Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘Japanese’:

Mementos from the End of World War II

I recently started going through boxes of family memorabilia, set aside many years ago when I was travelling continually and there wasn’t time to spend sorting, saving, and discarding. My father, who died almost exactly 25 years ago, was a World War II navy veteran, having served mostly in the Pacific and on Okinawa.

My dad in front of a Japanese bunker

Like many who served overseas, he didn’t want to talk much about the war. Returning home in 1946, he just wanted to pick up the pieces of his life and move on. I was five when he came back, and I regret never having asked him more about his years away. I still have the Japanese rifle and bayonet he brought back, along with some of his uniform items (to be worn next by his great-grandson).

I never did learn the story behind this photo of my father, taken outside a destroyed gun emplacement, but are some things I just found that are worth sharing – first of all, a ‘surrender leaflet,’ dropped from the air over enemy troops; you may find its language interesting, particularly with respect to how male soldiers ought to dress.  Also pictured is some U.S. Military Currency, used after the war ended.

WW2 Japanese surrender leaflet - English side

WW2 Japanese surrender leaflet - Japanese side

WW2 Japanese military currency - front sideWW2 Japanese military currency - back side

George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin

Finally, a DVD recommendation about the last days of WWII in Europe: George Stevens was a noted Hollywood director and producer (Shane and The Diary of Anne Frank, among others) who during the war led a unit of filmmakers, photographers, writers and editors who documented the European theater of WWII. At the same time, while carrying out his official assignment for the army, he shot what we can only call his ‘home movies’ of the war. His son, George Stevens, Jr., produced this film, and it is a very different set of images from what was seen in movie newsreels and in the pages of Life magazine. This is a film worth owning. Once again, Amazon to the rescue.

NAB 2011: Great Noodles in Vegas and New LED Lights from Dedolight

I’m back from this year’s NAB show in Las Vegas, where it seems the year (if not the decade) of the DSLR continues. Once again, the video production part of the show was filled with cameras (Canon), accessories (Red Rock Micro and Zacuto), and a whole host of established companies anxious to show their track-mounted dollies, jibs, lenses, portable lighting, monitors, tripods and heads, etc. all supporting the EOS 5D and its kin.

We’ll get to equipment in a bit… but first, a word on other diversions. I flew out a couple of days early to meet my son, Tim (a lawyer in San Francisco) for a weekend devoted to food and amusements that are not part of what most people go to Vegas for. Tim is a big fan of Yelp.com when it comes to finding great restaurants, and his research did not disappoint. Since he arrived a few hours before me, Tim had already found (and had lunch at) a Japanese noodle restaurant, Monta, that is an absolute knockout. It has fewer than 30 seats, a short menu revolving around ramen that is the equal of any place in New York or L.A., and prices that are extremely reasonable. It’s located, as so many great places are in Las Vegas, in one of dozens of drab little strip malls that it would be just as easy to drive past.  Another reason to have a portable GPS with you.

Ramen at Monta Las Vegas

Back to NAB, there are more and more companies each year who are showing and selling LED lighting for studio and location use. But this year, I was very happy to see Dedolight’s new entry into the field, which Dedo himself has named Felloni.

Initially, production will be of the 1×1 size (12″x12″) in a very wide range of output levels and color temperatures, as well as multiple beam angles. There are daylight, tungsten, and bicolor units (variable from daylight to tungsten) — all dimmable, with the ability to be powered by battery as well as line voltage. Great specs on output and power consumption, and some very clever built-in docking of popular battery modules.

Dedolight Felloni

We’ll have all the key information on the site shortly, along with PDFs you can download. And if you’re wondering about price, it will be very pleasant surprise. Of course, Dedolight’s current tungsten and HMI lighting range also continues to expand. All the new products are about making sure that film, video, and still shooters have all the lighting tools they need whatever the assignment.

Finally, there is an infrared version of LEDZilla, the very successful on-board LED light introduced a couple of years ago. This one is called iREDZILLA. Primary applications will be for infrared (night) photography and surveillance. Specs indicate it can be used at a range of up to 130′ (based on tests with Sony’s Nightshot camcorder). Considering the popularity of recent online feeds of nesting eagles and other nature videos, I predict strong demand from nature and scientific shooters.

Dedolight iREDZILLA

Check back next week for more impressions from this year’s NAB show!