Category Archives: DSLR

My Current Collection of Adobe CC Videos

Hello from the road! Though I’ve already blogged about several of these videos, there’s been a recent request for “one place for ALL of my latest CC-related training content”.

As such, here’s the current collection of AdobeTV content that summarize a variety of Adobe CC applications and new features…

Enhanced Multitrack Editing in Adobe Audition CC

Frequency Band Splitter and Reversioning Stereo and Mono for 5.1

And a re-vamp of my popular DSLR series (new for Premiere Pro/Prelude/Audition CC)

DSLR Editing Workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Part 1: From the Camera Directly to Adobe Premiere Pro

DSLR Editing Workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Part 2: From the Camera to Adobe Prelude CC; Ingest & Rough Cut

DSLR Editing Workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Part 3: Multicamera DSLR Workflow with Automatic Audio Sync

Adobe Creative Cloud Overview for Video Pros

Adobe Premiere Pro as the Hub of Your Post-Production Workflow (NAB)

There’s also all the stuff I did at AdobeMAX, so you can find those (among several others from NAB) at the link below…
All of my AdobeTV videos in one long list.

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Another Adobe Prelude Tutorial – Markers & Rough Cuts

Episode 2 of the new season of Short & Suite premiered today covering how to use markers and build rough cuts in Adobe Prelude CS6.

Additionally, I’ll also show how you can instantly send clips & rough cuts directly to Premiere Pro, *or* export directly to Final Cut Pro via XML. A great feature for switchers and those new to CS6.

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New CS6 Tutorials on AdobeTV

It’s been a busy week at Adobe, and in keeping with that momentum I’m happy to announce that a new series of Short & Suite tutorials are coming to AdobeTV. The first one of the new season features Adobe Prelude CS6. This episode covers the concepts of ingest & partial and gives you the basic “How To” and “When To”, whether it’s transferring or transcoding media from DSLR or other file-based cameras (this video happens to feature footage shot on my Nikon D800 & D4, from my recent African Safari).

I also cover how to add presets for 3rd party formats (like ProRes & Avid DNxHD) and literally take you through the process of creating those presets (in Media Encoder) and how to set different options along the way.

When I was at the Adobe TV studios, they informed me that it had been well over a year since my last (official) Short & Suite season, so it’s really a pleasure to be bringing all this new content prior to the holiday.

Other topics that will follow (appearing every Wednesday on

–Using Markers and Creating Rough Cuts in Prelude CS6
–Sidechaining in Audition CS6
–Working with 3rd Party Plugins in Audition CS6
–Mixdown Options for Stereo and Multichannel in Audition CS6
–How To Convert Audio Files to Different Bit Rates/Sample Rates/Channel Configurations

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The Magical Sabi Sabi – An Adventure with Nikon DSLRs

This year has truly been one of inspiration. Over the past 9 months or so, I’ve circled the globe several times, and despite the inevitable (though surprisingly infrequent) moments of exhaustion, this period has been met with a plethora of indelible experiences and an usually high amount of original musical and video content creation…not always an easy task when one is sans-instruments, with minimal amounts of kit and typicaly at 36,000 feet.

At the close of our CS6 Launch Tour, I was fortunate to have a little time off to attend and photograph an African safari at Sabi Sabi in South Africa. As part of my recent move to Nikon cameras, I captured the entire trip on video, sourced from the Nikon D800 and D4 DSLRs. With a combination of 36 megapixel stills (from the D800) and incredible low-light performance (from both the D4 and D800) along with a (borrowed) set of amazing lenses, I collected some incredible video of the infamous ‘Big Five’ (for the uninitiated, the big five refers to the lion, rhino, buffalo, leopard and elephant) as well as a host of other native inhabitants of these mystical lands.

Sabi Sabi Land of Beauty – African Safari with Nikon D800 and D4 from Jason Levine on Vimeo.

As Vimeo doesn’t always play well in different regions of the world, here’s a YOU TUBE link to the same video.

