Category Archives: audio

LA Diary

A Multimedia Piece On LA; Its People, Its Places

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

On a recent trip to Hollywood to attend the Taste Awards ceremony at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as a finalist for my film on the Electric Coffee Company, I decided to shoot a project on Los Angeles.

My initial thought was to shoot a photo series of daily life, a photo series on TV Host Andrea Feczko and separately, a video interview with the legendary AP photographer, Nick Ut. As my time in LA continued, I shot a wider set of imagery and short video interview with LA street artist Plastic Jesus.

(L-R) AP photographer Nick Ut, author of the Pulitzer Award winning "Napalm Girl" photograph (shown) from the Vietnam War and Edmond Terakopian. Image shows some of Nick Ut's cameras used during the Vietnam War and more modern cameras; on the right is Edmond Terakopian's Olympus OM-D E-M1. Thompson Beverly Hills, LA, California, USA. January 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian (self timer image)

(L-R) AP photographer Nick Ut, author of the Pulitzer Award winning “Napalm Girl” photograph (shown) from the Vietnam War and Edmond Terakopian. Image shows some of Nick Ut’s cameras used during the Vietnam War and more modern cameras; on the right is Edmond Terakopian’s Olympus OM-D E-M1. Thompson Beverly Hills, LA, California, USA. January 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian (self timer image)

For the project, I took an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Olympus M.Zuiko lenses; the 12-40mm f2.8PRO, 25mm f1.8 (see my review of this superb lens) and 45mm f1.8. I also took along a Roland R26 audio recorder and the Rode Lavalier and VideoMic Pro microphones. Lastly, possibly the most used accessory, a Lastolite reflector which didn’t stop getting used for the beach and pool shots with Andrea. I don’t think in my lifetime I’ve used a reflector as much as I did over those two days!

When looking at the material as a whole, it became apparent that it all would make an immersive multimedia piece, mixing photography (and time lapse photography) with video, some audio and the right music. After I’d done my photo editing and processing in Aperture, I fired up FCP X and started to look at the material as one unified project. 64 hours of editing later, I had my “LA Diary”.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens and Rode VideoMic Pro on a Manfrotto tripod. On the left is a Roland R26 audio recorder. January 18, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens and Rode VideoMic Pro on a Manfrotto tripod. On the left is a Roland R26 audio recorder. January 18, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The interviews with Nick Ut and Plastic Jesus are short tasters as I will be editing more in-depth versions of these in due course. For the LA Diary, it worked better to have shorter, sharper video segments to fit in with the flow of the entire piece. The flow was helped along tremendously wight he correct music and I spent a while listening to various pieces. I’ve mixed, edited and cut quite a few of the tracks, bringing in audio on it’s own or with video and getting the delicate balance just right was tremendously helped along by using the astonishing Event Opal audio monitors.

During the project I had a lot of help from various people, so a huge thanks goes out to: Nick Ut, Associated Press, Andrea Feczko, Rachel Rudwall, Plastic Jesus, Armen Khanlian, Yvette K. Mankerian, Nick Stern, Joseph Hovanessian, Thompson Beverly Hills hotel, Kellee Griffith, Michelle Nouraei, Roxana Alas, Rachel Rudwall and Mark Thackara. The project could not have been done without your help; you have my thanks 🙂

Crossings

The Journey To Peace And Prosperity

Delighted to have had a second opportunity to collaborate with the talented Carol Allen Storey on a multimedia project commissioned by International Alert. Our first collaboration being Fractured Lives.

This project is on cross-border trading between the Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighbours Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. They are the centre of this trading in the war-torn Great Lakes region of Africa. This trade between neighbours is a journey to peace and prosperity, being a source of income for more than 45,000 traders and brings stability and economic strength to the region.

The images and video were shot by Carol Allen Storey using a Canon 5D MkII. We then collaborated on editing down the imagery. The chosen photographs were then processed using Aperture, Photoshop, Viveza and Silver Efex Pro. The voice over was then recorded in London using a Rode Lavalier microphone and a Roland R26 audio decoder. Finally, the project was assembled and edited in FCP X.

My First Leica M (Type 240) Video

Short Film On The Electric Coffee Company

Electric Coffee Company (FilmConvert Grade) from Edmond Terakopian on Vimeo.

