Assassin Bug

posted on 2011.07.30, under Flash, Photos

Assassin Bug

Here is an Assassin Bug using his (or her?) long rostrum to inject a lethal saliva that liquefies the insides of the prey, which are then sucked out.

I got lost driving in the south, I think it was Tennessee, and I stopped and walked into a field with my camera.   I must have shot 20 bugs including this Assassin Bug.   I have some photos with the 5X macro that show the rostrum (poison injecting, blood sucking device) penetrating the victim (coming soon).

A great flash is vital to capturing photos at 5X magnification.

CrossFit Games this week

posted on 2011.07.28, under Photos

If you are into human performance, if you would like to see the fittest bodies in the world, barley clothed and moving large loads quickly, then you need to come to the Home Depot Center on the 29, 30, 31, this weekend, and see the CrossFit Games.

Here is a picture of Rich Froning carrying a mattress with his dad.  Rich took second place in 2010 at the CrossFit Games.

RIch Froning Sr. and Jr.

Bug week

posted on 2011.07.26, under Canon 5D Mark II, Macro, Photos

Ants with stolen booty

5X using the Canon MP-E

Bugs, insects, invertebrates, and creepy crawlies along with other beautiful bodies coming to this blog soon.

I was at a gas station in middle america, I think it was Kentucky, and I spotted these ants stealing a hornet larva, or bee pupa, or whatever you want to call it, from a nest and carrying it away to their ant hill.

The Canon macro lens has introduced an entire new world to me!

More bodies coming soon!

Can you find the dog ?

posted on 2011.07.23, under Photos

I am driving from California to Ohio to film with last years champ, Graham Holmberg, the fittest man in the world.  After shooting with Graham I will dart down to Cookeville, Tennessee, to film with the last years (2010) 2nd place finisher at the CrossFit Games, Rich Froning.

I tried to drive from Phoenix to Columbus in one hall, but fell way short and landed in Oklahoma.  Here is a photo of my hotel room.  Having two beds is great. I always ask for two queen size beds, so that I have a place to stash my camera equipment.

Can you see my dog, Paramesh ?

Glidecam HD-1000 review

posted on 2011.07.22, under Reviews

I don’t own the Glidecam HD-1000, but while shooting at the CrossFit Regionals in Manchester, England, I ran into a fellow filmmaker, Ágúst Sigurjónsson and he was kind enough to give me a quick interview and share some footage he shot with the Glidecam HD-1000.  This was his first time using the Glidecam and he was already pretty comfortable with the gear.

My biggest concern when using this type of device for verite, documentary style shooting is access to the cameras features, while rolling.  Most importantly, is the access to the focus ring especially when shooting at low aperture.

The first video is my interview with Ágúst Sigurjónsson and the second video is some test footage with the Glidecam HD-1000.

Ancient Church Video

posted on 2011.07.19, under Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Gear, Lens, Video

Just up the hill from my Dad’s house in Ushi, Armenia, there is an old 13th Century Church.  It was a church, and I guess it is still a church.  It is busted up a bit, but considering it is 700+ years old, it looks pretty cool.  I was the only one around during filming.  It was a bit eerie.

I shot hand held using mostly the 16-35 on the Canon 5D. There are two tripod shots and one or two shots with the Canon 70-200.  I spent about 90 minutes hiking up/down the hill and filming.  I spent another 90 minutes assembling, another 90 minutes rendering/uploading to youtube on my lap top.  I am guessing a total of 270 minutes on a short 1 man production like this.

Here is a video showing the equipment I took up the hill with me.

Meeting the “Philip Bloom” Community

posted on 2011.07.15, under HDR Photos, Photos, Reviews, Time Lapse, Video

Yes, an entire community has formed around this cat, Philip Bloom.  I was in the UK shooting the CrossFit European Regional ( you know I love CrossFit) and I just happened to be flying into London at 2pm, the same day Mr. Bloom was having a party at 6:30PM.

This particular meet up was focused on HDR time lapse photography.

