Year: 2017

Filmmaking Crew Breakdown – Director of Photography

Upon stepping foot on my first professional film acting gig I was a giant ball of nervousness. My role in this production was quite small. I was what is called a day player, which means my character was only seen in a single scene, and while I had several lines I wouldn't be needed for more than a single day of filming. After running through my lines with the actors, and getting prepped at the hair/makeup trailer and wardrobe came the time to rehearse on set.

While I knew the director from his previous works, I was baffled by the sheer number of crew members. My eyes skimmed the room and noted a variety of faces whose curves were marked with stress and worry; except for one. He was standing by the camera reviewing its placement, and he had the most pleasant disposition about him. After rehearsing the scene, I felt brave enough to approach him to ask his title. He was the director of photography, and while I was vaguely familiar with his duty on set he took the time to further delve into what his profession is and his specific role on the film set.

The director of photography, also known as the DP, is one of the most important members of the directing unit, and as an actor you should understand how his hands shape the final product of a film.

Primary Responsibilities

In the most foundational basis, the director of photography is responsible for overseeing the production of all moving pictures within a film. While his responsibilities may sound similar to those of the cinematographer or the director, they couldn't be more different.

The director of photography spends a significant amount of time talking with the cinematographer and director in order to obtain their visual desire of the film, and then decides what filming equipment and labs to use in order to best capture their vision of a film.

Not only does he select the actual equipment, but he also has a direct role in selecting other professionals who will work in directing unit, such as the camera operator, camera assistants and other minor crew members.

In order for a film to be successful, the movie director and the director of photography must work hand-in-hand as their roles in a production directly shape the final product. Thus, as an actor you should take your notes not only from the director, but also from the director of photography as these professionals are technically one-in-the-same.…

Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Windows XP Computer

We all have experienced issues of slowness with our Windows PC's. That, or we've experienced the slowness of our parent's PC's when we visit them and get the dreaded request to fix their problems. While we all know that the first step is to run a virus scan, that isn't always going to fix the issue of a slow PC. With today's powerful anti-virus software, a PC is far more likely to succumb to non-viral malicious software such as spyware and trojans. These aren't normally detected in the virus program you're running. Besides that, installing and uninstalling programs, switching and swapping files, and even simply browsing the internet can add things into you system that slows it down. Your system backbone, the registry, can easily get clogged up, and it is very dangerous to try and clean it up yourself. So what can you do? There are many advanced tutorials on the web that can help, but may be too in depth for some users. Follow these tips to keep your PC running as smooth as it did when you first bought it.

Tip 1: Don't be afraid to wipe out and start over.

Formatting the hard drive and starting over can be one of the most feared processes to the general user. What most don't realize is that when you format your drive and reinstall windows, you're wiping out all acquired spyware, viruses, system errors, and user errors. The PC is being reverted back to the way it was when it was purchased. For those who know how to do it and don't have any critical data, this can be the quickest fix for a slow machine. However, if you have data that is important, it will need to be backed up on a flash drive, or a cd. You will also need to know how your machine is reformatted. Most of the time a quick email to tech support can get you the steps, and they are generally easy for anyone to follow.

Tip 2: Anti-virus, Service Pack 2, Spyware Blocker

These are very basic necessities for a secure system. You need a strong anti-virus running to keep your system intact. What people don't realize is, choosing the wrong security software can slow your computer down in itself. If your computer is 4-5 years old, DO NOT purchase Norton Internet Security or McAfee Internet Security. Both of these programs are overkill, and they use too many resources on machines that only have 256 RAM. Simply purchase Norton Anti-Virus or McAfee Anti-Virus. These keep viruses off your system without dragging down your resources. Neither program comes with a firewall, but if you have Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), you already have a decent firewall.

To find out whether or not you have SP2, right click on the 'My Computer' icon and click Properties. It should tell you that you have Windows XP Home, Pro, or Media Center, as well as what Service Pack you have. It is critical for a machine with an internet connection to have SP2, as it tightens the security of the system. SP2 can be obtained by clicking 'Windows Update' from your programs list, or by visiting

Last but not least, you should have a spyware program to protect your system. It is possible to download Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal for free from This program does not keep spyware off your machine, but if run once a week it can clean out any acquired spyware. It's great for speeding up a system. However, there are spyware programs that run in …

Windows XP Tricks for Speeding Up Your Computer

Is your computer running slower than it used to, and you're certain you don't have a virus? There can be a lot of common problems behind this. My previous XP article discussed reducing the number of startup programs on your computer; this article will cover a few of the more common issues, such as Some of the effects that slow your PC are:

1–Oddly enough, your own desktop wallpaper can be the culprit. A blank wallpaper will work the best for speed, if not aesthetics. Right-click on the desktop, click the Wallpaper bar and choose this option.

2–Movement or sounds when starting up your computer will also only slow your PC even more–even the startup/shutdown sounds. Removing the unnecessary sounds is another way to speed up your computer. Use the control panel to accomplish this.

3–Also, try getting rid of extraneous shortcuts on your desktop. Removing these will cut down on the startup time of XP. Unlike the programs themselves, the shortcuts are unwanted and safe to remove. Successfully removing the shortcut will give you the following message: "Are you sure you want to delete this shortcut?" This will let you know you're deleting the shortcut and not the program.

4–You may have added too many extensions to your browser (this is especially common in Firefox, where installing addons is so easy.) They add up and slow down your computer's speed, so removing the unnecessary ones will help you give it a boost.

5–For some reason, MS images can end up all over your computer, taking up space you could use and slowing you down. Try to organize your photos, keeping the ones you want and getting rid of the others.

