Triple T (Tips, tricks, and tools)

Is the 5d Mark III on it’s way?

Word on the street is Canon’s 5d Mark III will be a 26.4 megapixel, 4.9 fps, 102, 400 iso expandable shooting machine.
Please Canon, give us an XLR import, or two for audio, and I’m sold!

Greater latitude coming to EOS footage

Today, TECHNICOLOR & Canon USA announce that they’ve formed a strategic alliance to leverage Technicolor Color Science for Canon EOS DSLR Cameras.

A Wedding Story

A little unconventional for me to be posting here, but multimedia nonetheless.
This is a piece shot and produced for Yasmine + Adam’s Wedding this past weekend near Toronto.
I used a glidecam 2000 on a smooth shooter vest with a Canon 5d Mark II to shoot the story.
Audio was recorded on a Zoom H4, and the video edited and colour corrected in Final Cut. Adam(the groom) did the animation at the start, and finish that appear beside my logo.
Check it out!

Yasmine + Adam HD Wedding Story , Ontario, 2010 from Brent Foster on Vimeo.

Accompanying stills and photo booth here:

Oh yeah, that’s why…

It’s so easy, especially these days to get caught up in the kind of camera, medium, software, etc, that you use to tell a story.
It’s much harder to remember why we do this in the first place. Every photographer, especially ones who plan to teach should watch THE LESSON, as well as the other chapters in the series. Kudos to Francis Gardler for putting this together. I know it’s the kick in the ass I needed.

You are not alone


Tracy Boyer at Innovative Interactivity has a list of 100 notable multimedia professionals working in the industry today.

Next week, I’ll be heading to Ethiopia, and blogging for the News Photographers Association of Canada Monday-Friday, providing this whole access to internet thing works out.

Advice for next generation journalists-Adam Westbrook

Picture 2
Adam Westbrook is posting a series of 6 blogs, each with 6 tips for the next generation of freelance multimedia journalists.
Check it out HERE

100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students

Definitely worth a peak for any student out there, keeping in mind, we’re all students.
100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students
Thanks to Richard Hernandez for pointing this list out.

Coming to a 5d Mark II near you – Full manual control

Canon will be releasing a free firmware download in June allowing full manual control of the video functions on the 5d Mark II including shutter speeds, aperture, and iso.
Read about it HERE

MediaStorm offering tuition-free advanced multimedia workshop


MediaStorm is offering a tuition-free advanced multimedia workshop in New York City.
This is a workshop that normally costs 2500-3500 dollars.

From their site:

Given the tough economic climate and the critical need for multimedia training, MediaStorm will be holding a one-time, tuition-free Advanced Multimedia Reporting Workshop, in Brooklyn, NY from June 20-26, 2009.

The MediaStorm Advanced Multimedia Workshops are designed for multimedia storytellers who want to get to the next level. It is not an introductory course. Students are responsible for their own travel, room and board. Reporters are expected to have a high level of competency with still photography, and be familiar with audio and video techniques. Editors are expected to be comfortable in Final Cut Pro.

We only have spots for 8 participants as Multimedia Reporters, Editors or Observers so we are expecting a competitive process. Applications are due no later than Friday, May 15, 2009. Participants will be selected based on the content of their applications.
Download an application HERE

Dreaming of becoming an international photographer?

You should read VII Network photographer Don Weber’s rather profound account of life on the road as he blogs for five days this week for the News Photographers Association of Canada.

Photographer’s Blog Day 1

Photographer’s Blog Day 2

Photographer’s Blog Day 3

Ten Ways to Improve Your Multimedia Production Right Now -From MediaStorm

MediaStorm, has a top 10 of very helpful pointers for improving your multimedia production HERE. Read them, and even more importantly, execute them!

First Peak – BeachTek DXA-5D XLR Adapter


Headphone monitoring! Built in levels! XLR! Auto Gain Control Disable!

Consider me excited. After spending a good portion of the past 48 hours trying to synch audio with an external recorder, I am more than looking forward to adding this to my kit.

Only 42 more sleeps!

