The Lens – GoPro Cameras

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Here at ZHM, it seems as though not a day goes by that we don’t talk about hardware, either in meetings, or around the proverbial ‘water cooler.’ And with technology developing as rapidly as it is, we have all sorts of new hardware to talk about. Most recently, we’ve been talking about the new generation of GoPro cameras, with which many of our readers are, no doubt, already familiar.

Ultimately, producing a high quality video requires talented and experienced shooters and crew behind the camera, no matter what equipment is used. That having been said, with the technology we have today, there are all sorts of options available, and depending on the shoot, some options work better than others. GoPro is a perfect example.

If you’re looking for a studio quality camera, with multiple lenses and a host of adjustable settings, this isn’t the camera for you. If you’re looking for a solid ‘point and shoot’ video camera to record first-person experiences in ‘extreme’ environments, GoPro is hard to beat.  With a small form factor, it can be attached to a helmet, a vehicle, or even an animal. Although the GoPro has a fixed fish-eye lens, the GoPro Hero3+ can shoot high-resolution video up to 4K, 12MP pictures at up to 30fps, and is waterproof up to 40m. Given the amazing video that has already been produced (check out a few of our favorite examples below), some of the more adrenaline-oriented members of our team can’t wait for an opportunity to use a GoPro (actually, one of our team already owns one for his personal use). At $399.99 for a Hero3+, having one in your toolkit isn’t going to set you back too much, and it’ll give you some creative options that you might not have considered before.

GoPro Examples:

If you’d like to know more about the GoPro line of cameras, and in particular the Hero3+, check out the following link: http://gopro.com/cameras/hd-hero3-black-edition.  And if you’ve used a GoPro, please let us know whether you liked it or not in our comments section.

USHCC Convention

USHCC 2013 Convention

 

ZHM had a wonderful time at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) 2013 National Convention in Chicago from September 15-17. The convention spanned two and a half days, during which time ZHM was able to capture over 20 hours of footage and edit it all down to a 3-minute video that highlighted the experience.

This year’s convention marked the first time that ZHM produced a video on site for the USHCC. The highlight reel that we produced showcased the USHCC and the annual convention as the country’s largest networking venue for Hispanic businesses and Fortune 1000 corporations. Our reel was shown at the USHCC Gala, the last event of the convention. It commemorated the largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in America, which brought together over 7,000 Hispanic business owners, corporate executives, chamber leaders, and public officials.

In preparation for the USHCC 2014 convention, we also produced a 60 second commercial that we shot in Salt Lake City with Governor Gary R. Herbert and USHCC President and CEO Javier Palomarez. It was showcased at the end of this year’s convention, and is already on-line, promoting next year’s convention.

As a Hispanic woman-owned small business, ZHM is proud to be part of this exciting time for American businesses. Latina-owned businesses are the fastest growing business segment in the country. We would like to congratulate the USHCC on a successful 2013 convention, and we can’t wait to capture the milestones of the convention again in 2014!

– Roman Holton, Producer

Skeuomorphism

Have you ever wondered how to describe the Web 2.0 look in one word – interfaces splattered with gloss, glass, chrome and leather texture topped off with beveled edges? The word is skeumorphism, and it’s dead. The de-shinification of the web has come. Flat, clean interfaces are in and they’re here to stay.

Skeumorphism is an esoteric term that describes the way product designs often borrow a particular feature from the past, even when the functional need for it is gone.

See what I mean >

The torn-paper grunge of the 90s and the leather and chrome texture of the early 2000s is quickly disappearing. This departure from 3D textured design elements represents the evolution of design thinking, where buttons and menus no longer need to refer back to something physical for users to understand their function. In a world where the internet is becoming increasingly integrated into every facet of life, web users no longer need to be coddled.

One example of the widespread adoption of anti-skeumorphism is the Windows 8 user interface. This design embraces flat minimalism, simple color blocks, created with the mobile consumer in mind.

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Take a look at Smashing Magazine’s thoughts on the subject >

– Carly Wilkins, Web Designer

Free Software for the Arts

Anyone who has worked in the world of computer-assisted creative arts (graphic design, photography, video production, music, page layout, creative writing, etc.) knows that getting started using ‘industry standard’ hardware and software can be prohibitively costly. What many people don’t know is that there are quite a few free, very powerful software applications available that will run on all major computer operating systems in common use today.

These applications are, directly or indirectly, a product of the Free Software Movement, which is founded on a philosophy that software should be free to use, open to development, and can be freely distributed. Some of the best known examples of Open Source Software are Mozilla Firefox, Android, and Open Office.

The following list is a small selection of our favorite applications that are great cost-effective software alternatives for budding artists, hobbyists, and Open Source advocates .

1. The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

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As the name implies, the GIMP is a very capable image manipulation program, which can be used for anything from very simple image touch-up projects, to the creation of very complex, multilayered composite images.

2. Inkscape

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Inkscape is a full-featured vector graphics editor, very similar to Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw. Open source images are also available that can be imported into Inkscape for additional editing.

3. Audacity

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Audacity is a free, cross-platform audio recorder, editor, and player. It can record, play, import and export audio files in a broad range of formats, as well as mix tracks and add effects. In the free-software arena, Audacity is the standard to beat.

4. And, for now, last but not least, Blender.

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Blender might be a bit much for the average hobbyist to handle, but for the serious video producer, Blender is one of the most versatile and powerful 3D graphics applications available – and it’s free. Per Wikipedia’s web site:

“Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, interactive 3D applications or video games. Blender’s features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, soft body simulation, animating, match moving, camera tracking, rendering, video editing and compositing. It also features a built-in game engine.”

For a taste of what Blender can do, check out the sizzle reel below:

 

– David Arpee, IT Director

The Lens

It seems these days as though anyone out there who can afford a “prosumer” camera considers him or herself a video producer. This blog post is not for them. If, however, you’re a DP, Producer, Gaffer, or Editor with broadcast or film credentials, we’d like to invite you to have a real discussion with us about what’s out there on the market in terms of broadcast quality and cinema cameras. We want to hear your comments about everything from Digital Cinema cameras to ENG cameras. What’s your opinion about the Sony F3? Is the p2 format going out of style? What do you think is the most important news on digital formats?

And, if you haven’t seen the Keanu Reeves film Side by Side, you need to see it! Check out the trailer here.

– Roman Holton, Producer

black-magic-150x150    Sony PMW-F3 demo Shoot Directed & Produced by Jason Wingrove    TheRedCamera