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Really Good Film & Pretty Good Photography

January has been a whirl wind month, while we determinedly continue to make really good film, the trend that began in 2018 towards pretty good photography, has become a constant parallel path upon which we find ourselves. Improving both fine photographic skills with family portraits and engagements, and weddings, as well as yacht film, business promos and featured wedding films.

Photographic and Film clientele are about the same in frequency now. In the wedding world, we have had some big wins with featured stories in wedding magazines, and the first engagement shoot, on the beach at the Hampton Inn, and our first family photo shoot for a famous nutritionist and celebrity chef, Katherine Mattox.

When I say photography is keeping pace with the film production. I pinch myself. I asked a very famous photographer (no names) what he would do, when I have this talent for film but love photography as much, he said pick one. I said I can’t. He said, well pick one for now, then pick the other in a year.


– anonymous famous photographer

Our tech has kept pace with the demands of 6 hour hot sun, ocean, sand, drunken wedding guests, wayward dogs, 100’s of thousands of miles of air travel. Wanting to share this almost end of January post to help anyone who is into this business, get a comparable view of what we use. Also, if you have a comment that would help us improve our work, please please share it in the comments. Only useful and positive comments are allowed here. We have a standard of polite and respectful behaviour.


THE best film and photography. Since January 1 2020 no drones have flown away or sunk beneath the waves. (Actually since January 1 2019 also) but Murphy’s law says something rubbish will happen eventually, but until it does this year has been a 100% visually creative winner.


The equipment is still all Sony Alpha 7RII AND A9 – lenses of note are the new Sony macro lens for the studio jewellery photography, and the drones are still the DJI Inspire 1 with the Zenmuse X5s and the Mavic 2 Pro with the Hasselblad Camera and the GoPro Karma Drone with the GoPro Hero 7 on board.


The biggest change this year was the addition of ‘Maglites’ to the collection. Magnetic lighting system, keeps the white diffuser (and any other magnetic filter) strongly on the flash so you don’t get that harsh shadow blasting in the face. I use my flashes a lot for people and dog portraits. Lovely soft light is a magic specialty that we are always testing and perfecting, fine tuning. Light is the key to everything.


Audio has been boosted by the new technology of digital audio recording with the Tascam line of products. I remember one wedding when the groom sweated so much the mic unit shorted and I lost all the audio. Except the back up, which was thankfully good enough. Tascam is a solid digital audio recorder small enough to go in a tight jeans pocket and is worn by the speaker. On board sd card records it all so even if it dies from salt immersion the sd will still have the content. SD’s are surprisingly water resistant.


Bought with the promise I’d return it before the return by date, I had one job after another following the purchase of this machine of magic. So I justified keeping it, since I needed to keep editing, since then I’ve been asked by all our Christmas holiday skiing gang from Vermont, everyone wants to know, ‘do you still have it, are you keeping the MacBook??’

Gosh. Human behaviour 101. I failed to live up to my word. But I’m afraid I don’t care this time. Because, another revelation; a MacBook Pro is fabulous for editing mobile.

It isn’t cheap and it isn’t so small with the 16″ screen, but it’s a powerful beastie. I tried editing on the road from Key Largo to VT with a Surface Pro but that was uncommonly slow and painful. That took 1 day to edit a 10 minute clip. It took me one afternoon to finish the entire hour of footage into a beautiful 10 minute 3 minute and 1 minute edit on the MacBook Pro. I LOVE this machine; YES you’ll need an external storage ssd. I have 2TB it’s fantastic. Get the quality SanDisk with the USB C and your problems will go away. I seem to burn battery fast.


Premiere Pro full 90 minutes of film content edited into 3 minutes and Lightroom CC 1500 photographs edited into 240 perfect shots uploaded to our gallery. That is basic day of editing for me. But I find the battery dies quite fast. Often see the end of the battery, completely, before I’m done editing. I want more juice guys. So, I’d say about a 2 out of 5 on battery. I don’t care if it isn’t supposed to last that long. FIX IT.

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The Cardinal Boone Breathes Life & Love Into American Cuisine

The Cardinal Boone Breathes Life & Love Into American Cuisine

The Cardinal Boone Breathes Life & Love Into American Cuisine

The Cardinal Boone…North Carolina. The skiing at Sugar Mountain, nearby, was abominable – the 16-18 inch base was struggling to stay put with the warm Christmas 2019 temperatures. And it was crowded!

Abominable Skiing

With less snow we and many others went in search of other ‘winter’ activities. Since we travelled from Florida by car, we’d had enough of the franchised…reliably the same….consistent quality eats and drinks and sleeps. But we are human and we get bored and it gets ‘predictable.’ The Cardinal in Boone offered a culinary and brewing change that was atmospheric and most welcome!

The Cardinal Boone – Great Vibes

Our deep need for ‘non-franchised’ family run restaurants and real small businesses struggling to stay ahead of the ‘franchise culture’ brought us to The Cardinal in Boone NC.

The college town was full of surprises. This one the most memorable. We embarked on a cultural food and spirits adventure here! The line was three kids deep at the Pinball and Space Invaders in the family room. The servers all trendy and young and many bearded – or ultra stylish, the atmosphere was part ‘trapper’ part modern bar, the culture was deep set! A celebration of all that is North Carolina!

The Food!

Venison, Bison, Sour Pickled Apple? Such a real treat with strong hints of old America. (I’m British & European – so ‘old’ is relative) but we admire any of the root threads to the days of America and it’s establishment. (Not the destruction of Native America – that’s despicable) but the modern remnants of food culture from the old days threaded into this very busy – amazingly cozy – youthful energy – restaurant and brew pub!

The Brew at The Cardinal Boone

Poor Richard? The connection between the brew and independence from the British…what is it about that? The beer. This stuff made me feel like George Washington and or Ben Franklin’s beer recipes were taken from The City Tavern in Philadelphia and transplanted here. I could almost hear the upstarts and their friends sorting out how to disrupt the British and disengage..right at the table elbow to elbow….

In my opinion, brewery’s and brewing are sacred arts of almost magical proportions

The Cardinal proudly flies the flag of Independence April 24th 1776 and brews and purveys the most potent ales
Local Brewery Dreamy Ales – Seriously I’ve Been Dreaming About It!
Good Beer – Nutty Heavy Coffee Chocolate – Stand Your Spoon Up In It!
Looking Up At Christmas 2019 at The Cardinal, Boone, NC
Exceptionally Fried Okra!
Deliciously Medium Rare Bison Burger