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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09.29.16         tutorial & training videos  

Canon 5D IV Tutorial Training | Focusing Systems | Canon 5D4

New Lesson from Michael's Canon 5DIV Crash Course:

In this quick lesson, I cover the how, when and where of the Canon 5D4's focusing system, including how to focus, the focusing modes, the focusing clusters, how to move your focusing squares as well as tips on customizing your focusing buttons. It is just one lesson from my new 4.5 hour Canon 5DIV Training Crash Course.

CLICK HERE to Purchase the Canon 5D IV Crash Course Tutorial Training

09.28.16         video  

DIY Cinematic Lighting Setup - $50 by DSLRguide

Lighting can be one of the toughest obstacles to overcome when shooting videos on your own. Cinematic lighting systems can get outrageously expensive. So what can you do?

This video goes over a very inexpensive lighting setup that actually works for both photography and videography. Using work lamps such as these for shooting is really nothing new but he goes over tips for how to bounce light, in which direction, and what to do about shadows. It's a quick (albeit non professional) way to get good lighting in your images on a budget.

Check it out below.

09.27.16         tutorial & training videos  

Canon 5D Mark IV 4 Tutorial Training Video Available NOW!


The Canon 5D IV is available and ready for immediate download. CLICK HERE For the Canon 5D4 Crash Course Training Tutorial!!

I have been receiving an unusual number of requests for both a series of tests as well as a training tutorial Crash Course on the Canon 5D IV. I am happy to announce that the course itself has started production and we estimate it will take another 3-4 weeks before it is ready for download, with DVDs to come a few weeks after.

I really try to reserve any suggestions or recommendations (or condemnations) of camera gear until I have actually had a chance to use it, and I have always told my students to steer clear on any teacher or expert who doesn't have hands on experience with the equipment. I think it is fine to have an opinion, but to actually tell someone to go buy something they have no idea about is just crazy to me.

There are a lot of interesting & wonderful as well as concerning things about the 5D4 and I will publish these findings soon. The main thing is to remember that it is a tool and if you know it's strengths and weaknesses, you will better know how to make it shine.

Here is the cover for the course I have decided on:

09.26.16         instagram  

I've been hearing wonderful things about the Fuji...

I've been hearing wonderful things about the Fuji XT2. They have been very hard to find, but I've finally got my hands on one. I'm excited to find out if it's all it is hyped up to be. I see an epic shootout coming in the near future. I wonder which camera I should match it up against? #Fuji #xtrans #xr2

09.26.16         tutorial & training videos  

The Ultimate Lens Storage System

I've been storing my lenses for years with clear plastic shoe holders, and have several of these in my home.

This system is:

1. Inexpensive - About $15
2. Easy to Access & organize
3. Reasonably strong, I wouldn't try white L lenses in here.
4. Space Effective (behind the door)
5. I know when a lens is missing, as well as where to put it back.
6. Also holds smaller camera bodies.


09.25.16         apps!  

New App Helps Users Create Lighting Painting Effect in Their Images

A new free app called Pablo has hit iTunes. It takes images and videos that use lights and creates the streaking look of the long exposure photography technique commonly known as "painting with light".

Traditional lighting painting has a bit of a learning curve and involves long exposures, at night or in low light, and advanced knowledge of your camera and lens. You really need to understand correct settings and timing to make the technique effective.

While I don't think the results from this app will come close to the creative freedom the traditional technique offers, it's still fun. Only catch, you have to be willing to share your photos as the app involves being part of a photo sharing community.

Check out the promo video above and if you're interested in trying it you can download it for free HERE.

09.24.16         photography  

Google Algorithm Generates Automatic Image Captions

Google's Show and Tell algorithim is capable of producing automatic descriptive captions of images with incredible accuracy. Google has made the "latest version of our image captioning system available as an open source model in TensorFlow" if you want to try it. They're reporting a 94% accuracy in the system accurately describing what is taking place in the images.
They've been researching and perfecting the system for years and now if you want to play around with the source code, you're more than welcome to HERE.

09.23.16         photography  

DIY Affordable Studio Backdrop & Stand

Who doesn't love a little creative DIY project to enhance their photography. Chances are if you've looked around the internet for backdrop gear for your studio the prices were beyond discouraging. You could literally drop thousands of dollars on fancy studio backgrounds or you could take some advice from this pro and go with the fabric velour. As he explains; it's cheap, wrinkle resistant, machine washable, and best of all looks good on camera.

Check out the video below for tips on how to build your super cheap studio so you can get working.

09.22.16         fun!  

Family and Friends Don't Support You Working in the Film Industry

Nothing is harder than when friends and/or family are not supportive of your career path in the film industry. This is a really thoughtful video on how to deal with and understand the point-of-view of the people in your life.

The bottom line is that developing a career in the arts is probably harder than a lot of careers. However, anything worthwhile and that you're passionate about should be explored. There are plenty of opportunities to make money in film (especially these days) and even more so as a photographer. How bad do you want it? What kind of life do you want to lead? Those are the questions you have to ask yourself.

09.21.16         video  

Hyperlapse Created With a Year's' Worth of Images While Running

While there's nothing wildly impressive about this video, technically speaking, maintaining a regular fitness routine while deciding to record it for an entire year in preparation for a marathon IS. Plus, the video is very pleasant.

"The Hyperunner" takes us on his year long journey through his daily jogs. It features all of the changing seasons and weather. The plan was to perfect his craft of creating hyperlaspe videos on his daily jogs so he could be sure to have a great video of his marathon in Montana.

Fun Facts about the video he shares:

-159.5 miles ran
-98,366 photos taken
-83 hours of stabilization
-2 GoPros used
-714GB of photos
-55.27GB of video

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