What will you do when you are invited for your best friend’s wedding but somehow you cannot attend the wedding? That was a big question for me, and I was thinking so hard to find a good way to express that we are happy with their wedding but sadly we cannot attend it. Thats why I and my wife decided to create a wedding greeting video for our best friend. We made it as a testimonial video about our friend, we put a great photo of him, and at the end we say our greeting and wish for him.
I asked my friend to take the interview and greeting video using his Canon 5D mk ii DSLR and I edited the video using Final Cut Pro. It is a difficult challenge to combine the interview video, with the photo slideshow, including the background music.
This is my first testimony interview video, and I’m quite satisfied with the result. Somehow, I need to learn more to get a better camera angle and lighting to get more professional interview video. Stage does matter Enjoy
My next challenge, creating a simple promotional video for our Youth Church Community, introducing our ministry to other people and inviting them to join us. We called it Open Ministry Day from KKIHS (Katolik Karismatik Indonesia – Holy Spirit) Singapore.
This video based on a short interviews with some of the committee. They shared what they are doing in the committee, our events, our activities and our vision. At the end of the day, we invite the viewer to join us in our Open Ministry Day as a member of committee.
This is the first time I use my new Rode Videomic Pro as an external microphone for my D7000. Somehow I did a mistake by switching the gain level into +20dB and the sounds became peak. I learned that for 1-2m distance in the medium level of ambience noise, I need to set it as 0dB instead of +20dB or -10dB. In the quite ambience noise, I can use -10dB within the same distance.
At the end, I edited it with Final Cut pro to make it interesting, especially at the last part, the invitation. I put words switching scene as they shouted at the words each by each and combined them together into one sentence Enjoy
One day I saw my housemates were preparing something in our house. They prepared the dining table, birthday cake, presents, and I guessed that they prepared a birthday surprise. Yup! I was correct. They were preparing for their sibling’s birthday party. And I think this is a right moment to create a unique birthday surprise behind the scene, and challenging my skill to make a simple weird documentation video.
Once again, I took my DSLR and capture some scenes. In my mind, I was thinking to create and old movie concept like old Mission Impossible movie. I took some of the video angles, like the cake, the presents, how they prepared the things. And finally I took the surprise event it self.
At the end, in the editing mode, I choose one of the movie soundtrack songs for the background music, and cut and edited all of the scenes into single proper documentation video with an old movie concept. The most difficult part is to find a correct color grading theme for this concept.
Finally I quite satisfied with the result, and next time will do a better one. Enjoy
This video taken by Nikon D7000 with 35mm f2.0 lens. Edited by Final Cut pro X.
First time I use DSLR to capture video snapshot, I took a video of kungfu silhouette, when my friends was playing kungfu action in the beach, and we named it Kungfu Pantai (Beach Kungfu).
This silhouette concept based on the old kungfu movies and shot directly against the sunlight. The challenge was how to capture the great black of silhouette and the great color of sunset.
I didn’t use any tripod to make it still, but I keep a slight movement to obtain an action feel camera angle. But I realize that I need to learn more perspective to get a good composition.
Finally, I added some motivation words and strong cinematic music behind the movie, and make it as a motivation video Enjoy.
First time I tried this for video call (yet I used it to call my wife and my family far-far away from me), it is just awesome and easy to use. No need to log in, log out, it is integrated as a built in voice call on your phone. But when I check for some iPhone users, especially in the country I’m staying, less people using FaceTime. And they still choose another video call solution like Tango or Skype. In fact, most of them are using iPhone and call the other user that is using iPhone too.
As far as I use FaceTime, it is very easy to reach or call, just like using a phone call. Search the contact, get the phone number, and FaceTime call. Once it is connected, I can see a great audio and video quality, and almost No Lag at all. I used to contact my wife located in Indonesia when we were in long distance, where she used 1 mbps internet connection or less.
That’s why I’m wondering maybe so many people still doesn’t know that iPhone, iPad and Macs has a very great built in video call feature. And by this post, I try to tell you simply how to use Apple FaceTime in your iPhone (quite similar in iPad or iPod).
You Need to Know
There are some basic thing you need to know about this great iOS feature:
- FaceTime only works on iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPod Touch 4th generation or later and Mac OS 10.6.6 or later.
- FaceTime only works using WiFi only on iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4th generation or later and iPad 2. So don’t ever expect that your iPhone 4 or iPad 2 can use Facetime on 3G.
- FaceTime works using 3G on iPhone 4s or newer, iPad 3rd generation or later. But the connection relies on the network it self, and make sure the connection runs on minimum 512 kbps.
