Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to create a TimeLapse with a GoPro and a Egg Timer.

A while ago i picked up a GoPro Hero 3 black edition just for the pure reason that every one had one. I found that it took some amazing video that gave me a different view that i could not have gotten from a large DSLR. So as a photographer at heart i played with it taking still images.  It takes images at 4,000x3,000 pixels (12 Megapixels) and does it just fine so this camera and lens set up its not that bad to start with.
     First things first, how to set up the camera. You go to the time lapse setting on your Gopro. Once you get on that menu it will ask you what setting you want the GoPro to take a image, what it mean is the interval on how often it will take a image.  Right now it will take a image every 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds.  here is a little cheat sheet that i use when i want to find out how often i need to fire the camera.

1 second
Moving traffic, Fast moving clouds Drivelapses

1 – 3 seconds Sunsets, Sunrises, Slower moving clouds, Crowds, Moon and sun near horizon (or telephoto) Things photographed with a telephoto
15 – 30 seconds Moving shadows, Sun across sky (no clouds) (wide) Stars (15 – 60 seconds)
Longer Fast growing plants (ex vines) (90 – 120 seconds) Construction projects (5min – 15min)

Once you select your time interval that you want. set the camera down and wait. You can also place the GoPro on a egg timer(something that move very even and slow) to create a moving time lapse.  So now you let your camera shoot for about 30 mins and you have all these files on the GoPro and you now need to get them into a video.  This video below will show you how to do it, Please watch and enjoy!


Big things to take away from this is that you need to make it smooth.  If you have done everything right and take the images at the wrong interval it will end up being choppy and that is not very pleasant to the eye.  So i try and keep this little set up in my bag so when i out taking still images with my main camera like this one.  I can still create something on the side that requires just me starting and stopping it.

So i hope you enjoyed this and i hope that you will go out and try this sometime. At the end of the day i love to have as much media that i can have from one location. Even if it never sees the light of day, i still have it for a later day to enjoy or even edit when i found a new way to edit things.  I leave you all with this video that i took with a GoPro and a Iphone 5s. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Life after Marlbaro Black Book Photo Contest.

     First things first! A little recap on how this all came about.  Last year as i was wondering the streets of New York City  and i got a email from Marlboro. I was dumbfounded by this email. I opened it up and low and behold it said that i was a finalist of the Black Book Photo Contest. I almost dropped my phone on the streets of NYC when i seen this. I wrote this contest off months before this just thinking that i had no chance at this.  So after i called up the nice lady at Marlboro and said that i had 2 days to turn in the required paper work so i can keep my spots was a little nerve wracking. Ok, with that said lets fast forward to now. Here are some images that i posted on my facebook. Got a Welcome package and here is a image of the gear that i won. I did walk away as a winner of 2 of the 4 contest that we competed in. Winning the Model shoot really made me want to get more into portraits.

Welcome Package from Marlboro

The Gear i was given to work with.

     So i am home now(Tokyo) and enjoying every moment out here. Exploring every weekend and just trying to move to the next level in my photography. I feel like i have upped it to the next level and am creating images that am very happy with. I figured out a new work flow that lets me back up, import, edit very fast in different programs, and export and back up in different places very fast.  To compare this to what i was doing before, well lets just say i that i have cut down my time spent in front of the IMac from "8 Hours" to maybe 1-2 hours for a editing session.
        I now also started to use Iphoto to help organize my photos more then just a folder that says "done images". It lets me rename and add a description PLUS add a location to it also. I can export also to different media sites like my Flickr and my Smug-mug site with just a click of a button now. Saving me time that i could use in other places. I did this cause the fact that if i do want to take it to the next level i must be efficient with my time.  
Image taken with the Iphone 5S in Tokyo.
I plan on working more strobist type images and time lapse Photography. Both are something that i really want to get my feet wet in. I feel like images with off camera lighting and done right just look amazing. You can recreate window light if you don't have any or create a point of focus on a subject with just a simple flash. With time lapse video, I think every one thinks the same thing as i do.... Its Freaking Awesome!  I feel like i have got a good hold on Landscape images but i can always improve on it.

