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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04.29.16         instagram  

Quick product photo shoot today with my sweet...

Quick product photo shoot today with my sweet friend Liz @cakepopinserts #canon80D with the 2470 2.8 Lii. This woman is the most prolific cake pop maker imaginable. She makes like thousands of them each month and ships them all over the US. The bear is chocolate and the cake pops are delicious.

04.29.16         contests  

Winner Announced for Michael's 2016 Great Gear Giveaway!

Congratulations to David J. of Boca Raton Florida! David is the winner of my 2016 Great Gear Giveaway! Thanks for the picture, David! We hope you enjoy your new gear!

Stay tuned to my blog and keep connected on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter) for all of my upcoming giveaway's and contests. Coming up next is my Annual International Photography Contest. Details are COMING SOON!

04.29.16         tutorial & training videos  

24 - 70 2.8 Sony G Master vs 24-70 2.8 Canon Lii Comparison

Many Sony E shooters have asked what are my thoughts on the new Sony 24-70 2.8 G Master as it compares against an adapted Canon 24-70 2.8 Lii? In this video I will present plenty of data and let you come to your own conclusions! Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel HERE if you want to see more lens comparisons.

Topics covered in this video:

- Bokeh
- Lens Flare
- Wide Angle Distortion
- Vignetting
- Chromatic Aberration
- Lens Sharpness
- Low Light Focusing

For Sports Shooting check out my Sony A6300 vs Sony 80D Epic Shootout by CLICKING HERE.
If you own the Sony A7Rii and want to save time, money, and frustration check out my Crash Course Training Tutorial to learn absolutely everything about this camera. CLICK HERE

04.27.16         tutorial & training videos  

Canon 80D Tutorial Crash Course Now Available!

UPDATE My Canon 80D Crash Course is now available for purchase by download worldwide: CLICK HERE for Michael's Canon 80D Tutorial Course
My Canon 80D arrived yesterday and I am already taking it through several tests and learning many interesting things. It turns out there is much more to it than the specs indicate and while there are no 4K video features, it has a robust focusing system not found on any other Canon Camera, this includes both for stills (sports shooting) as well as video. Basically all of the little weaknesses I saw in the 70D have been updated. A new 70D is still listed at about $1000, with the 80D coming in at $1200, I would say it is a no brainer to go for the 80D. Ill have more coming on this soon.

Other bells and whistles I am noticing:

- Built-in Intervalometer
- Multiple HDR modes (though I do not like any of them)
- Multiple Exposure Mode
- Headphone Jack
- Improved Low Light Focusing
- Improved Buffer Performance (though not as deep as the T6s/T6i surprisingly).

Ill have specific numbers coming on these as soon as I finish my actual focusing tests side by side in an actual shooting situation.

We expect the Canon 80D Crash Course Training video to be ready for download in about 2-3 weeks. Mid-Aprilish. The DVD should be ready sometime in May.

04.27.16         photography  

ISS Cinemagraphs So Beautiful It's Hard to Believe They're Real

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned an app called Flixel. It creates cinemagraphs and they were promoting it with Facebook and Fstoppers. (You could turn your FB profile picture into a cool cinemagraph for free. Check out that blog post HERE.) Cinematographer/Photographer Armand Dijcks did something very creative with some ISS images.

ISS (The International Space Station) floats around our earth capturing thousands of images for us to enjoy. Armand took some of those images and created truly incredible cinemagraphs.

Click HERE to check out the article where he explains the process for creating them. He also says he's likely to add to the series in the future so be sure to follow him HERE.

04.26.16         photography  

Technical Use of 'Painting With Light' for Product Photography

'Painting with Light' is an advanced photography lighting technique that can produce truly impressive results. I think a lot of photographers might view 'painting with light' as a sort of novelty. Something somebody does to just play around and create "cool images". I think this video might put that notion to rest.

Canadian photographer (I'm assuming a professional and commercial photographer based on his gear) Adrien Veczan uploaded this video to his Vimeo account giving us a behind-the-scenes look at his work on a bottle of Bear Hug vodka. He explains how and why he does what he does and shows how this technique might be the perfect option for product photography. He's very precise and the image comes out perfect.

