Great 8 drops Friday!Great 8 drops Friday!

Great 8 drops Friday!

Been a while since I’ve posted anything. Here’s something fresh from co-worker Jason arthurs and I.

Double live, youtube and blogs to bootDouble live, youtube and blogs to boot

Double live, youtube and blogs to boot

This month I’ve spent most of my days live-streaming a first-degree murder trial to newsobserver.com. On June 9th, producer Rob Roberts live-streamed a Barack Obama speech during the lunch recess for the first ever double live stream on our site. At the time, much we being said on cable news and blogs about Barack and [...]

Framegrab vs. still: a real world comparisonFramegrab vs. still: a real world comparison

Framegrab vs. still: a real world comparison

Pixel to pixel: Left, Canon 1D Mark II, right, Canon XH A1. Today I arrived at the Johnston County courthouse to cover a murder trial. The media was escorted up to a room overlooking the courtroom. The view of the witness stand was a good 60-foot throw from behind tinted glass. A small speaker with [...]

Top hat & the Time MachineTop hat & the Time Machine

Top hat & the Time Machine

This morning Shawn Rocco and I rose before dawn to photograph a high rise being adorned with a new top hat, a 60 foot 11,000 pound steel spire. The 33-story RBC Plaza is now the tallest building in Raleigh. For this assignment I attempted my first time-lapse using my still camera mounted on a tripod [...]

The 30 second videoThe 30 second video

The 30 second video

Colleague Ted Richardson and I were assigned to make a video of the first day of the NC legislative session. Yawn… Sorry, I get sleepy just thinking about it. This was Ted’s first day in the new video rotation and I didn’t want him to get a bad taste in his mouth right out of [...]

Sucker for airplanesSucker for airplanes

Sucker for airplanes

When I was a kid I was fascinated by aircraft of all types. I loved air shows and spent hours building scale plastic model airplanes that I would suspend with fishing line from my bedroom ceiling. I’m sure I lost more than a few brain cells from that noxious plastic model glue. Thursday I relived [...]

Video or stills… that is the questionVideo or stills… that is the question

Video or stills… that is the question

The answer is yes. In some circumstances you can do both, but chances are you’re bound to look (and feel) a little silly doing it. photo by Roger Winstead Truth be known, the very capable Shawn Rocco had my back on stills when this photo was taken during a recent Hillary Clinton event. I was [...]

Primary ground zeroPrimary ground zero

Primary ground zero

There’s still no end in sight, but no one can say we didn’t cover the hell out of it. From left, myself, Corey Lowenstein and Shawn Rocco covering Sen. Obama’s NC primary election night party in Raleigh.

Clinton and Obama, a soundbyte matchupClinton and Obama, a soundbyte matchup

Clinton and Obama, a soundbyte matchup

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama urged their supporters to support the Democratic Party nominee regardless of who wins during separate speeches Friday evening at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Raleigh. (Staff video by Travis Long) During the past few weeks I’ve covered no less than 14 campaign events here in NC. Friday was a rare [...]

This American Life LIVEThis American Life LIVE

This American Life LIVE

Tonight I had the pleasure of viewing a This American Life live broadcast on the big screen. The one night event was broadcast from NYC in HD and Cinema Surround Sound via satellite to select movie theaters across the U.S. The approximately two-hour broadcast featured stories from season II of the Showtime series as well [...]


Previously →

Double live, youtube and blogs to boot


by Travis Long

This month I’ve spent most of my days live-streaming a first-degree murder trial to newsobserver.com. On June 9th, producer Rob Roberts live-streamed a Barack Obama speech during the lunch recess for the first ever double live stream on our site.

At the time, much we being said on cable news and blogs about Barack and Michelle Obama’s fist bump or dap. Rob caught a dap on tape between Obama and Gov. Michael Easley as they took the stage.

After the event, Rob cut a quick video and uploaded it to the newsobserver.com. youtube. The video quickly found it’s way onto Politico.

