We've started the video project. Now we've got stuff to do and it feels great.


Renae. At one time the world's greatest photo
assistant and manager. 

We're on schedule to shoot three set-ups tomorrow morning. The temperature promises to be about five or six degrees cooler, overall, tomorrow and our first set-up is early; a 7:45 call time for the talent. We'll work the first shoot in the full shade of the big theater building and we've got ample space on the big plaza to move all over, without restriction. Then we move on to several more urban locations but all are within about a two mile radius and they are in the "laid back" neighborhoods south of the river in Austin. 

I worked with the Panasonic S1 today, along with the 24-105mm Lumix lens, and I have to say two things that stuck out to me. First, the dual image stabilization is as advertised. I'm not the most accomplished hand holder when it comes to camera shake but this combo made me look like the rock of Gibraltar. We rehearsed and did several camera moves where I had to handhold and walk backwards as our actor walked towards me. It was a ten or twelve foot move and our choregrapher, Jen, spotted me from the back, putting her hands on my back to guide me so I didn't run into anything or miss the pace. The camera nailed focus throughout. I used it in the focus tracking mode with the face detection feature enabled. 

Secondly, we tested out the Like Rec 709 profile today because it compresses the highlights and works hard to prevent them from blowing out. It worked incredibly well. 

We were a almost backlit by the sun but a lot of the shot was in the shallow shade cast by the 3D "ATX" sign we were using as a background. An assistant was directing bounced light from a silver reflector into the shot and when we did our first check on the Atomos monitor we could see detail (by a thread) in the sky and good, open shadows where we needed them. We also shot some V-Log but as I'm a newbie at color grading from Log files I wanted to hedge my bets with the Rec. 709 just to be safe. I'm glad I did since it's already looking nice on the studio monitor and only needs modest tweaks. And man... that profile clung to highlight detail like a Sony fan to his brand...

It didn't hurt that we were able to shoot 10 bit and 4:2:2 so that if we do need to exaggerate the shadow curve we'll have extra data to play with. 

Tomorrow one of my friends is lending me a Ronin S gimbal to play with. I've never worked directly with a gimbal but I've learned that a Lumix G9 with firmware 2.0 is supposed to be a killer gimbal camera. Not too heavy, full on 4k, 10 bit, 4:2:2 and the best AF of the entire Lumix family. We'll see if I can learn a few new tricks and then use them on some of the upcoming parts of this month long shooting experience. 

But I did lay down some important ground rules: All shoots must be schedule around my swim schedule. Some things are sacred. 

It's supposed to cool down a little this week. I've been valiantly and doggedly trying to keep our lawn and our wonderful trees alive and happy. A drop in temperature would make my job as lead gardener just a bit easier. 

Rave reviews and a new booking from the bio-tech client of two weeks ago. A bit of studio testing before heading out on location is just the ticket. Or maybe they just liked hanging out with my son. 

Hope you are staying cool, safe and happy.