If you're interested in learning how to 'paint with light' and many other advanced techniques I HIGHLY recommend my Advanced Photography Techniques Crash Course Training Tutorial. Check out HERE!

04.25.16         featured photographers  

Great Film Using "Vertigo" Effect

This short film was made by Tim Sessler of Brooklyn Aerials and Brandon Bray of Decade. It's produced by using drones and dramatic camera movements. Flips, turns, and the "Vertigo" effect, popularized by none other than master film director Alfred Hitchcock, create the dizzying tone of this film. The "Vertigo" effect is created in camera by zooming your lens while pushing (or dollying) the camera in. It's also called the "dolly zoom".

The short film is called 'Balance'. And the filmmakers note:

"We humans we create, we work, we stay busy from birth to death and never rest. We build, aim higher, work harder, accomplish more, and to what end? "Balance" takes an abstract look at our modern world, the full and the empty spaces and time in which we live and choose to make our lives."

Check it out below.

04.23.16         video  

Great 5 Minute Video on What Film Is

Films (movies) are an art form that have captivated audiences since their first introduction in the late 1800's. Although digital recording has gained massive popularity among major movie-makers (and has all but taken over still photography) some of the greatest directors of our time are still using film; Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, and Steven Spielberg to name a few.

But have you ever wondered; What is film? What is made of? How does it work? If you have, this short video is for you. The team at "What is....." (which appears to be a new YouTube channel as they've only uploaded this single video) offers a brief but surprisingly thorough explanation of what film actually is. Very interesting. Check it out below.

via PetaPixel

04.21.16         tutorial & training videos  

Sony A6300 vs Canon 80D Epic Shootout Review

These epic shootouts take 3-4 weeks to thoroughly test, analyze and put together, so when you guys like and share it is definitely a HUGE help and encourages me to keep making them. Its kinda funny, I always swear Ill never do them again, and but the response from you really encourages me to do it, so I am very thankful for your support.

What We Test & Review

- Similar Features
- Differences
- Rack Zoom Focus Test / Sports Shooting Test
- Servo Focusing Accuracy Scores
- Buffer Performance
- Sports Performance Winner
- Precision Focus Test
- Accuracy vs Precision
- Live View Focus & Tracking
- Low Light Focusing
- ISO Tests
- Moire
- Rolling Shutter Test
- Thermal Temperature (after 20 mins of shooting)
- Overall Video Quality
- Dynamic Range Test
- Silent Shutter Modes (How quiet are they really?)
- Portrait Test

If you own the Sony A6300 and want to save time, money, and frustration check out my Crash Course Training Tutorial to learn absolutely everything about this camera. CLICK HERE

My Canon 80D Crash Course is available now! CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to learn all about the methodologies used in this video.

04.21.16         tutorial & training videos  

Methodologies Used For Epic Shootouts

Dynamic Range

CLICK HERE for full details on my dynamic range tests and methodology.
Buffer Performance

How to Calculate A Cameras Buffer Depth & Write Speed

1. On Full Burst, RAW, Sony shoots at 11 frames per second, for 2 full seconds, or 22 total files, each at 24MB each, or a total of 528 MB of files captured during those 2 seconds.

2. Once the buffer is full, the camera allows you to take another picture, as the buffer is clearing. So the assumption is you can take another picture as soon as that space becomes available, but if we know that we took 7 additional RAW files over 4.8 seconds, we can calculate:

7 x 24MB = 168MB written in 4.8 seconds, or 35MB/s. Write speeds are typically written in bits, which we find by multiplying that by 8, so the write speed of the A6300 is ~ 280 Mb/s.

Coming back to the total number of MB captured during those 2 seconds of burst, we subtract what should be the total amount a data written during those 2 seconds, or 35MB x 2 = 70MB.

528MB - 70MB = ~ 458 MB Buffer Space

For a full explanation of this method CLICK HERE

How Buffer Performance Works

Low Light Focusing

CLICK HERE for a detailed description for how I test low light focusing.
ISO Testing

CLICK HERE for details on the methodology I use for ISO testing.
Portrait Testing

CLICK HERE for the methodologies of my Portrait Tests

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