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Archive for the ‘Entertaiment’ Category

On YouTube: Miramar: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

February 7th, 2017 Comments off

Fancierstudio Professional Digital Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit with Lighting Stand, 3000 Watt | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2016 #15

November 15th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

From Douglas…

Do you have a new media or podcast creator friend? This lighting kit is cheap enough to gift to them and help them raise the quality of their productions.

A couple of years ago we had need to purchase some equipment for a testimonial project and a series of interviews. First on our list was a basic set of video lights that would provide nice, basic illumination and still be easy to transport, as we would be shooting the interviews at the client sites. As we are just starting to move into the video production business (beyond my own personal productions) and not exactly knowing how far this line of work will take us, I didn’t want to invest thousands of dollars only to have to sell the equipment later for a loss.

I did quite a bit of searching online and came across this kit on Amazon.com. I made a point of reading nearly every review available, both positive and negative to see how this kit might fit our needs. Overall the kit has a 4 star rating over 77 reviews. The one item I kept seeing in the reviews was the fact that this was, indeed, a “cheap” kit. That didn’t mean it didn’t work well, only that you had to be careful when setting up and tearing down and you couldn’t necessarily toss it around. Knobs are plastic, although the screws themselves are metal, the nylon bags holding the diffusion boxes are poorly stitched and things like that. Almost all the review said, though, that if you are looking for a good, entry-level kit, this could be it.

Based on these reviews, I ordered the kit and crossed my fingers that it would work out well. Once it arrived, we did a test setup here in the office so we understood how everything went together before we tried to do this under the time constraints of an actual shoot. It took a little time to learn exactly how to best put the lights together, but now that we have down 6 setups and tear downs, we are pretty good and can set up two lights in about 15 minutes.

Since we had the warnings from the reviews, we have been very careful to treat the kit with a light hand and try to keep the abuse to a minimum. These seems to have served us well, as nothing has broken or been damaged over the course of the last 2 months of transport and shoot.

Everything — stands, light bulbs, fixtures, diffusion boxes and screens — fits back into the original carrying case and allows us to move around quite easily from car to location to car. The kit is small enough that it easily fits in the trunk or back seat of all but the smallest vehicles.

Overall, we have been very satisfied in our purchase and while we may move up to more expensive (and expansive) equipment in the future, it has served us well as we grow. Go into this purchase with the full knowledge that is “cheap” and may require a little gentler care than most, but we have found it quite functional for, albeit limited, needs.

Fancierstudio Professional Digital Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit with Lighting Stand, 3000 Watt
 

Lighting system

More lighting kits from Amazon.com

 * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Andúril, hero prop sword from The Lord of the Rings, Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, UK [Photo]

November 14th, 2016 Comments off

Snark SN-5 Tuner for Guitar, Bass and Violin | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2016 #13

November 13th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

From Douglas…

I often tell people, “Tuning your guitar properly shows respect for your audience” and this bright, little tuner makes it so easy to tune almost any instrument. I was a convert to the vibration-based tuners years ago. Trying to tune your guitar in a noisy coffeehouse with an acoustic-based turner was almost impossible, but this makes it very easy. I especially like the Snark as it is very bright and readable even in full daylight and it has more gradations in its indicator than my previous tuners. More gradations makes it easier to be spot-on with your tuning and show respect for everyone who might be listening to you play. I’d recommend buying one of these for all your musician friends.

Snark SN-5 Tuner for Guitar, Bass and Violin

Snark SN-5 Tuner for Guitar, Bass and Violin | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2016 #13

 

 

Many other tuners from Amazon.com

 * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Armor at Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, UK via Instagram [Photo]

October 11th, 2016 Comments off

Christmas Zen: Sleigh Ride from the BBC [Video Clip]

December 22nd, 2015 Comments off

An amazing idea, and similar to past “Slow TV” programming. You can enjoy a 3 min preview of the experience in the YouTube video below.

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In a Slow TV Christmas special, BBC Four rigs a traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Following the path of an ancient postal route, the ride captures the traditional world of the Sami people who are indigenous to northern Scandinavia and for whom reindeer herding remains a way of life.

Filmed in Karasjok, Norway – 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle – this journey takes us through breathtaking scenery not normally glimpsed by anyone other than the Sami. Deliberately unhurried, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer guides us along an epic two-hour trip that takes us over undulating snowy hills, through birch forests, across a frozen lake and past traditional Sami settlements.

Facts about the reindeer, natural history, Sami culture and the Arctic climate are delivered by graphics and archive stills embedded into the passing landscape. With no commentary, music or presenter – just the crunching of snow and the soft tinkle of a reindeer bell – this hypnotic sleigh ride is an enchanting experience to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.

BBC Web Site

 

Products: Quality in Neon — my photography on smartphone cases, cards, totes and more!

March 18th, 2015 Comments off

Products: Mallards and Mandarin — my photography on smartphone cases, cards, totes and more!

March 9th, 2015 Comments off

Products: Cards and Chips — my photography on smartphone cases, cards, totes and more!

March 3rd, 2015 Comments off

TV Worth Watching: The Art of Gothic: Britain’s Midnight Hour from BBC4

October 23rd, 2014 Comments off

TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas


The Art of Gothic: Britain’s Midnight Hour from BBC4

Another excellent series from the BBC. I love these “deep dives” into particular areas of history, literature and art. While I am basically familiar with most of the works mentioned in the series, it is seeing them laid out in a clear timeline and analyzed for the very specific aspects they brought to world culture and how they effected culture everywhere. Graham-Dixon delves into all aspects of Gothic including architecture, literature, the politics and culture of the era — which included the amazing changes being wrought by the Industrial Revolution in Britain. These types of documentaries are some of my most favorite viewing from the BBC (along with Doctor Who, of course) and I am constantly seeking out new series almost regardless of the topics then cover. I would certainly add this series to My Own Personal Master’s Degree notes and playlist.

The Art of Gothic: Britain's Midnight Hour from BBC4

Watch on YouTube

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how a group of 19th-century architects and artists spurned the modern age and turned to Britain’s medieval past to create iconic works and buildings.

In the middle of the 18th century – in England – an entirely surprising thing happened. Out of the Age of Enlightenment and Reason a monster was born – a Gothic obsession with monsters, ghouls, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. From restrained aristocratic beginnings to pornographic excesses, the Gothic revival came to influence popular art, architecture and literature.

Previously on TV Worth Watching…

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