"The devil is in the details," as the saying goes. And, indeed, it is, as I learned recently. I have most things organized now for when I want to video record an episode in my basement studio for any of my three series. My Video Update episodes require the least amount of setup now that I have my lighting and audio connections figured out and ready to go with almost no prep. However, for my Photography & Technology Tools episodes, which I do in front of a white wall, I use two separate CFL lights to flood the wall, a soft box with two CFL lights as a main light on me, and a small octabox with one CFL light inside as a fill light on me. In addition, I use my Røde VideoMicro mic attached to the camera with which I'm recording - either my Olympus OM-D E-M1 or E-M5 II - using a xx-foot-long (xx meters) cable that I string from hooks from the ceiling. I have used a similar setup for the few episodes I've recorded for my Learning Photography series, too, but against a black background and no flooding lights.


However, sometimes I need to move things around. I may move the lights to use them for product shots or to record over-the-shoulder B-Roll clips. I may have to replace the constant lights with flashes if I have a flash session with a student or a shoot of my own that requires flash. If that happens, then I need to set things up from scratch to record a video session. Recently, I have been trying to set things up for Photography & Technology Tools episodes, for example, and record three to five episodes one after the other. So, no changing of set between episodes. I had done that a week or so ago and then recently decided to record myself organizing and packing my camera gear for an upcoming trip. No need to fool with lights. They were all in place. Since I was going to sit on the floor for this recording, I did need to lower the tripod holding my E-M1 and frame the scene properly. All good. Ready to shoot. So I thought.

I use the remote control capability via wi-fi available with my O-MD cameras, so I got that working, sat down on the floor and began to record. All looked good, but 19 minutes in, I noticed that my iPhone, with which I was monitoring my recording, displaying a message, "Unable to connect to remote camera." Hmmm?? What's up with that? I got up to check the camera and saw that the camera was displaying the dreaded "Card Full" message! #&$%#! Darn it! How stupid of me! OK. I had most of what I wanted, but still needed to record more. I inserted a newly formatted card in the camera, got wi-if set up again, and picked up where my camera had stopped previously. All good.

Five minutes into my next recording, the same thing happened. What?! Can't be, I thought. I got up, checked the camera. Black LCD screen. Power off. Power on. Whoops! Battery dead! #&$%#! Darn it again!


See what I'm talking about? Two very simple things, yet I let them foil me! I put a fresh battery in the E-M1 and finished recording my episode, thinking it was no big deal since I can piece my three clips together in edit. I watched the videos on the camera. They seemed fine. Then, as I looked at the camera - Yes, there's more! - I noticed that my external mic, the Røde VideoMicro, was NOT plugged into the camera! Triple "Darn it!"

OK, so that was an unplanned 'practice' recording! The next day I made sure I had a 'clean' SD card, fully charged battery, and that the mic was plugged in! The positive outcome of this experience? The episode is far shorter than the original one would have been! And, of course, the experience reinforced that I need to do a "pre-flight" inventory before every video shooting session! Take note!