I realized this morning that NACMA is less than three weeks away...and started to get a tiny bit stressed.
We still have lots to do! NACMA is a team effort around here, and nearly everyone in the office is contributing in some way. There's been hotel reservations, party invitations...trailer rentals and graphics environmental. A photo shoot and ordering loot. Booth construction and office obstruction. And I don't have enough brain power to think of more rhyming phrases. Instead, I'll turn my attention to checking more off our list.
Old Hat Clients - make sure to watch your mail and email for more information soon!
I'm always on the lookout for new and more efficient ways to tell a story in our Capture department. Sometimes these are creative solutions and sometimes they're technical ones.
If there's a new way to do something that makes it cheaper, faster or easier than the way we currently do it, then I'm all ears.
Shooting photos and video is very interesting to me because it's where technology and creativity collide. You have to take care of all the technology to make the creative part sing. (Case in point, the photo above of me shooting at Clemson. One camera attached to a glidecam for moving, handheld shots. One camera on a tripod for locked off shots. Transferring a single camera between the two setups wastes time and allows for fewer setups. With both we can work faster, saving the client time and money.)
Recently Adobe released a new version of their Lightroom software. Lightroom is what I use to organize and process the tens of thousands of photos we shoot every season.
I keep all of the photographs we shoot. You never know when something will come in handy and I go back to stuff all the time. As you can see from the screenshot above, I currently have 111,612 photos stored. Most of those are client photos and there is also a good amount of stuff shot for Old Hat's internal use. We store it all on a Drobo 5N connected directly to my desktop.
111,612 photos is not a small amount of photos to sort through or load into a program. Adobe added lots of new bells and whistles into the new Lightroom. The one thing that Adobe did that I care about? SPEED. The newest version is faster.
Lately for video I've also become obsessed with 15mm rods and Nato rails. What are those you ask?
Both a 15mm rod and a nato rail are standard mounting protocols used in video for attaching accessories needed for video production. These can be monitors, audio equipment, a follow focus, handgrips, etc. They are also much sturdier and quick to attach and release than a screw mount.
I use a lot of different tools to help facilitate our Capture division. Software, hardware, cameras, lights, grip, etc. All of it plays a role in making things faster, easier and better for our clients. There's always something new in the works from a lot of great companies out there that make these tools.
Yesterday Adobe announced Lightoom CC/6. I use Lightroom here at Old Hat to edit, categorize and organize all of the photographs we shoot throughout the year. It's a crucial part of our workflow and I'm very excited for some of the new features they've engineered in this version.
The number one feature I'm excited about is SPEED! Apparently the new version of Lightroom is way faster than the previous version and speed means we can get things done faster, which is great for you, as a client!
We rely heavily on technology to do our jobs around here, as most people do nowadays. Ask yourself, could you do your job effectively if you didn't have the internet? Or email? Or cellphones? Now think about how we didn't have any of those things only a few short decades ago. Things still got done, but not at the speed and with the ease they're accomplished now.
In order to keep up with your competitors you had to institute all of those things into your workflow. And that's what we do here at Old Hat. We keep up with the technology and the new trends. It's the reason for any price increases or changing of protocols. We have to advance to survive.
In no particular order, here are the top 5 technological thingamajigs that make my life easier/faster at work:
1: Desktop Computer
Of course right? I don't know a whole lot of professions that don't use a computer to accomplish all sorts of tasks. If you walk into Old Hat on any given day, you will find every member of the staff sitting at their computer. It's important that these computers are fast and powerful so we can concentrate on the creative part of our jobs and that's making cool stuff for our clients.
This goes hand in hand with the whole computer thing. We use the latest and greatest creative software from all kinds of companies to create the cool stuff we push out the door everyday. Without it we couldn't create the thousands of posters, publications, websites and videos that we make every year. The days of setting type and photocopying designs are long gone and they aren't coming back.
I use a variety of diffent capture devices for taking photos and shooting video. Each one has its pros and cons that make it better suited to one task or the other. These tools are constantly in flux and are designed to make things faster and easier on set. When I started at Old Hat we were still capturing video at SD resolution. Fast forward a short 8 years and the industry has moved up to HD and now 4K is even coming on strong. The one rule of technology is that it will always advance and we have to advance with it to serve you, our clients.
4. Office Chair
You didn't see this one coming right? I know, it sounds silly, but I sit in this chair for close to 8 hours a day, every day. It needs to be comfortable and ergonomic to allow me to focus on what's in front of me and not what's beneath me. I've went through several chairs over the course of the last few years and I anticipate I'll be going through several more in the years to come. I'm always on the lookout for a better chair. And as much as the chair is important, getting out of it every once in awhile is just as important. If you sit in a chair all day at your job, make sure you get up and move.
No man is an island. You have to have help to do this job and we have a lot of great people here at Old Hat. You may even have met a few of them. So thanks to the great people here for helping out everyday.