From their Press release:

“BeachTek is happy to announce their new DXA-5D XLR adapter that has been highly anticipated for the Canon 5D Mark II camera. The DXA-5D provides an easy way to connect professional microphones and other audio gear to this popular camera. This adapter brings a whole new functionality to the Canon 5D Mark II that was previously unavailable. It is now possible to capture professional sound with control and monitoring ability. The suggested list price of the DXA-5D is $379.00 in the United States. Expected shipping date is May 26th, 2009
The DXA-5D features dual transformer-balanced XLR inputs with phantom power and built-in level meters. In addition, the built-in headphone jack allows the user to monitor the audio – a feature missing on this camera. The trim controls allow the user to dial in the proper signal levels for optimum recording quality.

Most importantly, is the unique AGC Disable function which was the most sought after feature by users of this camera. The AGC Disable circuit is activated by a switch which controls the wild swings of the Auto Gain Control in the camera to reduce the hiss generated by the preamplifiers during quiet moments of recording. It works by sending a high frequency inaudible tone to the left channel of the camera. This feature greatly decreases the camera noise which has always been a problem in the past.

The DXA-5D also provides an unbalanced mini-jack input for many wireless receivers that use mini-plug connectors. There is an additional mic level output jack for connecting the adapter to external audio recorders such as the popular Sony PCM-D50 when very high quality recording is required. The LCD display shows the state of the various switches and battery life, as well as a vu meter that shows the audio levels from – 54dBu to -33dBu. This allows the user to verify the proper recording levels and eliminates any guesswork.”

Drag, drop, share … Storyplanet

Magnum in Motion co-founder Bjarke Myrthu and team bring us Story Planet, a site dedicate to create, produce, and collaborate multimedia content.

From their site:

“Many years ago some young journalists set out to try and create a new form of storytelling using Internet and digital media. They wanted to create cinematic, narrative experiences with interactive paths and clickable content – like a great documentary movie fused with a cool magazine feature all wrapped into an online game. They wanted to create something that would capture people and sometimes even make the world just a little bit better, like great journalism and storytelling had always done. They were sad to see how this type of content was slowly disappearing from traditional media, and not really an essential part of the new online media scene either.

The years went by and the internet became full of video, photos and music. The audience grew and advertisers came along with money. But today the unique language for online storytelling is still not really there. YouTube and all the other places are great – but they are just a new type of old school tv-station.
It is not really interactive. No layers of information, no links, buttons and different ways to navigate and drive the story from the viewers position. And what happened to the mission of great documentary storytelling? Funny online videos are fine, but what if we could really make someone’s life a little better through online storytelling.

The young journalists are still fairly young, and they still believe in interactive storytelling with something at heart. It just has to be easier for people to create the stories. So they said to themselves: What if some tool would let you drag and drop you way to an awesome interactive story without touching a single line of code? And what if you could share photos, video and audio with the worlds best storytellers to get the pieces missing for your project? And in the end you should be able to spread the story all over the internet, and make money from advertising and licensing.

And so they build Storyplanet.”

Don’t leave home without them

Filters that is.
I’ve fallen in love with shooting with the 5d mark II. Yes, it has its share of issues. Lately, I’ve started to use an external audio recorder to synch my audio as I patiently await the arrival of the new adapter.

But, back to the point. Filters.

Using a 10 stop filter outside in direct sunlight truly takes advantage of what the camera has to offer. After all, the point of using primes with this camera is to control depth of field. Here are a few frame grabs from a video that will run in early April.


Out, out, out…

Check out the POYi judging live here.

Good news for 5d mark II users


As you may have guessed by now, I’m a pretty big fan of the 5d Mark II. Here is an excerpt from a recent email regarding BeachTek’s plans for a microphone, as well as the DXA-5D XLR Adapter that I previously posted:

“In addition to the DXA-5D XLR Adapter that we are developing for this camera, we are also working on a very high quality custom microphone for this setup as well. We are working with a very well respected US manufacturer in the audio field to design a small camera mounted shotgun mic for the 5D.

It will have a wide, flat frequency response for a smooth response, high sensitivity for a strong output level and excellent reach, balanced XLR output for noise free operation, and be phantom powered for superior performance. The mic can either be held in a custom shock mount (that will be included) to attach to the camera shoe, or mounted on a boom pole. It will be smaller than the popular Rode VideoMic but a bit larger then the Sennheiser MKE400.”

Checkerboard your audio

Larry Jordan’s monthly newsletter has some great audio guidelines and more. Thanks to Mediastorm for the Tweet.

Who can crack the Mark II code?