Pleased to share my first short film shot entirely on the new Leica M (Type 240) camera. For the project at the Electric Coffee Company, I used the Leica 28mm Summicron ASPH, 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE and 50mm Noctilux ASPH, with some of the closeup shots being done with the aid of a Leica OUFRO macro adapter. Interview audio was done on a Roland R26 and Rode lavalier microphone. The reportage shots were all done using a Manfrotto 561BHDV video monopod and the interview was shot on a Gitzo video tripod. I also used a Lee RF75 filter holder and Lee ND filters for some shots.

I do hope you like the film, and if you have, would really appreciate if you could vote for it in the Film Convert competition; it’s just one click without registration needed. Thanks.

The editing was done on Apple’s FCP X with several shots being graded in Color by colourist Neil Patience. The final film then had it’s final grading done using Film Convert.

Video and Sound for DSLR Photographers Workshop

WORKSHOP by “women with a movie camera”

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be one of the three tutors on the new two day workshop organised by the Women With A Movie Camera. The course is called Video and sound for DSLR photographers. Needless to say, this workshop is open for everyone (I’ve been asked several times if it’s for women only, so I wanted to make sure everyone understand that it’s for men and women!).

Photographer and film maker Edmond Terakopian using a Canon 5D MkII, Zacuto Striker and Z-Finder Pro x2.5, Think Tank Photo Wired Up 10 bag, Zoom H4-n and Rode NTG-3 mic The wedding of Sheleen and Ben. August 28, 2010. Photo: Jeff Ascough

The workshop will be on the 26th and 27th of October 2012, at the October Gallery in London,featuring tutors Lefteris Pitarakis, a photojournalist with AP for 14 years, along with Phil Hartley, a sound engineer and recordist with over 20 years experience in this field and myself.

For more information and to book you spot (places are limited though, so do hurry), visit Women With A Movie Camera.

Attendees will receive various helpful discounts:

The workshop is supported by Calumet and on the day delegates will receive various offers from them.

Fixation will also be giving each delegate a £25.oo voucher

Our friends at New Day Pictures will also be offering delegates 20% off all rentals for 2012!

Hope to see you there!

The Leica M Accessories

Accessorising The New Leica M Camera

Rather than changing the classic lines of the Leica rangefinder, Leica have instead opted to bring out a range of accessories that transform the image making machine into an even more capable tool, taking it beyond it’s traditional charm and ability as a classic rangefinder.

Leica R-Adapter M

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, optional finger loop, Leica R-Adapter M (and a Leica R 70-180mm zoom lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

One of the big upsets amongst Leica users who had the R range of Leica SLRs and lenses has always been the lack of an DSLR solution. The Leica S2 definitely brought the DSLR aspect, but is firstly aimed at the studio environment with it’s medium format chip, but also has it’s own S lenses, making the R lenses still unusable. Thankfully, the Leica M changes things and with the R-Adapter M, the majority Leica’s superb R lenses can now be used. This now opens up the ability to shoot with telephoto, macro and zooms, for photography as well as video. The adapter will be priced at £215 and as with all the new accessories, available from early 2013.

Leica EVF2

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, optional finger loop, Leica R-Adapter M (and an R lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

In the old days of film, some Leica M models had Visoflex attachments which brought SLR abilities. These were cumbersome and slow to operate. Thankfully, the modern day equivalent isn’t. The EVF2 is a 1.4 megapixel electronic viewfinder that allows through the lens viewing when using Live View for both photography and video. It simply slots onto the hotshoe and into the small interface slot under the hotshoe, on the back of the camera. It can also be tilted 90 degrees, allowing for low angle work with comfort. Having seen the quality of the image from this viewfinder on the Leica X2, it is going to provide an ideal solution for shooting with the camera to the eye. Although the rear screen of the camera can be used for using Leica R lenses or shooting video, the EVF2 will extend the way the camera can be used, and will for most I suspect, be a must buy item. The EVF2 will be priced at £360.

Multifunctional Handgrip-M

This smart grip brings with it several functions; it incorporates GPS, allowing tagging of image location straight into the image’s EXIF.

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, optional finger loop, Leica R-Adapter M (and a Leica R 70-180mm zoom lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

The grip also offers the ability to use a flash when the normal hotshoe is occupied with the EVF2, using a dedicated SCA adapter and hotshoe, duplicating all of the normal hotshoe’s flash abilities.There will also be an extension cable with a flash bar to allow off camera flash using the grip. For those who prefer it, the grip also offers the ability to attach finger loops, first seen on the limited edition Leica M9 Titanium. The Multifunctional Handgrip-M will be £630. For those who may not need these functions, there is also going to be a Standard Handgrip-M for £209. I think for using the much larger and heavier Leica R lenses, a handgrip is going to be an absolute necessity.

