View from the Top


Some events require special accommodations. This time a product demo was set up to display the application of a wound dressing on 24′ screens in HD so audiences could clearly see and watch the procedure.

The Canon Vixia HF G10 captures a great image. It is light and compact to fit the bill. Even more useful is it’s ability to output a component signal for long runs and HDMI for quick and convenient viewing.

Heavy duty and flexible lighting support gear easily handled the weight and quickly configured to position the camera directly over head. The Super boom hand cranks made it simple to aim the camera while viewing the framing using a SmallHD DP7 Pro Oled monitor.  The ability to pass the HDMI signal through made it simple to add a 40 inch “confidence” monitor to allow the “talent” to confirm what the audience would see and keep all the action within the field of view.  The work area was lit with an Arrilite 750 plus with Chimera video Pro softbox and the addition of a 40 degree grid blocked spill from the audience’s view and eliminated annoying glare as well as reflections on the shiny surface of the patient model. A Manfrotto Lanc controller provided remote control of the camera. White balance and focus tests were made easier using a Photovision 24″ One Shot Digital Target.

The client was very pleased with the results and pleasantly surprised how this setup alleviated all the issues they encountered in past attempts to perform this demonstration.


Canon VIXIA HF G10 Flash Memory Camcorder
– Capture Full HD 1920 x 1080p Video
– Canon 2.37 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro Sensor
– 32GB Memory & Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots
– Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens
-3.5″ Widescreen Touch Panel LCD
– 0.24″ Color Electronic Viewfinder
– Dynamic SuperRange Optical Stabilization
– Professional Shooting Assist Functions
– Intelligent IS & Cinema-Look Filters
– Audio Scene Select & Story Creator

Avenger A4050CS 16.4′ Steel Boom Stand 50
-The Avenger A4050CS 16.4′ Steel Boom Stand 50 is a heavy duty, chrome-plated steel support that can be used traditionally as a light stand, or converted to a boom via a pivot in the first riser. The A4050CS also features a leveling leg for rough or uneven terrain. An optional counterweight is strongly recommended when using the stand in boom mode.

Arrilite 750 Plus
The Arrilite 750 Plus from Arri is an enhanced version of the tried-and-true Arrilite open face line. Arri started with the basic design of the Arrilite 800 and optimized the reflector to increase output 21% using a 750W HPL lamp which uses a compact filament that concentrates the most light where it is efficient. The result is almost double the output.

HHSP144 is a Full 3D HDMI® Splitter
The HHSP144 is a Full 3D HDMI® Splitter which uses a single HDMI® source, accessing to multiple HDMI® sinks. This splitter allows one HDMI® device to be split easily to four HDMI® compatible monitors or projects. It can also be placed at the end of a long HDMI® cable to regenerate the HDMI® signal.

IOGear wireless digital kit

The kit consists of a Wireless 3D Audio/Vudeo Transmitter and a Wireless 3D Audio/Video Receiver with connections for your HDMI® enabled device along with a built-in loop-through (local) port for an advanced 2 HDTV multi-room setup. It also includes Infrared (IR) pass-through for wireless control of your devices.

-“Real-Time” 3D LUTs
– Perfect Rec.709 Color Gamut via 3D LUT
– True black levels – infinite contrast ratio
– 1280×800 high definition display resolution
– High-res full-screen waveform & scopes
– 8 proximity-sensing Smart Keys
– “X-Port” expandability port

Manfrotto RC Clamp LANC Remote Control
The Canon RC Clamp LANC Remote Control is used with LANC (Canon/Sony) cameras and can be clamped onto round tubes with 0.47-0.9″ (12-23 mm) diameters using a quick-lock fastening clamp. It can be easily attached to a pan bar. With efficient quick lock and speed controls, the unit enables quick camera set up. A max-speed zoom potentiometer allows you to adjust the zoom speed of the camera.

Manfrotto 025BS Super Boom
-The Manfrotto 025BS Super Boom features coaxial geared controls at the end of the boom, which permits movement of 180°.

Chimera Video Pro Plus Small Softbox 24 x 32″
The Chimera Small Video Pro Plus softbox is designed for use with a hotlight but may also be used with flash. With fabric intended for the heat of a continuous light, the Small Video Pro Plus with silver interior is ideal for work where maximum softening of the light is desired.

The “Plus” designation of this softbox means the front face of the softbox is removable. Chimera makes different strengths of diffusion material for front face applications. This softbox comes with three diffuser fronts. These will allow more light transmission and help to make the light more specular, or “less soft.”

