Monthly Archives: June 2010

Making butter

halogen blender
color corrected blender

My new camera, the 7D, can take HD videos. Since I like food photography, I wanted to see how food videography would work. And are there a whole new set of issues. While a flash works well for a picture, a video needs constant light. And a lot of it at that. Halogen lights are cheap, but they are hot and need color correction. The next problem is syncing an external audio recorder with the video footage. The onboard audio microphone is minimalistic and is not good enough for a clean source. I now understand why clapper-boards are used. You need a quick and clear sound pulse to match against an obvious video event. I had to make due with clapping my hands. I also had to learn Adobe Premiere CS5 and Adobe After Effects CS5. Which are really complicated programs.

Cooking Video first test from Mark Hamzy on Vimeo.

whipping cream

For my first video, I decided to make butter. Which turned out to be surprisingly easy! I was shocked how simple it is to turn cream into butter. Just pour whipping cream into a blender, and blend it until it breaks. The only difficult part is trying to squeeze out any remaining liquid from the clumps of butter. And the leftover water (containing whey and small clumps of cream), called buttermilk, tastes pretty good.

I really should have made this before.

Making Butter from Mark Hamzy on Vimeo.

Climbing Enchanted Rock

I drove to Enchanted Rock today. It’s been quite sometime since I went there previously. It was a beautiful day out. We arrived at around 8:30 in the morning. And unfortunately people started arriving in droves. Including big groups of very loud people. I had wanted to enjoy a peaceful climb. But it was not meant to be. I guess that, for the next time, I need to camp there overnight and climb it at first light.

My next door neighbor was game to come along. And we posed for this picture at around 1/4th of the way up. There was a handy rock to set the camera on. Unfortunately, the facial recognition count-down feature did not work. But the standard 10-second count-down did.

Old Planes

As we were climbing, three old propeller-driven aircraft used the rock as a way-point and performed a turn for us.

With three cloud trails forming a \ | /, I centered the picture on a bloom from some sort of yucca plant.

When I got to the top, I saw some beautiful islands of grass, moss, and cactus. They were very zen-like in a sea of pink granite.

I thought I was hallucinating that there was a dark streak in the sky. So I took a picture of it. At least the camera shared my hallucination.

Hole 3 tree

I tried a vertical panorama of a tree today and learned some things. Even turning the white balance to a specific setting, and turning the automatic focusing off, I still ran into problems. My dynamic range was blown in the last picture on the top. This caused the tree itself to go almost black. So when I tried to recover the bark, the picture turned very grainy and noisy.

So, for the next time, I will take a set of multiple exposures for each position in the range. And the aperture will be fixed so that the depth of field will not be compromised.