Ben Long (Long, Ben)

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More editions of Complete Digital Photography:

  • Complete Digital Photography (Digital Photography Series)
    by Ben Long
    ISBN 1584505206 (1-58450-520-6)
    Softcover, Charles River Media

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    Book summary:

    Complete Digital Photography has become a classic book for helping traditional photographers move to digital! It's also the book of choice for many new digital photographers who want to learn how to take great digital photos. Now in its 4th edition, it's better than ever. Thanks to the availability of new technologies and digital cameras at all ends of the price spectrum, today's digital photographers can produce amazing, high-quality photos rivaling the best from the film world. For those who have shifted from traditional to digital photography and need to know what's different about shooting digital, this is also the book for them. The fourth edition of this bestseller has been fine-tuned and updated to provide the most current information available. Covering everything from the inner workings of the camera to the subtle intricacies of image editing software, the book is divided into four sections. The first section provides the basic technical foundation needed throughout the rest of the book. It details the basics of how digital cameras work and provides a quick photography primer. The second part explores everything needed to make an informed decision about which camera, computer, and software to choose. Section three has been thoroughly updated and expanded to cover the nitty gritty of shooting, including metering, choosing the right exposure, using histograms, flash photography, and much more. And the final section, teaches the latest digital editing and correction techniques, including new coverage of workflow and raw conversion. This is the one digital resource all levels of photographers need: for those new to photography, all of the traditional theory is covered along with the latest digital tools and techniques, and for the experienced film photographers, they'll see how to translate their knowledge into the digital realm.

  • Complete Digital Photography (Graphics Series)
    by Ben Long
    ISBN 1584500077 (1-58450-007-7)
    Softcover, Charles River Media

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    Book summary:

    With the power of today's digital cameras, it is now possible for professional photographers and serious hobbyists to create, archive, and deliver high quality images from a digital camera. Written for photographers of all skill levels, this unique book explains the fundamental concerns of shooting digital images and explains the technical details needed to understand how to produce these high-quality digital photographs. As photographers make the transition from traditional to digital photography, this book addresses the various technology concerns and explains the differences of working with a digital camera from apertures and shutter speeds to light metering techniques. Through a series of tutorials, digital photographers will work through the entire digital photography workflow from choosing the right exposure, and using filters and flashes, to editing and outputting your images to video, print, or the Web.

  • Long, Ben: Crown of the Continent: Profile of a treasured landscape
  • The Digital Filmmaking Handbook
    by Sonja Schenk, Ben Long
    ISBN 1435459113 (1-4354-5911-3)
    Softcover, Cengage Learning PTR

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    Notes from Sonja Schenk, Author of The Digital Filmmaking Handbook Sonja Schenk on Film, Video & DSLRs

    Shooting film-like projects with DSLRs is an inescapable fact of life in the entertainment industry this year. Since January, I've worked on a scripted feature film, a non-scripted TV pilot, and a big 3D movie; all of them used footage shot on the Canon 5d, 7d, or T2i, and two of them had footage shot on the Go Pro as well (although it did not make the cut in the end).

    What have I learned? A lot! Here's the distilled version...

    Shooting with DSLRs

    Shooting with a DSLR is rather difficult for the camera operator. It's very hard to keep focus and maneuver a camera that's not designed to move at the same time. If you want your footage to look its best, you'll need an AC (Assistant Cameraperson) to pull focus, because your camera operator only has two hands. Special rigs, like those by Zacuto and Redrock, are great; but it's still harder to use these cameras than regular video cameras, especially when not using a tripod. But is it worth it? The footage looks fantastic! It holds its own against stunning 3D digital cinema shot on a high-end Red camera. Not to say that it looks the same, but it looks good, and--more importantly--when you are watching your 3D shots on a big screen, you won't be saying, "Why does that stuff look so bad?"

    Recording sound when using a DSLR to shoot video is like taking a step back in time to 30 years ago. Slates, hand claps, all the old school methods for making sound and picture syncable in post are all valuable tools. I know that almost every single person out there is saying the same thing: What about Plural Eyes? Plural Eyes, like its sister product, Dual Eyes, is great. But in my experience, it's only going to get you partway there. When you're in post, and Plural Eyes can only sync 75% of your footage, you will be very happy to have that slate and to have sound and picture that start at approximately the same time. And if Plural Eyes can't sync something, rest assured it will be the stuff that's difficult to sync--noisy footage at a party, footage where the video camera was far away from the sound recordist, and so on.