What you see above is a very brief edit from that collection of video, captured over 2 days (nearly 70GB of 1080p video, I might add). Armed only with the cameras, lenses and a Zacuto Z-finder, I experienced the sheer joy and terror of filming live animals in a completely open jeep (something I’ve NEVER done before…I’m more of a landscape/documentary-style photographer/videographer, ie, things that don’t move and are typically studio lit!). Manual focus was the name of the game, and admittedly, pulling said focus was at times challenging, especially in the dark. A longer edit is forthcoming, but as you can see even in these brief clips above, the capabilities of these new DSLRs are really quite impressive. Any needed stabilization was taken care of via Premiere Pro CS6 and the Warp Stabilizer, and all the colour grading was performed in Premiere Pro and several shots were finished in SpeedGrade.

What was even more impressive were the stills I was able to extract from the 1080p source material. Despite the fact that there’s all kinds of downsizing/downsampling going on inside the camera, the stills (which you’ll see below) really impressed me. These were exported (often, post-grade) directly from Premiere and only minimal processing (if any) was done in Lightroom 4. The one leopard night shot, however, was a proper D4 raw image, captured at ISO4000.
Baby Elephant Clearing Out The Trunk
Another Sabi Sunrise
Mother and Child
Rhino and the Sun
Night Leopard
Sabi Sunrise

You can check out my Flickr stream for some additional images from the shoot.

Lastly, as video and audio tend to go hand-in-hand for me, what followed soon after the trip (actually, on the flight back to the US) was the creation of a new song in honour of Sabi Sabi, but really, a song for South Africa. Every time I’ve gone there, I feel like I’m fundamentally changed. People greet each other, randomly; there’s a sense of life, joy and wonder—and an appreciation of all things that you just don’t see everywhere. It’s truly one of the most incredible places I’ve ever visited, and this was just a little ‘love note’ for a place I’d happily call home…

CLICK HERE to checkout my latest iTunes single, Sabi Sabi.

Stay tuned for the next blog post as I take you through the journey of creating the track. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while (and it actually plays directly into my still-in-development children’s music show, Just Play Music)

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The Masters Tour, The Pharaohs Tour, Firenze & Back in the USSR

Hello once again, my friends. Well, I think the title really says it all! Over the last 5 weeks, we’ve been touring Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, US (for AdobeMAX) and we’re now currently in Cairo (for the first time!) presenting a modified version of the Masters Tour, appropriately titled The Pharaohs Tour. Following this, we’ll once again go our separate ways, as Terry heads off to Brasil, Greg visits parts of the US and Japan, and I’ll finish out my (touring) year in Amsterdam at AUGXL and a series of Video Seminars in Moscow.

In any case, I’ve been fairly lazy with the blog, so I figured I could at least upload some random pics from Giza (where we got some amazing shots of the pyramids) and a few “outtakes” from my brief visit to Florence with my dear friend and perpetual Adobe Evangelist, Rufus Deuchler.

Flying into Florence, out of the prop-plane window
Copyright 2010 Jason A. Levine
Sunrays from the limestone-tip covered Pyramid, the 2nd largest
Copyright 2010 Jason A. Levine
From the 14mm f/2.8; a wide-angel look at Siena, Italy
Copyright 2010 Jason A. Levine
The Sphinx and Pyramid in the distance
Copyright 2010 Jason A. Levine
Piazza il Campo, Siena. Another wide-angle, shot with 14mm f/2.8
Copyright 2010 Jason A. Levine
In front of the ‘Big Pyramid’…It’s massive.

Continue reading The Masters Tour, The Pharaohs Tour, Firenze & Back in the USSR

DSLR Video Editing for Photographers – Part 5 (the export)

Hello once again. Well, not to quote Barry Manilow (should anyone *ever* quote Barry Manilow) but in his unforgettable words, “Looks like we made it!” Yes. We’ve made it to the end, and in Part 5 of this series, I’m going to take you through the process of exporting your masterpiece to a variety of formats. Web delivery, mobile delivery, Blu-ray or DVD…these options are all discussed, and you’ll get to see where you can find presets to use for many of your popular destinations (whether it’s iDevices, YouTube HD or HDTV). I’ll also highlight the benefits of background encoding, to allow you to continue working in Photoshop, Lightroom, or wherever you’d like…and it’s all thanks to the flexible Adobe Media Encoder (and the fact that it’s now a native, 64-bit application).

