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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

••◊ Another LED light update

This last week I've added a number of significant upgrades to my LED light project.  It now has a dedicated power supply and thermal management system.  The fan controller board just came in and I was able to build it up quickly.  Now I just have to add some code to get PWM control over the fans.

One nice thing is that I was able to find some affordable, almost silent fans.  Even with all four of them on at full blast there was barely a whisper.  The first ones I bought could compete with a lot of small kitchen electronic appliances; noise wise.  They had to go.

The power supply only handles up to 200W, but for my initial prototype purposes that shouldn't be an issue.  The LEDs I plan to use are fairly efficient.

After I have the fan firmware running, it's time to actually build the LED bulb.  This will take a little more effort since each bulb in the system will need a significant heat sink to keep the LEDs in their safe operating area.

More importantly...so far, no smoke!

EVENING UPDATE...  The fans are up and running with firmware.  That was quick!  All four fans are still very quiet at home and ramp up in speed nicely.  Now I'm going to be forced to actually work on the bulb design.

Monday, May 2, 2016

••◊ LED Light Update

The LED Light is slowly progressing.  I finally fired up actual LED's today at full power and blinded a few people in the office at lunch time.  It's been a good experience so far.  I've only destroyed one component and that was because of an incorrect solder job.

The photos below show both the system and the illuminated blue LED's.  I actually had to turn the exposure compensation down on the camera 2 stops just to take a picture, otherwise the lens would be completely flared out.

The next step is to make a "bulb", or multiple strings of LED's since each driver board can drive up to 8 strings of LEDs.  Depending on how I wire it I can have either an RGB light, or a remote phosphor "pump" (i.e. just a bunch of blue LED's with a phosphor panel in front of them).  If I designed my own custom LED panel I could also make a "white" LED array or a bi-color array.  It's all about firmware now.  At the moment I'm "recycling" from a stash of old scanner LED's that we had sitting around the office collecting dust - which makes things a bit less expensive for experimentation.

The cool thing is that I can also have up to seven driver boards.  That's 56 strings of high power LED's!  My end goal was to create a light in the 500W to 1kW range since most LED lights I deal with seem to be quite wimpy.  I want something I can use in a daylight lit room.  What you see below is just the very dim start of things to come.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

••◊ Big Bear Lake

I was assisting on a shoot up in Big Bear yesterday.  We were freezing our tails off at 8am next to Big Bear Lake when I decided to take out a camera and shoot a quick panorama of the sun just coming up onto the lake.  I always feel at home in the mountains, so hopefully I'll go back one day.  Click the picture to see the entire panorama.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

••◊ LED light

Just for fun and to have an activity that keeps me out of trouble, I decided to work on an LED light project.  So far I have the controller up and running.  The driver board is next, but an issue with procuring some of the necessary ICs may cause a delay in that development.  I know it looks like an IED at the moment, but it's completely safe.  I haven't even blown up a component on the board (yet) - cross my fingers.  The only issue I've had is that that old LCD display I'm trying to recycle has a burned out back light.

Dom has kicked me to turn curb, as far as new blog videos are concerned, for the next few months while he finishes up his college degree.  So we'll resume a more normal production schedule sometime in May (likely).

Monday, February 15, 2016

••◊ LA Confidential Grammy Party Photos

Friday night I was invited into the LA Confidential Magazine Grammy Party at the Exchange LA with Mark Ronson through a friend of a friend who works for the magazine.  This was my first LA industry party, but what I was more excited about is that they filmed the night club scene in The Social Network here!  I think that alone made me not cool enough for an LA party, but it was something to experience just once.  The problem we had was trying to find a decent restaurant in the surrounding blocks! 

Anyway..., here are some point and shoot pictures from the swanky event.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

••◊ New Work: Color Correction for Lomics Commercial

Dom, who you may know from my Video Gear tutorial posts, recently directed a commercial for a mobile app called "Lomics."  Having recently purchased a color grading monitor, I did the color correction for his spot.  With his default FCP-X LUTs it looked like something out of a Tim Burton film at first.  My sense is more toward naturalism, so that's what I tried to create here.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

••◊ The Purpose of a Cinematographer

I saw an American Masters documentary about Mike Nichols today and he said one of his early mentors, Elia Kazan, had a saying, "the purpose of a director is to turn psychology into behavior."  That really resonated with me because it also translates to, "the purpose of a cinematographer is to turn psychology into photographs."  It's something for me to remember on each shoot and take to heart.