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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05.23.16         tutorial & training videos  

Nikon D500 Tutorial Part 2 | How To Focus Training

In this video Michael covers the very complex Nikon D500's focusing system as viewer through the optical viewfinder. This includes each way to activate focusing, the different modes, each focusing group an cluster as well as how to move and control each of them. Michael even goes into some of his favorite settings & preferences, techniques, menu suggestions, and back-button focusing. It is just one lesson from his over 4 hour tutorial; Nikon D500 Crash Course which will be available for full download soon.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Michael's FULL Nikon D500 Crash Course Training Tutorial.

05.23.16         instagram  

I like to go texture hunting at botanical gardens....

I like to go texture hunting at botanical gardens. Image quality on #d500 is wonderful, though I am starting to find its weaknesses. This was a 2470 2.8 with some super cheap macro extension tubes handheld. #Maui #botanicalgardens #macro

05.22.16         apps!  

Russian App Blurs Lines of Privacy

Technology and privacy concerns seem to go hand-in-hand these days. A facial recognition app has been released in that works in conjunction with Russia's most popular social media network Vkontakte. The app is called FindFace and touts 70% accuracy. Almost everyone in Russia is on Vkontakte and if you have pictures of yourself up chance are good any stranger can take a snap of you in public and find out who are quite easily.

While the idea of anyone being able to track you down is outright creepy, some are reporting possible positive uses. For example; it could help in reporting crime and catch perps. To see a little bit of what the app is all about check out the promo video below.

So what do you guys think? Creepy or cool? Leave your thoughts below.

via DIY Photography

05.21.16         movie reviews  

Nice Guys

Caught "Nice Guys" last night. Just wow. This is a terrible movie. For as many big names in it, there is zero chemistry and I didn't care about any of the characters. Once Kim Basinger showed up, I could not stay seated any longer. The acting was so bad, I actually thought the director was playing a joke on me. I left and my only regret was not leaving sooner. I have an amazing tolerance for bad films, so when I leave the movie has to be really, really bad because I conclude doing literally anything else would be a better use of time than continuing to watch.

Save your money.

05.20.16         apps!  

Everest Climbers Document Their Journey via Snapchat

Some apps seem destined to fail and others seem like a childish novelty. When Snapchat first launched it was mainly used by teenagers to send ridiculous and funny moments to one another for a quick laugh with the confidence and security that it would disappear within a few seconds. Snapchat is like 'the little app that could'. Now they're being used by businesses, celebrities, and everyone in between.

There's also a more interesting use for Snapchat and the professional climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards are doing just that. If you follow their account you'll get an inside look into what it's like to climb Mt. Everest. The snaps automatically disappear after 24 hours but the guys are keeping the snaps alive via YouTube videos which you can check out below.

If you'd like to follow them you can do so here: EverestNoFilter

05.19.16         tutorial & training videos  

Best Macro Lenses for Beginners

Spring is in full swing and summer is fast approaching. Anytime is a great time for macro photography but some of my favorite subjects for macro work are insects and flowers. This is the perfect season.

I've been seeing a lot of posts and articles about macro photography so I thought I'd share a video of mine from about 9 months ago offering my advice about the best choices for macro lenses on a budget and what the 1:1 magnification ration is.

I hope you enjoy the video and if you're thinking about getting into the macro game and need some guidance you can purchase my Advanced Photography Techniques Crash Course where I present lessons on macro photography and much, much more. Check it out HERE.

05.18.16         instagram  

Julia with the #nikon #d500 + 2470 2.8 combo. For...

Julia with the #nikon #d500 + 2470 2.8 combo. For image quality and focusing systems, the d500 really impresses me. Great camera!

05.18.16         gadgetry  

Sony Files Patent for Contact Lens Camera

It sounds like science fiction but the truth is that technology like camera contact lenses will be here sooner than later. In fact, just this week CNBC is reporting Sony has filed a patent.

Imagine the capability to snap an image with the blink of an eye. Having a contact lens camera so advanced that it understands the difference between voluntary and involuntary blinking and even offers image stabilization. How about the ability to zoom in and out?

At this point in the game it seems impossible to imagine how any of this would work. Maybe it would be solar powered? Maybe there would be an additional device requirement in the early phases? Either way, technology is heading in this direction and seeing what unfolds over the next few years will be very interesting -- to say the least.

via FStoppers

05.17.16         apps!  

Info About Instagram's Analytics Insights For Businesses/Brands Leaked

Instagram is going through a lot of changes lately. It's now being reported that they're ramping up their offerings for business accounts. According to TechCrunch ".....[they] are currently being tested with a small group of users, offer a variety of useful features for those who run a business account on Instagram, including a “Contact” button, access to maps and directions, and the ability to categorize the business by type."
The "contact" button will allow users to email the business directly and get directions to their place of business. Based on other leaked photos the business will be able to track useful information about users such as; top location by country or city, who's looking at your posts and when, and what gender and age they are. All of this information is supposed to help businesses to choose the best time to post their content and who they should be targeting at those times.
It all sounds really great and very interesting but with the rollout of their new feed algorithm to show users "what they want to see" rather than a chronological feed it's possible that less and less users will actually see your content, much like is now the case with Facebook. I guess will have to see what happens in the coming months when the business pages are put into action. We'll keep up posted about anything we learn.

To read more please check out the article on TechCrunch HERE.

05.16.16         fun!  

Twitter Account Dedicated to Color Palettes of Great Movies

This is actually really cool. There's a Twitter account called 'Cinema Palettes' that is dedicated to sharing the color palettes from great movies. It's an excellent resource for all artists, not just photographers and videographers. Tone, color, and even saturation can greatly influence the mood or even meaning of a scene/movie.

The brightly colored, cookie-cutter, homes of 'Edward Scissorhands' not only represent the phony, cheery, attitude their residents are attempting to portray, they are a stark contrast to lonely, dark, Edward up on the hill.
Wes Anderson's films are admired by fans the world over. He is well-known for his use of color. His color palettes are so beloved people have been using them for inspiration for the homes and events in their personal lives (weddings, birthday parties, living rooms). In his movies they evoke everything from atmosphere to emotion, and character development to simply drawing the eye to a focal point.
Let's not forget at the end of the day REALLY great directors are incredible visual artists that shape and mold a storytelling vision. They know their stuff. Especially when it comes to composition and color theory. This Twitter feed is really great and you could probably spend a lot of time perusing their posts. I recommend that you do. You can check it out HERE.

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