Additionally, if you don’t want to export your entire project, but would rather export a small portion (for testing, or to simply check the quality of one preset against another), you can use simple controls in the encoder to do this…(see below)

This can also be done via the portion bar from within Premiere Pro…

It’s been a great deal of fun creating this series and I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed watching it. Also, I’ve included the actual edited video of my images/DSLR footage that I created during this process; you can find it at the end of the video, in the last minute Be sure to watch in HD, if connections allow…;)

Until next time…

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DSLR Video Editing for Photographers-Part 4

Here we are in Part 4 of the series. For this episode, I cover working with layered Photoshop (PSD) files for lower thirds, stylized text and simple animations, as well as using Premiere Pro’s own Titler from within the application. Once again, it’s the native capabilities of Premiere Pro (working with Photoshop) that make this process so easy and simple. And if you’re familiar with the ‘Edit Original’ command (found in nearly every Adobe app), changes can me made to your Photoshop files at any point in time. Even animations done in Photoshop (whether on text layers, 3D object layers or even video) will carry over and *play* inside Premiere Pro. Check it out…

Part 5 (dealing with exporting the media) is coming in the next few days. Thanks for watching!

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DSLR Video Editing for Photographers-Part 3

A brief hello from the Netherlands, where we’re due to kick-off IBC in a matter of days. Before the show, I’ll be giving a presentation on DSLR Video Editing for DI Pros at our Adobe Offices…quite appropriate timing!

And with that, I bring you part 3 of this multi-part series. In this video, we’ll take a look at helping you tell your story through motion and sound. I’ll show you the techniques for adding markers to a musical soundtrack, allowing you to ‘time’ your images against beats in the music. I’ll even show you an automated way to lay down all your images and video against a soundtrack in a single click. Once that’s done, I’ll then show you how to animate and move within your large-format images, also known as the Ken Burns effect. Animate position, scale, rotation, opacity, and truly make the images come to life.

Stay tuned, as part 4 will introduce using Photoshop files natively inside Premiere Pro for creating titles, text, and lower thirds.

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DSLR Video Editing for Photographers-Part 2

As promised, here is Part 2 of this multi-part instructional series. This episode focuses on editing basics; everything from simple clip trimming, ripple deleting and actual ‘cutting’, to working with mixed frame sizes in a timeline, using transitions between images and video (this includes cross-dissolves, fades and dip-to-black) and some best practices for formatting your video content.

One thing that I neglected to mention in the video: if at any time you find that your playback is not as smooth as you’d like (or more importantly, if your system is having trouble keeping up with the HD media), from within the sequence you can simply hit the RETURN/ENTER key and it will effectively ‘render’ the work-area. In other words, wherever you see those red lines at the top of the sequence, it will render those areas and allow you to see, full real-time, all the work that you’ve done.

Note the Red & Yellow Lines. Yellow does not require rendering.

As mentioned, red lines don’t always necessarily mean ‘won’t play in real time’…and sometimes, it doesn’t really matter, so long as you can get the general ‘feel’ for how something is going to look (and adjusting the fractional playback/pause resolutions helps). Just something to keep in mind.

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DSLR Video Editing for Photographers

Greetings from South Africa! We’ve just completed our CS5 Masters Tour in Johannesburg, and it was truly an event to behold. A packed house (700+), with lines around the corner for entry to the theatre. What a way to kick-off the touring season!

In any case, I’d like to introduce the first of a multi-part series of videos I created entitled DSLR Video Editing for Photographers. About 3 weeks ago, I presented to the San Francisco Photoshop Users Group, and did a 90-minute lecture on this very topic. Needless to say, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and there were so many requests to actually ‘see’ the step-by-step process in action, that I decided to create this series. The goal here is to educate and illustrate the ease of entering the world of DSLR Video (in Premiere Pro CS5), even if you’ve NEVER touched an editing application before. Again, if you’re a photographer looking to get into this, or maybe you’re just looking to experiment or merely learn a new way to put together slideshow/portfolio presentations, incorporating your still images, video, music, titles, etc…this is for you. There will be 8 parts in this series, and I’ve tried to keep each episode fairly short (approx. 10-15 minutes) and geared towards a specific topic. The first episode, From The Camera To The Timeline is literally just that; shooting video on your DSLR, and then bringing the footage from the camera (or CF card directly) into Premiere Pro (using familiar tools/techniques that you already use) and organizing your media into a sequence.

I’ll be releasing new episodes each week (and perhaps even a bit sooner) so I hope you enjoy the series. If nothing else, I sincerely hope it will inspire you, the photographer, to explore new areas in Creative Suite, and expand your portfolios of knowledge.


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