Canonhack is a blog recently started in hopes of someone cracking the 5d Mark II’s firmware. $1965 dollars and rising…

From the site:

“Lets hack that 5D II
Like so many others we are standing in line waiting to buy a Canon 5D mark II.
Also like a lot of people we have noticed some flaws with the camera.
There is little to none manual control in movie mode.
In video mode the camera will decide everything for you. This rhymes pretty ill with a camera aimed at professionals or advanced amateurs.
This is why we devised a scheme to show canon what we consumers really want.
This page’s sole purpose is to encourage a firmware hack of the 5D II.
To encourage the hack yourselves there is two ways:
Create the hack!
Donate on this page, it’s for the cause. A buck or two might go a long way
The first person to submit a hack of the firmware and add the coveted features will immediately get all the money gathered.
You can always see the current balance at the top of this page. And you will find donate buttons all over (using pay pal).”

Audio comparisons, and coming soon on the 5d Mark II

An audio comparison using the 5d mark II’s internal audio, a Sennheiser MKE-400, and a Rode NTG-2 Shotgun via “exposed light” on Vimeo.

Also, the Rode Video mic, which I am currently using, and fairly satisfied with for the time being.

That being said, Beachtek has a preview on their website of a new adapter with 2 xlr imports that attach to the bottom right side of the camera that looks to be about the size of a small battery pack. Word on the street(or forums) say that it will have a 48v phantom, and allow headphone monitoring. The unit is scheduled to be released first quarter 2009, and may be the answer we’re all looking for.

5d Mark II video mode tutorial

5d Mark II

5d Mark II

This tutorial isn’t perfect, but more of an ongoing bible for the 5d Mark II.
Pay close attention to the comments and updates at the bottom as they are
subject to change.

The Great Debate

edgeoflifeI hate to bring this up, but at the same time I feel I have to.
Sonya N. Hebert of the Dallas Morning News has an incredibly powerful 5 part series on life and death in 21st century medicine.

But what about the music? Where do we stand on this? Does the music evoke emotion that isn’t already there?
This became a great debate at a recent course I was a part of, and in the end, no one really had an answer. Most agreed that music was okay in funny, feature pieces, but it wasn’t fair to use it to further tug at our heartstrings. Some felt it made them feel manipulated, like someone was trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Others felt it okay as we are constantly making these decisions with the way we shoot, our choice of light, composition, and even when we choose to click the shutter.

I’m wondering where people stand on this, and, if one day there may be a common set of guidelines pertaining to newspaper and multimedia storytelling.
Until then, we march to the beat of our own drum…

Everyone needs 10,000 euros

Just under a month left to get your entries into the Concentra Awards. Top prize takes 10,000 euros.

From the site:

The winning journalist of The Concentra Award will receive €10,000 in prize money. The winner and his broadcaster will also each receive a sculpture as a memento. The prize will be awarded annually. On top of The Concentra Award and prize money of 10.000 euro there will be an additional Breaking News Award presented to the best piece that is shot, edited and broadcast in one day and has a maximum duration of 5 minutes. For this Award, as well as the trophy, the winner will also receive a beautiful piece of hardware. There is no financial prize for the Breaking News Award.

See last year’s prize winner here

Go ahead, Talk to your camera

Through the use of speech recognition technology Shuttervoice lets you control your Digital camera by your own voice.

The VJ Movement


The Video Journalism movement is recruiting qualified freelance video journalists from throughout the world but, have an immediate need for additional journalists in the following countries:

France (outside of Paris)
USA (outside of New York, Chicago, Texas and California)
Brazil (outside of Rio)
South Korea

What it is:

The Video Journalism Movement, an online international video news network, is looking for freelance video journalists to contribute stories for our launch in early 2009. The VJ Movement seeks to be a platform for international news that goes beyond headlines and attracts viewers who are frustrated with the way mainstream media covers international issues.

Required experience:

The ideal freelancer will live outside the United States. He or she will understand the culture of their region, know its language, have access to key leaders, and know how to tell character-driven and explanatory stories that connects facts and add context to headline news. They will have excellent research, reporting, shooting and editing skills. They will be eager to experiment with the power of the web to foster communication between viewers and journalists. They will embrace our core philosophy about news: There is more than one truth. We prefer that they have experience reporting about conflicts, religion, environment, natural resources, immigration and refugees, or technology.


Please send a resume that includes links to your video work to Emily Kopp, reporter/coordinator at Please include your name and location in the subject line. No calls please.