Adobe Australia’s ‘The Big Picture’ Free Filmmaker Development Program Needs to be Available Throughout Australia, Not Just Melbourne During 2019’s St Kilda Film Festival

Adobe Australia is presenting an educational program during the St Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne on  Saturday and Sunday the 22nd and 23rd June 2019, and it is, apparently, entirely free of charge. 

The Festival organizers describe the Adobe Presents: The Big Picture program thus: 

The 2019 St Kilda Film Festival‘s two-day filmmaker development program covers everything you need to know about making a short film, from inception to distribution and everything in between.

Sounds great, but I want to see this program or something even better offered all around Australia or at least in Sydney. 

How about it, Adobe? 

When I was a kid growing up in another state of Australia, there were two possibilities there for training in film and television, a film and television institute and the state branch of the national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Minorities needed not apply.

The institute was for wealthy, Anglo white boys from the “right” background and the cadetship at the ABC was for not-so-wealthy Anglo white boys from the “right” background or something very close to it.

This was a state still dominated by its Anglo Ascendency and having money and the “right” background remain the prime requirements for getting through the door.

Heaven help you if you were poor, ethnic, indigenous, working class, rural, non-male, of a certain age, a member of the LGBTQI community or some combination of these.

Heaven help you if the stories you wanted to tell fall outside the approved types or genres.

Heaven help you if that meant breaking the rich, white, non-ethnic male dominant narrative which we all perfectly well know is far from the only one that needs to be shared and the near-total dominance of which has lead to the dangerous state of the world today.

Pity if you have been discriminated against all your life, always coming up against closed doors, and yet are still trying to make a positive change for yourself and for those whose stories you need to tell.

Pity if you don’t have the cash or the means to take out a loan to move interstate and get yourself into a course at AFTRS, a university, a private college or some other film, television and digital media training organisation.

Even when Metro Screen in Sydney was operational, its short courses in various production skills were unaffordable for those without the “right” background.

That is why I was pleased but disappointed when I spotted mention of Adobe Presents: The Big Picture on social media.

An overview program like this is certainly better than nothing even if it is not as in-depth and as hands-on as one might like.

An overview program like this is certainly better than the nothing that is accessible to those of us not from the “right” background.

Adobe Presents: The Big Picture – two-day program

 

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MixingLight: Getting To Know Dolby Vision HDR – free-to-read 3-part article

https://mixinglight.com/color-tutorial/getting-know-dolby-vision-hdr-part-1/

“… Try to think about Dolby Vision as a funnel. The HDR grade is the wide end of the funnel: a high dynamic range (HDR), large color gamut, and possibly high resolution and frame rate moving image.

The Dolby Vision process analyzes your HDR grade (in the grading software), creates some metadata, and a Dolby Content Mapping Unit (CMU) reads the metadata produced by the analysis process. The metadata is embedded over SDI and in real-time the CMU creates a Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) version of the project….

… I know this is going to sound funny, but by starting with the HDR grade and deriving an SDR grade from that through the Dolby Vision process, I feel like I’m getting better SDR grades than I would have if I did the SDR version alone….”

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Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio and Blackmagic Design Blackmagic eGPU for colour grading, with MacBook Pro, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel, LG UltraFine 5K monitor and URSA cinema camera.

Commentary

That MixingLight’s Robbie Carman is achieving better Standard Dynamic Range grades by starting off with a High Dynamic Range grade is not funny at all – this result has been reported for some time before he wrote his still-relevant article.

Although I do not currently have access to the means to shoot or post-produce in Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, Mr Carman’s excellent three-part article is proving invaluable in better understanding the how, why and wherefor of two key Dolby Laboratories technologies that have found their way onto contemporary 4K television sets, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.

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thomas fitzgerald: Capture One Express Fujifilm: An Overview

“In this video I give you a quick walkthrough of Capture One Express for Fujifilm (Also for Sony) to get you up to speed, starting with importing, then some basic editing, and finally how to export….”

Commentary

Now that Phase One has released its free Capture One Express raw processing software for Fujifilm, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

I learned how to use Capture One Pro, the full version that supports hundreds of different cameras and lenses, some years ago by watching free training videos on the Web, and can highly recommend Thomas Fitzgerald as a Capture One teacher as well.

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With Gaps in APS-C and Micro Four Thirds Native OEM Lens Offerings Still, Should I Look at Adapting Manual Focus Prime Lenses?

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before I started looking seriously at the possibility of adapting old and new manual focus lenses to my current and possible future mirrorless APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras for stills photography and cinematography, and particularly the latter.

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Leica worked out the best prime lens focal length line-up for documentary photography and photojournalism in 35mm years ago and it remains the benchmark and role model for other lens makers to this very day. The only focal length missing from this lens collection is 40mm, which Leica made for the Leica CL rangefinder camera which was later taken over by Minolta as the Minolta CLE with 40mm standard lens as well as a 28mm and 90mm lens. Too many contemporary lens makers leave out 28mm and 75mm lenses and their equivalents for other sensor formats. Why? Both these focal lengths are the most essential for documentary photography and photojournalism.

