Shocking pictures from BBC Network news

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Working this morning I had the telly on in the background watching the live inserts for the Commonwealth Games when I noticed this 2 shot.

I suspect its from an unmanned dome camera but the perspex or camera lens was filthy, this is certainly NOT the quality of pictures you expect from the BBC.

It’s slack and poor production values that cause this type of picture to appear on mainstream television…did no one check or care that the picture was substandard or as I suspect the damage was inside the lens.

main-camIn fact looking at this again it’s the main camera you would not dare use a remote dome camera as a main live camera so the lens was dirty…shocking.

Get your act together BBC filthy lenses is a total lack of care and NOT ACCEPTABLE !!!

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GH4 User Review “the bits I left out”

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Video reviews can not only take a while to produce but editorially you can’t include everything, my reasons for leaving some information out like future features and flaws are this blog and making the review watchable.

I decided this time to let you see a variety of shots and situations and leave the nitty gritty to a blog post.


Strangely the YAGH stops the LCD from swivelling and can cause your tripod locking mechanism problems though Manfrotto do give you the ability to overcome this with a locking nut you can adjust.

The sound monitor output is set to REC SOUND only when a micro HDMI or the YAGH is attached causing a small delay in the sound, this may be fixable in a future firmware upgrade. (This was explained in the video).

The rolling shutter is worse in 4K mode, this does not surprise me as the chip is at its outer limits of its own technology in order to deliver an internal 4K recordable image.

The GH4 is noisier in higher gain than my previous Canon C300, once again in my opinion you are asking a lot of the technology to record fantastic pictures at 4K without something suffering. I do realise the Sony A7s with its full frame sensor does exceed low light expectations but is flawed like the C500 by not recording 4K internally.

The micro 4/3 sensor is by its nature not as good as a full frame sensor for shallow depth of field but the inclusion of the 42.5mm f1.2 Leica lens is hard to beat.


Future features

As a video tool it would help if you could disable the back thumb wheel or have the ability to lock the shutter, the GH4 like it’s sister the GH3 is all buttons and wheels with your thumb hitting most of them at the least appropriate time.

I would like a smoother more responsive aperture, adjusting the exposure during a live production is a nightmare. Unlike a professional video lens the GH4 uses photographic lenses that are made for photography rather than video so racking up or down the aperture is very noticeable.

I would prefer some indication from the back of the camera that I was in record mode, how easy would it have been to add a front and back tally light to the YAGH.

A definite feature for the 10bit GH5″ must be a second SD card slot this would be very useful and the exclusion of the tiresome 30 minute record restriction.

With 2 SD card slots you could also copy your cameras picture profile allowing you to use it on a second “GH5″ saving a ton of set up time while using 2 cameras.

A major pain is the cameras lack of information during record mode, please stop the LCD information from timing out after 19 seconds in a firmware update.

Like all DSLRs the GH4 being no exception the lack of ND filters is a major pain during a sunny day especially as you want to keep your shutter to 1/50th of a second. Panasonic could take note by adding a slot behind the lens as was used in the 16mm Eclair during the 1980s.

HDW : These were scripted and recorded but not used as I decided it would extend the video beyond 20m and would make the back end rather boring.


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The Panasonic GH4 User Review (RT 18m)

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Me clyde

The opening sequence was filmed with a 7-14mm f4 Lumix lens at the 14mm end making sure all the action is in silhouette. This “User Review” has taken an age to film and edit and I only concentrate on the video capabilities of the camera.

98% of all footage was shot with 1-2 GH4′s and the odd cutaway shot with the GH3. Although the camera is more than capable viewfinder wise, sunny daylight shots are certainly improved with the use of a loupe, something I was not in favour of before I saw the “light”.

On the whole we used a Cambo loupe which was a pre production model that needs some tweaking to fit the LCD screen.

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BBC strike called off pending a successful day of renegotiations.

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Now I am better informed here is a more factual account…BBC employees wages have been frozen by austerity cuts for many years now whilst we continue to see executives, managers and senior ‘government appointed’ BBC trust members help themselves to salaries and benefit packages that would make Donald Trump jealous, this is primarily why BBC employees are hacked off and threatening strike action.


Why I no longer belong to a union ?

I was once in the ACTT and while working in Radio Clyde we were called to a union meeting in the board room…”STV are out on strike how do we plan to follow this” was the battle cry of the union leader…then Jimmy Gordon entered the room the MD of Radio Clyde and said “If anyone from this station goes out on strike you will be dismissed” and walked out the room.

