mardi 14 février 2012

Stills AND video on the same shooting ? Go simple or get paid double !

I'm a long time photographer, just recently producing some video footage for my clients. Heck, they seem to like it more and more ! Just need to adapt, and tools are here to help us produce some decent rushes that can be easily edited and processed to your taste, or at least client's one, which you don't always share, remember.

But I've always been reluctant to do both at the same time, on the same assignment. It's an incredible source of mistakes, and if you can correct a lot of things on stills as long as you shoot RAW, video is just a multitude of jpeg frames in a long sequence. What you shoot is what you get in the end, with much less processing latitude when you shoot in delicate situation, available lights, etc... Unless you use RED cameras, RAW footage is not on the list of even the most recent DSLR. Things could change though. 

Take that short edit for LAFUMA Clothing. The best way to deal with that is at least to have a two cameras set up : one dedicated to stills, the other one for video. And what is cool when you shoot in a hurry with no assistant, is that you have to be a wise man and know your limitations, as Clint used to say. Go basic with filming, use one technique, not a thousand.

In this case I had to duplicate what I was shooting on frame. After all, my clients love me for the way I frame, so let's try to keep that eye while filming. Even simpler to turn around your models with a steady and a large aperture lens, keep that cool shallow depth of field effect to good use.

Of course, this only work if you don't have to follow a too rigid script for your video edit, or it will consume all your precious time. Make sur your client is aware about that, or make him ready to pay double for a double job !

jeudi 2 février 2012

Old stuff, worth the look... As long as we can afford the juice !

I may be not associated with automotive photography, but a few years back I made some test to at least have some pics about that in my portfolio. Not that it was boring to shoot. I must admit I'm a bit of a petrol head, and I like cars and bikes. Hopefully (Are you sure ? -Ed.), I'm not rich enough to get all those toys, or my garage would be the size of a football field and completely loaded !

One of the only magazines I have a subscription to is an english car mag smartly called... Car Magazine. How imaginative. But their pics are top notch, and I'm not that drooling on the cars they show as on the techniques used by their talented shooters. Crazy long exposure, innovative framing, BW and color processing. And they did all this way before the digital era, using medium formats and good old rolls of films. Plenty of them apparently, as car shooting can be quite frustrating, when you try to do some real action. It's hard to get a lot of keepers. I see a lot of mags nowadays with fantastic long exposure pics that are actually done just pushing the car !! That's cheating, in my humble opinion, easily busted when you can have a look at the car rev counter, showing an impressive 750 rpm...

So I gave it a try, and I swear I did not shoot only red cars on purpose ! It was just by chance. I met an old car fan and lucky owner of this fantastic Alfa Giulietta and Ferrari F308. Italian sport cars from this era are supposed to be mostly red, except for the Alfa, a bit more orangeish... The Ferrari was actually nearly a wreck he bought for little money, and completely rebuilt from chassis to engine, with old retired friends. Try to find somebody who can build a Ferrari aluminium front bonnet with his hands and a few archaic tools, and chances are he'll be older than your grandpa ! And the V8 engine melody was something to listen in a Cathedral.... God!

I then had a call from a french magazine, who lent me a Megane RS for a day. It was the Patrick LeQuement design one, and if not everybody is OK with its fat arse, it had a lot of personality. And a crazy engine and chassis. Any real car connoisseur will respect the Renault badge, as long as you have the RS letters right to it. Mad car, only perfected by the new one. A real 911 GT3 front drive equivalent. So I had a day shooting this car around Paris, with the help of my friend @DomDaher. Not really knowing the roads was quite embarrassing, and we only came back with a few pics, but I perfected that onboard cam with chase car technique.

I then had the luck to work with the french Subaru car dealers brochure for a few issues, see the black and white pic with the diesel impreza on the real Ardèche roads driven by Monte Carlo Rally drivers, but that was it. I'm still looking for any opportunity to shoot this kind of stuff again. Or girls... Or bikes... Whatever comes first !