This softbox also has a built in “lip” around the edges to help control light spill. This lip also facilitates the attachment of optional honeycomb grids, fabric grids, and louvers.
– Ideal for 3/4 length shots of adults.
– Recessed front helps to control light spill and facilitates the attachment of an optional fabric grid
– May be used with hot lights up to 1,000W. Can be used with strobes of any W/s rating.
…with 40 degree grid.

Photovision 24″ One Shot Digital Target
The Photovision 24″ One Shot Digital Target folds to just 10″ to fit easily into any camera case and features a highly efficient, white reflective fabric on the backside. The 24″ Target is popular with many location photographers for events, sports and portraits due to its convenient size.

The Neutral 3-Tone Panels of the One Shot Digital Target allows for custom white balancing, accurate metering and exposure monitoring through the camera’s histogram function – all with a single shot. Thereby, vastly improving setup time, and minimizing the need for post correction to your image files. Reduces workflow on the back-end by getting it right on the front-end.
– Achieve Perfect Exposures and White Balance Every Time
– The Target Folds to One-third of Its Open Size to Fit Easily Into Most Camera Bags
– Reflective White Fabric on Backside

40″ Insignia LED HD “Confidence Monitor”

9′ Century Stand with 40″ grip arm

25# Porta Brace Sand bags


Lowe Pro Roller case handle fix / repair / replacement

Just made a video for the repair /replacement  of the wheels:

I’ve been a LowePro fan for a long time as you can see by my collection below.  They get a lot of hard use and even though I take good care of them, things just tend to wear out after years of service.

In a previous post I demonstrated how to repair the wheels.  In this DIY article I show how to repair or replace a handle that has worn through the strap.  The handles are not meant to be replaced as evidenced by factory installation with permanent rivets. LowePro Customer Support is great and even so it’s sometimes easier and quicker to make a repair to keep things “rolling”.

After lifting out the inner case, unzip the liner (this is an early LowePro Roller II). Then use a drill or rotary tool to grind off the flattened portion of the rivet which will allow it to be extracted from the shell of the case.

I found 1″ wide webbing from an outdoor sports store in the climbing department.  I cut a section long enough to be able to fold it over several times as you can see in the pictures above.  I used a propane torch to fuse the ends and heat up a bent piece of wire coat hanger to pierce the webbing and fuse the hole edges at the same time.  The folds of the webbing put the tag end at the “bottom” of the stack so it won’t curl up and catch on things.

In order to keep things neat I used a “button head socket cap screw” (1/4-20unc x 1″ – has a low profile smooth head) and then added a “fender washer” to spread the compression over the width of the webbing (1/4″ ID with approximately 1″ outside diameter). I used 1/4-20unc “acorn” nuts buttered with a dab of  “Loctite” threadlocker to fasten the assembly to the case.  The metal backing plate and the locking nut made it unnecessary to use a washer.

I made the handle loops slightly oversize so I could add carabiners to hang or tie other gear. The original attachments had a metal reinforcing band but with 4 plies of webbing these should serve just as well.

I Like my Juice Orange but my Light White – Let’s Go CTO

I’m not sure if it’s an architectural standard for hotel conference areas but it seems most Marriott Hotels in the area use a very low color temperature lighting system.  It’s probably energy efficient but it makes it difficult to get a good color balance when the lights are so dim and particularly in some configurations where there is no stage lighting. The last conference I covered the lighting was registering below 2400K – out of range for manual settings in camera that bottom out at 2400-2500K.  I’ve been using CTO gels on my flashes and tried various sticky brands and velcro brands and several other options. I finally decided to try making some of my own from CTO gel sheets ( 1/4 and 1/2  CTO stock). I figured I could stack combinations to bring my lights into the proper color range.  The last conference worked best at a full CTO which I achieved by stacking 2 of my 1/2 CTO gel cutouts.

I like using a Lumiquest  Softbox diffuser. It has a cutout in the lower half to allow the infrared focus assist to pass.

Lumiquest Softbox

Gel materials are available at a local theatrical lighting supply house so I purchased several sheets of 1/4 CTO and 1/2 CTO gels. I laid out the pattern from the diffuser in it’s folded state then cut a number of pieces of each density.For use with other modifiers and diffusers I cut strips the wide of the flash which could easily be secured with a Velcro strap used for a variety of other attachments such as larger soft boxes and grids.

The gel strips can also be stacked and modifiers placed over the top. Using these options allows a range of control over color temperature so that all sources are matched.  The sample below was shot with 3 flash units color matched to ambient lighting.

World’s Best XPEL Installer Competition