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Survivorman Les Stroud: Produce the Creative Work & Life You Want [Jan 30, 11am PST]

ChasejarvisLIVE_LesStroud

UPDATE: The LIVE broadcast is January 30th – 11am SEA time (2pm NYC -19:00 London) – mark your calendars and flip your dial to http://www.chasejarvis.com/live.

Les Stroud combined his love of the outdoors as a professional survival instructor with a passion for film and photography and created a new genre of television with the highest ratings in the history of both OLN Canada, the Science Channel US, and among the most popular shows ever on Discovery Channel US. But more importantly he created the life he wanted to live through his own creativity. As the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, filmed and hosted alone, Les is a seriously accomplished creative. And obviously, when he is alone in the wilderness, life hangs in the balance of good decision making. One wrong decision can make the difference between living and dying. The consequences are well-known to Les, who has spent a lifetime surviving everywhere from the Amazon jungles to the vast Arctic tundra. But what about the decisions he has made as a creative? What decisions did have to make to pursue his dreams and share his vision? Tune in to find out.

WHO: You, Me, and a LIVE conversation with internationally known ‘Survivorman’ Les Stroud.
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, January 30, 11:00am Seattle time (2pm NYC time or 19:00 London)
WHERE: Tune into www.chasejarvis.com/live. It’s free — anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

Think YOU couldn’t do this or something like it? Think again. By following his passions, Les is the autonomous star of a show which is licensed for broadcast in over 120 countries worldwide and millions of people tune in to each episode. Join me n’ Les on the couch in my studio to discover:

_How to face and overcome your fears – in a survival situation and when it comes to your creative work
_What it’s like to negotiate with a cable network and the pitfalls to look out for
_Why you should pursue your creative vision and live the life you want
_When to outrun a 1500lb Bull Moose – and what not to do when you see one in the wild
_What it takes to survive for 10 days alone stranded in the middle of the Norwegian winter
_How to combine passions into your creative work

See you on the Wed the 30th. LIVE from my studio… In the meantime, here’s a teaser for Les’s new show:

JOIN US LIVE.
If you want to be part of the live, in-studio audience, send an email to production@chasejarvis.com with “Les Stroud” in the subject line. Winners will receive a confirmation email with attendance instructions. Bonus points for tweeting about the show and sending folks here.

HELP US PROMOTE THE SHOW AND WIN GEAR:

Pre-Show Contest:
For a chance to win: Send out a creative tweet promoting the show with #cjLIVE +@manfrotto_tweet + the short link to this page (http://bit.ly/WLMOLK) included.

_Les Stroud 10″ SK Mountain™ Ultimate Survival Knife – Carbontitride Titanium 440 Steel, Non-Stick Drop Point Blade, Survival Sheath with Survival Features

_Les Stroud Ultimate Fan Package:
-Les Stroud signature harmonica, Stranded DVD & Les Stroud cooling bandana.

And…
THIS IS HUGE – DURING THE LIVE BROADCAST WE’RE GIVING AWAY GOPRO HERO3 BLACK EDITION
But you’ll have to tune-in to find out how.

Special thanks to our sponsors who help make this show possible – please follow them and let them know you appreciate the free content that they help us deliver. Respect.
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Also, our friends at liveBooks are offering special starter package deal for a photo website, exclusive for chasejarvisLIVE fans, here. Check it out.

View Official Contest Rules here.

D600 the Affordable full-frame DSLR — What’s the Catch? [Hands on Review]

It’s been out in the marketplace for a while now – but the conversation and questions continue to churn around the D600. Is it all that and a bag of chips? Or is there a catch? Is it a good choice for the working pro and how does it compare to Nikon’s D800? At a pricepoint that is majorly accesible, it offers similar features as the DX-format D7000 and seems to represent a big leap for photographers. For those of us who have been around for a while, it’s interesting to think back only 4 years ago when the D90 landed and changed the way we use our DSLRs forever. (Check out that vintage video I made to launch Nikon’s first-in-class here) In fact, it was just over a decade ago that the first full frame DSLR was announced (Canon EOS 1Ds). At that point it was the realm of the elite pro or wealthy enthusiast at $8,000. Today, the D600, can be found for less than $2,000. We’ve come a long way baby. Given the response to my post on the launch of the D600 , I invited my friend Ben Pitt to continue the conversation with a hands on review of the camera. [At this moment, I'm climbing Kilimanjaro with some friends to bring awareness to clean, safe water in Africa. I've loaded up content for this week with the help of experts like Ben.] You might remember Ben’s last post that described How to take a 7-Gigapixel photo. Take it away Ben. – Chase

When Chase asked for your thoughts about the D600 in September, you didn’t hold back. There was a surprising number of negative comments, but perhaps it’s not so surprising. After all, $2,000 is an amazing price for a full-frame SLR, so anyone with a healthy dose of scepticism will be looking for a catch.

I’ve been shooting with a D600 for a few weeks, and I can confirm that there’s a huge amount to love about this camera. The 24-megapixel full-frame sensor delivers what is, for me, the perfect balance of high detail and low noise. It also allows for 5.5fps continuous shooting – a big improvement on the pricier D800′s 4fps. The controls are almost identical to the D7000′s, but that’s not a criticism – all the key functions fall under the fingers.

