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Saturday, May 1, 2010

••◊ Geeking out in LA with the 5D

This morning started off well enough. I get up, have some oatmeal, get ready for some serious geeking out in LA with the HDLSR crowd. Then Clarence calls me around 7:30 when we're supposed to leave. "I don't think I can make it. I'm not feeling that great." OK. After I describe the gear pr0n-fest about to go down today he changes his mind and decides to go. That puts us about an hour behind schedule. Alright, alright, so we'll miss the Canon presentation. It's not like they are going to tell us about their secret plans for the 5Dm3 anytime soon.

Defying death in LA traffic (less of a joke than you might think), we make it just in time for Rodney Charters to start his talk at HDI Raw Works. Rodney talked about his start in photography and using the (original) 5D as a way to do photography around the set. Just this season the 5Dm2 camera has turned in to a useful tool for plates and compositing high resolution images. Very cool stuff. Too bad this season is the end of Jack Bauer.

Next up was Shane Hurlbut, who has a bit of a rock star persona (the good kind) when it comes to public speaking; quite energetic and entertaining. I had the pleasure of meeting him last November in downtown San Diego. As you can see in the photograph he's pointing to the back of a motorcycle where they tied a 5D camera down with gaffer's tape and dampened the vibration with a white t-shirt. Crazy stuff - but that was the least of it. He then proceeded to show us a metal box they constructed so Navy Seals could fire live rounds at a camera. The poor little camera was turned into hamster cage newspaper, but the flash card was protected just enough to recover the footage. Ah...things you can do when $2500 is considered a cheap toy camera.

What would a geeking out day be without some drool worthy gear? After watching Vincent Laforet's seminar on creativelive.com I'm definitely lusting after an oconnor 1030 tripod head (picture is a different model). However at $5600 it's not going to happen (unless you come through big time for my birthday, mom). Even at used prices it's not going to happen. Redrock Micro was there with their usual assortment of blue and black contraptions to lust after. A shoulder mount rig from them would be much appreciated right about now. One of these days when I have time again I'll get back in the machine shop and start constructing the pieces. Too busy right now.

Also in attendance were Jared Abrams of the excellent site cinema5d.com, which I can't recommend enough as a valuable resource, and Robert Primes. Robert has been the DP for many episodic television shows and is considered by the 5D crowd to be one of the Zacuto mob. Unfortunately Robert's speech was plagued by clip un-rendering gremlins on his Apple notebook, and this was after the main presentation computer didn't work for him an caused a delay in his presentation. It was just one of those days. Poor guy. You have to admire his body of work at least. He seems like a guy I could learn a lot from just by the way he takes the time to carefully explain things. Too bad he's not a blogger.

I just have to get this out of my system. Clarence - you bastard! Sure, I wait an additional hour so you can get your lazy ass out of bed because you were up until 2am playing video games. I pay for gas. Then I have to pay the $10 admittance fee for you to get in because you forgot to get cash. What do I get. YOU win the raffle for the ultra pimped out camera bag. You bastard. Needless to say, Clarence picked up the tab for dinner that evening on our way back home, which somewhat makes up for these series of events.

Things learned? I didn't realize that I had left the Auto Lighting Optimizer feature enabled on my camera. After Shane mentioned it, sure enough that feature was still on. Doh! It's set to disabled now. Also I'm switching to the Neutral picture style. Still have some tweaking to do there, but all the photos above were taken with my GretagMacbeth corrected picture style. That's likely to be the feature of my next blog post as a finalize to something I like. It's not quite there yet.

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