This past week has been pretty exciting! Last Monday, our client, Duke, won the Men's Basketball National Championship. On Saturday, our client, Providence College, won the Men's Hockey National Championship and our client, OU, won the Men's Gymnastics National Championship! Not a bad few days! I was fortunate to work with Duke on a lot of their regular and post season Men's Basketball print and video pieces. Additionally, I worked with Providence on their Men's Hockey intro video this year. Dustin went over to OU and did a photo shoot for the Men's Gymnastics team this fall for them to use in their marketing efforts throughout the season. Seems like if you want to win a National Championship, maybe you should consider letting Old Hat help with some of your marketing pieces ;)
You can check out some of the work for these champion clients here:
Providence Men's Hockey Intro Video:
Duke Men's Basketball Season Ticket Book (click thru to video the entire publication):
Men's Basketball Poster, Schedule Card and Magnet:
First up, congrats to Old Hat client Duke on winning the National Championship last night. The leadoff photo is from my last time out there shooting for them. Mason Plumlee (pictured above) isn't there anymore, but his little brother still is.
Here's some quick speedlinks leading into your Tuesday. Here we go...
• Do you like court projection videos? Of course you do. But other industries are using the same technology to make cool stuff. Check out the video above from American Idol.
• How about tintypes? Do you like tintypes? Don't lie, you probably didn't know what those were. Basically if you wanted to take photos like we were still in the 1800's, well that's what you'd do. Not sure I have the patience for it, but holy smokes is it cool. So props to her for making it happen.
That's it for today! Come back next time for more.
This was a still pulled from a video shoot for Men's Basketball shot last year at the University of Cincinnati.
The shoot was done in a darkened practice gym. All of the light in the photo is coming from Arri 650's that we setup. We turned off all of the practical lighting and started with a blank slate.
One of the big components of this shot was the smoke. We had 3 smoke machines working to create the hazy atmosphere. One smoke machine was underneath and behind the basket. We had additional smoke machines off to each side.
A key thing when you're putting smoke in a shot is that you have to light it to see it. If we smoked up a dark gym and didn't light the smoke properly then you would barely be able to tell it was there. In this case we had 4 Arri 650's behind the basket to illuminate the smoke, the basket and the player when he came into frame.
We also had 2 Arri 650's off to camera left to light the area where the action was taking place. Without the 2 lights to camera left you would see just a silhouette of the player and you'd lose the detail of seeing the graphics on his jersey, facial expressions, etc.
Since we were shooting at 120 frames per second we needed a lot of light in the shot. A fast frame rate vs. a standard 24 or 30 frames per second means less light hitting the sensor per frame in the same amount of time. The Arri 650's gave us just enough power to light a large area of the gym floor and still get the background to fall away to black. We couldn't have pulled off this shot with less powerful lights. In fact, 1000 watts per light would've been even better.
This was the setup for almost all of the shots we included in the following video. Thanks for coming by!
Great staff photo, huh? Only, that's not us. And that will never be us. We don't wear power suits or ties. We wear jeans, t-shirts, ballcaps, athletic shorts... pretty much whatever we want.
I was looking at our "About Us" page the other day and I couldn't believe how corporate looking I had allowed it to become. All our staff photos looked like we belonged in a photo like the one above. But that's not us. So I decided to spend my morning getting US back into our about us page. There are no major changes here but it's a much better representation of who we are than it was before. This page doesn't include our entire staff, by the way. Just the people you're likely to come into contact with when you deal with us. Though after spending some time working on this page, I think we probably need to get our entire staff on here.
Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, flowers, gifts and other tokens of appreciation with their loved ones. With today being the 13th, and the last day for some of you men to rush out and pick up something last-minute, I would be remiss if I didn't mention it to lead off the blog today.
However, this blog is not about love. No, it is about...PHOTOGRAPHY. That's usually what I write about and today is no exception.
I want to lead off with a very cool project by photographer Vincent Laforet. His series of photographs of major cities from the air is something I've been very interested in since it came out just recently. He first did one on New York City that got a lot of attention. Next he did one on Las Vegas. It looks like his series will continue with more cities in more countries in the months to come. I can't wait to see what comes next.
One of the reasons I'm so excited about Vincent's project is that I had the opportunity to shoot some aerial photography myself this past year. For our football shoot at the University of Central Arkansas we went up in a small plane to get some shots of their football stadium from above.
A photo posted by Old Hat Creative (@oldhatcreative) onAug 14, 2014 at 12:33pm PDT
Aerial photography presents a lot of challenges to the normal photographic process and I'm excited to be able to do more of that type of work in the future. I, for one, will be keeping a close eye on Vincent's project. Do yourself a favor and go check it out.
You may remember us talking about our recent trip down to SMU's campus to take photos of the new football staff. SMU has utilized a lot of those on their new football site for Coach Chad Morris at ponyuptempo.com. We didn't have anything to do with the site, but we think the staff photographs look pretty good!
Yesterday at our mid-year Staff Infection, Zac asked us to pick a project from 2014 we worked on or worked with that we really liked. This list could really go on and on as there are hundreds to pick from. A few projects mentioned yesterday are still being finalized and are almost ready for release - stay tuned as more great stuff is always coming out of this place! And like a parent with their children, it's hard to pick a favorite. But here are some of the highlights…