Having said that, the Auto ISO mode is more sophisticated than on the D7000 (adapting the shutter speed in line with the focal length) and is quicker to switch on and off. The viewfinder is as big as the D800′s, the screen is just as big and sharp, the weather-sealing equally substantial, and it includes mic in and headphone out sockets. It’s a little smaller and lighter than the D800 but it’s still a comfortable fit in the hand.

There’s not much to report about image quality. We know what Nikon’s JPEG processing engine is capable of, and it’s firing on all cylinders here. Details are sharp and noise is far lower than any cropped-sensor camera. It’s a little lower than from the D800, too, thanks to the lower pixel density.

But surely there’s a catch? Otherwise, the D800 is dead in the water. Yes, there are a few downgrades compared to the D800, which I’ll run through below (I’m not counting the sensor, which for me a sideways movement with its lower detail and lower noise). It’s up to you whether you see them as deal-breakers.

 

Smaller, simpler autofocus sensor

The D600′s 39-point autofocus sensor uses the same layout as the D7000′s. I’ve got no issue with the number of points – after all, Canon’s rival 6D only has 11. However, while the array of points largely fills the D7000′s viewfinder, they’re much more bunched in the centre of the D600′s full-frame viewfinder. This makes it harder to track erratic subjects. Subjects towards the edges of the frame require a focus-recompose-shoot technique.

No aperture adjustment during live view or video capture

Live view generally works well, taking about one second to autofocus – not great but better than many SLRs’ live view. However, while you can adjust the aperture value, it only adjusts the aperture blades just before you take a photo, so there’s no real-time preview of the depth of field.

Personally, I’m not too bothered about this. I’m more bothered by the limited aperture control for video. Here, the only way to adjust the aperture is by exiting live view, spinning the command dial and then re-entering live view. It’s not possible to adjust the aperture while composing a shot on the screen or while recording (unless your lens has an aperture ring). Shutter priority isn’t available for video, either – it’s fully automatic or fully manual only.

No 1080p/60 video

On the subject of video, it doesn’t seem unreasonable in 2012 for a $2,000 camera to be able to record 1080p at 60fps. There are enough $500 cameras that can do it. 60fps shooting is great for slow motion, but on the D600 it’s only available if you’re willing to drop the resolution to 720p. Then again, the same applies to the D800 too. Otherwise, this is an extremely capable video camera, with crisp details and the same colour output as in JPEGs.

No AF On button, PC sync or CompactFlash slot. Different button layout to other full-frame Nikons.

These issues might put off people considering the D600 as a backup camera to a pricier Nikon SLR, and who don’t want to have to give a moment’s thought when switching between cameras. For those coming from the other direction – perhaps going full-frame for the first time – there are easy workarounds.

AF-On lets you assign autofocus and shutter release to separate buttons to avoid unnecessary refocusing when taking a string of shots. The D600 doesn’t have a dedicated AF-On button, but either the AE Lock or front-mounted Fn button can be assigned to this task. You still get a dedicated DOF preview button as well as this Fn button.

PC Sync – add this for $20 or even just $3 with a shoe adapter.

CompactFlash – the fastest 16GB SDHC cards costs $40 – it’s not worth worrying about your old CF cards.

1/200s flash sync

A few comment posters complained about the relatively slow flash sync speed. This seems to be more a criticism of the general direction that Nikon, Canon et al are going – after all, 1/200s isn’t much slower than the D800 and D4′s 1/250s. Besides, switching the D600 to Auto-FP mode (short for Auto Flash Power), I had no problem syncing an off-camera strobe at 1/250s. If you want 1/500s flash sync to reduce the amount sunlight in your flash photography, get yourself a D40 – no current full-frame or cropped-sensor SLR that I know of can do it.

Mysterious dust problems

Various reviewers and forum posters have noticed a build-up of dirt on the D600′s sensor. There’s a risk of this with any SLR, of course, but I can confirm what others have found – the D600 does appear to be more prone to it than most, particularly in the top-left of the frame. More worryingly, the dirt seems to be coming from inside the camera. I’ve been shooting with a single lens, which hasn’t come off since the camera arrived, and there are dust spots now that weren’t there earlier. They’re just about visible on plain areas of photos (such as clear skies) at f8, but in most cases I have to shoot at f/16 or higher for them to show up. That doesn’t excuse it, though. I’ve asked Nikon for a comment, and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond. I’d be tempted to hold out parting with any cash until they do.

The D7000 was – and is – a fantastic camera, but the D600 is a compelling upgrade, delivering the lower noise and extra detail that comes with full-frame but without the usual prohibitive price tag. The smaller autofocus sensor area and dust problems are the only lingering issues for me – hopefully the latter can be resolved. If so, I’d happily pick the D600 over the D800. In the end, it seems there is really no catch.

Professionals looking for a backup camera are probably better off with the D800. It will feel more familiar, and its 36-megapixel sensor is a welcome compliment to the 16-megapixel D4.

_________
You can buy the Nikon D600 from B&H here.

How To Prepare for Your Commercial Photo or Video Shoot — 10 Things Clients Expect In Your Production Notebook


One golden rule to a great photoshoot is to start with great production. A smooth production puts everyone and everything in the right place for the shoot to succeed long before the shutter button gets pressed. That said, I have some of the best producers in the biz on staff. And here, Megan outlines one essential to every commercial production – the production notebook. Use this info to help make your next production run smooth like butta’… Take it away, Meg.
___
Hello peeps, Megan here, producer for Chase. We’re gearing up for a several big international jobs, so as I’m booking travel and working with a local producer on locations + permits, I’m also putting the Production Book together. This is critical information that all professional production houses put together and it’s something clients and agencies expect from you on any large-scale shoot. Think of it as a one-stop shop for all pertinent details. It can be distributed to all parties via email prior to the shoot, and a printed copy should accompany you to set. Not only does it help make you look super professional, it just might be the most practical thing you carry (aside from your camera, of course).