    So what should you do in the field to make sure you can sync your footage easily in post?

  • Record audio with your DSLR camera mic; it's always better if you have a guide track to listen to, even if it sounds terrible and Plural Eyes can't work without it.
  • Start your camera and your sound recording at the same time. Use the old school protocol: say "Roll camera," wait for the camera operator to say "Speed," then say "Roll Sound," wait for the sound recordist to say "Speed," and then use a slate to make a sync mark. The slate doesn't need to be electronic because your DSLR doesn't have a timecode input so you can't jam sync your camera and sound device to the slate. A simple clapper will do and if you don't have that, a hand clap will work just fine. You can also use an iPhone/iPad app like MovieSlate, but I found it to be a tad slow.
  • When you are done with your shot, call "Cut" and make sure your camera & sound person both stop recording.
  • Have your sound recordist voice-slate any non-sync audio recordings (i.e., wild sound and room tone).
  • By doing this, you'll have one piece of sound for each piece of video/picture. Near the start of each piece of sound and picture, there will be a slate. Your editor can quickly match the audio media to the video files and look for the slate clap and find the sync. It doesn't take that long to sync dailies in post if you shoot this way. But it can be a whole lot harder if you don't. Remember, your editor is "blind." They won't know that you recorded room tone after the second take unless there is a voice slate telling them that's what this piece of audio is. Without a voice slate, they may listen to five minutes of white noise, waiting to find the sync clap.

    Also crucial with DSLRs and other types of file-based media on the set is having a plan in place for media management, backing up and transferring files from camera cards to hard drives. There is no standardized way of doing things but I recommend having a day's worth of cards for your camera so that you don't have to delete any cards during your shoot. I also recommend having a media workstation on the set and immediately copying your media to two sets of hard drives as you shoot. At the end of the shoot, store one set as an off-site backup and take the other set to post.

    If you are using FCP, make a disk image of each camera card because FCP uses the directory structure of the camera cards. This is an inexplicable pain, as are many things associated with FCP.

    DSLRs in post

    If you followed the tips above, synchronizing isn't going to be too much trouble. But before you sync, you'll have to transcode your camera raw media. DSLRs shoot using the H.264 codec, which isn't native to either Final Cut Pro or Media Composer. Most likely, you'll choose to transcode to either Apple ProRes if you are using FCP, or Avid DNxHD if you are using Media Composer. There are many flavors of each of these codecs, but for DSLR media I would choose Apple ProRes 422 or Avid DNxHD 115. Frame rates and pixel dimensions vary depending on how you shot the footage. These codecs will not degrade your camera original media and are safe choices.

    However, they will make each file about 2.5x larger than the camera originals. A feature film with 1TB of raw media will need over 2TB of storage when transcoded. Transcoding also takes a long time. For the scripted feature, we left our dailies processing overnight every night. For the feature doc, which shot about 80-100 GB/day, it took 12-15 hours to transcode a day's worth of footage.

    A word to the wise: if you are going to rename your file or organize your media into folders at the OS level, do so before you import your media into your editing app. Once you do so, it's best to leave it as is. If you must move or rename files at a later date, do so from within your editing app so that the crucial link between your file-based media and your editing software isn't lost.

    Once you spend all that time transcoding and synching, your new set of media is going to represent lots of man hours. Time to create another set of backup drives: you'll now have two sets of camera original media and two sets of transcoded media. You will never regret this. Trust me.

  • The Digital Filmmaking Handbook (Digital Filmmaking Series)
    by Ben Long , Sonja Schenk
    ISBN 1584504382 (1-58450-438-2)
    Softcover, Cengage Learning

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    Book summary:

    The Digital Filmmaking Handbook's title is something of an oxymoron, since this very thorough book covers everything you ever needed to know about filmmaking production, from concept to screening. The only missing element is film itself.

