Video/TV Production for almost 30 years!

Posts tagged “nature

Focusing on…Nature Photography!

I’ve been shooting more and more stills with my DSLR  Canon 7D lately.  It started with getting Lightroom and Photoshop leased for $10 a month.  I really needed Photoshop for the Charles Steinmetz documentary I was editing to clean up all the old archive photos.  Once I had the programs, I started watching online tutorials (can never stop learning) and was intrigued by what these two programs could do.  I never shot much in the RAW format, I found the files too big and the workflow too cumbersome, but with the new software, the image possibilities were to enticing not to give it a try!  What RAW does is basically record on your CF card the exact data that is hitting your cameras sensor.  This allows you to change almost any setting after the fact!  You can adjust color balance, exposure, sharpness, bring back detail in the white parts, pull up detail in the shadows etc…  It basically allows near complete tweak-ability  after you get back from shooting.

 

In the past you had to expose for the highlights and let the rest go into darkness, or expose for the shadow areas and the highlights would get blown out, but now you can get both to be properly exposed by shooting in RAW and tweaking in Lightroom and Photoshop after the fact.  Is it “cheating”?  I guess in a way…however it allows me to present the image closer to how I saw it in the filed, which before was always a compromise.  Some times I do “paint” the image up with some added highlights and shadow areas to give it interest that werent really like that in the original scene, but to me it’s almost a blend between painting with paints and photography.  It’s an artistic interpretation that is opening up a whole new level of “fun” for me!  Here are a few examples:  Click on them for larger views!

 

 

Boquet Pano 2 Spring Boquet Pano Spring Smaller Meecham Outlet 2 WM Meecham Outlet WM Split Rock Crop WM

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Their Last Days- A Canon C100 Nature Film

I love shooting fall scenics in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York!  This year was a great one for color. I was only able to get out a couple times, but when I did the light was fantastic. This was all shot with my Canon C100 and recorded to a NINJA 2 external recorder. I sell stock footage online at Shutterstock.com so having all the clips already in ProRes is worth the hassle of setting up the external recorder. It also helps give better image quality for very highly detailed shots or shots with lots of motion. These are the ones where the AVCHD codec runs out of bits.
Specifics: Shot using a picture profile I cooked up that is a combination of some I found online and tweaked to my liking. Mostly based on the Wide DR setting. Color turned up some and adjusted for more red and contrast increased some, (black level and gamma adjustments). Further post color correction was done to get the most out of each shot.
Lenses: Canon 24-105 F4, Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, and most shots were with my Tamron 18-270 super zoom! I love that lens and while it isnt as sharp as the Canon, it gets you an incredible range.

Thanks for watching!

 


Finally…a new camera!!

It’s been several years since I picked up a new camera.  My last one was the Canon 7D, a DSLR that shoots video.  It was all the craze about 3 years ago.  DSLRs gave nice soft, out of focus backgrounds, the cameras were small and the lenses were plentiful.  Along with those benefits were many “problems” that you had to deal with.  There was no audio on the camera, you had to record the sound separately for an interview and sync them up later in editing. Fine lines tended to “bead” or shimmer.  A nasty artifact called aliasing.  If you needed to shoot a brick building or a shingled roof from a distance, look out!  My 7D served me well, but I’ve been looking for another option for a while.  It seemed a new camera was being released every month if not sooner so I waited until I could find one to suit all my needs.

blog-canon-c100-main-back Canon_C100_fullside-670x439

The Canon C100 came out late last year and it fit almost every category of what I was looking for.  It doesn’t shoot 4k resolution, but that is far off before it becomes a standard and everything else is just right on!  I’ve only had it a few days but so far it is the hands down the best camera I have owed.  The low light shooting abilities is simply mind blowing.  It can capture images in such low light that you can barely make things out to the naked eye.  Not only capture them, as many cameras can get you an image, but this one does it without falling into major grain and noise.

We went on a short camping trip this past weekend.  It ended up raining for 3 straight days!  But it did give me a chance to try out the camera and all it’s settings.  I posted the clips in a short video below.  Notice all the interior shots were done with available light!  And the inside of that cabin was very dark.  I’m still learning about the settings but this footage is very promising and I especially love how tack sharp it is when you want it to be.

 


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/67032306″>Let it Rain-A Canon EOS C100 test video</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user434753″>Paul Frederick</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Plants are cool, too! Episode 3

Our latest episode of “Plants are cool, too!”  is now online!  This one was shot right up here in Upstate New York and features a plant called “Skunk Cabbage”.  Our host Chris Martine visits Rachel Schultz to learn all about this amazing plant that can generate it’s own heat and smells like a “Zombie”!  Find out how and why by clicking below.

 


Nature Weeps

I have relatives who live about 20 miles from Newtown, CT.  They have three children who are in elementary school, and when I heard there was shooting in CT at a school my heart stopped.  While I was glad they were OK I’m still sick to my stomach, as is most of America, at what happened.  I started putting this together a few days later.  It’s dedicated to all those we lost in Newtown, CT on December 14th, 2012. This video uses a haunting song written by Hans Zimmer called “Aurora” that he created for the victims of the shooting at a movie theater in Colorado this past summer.

When will it all end?

 


Quest for the Magic Light

It’s all about the light! Photography and videography are, by their very nature, dependent on light hitting the sensor of the camera. That light can be soft and muted or bold and vibrant. I found both kinds while out shooting this years autumn colors in Northern New York. It was a spectacular year (2012), with many bold reds mixed in among the yellow and orange hues. Most of these clips are again from the Adirondack Mountain region of far upstate New York.

While I think you can’t beat bright blue skies and sunshine for the best Autumn shooting, I did go out on some misty, rainy days and found the light to be quite spectacular as well, but just in a different sort of way.

I’ve included both in this video, which features the music of Tim McMorris (“Translation”). His work can be found on AudioJungle.net. I just recently learned of this site and find the licensing fees to be priced right and plan to use more from there in the near future.

FInally I used the Canon 7D and my Sony XDCAM EX1 for the cameras, and my cobracrane jib and Konova slider for the moves.


Plants are cool, too! Episode 2: Fossilized Forests!

This episode of Plants are cool, too! brings us all the way out to Idaho in the summer of 2012.  We were visiting the Clarkia Fossil Bowl, one of the most unique and rare fossil deposits in the world.  In 1972, the land owner was expanding his dirt bike race track when he uncovered some fossils, a fish and some plant/leaf ones.  The Professors at the University of Idaho thought the fish was “Ok”, but the leaf ones were what really amazed them.  They weren’t compression fossils like you normally see, they were the actual leaves, preserved in the mud, from 15 million years ago!

It was the perfect place for the next episode of our internet show!  We worked with Dr. David Tank and his grad students Hannah Marx and Simon Uribe-Convers of the University of Idaho for 4 great days of shooting.  While there we met some remarkable people such as Dr. Bill Rember who showed how he can actually “lift” the leaf off the rock and hold it in his hands.  I shot it and co-produced along with Tim Kramer and Host Chris Martine.  Tim helped rough in the edit and I did the graphics and added all the b-roll footage.  It was a real team effort and one I’m real proud of!

An amazing story like this couldn’t be told in 3 minutes so block out 15 minutes sometime and check it out!  Its further proof that, well….Plants ARE cool, too!