Posted on Dec 17, 2010
Posted in BTS

found a nice Fd to EOS adapter withal glass element to help achieve infinite focus on my T2i. All of my FD lenses now work perfectly on the new Canon T2i. My favorite lens is still the 55mm 1.2 FL Canon lens which I randomly found in an antique store for $30 with 2 other lenses. Of course the 55mm isn’t a true 55mm on the crop sensor of the T2i buy it still creates an amazing image for video.

Now for my latest addition to my production equipment. It’s a Rokinon 14mm lens for Canon digital EOS cameras. I found it on amazon.com thanks to Emm at cheesycam.com. He talked about lenses to use while flying on a steadicam or glidecam like I have. I have also researched the prices of both the Rokinon 14mm and the Bower 14mm lens. They are identical lenses but the Rokinon is about $50 cheaper. The quality is really great and it’s all manual controls when used on the T2i which I prefer. I am already used to manual lenses because of the FD lenses I have been using over the past 2 years. I will have some video soon but for now here are some images.

Posted on Nov 11, 2010
Posted in BTS

So I think I finally figured out how to balance the glidecam and T2i a little better. First I added weights to the top of the T2i because it seems to be really light with the kit lens I am using right now. I added 2 glidecam weights to the hotshoe adapter and added 2 more weights on each side of the glidecam bottom sled. So total weights on the glidecam sled comes to 4. Two on each side. I guess I am really trying to figure out how to get the glidecam completely balanced. My first try was with the T2i (with giottos QR) on top of the glidecam and only 2 weights on the bottom sled so 1 on each end. This seemed fine but the heavier I make the glidecam the smoother my footage seems. The only drawback is my arm being kinda weak holding this whole thing. I can easily do a minute run before taking a break by grabbing the glidecam with my left hand to help prevent my right arm from falling off. Actually, I think it’s more like 30 to 45 seconds but I will round up to 1 minute of flying to make myself feel better. If there is anyone else flying an HD 4000 with a light dslr, specifically the Canon T2i, please let me know how you have this setup but only if you have it perfectly balanced. I don’t even know if that is possible with my setup. It seems to be statically balanced because I can go from the ground up with no problem with it tipping. I can also go side to side, forward, and backward without too much tipping on top or bottom now. But the issue is really the dynamic balance I believe. When I go to spin the center column while holding it I notice a slight tipping action when watching the gimbal and camera. So maybe I don’t have the center of gravity figured out yet. Seems impossible even with the Giottos QR which has 2 bubble levels to help with balancing the T2i so it looks straight ahead. Here are some pics and there is a new video of my daughter showing off the glidecam flying but with less weight on it in those scenes from what I remember.

Here is the latest heavensent films video.

Posted on Oct 29, 2010
Posted in Weddings

I had an awesome time filming Andie & Tyler during their engagement photo shoot. They were kind enough to let me drag around all of my equipment while they were being photographed by Ramsey Ksar . Ramsey is very professional when it comes to shooting couples in an engagement session or a wedding. He did a great job assisting me in some of the shots you see in the video. I also had to interrupt his smooth photo session to setup some of my own shots but luckily Ramsey was cool (like usual) with me doing this to his workflow and we both ended up with the shots we wanted.

Now for the technical side of things. I lugged around my diy slider attached with a bolt to a smaller light weight bogen tripod. I also had with me a bag of lenses (fd lenses with adapter) so that I could quickly (more like slowly) change lenses to get the most amazing bokeh video images. I vow to eventually upgrade these fd lenses to real current state of the art lenses someday. Doing that would make things go WAY smoother and faster while trying to film as the sun is going down. I also used for the first time (purchased 2 days before this) a Glidecam HD 4000. Luckily I had 1 day to practice outside before this day because it helped me achieve some mostly fluid shots while trying to fly my T2i around on it. I have quick release plates on everything so that made it a breeze to setup everything but the lenses were another issue entirely.

This engagement session was shot at Wilder Ranch off of Highway 1 in Santa Cruz. Ramsey and I were lucky enough to get the same weather as we did the week before when we went scouting this location. We waited a few days because of some rain and found the perfect day (a little colder than we remember) again with the sunset. As for the couple, they were really fun to film and let us get all the shots we needed of them having fun together. And of course Andie had HIGH HEEL boots on the entire time. We forced her to hike all the way to the coastal cliffs in them and she made it look easy. Tyler seemed to enjoy all of the setup shots I made them do and occassionally you can see his “Cool” look (the bench scene). They both seemed to have fun the entire time and I want to thank them for being such great sports for Ramsey and I.

