Monday, December 5, 2016

Quote: Dalton Trumbo (Blacklisted Hollywood Screenwriter)

1970, speech made while accepting the Screen Writers Guild Laurel Award

"The blacklist was a time of evil, and no one on either side who survived it came through untouched by evil. Caught in a situation that had passed beyond the control of mere individuals, each person reacted as his nature, his needs, his convictions, and his particular circumstances compelled him to. There was bad faith and good, honesty and dishonesty, courage and cowardice, selflessness and opportunism, wisdom and stupidity, good and bad on both sides. When you who are in your 40s or younger look back with curiosity on that dark time, as I think occasionally you should, it will do no good to search for villains or heroes or saints or devils because there were none; there were only victims. Some suffered less than others, some grew and some diminished, but in the final tally we were all victims because almost without exception each of us felt compelled to say things he did not want to say, to do things that he did not want to do, to deliver and receive wounds he truly did not want to exchange. That is why none of us--right, left, or center--emerged from that long nightmare without sin."

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Learning To Set Up My Wireless Lavalier Microphone System

One of the advantages of being a night time security guard is you have time to play and learn while being paid. Tonight once again I am learning to become a film maker on YouTube, am concentrating on getting better sound. I have my Zoom F4 here at work along with the Rode NDT-2 shotgun mic and my Lavalier Sennheiser wireless mic system.  Spent the last while working on the best sounding setting for this combo of the sound recorder with the Lav receiver/transmitter. The best numbers I am getting seem to be:

- Zoom F4 channel #1 set at 30 gain, #2 (safe channel allowing for more headroom and peaking) at 20 gain.
- The Sennheiser receiver set at +6db and the transmitter at -12db.

I still have lots to learn and play with here, but I seem to be closing in on the settings I might be using in the dump with Fred. Here is the video that was helpful to me, thanks "Video Gear" Channel.
How To Set Up A Wireless Lav Microphone

Note* Part of the reason I log all this info on my online diary is so that if I later forget something or lose my notes I can still go online and search my blog for the information I need. It becomes sort of a personal tech info back up for me, also who knows it might help other people in their set ups.
Note** From what I have studied you want to have the recorder sound level set at about -12db for people speaking to allow plenty of headroom (louder speaking no red peaking). Am still not sure how to set -12db on my F4 recorder but learning more and more now, and that will come soon. My sound recording confidence is growing.

Update* This setting also seems to work quite well:
- Zoom F4 channel #1 set at 25 gain, #2 (safe channel allowing for more headroom and peaking) at 15 gain.
- The Sennheiser receiver set at 0db and the transmitter at -9db.

Zoom F4 On The Camera Rig Or Separate Bag?

Am I better off carrying my Zoom F4 sound recorder in a separate shoulder bag? Weight wise I can mount the F4 to the bottom of my video camera rig but do I want to? If I place it in a separate camera bag I will not have as easy access to the recorders dials and I will not be able to watch the audio recording as closely etc but the weight might be distributed a bit better and I would also be able to protect the recorder from the liquids and general stinking waste of the garbage dump.

I will be carrying a separate bag for odds and ends as well as one or two film cameras plus film. Putting the Zoom F4 in that same bag, might be the best option. As with all things, more thought needed.

Update* Thought of some other advantages to bagging the recorder.

1) It will be less of a distraction for the people I am shooting, especially the children. If the kids see all those flashing lights there figures will be all over the recorder to play with the dials. When we become friends the children's fingers tend to fly over my camera camera gear, children are so curious and love to try to do stuff and see how things work. I might be better off hiding this unit away.

2) If I fall into the garbage as happens occasionally I would have some protection (cloth bag) between the garbage and my sound gear.

Update** Been playing with a bag for the Zoom F4 Audio Field Recorder tonight. I think this is the way I will got, it makes my rig look less intimidating, it provides protection for my audio recorder and as  bonus I will have a space to hang my earphones and film cameras (1or2 35mms, Leica rangefinder or SLR and 1 120mm, a Plaubel Makina or Rollieflex).

Close My Website?

Been thinking over the last few years whether I should close my amateur looking website It is not super expensive to run but not sure how beneficial it is to have any more. I just got a notice for payment of $128 CAD for the site. Should I pay it or let the site go down? I also have to pay for the domain name, that's another $100 or so. With so many free sites like Wix and with this blog do I also need the site? If I had a pro level page there it might be worth keeping but everything is so out of date and I see to be no closer to fixing it up then I was years ago. I would lose my email but not sure how important that is. It is more pro looking then but I also get a ton of spam mail at that address, over 95% maybe 99% is spam crap and African con emails saying I won 10 million from a long lost friend.

