Ah I love the feeling of being all caught up, well with at least one thing in my life! This is the shot for this week, week 17 of 52. This was another one of those weeks that I didn't have to sit and ponder what I was going to film. I already knew.
The prompt for this week was to shoot a landscape showing off an urbanscape. The exact prompt was "Most Landscapes are wide open spaces of natural beauty... this week find the beauty of the urbanscape/cityscape."
So for this week I went to a place that holds a place in many a Denver citizen's heart, Lakeside Amusement Park. What could be better than all of the lines of an old wooden roller coaster at a classic amusement park?
So let's take a peek at this week's video then get into further details.
This week was shot with the BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f5.6, 45 degree shutter, 200asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens at 50mm.
I decided on the Lakeside Amusement Park because it has a great classic wooden roller coaster. Once I got there, I picked my shot location for it's proximity to the highway on ramp that is right next to the park.
I knew I was going to shoot with some sort of camera movement and wanted to get just a bit of the highway in the background as I moved the focus of the shot to the roller coaster. I just felt that nothing is more fitting of an urbanscape than a highway.
But I didn't want that to be the focus, in fact I wanted it to be subtle, so all you actually see of the high way on ramp is the curve of it at the beginning of the shot.
I also really like how the mountains turned out in the background. There was a storm starting to roll in way off in the distance so the haziness caused the mountains to blur together into a bluish silhouette with an almost water color look.
I also like all the texture that came out of the clouds. In the raw shot, they are actually quite bland and blended together, but with my favorite vintage kodachrome emulating LUT, they really came out nicely.
Now my least favorite part of this shot/shoot was the traffic. I could not get a steady break in traffic long enough to get the shot with no cars. Normally this wouldn't bother me that much, but I really don't like how the cars show off the rolling shutter of the camera.
As anyone who has ever shot on the pocket cinema camera knows, the rolling shutter on it is absolutely awful. Anything moving that fast, like I don't know maybe cars, will come out looking slanted.
I even tried using rolling shutter repair to make the cars look less angled, but it was a no go. Did literally nothing to make them look better. So I said screw it, I like the shot enough even with the cars that I can let my perfectionism go long enough to export the clip.
The other tough thing that I had to deal with while filming this was the sun. Although there were tons of clouds off in the background, there were none providing any relief from the very harsh sunlight.
This means that any fine lines or really bright areas will become victim to the anamorphic projector lens' chromatic aberrations issue that I have noted before. The only plus to this lens is that it tends to give a better highlight rolloff than any of my other lenses.
This is good because that is another area the pocket cinema camera lacks in, highlight rolloff. It does not create soft rolloffs whatsoever. In fact, I've noticed that my little Canon t3i DSLR has better highlight rolloff than the pocket cinema camera.
But I just love that 13 stop dynamic range and shooting raw too much to use my DSLR over the pocket cinema camera.
So that's all for this week. I hope to see you next week! If you're participating in a 52 week photography or cinematography challenge, please share your image for this week in the comments below!
Well this week we are a week behind, so be prepared for another posting this week! That's right, this is only post one of this week! Where was I last week you ask? Well, I was in my favorite and least favorite place that I go to every April...Las Vegas!
Oh yeah, it's that time of year, the time for NAB Show! 2016 was yet another good year, but it did keep me away from the anamorphic challenge since, I'll be honest, there was no way in hell I was lugging around the anamorphic rig in Vegas.
So coming back the first thing I had to do was play catch up, shooting first my shot for week 16. The prompt? Movement. So I dragged my fiance out to a park and knocked this one out of the park (some pun intended there).
The prompt for this week was "Most portraits are stationary, so this week explore adding some movement. Dancing, twirling, or even hair flips."
So enough prattling on, let's go ahead and watch the video shall we?!
As always let's start with the tech specs behind the shoot.
This week was shot on the BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f5.6, 45 degree shutter, 200asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens at 50mm.
So this week I want to start with what I liked about the shoot instead of the difficulties that came up.
