Joe Urbz Media & Photography

Photo Tools

This past month has been filled with learning FCP X and my new Canon 60D camera. I have been really pushing myself with photography and tools, both in terms of software and online sharing sites. I took the new camera to Morrow Bay, Cambria, Pismo Beach, and Strawberry Peak (all in California). Although it was very windy and cold by the ocean, I found some good things to focus on. There are 4 or so pictures I can professionally print for selling. Pretty excited about it.

This week I have focused on working with Google+’s Photography circles, HDR based on Trey Ratcliff’s tutorials, SmugMug, and I received my new biz cards today from Moo and I am very pleased. Next time I will add a logo. I am also expecting a new Canon Pixma 9000 Mark II printer.

I still have to finish my bio on this site, create a personal logo, and watermarks for my prints. Please take a look at some of my online work and leave some (positive) feedback. I would appreciate it very much. Once I finish the rest of my setup, I will offer prints and packages.

Wednesday is a major LAFCPUG meeting in Hollywood of which I will attend. I have gone through Michael Wohl’s training modules, and Color Grading from Color Grading Central. I have found that FCPX is not as intuitive to learn unless you take some training, free or not. Going through the details opens up a boat load of options. I did get stuck finishing a wedding recently. No chapter markers for iDVD or Quicktime forced me back to FCP7. Just to say, this wedding was going to iDVD and Quicktime Pro (compressed) for download. Furthermore, iDVD does NOT like ProRes. It does import, but when you render the final, iDVD will turn everything into an ugly widescreen format. I had nice looking footage in ProRes 422, then had to re-compress to NTSC-DV and it sucked. Furthermore, when you use Quicktime Pro in Lion to export, the chapters disappear. Ergh!! So many bugs between Lion and FCPX. I wonder when Apple will update FCPX. After Lion? Devs are already testing 10.7.2. The videos that Apple put up for their marketing were pretty lame and lacking... Oh well, I digress a bit.

Until next week... have a great week!

FCP X & D60

Two items of the past few weeks: my new D60 and Final Cut Pro X. After much deliberating and research among a volume of reviews, I went to Best Buy looking for a Canon D60. Not ONE BB in Arizona had one in stock. Then I found only three SoCal stores that each had one. So, we called some stores to hold the box as I ordered it online. So when we drive from AZ to CA to get it, the Riverside store has NO idea where it is. After 90 minutes of searching, they find it. Sheesh! Everyone had the T3i and Nikons in stock. Go figure. So, finally moved up from a XSi to a better camera. I look forward to working with it in Cambria this summer (video and photography). I almost went with a 7D, but the $600 more will get me better glass for now. I’m happy.

Now for the ugliness of Apple’s FCPX forceful introduction and the demise of FCStudio 3. Oh, did Apple screw this one up. More howling from all levels of professionals. There are links all over to cover the details. I did edit a two camera shoot (a high school graduation using Sony A1U’s) the day it came out to force myself to dig deeper. I have also conversed quite a lot on Twiiter (#FCPX), Creative Cow, Apple’s boards, YouTube videos, and I am deep into Michael Wohl’s training. While there are some “cool” things and different perspectives in FCPX, there is an enormous amount of established fundamentals that are missing and changed. I do not have a powerhouse MacPro with 24gigs of RAM now, but I do have a Core i7 MBP and a newer iMac, and FCPX is slow overall. All that background stuff slows down my machines to the point of killing multitasking. FCP7 didn’t kill my macs that way. After 3 projects, multiple trainings, reading manuals, downloading pdf’s, the app is not intuitive. And I know iMovie ’11 quite well. FCPX does not import all elements (such as Maps) from iMovie either. You cannot even “Send to Motion” anymore.

As a high-school teacher using FCP and FCServer since its infancy, I was proud to offer an industry standard to students. I have quite a few alumni “in the business” now -- big name places -- and I now I have to change EVERYthing: workflow, software, curriculum, etc. In education, there is no $$. What’s next? Apple does not really have a solid education plan for FCPX yet. They have posted a beginning, but that will change, and soon. And then the plug-ins... all new costs. Change happens. Yes. But this is ONE company -- who is abandoning the high-end pro market. So, do I train students to be just prosumers? Apple says yes.

FCPX will MAYBE grow into a better tool, but it will NOT prepare students for making a living in the business. I have to look at Adobe again. For years, AVID and Adobe were the arrogant and expensive ones. I have tried both of their packages years ago (from the Cinema and Premiere NonCS-3 days) -- what a mess. No support. Admin accounts and dongles only for AVID. Adobe software gets corrupted constantly and you have to install/de-install/re-install. Multiple labs? Yeah, right. Apple used to offer Academic pricing that was affordable for more apps. Now, its more $$ for less.

I could on and on, but it will prove rather useless. I am sick of being told what I am doing is all of sudden, WRONG, regardless of years of training and usage. What’s the point of certifications? I have so many questions. Some of the Apple pro diehards are demonstrating some patience, and I will keep an eye on everything. I have downloaded Premiere 5.5 and have Avid Composer 5. I will work with all four suites, but this is not a good time. I would prefer to continue to evolve, but as of now, this is just stupid and arrogant by Apple. Is this Apple’s Vista?