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Los Angeles, CA—I have gotten questions from my readers about how I go about getting material for this blog. They also want to know the tools needed to do the job.
First let me say I write my own material. I don’t rewrite other’s property or lift other’s words.
I make those calls to the newsmakers and the various public information officers. I grab available court records and post them when it helps illustrate the story.
I do a lot of my own video and pictures. Court photography is different because rules require a pool photographer to share video and pictures with all of the other journalists.
The equipment needed is better, lighter and cheaper than ever. If you only use text for a blog all that is needed is a computer with Internet access. If you want graphics and video you need cameras, Photoshop and video editing software. I use Corel Videostudio Pro X2 that sells for around $100.00.
My newest video camera is amazing. It’s the $200.00 Flip Mino HD. It has no tape and will record for 60 minutes. You can deploy it from your pocket in three seconds. The video from the flip has blown me away.
Always make sure your camera’s microphone is close enough to your sound source. The Flip does not allow for external or wireless mics at this juncture. I’m sure future models may allow for that. Whenever possible have a good light source to bring out the color and definition of your video.
The equipment above includes:
1. The Flip Mino HD camera and a small tripod.
2. A good quality digital camera, pictured is the Panasonic Lumix
3. A digital recorder, pictured is an Olympus offering
4. A small rechargeable video light and bracket, this one is a Sima
5. A cell phone with e-mail capability
Not pictured is a laptop or desktop computer.
My Flip Mino HD is smaller than most cell phones you can get you video without people running and ducking to get out of your shot. I have added a video that was shot and uploaded with the Flip Mino HD. Be sure to click the HD button on the YouTube screen to get the maximum quality. This is my friend Andrea visiting from Berlin.