D.C. Chavez posted a great story chronicling his commercial work with Formula Drift drivers for an energy drink sponsor. He mounted a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a 16-35mm f/2.8L lens on an Induro BHD3 ballhead inside champion Chris Forsberg’s car. Despite a tremendous amount of torque in drift driving, Chavez writes, “the BHD3 is the only ballhead I have used so far that has not loosened up after a lap or two with the 5D MK II.”
Known for his blog, where he documents putting off-the-shelf commercial photographic gear through real world production experience, Chavez also provides detailed accounts of how to use equipment which can baffle some mere mortal photographers.
The footage Chavez shot so impressed the director, he asked to incorporate is into the commercial. See the Canon and Induro rig’s results at :10, :13, and :24 in the below video.
Chavez also details work for another drift team sponsored by Hyundai. He documents how he eliminated vibration his in-car camera suffered by applying a Magic Arm. As always, a deeply informative piece. He even closes with a shout-out for the Induro CT313 tripod, which he hiked with over four days at elevations of 10,000 to 14,110 feet. Hooray for Induro Carbon Fiber!
Praising the thought and engineering which went into the design, Weitz calls it an “all-in-one camera support solution optimized for a range of photographic applications.”
After enumerating features, he goes on to claim the PHQ 5-Way panhead models “ideal for shooting QTVR, sperhical and 3D photo applications, as well as conventional shooting in the studio or on location.”
Other information about the PHQ Series panheads can be found on the Induro site, including breakdowns of all features, videos and specs.
Although Ken Lee has professionally shot commercials, weddings, concerts, and other types of photography, his favorite work is travel photography. His Top Five Photography Tips are geared accordingly.
Lee is a Los Angeles-based photographer, with assignments which have sent him around the world, from the Himalayas to the Andes, from Burma to Kashmir. His tips include respect of local language and the importance of multiple digital backups, among others.
Make a strong connection with people you’re considering photographing. Learn the language of the country you are visiting, or at least a few words. This will often earn respect of people, particularly if it’s a more obscure language, and serves as a wonderful ice-breaker, helping you to connect. Good manners and respect also go a long way. I’ve had people invite me to their homes, their temples, or their place of work simply because I learned a few words in their native language and showed interest in who they were. Making these connections will help you capture the spirit of the people, achieving far better photos than the priciest cameras.
Don’t get too hung up photographic equipment. Make the most with what you have, learning it inside out, making it an extension of you. Even modest equipment can achieve stunning photographs. I’ve photographed Jimmy Page with a five year old Nikon D50 with no flash attachment simply because it’s what I had at the time. If something consistently impedes what you do, of course upgrade if you have the money. But always remember simply owning a camera of any sort is a privilege that most people in the world never get to have, and keep that in perspective.
Since I do travel photography, I am always walking around, frequently hiking to remote corners of the globe. Because of this, I travel light. I also like to capture the spontaneity of the moment. Rather than have multiple lenses, I prefer to have a “walkabout lens”. I use an 18-200mm telephoto lens, which enables me to capture what is happening faster than lugging several lenses and having to change them. Sure, the quality may not be quite as good as a fixed lens, but it’s far better than missing a fantastic shot.
Consider getting a good quality digital compact camera. I own a Leica DLux 4, which does very well in low-light situations for a compact camera, but cameras such as the Canon G11 or four thirds cameras would also work well. I find a compact enables me to be lower-key, attracting less attention, allowing me to get more candid photos. It also fits in my pocket, letting me be more mobile and spontaneous. And perhaps most importantly, I’m far less of a target for theft, and when photographing in certain parts of the world, this can possibly save your life.
Back up all your photos as often and as soon as possible, whether on a storage device, laptop, USB drive or CD-R, or by uploading it to a remote site. I sometimes will mail home the copies I’ve backed up on a USB drive or CD-R; after all, what good is a back-up copy if it gets lost or stolen along with your luggage? Also, use smaller SD cards in your camera. If your card becomes corrupt, lost, or stolen, you’ve lost fewer photos than if you had all your photos on one card.