There are several reasons.

Using two different mirrorless sensor systems can get costly due to their lack of a common mount.

Mirrorless camera systems as such are relatively new and it takes time to build up a decent collection of native prime and zoom lenses in all the focal lengths that all users need.

It apparently took Canon thirty years to build its current lens collection.

I cannot wait anything like thirty years for Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic, makers of the lenses I currently use, to build fully-fledged lens collections minus the glaring gaps that are really annoying me right now.

Their priorities are not necessarily mine, and as a documentary moviemaker and photographer who learned her trade during the analog era with cameras and lenses that mostly do not exist anymore, I was lucky enough to develop my ways of seeing and working with manual focus prime lenses, and manual exposure and manual focus cameras, and while I appreciate the advantages of auto-everything, am not completely reliant upon it.

Auto-everything can actually slow the process of seeing and shooting down by placing undue reliance on cameras and lenses to do what a well-practised eye and pair of hands can often do faster.

Simplicity has its value especially when allied with speed.

That is why I often recommended new photography students invest in fully manual secondhand cameras instead of high end professional gear when I was teaching photography during the analog era, and why I recommend that friends wishing to learn photography today invest in the closest thing to fully manual digital cameras and lenses that exist today.

That is no mean feat though given that the more affordable digital cameras seem to be the most automated, and that digital cameras only last so many years before too many shutter actuations and too many failed buttons and burnt-out circuitry render them useless.

My best friend asked me the other day for a camera and lens recommendation so she can learn to be a serious photographer after years of relying on cellphone cameras for snapshots and simple visual records.

What is the most stripped down, durable and simple digital camera out there now, one where automation gets entirely out of the way or does not even exist at all?

She told me she may be coming into a little money if some property sells, and so is prepared to spend some decent cash if the deal comes off.

The answer was clear, a Leica M10 or M10-P.

Although I learned to be a photographer using much lower end cameras, in fact incredibly lower end cameras, as a kid in the country, I learned the most and the fastest when I discovered Leica M-System rangefinder cameras by watching an American photographer using one then bought my own secondhand Leica M4-P with Summicron-M 35mm f/2.0 lens.

Another secondhand Leica M4-P followed along with an Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 lens for magazine assignments and I slowly and surely added several other M-System lenses after borrowing a few different lenses from the friendly local Leica dealer in order to understand which focal lengths best fit my needs and way of seeing.

I am not so sure if I want my best friend to go though the long, slow and costly process of trying out different focal lengths to see which best suits her as I did.

Leica lenses are as pricey as Leica cameras, and the secondhand market here is scant in both.

Perhaps I should consider recommending another well-regarded lens maker to her, such as Voigtlaender or Zeiss, whose M-Mount lenses are still made new in a variety of focal lengths?

Both brands are imported by Sydney-based companies and, hopefully, lenses may be available at their premises to see and try before she buys.

Better yet, both brands’ M-Mount lenses are highly regarded by professional users though I have yet to experience using either for cinematography or stills photography.

I need to remedy that lack.

I also need to think further about how to fill the gaps in my own lens collection.

Fujifilm and Panasonic make M-Mount adapters for their cameras as do a number of third party manufacturers.

I have no problem with the idea of using manual-only lenses now that push-button magnification and focus peaking work so well on cameras made by both companies.

Having one set of 35mm sensor format manual lenses that can be adapted for either camera system holds its appeal and its challenges.

My preferred two-camera, two-lens set-up for documentary photography comprises the 28mm and 75mm focal lengths in 35mm sensor format.

In Fujifilm APS-C, that is equivalent to 18mm and 50mm.

In Micro Four Thirds, that is equivalent to 14mm and 37.5mm.

While Fujifilm makes a very nice 50mm Fujicron style lens, its 18mm is, well, disappointing.

Neither Olympus nor Panasonic makes a 14mm lens, or at least not one that appears to be available to purchase any more, and no MFT lens maker has a 37.5mm lens in its collection.

Might I be able to fill the gaps with a 14mm or 18mm M-Mount lenses on the wide end and 35mm, 40mm and 50mm lenses in mid-range?

We shall see.

If quirky turns out to be my best friend’s thing, some of the Chinese lens makers release M-Mount prime lenses as do other third-party lens makers based in Europe and Asia.

There are other options too.

Director/cinematographer Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One fame built up a large vintage prime lens collection by scouting Berlin flea markets for EF-Mount lenses he could stop and rebuild, adding adapters and step-up rings to them so they can easily be swapped in and out of his Panasonic Lumix GH5 cinematography camera rig.

Third-party adapter makers producing X-Mount adapters have begun appearing so Fujifilm’s cameras no longer feel quite so under catered-for.

More research is called for, but it is good to know there are options and that there are alternatives to continually begging Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic to make the prime lenses I need.

