My New Website

I had built my website on WordPress.com and was pretty happy with it except the layout just didn’t work efficiently enough so i decided to start again….again. I love it now, there is the Home page which i would like to customise with my logo but apart from that i am pleased with how it looks – clean/simple and easy to navigate.

My favourite page is the blog:

https://perfectmoments-photography.com/blog-2/

 

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Our New Venture!

Ok so my big STUDIO DREAM may just come true…. myself and Kamila have applied for a premises in wrexham, it is a central location, has 4 rooms and 2 of those have amazing window light.

There is no other Photography Studio within Wrexham town centre so we think this will put us in a great position.

I have drawn us up a Business Plan to the estate agents and will find out next week after their board meeting whether we get it or not and we have opened a joint bank account, designed our logo, pricing, made a 3D design of the studio ready but we don’t want to give any details away yet in case we jinx it all……but OMG EXCITED ISN’T THE WORD!!

 

Production Report

ARD415                PRODUCTION REPORT

Green Screen Soliloquy

For this assignment we were shown 3 cameras; Black Magic, Canon & JVC which were available for us to use.

The Black Magic is a lovely camera, quite heavy but feels such a sturdy piece of equipment. Very streamline with only a few buttons and a fairly straightforward menu system to use. It is a digital film camera, it has a really wide dynamic range of 12 stops which will give you quality footage preserving the extreme highlights and lowlights. It also has three lens mounts, MFT, EF & PL which gives you a huge choice of lenses that can be used with it. The main downside is the size of the files, when shooting in native 4K Raw you will get every bit of data straight from the sensor or you can shoot in ProRes and get high quality video files and both will use up a massive amount of space.  So not only do you need a powerful SSD card you would also need a computer with enough power to process such large files so this was something I was concerned about for this assignment, but I would like to have a good play with it to see its potential at some point. (https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/gb/products/cinemacameras)

The Canon 650D is an 18 megapixel digital camera. It has a LCD touchscreen, it can shoot up to 1080p and has an EF/EF-s Lens mount. It was definitely the most easiest to use out of the three, setting the aperture, shutter speed and ISO was straightforward and once switching it to Video Mode and Manual, zooming in using the zoom button on the back of the camera to view the subject close up on the LCD screen so we were able to focus manually with the lens to get as accurate as we could the camera was set up to use. (http://www.canon.co.uk/for_home/product_finder/cameras/digital_slr/eos_650d/)

So out of the two, depending on where your footage is destined for then the Canon 650d at  around £300 is definitely the cheaper easier to use option, the Black Magic costs just under £2000 so it’s a lot more expensive and is suited much for larger projects.

The JVC was actually the one that I was most wary of using because it is like nothing I have used before but once I was I got familiar with where everything was I quite liked it.

– FIND TECH INFO ABOUT JVC

VF-HP790 LCD Studio ViewfinderThe VF-HP790 is an 8.4-inch XGA (1024×768 pixels) LCD studio viewfinder designed to work with GY-HM790 or the GY-HM700. Designed to mount to the KA-790 Studio Sled, it is equipped with a large tally indicator, and screen hood. A fully digital interface provides all of the camera’s viewfinder indications: safety markers, focus assist, power and clip management. The VF-HP790 is also provided with an HDSDI input for monitoring an external signal.  (http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/tech_desc.jsp?model_id=MDL101921&feature_id=02)

 

In lessons Steve had shown us how to use the grid lighting this would be good for larger projects and if you were needing an even light across the floor as well as the backdrop. The grid has to be lowered to adjust the angle of the lights and move into different positions then raised and if its not right it has to be lowered and fixed. This was the reason i chose not to use it because it seemed more work than was necessary for lighting just one person and i planned to film from the waist up only so there was no need for floor lighting.

The ARRI floor lights were much easier to use and quick to move around to adjust the strength of light. It was important for us to be aware not to overload the (……..) and to only plug them in once they were all attached

WRITE SOME RESEARCH ON GREENSCREEN

We were given the chance to have a dry run at setting up our lights and camera and within my group we decided to use the JVC as this was what we were all looking to use. With Tasha as our actor we set up a 4 point lighting system with 2 ARRI 650’s on the green backdrop and 2 ARRI 300’s on Tasha one as the key and one as the fill and we played around with the distances of the lights until we were happy with the way she was lit and the backdrop was an even key as well.

On the day of my assessment i set everything up in a similar way to our dry run. I lit the backdrop with 2x ARRI 650’s, both at an equal distance from the backdrop, this set up gave me an even light all over the area behind where my actress Kamila would be standing.

The allyway clip i had chosen was a tight shot with the background gently out of focus and this was more suited for an up close shot so with this in mind i didn’t need to worry about having the floor lit to match the backdrop . Also the clip was quite dark with a few areas of light which showed a warm spill onto surrounding walls. So i decided to use an orange gel to create a similar warm glow on Kamila. I used this on the key light ARRI 300 which was closest to her and the other ARRI 300 was placed on the opposite side of her and a little further away to act as the fill light. It wasn’t even lighting in the clip so i tried to create this with my set up as it caused some shadow areas on her face.

I filmed her from 3 different distances so that i had some options to choose from in post and it turned out the closest version from the chest up was definitely the best in relation to the background.

Apart from struggling to get the battery out of the charging pack when i first started i didn’t encounter any issues and everything went to plan. When we did the dry run of this Tasha was stood in front of one of the seams on the backdrop and when we tried to key the background we found it hard to get rid of that line. Being aware of that i made sure that Kamila was nowhere near it.