At about the same time, columnist and book critic J. Peder Zane wrote a script for the above video which was picked up by Gawker. They had these words of encouragment for Zane:

Oh, hey, look: A newspaper writer actually made a good, funny internet video! And his name isn’t David Pogue!

Now he is off to more vids. Here’s Zane and Jason Arthur’s latest offering:


Framegrab vs. still: a real world comparison


by Travis Long

Left, Canon 1D Mark II RAW, right, Canon XH A1 framegrab
Pixel to pixel: Left, Canon 1D Mark II, right, Canon XH A1.

Today I arrived at the Johnston County courthouse to cover a murder trial. The media was escorted up to a room overlooking the courtroom. The view of the witness stand was a good 60-foot throw from behind tinted glass. A small speaker with an 1/4 inch headphone jack offered some seriously overcooked audio.

I was doing double duty, stills and video. One problem, I forgot to bring big glass…

Even with my 1D Mark II at 1000 ISO, my exposure was something like a 60th at 2.8 with my 70-200mm. I was under-lensed and underexposed by a mile and 4 stops.

It turns out the framegrabs from my XH A1 video camera gave my under-lensed still camera a run for its money. Above is a pixel to pixel comparison of the A1 and the Mark II (shooting RAW). Both images are lightly toned in CS3.

Of course my comparison isn’t very scientific. There are too may variables in this situation, but I think it proves that framegrabs are a viable option in a pinch. If nothing else, it proves that my still cameras are old.

On another note: The second of the two videos I posted today was a raw video clip. This was the first raw clip I’ve ever posted to newsobserver.com. I thought the testimony was compelling enough to stand on it’s own. Set me straight fast if I suddenly turn into Howard Owens.


WARNING: Content contains graphic descriptions of abuse. Jessy Paddock, 20, alleges severe abuse during a hearing on whether a jury in Lynn Paddock’s murder trial should be allowed to hear evidence relating to her character and crimes for which she is not facing trial. Lynn Paddock is charged with first-degree suffocation murder of her 4-year-old adopted son, Sean. (Staff video by Travis Long)


Top hat & the Time Machine


by Travis Long

This morning Shawn Rocco and I rose before dawn to photograph a high rise being adorned with a new top hat, a 60 foot 11,000 pound steel spire. The 33-story RBC Plaza is now the tallest building in Raleigh.

For this assignment I attempted my first time-lapse using my still camera mounted on a tripod and a handy little intervalometer gadget called the Time Machine.

With its LCD display, giant buttons and beigeware aesthetics, the Time Machine appears as though it ripped through the time continuum straight from 1988. I won’t bore you with all its geeky functions, (check out the website for all the nitty gritty) but I can think of a half dozen quick little projects you could do with this thing.

I set up Time Machine to shoot 1 second intervals and and let it rip for 650 plus exposures and zoomed and changed lenses to add a little visual variety. I used Quicktime Pro to export a sequence of all the photos as an .mov file. I collected a few minutes of ambient sound at the base of the building which I combined with the .mov in Final Cut Pro. I toned the entire sequence with 3-way color correction in FCP rather than using a Photoshop action to add conistent contrast to the images more efficiently.

Total post production time? Let’s just say it took me longer to write this post.


The 30 second video


by Travis Long

Colleague Ted Richardson and I were assigned to make a video of the first day of the NC legislative session.

Yawn…

Sorry, I get sleepy just thinking about it. This was Ted’s first day in the new video rotation and I didn’t want him to get a bad taste in his mouth right out of the gate. We decided to keep the video short and sweet with quick cuts and some sped up clips. I focused on long sustained wide shots and Ted keyed in on details.

I called my wife and asked her to scour our iTunes playlist for a 30 second ASCAP song that was fun with lots of beats I could easlily edit to. She suggested “Possesive” by Y.A.C.H.T. and sent it to me via ftp. Check out this sweet little video profile by m ss ng p eces on Y.A.C.H.T. (aka Jona Bechtolt).

We used the fit to fill function in FCP to speed up clips and match them to the beat by setting in and out points on the sequence where we wanted the clips to sync up.