I often like to travel to different locations and spend time trying cameras, lenses, camera techniques then workshop the footage in relation to grade and pushing the image.
Here is a timelapse I shot a few years back when I had some hours to kill in The Blue Mountains region of Greater Western Sydney, Australia.
Filmed on the Canon 5D MkII with a 50mm Carl Zeiss and a Canon 35mm L-series prime.
Graded in ‘Looks’ and ‘Lightroom’
I have been working with cameras in various forms since 2001, starting as a documentary filmmaker, then video journalism and moving into cinematography roles on various projects. This is my first attempt at a showreel made up of images I have shot over the past couple of years.
Most of the shots were filmed on the following cameras, all of which I enjoy for different reasons.
1) Sony FS700 – I use this a lot as a documentary, run-and-gun camera as it has built-in ND filters which is handy when there is no Assistant Camera and also does 200fps which I love shooting. The martial arts footage, Fitness First promo, were all shot on this camera.
2) RED Scarlet – I have been using these increasingly for short film projects or projects that I can have an assistant with me to help out. Not as run-and-gun as the FS700 but gives incredible flexibility in post which can be helpful.
3) Canon 5D mk2 – Previously my gun-and-gun but only when I can either juggle audio as well or have a soundie with me. Mainly used for when I need to be a little more covert or when I need low light capabilities.
In May 2012, I was asked by our friends at The Other Dimension to spend 14-days travelling around Oman to shoot 100+ online videos for Oman Tourism. All videos were to be shot exclusively in a POV style to show the experience of travel throughout the country. Ninja Milk (my company) also produced a Cinema Ad from the footage which would be shown across Australia and New Zealand.
Here is a travel diary I cut together to highlight the diversity of Oman and all the locations, adventures we crammed into two weeks of production.
For this project, with the only crew being a producer, sound-recordist and myself, it meant being adaptable and portable so I shot on the Canon 5Dm2 as it wouldn’t be too imposing for non-talent or the public and also quite good in low-light situations as we would be exclusively available light. I selected to shoot on a Canon 20mm prime to give something similar to someone’s POV. It meant I could follow people without too much distracting camera shake and could shoot in tight areas like the SouQ (markets). We also had some GoPro cameras in our kit for POV shots where we couldn’t use the 5D shoulder mounted (water) but generally I preferred using the Canon where possible. We sound recorded with the Zoom H4n for location sound and Sennheiser lapel mics which for anyone talking to camera.
What was challenging was being restricted to a 20mm lens for the whole trip. I had other prime lenses in the kit but due to the amount of travel, shooting I didn’t have too much chance to switch out lenses unless I had some downtime to shoot some stills etc. I would also have like to have a tripod with me but it wasn’t in the style of this production. Maybe next time I visit.
While shooting a short film recently, I took the opportunity to shoot some test footage with the RED Scarlet and a range of Canon C-NE Cinema Primes which I had hired for the short.
We wrapped the first day of the shoot with plenty of light left in the day so with all available light I shot the following video.
The footage is ungraded and as it was in camera however I bumped the ISO on two shots.
Actress: Rebecca Ratcliff
Director of Photography: Bradley J. Conomy
Camera Assist: Oscar Partridge
Photographed with: RED Scarlet-X and Canon C-NE Primes (14mm, 24mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm)
I was approached by the OneMaker Academy to create a series of short videos to promote the creative arts schools’ 2013 launch.
The idea the Academy had was to create a clip using instruments and dancers with coloured powder moving through frame in slow-motion.
Having worked on a 200fps music video only a month before I decided to shoot it at that frame-rate. The only tricky issue was finding lights that didn’t flicker at those high frame-rates.
We were also to shoot in a basement section of their newly build creative arts building which would give the clip a gritty feel.
I shot the clip with a very flat Picture Profile to assure I could have maximum control in the grade.
The music was a very important factor in the clip. I knew I would like to edit to a dubstep track from early on as I felt with the ultra slow-motion footage it would need that explosive energy as the powder explodes out.
OneMaker also wanted a version which showed the elegance of the dance and music so I decided to do a combo where, mid-promo the music would shift.
Once I had the edit locked to the music I decided to create some glitch transitions between the two music pieces. These were done in FCP7, Motion and Photoshop.
Big thanks to Anthony from Ynot Media for mixing up and drying all the coloured powder for the shoot and for assistant direction on the project.
I’ll post some stills I took from the project shortly.
On 11/11/11 I took part in the 11Eleven Project, which I had also produced some TVCs & web videos for. I decided as part of my footage contribution to the worldwide documentary I would film with my old friend Leroy Lee who was joined by Emma Davis and performed the following for use in the documentary.
This is an acoustic (unmixed) version of Emma Davis’ ‘Machines’ and I think it is a beautiful track and suits the project well.
Then we filmed Leroy Lee playing some slide guitar which I seem to beg him to play every time we film something together.
I’ll be posting some more of my 11Eleven Project footage shortly. Click on some of the URL links if you would like to hear/see more of anything discussed above. Enjoy!
This is my 1930’s Premiervox Electric Guitar which was made by Rickenbacker for export to the UK. It was handed down to me by my Pa which purchased it from Nicholson’s Pty Ltd on George St in Sydney, Australia sometime during the 1930’s.
Feel free to leave a comment if you know anything about these guitars.