How to Increase Video/Photo Resolution by Dieting?

Eat your way to better digital video and photo resolutions.High-end digital SLR camera makers like Nikon, Canon and Sony brag about their megapixels and sensor photosites, but at some point it becomes moot. The same applies to high resolution 1080p HDTVs. Of all the laws of diminishing returns that affect the amount of detail a person can see, be it in a digital photograph or 1080p Blu-ray disc, your eyes trump all.

In the past half decade, I’ve dealt with several camera softness issues: (1) Excellent Tamron, Tokina and Sigma lenses from the film era are too flawed for modern high megapixel sensors. (2) There’s increasingly erratic quality control from lens manufacturers. (3) Certain digital cameras seem to drift in accuracy over time; a big issue since I’m mostly a f/2.8 shooter. (4) And finally, my eyes are just not as perfect as they used to be.

There’s nothing more frustrating that seeing a blurry image through the viewfinder, and not being 100% sure if the camera or lens are at fault, or if your own eyes (or even contact lenses, in my case) have degraded. [Read more]


Video Hobby vs. Video Profession, Part 3: The Interview

As is the case with most professional fields, a hobby can turn into a career, and video is no different. If you’re a TV show collector, the appointed family videographer, or simply interested in editing movies on your home computer — and you like doing it, and want to get paid for doing it — then having a job or career in that field is certainly possible.

In the era of Youtube and Vimeo, where anybody can upload virtually anything, you could find yourself as the next overnight meme. All you need is a camera, some video editing software, and creativity.

On the other hand, there’s a lot to know. Video is literally dozens of photos per second, with audio, and it has a steep learning curve. Those who are patient, willing to learn proper methods, and able to overcome a “get rich quick” attitude, can succeed at it long-term.

Everybody has a story of how they started in their line of work. This is mine.
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Video Hobby vs. Video Profession, Part 2: Make Money Converting Tapes to DVDs?

Understanding the differences between hobby video projects and professional video work is, unfortunately, not the same as acknowledging it. Many novices want to treat video work as an unskilled trade, comparable to flipping burgers or operating a forklift. To these folks, it’s a make-money-fast scheme — and education, knowledge and experience is unnecessary.

For consumers, the ability to distinguish between an amateur- or hobby-based service can mean the difference between high-quality work and merely passable quality work. Or in some cases, the difference between a successful project, and a disaster (lost or damaged videos). In Part 2 of this editorial series, consumers can learn some tips on how to spot a non-professional video company.

For video enthusiasts, it’s important to know your limitations. Part 1 of this editorial series covered the most important differences between video as a hobby, and video as a field of work. Part 2 of the editorial will focus on bad advice that encourages a hobbyist to “make money” in their hobby, and give examples of what often happens when unqualified individuals start their own video editing or conversion service.

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Video Hobby vs. Video Profession, Part 1: What’s the Difference?

At least once per month, somebody asks me how to get a job working in the video transfer/post industry. Most of them are seeking advice on how to start their own tape-to-DVD business. While this seems to be a fairly direct question, it’s really not. Most people fail to understand the complexities of video, including the many ways in which professional work differs from home-based hobby/do-it-yourself methods.

Understand that experience recording a few programs off TV, and converting a handful of your own homemade videotapes, is not an adequate background. No more than knowing how to take aspirin qualifies one to be a doctor, or being good with LEGO makes one an architect. While it’s true that such skills are basic to each profession, it’s superficial at best. For the field of video, knowing the location of the record button is simply not enough.

In Part 1 of this four-part editorial series on hobby versus profession, I’ll explain the most important differences between hobby work and professional work.

[Read more]

Web Design and Development

VPS Hosting is like a Take-and-Bake Pizza

VPS Hosting vs PizzaAs a person that tries to eat healthy, pizza is something I purposely avoid. Most pizza is greasy, over-filled with salty marinara, and topped with fatty artery-clogging meats. It’s a commodity glop for the masses.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can eat pizza without needing a bottle of Rolaids for dessert.

All it requires is a few extra dollars, and a small investment of time. I refer specifically to two options: (1) the popular take-and-bake pizza chains, which serve healthy made-to-order pizzas, or (2) the grocery store, where I can hand select ingredients and make a custom pizza from scratch.

Tonight, as I sit by the dining table with a freshly-baked Mediterranean deLite pizza from Papa Murphy’s, reading some new web-related forum posts on an iPad, I can’t help but to draw a correlation between the two industries web hosting vs. pizza. Just as it is with pizza, a person willing to spend time or funds on quality can avoid mass-made slop hosting. [Read more]


Nikon vs. Canon Cameras, Why Nikon SLRs are Best

Before I begin, know this: (1) My favorite manual-focus film camera of all time is the Canon AE-1, and (2) I consider the Canon 5D — the original, not the 5D Mark II — sensor to be a perfect replica of Fuji 35mm negative film. So anybody expecting an anti-Canon hate article will likely be disappointed.

My preference for Nikon isn’t a recent development, and it wasn’t a one-time decision. For almost two decades, I’ve continually re-evaluated my needs every 2-3 years, each time verifying that Nikon makes the best tools for my photography style.

As a freelance photojournalist, I’ve covered everything from sports to kids to politics to animals. Whether it’s an intense college baseball game or kids on a daycare playground, my gear needs to work quickly and have settings that can be completely changed before the moment is gone. I can’t spent time fiddling with knobs and digging in LCD menus — time waits for no one. Moments pass, with or without your photo. Do you want to miss an image? I sure don’t. [Read more]

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