Monday, June 11, 2012

Video shooting stand made by Joe

Home made multi use video set-up with two lights.
 I've been asked what kind of set-up we use to shoot videos. Well, here you go!

I'm glad to share the set-up Joe made for me and to share what little I know about photography and videography.

Joe very cleverly built this set up to fit my camera a Canon PowerShot A590.  When you turn it on a tiny window opens and a longish lens thing pokes out from the front. The grip holds batteries and it also pokes out.
Three Ott lights
Two holes are for the camera, black line-smart phone place.

Camera face down on the support shelf.

View under the support shelf. Note: 3 Ott lights.

Shot from Camera right after last pic tak
Since the grip sticks out and the long lens thing sticks out he cut two holes. One for each part of the camera. When you lay the camera down, the sticking out parts go through the holes and the camera lays flat and points down at the gray sheet of card stock below. 

All that is needed is to set it for Macro, and pick a +/- number for the amount of light in the room and the darkness of the background. I know very little about cameras but have come to realize that the +/- button is vital to good, well lit pictures. 

When you do not have a lot of light, you can move the numbers to the plus side. That seems to make the camera open it's eye a bit wider to let in what little light is available. Even when you do have a lot of light sometimes I need to move to the + side.

However, and this is a bit confusing but it works, if you have plenty of light and the thing you want to take a picture of is on a black background, you have to move the +/- button to the - side. Otherwise your pretty pendant on a black background will be washed out like the lights are too bright.  See photo of Calla Lily pin/earring set below.

For instance, the left hand photos above were taken with the camera set to -2/3.  See how nice and gray the paper is under the support?  However, I think the wood color is kind of dull.

The pic above far right was set on +2/3, notice how bright the top of the support is and the gray paper underneath looks white. 

Probably +1/3 would have been good.  See pic above right. Bright enough, the wood is not dull and the paper is gray. 

Seriously I do not have to understand why, only that it works and makes my photos better. Trial and error for many years has been a good teacher. As well as poking every button on it to see what would happen.  For those of you who are a bit timid to be poking buttons. I've never had a camera blow up on me.
The next pic down on the left is a shot up under the support showing the camera in place. While it was there, just for fun I pushed the button and took the picture of the earrings shown here. 

Note the three lights, two of the new LED white lights and one of the older florescent lights. I also have daylight flourscent bulbs in the four foot long fixture over the work area. All of the lights in the studio are day light bulbs.
The next pic shows my Samsung Android phone face down. In this position none of the lights can be seen in the photos/videos.
The black line on photo 3 is where to put the phone camera.

It is amazing using the video setting on the phone. I can start a video, pause it, start again and produce a complete video without editing to put several bits of video together.  You can also use the +/- settings on the phone camera. 

It automatically focuses, you can zoom in as close as you like and as long as the video runs, the camera will stay on. UNLESS it runs out of battery power. I now only shoot video with the AC plugged into the phone. All of the recent six videos on our YouTube Channel were shot using the camera on the phone.

 If I pause too long between shots, the phone will, like any phone, turn itself off. 

Phone in place on support shelf.
The first time this happened, I thought "OH NO!" and turned it back on again.  When I swiped the locked page to one side it was right back on the video. I pushed start and it resumed, right where I left off.

Can we all say Whew!?

The phone makes such quick and easy little how to videos that I plan to make more as it is really easy.  To make the sections of the video go together, you push the square button.  It is done and everything is seamless. To see the videos I shot using the phone in this position click HERE.
Adjustable legs.

Right is  a photo of the set-up showing the adjustment bolts. To change the leg lengths, REMOVE the camera, unscrew the bolts, move the legs to the desired height, screw the bolts back in firmly, add the camera and away you go!!

To see how I stabilize the legs, look at the first pic.  Around the bottom of the front legs are ropes of scrap clay pressed to the wood and then to the glass surface. 

The legs are widespread so I can get both hands under the support easily and work on a flat finish ceramic tile.

Calla Lily set shot on black Velvet
Thanks for visiting my blog. 

Penni Jo

Designer and Creator of 

Home of original molds and now tools. 

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