- FaceTime can be used to call the recipient that using iPhone 4 or later, iPod Touch 4th generation with WiFi connection, iPad 2 with WiFi connection, iPad 3rd generation or later with WiFi or 3G connection or Mac OS 10.6.6 with FaceTime installed and internet connection.
- This video call is using your data connection, and will not charging your voice call bill. If you are using 3G or LTE connection, please aware of the data usage. 5 minutes of FaceTime video call uses up to 15MB.
What You Need to Do
Since it is a built in feature in iPhone or iPad, you can set the FaceTime feature in the Setting, and select Facetime.
First thing you need to do is connecting to Apple FaceTime server by turn the FaceTime slider from OFF to ON.
By default, your iPhone will send an international SMS to the Apple server in US to activate it, and using your phone number as a valid FaceTime identifier.
Once it is activated, the text below the FaceTime slider will be change into: “Your phone number and/or email address will be shared with people you call”.
You also can use your Apple ID as a FaceTime identifier by taping on “Use your Apple ID for FaceTime”, and enter your Apple ID with the password.
After entering the correct Apple ID, you will be connected with the phone numbers or emails that associated with your Apple ID. Choose which email addresses and phone numbers you want people to use to contact you for FaceTime calls. Scroll down to Caller ID. Choose which email address or phone number you want to appear during outgoing FaceTime calls
How to Call
Nothing simpler than FaceTime call for video call. No need to open any other specific Apps, No need to Log In or Log Out. Just go to the Contacts and find one of the contact you want to call.
In the contact detail, you will see FaceTime button below the contact information. Make sure you are choosing the correct FaceTime identifier that is used by your calling partner, whether they use their phone number or email address. Usually the iPhone user uses their phone number as the FaceTime identifier, and the iPod Touch, iPad and Mac users use their email address as the identifier.
Once you tap the FaceTime button, your iPhone will try to connect to your calling partner.
Other way, you can FaceTime call your partner while doing a phone call. You can see the FaceTime button in the calling screen. When you tap on the FaceTime button, your iPhone will try to connect to your calling partner using FaceTime while you are still doing the voice call. Once it is connected, your phone voice call will be disconnected and replaced by the FaceTime video call.
What you can do
Using Apple FaceTime is very fun. Here is what you can do with FaceTime:
- You can switch from front camera into back camera to show something to your calling partner.
- You can mute your iPhone Microphone to have a silent video call for your calling partner, but you still can hear your calling partner’s voice.
- If you are using Apple TV and Airplay Mirror, you can mirror your FaceTime screen to a bigger screen. This is very useful for a meeting conference.
The things I explained above also works for iPod Touch and iPad that supports FaceTime. Hope this article helps you to maximize your iPhone. Enjoy
My third anniversary in 2012 was celebrated in long distance, because my wife went back to her home town for delivering our first baby. But that didn’t make us sad. I was wondering, how to give her a special gift in our anniversary day. Luckily I saw some old great photos in my Mac, and I took the challenge to give her an anniversary video gift based on our old photos.
I took a concept about flash back to the past, how we are connected, walked together, engaged and got married to remind our great moments.
This chance, I tried my new Nikon D7000 DSLR to take a short video of me when flipping a photo album, and I put photo slides inside the scenes. This time I used Final Cut Pro for the primary video editing tools, and iPhoto to generate the photo slide show. I put a very touching background music I got from East West Holywood Strings demo because everytime I heard this music, I imagine about a flashback touching story. And the last, I record my own voice using My Shure SM58 mic using Indonesian language.
Finally, the video finished and my wife dropped her tears after watching this video.
I love you my wife
Since the appearance of Nikon D90 which was the 1st DSLR that has video recording, now DSLR video can be found almost in every semi-pro DSLRs. Why DSLR video? How is it compared with other HD video recorder?
DSLR is a standard gear for creating a very good pictures, especially if we want to have a great “bokeh” using some great lenses. And this kind of photos cannot be obtained only using pocket camera. Now imagine, if this DSLR great picture quality is a movie pictures. So simply, you will get a very good video quality, with great bokeh, great clarity, and great colors!
That is why I decided to buy a great DSLR camera with a good video feature. Many people recommended me a Canon such Canon EOS 7D or 60D, because Canon has a great video features. The other reason of Canon is, Canon has a good experience of video products. But since I am a Nikon DSLR user before (I used Nikon D40x and Nikon D60), so it is difficult to leave Nikon. So, ok I gave Nikon a chance for video, although I found many Nikon users are quite disappointed about D90 video. And my choice was in Nikon D7000 because I really love the great quality of D7000 pictures I saw on flickr.