Microphone Adapter Set

An absolutely essential aspect of video is great audio. Most people who work in the film business will in fact tell you that sound is 60% of the final product. It’s great to see that the Leica M is going to have the ability to use an external microphone, for which this adapter will be required.

The adapter slots into the hotshoe and plugs into the interface on the rear of the camera, allowing mono and stereo mini jack microphones to be used. Although the press release or the supplied images do not show this, I’m hopeful that there may be the ability to also mount a microphone to the secondary hotshoe available on the Multifunctional Handgrip-M. If this doesn’t turn out to be so, there are many other options already on the market for attaching a microphone, so I’m not too worried, although this would be an extremely neat solution.

Mounting the brilliant yet tiny Rode VideoMic Pro to the Leica M should make for a superb, compact and ultra high quality video shooting setup. I really cannot wait to try this out! The Microphone Adapter Set will be £150.

Leica Press Release

New accessories for LEICA M

Range of accessories for new LEICA M camera expands potential beyond traditional rangefinder capabilities

Photokina, Cologne, 17 September 2012: Leica Camera AG has unveiled a new range of accessories for the Leica M, increasing the potential use of the camera far beyond the classic capabilities of rangefinder photography. The accessories include the Leica R-Adapter M, Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder, a Multifunctional Handgrip-M with optional finger loops, and a Leica Microphone Adapter Set, all compatible with the new Leica M, which was also announced today.

The Leica R-Adapter M enables almost all Leica R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the new Leica M. Users can access a list of 20 dedicated profiles – including calibrated imaging workflows and Exif lens recognition – for a range of R-Lenses covering wide-angles, telephoto, zoom and macro options. This comprehensive portfolio opens up new potential for Leica M photographers, including, for example, video recording with Leica R zoom lenses.

The optional accessories range also includes a high-resolution, electronic Visoflex viewfinder. The Leica EVF2 has a resolution of 1.4 megapixels, and offers 90° rotation for capturing images from unusual angles. When mounted on the camera, it displays all significant exposure parameters and allows precise subject assessment, and is particularly useful when shooting in brightly lit surroundings. Using the R- Adapter M, R-Lenses and viewfinder, the Leica M can be used independently from its monitor in the same way as a DSLR camera.

Also new is the Multifunctional Handgrip-M, which features an integrated GPS module. With this handgrip, the user can record precise geographical information in the image’s EXIF data (i.e. geotagging), enabling the photographer to sort and display images according to location. Facilitating the use of a separate flash unit when an accessory viewfinder is mounted on the camera, the Multifunctional Handgrip-M also provides a dedicated SCA hot shoe that communicates with the camera in the same way as its own hot shoe. The Leica SCA Adapter Set is also available for this purpose. The set comprises a flash bar and a spiral cable with a hot shoe. In addition, the Multifunctional Handgrip-M provides a socket for a remote power supply, as well as a DIN/ISO X-sync socket for studio flash systems. An optional remote power unit (DC Adapter) is also available.

Furthermore, the Leica M can be connected directly to a computer workstation via the handgrip’s integrated USB socket. This allows full remote control of the camera with the ‘Leica Image Shuttle’ software provided, and the transfer of image files directly to the computer by USB cable.

The Multifunctional Handgrip-M is also a valuable aid to safe and steady handling of the camera, particularly when shooting with heavier R-lenses. The optional finger loops, which come in three sizes (S, M and L) further enhance safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. These can be used in combination with the standard Handgrip-M, which is also available as an optional accessory.

Ensuring high quality sound with the 1080p Full HD video capability of the Leica M, a Leica Microphone Adapter Set, consisting of an adapter and stereo microphone, is also available. Other brands of microphone may also be connected using this adapter.

A new ever-ready case completes the range of accessories for the Leica M.

Pricing and availability

The Leica M range of accessories is scheduled to be available in the UK from early 2013 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk. Suggested retail prices including VAT are as follows:

Leica R-Adapter M – £215 Multifunctional Handgrip-M – £630 Standard Handgrip-M – £209 Optional Finger Loops (S, M, L) – £80

The Leica M

Leica’s new digital M camera

Tonight (8pm GMT) Leica Camera made several announcements for new products at Photokina in Cologne, Germany. This particular announcement, I must admit, has me buzzing with creative energy.

The Leica M. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M is by far the most versatile rangefinder camera ever produced. Although the rangefinder system dates back to the 1950s design used for the Leica M3, which the new Leica M also incorporates, it has other methods of focusing as well. It’s important to note that for purists, the rangefinder system works as it has done before on the M cameras and is not compromised.