You don’t need special software; start with a Word or Pages doc. Just keep an eye on formatting. It should be clean, easy to read and align with your brand. Once it’s complete, save a template you can always use to generate this doc for your next shoot, then output a PDF for the production crew and send it out!

Here’s a basic list of things to include (as applicable):

1. cover sheet: a nicely laid out page that identifies the client, the production company and/or the photographer
_client + photographer logos
_name of job

2. contact info: detail the names, titles, phone numbers + email address of all associated parties
_client
_agency
_crew

3. shot list / creative: detailed shot list and/or photo references
_wardrobe/prop specs
_art direction

4. travel itineraries: who’s going where and when?
_flights
_confirmation numbers

5. accommodations: where is everyone staying? 
_address
_contact
_check in/out dates
_directions to/from airport
_meeting room location + details

6. location info: every shoot happens somewhere, whether it’s at your studio or the Mojave desert
_address
_contact info (i.e. site rep)
_map
_directions
_photos
_certificates of insurance for each
_releases
_permit info
_copy of permits
_contact info for city or governing agency (i.e. FilmLA)

7. talent: actors, models, friends, guy you scouted on the subway
_contact info
_agency info
_call times
_locations
_photos
_releases

8. vendors: a list of any and all 3rd party resources involved in the shoot
_visa/Carnet confirmations
_caterers
_shipping
_equipment rentals
_ground transpo

9. shooting schedule: what does each day look like?
_call times
_wrap times
_travel to/from locations
_HMU + wardrobe prep
_lunch + breaks
_shot breakdown

10. production calendar: all pertinent deadlines should be identified here
_pre-production hot items (i.e. location + talent selection due dates, permit approval process, etc.)
_shooting window
_post-production requirements (i.e. number of rounds to client, amount of time allotted for feedback, proofing, due date of final images, etc.)

There you have it! Start with these categories as a template, and add or subtract as needed. May seem kind of tedious as you’re doing it, but I promise you, it’s so worth it. Until next time! Stay tuned for some behind-the-scenes goodness from our shoots, trips, and travels! -Megan the Producer

LIVE Photoshoot using the World’s Biggest Camera + The Power of Personal Work

Update: The LIVE broadcast is TODAY Wednesday December 19th. Check out the post below and be sure to tune into http://www.chasejarvis.com/live — 11am SEA time (2pm NYC -19:00 London) — and enjoy the show. See you on there.

I am an advocate of personal work. Finding time to create personal projects has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career as a visual artist. My guest on the next week’s episode of chasejarvisLIVE is Ian Ruhter. Ian’s commitment to his personal work has been turning heads. A professional snowboarder turned photographer he was at the top of his game as a staff photographer and commercial shooter for the most respected magazines and brands in the snowboarding world. Then, more than 2 years ago, he had a vision of a photo that had never been taken – and he needed to be the one to create it. In a moment he went “all in” and started his pursuit of a new, completely unique, creative experience. He spent all his savings and converted a box truck into a tintype camera and started traveling around the country in his camera taking wetplate processed tintype photos – some of the largest that have ever been created. Check out the video above for a teaser on Ian and his work.

I’m so stoked that Ian is coming to Seattle next week to share his experience on chasejarvisLIVE. And even more exciting – he will be shooting the camera with me, my team and YOU. Dont miss this. It will be LIVE, un-scripted and inspirational.

WHO: You, Me, and a LIVE photo shoot with Ian Ruhter’s wetplate camera-truck + worldwide gathering of creative people
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, December 19th, 11:00am Seattle time (2pm NYC time or 19:00 London)
WHERE: Tune into www.chasejarvis.com/live. It’s free — anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

We will be giving this signed photo of Ian’s away during the show – you have to tune in to find out how to win!

Watch the show today and find out how to win a signed print this Ian Ruhter photo

As always, you can ask any question of me or Ian (@ianruhter) that you might have, as we’ll be taking your question via my twitter handle + hashtag #cjLIVE and via my Facebook page.

THIS IS HUGE – WE’RE GIVING AWAY TWO MANFROTTO GEAR SET UP.
Help us promote the show by sending a creative tweet out to your friends to help promote this show
@manfrotto_tweet + #cjLIVE [note: you must follow @manfrotto_tweet to be eligible to win]

Bundle #1: Manfrotto Bundle composed of:
_Manfrotto 290 3-section carbon fiber tripod with quick-release 3-way photo head
_Manfrotto Midi-36 LED Light
_Manfrotto Stile Bella V Black Shoulder Bag
_Manfrotto Lino Apparel Soft Shell Jacket
_Manfrotto Lino Apparel Photo Cap Winter
Total Bundle Value: $780.00

Product Bundle # 2:
Manfrotto Bundle composed by:
Manfrotto Compact Photo Head Kit
Manfrotto Klyp Kit with Case for iPhone 4/4S + ML 240 LED Light + Pocket Tripod
Manfrotto Stile Bella V Black Camera Shoulder Bag
Manfrotto Lino Apparel Soft Shell
a Manfrotto Lino Apparel Photo Cap Winter

Total Bundle Value: $ 474.98

ALSO – FOR EVERYONE RIGHT NOW
We’re working with our good friends at liveBooks for 50% off an Emerging Predesigned Package site. Use the promo code CJLIVE. The discount is good for a yearly package, expiring 12/31/2013.[You can get it for $99 - regularly $199]

Special thanks to our sponsors who help make this show possible – please follow them and let them know you appreciate the free content that they help us deliver. Respect.
HP: @hpprint
Broncolor: @hasselbladbron
Manfrotto: @manfrotto_tweet
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View Official Contest Rules here.