    Film and video production is in transition. Film and analog videotape are rapidly approaching the end of their technological life, being replaced by digital videotape and digital cameras. You can buy computers that connect to DV cameras and edit DV tape just about anywhere, and they cost only slightly more than an entry-level computer. So The Digital Filmmaking Handbook is for anyone buying into the DV revolution who wants to do more than shoot home movies of the kids. It's for filmmakers young and old, pro and hobbyist, who want to learn to shoot, edit and make great movies.

    Unlike traditional filmmaking books, in which only the camera and some audio and editing equipment are addressed, part of this book approaches the medium from a computer hardware and software perspective. Numerous hardware issues such as choosing the components for an editing workstation, the kind of digital video camera to use, selecting editing and audio software, and various output formats are discussed. Also, there are chapters on effects, making video look like film and digital titling.

    The book never strays from speaking to filmmakers rather than filmmaking gear buyers. Everything from preproduction tasks such as scripting, storyboarding and budgeting, to production tasks such as set preparation, lighting, filming (sans film) and sound recording, through final editing, colour correction, titles and output is explained. Filmmaking is heavily dependent on technology, and each of these subjects is well covered. Chapters on audio, for example, include selecting microphone types, the differences between mic types, how to connect them to a DV camera or synchronise the audio in post production, how to control sound levels and so on.

    The chapter on editing reflects the experience of the authors. Films are understood through their own language, and how scenes are edited determines the dialect of that language. Techniques such as matching screen position, matching emotion and tone, matching action, when to use pauses and overlapping edits, and the effect of pauses and pull-ups (shortening a scene) are defined and justified.

    If you can't get into NYU's film school, or even if you can, The Digital Filmmaking Handbook is a worthy reference to keep at your fingertips. --Mike Caputo, Amazon.com

    More editions of The Digital Filmmaking Handbook (Digital Filmmaking Series):

  • The Digital Filmmaking Handbook (with CD-ROM) (Graphics Series)
    by Ben Long , Sonja Schenk
    ISBN 1584500174 (1-58450-017-4)
    Softcover, Charles River Media

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    Book summary:

    The title of The Digital Filmmaking Handbook is something of an oxymoron, because this thorough book covers everything you need to know about filmmaking production, from concept to screening. The only missing element is film itself.

    Film and video production are in transition. Film and analog videotape rapidly are approaching the end of their technological lives, being replaced by digital videotape and digital cameras. You can buy computers that connect to DV cameras and edit DV tape almost anywhere, and they cost only slightly more than an entry-level computer. The Digital Filmmaking Handbook, then, is for anyone buying into the DV revolution who wants to do more than shoot home movies of the kids. It's for filmmakers young and old, professional and hobbyist, who want to learn to shoot, edit, and make great movies.

    Unlike traditional filmmaking books, in which only the camera and some audio and editing equipment are addressed, part of this book approaches the medium from a computer hardware and software perspective. Numerous hardware issues like choosing the components for an editing workstation (chapter 5), the kind of digital video camera to use (chapter 6), selecting editing and audio software (chapter 7), and various output formats (chapter 18) are discussed. Also, there are chapters on effects, making video look like film (chapter 17), and digital titling (chapter 16).

    The book never strays from speaking to moviemakers instead of moviemaking-gear buyers. Everything from preproduction tasks (such as scripting, storyboarding, and budgeting) to production tasks (like set preparation, lighting, filming (sans film), and sound recording) through final editing, color correction, titles, and output is explained. Filmmaking is heavily dependent on technology, and each of these subjects is well covered. Chapters on audio, for example, include selection of microphone types; differences between mic types; how to connect mics to a DV camera or synchronize audio in postproduction; how to control sound levels; and so on.

    The chapter on editing reflects the experience of the authors. Films are understood through their own language, and how scenes are edited determines the dialect of that language. Such techniques as matching screen position, matching emotion and tone, matching action, when to use pauses and overlapping edits, and the effect of pauses and pull-ups (shortening a scene) are defined and justified.