First of all, my favorite part of this week was filming with my favorite person. Everyone knows that a shoot is much more fun when you work with people you care about and enjoy being around.
The other part of the shoot that I really liked was how the footage looked with just a tiny bit of slowing down. I shot this at 30fps but edited at 24. This means that I could slow the footage to 80% speed while still maintaining a smooth look.
That 20% decrease in speed actually made a huge difference. It gave the shot a sort of surreal feeling rather than one of realism or slow motion. It's hard to put into words the effect, but I most notice it in the background towards the end of the shot.
My next favorite part of the shoot was simply the weather. It was a great sunny day, no wind for once, and there were actually clouds in the sky. As I have said before, I'm a big fan of clouds since they add depth to a shot and are more interesting than clear skies.
I also love how the harsh sunlight worked out in the still moment that I chose for sharing this shot. It works out so that her spin and smile line up perfectly with the warmth of the sun as she turns into it. Just fantastic.
Now let's talk about difficulties, beyond getting my fiance to step in front of the camera. The biggest difficulty I came across was deciding on movement. At first I tried to do handheld shots following her as she walked.
I didn't end up liking how these were turning out, mostly because since the weather was calm, her hair didn't move and it really didn't scream movement (beyond the camera itself moving).
In the end, my fiance is actually the one who suggested spinning when I got tired of lugging the camera and said I wanted to come up with a shot that didn't involve carrying the camera. So really you could say that this shot came out of laziness.
So all in all there weren't many difficulties for this week's shot, and I'm really happy with the way that it turned out.
Stay tuned to see the next shot that is also coming out this week! And as always, if you are participating in a 52 week challenge, whether it be photography or cinematography, please share your shot for this week in the comments below!
Welcome back for yet another week of the anamorphic cinematography challenge! Week 15 is an artistic category with the assignment being to get a shot focusing on metal. So many choices for metal to film, but there weren't any concerts going on (get it? metal? well I thought it was funny at least.)
The prompt for this week was "Cold, hard steel. Shiny Aluminum. Or even rusted and broken down. Find your inspiration in metal this week."
I decided that my subject matter would be the train tracks that run by my apartment. I've always loved shots of train tracks, the perfect lines, they just make for great shots. So let's go ahead and watch the shot for this week.
Let's talk tech specs. This week was shot on the BMPCC (I know, AGAIN, what a shock) in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f5.6, 45 degree shutter, 200asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens set to around 45mm.
So where to start talking about this week. Well first let's address a "challenge" that I faced to get this week's shot. The challenge was a little sign posted right next to the tracks about the legal ramifications of "trespassing" on the tracks.
Yeah that's right, I'm a rebel. I sneakily got onto the tracks after making sure no one was around and quickly got my illegal shot. Or maybe I'm bullshitting you and just dismissed the sign and took the whole two minutes to get my shot with no worries.
Disclaimer for those reading (just to cover my own ass) I do not in any way condone breaking the law to get the shot, especially in real production situations where you can put crew at risk as everyone learned with a now infamous and tragic train tracks filming incident.
But other than that one "Challenge" this week really was pretty simple. After narrowing down the abundance of options for metal subject matter I just had to pop out of my apartment and get the shot.
It also worked out well that I was exporting proxy video files that were taking over my computer for a few hours so this actually was giving me something to do as well!
Now my favorite part of this shot is the clouds in the background. There was a big storm starting to blow into town when I filmed this so there was a bunch of big fluffy clouds in the background.
Personally I love a nice full sky as a background rather than just a clear blue sky. It's a lot less boring.
This also gave a great look color wise from the warmth of the rocks, metal, and trusses of the tracks to the coolness of the sky.
After I filmed this I ended up watching Mad Max Fury Road and caught myself coloring my shot very similar to their extreme orange and blue color grade. I toned it down once I noticed but I really do love a good orange and blue color grade.
Well that's it for this week, make sure to come back next week to see what's next! As always, if you are participating in a cinematography or photography challenge please make sure to share your image for this week in the comments below!
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!