Philip was extremely generous with his time and one on one attention.  The crowd was large.  It felt like there were 100 people, but it was probably  more like 60.  Most of the people were young men carrying tripods and Canon cameras.  Everyone was nice.  Even the guy who “knew everything” (there is always one of these guys) was nice.   The community around Philip is a genuine geeked out cine posse.

I did not exchange more than 50 words with Philip, but it was still worth the 4 hours of my life.   I met good people and Philip was great.

Here is a quick video I threw together.  The footage shows Philip walking us through an HDR time lapse.   The video is about 12 minutes of a candid one shot.

Yes, if Philip is in your hood, you should go see him.  You can’t miss him, he will be the biggest presence in the room and have the funny accent.

I met a great lad named Chris Watts and this is his video from the “meet up”.

And a couple photos from the event.  If you want more photos of gear that was used at the meet up, click here.  Thanks Phillip!





Back at the Apple store with – Nitin Sawhney



Today the guy who repaired my Iphone (video coming soon) told me that the Apple Store in China is larger than the store in London, Covent Garden, which I was told a few days ago is “the Largest apple store in the World”.  I will visit the store in China and let you know, or you can google it.

Today when I passed the Apple Covent Garden store , I saw a poster for a free live performance starring Nitin Sawhney.

I came back at the stated show time, 6:30PM, and I was blown away.  The three ladies accompanying  Mr. Nitin put on a musical clinic that showcased music that seemed to transport the crowded room to another land.  This was totally unexpected, as I had never heard of this bloke, Mr. Nitin Sawhney or his mystical women.

I have searched YouTube and the Itunes store for the songs I heard performed live at the Apple Store and I have not found them.  A damn shame!

The range of music that these ladies belted out was incredible.

photo stats
Canon 5D
Lens – Canon 16-35mm & 70-200MM
Aperture 3 with NIK plugin
Crumpler Bag

World Largest Apple Store and the best portable hard drive

posted on 2011.07.10, under Canon 5D Mark II, Gear, HDR Photos, Reviews

I enjoy going to Apple stores.  In every city I go to, I just like to visit the local Apple Store.  This particular store surprised me. London Covent Garden Store, is the largest Apple store on the planet.   Well, that’s what the employees tell me, and it is huge.  The employees at this location were extremely nice and open to taking photos. If you are in London, you must check this place out.

On a side note, it is a shame that Apple stores do not sell this hard drive – Lacie 1TB Little Big Disk, which in my experience is the best portable video editing drive around.  Nothing comes close, and I have owned and used at least 50, 1 TB portable drives.

I have not used Thunderbolt yet, although my laptop has the port.  I am not sure if I will use Thunderbolt drives if they are not compatible with my desk top, which does not have a Thunderbolt port.

Pepsi Machine Continued

posted on 2011.07.09, under Black and White Photo, Canon 5D Mark II, Photos

I met the guy with the Armenia + army fatigues outfit and hat while walking in the mega outdoor cafe area, behind the Yerevan Opera House.  As I passed him, he smiled and put his hand out.  He tried to squeeze my hand as hard as he could, I think this was some sort of male bonding thing.   I pulled my hand away and laughed.

We talked for 40 minutes (video coming soon, not all 40 minutes) and walked to a Pepsi stand (refrigerator).   He told me that he had 3 grandsons who were in the Nagorno Karabakh War and that two of the boys killed an enemy soldier.  He was very proud and told me that his life was now dedicated to spreading Armenian Patriotism.

The young lady is 18, she turns 19 in September.  She has left school because she cannot afford the tuition even though she was a straight A student.  This was her first day working the Pepsi fridge.   She was scheduled for a 13 hour shift.   Her English was broken and she said she learned to speak English from watching TV.

The grey haired guy just showed up out of nowhere.  His name was Sasoon, and he was friends with Mr. Armenia.

Hanging with this crew made for a pleasant afternoon, in the 80 degree Yerevan heat.

photo stats
ISO 160
Canon 5D
16-35mm Lens