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Thursday, June 24, 2010

••◊ New Shoulder Mount

Just finished the shoulder mount for my 5D today. It needs a counter weight and a way to mount the lav receivers, but it's fully functional. Simple pic is below.

Now that I have the mounts that you see on the shoulder brace in CAM I can easily mount "stuff" to the rails. My follow focus gears arrived today, so now I'm just waiting for the cartridge bearings so I can upgrade the follow focus. Whew hew!...getting closer to a production in July when I can put this bad boy to use.

Update 06.26/2010: I just replaced the picture with one showing the full rig with lav mounts. Joy. Still needs a counter weight in the back though.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

••◊ The Third & The Seventh

I just found a video on Vimeo called "The Third & The Seventh." It was a favorite of David Myrick who did "Alice & The White Hair," also worth a gander. Even though these films share a love of ampersands, they are quite the opposites. Both are worthy of a full screen display, especially The Third & The Seventh. Without further delay...

Monday, June 14, 2010

••◊ My D-focus Gets a New Backbone

Today's blog entry was supposed to be about our Strobist model shoot from last Saturday...however the only people to show up were Captura, Lumpy, and myself. The model backed out and the rest of the Strobists seemed to be lame ducks. So we ended up having a Strobist barbecue and spent the afternoon playing with Lumpy's new beauty dish.

Since I wasn't processing pictures Sunday it gave me an opportunity to complete at least part of a personal project I've been thinking about. Earlier this year I bought a D-focus follow focus. I admit that I bought it because of it's affordable price and not the performance. Of course, that alludes to the fact that this follow focus has a few issues because of affordability compromises. The first, and easiest one to solve is the stiffness of the backbone. If you look at the original using the link above you'll see that the backbone is made up of four parts: an aluminum sliding mount, two L-shaped steel brackets, and a small Delrin platform. The weakest link of these are the steel brackets. The brackets flex when you put any significant downward force on the follow focus knob.

Enter the improvement pictured below. I took these four parts and replaced them with a single aluminum sliding mount (not anodized in picture). It's super stiff and strong. Amazingly simply to build once I figured out the CAM programming on our vertical mill. I just need to get it anodized now. My build notes are sitting below the follow focus.

The next step? Improve the drive train. I'm thinking about adding sealed cartridge bearings and metal beveled gears, as well as improving some of the logistics of the design. That's going to take a greater effort, so another month and hopefully I'm there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

••◊ Enlightened in New York City

I really don't have much going on photographically until this weekend, so I thought I would throw out these little tidbits from New York City. Below is a picture of Rockefeller Plaza on Friday morning. NBC hosts the Today Show from here. To the left is studio 1A where they have their set, to the right is Dean & Deluca - the coffee shop familiar to regular watchers of the show. "30 Rock" is actually the tall building on the left the next block over. On Friday they have a concert series, so my sister and I hiked down there at 7am to watch the show live.

Al Roker came out first to do his weather bit. It was funny how many women thought he was much taller from watching him on TV. Doesn't matter when you're on camera as long as you're not Verne Troyer. Being a film geek the first thing I noticed was the diffused Litepanels 1x1 light they were using as fill on Al. The Plaza is in the shade in the morning, so they used this to give him a little extra light for his segment. The really cool thing is that they were running on a battery pack - no cords, easy to move around!

Cameron Diaz unexpectedly came out to do an interview with Today show hosts. I was wondering why there were so many people there dressed in green. It was only explained to me later that she was there to promote Shrek 4. You can kind of see a little neon green around her knees, but that's because they brought in kids and they were generally shorter than the adults you mainly see in the shot.

I have to say the next photo was kind of a cop-out. I wasn't able to get very close to the music stage because we were there relatively late, but a band called The Script was promoting their new album. These guys have their stuff down and were genuinely nice to the fans and crowd in general. They came out to sign autographs, talked with fans, and mingled for quite a while before going on stage.

Finally, every bookworm's dream come true. A stop at the mother ship, also known as the New York City Public Library. Sis stopped for a pose inside the lobby - yes, this is just one of the stairwells in the lobby!

More to come after the weekend.