Every now and then someone comes out with a product that really makes me say, "why didn't I think of that?" If you've ever been on the set of a serious movie production, you know that the camera operator or steadicam operator hardly ever focuses the lens himself. Instead he relies on a well paid focus puller who can perfectly eyeball every focus distance and follow focus any lens set on any aperture. It's really amazing to watch. Well now a company called Okii has developed a USB focus puller for Canon cameras that can not only pull focus but also record and save a specific movement. I have no idea why they did not include audio on this video but if you watch if you can see two different points of focus being saved and then automated. Click the full post to see a second demonstration that shows off the actual recorded footage.
Last year Zacuto started a great series called The Great Camera Shootout where they compared film cameras with digital cameras and DSLRs. We featured the first two episodes but somehow overlooked the final show in the series. Some of these tests seem a bit excessive to me but it's good to know that there is a discussion going on with the top professionals in the field. Some of topics covered are camera resolution, color vibrancy, green screening, and shooting video in raw. As photographers, we are still going to hear people making an argument for not shooting video on DSLRs but if you watch the 3 full length short films presented in this episode I think the DSLR video haters' days are numbered.
We've featured Tom Guilmette several times on our website and each time he never ceases to amazing me. Today Tom released a fun video that he shot on the Phantom Flex while he was staying in Las Vegas. We've all seen super slow motion videos before but what really grabbed my attention was Tom's editing skills and his brilliant use of audio to help bring this video to life. If you enjoy watching and learning about high speed videography, check out Tom's website or check out the other Fstoppers Tom Guilmette posts we have featured.
If you are not already subscribed to Freddie Wong's YouTube channel, you should go there right now and watch one of Youtube's most popular animators. Well this week he has created a really simple video called The Freeze Shootout and has provided a quick behind the scenes video on how he did it. Watch the full video here and click on the full post to watch how he created it.
A few months ago, Patryk Kizny with Dito Gear shared a really amazing video called The Chapel with Fstoppers. I was absolutely blown away by the footage but I knew our readers would want to know exactly how he created it. So I was able to persuade Patryk to create a second video that outlined exactly what he did to create the original HDR timelapse images featured in The Chapel. With just a few Canon DSLRs, a magic arm, and a Dito Omni Slider, Patryk created a really unique looking video made from HDR stills. If you have any additional questions about the making of this video, leave them in the comment section and I'm sure Patryk will be happy to answer them. Click the full post to watch the original video in its entirety.
Back in December of 2009, photographer turned film maker Vincent Laforet teamed up with Canon and Vimeo to start a social experiment in story telling. The idea was to create an short 3 or 4 minute video that would end on a single still frame. Then by taking that final frame as a starting point of reference, other film makers could continue the story and add their own twists and turns into the developing scripts. Each segment would be judged by industry heavy weights like Philip Bloom, Shane Hurlbut, Russel Carpenter, among others, and a new chapter would begin. Over the next year, hundreds of chapters were written with 6 lucky directors winning spots in the final video that is currently being shown at Sundance. Below is a summary of the final project and the final video in its entirety is included in the full post. Hopefully this contest not only inspires you in your own photography but also encourages you to test the waters in film making.
If you haven't checked out Mark Wallace's Adorama TV channel over at youtube you really should. He does a great job creating informative and useful videos on all sorts of digital photography and videography topics. In his most recent video, Mark shows a lot of different types of hot lights that can be used for lighting both your behind the scenes videos as well as your photoshoots themselves. He also talks a bit about how to light different subjects including how to light for a two person interview. Here at Fstopppers, we are using the Photoflex Starlights for our video productions. We really enjoy the versatility they give us but of course you can use anything that fits your budget. I know photographers sometimes stray away from constant lighting in favor of strobes so if you have any questions or thoughts about how to use these to the fullest, leave a comment below.
One of the first early adapters of DSLR video for professional use was Shane Hurlbut of Terminator Salvation, The Guardian, The Last 3 Minutes fame. A few days ago he released a really well shot commercial for the US Marines and decided to make a short contest out of it. The video has over 27 frames shot on various Canon 5D, 7D, and 1D cameras as they do every cinemagraphic move possible. I'm thinking we might get a BTS video of the filming of this commercial after the contest is done but in the meantime Shane is going to give away a free copy of Adobe's CS5 Production Premium Suite to whoever correctly guesses what camera shot what footage. You can head over to the contest page for more details and the entries will be accepted until the end of Jan 26th, 2011.
Our main focus here at Fstoppers is informative BTS content but sometimes as creatives we have the technical skills and we need a little bit of inspiration to get us going. I just ran across Karl X Johan's music video for the song "flames" by director Gustav Johansson and I was so impressed I had to post it. I've never seen story telling in this way and I'm sure you guys will enjoy it as much as I did. Make sure you watch it in HD!
My brain couldn't comprehend how this was possible I so I told myself it was some how computer generated to keep my head from exploding. I then saw the end of the video, and I still don't quite believe it. All you need is a Segway, a Steadicam system, and an Olympic sprinter to pull focus. Check the full post for the final video.
Photographer and videographer Patryk Kizny from Poland has been making a lot of noise around the web with his HDR TimeLapse slider videos. I've had a chance to talk to Patryk about his setup and the electronic slider he is using made by DitoGear is quite impressive. In this video he has removed all the elements of timelapse and instead he has focused simply on smooth sliding motions in every direction possible. What I found must impressive besides the smoothness of the slider itself is the amazing image quality he is getting out of the relatively new and inexpensive Samyang 14mm 2.8 ultra wide angle lens on his 5D Mark II. I know the Nikon version is expensive but I never thought the quality would be this close on full frame video. If you enjoy Patryk's works, stay tuned because he has a new BTS video on one of his most popular videos coming out soon.
Sometimes you come across a video that just makes you feel good, and this is one of those videos. Brooklyn resident Todd Beiber was out cross country skiing in Prospect Park during the huge blizzard which brought in 2011. During his ski adventure he happened to spot a canister of undeveloped 35mm film. Being the photo enthusiast that he is, Todd developed the film on his own and vowed to track down the owners of the lost roll of film. What he found was very similar to the Vivian Maier's story: a bunch of great images that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. So after watching this video, I feel like it is only appropriate for Fstoppers to help Todd find the owners of this roll of film. Will you help him as well? Hopefully we will get a wonderful follow up video of Todd hanging out somewhere in Europe :)
Never once have I gone to a dealship and asked the saleman "so how strong is the frame of this car?" But that isn't the point is it? Lexus has been doing a great job of pushing their car commercials to the limit and then creating BTSVs of the process. The concept is pretty silly in my opinion, but the finished commercial is entertaining and beautiful to watch.
We have posted our fair share of the newly popular moving time-lapse videos but this one is different. Henry Jun Wah Lee created a beautiful video of some amazing landscapes in Yosemite but unlike the others we have posted, much of this video is played back in real time. If you are a fan of landscape photography, this will be right up your alley.