Los Angeles

While attending the Oculus Connect 2 conference recently (review here), I was able to take some time out to soak up some of the sights of L.A. Although I only packed an iPhone, fortunately a relative who lives there has my old 20D so I was able to get a few scenic snaps.

Shazam for plants and flowers

I’m not sure what this plant thing is but it just randomly sprung up in the garden the other day and made me wish there was a Shazam-like app for plants and flowers. If it ever gets published I’ll try and remember to post a link.


Update July 2015: Only after randomly flicking through a random book I was browsing in a second-hand store,  ‘The Ultimate Book of Flowers‘, did I spot a photo of this and learned it is a aechmea fasciata. Later that night I did another online search for a flower photo recognition software and found a link to ‘LikeThatGarden‘ – released only last month. After downloading the app, I then took a photo of my photo and a similar photo showed up the third level of results. I’d say that is a success.

I then went out into the garden with my iPhone and shot a picture of it at night (with flash on) and after analysing it for a few seconds found it exactly.

Good to know that someone else had had the same issues so made an app for it that works!

180 x2


Managed to get my 2nd score of ‘180!’ in the space of a month. As can be noted I need to get some new shafts, good thing the best dart store I’ve found in Melbourne is just around the corner – Dart World Australia.


Mount Martha Landscapes

Mount Martha Sunset
On a recent weekend away I found myself down at Mount Martha and faced with the challenge of trying to work out the best way to capture the sunset. I tend to shoot too many photos directly into the sun thinking it will look the best but inevitably don’t ever seem to come out as it appears to the naked eye. However, in the above shot by incorporating the local street lamps in the foreground and cranking up the saturation I was able to get a shot that seemed to stand out more. Also by waiting until the sun had set, it made the dynamic range easier for the camera to fit all the light in. The photos below are my other favourites from the trip. In order to make up for the way the shots come out of the camera, the contrast, saturation and vibrance have all been cranked a bit to match how it looked to me on the day.

Mount Martha Sunset

View of Melbourne from Mount Martha

Workflow for importing Adobe Lightroom videos into Premiere

If you’re an Adobe Lightroom user then there’s a good chance you’re using it to ingest video footage as well. I’ve been importing photos and videos side by side for a few years now but have only just worked out an easyish way to edit all that footage efficiently in Premiere. Although Lightroom has an export feature, to avoid re-compression it’s better (and faster) to edit the original video files in Premiere while also keeping reference to the videos in the Lightroom catalogue. This method works well for collections such as family-related ones where you might be bringing together different camera sources.

So until Adobe add a ‘create new Premiere sequence from Collection’ in Lightroom here’s how I did it:

  • In Lightroom, in the ‘folders’ panel, select ‘Add Folder’, this is where you’ll move the video files to
  • If you haven’t already, create a smart collection of your required videos using the file type ‘video’ to separate out from the photos plus any specific keywords you may have added
  • With the collection selected, press ‘g’ to enter grid view in library mode and select all of the videos
  • Drag and drop the selection into the folder created specifically for the videos

Lightroom will then move the video files from your existing folders (I use a date-based one) into a flat folder structure that can then be easily imported into a Premiere sequence.

Emma Heeney Video – ‘In My Place’

I recently filmed a live performance video clip for Emma Heeney in an amazing light-filled wooden panelled room that was built around a tree. The performers sat around the space and multiple takes were shot on a Canon 5DIII and 7D with audio through a Zoom H4n. Emma’s vocals and guitar were recorded on channel’s 1 & 2, BV’s on 3 and acoustic guitar DI on 4. Most of the final clip was ‘take 3′ with cutaways inserted from other takes and run-throughs to cover up camera movement through the song. Editing, audio mastering and colour correcting was done using Adobe Premiere CC.

Some of the main challenges:

  • Situating the performers within the space to make it look like a relaxed rehearsal
  • Having the camera on the appropriate performer at the right time of the song
  • Incorporating the glassed-in tree without overpowering the performance
  • Setting up and recording a multi-camera video clip with live audio from multiple mic sources in the space of a few hours

My original plan was to record a master wide shot with everyone in the frame then film cutaways in subsequent takes. However after we viewed the first few run throughs, the shot just didn’t look right to carry the bulk of the song. (This viewpoint can only be seen once in the very opening of the video).

Tree in room

The kitchen / living room (an extension at the back of the original house) was built around an existing tree and allows natural light to fill the space.

The master shot ended up being a locked-off close up of Emma with the Zoom H4n audio recorder clearly seen. I did try and move it out but from an audio perspective it really needed to be close in capturing Emma’s vocals in one mic and her guitar in the other. Having the recorder in shot also keeps the viewer aware of the ‘live’ aspect, even though multiple takes were recorded to make up the final clip.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns were also eaten.