6–Use the built-in search option to look for files you don't want. XP lets you search for files by their type; such as all photos with .gif extensions. You can find all the .gif files on your computer, and remove all the unwanted image files. You can do the same for almost any file type, including sounds and written documents. Just make sure you aren't removing files you need; if you find yourself in doubt, it's better to leave that file alone.

7–One overlooked reason for a slow computer can be simply too many bookmarks in your browser's file, along with the browsing history and cookies. With the "tools" section of the browser you can control these problems and delete any unneeded information. Doing this once a week should help keep your speed maximized.

These seven tips are only meant to improve your computer's performance if you have no virus. Don't use them if you think your PC might be infected, and try to get some anti-virus software ASAP.…

Computer Review: HP EliteBook 6930p

It might not soar like a bird, but the EliteBook offers a similar scratch-resistant anodized aluminum body similar to aircraft skins. Internally, the lid hides a honeycombed magnesium frame which explains why it doesn't buckle when stressed. Plying a brushed-metal coat, the semi-rugged EliteBook is definitely elegant enough to warrant some looks. Starting from 2.1kg, the EliteBook is comparable to Lenovo ThinkPad T400 which weighs in at 2.13kg. As a professional laptop geared for mobility, the 6930p is still a shade lighter than some of its adversaries, like Toshibas Tecra M10, for example, which tips the scale at 2.44kg.

As the cream of HP's business crop, the EliteBook's pointstick and touchpad are generally responsive. Additionally, the Synaptics-driven touch pad is fashioned with a matte surface, making it easy to maneuver with even with clammy fingers. Characteristically, we have no grouse with the keyboard, whose keys offer adequate travel and subdued clicks.

Software-wise, the EliteBook comes bundled with HP's regular ProtectTools Security Manager software package. It provides the usual safety measures like disk encryption as well as data backups for the busy executive. There's also a nifty business card reader application in Presto!'s BizCard 5 for organizing stacks of name cards. Just use the webcam to snap one and you're done. On the hardware front, if you're prone to mishaps, the EliteBook also offers shock protection for its hard disk (3D DriveGuard) and a spill-resistant keyboard. Physically, our review unit came adorned with a Core 2 Duo P8600 2.40GHz CPU, 3GB RAM, an 80GB SSD and an integrated Mobile GMA 4500MHD GPU, making it more than sufficient to undertake conventional business applications. Carting a 141-inch display with a 1280 x 800 pixel native resolution, the 6930p continues the lineage of most business notebooks with its matte screen surface. Observably, the widescreen panel managed to reduce a healthy amount of glare and offers liberal viewing angles. While the Ambient Light Sensor feature may mute the brightness levels by a fair bit, its screen is still a joy to use. Connectivity-wise, the 6930p is no sluggard with its Draft-N WiFi adapter and Gigabit Ethernet port.

With great batteries comes greater endurance. That's mostly true with the EliteBook's 6-cell (55 WHr) battery which lasted an enduring minutes on our DVD playback test. For this specific model, HP has thrown in an extended battery pack, and the mammoth 12-cell did go the distance with over fifteen hours of mileage.

In the end, the HP EliteBook might not sprout wings and fly, but you should rest easy knowing that your money's well spent especially in the ranks of resilience and performance.…

Sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens review – Are they the best performing f 1.4 lenses?

If you’re a photographer or a videographer, you want a camera with a great lens that can capture every tiny detail in your photographs and be able to bring it out clearly. The sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens review will help you understand why you need this particular lens.

Sigma lenses have always been better preferred by both professional and amateur photographers and their recent art lens series has put it at the top of their game. Their optical performance has met and exceeded lenses that are being manufactured by most of the top camera companies. The sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens has a slightly wide angle of 40mm which delivers impressive image quality with a unique focal length that will fascinate you. If you don’t mind the extra size and weight, this is a great lens to have.

What to expect from sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens

The sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens has quite impressive aesthetics and build quality. For a prime lens and one with a mid-range focal length, you will be surprised by its size and weight. But, according to its lens’ class, its size and weight are big and heavy, but not that big overall and still quite comfortable to use. The sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens has an optical path and lens elements that are quite similar to what other Art lenses offer, while its gear-based focusing and all-metal construction makes it perfect for video.

This lens will give you the most amazing photographs you’ve ever seen. With such superior sharpness, this lens doesn’t come cheap. It’s not exactly designed for entry-level photographers, but for someone who doesn’t want to compromise on optical performance and for this you get lenses that are big, heavy, and expensive and not exactly the kind of lens you would carry like a casual camera when going out.

What are the key features?

Image quality

The sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens has an extremely high sharpness right from full aperture which is not only from the middle of the image but from every corner. This sharpness remains constant throughout the entire aperture range. These are rare lenses that allow you to choose the aperture because you’re looking for certain corresponding shutter speed or depth of field. Apart from the high sharpness, you also find there are almost no chromatic aberrations that give you very nice picture quality. The 40mm focal length on this lens can easily create a very strong background blur.


According to Sigma, the sigma 40mm f 1.4 dg hsm art lens has a unique lens among the Art series with a quality that puts it on a level playing field with other lenses in its class. This camera has a hefty lens that is almost 88mm in diameter and 131mm long with a filter size of 82mm and a weight of not less than 1200gms. These may not be the first lens you pick if you’re going on holiday or taking documentary photographs unless you’re looking for optical perfection in every shot. You can use this lens in most circumstances as it’s built with gaskets to keep out moisture and dust. The optical design has 16 elements in 12 groups and the various lens elements are made with special glass.

The special coating in the front lens protects the lens from grease and dirt that can easily stick on the glass. The wide focus ring and a window that shows you the set distance can help you …