    If you can't get into NYU's film school--or even if you can--The Digital Filmmaking Handbook is a worthy reference to keep at your fingertips. --Mike Caputo

  • Ben Long: Foundations of Photography: Black and White
  • Ben Long: Foundations of Photography: Composition
  • Ben Long: Foundations of Photography: Exposure
  • Ben Long: Foundations of Photography: Lenses
  • Ben Long: Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light
  • Ben Long: Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses
  • Long, Ben: Getting Started with Camera Raw: How to make better pictures using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements
  • Great Montana Bear Stories
    by Benjamin Long, Ben Long
    ISBN 1931832064 (1-931832-06-4)
    Softcover, Riverbend Publishing

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    Book summary:

    Terrible maulings, terrifying close calls, and even humorous escapades are all part of this first-ever collection of Montana bear stories. 14 stories -- all true -- involve grizzly bears and black bears and the people who had the luck (usually bad) to encounter them. Exceptionally, well told by a Kalispell, Montana author.

  • Ben Long: Inkjet Printing for Photographers
  • Lyn, Craig: The Macintosh 3D Handbook, Third Edition (Graphics Series)
  • Long, Ben: Making Digital Videos (CyberRookies Series)
  • Long, Ben: The Nikon D300 Companion
  • Long, Ben: The Nikon D90 Companion
  • Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography
    by Ben Long
    ISBN 1596716568 (1-59671-656-8)
    lynda.com, inc.

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    Book summary:

    In Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography, Ben Long outlines a full, shooting-to-output workflow geared specifically toward the needs of landscape photographers, with a special emphasis on composition, exposure enhancement, and retouching. This course also covers converting to black and white, using high-dynamic range (HDR) imaging techniques to capture an image that's closer to what your eye sees, and preparing images for large-format printing. Learn to bring back the impact of the original scene with some simple post-processing in Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.

    Macintosh Requirements
    · OS 10.3.9 or higher
    · DVD-ROM drive
    · 1024x768 resolution
    · 24-bit video support
    · Quicktime 7 or higher

    Windows Requirements
    · XP, Vista, Windows 7
    · DVD-ROM drive
    · 1024x768 resolution
    · 24-bit video support
    · PC sound card/speakers
    · Quicktime 7 or higher (included)
    · .NET 2.0 or higher (included)

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  • The Plot Against Pepys: The Untold Story of Espionage and Intrigue in the Tower of London
    by James Long, Ben Long
    ISBN 1590200691 (1-59020-069-1)
    Hardcover, Overlook Press

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    Book summary:

    It is 1679 and England is awash with suspicion. Fear of conspiracy and religious terrorism has provoked panic in politicians and a zealous reaction from the legal system. Everywhere, Catholic agents are plotting to overthrow the King--or so it is feared.

    Now Samuel Pepys, Secretary of the Admiralty, finds himself in a position few people then or now would have expected--charged with treason and facing a show trial and execution. Imprisoned in the Tower of London and abandoned by the embattled King he loyally served, Pepys sets to work with customary brilliance investigating his mysterious accuser, Colonel John Scott, and uncovers a life riddled with ambition, forgery, treason and, ultimately, murder.

    One part history, one part bone-rattling suspense, James Long and Ben Long brilliantly evoke a turbulent period in England's history and tell the forgotten story of the two most dangerous years in the life of the legendary diarist.

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  • Real World Aperture
    by Ben Long
    ISBN 0321441931 (0-321-44193-1)
    Softcover, Peachpit Press

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    Book summary:

    Released to near universal acclaim, Apple's Aperture is an all-in-one post-production tool for professional photographers. Featuring a RAW-focused workflow, Aperture lets photographers import, edit, catalog, organize, retouch, publish, and archive images more effectively and efficiently than ever before. In this guide, best-selling author Ben Long takes Aperture users to the next level, providing them with a more in-depth understanding of Aperture's tools, as well as lots of tips and work-arounds to get the most out of the program. In addition, the coverage of fundamental raw theory and practice will help the reader master the program's high-end editing features. More than just a step-by-step tutorial, this book will help photographers develop a fundamental understanding of the philosophy and approach that underlies Aperture's design. Aperture is now available and retails at $299

  • Long, Ben: Real World Nikon Capture NX 2
  • Ben Long: Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR)
  • Ben Long: Shooting on the Road, from Gear to Workflow
  • Ben Long: Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III
  • Ben Long: Shooting with the Canon 60D
  • Ben Long: Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)
  • Ben Long: Shooting with the Nikon D5100
  • Ben Long: Shooting with the Nikon D7000
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