Archive for October, 2010

Landscapes Volume 1

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

“Over a year ago now I began getting interested in DSLR time lapse photography. Now a DP with Crew West Inc. in Phoenix, AZ I began to miss the opportunities of editing my own material. I quickly discovered that shooting time lapse with a DSLR not only gave me editing material, it gave me 5K RAW image sequence editing material! On my home PC I could crank out 4K video clips with ease.

My DSLR interests grew when I found the forums. There I found a wealth of knowledge, including information about a camera called the “Canon EOS 5D Mark II.” It seemed that every serious time lapse shooter was using it. So, we bought it along with a 24mm 1.4 mark2.

Since then I have been shooting incredible time lapses. The low light image quality of the 5D2 is amazing. Add the 24mm f1.4 and the combination is unmatched. 80% of ‘Landscapes: Volume ONE’ was shot with this combination.

Stationary time lapses soon began to bore me. I decided that the camera must move for a shot to keep my attention. I found a company called ‘Servocity’ online and purchased the parts to pull my dolly very slowly down the track. If you call, talk to Kyle and ask for the ‘time lapse setup.’ However, since the construction of my dolly motor many new products have hit the market for moco time lapse like the Dynamic Perception ‘Stage Zero’ dolly and Kessler’s Cineslider. My version is DIY, cheap, and effective.

Post production of my RAW image sequences was something that was hard to master. After a lot of trial and even more error, I began to figure out how to get the full potential out of each image sequence. Adobe After Effects CS5 is my tool of choice. Inside of AE CS5 is Adobe Camera RAW. The power of ACR and AE is amazing. The noise reduction features alone make it worth the purchase.

I figured out many months into my time lapse shooting that there was absolutely no need to shoot my night time lapses at a high ISO. Most time lapsers will shoot a Milky Way shot at 3200 ISO even with the 5D2 and 24mm 1.4 combo. This is unnecessary if you use the ‘stacking’ method inside of After Effects. Just stack one clip on top of another and change the blend mode to ‘screen’. It’s an amazing method because it allows me to shoot deep astro time lapses at low ISO’s. The result is a noise free image.

I hope everyone enjoys “Landscapes: Volume ONE”. Sorry for the boring name but I ran out of creativity. Look for “Volume TWO” in coming months at

Dustin Farrell

Tornadoes Strike

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

The Crew West/Sat West team was rushed up to Bellemont, AZ last week to cover the tornadoes that ripped through the area.  As the crew approached the scene they were immersed with debris that spilled over onto the highways.  Roofs were detached from their homes and neighborhoods were sporadically hit by at least 4 tornadoes leaving people devastated.  We covered live shots for the Weather Channel and the Early Show reporting the destruction that left many families homeless.  Of all the video production jobs that Crew West/Sat West has covered this was certainly one of the most heartbreaking.

Nevertheless, when the weather is foul you know Crew West/Sat West will step up to bat!

Why the baseball puns?  Well, whether the Diamondbacks make it to the playoffs or not, rest assured Crew West/Sat West will be at a game!  This video production job was covered by our President & Chief Photojournalist Jim Farrell, our esteemed freelancer Duane Oldham, and our quick as a whip truck operator Mark MacKay!  2 days of live programming may seem like work, but when you get to cover the  Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers you don’t care if you never get back!  Jim and Duane used HD Varicams to capture this event and Mark geared up with our HD satellite equipment to give Fox Sports Florida/Sun Sports the best quality.

We went from feeling the thunder to catching some Rays and then bringing the BOOM with our Nike shoot featuring Larry Fitzgerald.  The Canon 5  D Mk II delivered an excellent picture and sound as the Cardinals wide receiver delivered special good luck messages to schools across California.

Last week was certainly filled with a variety of video production jobs!  Click on the pictures below for a closer look!

Video Production and Lighting Equipment: Revised

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Crew West would like to thank everyone for their interest in the video production and lighting equipment that we have for sale.

While many of the items were purchased, we still have several items for sale.

Please feel free to call or stop by and take a look at what we have left.

Items still available:

  • 7 various size Flex Fills
  • Scrim Jim Kits
  • 4×4 and 6×6 metal frames
  • Frezzi mini and Anton Bauer Ultra Light (top lights)
  • Cannon .6 wide angle lens
  • Century Optics wide angle adapter
  • Kino Flo Diva 400
  • Various rolling stands
  • Sachtler Tripod