New Terms of Use for Instagram: Users React with Outrage

chasejarvis_INSTAGRAM ANOTHER UPDATE 12/19: today Instagram did a much better job in the media explaining their position – specifically around not “selling” your images as in “here ya go company X, use this in your next billboard”. As an artist & entrepreneur, having been involved in IP licensing all my professional career and navigated these waters before…as such I think I understand their challenge better than most. The legalese required around IP creators (in this case photographers using the platform ) in a social sharing environment is tricky and has some specific requirements and often positions such a service in an unintended light. Clearly IG wants to make money in/around your photos – they’re a business. But without getting in the weeds on that, the key point they articulated more clearly today is their lack of intent to outright “sell” images. That’s not their game – at least not yet. I’d guess those inside the org are trying to position the widest possible array of future revenue streams so that they don’t have to change the ToC much in the future as these things always create a shitstorm for the social sites and they can’t do that without going to great lengths to explain this to their community. There are still open issues that many creators will take up with such ToC (as there are in Fbook for example), so there is still work on their part to be done, but there is likely a future where the words in the ToC can better capture the ground between Instagram and it’s users. TBD.
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UPDATE 3:00pm Pacific Time 12/18: Instagram has rescinded its position. I applaud them. I hope what comes back (and it will) will be better, and more in accordance with the community they created in the first place. Check out co-founder statement here.
_______

NEWS: You might remember the well-known mobile phone app Instagram made big news a few months back when it was acquired by Facebook (FB) for $1 billion. Instagram is back in the news today, especially…ahem…with creatives and photographers, with an update to its terms of service that will let the company sell users’ photos to other companies.

The new terms of use (below for your reference), effective January 16, have many changes — but the biggest changes came in the section about users’ rights. “A business or other entity may pay” Instagram to display users’ photos and other details “in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Users can’t opt out of the new provisions. The only way to avoid them is to delete your Instagram account.

This is a rather large change effing ginormous change in the terms. The current terms simply note that “Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content.” The new terms make it a “sub-licensable” agreement, with an updated emphasis seemingly focused on Instagram’s ability give content to third parties. In addition, users waive their rights to a class-action lawsuit or class-wide arbitration. A note at the top of the new terms, in bolded caps, says that any dispute between Instagram and a user “will be resolved by binding, individual arbitration,” unless the user opts out of the provision in writing. (If you want to do that, you need to snail mail in your opt-out statement. The address is buried in the Terms of Use: search for “Arbitration Opt-out.”)

ANALYSIS: Instagram is blowing it hard on both the WHAT (selling out your images with no profit to you) and the HOW…by changing the ToC to gobble up your imagery bound to by using the service after allowing users to build up huge followings and large libraries of imagery. Lame sauce and an assault on your work.

Let’s call it what it is… this idea isn’t new, it’s just a shitty way – the shittiest way – of going about monetization. In truth, I had plans to allow photographers to opt into a sales program as a source of income for photogs if they so desired back in 2009 when I launched Best Camera app, the first photo app to share images direct to social networks (top 20 App of 2009 – Wired, NYTimes, Macworld, etc), but there were key differences then…the same key differences that, if I were in charge of Instagram’s ToC (and what I had in my roadmap for Best Camera before it was derailed), could make/have made a huge benefit for photographers. Here’s a different approach that would be acceptable

1. Make the program an opt in program. Check a box in your user settings that says “this image can be sold (or x’d or y’d whatever)”, with some legal jargon, and have only those images be available in the marketplace. Make it image specific. For the people who want to manage that – who want to earn money – this won’t be a burden. For those who don’t want to play, it’ snot an issue.

2. Assuming #1 above, then split the revenue with the photographer. As the creator, you should own the right to exploit the work you create. A simple rev share would generate tons of dough and be perceived as a win for photography, not an attack on it by a multi billion dollar company.

There are just two things that could have changed today’s news into a huge win instead of a f*&king disaster. And FWIW, there are 100 other ways to monetize their platform that could be a win for content creators instead of an assault. If they need help, Kevin (founder), just give me a ring. I’ll help outline some alt options for you.

I’m flattered that not so long ago Instagram was a lift and stamp copy of Best Camera. I had my reasons for letting BC go that way and I think they did a marvelous job of executing – better than I ever could have done, especially without giving up my career as an artist. I love the results of what they’ve been able to build, almost flawlessly to date, a massive global community creating photos! But let’s face it. Instagram was a silicon valley startup on its second pivot (translation: tap into something hot right now and try to make it happen to get your investors money back…which they did). They saw market opportunity, not photography. The founders are nice guys (we have lots of the same friends) who certainly “like” photography, but they are not photographers, and they don’t have the sensitivities IMHO required to navigate the creators’ landscape (or if they have them, we have’t seen them yet…). I hope they can recover. For them, for you. I actually think they CAN recover. These guys are super smart and I’ll be in support of them if they can change and adapt to what the world wants – fair terms. But… For now, I recommend that those of you on the platform let them know that this isn’t cool.

