This week's assignment was one that to some might seem counter intuitive, a zoomed in Landscape. When you hear landscape what do you think? Big, sprawling spaces right? Well not this week.
The prompt for this week was "Most landscapes are wide sweeping images. Try an alternative and zoom in instead." This made for an interesting challenge for one really simple reason...the anamorphic lens set up I use doesn't like telephoto lenses.
So to get around this I set myself up with the biggest focal length that agrees with the anamorphic lens and popped on a macro lens attachment. Let's take a look at the shot shall we?
Alright let's get the tech specs out of the way. This week was shot on the BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f5.6, 72 degree shutter, 200asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens set to 50mm.
To get the close up shot of the branches like I did I had to use a +2 macro lens attachment. This time I didn't turn to my Fotga but instead I decided to try out the new Vivtar brand macro's that I picked up a few weeks ago.
I have to say, every time that I use a +2 macro I can't help but notice that my images are much sharper at lower f stops than the anamorphic lens normally produces, so I always find myself pretty content with the image quality.
So for subject matter, you might think that I filmed the branches of a tree, but you'd be wrong. Since I busted out the +2, I had to be much closer to the subject than a tree would allow (without busting out my awesome tree climbing skills).
So what I found was a cool looking bush at a park not far from my place. I went handheld and started my shot at ground level pointed about center of the bush then moved the camera up to catch a nice flare from the sun.
This was one of those great weeks where everything just kind of came together so it's hard to say what the most difficult aspect of the shoot was. Really there were to minor discomforts more than difficulties.
The first was wind that couldn't make up its mind whether to blow hard or stop completely.... every thirty seconds. This just made it so I sometimes struggled against the random hard gusts that would catch my monitor and add unwanted camera movement.
The next was that my arms and shoulders were still ridiculously sore from filming in Denver over the weekend.
Turns out that carrying around a heavy tripod and full camera rig for about 4 hours straight while traversing all of Downtown Denver will leave you hurting. Since I decided to shoot this week's video handheld I was feeling that soreness really quickly.
What I think I liked most about this week were random little things that just worked out well. For one thing, even shooting handheld at the equivalent focal length of almost 150mm the shot came out relatively stable.
Some days it seems like the anamorphic set up will just give me shaky footage even on a tripod, but I got a nice handheld look without awful shake which was nice.
The other thing that I really liked about this week was how the lens and camera handled blownout portion of the shot in post for color. A lot of times with this set up I have been seeing weird chromatic aberrations in highlights but not this time. I was kinda shocked.
The last thing that I really liked for this week was the fact that it gave me a reason to use a macro. Shooting with the +2 gives such a great SUPER shallow depth of field (compared to without) when using the anamorphic lens, and I am a sucker for shallow depth of field.
Overall this was just a good week for filming so I have to say I just liked this week a lot and I look forward to next week.
As always, if you are participating in a 52 week photography or cinematography challenge, please share your shot for this week in the comments below, I'd love to check it out!
Now I'm out so I can go watch The Force Awakens! Peace out!
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Alan Meyer is an experienced cinematographer, but is no stranger to writing.