Finally I bought Nikon D7000, I tried its video quality over many events using a Nikon 35mm f2.0 prime lens and my Nikon 50mm f1.8 E-series in one of my youth community event. This is the first time I use DSLR video for Easter Party at Bishan Park, Singapore, as a documentation video. And to be honest, I’m quite satisfied with raw videos from both the camera and the lens. One thing I need to master about DSLR video is about using manual focus. I cannot rely on DSLR’s autofocus on video taking because you cannot control the focus as what you expected. Yes, I used manual focus on both lenses and very fun! Taking a great video using manual focus is quite challenging but worth to try.
Yet I realized that maybe I need a lot of tools to make a better video result such a stabilizer, dollies, external microphones or monitors.
In the editing process, I used the Cinematic plugin colour grade for Final Cut Pro and make the colours richer. Because the whether at that time was quite cloudy and made the colours a bit dull, that’s why I increase the saturation.
The most difficult part was to put an appropriate background musics and cutting flow of each scenes based on the theme and the available background musics. At the end, I’m really happy with the final result as you see below:
Last time my friend got graduated from her college as a fashion designer in Singapore. She asked me and my photographer friends to take her graduation photos at Singapore Botanic Garden.
I took this great chance because I wanted to take some picture in Singapore Botanic Garden and challenged my photography skills there.
I brought my beloved Nikon D7000 and two prime lenses that is Nikon 50mm f1.8 E-series pancake and Nikon 35mm f2.0. But later I was thinking that I want to try a great lens to improve my skill. And I decided to rent an amazing Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 ED lens from Camera Rental Centre Singapore. I found that renting the lens is a very affordable option we can choose in this kind of situation, and thanks to Camera Rental Centre to provide a very good stuff and service.
Lucky that at that time, my friend brought a reflector, and I had a chance to play and learn with it. Although the whether and the sky was not so good, but the 24-70mm f2.8 lens still captured great colour. To be honest, I was quite satisfied with the lens, and I wish I can buy it next time.
After that, I edited the RAW photo result using Apple Aperture without many adjustment. You can see the result below, and enjoy.
quotes of the day:
“Men easily believe what they want to.” – Latin Proverb
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Von Goethe
“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins
“Your attitude is either the lock on, or the key to the door of success.” – Denis Waitley
“If anything is worth doing, ….. *do it* …with all your heart.” — Buddha
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be part of.” -Geri Weitzman
“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” – Duke Ellington
“Go in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Thoreau
“I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll
“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.” – Napoleon Hill
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future.” – Plato
“The people who matter will recognise who you are.” – Alan Cohen
“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.” – Thomas Carlyle
“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” – Walt Streightiff
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” – Christopher Reeve
“What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.” -Oprah
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
Doing night shot photography is not simply. Because we need to capture the photo as good as possible, as sharp as possible, great moment, within a dark environtment. This is my first experience on doing the real night shot photography. Lucky I have a friend who guided me how to get a great picture.
First thing we must bring is:
There are so many kind of tripod, but when we really use it in many kind of circumstances, we really need a tough tripod that can stand on any kind of surfaces, and yet need to be strong, stable and solid (not easy to move). Yes, it is really important to have a stable tripod. Some tripod will get moved easily if we don’t lock it tightly, but sometime although we lock it tight, the angle position still moves because of the camera weight, or because of the difficult position or angle, or even because of another external factors (strong winds maybe).
For night photography this is really important, because we need to open the shutter quite long (more than 5 second) to get a great picture and color. So the camera really needs to be stable.
Using a normal camera setting like ISO 800, Aperture 2.8 and 1/15 second will not make a great photo in the night. Most of the time, we need to open the exposure quite long, for example 10 or 30 seconds. Why? Because for getting less noise, better we use ISO like 200-400 at night. In order to get a great landscape photo, we cannot just use f2.8 aperture. Landscape photography needs to be a sharp photo, that usually we get from f4 – f11. And because of that, to get a good exposure level within those settings (the ISO 200-400 and f4-f11), we cannot use 1/15 second shutter speed. Usually we will get into seconds! This is why I said that using tripod is really important. And in this session, I really try some settings to get some great night shoot. For some photo I took using 30 seconds shutter speed.
So bad that I only have 35mm f2.0 as my default lens for my Nikon D7000, so I cannot get the picture wide enough. But that was the challenge. I need to get a great angle within 35mm. But better if you bring a wide angle lens, even a kit lens like 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 will do!
Well, I’m not saying that my photos are great enough. Actually I didn’t feel satisfied yet with my pictures, but I realized that I learned a lot of things within the great night shot photograph. Thank to my friend that help me to explore great things about photography. Please enjoy my photos below.
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