How to Shoot a 7 Gigapixel, 60-Foot Wide Photo in 5 Easy Steps [The Devil is In the Details]

San Francisco panorama

I’ve always been a fan of photographic works by Andreas Gursky and others that are huge in scale and still maintain amazing detail. While Gursky is a living legend and none of us are approaching his sphere any time soon, there are a variety of more accessible approaches to creating massive images that maintain incredible details available to most of us

As such I want to take a second to introduce Ben Pitt. Ben is a tech / photo geek who has been reviewing digital things and software for more than 15 years – and as this post demonstrates – he knows a thing two about making these multi-gigapixel images with insane detail and will walk you though it in this post… Be sure to click on the link to this crazy 7-Gigapixel photo here (requires Flash) to get a sense for what I’m talking about. -Chase
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Thanks Chase. Modern digital cameras’ excessively high resolutions really bug me. Seriously, who needs more than 12 megapixels? (Don’t answer that.) So it’s ironic that I’ve recently caught a different kind of bug: creating gigapixel panoramas. It’s done by taking hundreds of photos and stitching them together on a computer. The image above weighs in at 7 gigapixels. Printed at 300dpi, it would be 61 feet wide.

As Chase mentioned, take a second to check out the 7-gigapixel image at by clicking one of these links Gigapan (requires Flash), Gigapan for iPhone/iPad or Photosynth (requires Silverlight). Hit the Full-screen button and see if you can track down the four details below. Go on – zoom right all the way to the sidewalk where you can peep into the lives of millions of San Francisco locals going about their day.

Gigapixel panorama stitching is a stiff challenge for the computer, but the technique is surprisingly easy and the equipment needn’t be expensive. There’s some high-tech kits out there, such as the GigaPan robotic camera mounts, but my image was captured using a normal tripod and an inexpensive ultra-zoom camera I happened to have with me on my trip. A long telephoto lens is crucial, and the Panasonic FZ200 was perfect with its 600mm (equivalent) maximum focal length and crisp focus. I generally prefer to use an SLR or mirrorless camera but I love how versatile, compact and affordable these ultra-zoom cameras are.

Step 1: Shooting
First, shooting was pretty straightforward. I mounted the camera on the tripod, switched the exposure, focus and white balance to manual and zoomed in. All that remained was to zigzag across the scene, capturing it a row at a time with about 30 percent overlap to ensure an accurate stitch. I took 1,229 photos, captured in 16 rows of about 75 shots each. It took just over an hour. The weather in California is thankfully a little more stable than it is in my native England, so the light didn’t change much throughout the hour.

Step 2: Stitching
A week later I was back at my PC and finally able to stitch it together. I used a free Windows utility called Microsoft ICE (short for Image Composite Editor). The stitching process is entirely automatic – simply import the JPEGs and the software identifies common features in overlapping photos, adjusts each photo’s geometry as necessary and stitches them all together. It takes hours to process hundreds of photos but you can just leave the software to get on with it.

Photosynth for iPhone

Photosynth for iPhone

[Note: Other stitching utilities are available for Windows and Mac, such as PTgui and GigaPan Stitch. These will set you back around $100 but they have some useful extra features, such as GigaPan Stitch's vignette correction or PTgui's manual adjustment for misaligned photos.There are also some impressive panorama-stitching iPhone apps too.They can't generate gigapixel images (the iPhone's 33mm equivalent lens isn't long enough) but you can't beat an iPhone app for immediacy and interactivity. Check out DPReview Connect's round-up of iOS panorama apps here.]

Step 3: Troubleshooting
I’ve found that automatic panorama stitching is rarely faultless, and there were four areas where ICE ran into trouble in my San Francisco shot. I’d anticipated two of these – the sky and the hillside in the foreground – as I knew that there wouldn’t be enough detail in these areas for the software to identify common features in overlapping photos. I got around this by shooting the skyline again at 195mm, which gave me enough sky so that I didn’t have to crop Sutro Tower out of the shot. Zoom in and you’ll notice that the sky isn’t as sharp as the city, but it’s only really apparent in the aeroplane just above the blimp. For the foreground I stitched a dozen shots at 25mm. That’s far less detail than the rest of the image, but considering that the foreground is out of focus, the join is fairly imperceptible.

Step 4: Photoshop finishing
Next, I loaded these three stitches into Photoshop CS6, resized the smaller ones to match the biggest and blended them together. This is one job that’s not worth considering without Photoshop. I tried various editors to see how they’d cope with the 15GB PSB file, and Photoshop was the only one that stood a chance. If you don’t own it, bear in mind that you can now rent it for cheap.

The trees in the foreground confused ICE too because they were blowing in the wind, so I returned to the original photos to patch this area. There was also one small spot that I’d somehow completely missed, so I had to rebuild it with some Photoshop trickery – I owe a beer to the first person to find it.

Photoshop CS6

Step 5: Sharing
Sharing – and even saving – gigapixel panoramas is another challenge. JPEG and TIF formats won’t go that high, so Photoshop’s PSB format is the only option I’ve found to save it to disk. The best way to view and share them is via online hosting sites. These work in a similar way to satellite mapping sites such as Google Maps, downloading small sections of the photo as they’re requested. I uploaded to Gigapan.com using its free uploader utility, and to Photosynth.net using a plug-in for Photoshop. You can also upload to Photosynth.net directly from Microsoft ICE.

