CureFest 2014

Last weekend I went down to the National Mall in Washington DC to show support for an amazing girl who lives in my Neighborhood along with support for hundreds of other children with cancer.  She’s a really good friend to my children and we are very close to the whole family.  Childhood cancer is a really tragic disease…there is not enough research, funding and the treatments are antiquated.  These are our children!!  There must be more awareness, funding and action to help improve treatments and to find cures for our children.  Yes, OUR!  Maybe today you are unaffected… “thats someone else’s kid…”  but you could blink and it could be your child, your friend’s or someone in your family.  Take the time to learn more about this horrible disease and make one or two minor changes in your life that could help in the efforts to promote awareness, research and possibly a cure!

One group making strides with awareness is thetruth365 organization.  Please visit their site, watch their videos and sign any petition you can get your hands on.  Its worth it!

This is a short montage music video of the event.  It just captures a few scenes of a truly amazing day.  I plan to put together a more in depth video as some of the speeches and displays of absolute courage were truly moving and deserves to be shared.

NEAT VIDEO…”Bring da noise!”

Ok, corny title.  Met a nice guy at my niece’s wedding this weekend.  He is going to produce the video for the event and we got to talking about Neat Video.  Ya see, with digital cameras and a dark event like a wedding its not uncommon to experience noise (grainy image) in the darker scenes.  Some of you I am sure know what I am talking about and have experienced this with your phone or even low priced cameras.  There is only a couple ways to get around this… add light or increase the cameras ability to bring in light.  Both of these options are limited.  I am sure if you cranked up the candle power on your lights at the reception you’d piss off the bride and the camera can only do so much to bring in more light.  In comes Neat Video.  Just like Dolby Noise Reduction used to reduce the tape hiss or “noise” of your old cassettes, Neat Video reduces video noise.  I know, I know not “just like” but its a simple way to look at it.  Neat Video is available as a plug in for many editors and the way it is used is generally the same for all.  It goes for $99 and it is available at www.neatvideo.com.  Take a look below at my sample of it being used in FCPX.  Its fairly easy and may help you save that shot.

 

A special day for a very special girl

Last week in perfect weather we walked in support of Amelia Schmidt and the Lymphoma Research Foundation.  There were 130 people there… just for Amelia’s team!  I put together a quick video trying to capture the event but it still doesn’t do justice to the level of support that is around this girl and her family.  Our prayers continue.  Go Amelia!

For more information about Amelia and her courageous fight:  https://www.facebook.com/theTruth365film

 

 

F-Stop for Mac- A good way to upload your photos to Flickr

This is a nice program if for nothing else to use as a vehicle to upload your photos into Flicker.  If you don’t already know about Flickr’s free 1TB of storage for your photos and videos then go read my previous blog HERE. There are several ways to get your photos to flickr.  You can sync from your iPhotos library but I don’t like that method.  If you delete photos from your iPhoto library when it “synchs” with flickr it will also delete the photos from Flickr.  (not good for me) You can use the Flickr app in the iPhone or iPad and have the “auto upload setting” enabled but you need to make sure of two things… 1-You are in wifi so you don’t use up data (this is a setting you control) and 2-You have the app ON when you are in wifi…otherwise it won’t work.  Ultimately this only backs up the photos on your phone or iPad. When it comes to uploading and backing up photos I like to have my photos in two places. A hard disk or server (on site) and on Flickr.  That way if there is a major catastrophe at my house there … Continue reading

Something different

Today I enter a different kind of post. Childhood cancer is a beast that needs to be dealt with. The Truth 365 organization is doing just that. Watch the video and visit their site (and any others for that matter) and sign every petition you can get your hands on to help these children.

I did today…I am signature 102,570

www.thetruth365.org

Canon 70D vs T2i – Video Noise

All digital cameras when faced with dark areas try to artificially add brightness.  Some do it better than others.  To see what I mean take your iPhone into a dark room and it will get all grainy.

In a DSLR you increase your brightness by using a couple of settings but raising the ISO is the most common way.  ISO’s above 800 are considered fairly high in the Video World.

I recently upgraded from the T2i to the 70D.  I wanted to see if there was any significant improvement in noise levels at high ISO’s.  I did a quick non-scientific test of both cameras  of ISO’s 800, 1250, 1600, 2500 and 3200.  I would never use the T2i over 1600 but with the 70D I might just be able to.  Take a look at the video and see what you think.

You will want to view the video in full 1080P and on an iPad retina or desktop computer.  It will be hard to see any difference on an iPhone.

 

Free Video Editing Tutorials

Today it is very easy to find videos and tutorials to teach you how to do just about anything from changing the oil on your car to knitting a sweater.  The other day I was listening to a podcast called The Final Cut Grill, by Chris Fenwick and stumbled into a great tutorial site for Final Cut Pro X and iMovie.  The site is produced by IZZY VIDEO.  The thing I really like about this tutorial is that sample media is provided, instruction is easy, organized and clear.  Oh, and its free!  So if you are just getting started and want to learn how to edit, this is an awesome place to start. NOTE:  He has not yet updated his iMovie tutorial to the latest version of the app, I am sure he is working on it. Continue reading

Hackintosh-How to get i-Message working on Mavericks 10.9

If you don’t build Hackintosh’s then this entry may be boring for you… Its no secret that I am a total nerd and love to build computers but about 3 years ago I built my first Hackintosh.  Hackintosh is a normal computer with standard PC parts that will run the Mac OS and function just like an iMac, Mac Mini or Mac Pro depending on the parts you choose to build with.  Sounds easy. It happens to be one of the most frustrating and tricky builds you can do.  There are so many variables from component to component there is no guarantee that everything will work.  Thats actually what I like, the challenge. The only way to fix some things is to use other peoples ideas and fixes (forums, vids etc.).  I had my latest Hackintosh build working perfectly BUT my iMessage wouldn’t log into my Apple ID account and work properly.  Thanks to the fellow in the video below I have conquered. Wanted to share with everyone because I know I am not alone.  It may not work for you but keep trying. Enjoy. Continue reading

SPOTIFY IS FREE

Good news…the popular music app Spotify is now free.  They offer an app for your PC/Mac, iPad and iPhone.  The one thing I like about it (better than Pandora, Groove Shark and 8tracks) is that you can search an artist and only listen to THAT artist!  No more forced playlists or random artists that show up and don’t really go with the type of music you originally picked.  It also offers playlists and pre-formatted radio stations too.  There are still a few hassles…you have to play full albums and their tracks in random order, there are ads that pop up and some content is still missing but really not too bad for a free music app.  You should check it out.  Screen Shots below.   Application for PC or Mac     List of tracks that resulted from the search “Rolling Stones”           iPad App       iPhone App Continue reading