Welcome back yet again for another week of the Anamorphic Cinematography Challenge! This week is brought to you by our sponsor...oh who am I kidding, what sponsor?! Anyways, let's get right into this week.
This week falls under the category of artistic with the prompt being to shoot texture, specifically, "The artistic inspiration this week is texture. You should almost be able to feel the image."
So I sat and pondered for a bit and had quite a few ideas float through my head before I had the realization that the vintage chair I was sitting in had great texture! The old orange vinyl with the stitching starting to show more with age, it was perfect!
So I threw on a macro lens and got to shooting. Let's check out this week's shot now.
This week was shot with the BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f5.6, 180 degree shutter, 800asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens at 35mm.
So let's start off with the negative stuff this week since I've been in a negative mood all day anyways. My first issue with this shoot was really myself. I was having the worst handheld day that I have had in a long time.
I really wanted to shoot this handheld so that I could have movement beyond a pan or tilt. I wanted the camera to be able to move on three axis to add some character. But of course my hands had to have some unnatural shake to them that led to very unsteady footage.
Even with some warp stabilizer on it in post production I couldn't seem to get it to smooth out at all. In the end I said eff it and went all frozen on it (I let it go).
The next issue I had was deciding on which portion of the shot to use. As I limit myself to 15 second clips I had to pick which portion to use and of course like the beginning and end but not the middle.
I decided to go with the beginning because I really like how much texture shows through on the vinyl. The dirt in the vinyl shows the life that the chair has been through while the stitching also shows up really well.
The final negative I have for this week was lens mounting. Somehow my anamorphic lens was not 100% lined up with the taking lens and I ended up with a bit of black vignetting. Normally I'm fine with a bit of vignetting but not this time. No, the vignetting was in only one corner. ONE!
This meant that to hide the REAAAALLY heaving corner vignette that I had to zoom in on the whole image to 105% to hide most of it. Luckily the rest that was left behind was mostly hidden in the darkness of that corner of the frame.
To get the macro this close I used two macro lenses stacked up, a +1 and a +2 so that I would have a +3 lens. I've played around with my +4 lens before and it was just a bit too much which also meant that the +10 was out.
The final aspect of this week that I did like though was the surprise texture that showed up in the pillow that was sitting on the chair. I really like how the wool texture came through so well at the end, even if it is only for a second.
So that's about all I have to say about that. Make sure to come back next week! And as always, if you are taking part in a 52 week challenge whether it is photography or cinematography, please share your shot for this week in the comments below (considering no one ever shares I'm beginning to feel like I'm talking to myself a bit).
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!
This week was something that was truly new to me, to shoot a high key portrait. Most of what I have shot over the years has been either an even exposure or leaning towards darker. Not this week though!
The prompt for this week was "Expose to the right and create a light, airy high key portrait." I think that I can safely say that I accomplished that this week, emphasis on the light airy aspect.
Finding a subject for this week was the easiest part of the shoot by far. I simply had to turn to my beautiful fiance and ask nicely (and maybe agree to take the trash out for a while). Now let's go ahead and watch the video.
This week was shot on the BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f5.6, 360 degree shutter, 1600asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens.
I made a slight change in my camera settings this week with a lower f-stop. Normally I have avoided this because the image tends to be softer, but that was a perfect look for this week's shot.
By shooting slightly softer, the bright light had a very nice smooth look on both skin and fabric to give an overall airy look to the image that I really like.
This week was a really nice change compared to a few of the past weeks. The whole "hmm what should I shoot this week..." contemplation never really happened at all. I decided to set up the shot in front of the sliding glass doors in my apartment.
This allowed for a nice bright backdrop with interesting light patterns as the camera moved due to the blinds. The light changes are very subtle but are most certainly there. This back lighting also meant that I would get a generally nice smooth rolloff of the light across skin.
This was because the direction my apartment faces means that it was not direct sunlight. Despite this somewhat softer version of sunlight, I still ran into a difficulty associate with the lens system I am shooting on.
This was the most difficult part of the shoot. The adapted lens set up tends to run into slight issues with bright lighting. You may have noticed in the video the slight blue aberrations around some of the brighter portions of the image.
This is unfortunately not visible while shooting and only really shows up with a combination of any color grading and the stretching of the image. To reduce this effect I simply de-sharpened the entire image slightly.
This was also another week where I found myself using a vintage film emulating look. This time it was simply one of the included Fuji looks that come with Premiere Pro CC.
I also found that to really help exaggerate the high key look of the image that the best LUT to start with was the preset in Premiere for the Phantom. This took the log image and pulled the shadows up and pushed the highlights even further.
So another week down just to move on to the next one. If you are participating in a photography or cinematography challenge of your own please share your image for this week in the comments below! If you enjoyed reading this or watching the video, please feel free to share it!
Yet another week now completed, we are 12 weeks into this year and this project is going strong. For this week my biggest challenge was simply motivation. Trying to force myself to go out and film this was especially difficult this week.
But I made sure to push myself to get off my ass and go film, let nothing stand in my way. So for this week's assignment I set up shop on an overpass over highway 36 and got to filming.
This week's assignment was "Our world is one defined by how we get around. Literal or interpretative, find inspiration in transportation."
And now, the video:
This week was shot on the BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f8.0, 60 degree shutter, 200asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens.
Really this was a pretty straight forward shoot. I for once had great weather with barely even a breeze, the sun was out and the haze over Denver was dissipated. While out filming I had a few different shots in mind and decided to film them all.
Overall I filmed about 8 different angles with different camera movement, or lack thereof, for each angle. This of course made it difficult to decide on which shot to go with for the final video.
I chose the shot that I did because it had the most interesting movement and I loved how the camera movement ended up following a basically lone black car as it went down the almost empty highway.
This made for a nice juxtaposition to the other side of the highway where there was a much more steady flow of traffic going in the opposite direction.
I also really liked this shot because of how clearly downtown Denver can be seen in the background. Lately we have been having a lot of hazy days where downtown pretty much just looks like a silhouette so this was a nice shot to get.
A big difficulty that I ran into for this shot was that I wasn't feeling well and it showed in my camera motion.
My shaky hands translated into the pans and tilts of the tripod head leading to shots that weren't as steady as they could have been. But as always I was able to compensate for the motion jitters in post.
Well that's it for this week! Make sure to check back next week for the next installment to this series of videos. If you're participating in your own 52 week photography or cinematography challenge, please make sure to share your work in the comments below!