There are some breathtaking panoramas on GigaPan, Photosynth and elsewhere – check out Martin Kulhavy’s work at www.martin.kulhavy.info, and this 30-gigapixel, 360-degree monster by Matt Uyttendaele, who happens to be the man behind ICE. These are the photographs that inspired me, and I’m happy to have produced something that – technically at least – is in the same league and yet was achieved with a cheap camera and basic tripod.

I love the fact that I created and published this image but I haven’t seen most of it. It’s a photo for exploring – finding the finer details. Like the man in the red cap reading a book on a roof, two toddlers planning their escape from a playground or the masses of street art that stretches across south San Francisco. There’s something satisfying about how this image is inquisitive but non-judgemental. From the fire-ravaged house façade to the man in the park with his tent, this is what San Francisco looked like on the 13th of October, 2012. I hope you find something interesting in there too. I hope you’re the man in the red cap, reading this now. Either way, If you’ve got a long lens and a couple of hours to spare, I’d love to see what’s happening in your neighborhood.

Photo of the Day [plus what + why + how + gear]

chase jarvis mountain bike

What: bike shot

Why this angle: the air + the trail tells a good story. plus all those vertical lines kept the scene clean. Nice light too…looking up really “opened up” the image. Simplicity almost always wins – in this case it does.

How: I laid under the jump and motor-drived the action at 9fps. we shot several attempts to ensure the rider was in the right spot relative to the rest of the scene…plus we added in the little bike tilt for some flair.

Gear n such: Nikon D3s. Nikkor 14-242l8 lens shot at 15mm. ISO 800. f3.5 1/1000sec (Here’s a link for you gear folks)

Feel free to let me know what you think. Or just tell me you like it.

Your New Hit List: 5 Things That Every Creative Person Should Get (and Give)

coffee smile chase jarvisGive. Whether to yourself or to a fellow artist in need. Every photographer, director, painter, writer, creative, entrepreneur, whatever mold into which you fit (or don’t) has basic needs. And thankfully, these needs are mostly free of charge. I’ve read 100 artist biographies, studied my own life and the creative LIVES of those around me and distilled some of the commonalities — and the outliers — for how and when, under what circumstance creatives kick ass. A pattern emerges. Therefore I suggest that you immediately (or ASAFP) give to yourself or to others….

1. Adventure + Experience. Whether in mind and spirit OR in actual physical practice, give yourself adventure and experience. Do stuff. Some stimulus, some INPUT is required as the raw building materials of a creative life. Profound is good, but unnecessary. What’s necessary are emotions, highs & lows, chinks in one’s armor, dents, road wear, and a range of experiences. What are yours? Some people go looking, others get hit but the truck, but in every case an experiential narrative is required for inspiration. So let me be blunt. Get off your ass. Given the chance to “go” or “stay”, you go. Whether you really go looking or metaphorically do, you won’t find “creativity”, you’ll find the stuff that creativity glues together. You’ve got to either cultivate, dig up, source, uncover or live these raw materials, these bricks, the sticks, and the meat to make something that only you can make. Live a life so that you can have a point of view.

2. Space. Creative synthesis doesn’t happen during your adventures, amidst the chaos and the noise. The mayhem and the delight of life gives you the ingredients, but synthesis only happens when you’re quiet, when you’ve got space, a moment to breathe. Sometimes it doesn’t require much space: a sleepless night, a shower, or an hour inside your head. Other times it requires more. But I guarentee it won’t be while you’re in the thick of it. Inspiration might rain down upon you, but building that inspiration into something meaningful takes more room than you’re giving yourself right now; it takes time (even a sliver), and it takes iteration. Rarely if ever will something come to you fully formed, despite all the fairy tales you’ve heard. Provide some respite, some space after inspiration, and harvest you will.

3. A Mirror. Give yourself a mirror. Not literally, but a figurative mirror to reflect on that voice inside your head, and capture that voice in an emotion. The raw materials of which I spoke above, are certainly out there in the world, but a quick reminder that you’ll not find any answers per se “out there”. All those answers – and I mean every one — are “in here”. In you. Things coming from you – from an only-you-could-have-made-this perspective is a requirement of outstanding art and creativity. Hence the mirror. No opportunity to reflect, no creative answers.

4. A Schedule To Make, Ship, or Do. Give yourself the schedule you hate – the one that says make it today, ship it, build it, do it. Chuck Close said (paraphrased) that… “If I sat around and only made art when I was ready, I wouldn’t have made much art.” It’s because Chuck knows that we excel at what we practice. And if we practice everyday – even in the absence of the raw materials, the mirror, the space, we’ll certainly be ready when all that shit lines up. Trust me on this one. And don’t try and say I’m contradicting myself. given the above points. You’ve got skills that need honing, even in the absence of the creative moon lining up with the creative Venus. Make things every day. Publish, launch, post, iterate, share. By God it’s the only way anything gets done.

5. A Break. Give yourself a damn break. You don’t have to be weird, unhappy, in ecstacy or pain to create great stuff. You have to be there. You have to be in the game, not on the sidelines. Adventuring and synthesizing, and reflecting and creating and shipping all take work; and that work won’t always be great. Don’t be a critic. The lives of critics are boring, ugly, short and full of yuck. Haven’t written a book? Don’t hate on one. Haven’t made a film? Be generous in your commentary. Don’t take, give. Give time, give gratitude, and by all means give yourself and others a break.