So, now for the video. Here it is. My first engagement video session. Save The Date ~ Andie & Tyler

Posted on Oct 23, 2010
Posted in BTS

Ok, so most of my ideas come from www.cheesycam.com but that’s what it’s there for right? So here is my latest stabilizing idea created for my T2i and shooting video. First I have my monopod with a Giottos ballhead and quickrelease plate. This allows me to go from one thing to the next quickly without unscrewing the camera from each item like my slider to the monopod to the cage to the skater dolly ect ect. I have the same quickrelease plate on all of these items so I can do this quickly while shooting events or anything else that needs to be shot quickly. Now for the top handle on the T2i I used some extra part which I received after purchasing either the Z96 LED light or friction arm off ebay. At least that’s what I can remember from the last few things I purchased based on again cheesycam.com(found it here). The handle is off of an old tripod head and sticks called Velbon Videomate 500. As of right now the handle kinda moves around because it doesn’t tighten all that well but I can figure that out later. The side handle is from an old SLR camera for mounting a light I believe and giving some stability to the photographer. I also added the neck strap to give some extra safety and stability while using the monopod as suggested by cheesycam.com. The cool thing is that with the top handle and the side handle attached I can still fit it inside my diy cage (from JustBasl). Of course it kinda looks silly with 2 top handles and an extra side handle inside the cage but at least I don’t have to take everything off in order to fit it inside the cage. Here are some pics (low quality iphone pics).

Posted on Oct 15, 2010
Posted in BTS

Cinevate is a really cool and innovative company making really high quality tools for filmmakers. They recently posted a BTS (behind the scenes) video showcasing some of their equipment being used on a Nos drink commercial by Steve Chase who risked his life at the end of this video. Simply amazing work by the whole crew. Also check out cinevate.com and their “DSLR Core Package” which is seen in this video (without the top handle). One can only dream…..

Posted on Oct 15, 2010
Posted in BTS

I am now trying out a monopod I purchased while traveling in Italy called Cullmann 741. I purchased a ballhead made by Giottos that came with a quick release plate which I have been putting onto all of my diy projects. This helps me go from one thing to the other fast while filming. So far the monopod and ballhead have made my shots more steady and given me the ability to walk around while filming. I will be checking the footage out with me walking around to see if it’s more steady than just with holding the T2i in my hands. Here are some photos.

Posted on Oct 15, 2010
Posted in BTS

I have been testing out a “Magic Arm” type device that articulates in any direction you want and then locks into that position with a heavy dslr camera attached. This is the strongest articulating arm I have ever seen or used. I can film with the camera upside down to get really low shots off my slider. I can also film with the camera really high up on the slider so that you don’t see the slider track for forward or reverse shots. Here is the website I found it on and then bought it on ebay for cheap. http://cheesycam.com/flexible-friction-power-arms-for-dslr-accessories/

Posted on Oct 15, 2010
Posted in Macro Movies

In this video I found a few of my interestingly detailed toys laying around the house to shoot.  There were a few lenses used in the making of this short video along with the bellows adapter to achieve that really close detailed shot of each toy.  The only drawback again is that when the bellows adapter is used it removes any antishake/stabilization built into the lens or camera.  Even on a tripod or slider it can be very difficult to achieve that smooth non shaking movement while filming.  After multiple takes I usually end up trying the “smoothcam” filter in Final Cut which sometimes helps smooth out most of the shaky shots if done right.  Again if anyone missed the last posting of where I find great ideas for filming and equipment go to www.cheesycam.com and just look at all of his posts because there is a wealth of information for both the video professional and the hobbyist.

Historical military toys can be found here: http://www.sierratoysoldier.com

The video an be found here: http://vimeo.com/15638890

Posted on Oct 01, 2010
Posted in Macro Movies

I started to work on a short video series called A Macro World. The first video short is of objects found in my backyard either natural or just objects laying around to film. I am using a combination of equipment to achieve the look I want for the series. Here is te list so far: Canon T2i, Bellows Macro adapter, Kit lens 18-55mm, a couple different FD lenses with and without the bellows adapter, and my DIY slider.

The video an be found here: http://vimeo.com/15448877

Posted on Sep 17, 2010
Posted in BTS, Macro Movies

This new toy I purchases on eBay is pretty sweet when it comes to Macro shooting on a dslr. It works with both photo and video mode on my Canon T2i. It’s called a Macro Bellows and this one is compatible with an EOS adapter but you can easily buy one for Nikons or any other brand camera. I found it works great with the 18-55mm kit lens the T2i came with. In the photos I used an FD to EOS adapter so I could use my old school Canon lenses. The one pictured is a Vivitar 135mm which works great. It let’s me get the macro shots without being right on top of the subject. And when I say right on top I mean with the lens almost touching the subject as with the kit lens. This is another perfect example of my favorite website helping me find really cool and functional gear at a very cheap price. Go to cheesycam