Some of my new landscape shots
My street Photography stuff.
Last but not least is that am starting to get more into street photography. I love that you can capture a moment of time, showing some ones reaction. I am working on a "secret" Project that i should be posting here in the near future. So if you have any other questions, feel free to just ask.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Photographing Shinjuku

Shinjuku has lots to offer compared to the other parts of Tokyo.  It's the home of the famous Yakitori Alley, Tokyo metropolitan building, and several other great spots to see and love. The area is full of bright neon lights and the fast past movements of thousands of business men and women, people taking buses to far away locations, and high-end shoppers with garage bands singing their hearts out on the streets. This place has every thing you could ask for and so much more.
       If you are like me and take the train every time you want to get around, this train station is very large and could have you looking for the right exit, real fast!  So, you are out of the train station itching to get some great photos. I am a Landscape photographer at heart and this place has so many look outs. From the walk bridges and tall buildings that surround shinjuku, you could be here for weeks and never find them all.  One of my favorite spots is the Tokyo metropolitan building. The few reasons are 1. It's tall, 48 floors in total. 2. You can see and photograph Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and all the buildings around it. 3. The best reason of all.......  IT IS FREE! In Tokyo this is so freaking rare. The only 2 downsides to this place is the fact that you can't use a Tripod and the south tower closes early. I would say that this place is a very solid place to come and see for an amazing rooftop type shots of tokyo.
If you want to Grab a bite to eat and take a few images, then Yakitori Alley is your next stop.  This place is filled with little hole in the walk type BBQ shops. Think of a 6 x 12 foot little shop with a bar and a few stools for you to sit on and a very interesting person behind the bar cooking and serving beer.  If you want to capture some real honest reactions of random people, then Yakitori Alley is the perfect place for it. The light in side of this place is dramatic and some what bright from all the bar bulbs and neon lights. This is just a fun place to see and enjoy. Must see and do! it's only a 3 min walk out of the east or west exit to the north side of the station.

I could go on about "This spot" or "That spot" but i would rather you go out and explore it yourself. I found that if you just go out and just wonder the streets, you will find new spots that no one has ever thought of shooting before, or you can just find a spot that everyone else has shot to death.

Last thing i would say is that this place is a Street Photographer's heaven. There are all kinds of people that hang around this area of Tokyo.  Am talking about an old lady with a $8,000 hand bag, and god knows how much else she has on her to the homeless guy right next to her. Then right down the street are a bunch of drunk 20 somethings coming out of Yakitori Alley. So please, get out and have fun. It's well worth the trip to this amazing spot!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My New Life Here In JAPAN!

Well I Moved to Japan. I guess the title could have told you that from the start but i just wanted to make that clear for some of you:) So i now live in one of the most populated areas in the world. Just to put it into terms of how long it takes to get around, my 2.3 mile drive home from work every day can some times take 45 minutes...... Ow so much fun right there.
        So you are in a new place, you love to explore, and you take photos. Then what do you do? YOU GO CRAZY FOR A FEW MONTHS!  I have been traveling all over the Tokyo Area seeing the sights, tasting the food, and putting alot of miles on my shoes. I have found a few well known spots to photograph and some "Hidden" spots that are a little gems of mine.  One of the very first spots i have been to in Shibuya is pictured below. In this post we are going to talk mostly about Shibuya and the sights to see around there and the Spots that i love to shot.

Shibuya is one of the most famous spots in all of Tokyo. The reason being is the crossing and the mass amounts of people that cross it every 45 seconds. When the lights turn green and the people begin to cross, there some times can be upwards of thousands of people that walk from all 4 corners to the middle and to get to the side that they want to get to. In short, It is a mad house!

This is a calm night here at the shibuya crossing. This is one of the a few views you can take of the intersection but its one of the "hidden" secrets. To get to this crossing is rather a difficult one once you find out how to get to it. Am not going to tell you how to get to it, but if you just look at the images, i bet you will be able to find out how to get to it. Just make sure that you treat it with respect so we can keep this spot open for fellow photographer to enjoy.

         If you cant find this spot there is a ton of other great spots here that are just asking to be photographed. You can post up in a corner of the intersection and shot that way, or go to the starbucks that has windows and seating for people to enjoy a cup of coffee and take in the view. Just like this video shows.

Either way you can't go wrong by heading to Shibuya. It's a youthful, energetic, and fast paced area of Tokyo that is always changing. Things to bring would be

-Any camera, Even a Iphone will do
-Tripod, Just in case you want to do some long exposures.
-A wide and standard lens. I come to this place with a 17-40 F4L and a 50 F1.4
-Your appetite, There is a ton of great places to see and eat at.

So get out and have fun!