The Leica M, Leica R-Adapter M (and an Leica R 28-90mm zoom lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

The new additional focusing systems is Live View. This means that the photographer uses the rear screen, a 3”, 920,000 pixel screen which is covered by tough Gorilla Glass or the new Leica EVF2 optional electronic 1.4 megapixel viewfinder, to view the image through the lens. This opens up huge possibilities of mounting the Leica R range of lenses using the also announced Leica R-Adapter M. This opens up the world of telephoto, zoom and macro lenses (and although not mentioned on the press release, I imagine also fisheye photography. As with the world of Micro 4/3, I’m guessing that there will be the opportunity for third parties to make adapters, allowing all sorts of lenses from various manufacturers, even including tilt and shift and PL mount, to be mounted on the new Leica M. The huge advantage though here over every other camera in the market though is that the Leica M is full frame). The Live View has a magnification function and also focus peaking functions to fine tune focusing.

My wish since getting my Leica 50mm f0.95 Noctilux ASPH has been to use it to shoot video, and I’m thrilled to see that full 1080p HD video is available on the new Leica M. To be able to shoot video using Leica M and R lenses is going to be truly magical and I can’t wait to get my hands on this camera! The camera offers 1080p and 720p, at 24fps and 25fps, and 640×480(VGA) at 30fps shooting resolutions, in Motion jpeg or Quicktime format. For audio there is an external mono or stereo mini-jack microphone adapter available. Most importantly for audio, along with auto level adjustment, there is full manual gain control as well, even whilst filming; this is a great and needed facility.

The Leica M. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M, rear view. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M, top view. Photo: © Leica

Naturally the M9’s CCD chip could not support Live View, for which a CMOS chip is needed. Leica have collaborated with CMOSIS and designed a new chip for the Leica M. The full frame Leica Max CMOS image sensor has 24 megapixels and a sensitivity range of 200 to 6400 ISO (up from the M9’s 160 to 2500 ISO), with a pull 100 ISO setting. The new digital processing engine is the Leica Maestro chip, also deployed in the Leica S2, which promises higher image quality and speed. The entire digital workflow of images is now under Leica’s control which promises even higher imaging capabilities than previously achieved.

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, which features an integrated GPS module and dedicated SCA hot shoe. Photo: © Leica

Having worked with my M9 and M9-P extensively for years, occasionally in the rain, I’ve never had a problem with moisture ingress. The good news is that Leica have made mention of special rubber seals to protect the camera from spray, dust and moisture, which makes me thing it’s sealed even better against the elements.

The Leica M in silver chrome finish. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M will be available in black or silver chrome and is expected in the UK in early 2013 with a suggested retail price of £5,100 including VAT.

Thoughts

Having been a Leica photographer since 1989, and using the Leica M9 for three years now, I’m really excited by the specification and look of this new camera. It’s by far my favourite camera system to use and accounts for around 80% of my work. I also use Canon’s DSLR system for the rest of my work, when needing telephoto, macro, fisheye and tilt and shift lenses, and also for video. I can see the Leica M taking over all of these functions, leaving the Canon DSLRs for work that needs fast moving AF and fast drive speeds.

Leica have taken the classic Leica M camera, with it’s discreet look and size, kept it’s fabulously traditional operating interface of shutter dial and aperture ring, yet incorporated Live View and full 1080p HD video, with all the needed options, in practically the same body.  At a quick glance, it’s impossible to tell the difference with the M9 (the Leica M is 5mm taller and is 95g heavier), yet the Leica M has so much more to it. It has the best of the traditional Leica and the best of modern digital photography and video. The announced accessories (see the separate post) support and add to the camera’s abilities and are a perfect match. It’s a brilliant achievement and I really cannot wait to shoot with this camera; I have a strong suspicion that it will be awesome!

Videos




Leica Press Release

The LEICA M: a new milestone in digital rangefinder technology

Most versatile rangefinder camera yet includes high performance sensor and processing technology, three focusing options including Live View, Full HD video recording and compatibility with Leica R-Lenses

Photokina, Cologne, 17 September 2012: Leica Camera AG has today announced a groundbreaking milestone in the history of the Leica rangefinder system: the Leica M. As the first camera to implement a newly designed and constructed CMOS image sensor, and to feature additional focusing methods and functions such as Live View and Full HD video capability, this is the most versatile model ever in the history of the Leica rangefinder camera, and sets entirely new standards.

