“Take 1” – What are you communicating

Can you imagine having to listen to the same person for 5 hours? Even if it was a great speaker – that’s a long time. Now let’s make things worse by starting that listening session early on a Sunday morning. Ugh! But, that’s exactly what some of our tech people (for example, camera operators) go through each week. They sit quietly in the isolated world of their dual-muff headsets and listen…and listen… and listen. With rehearsals and pre-service work, this…

Understanding Iris, F stops, Aperture, Gain, Shutter, Depth of Field & Lighting

Even people that work with video cameras all the time are often confused with the function and the interdependent relationships iris, f-stops, aperture, depth of field, gain, shutter and lighting levels have on each other. In this post I will attempt to unravel these terms and discuss how their functions are used, practically in a church multi-camera production environment. On ENG style broadcast video lenses there are typically four rings (or barrels) the camera and/or video operator (shader) may manipulate. …

Art and the Bible

Things I Like: Aside from the Bible, if I could make only one book required reading for those involved in church tech and performing arts it would be Francis A. Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible. Schaeffer offers “a Christian perspective” on the arts.  Not just arts within the confines of the church but within the whole of life.  Schaeffer addresses architecture, statuary, bas-relief, poetry, painting, music, drama, and dance; occuring in the secular marketplace and within the church. Biblical support…

Size Matters

One of the questions I often see posted from Church Tech people, particularly regarding new video camera purchases or recommendations is, “I am thinking about getting new I-Mag or sermon capture cameras for my church auditorium. Will the (insert: large sensor camera model du jour) work well in this application?” I guess the first question is, how are we defining “a large sensor camera?” For the sake of this article I am defining a large sensor camera as any camera…

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

This week’s “Things I Like” is a book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (Unabridged), authored by Tim Wu. Wu, trained as an Attorney has held positions as a Columbia Law School professor, contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, Obama administration Senior Advisor to the Federal Trade Commission and National Economic Council member.  Most notably, Wu coined the phrase “net neutrality.” Tim Wu takes us through the history of United States communications; from telegraph and…

Not OJ

Twenty five years ago America was obsessed with the most publicized criminal trial in United States history.  On trial was the former Heisman Trophy honoree and running back for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers, #32, O.J. Simpson. “OJ” was accused of the double-murder of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. With warrant in hand the police searched for OJ and his vehicle, a white 1993 Ford Bronco. Businessmen, housewives and school-kids were all on the…

Lighting 101

Many years ago I was video engineering a corporate presentation at the Sheraton New York Grand Ballroom. Though-out my career I’ve probably done a hundred shows at this location. This job was a piece of cake, we could do it in our sleep. After I completed setting up the video carrypack, cameras and doing a preliminary white balance & shading on the cameras with my chip light and chip chart I turned the cameras and framed them up onto the…

Jon Swearingen (Multi-viewer)

Ever wished you could be a fly on the wall, listen in and watch a large scale religious broadcast being shot? Jon Swearingen, the Director of Broadcast Media at Lakewood Church / Joel Osteen Ministries was kind enough to allow a GoPro camera to be put in the control room as well as a recordings of a multi-viewer with PL sound track. [Note: Multi-viewer audio is split track. Director is louder on right channel. Use right-channel ear buds if having…

LEAD . . . For God’s Sake!

This installment of Things I Like: LEAD . . . For God’s Sake! A parable for finding the heart of leadership (Unabridged) by Todd G. Gongwer To be honest with you, I am not typically a fan of “leadership books” and as a result have not spent much time reading in this genre, however I heard someone I deeply respect (my son) make mention of this book and decided to look into it. LEAD . . . For God’s Sake!…

Portable-Temporary Camera Platform

Last week I posted step-by-step instructions on how to build a rock solid semi-permanent camera and/or operator platform out of wood. This week as promised, here are instructions on how to build a portable or temporary version of the same. In last week’s blog post I included a lot of information explaining why camera and operator platforms should be a particular width, depth and height as well as how to mitigate camera shake.  Rather than reprint all that preliminary information…