By now almost everyone has participated in the awareness-campaign-gone-viral, better known as the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Since posting my video on Facebook, I have had numerous people ask how I shot it. The icy videos that have over taken your Facebook feeds are mostly shot with smart phones which means they all tend to look the same leaving you with the feeling of if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.
Now the point of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is by no means to see who can make the best video. No. The point of the challenge is to bring funds and awareness to a disease that the majority of the population were unaware of. If you haven’t seen it already on Facebook, here is my ALS Ice Bucket Video.
So here’s how I shot it: the main camera was a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-105mm f/4 L lens shot wide at 35mm. The bucket-cam was my GoPro Hero3+ black edition, mounted to the bottom of the bucket with an adhesive mount.
I shot the video at 7 AM before getting ready for work that morning; this meant that I did not have much time to set up and fine tune before hand. I used a rode Video Mic connected to the 5D, but in the end I was not very happy with the audio as it turned out too quiet. It was a good reminder to always check audio levels before shooting.. (Thanks to the Magic Lantern Firmware, manual audio control is a piece of cake!)
There have been a few comments about my lack of actual Ice in the bucket, but rest assured, 3 trays were dumped into the bucket not 15 minutes before filming. As far as editing goes, I brought my cards and card reader to work and used FCPX to cut the quick video during my lunch break. Why black and white to begin the video with? Well, I do profess to having a love for black and white, but in this case it was not planned, I just decided in the moment while I was color correcting. The transition to color during the water pour just happened to add the right feeling in the video and so it made the cut as well. All in all, I was happy with the end product and proud to contribute to the ALS awareness campaign.
Thanks for reading. If you have questions about my video or process, feel free to comment below!
Last week we decided to take on Edmonton’s Annual Free Admission Day (#yegFAD)– the one day per year that all of the city’s major attractions are free. I hadn’t been to a zoo since I was a child, and since we have a child we thought Madelyn may enjoy seeing all of the animals.. we were right. we were even treated to Lucy the elephant up close as she was on a walk with her handlers. Free Admission Day, you rock! Thanks Edmonton.
So a little backstory– One day a customer walked in to my work with a Nikon D3 hanging from his shoulder and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on it; So I decided I might strike up a conversation about his gear and what he likes to shoot. a few minutes of friendly discourse and then out of nowhere he dropped a nugget of information that hit me like a bomb, “My other camera takes film”, he said. “What sort of non-sense is this?”, I thought. But he went on to say that Even on his Nikon Digital SLR camera, he chooses to always keep the built in screen off. Being so fresh to the world of photography and having just bought my first DSLR camera at the time, It shook me to think that he would use should an incredibly powerful piece of equipment as if it took film! I mean, isn’t the whole point of a digital camera so that you can see the images as you shoot them? and so that you can fire the shutter like a gatling gun and just pick the best shot later?
At the time I did not have the experience or perspective to truly appreciate where he was coming from, but over the last few years I have been reminded of him once in a while. I have come to a point where I truly do not want to spend hours sorting through photos to find the best one. I want to make a photo and know that its the shot I imagine. I do not want to constantly flip over my camera to “make sure I got the shot”. Over time it started to feel like checking the camera display every time was a sign that I didn’t trust myself. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when that three inch screen has saved my butt– I am always going to use it to make sure a bride’s eyes are open, and to check the histogram; but what If for a day I didn’t use it?
My Goal: to push myself out of my comfort zone and make mistakes– great and terrible mistakes that I can truly learn from and develop myself as a photographer.
My Mission: My Canon 5D mark II’s display turned off, my camera set to manual, autofocus off and a limit of 24 shots in a forty-five minute window.
After shooting the first few frames I almost had to put my hands in my pockets to resist the temptation of checking to see if the pictures turned out! And calculating stops of exposure in my head– math on the fly when I am shooting was not something I normally have to do. With the Sunny 16 rule as a reference (on this particularly cloudy day) I worked through it and it wasn’t until I got home and imported the photos in to Lightroom that I actually saw my images for the first time.
This exercise in patience, thoughtfulness, composition and discipline was very rewarding. As I had hoped for, there were definitely some failures; but some great images were made as well– more importantly, they are images that I am proud of because they have been a part of pushing the me forward.
Next Mission: Get the Canon AE-1 working and actually load some real film.