That’s it.

And don’t think you’ll get by with just one of the above. You’ve gotta wrangle all 5. Trust me on that.

joseph beuys_creativity capital

snapshot of Joseph Beuys "Creativity = Capital"

Learn How To Learn Anything, Hack Any System & Be Your Best: Tim Ferriss on creativeLIVE

UPDATED AGAIN WITH A TREAT: SPECIAL OFFER: This is LIVE right NOW. Buy the Tim Ferriss creativeLIVE course #4HourLife and get a free copy of Tim’s new book. Click for details http://cr8.lv/4-Hour_promo. Sale ends today! (somewhere around a $35 value …book + shipping)
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UPDATE: Tim is LIVE NOW… both today and tomorrow. Tune in here at creativeLIVE.com/live
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Short version: renowned 4-hour-everything guy Tim Ferriss is gonna be on creativeLIVE next week for 2 full days of badass, actionable inspiration and instruction. Go here for details.

More detailed version and how this relates to you: One of the most important characteristics in making one’s way through a creative career or any entrepreneurial endeavor is learning what’s most important and executing against it. What do I need to know and how do I acquire that skill, be it learning how to light with strobes, make a music video, dominate at Photoshop OR…. literally anything else. In short, you want to learn how to learn. How fast you can learn, grow, be in the system while simulataneously hacking it is, in my humble opinion, crucial to success in any field.

Enter, my pal Tim Ferriss. Tim takes all this to the next level. I’ve personally learned more from him about ‘how to hack learning’ than anyone else. You’ve probably read or seen one of his previous #1 NYTime Best selling books (4 Hour Work Week + 4 Hour Body) OR seen him on one of my most popular chasejarvisLIVE’s ever (I taught him how to build a studio set and then he photographs a bikini model), but the real news I want to share with you here is twofold:

1. He has a new, super badass book coming out in 2 weeks; and

2. More importantly he’s bringing this new book + BOTH previous books to life in realtime on creativeLIVE (the online learning channel I co-founded) next week. Two full days of live, interactive learning with Tim and host of world class experts. Not gonna lie to you, I’m canceling all other obligations and will be sitting in the soundstage during the entire broadcast.

I’ve seen the syllabus for the course, it’s insanely inspiring and ambitious. I’m an excitable guy, but I’m rarely as hyped as I am for this workshop. Learn how to learn anything from the meta-learning expert. The course is live on creativeLIVE on November 14th + 15th. Check it out here if you want more info or to register to attend online.

You can order the book here from Amazon. Check out Tim’s blog here.

Here’s his creativeLIVE pitch:

[the book trailer video was shot by my pal, director Adam Patch. Head on over to the trailer on YouTube here and leave a comment if you dig.]

tim ferriss on creativeLIVE

NASA Photographer & Astronaut Donald Pettit Shoots In Space

Photography is in my blood, and space has always held a fascination for me. Easy to see then why photographer and NASA astronaut Donald Pettit’s talk about photographing in space held me rapt. No models or art directors, editors, agents or clients, just this one man an his small struggles to capture an environment that not many get to experience.

Watch the vid to learn about his work, his equipment, and a surreal existence aboard the space station for 370 days over 3 trips to space. Couple photos below to whet your palette for the talk…

[Saw this via PetaPixel - and big ups to our friends at Photoshelter for hosting Donald at Luminance 2012 and sharing this content.Check 'em out.]

donpettit2 nasa via photoshelter

Photo by Donald Pettit - NASA

ISS030 star trail composite don pettit nasa

Photo by Donald Pettit - NASA

donpettit-1nasa via photoshelter

Photo by Donald Pettit - NASA

[Saw this via PetaPixel - and big ups to our friends at Photoshelter for hosting Donald at Luminance 2012 and sharing this content. Check them out.]

Making Films, Photos & Life DIFFERENT not just BETTER with World’s Best Snowboarder Travis Rice + Brain Farm Cinema [LIVE Today]

Travis Rice on chase jarvis live by ColeBarash.com

UPDATE: the LIVE broadcast is TODAY. Check out the post below and be sure to tune into http://www.chasejarvis.com/live — 11am SEA time (2pm NYC -19:00 London) — and enjoy the show. See you on air in a few…

You’ve heard me say it before – don’t sink all your effort into being incrementally better. Instead be DIFFERENT. Be BOLD.

This upcoming episode of chasejarvisLIVE is focused specifically on this simple idea. And my special guests for this episode epitomize this ‘different’ and ‘bold’ mantra as well as anyone I know. Like all of my guests, these guys aren’t ensconced in the “this is how it is” photo industry – they’re innovators from a parallel universe…. (and they are giving away some insanely cool stuff to promote the show – scroll to the bottom).

Yes, Travis Rice is the best snowboarder in the world. But what makes him the subject of this #cjLIVE is not really his skill. It’s that he is an innovator, a risk taker, a visionary the star of the most progressive action sports film ever made (The Art of Flight). He’s a bold and creative leader in his crowded and noisy industry.

Analogously, Chad Jackson hails from Brain Farm Digital Cinema. He and his partner Curt Morgan are the makers of the most innovative, high caliber and DIFFERENT action sports films in the world (eg. The Art of Flight). By using unique techniques and special cameras (like the phantom), leveraging relationships and their special vision, they have broken away from the old action sports film paradigm to set a new bar, a different bar. Tune in.

