Some days my inbox is stuffed with odd questions about what I do. And when the number of those question eclipses the “What wood should I use for my workbench?” questions, then it is time to write a blog entry.
Recently, there have been a spate of the following questions:
Question: What cameras do you use to take photos and video?
I’ve always been a Canon enthusiast. I prefer the colors that these cameras produce, and I am comfortable with the controls. For blogging, I use a Canon G10 (now the Canon G12) for both videos and still photos. It is a remarkable camera with a metal – yes, metal! – body so it can take a hit. The photos are nice enough that you can publish them in a book (it’s what I recommend that some Lost Art Press authors use).
The best accessory ever for woodworking photography is a tripod. Don’t buy a cheap one. I have a used Manfrotto – you can pick these up on Craigslist and fix them up if need be. Mine needed a lot of tightening and adjusting. A tripod allows you to use available light, small apertures and long shutter speeds. That is the sweet spot for most woodworking photography.
If you won’t buy a full-size tripod, spend $28 and buy this Manfrotto pocket support. It lives on the bottom of my Canon G10 and allows me to stabilize it in the field when I don’t have a pod. This thing is 100 percent pure unicorn magic. I have personally made at least 100 sales by demonstrating this gizmo at woodworking shows.
I have a second Canon camera, a SLR, that I use for shop photography. Until January, I was using a Canon Rebel – very entry level – with good Canon lenses. I shot all my magazine articles and books using this camera, including most of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.”
In January, I bought a Canon 5D, a big step up that was made possible by you, the reader. Thank you. I also have an L-series Canon zoom on the 5D. Yes, that was a gloat.
I have some basic lights, but those are packed away. I always prefer to work with existing light.
Despite all the text above, I don’t obsess about equipment. In fact, I’m fairly oblivious. I’m much more concerned about composition and spend far more time studying that than reading equipment reviews.
Question: What is the music in your video?
I get this question every single day. I like Americana music, especially with a Southern flavor (duh, I’m from Arkansas). If you want to download some of the tracks I’ve used and search for other like-sounding stuff, I recommend two sites: freeplaymusic.com and freemusicarchive.org.
At freemusicarchive.org, check out the stuff from the Black Twig Pickers. That will sound familiar.
At freeplaymusic.com, check out these two collections of music:
Question: And finally, I saw your video on rasps and want to buy the belt you are wearing. Where do I get it?
The belt I’m wearing is from Thomas Bates. Yes, that is a bottle opener. It works great. However some people freak out when you open a beer for them and you take it to your bathing suit area to do the deed.
— Christopher Schwarz