Monday, December 16, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
I've always found this to be a particularly enjoyable event. I love the moment when I see a great photo and try to time it just right--sometimes I get what I was looking for, sometimes I don't. Either way, I'd bet it feels just as much a game to me as it does to the players!
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I've had a great time this Summer--lots of fun, but also always busy and on the move! We had a family reunion during late July, which was nice, kind of a relaxer after some of the business that comes with editing wedding videos. Yet even there, I found plenty opportunities to bring out my camera and snap some shots.
It was two days after we got back from that when we set out for Sturgis. I was able to ride my bike up the whole way, which is definitely the farthest I've ever ridden in a couple days. (Actually, Josh and I got to ride our bikes back home together in one day. To top that all off, we were in soaking rain. That was tough--and yet somehow fun, too...)
At Sturgis, I was very busy every day helping prepare for the daily kids show and watch bouncehouses. Whenever I got time in between, I'd grab my camera and take a little footage or some photos. Not sure where all the time went, but it did go by fast!
When we came back home, I gathered my footage from this year and from years past and assembled what I have embedded below...a friend needed it the Sunday after we got back home, but I was able to edit it and upload it just in time!
This is a short video I made when I was up at Sturgis this year. Have a friend who needed something he could show his church real soon after the event was over, so I made the best short video I could in a small amount of time. Had some fun with the black-on-white look, I don't think I've ever really done that in a video before, as usually it's white text on a black background. However, the design coupled with the music made for a different, interesting feel, I thought.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Monday, June 3, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
But the only reason that all of these things are possible is because I now have transportation! With the help of Andy Hanning (he comes to biker church and has a local bike shop in Pueblo) I was able to get the bike trailered in town so I could finally get the thing licensed! I have now been riding it for a week between Pueblo and Fowler. My first big ride was on the Cycle De Mayo, where I, Dad and several dozen other riders went from Pueblo to Rocky Ford to Ordway and then finally back to Pueblo. It was a nice ride and gave me some practice for my future rides into Pueblo...Traffic is no fun on two wheels.
I got to film a rodeo again this year. It's the same one I did last year, but they changed locations, which made things interesting. I had to find ways to get in close without being obtrusive, but also get good audio. It was a long, hard day, but well worth it, in more ways than one. Although I sell DVD's of the event, I also was noticed by Forrest Rowell, who was planning on doing a kids event a couple weekends later. He saw me out there with my big camera and microphone, and asked me if I could help him with the event to film it and create a promo video. Sounded like a great idea, and as it turned out my parents knew this guy very well even though I didn't.
Before I move on, though, I seriously should mention a certain phenomenon that happens at the rodeo and just about everywhere else I film now. When I take my microphone, I put a wind buffer on it--a big, fluffy, hairy thing that is technically called a "Dead Cat" wind buffer. It really does have a practical purpose--when the wind comes in, it reduces the blowing noise that has ruined so many of my audio clips. But any time I bring it out into the open for the public to see, people can't stop looking at it. I've had a few kids even run up and try to grab it! It's funny to see how much attention it gathers from the adults, too. I've been asked countless times what that thing is on top of my camera, and what on earth it's supposed to do! And I have a hunch that's what got Forrest's attention...but I don't know for sure, it's just a guess.
Anyway, by the time that event came around, I had gotten some practice on the motorcycle. I really didn't want to take all my equipment on the bike (if I were to crash, that'd stink anyway, but I didn't want to risk my equipment too!). But I did it and made it there just fine. I went around with the group all day and shot, shot, shot. It was lots of fun, and I'll be uploading some of the results as soon as they're ready.
Now I'm in the process of editing both those projects. As I said earlier, doing those while having two jobs is rather...challenging. More so than I expected, but I keep telling myself that as stressful as it can be, this is what I want to be doing. Nobody is forcing me into these jobs other than myself.
As for my new computer job, I am very excited to see how this turns out. I am getting an education that basically surpasses what the guys at the Geek Squad know (the tech-know-how geeks at Best Buy--yeah, that was my dream job for a few years). What I'm learning will also work for me at other jobs, if I pass the certification test. But for right now, I'm learning how much I haven't learned yet. Just being around these guys, hearing what they are talking about, seeing the way they do things...it makes me feel a lot less tech-savvy! I'm excited to see what I'll be able to learn here.
The months continue to go by without waiting up for me!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
This video ended up being quite a bit of work. For one thing, I hadn't even planned on making a video at all this year! But, when I was up there, I just couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to interview some people, put it down on film. I felt like I had to at least try. So, during the week, I put together a few questions and wrote them down on a little sheet of paper.
