Pictures from 2013 US Nationals Kubb Championship

I didn’t get much time to take photos at the 2013 US Nationals Kubb Championship. Saturday was a day focused my team the Kubbchucks progressing through the bracket, and hoping that our club, Minnesota Kubb, did really well. Sunday I was mostly focused on scoring games for Planet Kubb and running the final parts of the Planet Kubb Club Championship. I did get my camera out for about an hour and get some shots in, but only from Sunday.

2013 Minnesota Kubb Tournament Photos

Photos from the 2013 Minnesota Kubb Tournament!

New Video Stingers (v2)

A little over a year ago I created a handful of stingers to use on video content that I create. The stinger serves a bunch of purposes. On the practical side it gives the movie player and data stream to get going. I often notice that in the first couple of seconds of video there are some breaks and with a stinger that happens before the content starts. Also, you can name your site and show what license terms apply to it (the later is something I forgot to do in my first stingers).

I decided to redo them and improved a number of things:

  • Made the stingers 5 seconds long. The first ones were 7 seconds and just a little too long.
  • I added the Creative Commons license information that I apply to my videos so it is clear what terms apply to reuse of the video.
  • My first stingers weren’t as high-resolution and didn’t look as good in HD.
  • I made sure the aspect ratio defaulted to widescreen.

Several of my friends asked me how I create my stingers. It is really easy actually. I use Keynote to make the stinger itself, using transition effects that are on a timer. I then export the presentation to a Quicktime movie. I import the Quicktime movie of the transitions into iMovie and do trimming as well as adding audio. I then export them out of iMovie and re-import the completed stingers into iMovie to use in other videos. It sounds more complicated than it is. If you would like to use my Keynote file to start with go ahead and download Video Stingers v2.1.key.

For fun, here are the five new stingers.

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Where are the best photography spots in Minneapolis?

I would really like to get out and do some fun shooting but would love to find some new spots that have a lot of interesting stuff going on. The Stone Arch bridge is obvious, something a little less obvious. I was thinking that the Midtown Global Market would be a fun place, but it’s inside and fairly dark. Would need a really fast lens, but could get some cool shots.

Anyone want to share some favorite places for photography? If your interested in a photowalk, let me know!

Lightroom Tip: Smart Collection for Pictures Without Location

Lightroom 2 introduced a badly needed feature, Smart Collections. I was ecstatic about using Smart Collections to assist with workflow. One of those workflows I’ve been working on has been adding IPTC location data to my photos, essentially setting the Country, State, City and Location for photos. It would be great to create a Smart Collection that included all photos that do not have location details and then just work through it with photos automatically being removed after adding the information. You can try this by creating a Smart Collection like this:

Null Location 1.png

But, it won’t work. Lightroom doesn’t have an operator “is blank”. The next best thing is to just do “is” and set the value to nothing, but Lightroom doesn’t honor this and just assumes you made a mistake. I stopped here for a long time and just assumed what I wanted to do wasn’t possible. However, then I came up with this workaround:

Null Location 2.png

And this works perfect! Create a smart collection using “doesn’t contain” for each letter in the alphabet and you will get the desired result, all photos that do not have anything in their location. Great!

Diving in with DNG

I’ve hesitated and resisted migrating all my native Canon Raw (CRW and CR2) files to DNG. However, over the last couple of months I started to do a DNG conversion on import. Today I went all in.

Diving-in-with-DNG.png

I’m doing a mass conversion year-by-year. I’ll write another post on the process and how much space I saved, and a little of why I did it.

For those of you I’ve told for years to not use DNG, forget all that. :-)

Canon 5D Mark II Video – Reverie

A couple of weeks ago Canon made a really big splash by announcing the Canon 5D Mark II. I’m a longtime Canon owner now having gone from the Digital Rebel to 20D to 40D now. I’ve wanted a 5D ever since the first one came out since it has no focal length multiplier. The CMOS sensor is the same size as a 35mm negative and since I love to shoot wide and have some great lenses for it, getting rid of the multiplier is a huge win to me. What I wasn’t expecting is that the 5D Mark II would come onto the scene with full HD quality video capture.

It’s best to just see what this camera can do. Full 1080p at 30 fps using all of your amazing Canon glass (lenses) opens up some amazing opportunities. Vincent Laforet put together this video for Canon created entirely on the new 5D Mark II. It’s amazing.

Vincent-Laforet-Reverie-Still.png

Obviously Laforet has more talent in his little finger than I could hope to have, this is a great video. But look at the technical quality of it and the shots achieved with depth-of-field and a simple fisheye lens. This really opens the door to some amazing options, and simply isn’t possible even on “prosumer” HD video cameras.

By the way, this is the video that I was complaining about Canon not being able to host before.

Canon Exceeded Download Capacity?

A few days ago I watched this amazing video that was created on the brand new Canon 5D Mark II. I was going to put a link to it on my site, but when I went to found it I was greeted with this screen.

canon-video-overload.png

What? Canon USA has “EXCEEDED [THEIR] DOWNLOAD CAPACITY” (the all-caps is courtesy of them). Does anyone at Canon realize how ridiculous it makes them look to have this message on their site? I’m wondering if maybe Canon just hosts at Dreamhost or something.

Canon, if you are going to tell people about how serious you are about amazing imaging and beautiful video, the first place to start is by being able to serve that content to the web. And please never use ALL CAPS.

Apparently the video will be back up “shortly” and I’ll post a link to it then.