tips & tricks

Cave Lighting

From: Bob Murdock WFXT-Boston Here’s a quick light tip for the DVC/PRO crowd, although I think almost anyone with state of the art gear could benefit from this. Recently I got to shoot a nat piece 300ft underground with tunnel minors (called “sand hogs”) who are digging a 17mile tunnel for a new water system here in MA. My concern was how to light and what to bring. Although there…

Cold Weather Tips

The first “snow storm” of the season happened last week. You have to take into account that we are in Virginia, to realize why a few inches of snow constitutes a “storm.” Call me a wimp, but I hate shooting in the cold. Not only does the equipment not work to its full capacity as batteries slow down, and lenses stiffen up, but my hands don’t function right. Trying to…

It’s Not Just a Camera Anymore

From: Jim Travers WBTV I have had great luck recently using my DVCPRO D700 as an audio mixer while doing live shots.  Just have an engineer (or anyone who knows the secret handshake) go into the internal menu and set your audio output to the “mix” setting.  That sends both channel 1 and 2 to the audio out on the back of the camera.  Plug your audio cable into that…

Helicopter Audio

From: Jim Friedman NBC 10, Philadelphia, Pa When you need that audio of cockpit chit-chat and you can’t plug in to their system, try this. Take the passenger headset and remove the earmuff pad from one side of the headset. Place your lav mic head between the foam and the speaker. Tape the lav head to the speaker. Put the padded ring back on to the headset. Press both earmuffs…

Starter Kit for your Bag of Tricks

[Editor’s note: In the fall of 2000, NPPA Director Bradley Wilson asked me to write up my best 10 tips for new tv news photographers. This was printed in the Winter 2000 edition of Journalism Education Today.] Starter Kit for your Bag of Tricks By Kevin Johnson Every television news photographer carries a gear bag. Something to lug around their tapes, batteries, lights and microphones. Most of them also carry…

Protect that Nat Mic

From: Clint Smith, KTAL – TV When shooting a Marijuana eradication once, I had to have shots from the helicopter that I was ridding in. I felt that I needed to have shots of the side of the aircraft, to tell the whole story. But with the flimsy little wind screen that is supplied with the nat mic on my camera, I knew that wind noise was gonna be a…