 

08.27.16         contests  

Abstract/Texture Finalists - Vote for your favorite!



08.26.16         contests  

Animal Finalists - Vote For Your Favorite!



08.25.16         video  

Time-lapse Shows Incredibly Hard Work on a Stop-Motion Animation Set


I don't think it's hard to imagine the painstaking amount of work that would go into making a stop-motion animation movie. (Even just 10 years ago it was probably a lot more work.) Each movement has to be carefully planned, scripted, and shot frame by frame. It can take literally YEARS of planning before production can even begin.

This video shows a team working on the new stop-motion film 'Kubo and the Two Strings'. (The movie was released last week. It has some pretty big names but I haven't seen it.) It's incredibly physical and labor intensive. Even the set that just acts as a background looks like it took such detail and artistry to create. Pretty mind-blowing stuff. Check it out below.

I've also included the trailer so you can get an idea of what the finished product looks like.




08.24.16         photography  

How to become a better photographer through 'visual exercise' by Sean Tucker


This video is by London based photographer/videographer Sean Tucker. He offers some advice about how to incorporate 'visual exercises' into your daily life. I've always believed that the mark of a great photographer/videographer is pre-visualization. When you can visualize the shot you want before you even begin grabbing the gear. This exercise is really great for developing that skill.

We all love technical specs and new gear. It's undeniable, great gear is going to produce better images. However, you'll never get those shots that speak to people until you get back to the basics. Recognizing amazing light when you see it and being able to compose a compelling shot. Whether you care about the "art of photography" or not you want your images to grab people. Either for business or hobby. Learning how to "see things" is critical.

Check out the video below and let me know what you think below.


08.23.16         photography  

Canon Files Patent to Improve Micro Sensors for Better Edge Performance


The diagram above shows a recent patent submitted by Canon in an attempt to improve image quality around the edges of images. They're hoping to reduce coloration and vignetting problems.

It's all about the micro lenses on the sensors. This new design is supposed to help direct and shift straight angled light using convex and curved surfaces. The intention is to catch and process as much light information as possible to give us, the users, a better image (especially on the edges). If you're a technical person and enjoy the details you can check out the full patent application HERE.

via DP Review

08.22.16         fun!  

How to User the "Rubber Thingy" on Your Canon Camera Strap


This is a really fast tip that actually might come in handy if you like shooting at night. If you own a Canon camera and use their strap you may have wondered with the little rubber "thingy" on the strap is used for. It fits right into the slots on either side of the viewfinder to help prevent ambient light spillage when shooting long exposures at night.

" target="_blank">Bassam Sabbagh shared this simple but great tip so I'll be following Bassam's page to see what other great knowledge he has to share.



via DIY Photography



08.21.16         video  

Drew Geraci Uses the Prisma App with a Time-lapse


You may be familiar with the Prisma app. Many of your friends on social media are probably using it to give their images a cool effect likened to the art of Pablo Picasso.

Someone you may not be familiar with is Drew Geraci. He's the owner and DOP for District 7 Media. A pioneer of incredible time-lapse videos and according to his Vimeo page he's done work for such well-known TV/media broadcast as; "House of Cards, NFL Super Bowl 47,48 & 49 time-lapse intros, 2013 NFL Draft intro time-lapse shots, Corona Extra “Luna Corona” promo, PBS's Frontline, HBO Documentaries, and many other commercial productions." That's a pretty impressive resume.

Using a beautiful time-lapse video of China processed through the Prisma app he's created a visually unique and engaging story. Check it out below.


China: A Prisma Tale from Drew Geraci (District 7 Media) on Vimeo.


08.20.16         customer service  

Photographer Takes to YouTube About Sony's "Horrible Customer Service"


While nobody except the photographer knows for 100% certain what the camera has actually been through, this is an interesting video. Photographer/videographer Amir Zakeri says "Sony Customer Service is a Joke". Those are pretty strong words. So what went wrong?

Apparently after several months of use his camera would freeze in video mode. He sent it in for repairs and Sony first claimed water damage, then "corrosion". (Watch the video to see what they were calling corrosion.) On photography blogs and sites this has brought into question both Sony's quality and customer service. I personally have not had issues with either. Have any of you had a positive or negative experience with Sony?

Also - there's been an update and Sony has agreed to replace his camera after the video was posted.


08.19.16         photography  

Back Button Focus for Nikon by Mike Hagen


This video is floating around all the major photography blogs/sites. If you've ever purchased one of my tutorials or watched any of my videos you know I'm all about efficiency. (I'm even writing a book about it.) I thought this video by Mike Hagen explaining why he thinks back button focus for Nikon is more efficient was pretty compelling. While this is not a technique I regularly use I think some shooters, specifically sports shooters, may find it really useful.

While lower end Nikon's don't have this particular feature, don't worry he shows us how to create a setting to copy the same technique to achieve same result.

Check it out below.



08.18.16         tutorial & training videos  

Throwback Thursday: Aperture Lesson


Understanding and knowing lens aperture sizes is critically important to being to the best and most creatively free photographer you can be. Below is one of my classic photography lessons on apertures sizes. You can use it as a useful guide if you're just learning about aperture or if you need a refreshers course on it.

This is from the "intermediate section" of my online photography school (I offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced - all for free). You can check it out HERE as well as print "homework" and visit my other helpful links and resources.


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