WHO: You, Me, Snowboarder Travis Rice and Brain Farm Digital Cinema EP Chad Jackson + a worldwide gathering of creative people
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, October 24th, 11:00am Seattle time (2pm NYC time or 19:00 London)
WHERE: Tune into www.chasejarvis.com/live. It’s free — anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

HELP PROMOTE THE SHOW, SCORE STUFF.
1. In order to pimp the show and help bring together another ginormous worldwide audience, Travis is giving away a signed Lib Tech snowboard. YES, you read that correctly. Also, he’s giving away a signed copy of The Art of Flight photo book (it’s gorgeous). To enter to score either one of these send out a creative tweet that contains the URL (or short URL) to THIS post + hashtag #cjLIVE starting NOW and ending at the beginning of the show on Wednesday, October 24. Enter as many times (tweets) as you want — tweet and retweet — Travis and I will be watching for the most creative shoutouts.

2. Also, this is HUuuuuGE. Manfrotto will be giving away an incredible kit of gear during the episode. Bucks deluxe…

-Manfrotto 290 3-section carbon fiber tripod with quick-release 3-way photo head (I use this tripod)
-Manfrotto Midi-36 LED Light
-Manfrotto Stile Bella V Black Shoulder Bag 
-Manfrotto Lino Apparel Soft Shell Jacket
-Manfrotto Lino Apparel Photo Cap

We’ll tell you how to enter – but you gotta watch LIVE to nail this one…

Contest Rules
LASTLY, JOIN US.

Lastly, if you want to be part of the live, in-studio audience, send an email to production@chasejarvis.com with “The Art of Flight” in the subject line. Winners will receive a confirmation email with attendance instructions. Bonus points for tweeting about the show and sending folks here.

Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, Manfrotto and B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make and sell.

We would also like to welcome our long-time friends liveBooks to the show as well. I have been a Livebooks user for years and am excited to have such a great creative partner joining chasejarvisLIVE.

Please follow them on Twitter at: @hpprint, @HasselbladBron, @manfrotto_tweet, @BHPhotoVideo, @livebooks

Friday Film Quiz: Super Synch, Phony Film, or Frame Rate?

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I am on-the-record with a deep belief that photography and filmmaking are not all about speeds and feeds or how big your megapixels are compared to mine. Nonetheless, I do have a healthy respect for the technical side of the craft — and for those who dive in deep.

Like the guy who made this video, for example.

This optical illusion is “purportedly” made possible by synching the camera shutter speed with the rotation of the helicopter’s blades, giving the latter the appearance of “staticity.” Some cry hoax. Others say it’s real. Those who believe it is real have engaged in lengthy debate about how it was achieved. The two sides’ arguments break down like this:

SS: “As the title of the video suggests, the filmmaker synched his shutter speed with the rotation of the helicopter blades to make it appear as it does.”

FR: “This is a matter of frame rate, not shutter speed. The frame rate has to be synched such that with each frame exposure the blades are in the exact same position.”

So here’s the quiz – what’s your take? Real or fake? Shutter speed or frame rate?

Business Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs with Ramit Sethi

ramit sethi chase jarvis creative live

Big news. Ramit Sethi is doing a 3 day intensive course on creativeLIVE starting today. Right NOW in fact. If you know who he is and why I’m so stoked, go to creativeLIVE.com/live RIGHT NOW for free. If you don’t need or want to earn money with your creative work then no worries – total respect – skip this post and jump over to 13 tips for a more creative success (one of my fav posts). But if you do want to earn money or make a living with your art and DONT know why I’m so pumped then read on….

BACKSTORY
One of the most popular cjLIVEs last year was the Ramit Sethi episode. More that 25,000 people watched the 60 min live broadcast from 100+ countries, another 100,000 hit the re-watch in various places. And for good reason – it was a game changer for lots of people. Ramit is not a creative guru, a filmmaker or a photographer – this blog, my constant spouting, etc are full of that yummy stuff. Ramit is different. He’s a genius at teaching creatives like you and me who lack some business chops how to position our work. By example, in that single chasejarvisLIVE episode Ramit went into very specific detail about:

// how to win jobs by preparing ahead… specifically the “portfolio” or “briefcase” techniques…

// how to negotiate higher rates for your creative work – the very specific words to use that demonstrate high end value and vision

// how to position yourself as a high end creator – not a commodity that goes to the lowest bidder

// how to position yourself as the prize in any negotiation around you and your work

I’ll be honest – the reason I hosted Ramit onto #cjLIVE was because we’d met last fall and I learned more about the business of positioning yourself in n 1 hour talking to Ramit over dinner than I had from anyone prior to him. More than agents, managers, Hollywood people, marketing people etc. It was a shock, because I considered myself pretty good at that shiz… but he blew me away. The reason? Turns out he’s a Stanford educated behavioral psychologist. He understands value, perception, human delivery, persuasion, confidence and so many other things that – until he revealed them to me – were just nebulous concepts.

So don’t be fooled by the title of his NY Times best-selling book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Yes, he’s a personal finance guru – and you should listen to him for that advice as well (my wife and I are on his savings “plan”) – but why you should watch his 3 day course at creativeLIVE this week is simple – he’s great at teaching all these soft skills I’m talking about that will separate you from the rest… landing gigs, scoring that agent, billing higher rates, and getting respect in a crowded and noisy industry.

Check it out.

[aside - I'll be dropping into his show on Friday for Q&A. Stay tuned to my social feeds]

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