I might be better served by banking the money I waste on the website and email address and instead use the money for film or for next years dump donations. I guess I should check to see how many visitors the site generates but as of now I am thinking of letting it all expire. I could always start it up in a few years time, maybe when I retire from security and devote myself to my photography full time. Another option would be to shift the better looking Wix site to my domain name (not sure how to do that).
My Free Wix Site (Needs An Update As Well

Update* I think that is what I am going to do. I will let the old white background site go down and try and switch the site to

Video Rig Handle Problem Solved

I managed to solve my rig video handle moving problem. No matter how much I tightened my front handles on the P&C rig they moved on me. I decided the best way to stop the moving was not cork or sticky sandpaper but instead something a bit more radical and tough. I drilled holes through my cast metal rig and the aluminum tubing then placed a screw with nut through it and tightened it all up.

Now my rig is not quite as beautiful as before but way more functional. When I am in the dump shooting, when I have the rig loaded with gear I cannot afford twisting handles or peeling slipping cork. With the drilled holes and screws in place everything is pretty much rock solid. Will have to take some extra screws and such (toolkit?) as backups but it looks like that problem is solved. Gosh I am a rather lousy repair-builder dude but got that job done satisfactorily!

Am proud of myself :))!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bought me 2-256GB SDXC Cards

Picked up 2-256GB SDXC cards made by PNY Technologies off B&H photo for $79.99 USD a card. I wanted to get quality cards as I will be using and reusing these 2 cards inside my Zoom F4 field sound recorder. There are all kinds of versions of SD (SDXC) cards on Ebay, which are good? which are not? I figured it was safer to pay more and buy from a reputable seller like B&H. The Zoom F4 has 2 SD card slots so I will place these to 256GB cards there.

I should be able to use these cards to complete the entire project. Will transfer the files daily to the computer I will be using to edit the project. Will also transfer all files to a back up hard drive. Organizing everything will be difficult but oh so important. I will have to figure out a system, possibly by date created and file number.

I will be recording 2 mics with the recorder but 4 tracks. 2 of the tracks will be set at a lower gain level in case my subject yells out. I will have 2 sources for the final edit which should help prevent the signal from peaking/crashing out (or whatever the term is!).

Note* Supposedly each card sold at a $40 USD discount.
Update** Been thinking  that since I have 256GB of storage on these cards I will; not have to back them up on a daily basis, maybe every 3 or 4 days thou that could could be a bit dangerous. I wonder how man wave files will fit on a 256GB card? How many hours of recordings?
PNY 256GB SD Card

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Quote: Vincent Price

"A man who limits his interests limits his life."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bought Me A Used Zacuto Z-Finder Viewfinder

I bought myself a used " Zacuto Z-Finder Viewfinder Pro 3.0x for 3.2 with Screens w/ Gorilla Plate V2" Made a slight discount deal with the seller to buy it for $175 USD plus shipping. I believe this is an almost new display model, comes with original box, manuals etc.

This unit attaches to the back of my Canon 5D Mark 3 and allows for precise focusing on the LCD when shooting video. It is basically an adjustable magnifying glass. I will be able to focus sharply and concentrate better on the composition of the shot. There will be no glare on the LCD from the hot Thai sun! The Gorilla plate V2 is the metal harness system that allows you to attach the viewfinder to the back of the camera.

These units new run $375 USD from B&H so this is a pretty good deal.

Note* With these most recent purchases I believe I have almost everything I need for the documentary film outside of the 24-105mm lens (that deal is in the works).  I will no doubt need to buy various small items like memory cards and batteries etc, but most of the big purchases seem almost done. I was able to get many items cheaply and or used, got some good bargains. Hopefully the movie will be worth this financial cost. I so want to make an important meaningful and heartfelt documentary.

Zacuto Z-Finder Viewfinder Pro with Gorilla Plate

Quote: Anne Frank (15)

Written less than a month before her arrest and eventual death in Auschwitz concentration camp.

"It's a wonder that I haven't abandoned all of my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical, yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

GoPro On The Video Rig?

Am thinking of putting a small GoPro camera on my video rig. I would have a wide angle always on video shooting forward or could have it even pointed back at me as I shoot. The GoPro video could be help full in a number of ways, especially if I go with the more personal me story approach to the documentary. Personal is probably the better way to go as I do better when I wear my heart on my sleeve and let it all hang out.

Anyway the GoPro is something else to think about. I wonder how many devices I can hook up to one rig! :))