Week 3 of the 52 Week Photography Challenge created an interesting challenge in its assignment. This week was in the Artistic category with the focus on something red. The instructions for this assignment specifically were “Shoot whatever inspires you. Red should be the focus of the image. Don't be afraid to be creative.”
I had to think pretty hard on what I could shoot that was red that I felt inspired to shoot. What I came up with was shoes, and not just any shoes, but hightops. For anyone who doesn’t know me, I have a small obsession with shoes, especially when they are hightops.
So getting a pair of bright red hightops to shoot consisted of as much effort as it took to walk to my bedroom and grab a shoebox off the shelf. Okay enough gab, let’s check out the video now. Enjoy!
I shot this with my BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed CinemaDNG RAW, 400ASA, 120 degree shutter, with my vintage Kamero 35mm SLR lens at f2.8 with the adapted B&L 2X Anamorphic Projector lens attached.
I had two main challenges that I ran into with this shoot:
Due to shooting this in my living room I ran into the issue of reflecting light. This meant that I had some trouble controlling it enough to make sure that the background of the shot would be dark enough that it wouldn’t be obvious that it was in my living room.
The other challenge was getting the shoe to rotate smoothly. I don’t own a photography turntable so I found a lazy susan bearing in my random junk bin and rigged it with a section of paracord. I then wound the paracord around the bearing so that I could simply pull it and spin the shoe.
This did work, but it took many takes to get a relatively even and smooth rotation. I ended up wrapping the paracord around the lightstand that I had next to me then pulled the paracord. This meant I had to pull harder to get it to move slowly which ended up giving me a smoother rotation.
In previous weeks I’ve talked about how it is not suggested to shoot at a low F Stop with this lens setup because some say it will lack in sharpness. I tested this shot in f2.8, 4.0, and 5.6 before deciding on f2.8 for the final shot. I chose this for two main reasons: The bokeh was smoother and the depth of field was more shallow.
I got especially lucky for this shoot because I finally got the +2 macro lens attachment that I ordered from FOTGA about a month ago on the day of this shoot. This meant I could get a nice close up for the shot, showing all of the texture on the shoes and getting a nice shallow depth of field.
Since the anamorphic lens I’m using has a minimum focus distance of twelve feet, the macro lens attachment that I got moved that to be approximately 2-3 feet away. This made a crazy difference compared to my past shots with this lens set up. It also appeared to make the image slightly more sharp at the lower F Stop.
To create an interesting background (and also because I finally had shallow depth of field) I used christmas/string lights on a backdrop stand in the background. This made for the overall image more interesting while also giving it a city backdrop sort of feel.
As soon as I set it up, I fell in love with the way that the soft edges of the shoe were overlapped by the bokeh behind them. Next time that I try a shoot like this, I might go for a single bare bulb in the background and utilize the anamorphic flaring that I personally really like.
If you are participating in the 52 Week Photography Challenge or are doing your own 52 Week Cinematography Challenge, please post your shot for week 3 in the comments below!
To see every week's subject and instructions make sure to check out the Dogwood Photography blog post.