Testing out the new iPhone 11 Pro with the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 📱
I've been looking into alternative options for capturing everyday video, and I was lucky enough to be gifted the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 for the holidays. I was particularly interested in using this gimbal with the new iPhone 11 Pro wide angle lens, so I decided to take it for a trial run on one of our daily walks with Gus. Overall, I'm really impressed with the setup, but struggling to get everything working well with the wide angle lens, as the gimbal arm occasionally shows up in the frame. I'm going to continue testing, possibly balancing the phone differently with some counterweights.
I'm in love with the smoothness and quality of the image I'm able to produce with this setup! It's so light and easy to use, and lowers the barrier to entry on quality, with just enough simplicity to let you focus on the story you're trying to tell. I was also delighted to find out that this gimbal supports an under-slung configuration (operating upside-down) so you can get some really neat low tracking shots!
Hot Air Ballooning in Sonoma 🎈
While on a recent trip to Sonoma, CA we decided to book a balloon ride with Sonoma Ballooning Adventures. Jeff and Luis were awesome and made the entire experience seamless. Even though we had a foggy morning, we still made the best of it and had a great time. This was one of the first full videos I produced using the Insta360 One X, and I have to say the new perspectives I'm able to get with this weird little camera are pretty stunning.
Being able to capture an entire experience and only worry about camera position is very freeing as a content creator. The ability to manipulate an entire spherical data set (i.e. 360 video) after the fact is amazing, and the stabilization and reframing are tools are, and I hate this phrase, 'game-changing'. I can't wait to see how 360 video evolves over time!
Jumping out of a helicopter 😮
Folks who know me know that I'm not a great fan of heights, and it's something that I've struggled with for as long as I can remember. I'm slowly trying to mentally push through that fear (as I know it's irrational) by consciously choosing activities I know will force my brain to work a bit harder. Whether it's hiking Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, or abseiling off of Table Mountain in Cape Town, I've had a few opportunities to confront these fears and emotions and push through.
On a recent trip to Hawaii, I was persuaded by my partner and friends to really take it up a notch and try skydiving. When the idea was broached for the first time, my natural reaction was 'F@c< off, never in a million years'. But you know...its funny what happens when you find out the jump is pre-paid and non-refundable.
I'll let the video speak for itself, but the TLDR version is that I had fun, pushed through the fear, had faith in others, and checked a huge box. So glad I did it, and I'm looking forward to jumping out of a plane so I can compare the experiences. A big shout out to Pacific Skydiving for making my first jump one I'll never forget.
Slow motion is so fetch 🐶
Sometimes some new kit can spark a bit of creativity, and new features or capabilities push you to capture something you haven't before. In this case, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the new(ish) Sony A7 III and the DJI Ronin-S stabilizer. What better way to test these out than shooting one of the most difficult (and fast) subjects possible? Thanks to @Gustaf.Bernard for being such a great subject, and @b.present.sinq for assisting and co-starring in the video.
I was blown away by how good the continuous / subject tracking autofocus has gotten on these prosumer level cameras. I was equally astounded by the Ronin's ability to stabilize this camera as I was literally running next to Gus.
Walking in Italy 🚶🏼♀️
I continually try to improve my travel videos, and one of the things I've learned over the years is that a continuous visual thread can really pull a story together. On our recent trip to Italy, I tried to narrow the scope of my shooting and really focus on Brittney walking through various locations. With some aggressive editing (there are MANY more walking clips) I arrived at a visually interesting piece that is an interesting way to document the trip.
SLC / Park City Ski Trip ⛷
In early 2017, we headed to Salt Lake City to meet up with our friends Carson and Bobby for some fun on the slopes. I hadn't been skiing since I was in middle school, so there was definitely a lot of learning and falling. I walked away with some great memories and only a slightly-broken finger.
It has also been a while since I made a video of one of my trips, and it seemed like the perfect time to borrow a GoPro and see what we could come up with. I learned so much about what works and what doesn't when filming with a GoPro, its definitely a different mindset vs. a more traditional video camera or DSLR / ILMC.
London and Africa 🦁
I traveled a lot in 2015, and one of my favorite experiences was going to London for the first time and then on safari in South Africa. The itinerary totaled 18 days, including a couple days in London on either end of the trip for sightseeing, key restaurants and exploring. The main part of the trip was focused in two parts of South Africa. One week on Safari at Exeter River Lodge andSabi Sabi Earth Lodge and then another week in Cape Town to absorb some South African culture.
LondonIt was my first time, and it was super helpful that Brittney had spent a great deal of time in the city growing up so she was familiar with the transit systems. We did a lot of your typical sightseeing, the Tower and Crown Jewels, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, etc. The weather was shit, but I knew it would be that way going in. It was nice that everyone spoke english, and if its your first time traveling outside the US, London is a great way to dip your toe in the water.
I'm of two minds about my experience in London. I did really enjoy the art and history of the place, which I always do when I hit a major international city. I just didn't like the vibe of the place, and I know thats pretty subjective and hard to explain. I know a great many people who really love London, and I'm sure I'll be back to give it another shot.
South AfricaMaking it to SA, going on safari and exploring Cape Town was definitely the highlight of the trip. Our safaris were outstanding, and we were incredibly lucky to see as much as we did in such a concentrated time period. We have a habit of staying in very nice places and eating incredible food, and South Africa did not disappoint! In true visual storytelling fashion, I'd rather show you not tell you:
A quick little plane flight from Houston and you're in Belize, a great place for adventures on land and under water. This video was my first attempt at capturing a vacation with only a GoPro. I'd say it turned out pretty well, and I learned a ton about what these little action cameras can and can't do. The people in Belize are incredibly friendly and courteous, always smiling and ready to help a stranger on the road. Our lodgings (Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort) was pretty amazing. With almost everything included and plenty of diving and forrest adventures to choose from, we were spoiled for choice.
Highlights from our three week trip to France in 2014. We drove the country and visited Paris, Versailles, Honfleur, Bayeux, Mont St. Michel, Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, Sarlat-la-Caneda, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon, Beaune, and Burgundy.