Deathly silence then Colin the union rep stands up and says “OK lads it’s clear none of us want to lose our jobs so we will write to STV and tell them they have our full sympathy but unfortunately can’t follow them with strike action”.

That was the last time I attended any union meeting and had nothing but admiration for Jimmy Gordon for bringing a potentially bad situation to an abrupt halt, this was thirty years ago  seemingly this would not happen today.



BBC Employee “As to the timing of this proposed 12 hour walk out, unfortunate maybe, but threatening coverage of high profile events WILL make management take notice, threatening transmission of the 9 O’ Clock news and Eastenders WILL NOT.”

HDW : This blog started off very biased towards union touting “we want more money” greedy workers to a more informed blog about an ordinary, overworked workforce who have watched management take the cream while the technicians etc get the scraps.

Sadly this happens all over industry, the managers get the Audi’s, bigger salaries and all the perks while the under appreciated workers get a bus home, the BBC like the NHS has an abundance of overpaid management levels stuck in their rooms with never-ending pointless meetings trying to justify their right to exist.

It’s poor in 2014 when a workforce is so undervalued that the word strike and unions raise their ugly heads less than a week before the Commonwealth Games and worse still having to use the games as your only bargaining chip…WAKE UP BBC MANAGEMENT….TALK TO THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER…AND STOP HIDING BEHIND COMMITTEES AND MEETINGS !

UPDATE : BBC strike called off pending a successful day of renegotiations. Union members to be consulted regarding new pay offer. So the Commonwealth Games opener will be transmitted as normal.


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Panasonic GH4 User Review this week

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GH4 Review teaser

Reviews take time to film and edit in between paying jobs so please be patient, this is a still from my opening sequence all shot in silhouette. NOTE : This User Review only covers the video side of the GH4.

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Opinion “ADOBE’s Creative Cloud is losing customers”

Categories: Miscellaneous 15 Comments



At the best part of £43 a month Adobe’s Creative Cloud is losing customers not helped by the major hacking scandal a few months ago when we were told to change our passwords ASAP.

On a daily routine I never use Premiere Pro or many of the APPs given as part of the monthly subscription known as the “Creative Cloud”.

I do need Encore which is Adobe’s DVD authoring program but Adobe don’t see a future for Encore and stopped supporting it over 18 months ago. I also use Photoshop which Adobe has recently packaged at about £8 per month to include Lightroom.

If I could get a single copy of Encore I could swap over to the cheaper £8 package saving me £35 a month.

Many of my colleagues are in a similar boat but having PCs are intending to move over to Edius 7 at £461 plus vat. Edius is capturing more than just the imagination now that Adobe are set on continuing with the cloud system of software delivery.

Alistair “I have Premiere 5.5 and have spent in the region of £2K over the last few years upgrading from one version to another but being locked into a subscription  with Adobe does nothing for me other than to look else ware. I have heard a lot of good things about Edius but as usual don’t know anyone who has the program to let me see it before I buy a copy.”

Last month Adobe had a major server problem causing no end of problems with peoples subscriptions and gave a lot of us time to re-think this cloud business.

For many professionals £43 a month is not a vast sum of money to pay for a major editing platform plus all the other goodies the CC entitles you to download but it’s more the principal of being locked into a never-ending increasing subscription scheme that annoys people.

Adobe are already changing the goal posts with there Photoshop deal, lets hope they can broker more deals like this to keep their world wide 3.5 million subscriptions…live !


Matt “As Adobe Premiere Pro is neither my key edit platform nor a regular one, I too am Leaving the Creative Cloud sincere introductory rate is ending. I simply do not get the value.

I am returning to CS6, which provides all I need without the commitment and the complications. The Internet based license checking had disaster on two occasions when needing to edit far from an Internet connection. Adobe’s billing system is prone to forget key details like rolling subscriptions. I had to revert to FCPX on both jobs.

So, as I have spent more time updating and managing the software than actually using it, I am ditching Creative Cloud, unless clients specify it and I will add an appropriate charge to cover short term rental.

There was a time when a freelance editor would manage three packages to remain fluent on their clients’ chosen platforms. Adobe Creative Cloud’s cost structure assumes that this is the primary platform, come what may. Or, cynically, people will err more to CC in order to get value from it and this starve other platforms.

Final Cut Pro X is getting better and better at longer projects and in handling greater numbers or durations of assets. In the earlier years, this was not the forte of FCPX, and Adobe Premiere was a backup that did “grown up” things like BITC and key frames colour correction.

