Stop the presses! The best tech video on Crop Factor, ISO and Aperture

I don’t claim to know a lot about cameras and photography. But I am doing lots of research on this, and know that I need to understand it.

I am also a data nerd but I have always been confused by the numbers and also how and why different sensor sizes changed things.

Well, I have found the best video ever for this. It is truly amazing how Tony Northrup gets down to the math and explains not only what everything means, and the impact, but also how to compensate for it. Yes, you CAN get amazing output from smaller form factor cameras, if you understand the math. I never knew the math (but always knew light was the issue).

If you want to make movies, or take photographs, you MUST watch this video. It’s long (about 35 minutes) but it will change your photographic life.

Thank you, Tony!

Learn Cinematography in your pajamas

Oh what an amazing world we live in. Three of the world’s most amazing cinematographers have banded together to produce a 12 hour online course.

Janusz Kaminski, Phedon Papamichael and Wally Pfister between them have Oscars (Kaminski 2 wins, Pfister 4 noms, 1 win, Papamichael 1 nomination) and to hell with that, they’ve got an amazing roster of produced films. Now they have an online course called ‘Advanced Filmmaking‘ that will cover Getting Started, Building Your Career, Equipment, Post-production, and Collaboration.

The course is a series of videos available for rent on Vimeo.


Top Tips from 88 DOPs

Pretty amazing article over on TheBlackAndBlue. The article itself is from 2013, but, I think the comments are still pretty relevant! The article itself is a compendium of answers to a single question given to 88 cinematographers over the years in interviews for American Cinematographer magazine.

That question?

“What’s the Best Professional Advice You’ve Ever Received?”

Great article.


Making digital look like film – 10 tips

This is a never ending quest, but, cinematographer Noam Kroll has a really good tips article giving you some examples to follow to get that sought after higher, professional image from your work.

The tips are nothing new, but Noam presents them clearly. The article isn’t new but to be honest we need to read this stuff over and over before it sinks in! I’m very grateful for articles like this.

ISO for digital cameras explained

Most indie filmmakers I meet have, at best, a rudimentary understanding of the technical workings of modern cameras. I include myself in that. So, it’s great to come across articles like this one on Red Shark News that explains ISO – both what it is and what it isn’t.

The comments on the post are also very informative.

So much to learn!

The real pocket cinema cam – the iPhone 6

I have long been a believer that the iphone not only changed still photography forever, but also filmmaking.

Now with the announcement of the iPhone 6 I think we will see another step up in the revolution. And I am not alone in thinking this. Over at they have an exciting article on this very topic.

We are at a point in history where never before have filmmakers had such access to the tools and the audience. Perhaps someone can see the need for studios, cinema chains, sales aggregators and the like, but, their functionality in the future is pretty hazy!

Get excited. Read this.

Douglas Trumbull reinvents the movie

In the Hollywood reporter is a very exciting piece about legendary filmmaker and SFX man Douglas Trumbull and his new filmmaking process. The new process – where the film is shot and projected at an incredible frame rate (upwards of 120fps) will supposedly change the viewing experience into something completely immersive.

Sounds exciting, scary and a little bit like one of Trumbull’s infamous sci-fi films!

The premiere of the tech will be at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival. Dammit. I wish I was going.

Trumbull’s own website has more info.

You can never learn too much about lighting

Over at there’s a nice article, with supporting videos, talking about lighting backgrounds.

Lighting is so vital and bad lighting is second only to bad sound in the pantheon of crap indie films.

There are many great sources on lighting, and I still love Shane Hulbert’s Inner Circle blog, but this is a good refreshing or starting point.