Panasonic Releases ‘Lumix GH5 | GH5S | G9 AF Guidebook’ on How to Get the Best Out of Autofocusing the Latest Panasonic Lumix Cameras

Using autofocus on Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5, DC-GH5S and DC-G9 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless hybrid cameras whether shooting stills or video has been a hot topic of debate online for quite some time. 

Panasonic chose to buck the trend began by other camera makers who adopted PDAF aka ‘Phase Detection Autofocus’, instead basing the autofocus system in the Lumix DMC-GH4 onwards upon DFD aka ‘Depth from Defocus’. 

Panasonic’s recent announcement of its Lumix S1 and Lumix S1R 35mm digital cameras mentioned the phrase ‘Deep Learning Technology’, and now the company has shared more information about that as well as how to get the best out of autofocusing its latest cameras with ‘Lumix GH5 | GH5S | G9 AF Guidebook’, an essential downloadable PDF guide book on the subject.

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Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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The Guardian: University guide 2019: league table for film production & photography [Coventry University #1]

https://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2018/may/29/university-guide-2019-league-table-for-film-production-photography?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“If you dream of spending hours mulling over snaps in a dark room, or are incapable of sitting through a film without boring your friends with comments about the special effects, a degree in either film production or photography could be for you….”

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Commentary

Congratulations to the film and photography teaching team at Coventry University for being placed at number 1 with a score of 100 for 2019, and especially to its photography teaching team which includes a number of Australians including Anthony Luvera and Gemma-Rose Turnbull.

Coventry University very much sounds like the sort of institution I was so hoping that the university I attended might be but most certainly was not, with film and photography teachers of a calibre that simply did not exist back then in Western Australia.

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Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One Presenting at Getting to Grips with Lenses Event in High Wycombe, Bucks on Saturday 21st April 2018

https://mailchi.mp/9dfd2da97b22/gtc-workshop-getting-to-grips-with-lenses?e=a9ac9ddccc

“This interactive workshop will explore the world of video & motion picture lenses, from the perspective of camera operators, cinematographers and filmmakers. We will look at the current state of the industry, with opportunities to get hands-on with the most popular current zoom and prime lenses. We will also discuss anamorphic lenses, lens adaptors, budget cine zooms, and how continual increases in sensor resolution are affecting the lens market….

… Paul Leeming: DoP In conjunction with Formatt-Hitech, Paul will show how modern filters can work best with the new breeds of zoom and prime lenses….”

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Australian director/cinematographer Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One fame with his Panasonic Lumix GH4 rigged for shooting feature films.

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Masters of Photography Online Courses Launches with Joel Meyerowitz, One of the Greatest Living Fine Art Photographers Working in Colour

I was checking some references for my latest article on colour photography great Joel Meyerowitz when I came across the image featured in this article’s header above. Yes it is true, Joel Meyerowitz is teaching an online course on photography for Masters of Photography and I am sure it will be worth every single cent of its US$170 course fee. 

Walk with Joel in all his 34 lessons as he takes you on this truly inspirational photographic journey and shows you how to stay alive to the meanings and possibilities of the world in front of you. With Joel as your guide, you will learn how to find your creative voice and identity and apply it to your own photographic subjects. Join in and share your course photographs with Joel’s student community and get them critiqued. You will also get your own course certificate from Joel too.

For over 55 years, universally acclaimed, award-winning photographer, Joel Meyerowitz, has been one of the world’s greatest image-makers. Although Meyerowitz is a street photographer in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, he transformed the medium with his pioneering use of color. As an early advocate, he became instrumental in changing the attitude toward color photography from one of resistance to nearly universal acceptance. Meyerowitz’s work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world, and he has published more than 25 photography books. He was the only photographer to gain unrestricted access to Ground Zero after 9/11, which produced a body of work that led Meyerowitz to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2002.

Meyerowitz is a Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of both the NEA and NEH awards, an inductee to the Leica Hall of Fame, an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Photographic Society and a recipient of their prestigious Centenary Medal. He has taught at Princeton University in New Jersey and at The Cooper Union in New York.

It is also pleasing to see that Albert Watson is teaching one of two coming courses, with the third being taught by Steve McCurry. I hope some great female photographers will present future courses on the principle of “if she can see it, she can be it”.

Links:

Coventry University: Photography and Collaboration Master of Arts

http://www.coventry.ac.uk/course-structure/PG/2018-19/fah/photography-and-collaboration-ma/

“Our Photography and Collaboration MA focuses explicitly on socially-engaged, participatory, and collaborative photographic practices….

… In recent years, collaborative photographic practices have taken centre stage within the arts and other forms of cultural production and research. As contemporary photographers are increasingly using collaborative methodologies – inviting individuals and communities to share in the making of photographic works – this course offers a unique opportunity to explore lens-based forms of socially-engaged practice with internationally regarded artists and a consortium of industry partners across the UK and around the world.

Open to students from a range of backgrounds and professional disciplines, this course has been designed for photographic practitioners, but it is also appropriate for people wanting to work with photography, community, and collaboration in other ways, such as activists, community organisers, social workers, educators, cultural institution and gallery-based engagement, and education programme managers….”

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