Sorry about the long post...been a while since I updated.
A lot has been going on over the past couple months. I've been doing more and more traveling, more and more jobs and, becuase of that, had less and less time for blogging. So here's a quick rundown of some of the projects that I've been working on, some new gear that I've got and other happenings...
First off, the last two episodes of my Hong Kong trip with Chef David Myers went up and they got an amazing response on Huffington Post as well as Twitter, etc. You can find them on my website. Hong Kong was an insane trip and I'm really excited that I might be going back there to do it all over again in the next few months. The HKTB was really happy with the results and we're trying to figure out a way to do it all again.
I've also started directing for Food & Wine Magazine. My first shoot with them was a month ago in Chicago and I'm flying to New York today for my second shoot. Food & Wine is one of my favorite magazines, and it's always been a goal of mine to work for them, so this has been incredible.
I was also in Los Angeles recently, directing for Bravo. Can't talk much about what I was doing, but you'll be able to see the results soon and I'll post it up when I can. Bravo has always been a big supporter of mine, posting up my Uchi Staff Meals piece on their website as well as a Huffington Post piece I did on Paul Qui's pop-up restaurant in NYC last year, so it was fun getting to direct for them as well.
As for gear, I recently bought two new lenses that I've been wanting for a while. First off, the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L II which is one of the best zoom's I've ever worked with. The Mark II lens has enhanced image stabilization as well as an incredibly sharp (and very warm) image. The IS is incredibly helpful when you're shooting video and zoomed all the way in at 200mm.
The other lens I got was the 100mm f2.8L Macro which is a must if you're shooting food. I'd been borrowing one from a friend and got very used to having the ability to shoot crisp, clear close up shots to get the detail of a dish, and it was just time to have one of my own. There's something beautiful about macro photography and having the ability to go in extremely tight to highlight one part of a dish really makes all the difference in the edit. This lens also has advanced image stabilization which is incredibly helpful when you're shooting video.
The addition of these two lenses makes my lens kit pretty much where I want it. There are a couple other lenses that I'm planning on buying (mostly faster prime lenses), but I can walk into any shoot now and feel very comfortable with what I have.
I also recently upgraded to a new MacBook Pro with the retina display. Julie had been wanting a laptop for a while and was using mine a lot, so I decided to just give it to her and get a new one. The new retina display makes all the difference when you're playing back footage for a client or transcoding/editing in a hotel room. The USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfaces meant that I had to go out and buy new drives to travel with (I got two 1TB Lacie Rugged Drives with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 interfaces) but the footage transfers at the end of the day go SO much faster and I can actually start transcoding in my hotel room with it. The new Pro is lighter, mostly because it has the internal flash memory instead of a regular hard drive and has dropped the optical drive, and it's thin...almost half as thin as my previous MBP which was the version before this latest one.
The next purchase is going to be upgrading my cameras and it looks like I'm going to buy a 5D Mark III and a Sony FS-700. I've been using the 5D MIII for a while and have fallen in love with the image quality, especially in low light. The 5D III will also pair nicely with the FS700 and allow me to have a larger camera and a smaller camera when I need to get into tight spaces (like kitchens).
I've been wanting to upgrade to a bigger camera system and the FS-700 seems to hit that sweet spot for me. It's got a great image, you can record audio on-board and the slow motion on it is incredible. You can shoot up to 240fps at full 1080 HD and up to 960fps at a cropped, lower resolution. I can also use all my Canon lenses on it with the Metabones adapter and the camera has the ability to record full 4K RAW if you buy an external recorder. The internal compression is 4:2:0 at 28mbs (not good enough for broadcast) but you can record through the HDMI-out to an external recorder at 4:2:2 50mbs if you need to go to broadcast. You can also record out to full 12-bit, 4K RAW which is something I hope to upgrade to next year.