Staff Pick: Portable LED Lighting

Proper lighting can be an afterthought when you’re busy taking a photo or making a video. In Studio 300 both our A and B/C spaces have terrific preset lighting. But what do you do if you need lighting in the field? Choose from one of our two LED light kits (one 3-light or one 4-light kit). Both provide bright, dimmable light so you can get the right look.

This Staff Pick brought to you by Steve. Stop by Studio 300 and see these lights in action.

Easy cart makeover

file_000Once upon a time there was a grey cart that lived in the Vortex. It had a bevy of amazing items that Teens could use to channel their inner artist and get creative.

There was only one problem: the cart was too plain.

Using Studio 300 technology we gave the cart a much-needed makeover. After designing the graphics using Adobe Illustrator, we sent the files to our vinyl cutter, and then installed the finished pieces on the cart. The pictures tell the story.


Visit Studio 300 and learn about how to use the vinyl cutter for your next project.

Practical Tech with Tony – 015 – Technology & the Law

Just want to reiterate that neither Jeffrey or I are lawyers, so take whatever we say as opinion and not as pure fact, although we try very hard to get our facts right.

As technology makes it way further and further into our society, into our work, our schools, our homes, we need to stay on top of how things are playing out in the legal sphere. The law tends to be very reactive and not very proactive. Technology is developing faster than the law can keep up.

No list of links directly related to this topic for this podcast, but if you are Twitter user, I’m going to give you the handles of some technology feeds that I pay close attention to. They all have corresponding websites, but the Twitter feeds are the best for monitoring breaking news.

ArsTechnica – @arstechnica
TechCruch – @techcrunch
Reddit Tech – @reddit_tech
Engadget – @engadget
Gizmodo – @Gizmodo
Wired – @WIRED
Internet of Shit – @internetofshit – This is a great one to watch for the outrageous items being connected to the Internet. He also focuses on how things go so terribly wrong. “Why did they connect THIS to the Internet?” is another ongoing theme. Recently he’s had a series of tweets about having to update light bulbs with new firmware/software and an Internet-connected winebottle.


GoPro in Space

Check out this cool video of a GoPro. In a water bubble.  In space.

NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst used a GoPro camera while on the International Space Station. What makes this exception is that they submerged the camera in a ball of water. The video shows the results below:

Don’t forget you can check out the GoPro from Studio 300! And it’s O.K if you take it into space, but the checkout period is only 3-days so it’ll have to be a short flight.

Helpful app for photographers

ImageA light meter is an important photographer’s tool. These devices range from very basic and inexpensive to expensive multipurpose models. If you have an Android phone, check out the free beeCam light meter app on the Google play store. This app uses your phone’s front lens to take a light reading. You can can set the aperture, ISO, or shutter speed and see the results based on the reading. It is easy and simple to use and the results are easily understood.

At Studio 300, we also have the Sekonic Pro L-478D hardware light meter. In a head-to-head competition, nine times out of ten the beeCam light readings were identical to the Sekonic ones. The only incorrect reading was within a half step in aperture. These were surprising results from a handy little app. Granted the Sekonic light meter has many more features that make it worth its retail tag, but the beeCam light meter app is a great alternative for simple light readings.

We have a wide-range of photography equipment available for use in Studio 300 and to checkout.

Studio 300 equipment – handle with care!

From the latest iMac computers and top shelf microphones to state-of-the-art video equipment and more, there’s no doubt that Studio 300 is loaded with great gear.  However, even with the latest and best, each piece of gear has its physical limitations.  While it may seem that some gear, such as mic stands and cables, can withstand repeated heavy use, every piece has its breaking point when given the right circumstances.  Care should be taken when using all of the gear.


We’ve recently found some damage to one of our audio interfaces.  Here is a picture of the circuit board and the inside of the headphone jack.  The jack itself is cracked and broken as if the headphones had been struck while plugged into the interface.  While the exact circumstances aren’t known, this is something that could have been avoided with proper care and handling.

Here are a few ideas ensure that the equipment in Studio 300 will last for years to come:

  • Plan on taking time in your session for setup and tear-down.  Rushing while handling gear is a recipe for mishaps.
  • Educate yourself and your group about the gear you’re using. Ask the staff if you don’t understand.
  • Make sure to run microphone, power, and patch cables so that they are not in danger of being tripped on.
  • Secure mics and cameras on their stands and tripods and extend the stands and tripods correctly so there is no risk of tipping.
  • When using studio monitors and headphones, turn volumes to a low setting during initial setup to prevent harm to your the gear and your ears!
  • When equipment is not in immediate use (such as digital cameras and handheld camcorders) keep them in their protective cases.
  • Use care when plugging in power cables, as they are fragile at both ends and prone to cracking and fraying.

Follow these tips to keep the equipment collection in top working order so every person gets an opportunity to use it.

New equipment arrived

FenderAcousticGuitarWe’ve added a few items to our already extensive equipment collection here at Studio 300. Our new Fender acoustic guitar joins our electric and bass guitars and all are available for use in the space. This acoustic guitar also has an electronic pick-up which makes it even easier to record. Of course, you can use our extensive mic collection, too.

Two new Canon Vixia HD camcorders bring added functionality for video productions made in Studio 300. These powerful camcorders are also available for 3-day checkout. Best of all these units accept an external microphone which makes them ideal for video interviews, promotional videos, mini-documentaries, and more.


We are always adding new equipment to the options available to our patrons and to keep up with growing demand. Is there some equipment or software that you wish was available for use in Studio 300? Let us know.

Protecting Tech Devices in Extreme Heat

30554_PhotoIt’s 95 degrees out (but it feels much hotter). The sun beats down without a cloud in sight. Taking care of yourself during these dog days of summer is hard enough. You also need to protect your electronic equipment, including items you checkout from Studio 300. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to protecting electronic gadgets from extreme weather conditions.

In hot weather, keep electronics in the shade at all times. That doesn’t include the trunk or glove compartment of your car — both of those spaces can get really hot! Consider using a cooling fan for laptops even if you normally don’t use one.  Keep an umbrella handy to keep equipment safe from the rain and sun.  If the equipment gets too hot, don’t stick it in a fridge or freezer.  Electronics need to be cooled down gradually so simply taking it into an air conditioned room for a few minutes will do the trick.

Many electronics have plastic films to keep sand from getting into the crevices and cases to protect them from water.  Products from DryCASE and OtterBox are air tight zip lock bags ideal for tablets, phones, and headphones. You might want to save those silica gel packets you get in shoe boxes and with other gear — they absorb moisture and are perfect for keeping your electronic drier on high humidity days.

goproWe have the GoPro Hero 2 available in Studio 300 which can use a waterproof case — perfect for that jet ski ride. The camera can heat up quickly just like any other gear, so follow the above tips, too.

Versatile camcorder

sample photo from the Panasonic HX-WA2 Camcorder

sample photo from the Panasonic HX-WA2 Camcorder

Check out our Panasonic HX-WA2 HD Camcorder, (literally it will be available for check out!) this amazing little camcorder is the perfect companion for birthdays, graduation, vacation and so much more.  Weighing in at only 8.4oz and only about 5 inches in height it is very portable. Shoots both video and picture without having to go through a menu to make the change. Shoots up to 14 megapixels for both video and picture. So if you have a birthday, special event, or school project to shoot, this great little camera is definitely up to the task. Don’t forget to ask a Studio 300 staff member about this and other great equipment available for checkout to Fountaindale Library cardholders.