The Leica M combines the advantages of digital innovation with rangefinder technology that has been continuously perfected over decades. At the same time, it remains true to the legendary values of the M- System, while expanding the opportunities offered by rangefinder photography – and, for the first time, offers compatibility with Leica-R legacy lenses.

The Leica M also marks the beginning of a new era in Leica’s product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasise the long-term significance and enduring value of the respective systems.

The Leica M is the first in a long line of Leica rangefinder cameras to feature a completely new development in sensor technology: the Leica Max CMOS image sensor. This 24 megapixel, full 35mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS specifically for the camera and its use with Leica M- and R-Lenses. This new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant colour rendition and impressive reproduction of detail, to a CMOS sensor.

In combination with the high-performance Leica Maestro processor, which is also employed in Leica S cameras, this new full format sensor ensures maximum image quality and speed. All elements in the image creation chain, from the lens to the resulting image file, are now under complete control of Leica’s engineers, guaranteeing the ultimate in image performance and quality. A further key feature is the low power consumption of the components which, in conjunction with the high battery capacity, ensures outstanding performance over a long shooting period.

The Leica M offers a multitude of new features. The first of these are Live View and Live View Focus, where image composition can take place in real time with the view of the subject through the lens. The sharpness, exposure and colour content of images can be precisely assessed on the camera’s large, 3”, high-resolution 920,000 pixel screen. The glass covering plate of the monitor screen is manufactured from particularly tough and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass.

Thanks to the Live View function, photographers now have access to entirely new opportunities that, in combination with the outstanding performance of Leica M- and R-Lenses, go far beyond the classic capabilities of rangefinder photography. This applies particularly in macro and telephoto photography, and allows even more discreet shooting. In combination with M- and R-Lenses, the camera’s new 1080p Full HD video mode also opens up completely new possibilities.

The Leica M offers two additional focusing methods that can be activated quickly and easily with the new focus button, giving M-Photographers even more options for capturing outstandingly sharp images. The ‘Live View Zoom’ option enables up to 10x magnification for precise assessment of the sharpness of subject details or the close focusing limit. The second aid to focusing is ‘Live View Focus Peaking’. With this feature, contours of the subject are automatically displayed as red lines to allow simple and convenient focus assessment. Focusing precision can be reviewed on the basis of the intensity of the lines displayed.

All new features of the camera have been optimised for the Leica rangefinder system, and ensure the renowned dependability of the Leica M in all shooting situations, from available light photography to discreet and aesthetic fine-art image composition. In line with the principles of the M-Philosophy, all functions and features are designed and constructed for absolute robustness and a long working life. The top and base plates of the Leica M are machined from solid brass, and the full-metal chassis is a completely self-contained, die-cast element manufactured from high-strength magnesium alloy. Special rubber seals protect the camera body against dust, spray and moisture.

The new rangefinder camera is also a typical ‘M’ thanks to its intuitive handling, with direct manual setting options and fast access to functions. The new layout and user-friendly operation of the menu interface guarantee a clear and uncomplicated overview of the camera settings. Dedicated button controls have been provided for the Live View and new focusing functions, and Live View Zoom and Live View Focus Peaking can be selected with the new focus button on the front of the camera. User profiles can be programmed with any camera and shooting settings, stored under a specific, user-selected name, and accessed quickly whenever required for particular situations. The profiles can also now be saved to an SD memory card. For improved comfort when shooting, the Leica M features an ergonomically formed thumb rest with an integrated setting dial at the top right, on the back of the top plate. This ensures the camera can be held securely in even the most demanding situations.

A wide range of optional accessories is available for the new Leica M. Of particular note is the new Leica R-Adapter M, which allows almost all Leica R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the camera. Further accessories include the Leica EVF 2 (Visoflex electronic viewfinder) and the Multifunctional Handgrip-M with an integrated GPS module that, in combination with optional finger loops in various sizes (S, M and L), helps to ensure safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. The range also includes a Leica Microphone Adapter set to ensure high quality sound with video recordings.

The Leica M will be available in a discreet black paint version, or an elegant silver chrome finish.

Pricing and availability

The Leica M in black paint or silver chrome finish is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £5,100 inc VAT from early 2013, from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk.

Leica warranty and added value services

The Leica M comes with a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary accidental damage cover). UK customers are also welcome to visit the Leica Store and Akademie in Mayfair, London, for a complimentary demonstration or training session on the features of the camera. Technical support by telephone or in person is available via Leica’s London-based Client Care department.

The Leica M in silver chrome finish. Photo: © Leica