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!
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!
Week 11 is in the bag! The prompt for this week was "Find a way to show your landscape/natural beauty in reflection. The mirror world revealed."
To start, this is another week where the location was impacted by wind but for once it ended up being a blessing in disguise. The original location I was going to shoot at was a pond/fountain outside of a hotel in Westminster.
But due to the wind, the "wake" on the pond was too much to get a clear reflection of any kind. So I started walking towards another fountain that I had seen near by when I noticed the little creek running along the walking path.
As it would turn out, the bridge crossing over the creek would give me the perfect overlook on the creek to get a beautiful reflection of the grass and trees along the side of the creek as well as the sky.
So let's move on and watch the video:
This week was shot on the BMPCC in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f8.0, 180 degree shutter, 200asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens.
I'm going to start with my favorite thing about this shot. The color. I love that the color came out with such a nice half and half of blue and yellow.
Because of the time of year all the grass around the creek was still yellow and the sky was clear enough to reflect blue across the water. This went well with the LUT I used that emulates the color of vintage Kodak Kodachrome. Mmm, vintage color.
I'm just going to say, vintage style LUTs are fantastic! I digress...
So when I filmed this I decided to just film handheld since I didn't have a location locked down and I really didn't feel like lugging around a tripod in the wind. This ended up going pretty well since I kept the motion minimal and could stabilize the footage in post.
A tripod would have been nice though since I was shooting over the railing of a bridge and had to hold the camera up above the railing. So I decided to use the railing as a partial stabilizer so that there wouldn't be so much shake.
This was the hardest part though. Even the movement using the railing for stabilizing kept creating awkward movements that didn't quite look right. I also tried shooting with the camera unmoving and doing a regular no movement shot and a time lapse.
But neither of these options really looked that good so I kept trying with a moving shot. This was also the reason that I shot at 30fps so that I could slow the footage just slightly. Not only did this lengthen the shot but also gave a smoothing effect to the movement.
Honestly this week was pretty straightforward though so I don't have much more to say about the shoot so I'll just end it here.
If you are participating in a photography or cinematography challenge, please share this week's shot in the comments below!