I was really glad to see that I had at least brought my portable recorder, which happened to have a stereo mic on the front. Since I had not thought to bring my fancy Rhode microphone with a wind buffer on the front, I just had to put a bandana (one of Dad's smiley-face bandanas, in fact--some of you know how much he wears those everywhere) on the front of the little microphone, which helped a little bit. But there were bunches of noises that got in the way of every recording--the wind seemed to be blasting like crazy every time I got someone to give me enough time to interview them. But more than that, you have to realize I was filming in the middle of a motorcycle rally--and not just any rally, but Sturgis Bike Week, arguably the largest rally in the US! I had to cut out whole sections of audio due to motorcycles revving by, music blasting over from distant concerts, advertising airplanes, kids running around and yelling, and noisy bounce house motors all over the place. However, with some tedious cutting and a little audio work, I was able to pull together what I think is a halfway decent sound (at least in the short version).
It was a lot of work finding people who both wanted to stand in front of the camera and answer my questions and had the time. But I thank the people who did--they were very patient with me and gave me what I needed to put this video together.
Probably the hardest work was in the editing. Simply going through the massive amount of information, the seemingly endless clips of people giving me their honest answers, and then sorting them into some kind of a coherent order, was a pretty big undertaking. But when I came out of it on the other end, I knew I had something I really wanted to share--with some more work and polish.
I finally thought I had come to the end of it when I showed my family the video. They said they liked it, that it was okay, stuff like that. But when it came time to show it at the biker church that we do every Thursday (you can find out more from the link) I came to realize two huge problems.
One, the audio really sounded bad coming from huge church-sized speakers. It sounded fine in my little speakers on my computer or on my portable speakers. But with huge speakers that could really put out the bass tones, the wind noise became far more prominent, pretty much drowning out the audio that I wanted people to hear.
And for the other, it was just too long. There was a lot of information to digest, and looking back I think it was too much. The main purpose of the film is to advertise--to draw people in, get them interested, and perhaps get them so interested that they would want to help. But when the video was almost eight minutes long, is was just too much.
So I went back and cut, cut, cut until I got it down to just over two and a half minutes. I think it is still clear, gets to the point and communicates the right message, all in a short period of time. Of course, you can watch it below, and tell me what you think yourself!
The one on top is the final cut, and the one below it is the extended cut. I posted it mostly because there is still a lot of good stuff in it (in my opinion) that just takes too long if you're not already really interested. Feel free to comment below!
Kidz Zone at Sturgis: On Location from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.
This is a film I shot at the Kidz Zone during Sturgis Bike Week, 2012. It explains a little bit about what Sturgis Bike Week is, what the Kidz Zone does there and why we need help to run the event. All the footage was taken by me this year, and the photographs were all taken by me as well, but come from this last year to several years past.
Started by my father, Curtis Hubbell, Thunder Road Ministries has been doing ministry at events like Sturgis Bike week for over a decade now. If you would like to know more about the organization, or their new church (Steel City Biker Church) you can visit their website at: steelcitybikerchurch.org
If you'd like to sign up or get some information, you can any of the methods described at the end of the video, but the best would probably be just to call the number: 719-252-1086.
Thanks to all of those who let me get an interview in! Kevin Riley, Richie Perko, Emily Hubbell, Ken Dalby, DNO and Steve-O--thanks bunches to all of you, even if I couldn't fit you in!
Kidz Zone at Sturgis: On Location--Extended Cut from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013
While everybody probably was enjoying it quietly, I was running around like a mad man snapping as many shots as I could while the sun was most colorful! I think I got some pretty good shots. It took a couple days to go through them all in Lightroom (adjusting all the settings--exposure, contrast, saturation, shadows/highlights, etc.) but when I got them all done I was really pleased with the results.
See what you think below!
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Probably the biggest thing right now is, I just got my full driver's licence! It's been a very long process, but now I have it and will be driving around as soon as I get a working car. I was also supposed to get my motorcycle endorsement the same day, but we had the wrong paperwork, so it will have to wait a few days until I get the paperwork to them. Once that happens, I'll be able to legally ride my own motorcycle on the streets! (of course, I'll need to get the bike licensed and stuff...)
I've also been busy working on some projects for Thunder Road Ministries. This year, when we are at Sturgis, South Dakota during Bike Week, we will set up Kidz Zone again. But this year the theme is a spin off of Pirates of the Caribbean--instead, we'll be going as the Pirates of the Galilean! Dad asked me to create a banner for it. He gave me his idea, then asked me to put it down on a graphic. A few hours later I had photoshopped the above photo together, and asked Dad what he thought of it. We went through a few rounds of refinement, but after it was all done, Dad was very pleased with it.