Adobe Premier was my choice of editing software because i have used this previously editing our short films and am getting used to the basic controls. I was happy to see that i had lit the backdrop evenly enough to get a perfect key and didn’t need to get rid of any bad areas. There was a slight green tint to a few of the edge areas of her hair which could possibly of been avoided if i had used backlight to counteract the spill of green onto her hair.

Once i was happy with her size and position on top of the clip i adjusted the pedestal, brightness & contrast and tweaked the colour a little to balance her tones to the background. To remove the background hiss from her audio i used (denoise) and took it to 50% and this removed it.

Photography Show

Kamila and i were so excited for this day, she had been before and i was meant to go the year previously but couldn’t because of my children being poorly…so i was super hyped!! And it didn’t disappoint, it was like an Aladdin’s cave!

We walked (occasionally ran) around trying to get to see everything on our list but didn’t manage it in the slightest because we got drawn into stalls with luxurious albums and baby prop stands and equipments stands so we missed some of the talks we intended to see.

When we arrived we just caught the end of Helen Sloan on The Nikon Stage and i was DEVASTATED to have missed this one..not only does she shoot with all the best Nikon cameras – Two DF’s for her on set landscapes, D3’s, D4 and a D800 for her Studio Photography and her main lenses are the 24-70, 50 and 85 1.4 is her favourite. She is the Game Of Thrones photographer and that is my ultimate favourite Tv series so she is a bit of a hero to me….and a lucky woman 😀

We caught some of the other talks but the main one for us was Lara Jade on the Canon Stage, she is amazing i love her fashion work. They had a model on stage in front of a texture patterned pop up background and she demonstrated how she photographed her, using a large octabox and in front of that another light with a beauty dish on it. her photos were tethered to the projector screen for us all to see and her results were amazing straight from the camera….so much so that i went out and bought the same lighting set up…..yes i am easily persuaded! ha

The day was awesome and we nearly got a hotel so we could stay the next day but managed to pull ourselves from there and can’t wait to go next year!

The Making Of ‘Overdrive’ Music Video

Planning this music video wasn’t as easy as i thought so i decided to listen to the track constantly for 2 weeks before i even got any ideas down. In the hope that the story would write itself in my head the more i listened to it…..which luckily it did because writing is my biggest downfall it can take days of a blank piece of paper before a single word goes down so this way i imagined the story first and then it was easy to get it down.

Drawing the storyboard with each individual scene was something i considered a pain to do, mainly because of my limited drawing skills but if i learnt anything throughout this is how much of a necessity it was. Its so easy to forget details when you are filming, just having the storyboard there keeps you on track.

My video was going to be split up into 4 separate chunks – The beginning with the main character, His memories of his ex-girlfriend, The confrontation in Chester and then reminiscing up a mountain.

I planned to use my Nikon D750, LED Light if needed, Tripod, GoPro, Flycam Support, Drone

Locations were going to be at my home where i was going to set up 2 bedroom scenes, up Gwaenysgor Mountain because the views from there are amazing (when its not foggy like the day i went) and in Chester city streets at night.

On Day one of filming i spent the day building 2 scenes in my house – One in the porch where i have wonderful bright light which was perfect for the high key memory scene so i built a bed all draped in white with lush throws and cushions and then in my living room i built a bedroom to look like what i had sketched out on my storyboard.

Trying to arrange for my 2 characters to get to me on a Sunday which was the only day they had available wasn’t easy, i had a small time frame to film the natural light section in the porch and they were late because they had been out the night before. So i was starting to get twitchy when they still hadn’t turned up by 4pm.

When they finally arrived i managed to get what we needed before i lost the light and i was really pleased with the memory footage of Jess it was just how i had played it out in my head.

Then i filmed Myles in the ‘bedroom’ and this footage was how i planned it but i wanted to use the Flycam support for my camera to get really smooth footage but i was unable to borrow it for that day so i just had to make to with hand holding my camera.

The following week we went to Chester and filmed around the streets, in a bar and by a carpark. This all went really well but when i watched all the footage back and began to put it in Adobe Premier i realised that we needed to fill out the ending a bot more and would have to return to Chester.

I had to wait another couple of weeks for my characters to be available which was saturday 16th April, 2 days before my video was due in so nothing like a bit of pressure! 🙂 I had to look for a different mountain because up Gwaenysgor where we had planned was quite a popular weekend retreat for couples and cars filled with smoke so i scouted another one – Graig Fawr which wasn’t too far away. It required a bit of a walk to the summit but was well worth it once we were there.

mountain

Ignore the blue sky…it was FREEZING!!! And so windy! So we weren’t able to use the drone and it made controlling my camera on the FlyCam almost impossible but i just had to persevere. My eyes were watering that much because of the wind i had no idea if i was managing to keep my focus so there wasn’t as much usable footage that i would of liked. I just managed to have enough to fill the gaps where it was needed.

Once we were finished at the mountain we went back to Chester and filmed some more there ….and then had a Budweiser together to celebrate what seemed like an awful lot of filming for a 2 and a half minute track! 🙂

I built the video in Adobe Premier and then took it into After Effects to add some colour effects and transitions. It is Sunday evening now and i have had to accept that i can’t edit it anymore because i have to submit it even though i could keep tweaking for days.

So i am 75% happy with it, i know i can make it better with more time and if i have learnt anything it is that i don’t want to have to rely on other people to feature in my work because it takes too long ha, and that i need to learn the editing software more, my limited knowledge has definitely slowed down the whole process.