Whilst we’re still waiting for a few needed features in FCPX, the Adobe Creative Cloud experience – for this user at least – a trial that didn’t work out well. Increasing cost, strident licensing that doesn’t understand the current lack of Internet, the security breeches and loss of private info, the upward cost spiral and the truculent billing system that required three hour tech support chats add up to a ‘thanks but no thanks’.

A return to CS6 is not a long term fix, though. I fear that planned obsolescence is a part of Aobe’s plans, and who knows what lies beyond Yosemite for Mac users such as I.

But I can’t bear the thought of not having Audition – nee CoolEdit Pro. Such a shame Adobe walled this in as a bundle – again, Adobe’s policy of only selling Suites may suit Adobe but not the users.

And you, Philip, using the DVD software part of CC – Encore was effectively hidden from CC users and required some research and fiddling to actually download and install software we were rightly entitled to. Encore was not visibly part of the Creative Cloud.

But these are just the crazed rants of a frustrated Mac user. Bon Voyage, all you CC users – and Adobe, you’re part of the reason I have to commit to FCPX.”


Sean “Even if your only program used was After Effects, $50/month is a great deal, considering that you would have to pay something like $900 outright for the package in the perpetual model. That means you are getting the same software for a year for only $600. Consider all of the additional updates and new features that they are now making each year.

If a user can’t make $50/month off of at least one of the many applications in Adobe CC, then they probably don’t deserve to have it anyway.

Did you bother to watch the annual release keynote? Did you see all of the new free pad apps including Adobe Line, Adobe Sketch and Photoshop Mix that now work with Photoshop, Illustrator and the like? You can mask out photos with your fingers, draw in Illustrator with a stylus on your iPad.

But seriously, why do I like Adobe CC? Because I can see from talking to them and from other events that I have attended that they are serious about supporting the big players in industry with their product, from the national and global news channels to the big studios. They have their ears open and are constantly improving. For instance, you can now color grade right in Premiere Pro, and not copy and paste the color grade to each subclip, just grade the main clip and it will flow to all the rest itself.

“Premiere Pro CC 2014 has Live Text templates making titling faster and easier, and features in-app access to Masking and Tracking features that were formerly exclusively the province of After Effects. With Master Clip Effects, an adjustment made to the Master Clip in your timeline — for instance, color correction — ripples down to every part of that clip in your sequence. Mercury Playback Engine performance has been improved, specifically its OpenCL performance, and Adobe has added a GPU-based debayering for RED media. It adds support for new camera formats as well as improving support for some other formats. Integration between Premiere and Speedgrade is improved, making working between the two faster and easier.”

I have been following you for years and I suppose I should not expect otherwise, you’ve always pretty much beat up on Adobe and Premiere Pro, but at least state it as opinion, rather than fact.”

HDW : Sean you may have paid $900 outright but it was yours, upgradable and you were not beholding to Adobe, remember £430 is this year what will it be 3 years down the road.

FCPX costs you £200, Motion 5 £35 and Compressor £35 one off downloads why can’t Adobe split their APPs into bite sized chunks like Apple then you only buy into what you use.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

NEW to my exclusive online shop

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See “new shop” for details.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

BBC Chief Tony Hall “OUT of TOUCH”

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Listening to my car radio this afternoon I heard an interview with BBC Director General, Tony Hall talking complete nonsense.

He has this idea that the “underworked” production staff in the BBC should get a level playing field with independent production companies.

Tony Hall ” Today, I want to talk about how we are bringing the spirit of the entrepreneur and the pioneer to the BBC. We are committed to our mission as a public broadcaster, as creative people, as reporters, as broadcasters. We will be the place where creative people come to do the best work of their lives.

But I want the BBC also to be the best at managing itself. When anyone in this country asks, where are the organisations with the most advanced thinking on management and reform, I want them to think of the BBC.

So in this speech I want to talk about our new plans. We are going to go further than we have ever done before in opening the BBC to more competition. A competition revolution and we are going to go further than we have ever done before in using external benchmarks and comparisons to drive up standards and drive down costs.

‘Compete or Compare’. That is our strategy.

Competition is good for the BBC and I want more of it. I want proper competition in programme supply, overturning the current system that no longer works as it should.

I want a less regulated system that ensures that both our own BBC producers and those of the independent sector have creative freedom.

I want a level playing-field between BBC producers and independent ones.

I want both a BBC production powerhouse that is a beacon for creativity, risk-taking and quality; and an amazing, world-beating independent sector. I want a system that supports British content and that keeps the UK competitive in a global market and this competition is going to help make the BBC as efficient as any broadcaster in the country.