Now that my brother has a baby, his wife is taking a lot of photos of her. However, they wanted me to take some official photos before the baby got too big, so we went out one day and took the photos. The results are in the slideshow below. It was pretty difficult to work in the bright, unfiltered sunlight, but I made do with what I could. I think it came out pretty well.
I recently went through a lesson in flash photography in my photography school, and it really made me want to dig out my old flash unit (it was actually Dad's before he gave it to me) and try my hand with the flash. But, after taking both the camera and the flash to Best Buy to see if they knew what was going on, I found out that there was an issue: The camera is too new for the flash. Before, when I was using a Canon Rebel T1i, it was compatible. But when I upgraded to the T2i, they cancelled support for a lot of the older flash units, mine included. So now I'm looking into buying a new flash unit. I don't want to lay down a whole lot of cash for one, but it is an important tool, especially in things like portrait photography.
Here's the slideshow...if you like what you see, please consider me the next time you need portraits taken, because I'd love to try to work something out!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I have to admit, I especially like that black and white photos (okay, they're slightly brown tinted; gives them a warmer look, in my opinion). I've never really taken baby photos before, but I think they came out okay. I'm looking forward to taking many more photos in the future!
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Also, I threw in a couple different experiments as well. Just a bunch of photos from around the house. We got the flowers for Valentine's Day, so I felt obliged to photograph them as well!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Army of One from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.
This is a short clip I made while experimenting with adobe After Effects. I actually shot the footage a few years ago, know what I wanted to do with it and knowing how to do it--but, unfortunately I did not have the right equipment at the time, so the computer froze up before I could make any serious progress on it. Now, however, I have the equipment and was able to do it in a short amount of time.
While I realize it is pretty limited, has a few technical issues and is very short, I think it's pretty cool and is a start to learning After Effects!
By the way, you may notice one guy actually lands a blow!
Thursday, February 7, 2013
However, there are a few things of note I should share. For one, I now have a motorcycle that works at the house! This has been a long journey, as Dad and I have tried several times to devise a plan to get the bike down to Colorado all the way from Wyoming. But finally Dad was able to find a person who shipped it, and although it cost quite a bit, it was worth just having the bike finally! So now I just have to get my licence...
Got a couple new post-production tools--the first I got was Windows 8. Windows 8 probably isn't an investment most people would make--especially since I was already running on windows 7. However, I've had to help Dad with his new netbook that has windows 8 on it, and we just built a custom PC running the same operating system, so I was able to get familiar with it very quickly. In addition, my computer was really starting to give me a hard time. It took a very long time to start up, and it felt like the last time I knew I needed a new laptop. But before I bought Windows 8, I wanted to see what I could do with what I had. So I backed up all my files on the external hard drive and reformatted my computer completely! --Or, at least, that's what I tried to do. But apparently Toshiba puts their factory reset feature onto a separate hard drive partition, and I had to boot it in some weird thing to get to it, press f6 for 2.7 seconds....you get the idea. After lots of research, I couldn't find the answer to my problem.
That was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back, and I decided to just get Windows 8. I knew I'd love the new features and that it had a way faster start-up time, which is exactly what I was wanting. On top of all that, Microsoft had a special deal going on that would end at the end of the month, so I bought it at a pretty cheap price for a new operating system.
So, that was one thing that's making me feel electronically proficient this month. But another thing happened just today. I was in a second-hand thrift shop looking through the electronics. Usually you can't find much for electronics at a place like that, as it's generally too old or missing a part, or something like that. But today I found a Wacom graphics tablet for $20! Granted, it does look like an older model, but it still functions the way it's supposed to. I've been looking for one of these for a while now, but the near-$100 price tag at sellers like Best Buy have always driven me away. But now that I found this, I can happily say I can draw a curved line on a computer.
What's great about these graphics tablets is that they work with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator to let you hand-draw edits in a photo. This can come in help when I'm making detailed retouches on a photograph or designing a flyer or something. It's nearly impossible to really write letters with a mouse--try it, you'll see what I mean. But being able to hand write on the tablet makes it easy (even though there's a little getting used to it)...
Also, thought I'd mention I'm going to the Summit Ministries Student Conference. It's a two-week course that basically teaches about the various major worldviews that most people believe in. I've been planning on this for some time, as many of my friends have gone and they really enjoyed it. I think it's a cool program--you can check it out on their website, if you'd like. They also offer college credit, which I'm thinking I might need in the near future. Dad and I have been talking about going to college recently, what I might do in it, what jobs it might help me get, how I could pay for it--for now I'm just in the research stage, but I'd like to be sure I'm ready for it when I decide to start.