But we are not going to sacrifice quality to price. We are going to have both. To use retail terminology, great programmes at great prices.


HDW : What a lot of dribble… the BBC are commissioning plenty of their own media from drama to documentaries, how can it be a level playing field when the commissioning editors work for the BBC, independent producers are constantly being rejected with good production ideas, usually on the excuse of having no budget.

What a farce that BBC producers could make programmes for ITV…where is all this extra work coming from Mr Hall. There is little enough work these days for the true independent producers without overworked BBC crews muscling in on the act.

Independent companies like myself have to buy our own equipment not order 50 Sony PMW-500’s with tax payers money…It’s easy to flaunt yourself as a producer if you have no overheads to worry about…that’s not competition it’s sheer greed…at the tax payers expense.

If I were running the BBC I think I would have more to worry about than trying to make more work for an already undervalued staff and deal with the problems at hand like too many chiefs and not enough indians making very poor decisions and laying off the wrong kind of staff.

Tony you are in cloud cuckoo land…but as we know only to well everything that shines in the BBC emanates from London…or so they think so !




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Final filming for the Panasonic GH4 User Review

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Final shots to add to the GH4 User Review…taking full advantage of the weather and this silhouette shot which could only be produced when the sun was behind a cloud.


Scott having a look through the Eclair viewfinder, sadly only a prop gleamed from my good pal Norrie, this was his pride and joy back in the 1980s. It’s a 16mm film camera used for many shorts and documentaries back in the 1970-80s.


The lens is an f2.8 Angenieux (French) 12-120 manual zoom (10x) obviously seen a lot of use but a Rolls Royce of a lens in its day.


This prop was for my outro talking about how things used to be filmed in the 80s.

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Security staff “TAKE NOTE”

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On Tuesday 21 June 2011 six photographers were assigned different areas of the City to photograph. Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4.

All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers. All six photographers were stopped on at least one occasion. Three encounters led to police intervention.

Directed and Produced by Hannah White for the London Street Photography Festival, Edited by Stuart York.


Picture by Alister Chapman

Filming at Windsor Castle by Alister Chapman…

“I was in Windsor, Berkshire, close to the Castle, a major tourist attraction, shooting with a Sony AX100, a compact consumer handycam. I was using a small 3 stage tripod and I was standing on the public right of way pavement shooting the castle. I had arrived in Windsor early to avoid the worst of the crowds.

After a few minutes I am approached by a single Police officer and a council warden. After exchanging pleasant “good mornings” The first question I am asked is: “What are you doing, is it for professional or private purposes?”.

To read more visit…

HDW : Once again this public space nonsense raises it’s ugly head with very ill informed security staff telling photographers that they cannot take pictures of a public  building as its “private”. This is a great demonstration of how stupid certain security staff can be and their total lack of knowledge for the law as it stands.

The rules of the UK for filming and photography… If you are on a public space you can film and photograph what you like, the general public do have the right to ask you not to photograph them or their family members but the taking of photographs of children in public spaces is not illegal.

UK Police Guidelines…

  1. 4.37.  There have been a number of instances highlighted in the press where officers have detained photographers and deleted images from their cameras. Andy Trotter has written to all forces to remind them that officers and staff that they should not prevent anyone from taking photographs in public. This applies equally to members of the media and public seeking to record images, who do not need a permit to photograph or film in public places.
  2. 4.38.  ACPO guidance is as follows:● There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore, members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.

    ● We need to cooperate with the media and amateur photographers. They play a vital role as their images help us identify criminals.

    ● We must acknowledge that citizen journalism is a feature of modern life and police officers are now photographed and filmed more than ever.

    ● Unnecessarily restricting photography, whether for the casual tourist or professional is unacceptable and it undermines public confidence in the police service.

    ● Once an image has been recorded, police can only seize the film or camera at the scene on the strictly limited grounds that it is suspected to contain evidence of a crime. Once the photographer has left the scene, police can only seize images with a court order. In the case of the media, the usual practice is to apply for a court order under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act for production of the photograph or film footage.

Here is the link to the ACPO guidelines for you to photocopy

In general under the law of the United Kingdom one cannot prevent photography of private property from a public place, and in general the right to take photographs on private land upon which permission has been obtained is similarly unrestricted. However, landowners are permitted to impose any conditions they wish upon entry to a property, such as forbidding or restricting photography. Two public locations in the UK, Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, have a specific provision against photography for commercial purposes without the written permission of the Mayor or the Squares’ Management Team and paying a fee, and permission is needed to photograph or film for commercial purposes in the Royal Parks.

This is what happened…

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