Skill Mon, 17 Feb 20 09:46:30 +0000 Skill en-CA Werner Herzog MasterClass....some questions. Sun, 29 May 2016 07:16:37 +0000 suresure123 15144@/talks/discussions

Anyone else interested in this, it came up on my FB feed, Werner Herzog claims this:

“You can learn the essentials of filmmaking on your own within two weeks” - Werner Herzog

I'm not much interested in debating if thats true but I'm interested in watching the Masterclass. BUT I'll be completely straight with you and crucify me if you want but I'm not too sure about paying $90 for an online video. I wonder if it will be torrent able soon enough?

4K Continuous shooting with Eye AF using Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Sony Cameras Mon, 18 Nov 2019 04:22:33 +0000 Vitaliy_Kiselev 23112@/talks/discussions

Do we really need the GH4 and 4:2:2, 10 bit, 4K, Raw file? GH1 and GH2 still rock for me Thu, 13 Feb 2014 04:20:33 +0000 eurocameraman 9608@/talks/discussions I am just asking myself a simple question I would like to share with the independent filmmaking community: Do I really need all of this? 4:2:2, 10 bit, 4K, Raw file, ProRes… Do I really need to invest as soon as something new and fancy is coming out?

On my own experience, I would say not so sure as I am very pleased with the result I am getting out of my GH1, GH2 and now GH3. And my GH3’s video is not making a huge difference compare to what I got with the GH1 or GH2. I am still using the hacked GH1 every summer, as a copy is stored in my home country (France) and I love its color rendition compare to GH2/3. FYI, I am living and working in China since 9 years.

Every year I am shooting a short movie or an experiment with the hacked GH1. Some complained about the AVCHD format, but I never got problem in post with it as I am using Premiere CS6 on a powerful enough PC (Dell M6400). I also tested heavy color grading without problem on my GH1 footage, as you can see here on the following videos. Sorry one of the short film doesn’t get English sub yet, but I am posting a link to those video for their visual quality first, so enjoy that part. La Deuche from Hell HD (US sub Version) (there is a longer French version too)

Revolverte HD (F)

In China, I am also using my GH camera beside a Panasonic AF100, which is well known to NOT be the most exciting camera on the market (4:2:0 8 bits, AVCHD at 28MB/s, what a shame!). I had to buy an AF100 as no serious client in my field would accept to pay my usual fee (I was working with a HVX200 + Letus Ultimate prior to the AF+GH) if I were shooting with a GH2 only. After 2 jobs my AF100 got paid back and I can enjoy the use of it with my GH2 and GH3 on project now. ,

AVCHD, 4:2:0, bits… Nevertheless, I shot this Making Of video on huge project with my newly arrived AF100 and GH2 (not hacked yet). Production house, agency and client were delighted by the result. I did everything: shooting, lighting (for interview), sound recording and editing… I am a one man crew shooter (kind of MacGyver sometime) and I prefer to keep things, cheap, simple and light. CrossPolo TVC Making OF HD (US)

To keep the story short, since 2012, I had completed bunch of projects with my M43 equipment without any complain from clients (VW, Audi, French Consulate, TV Channel…) and I might invest in the GH4 if it solves the 3 main problems of the GH3: Viewfinder definition (GH3 is a nightmare compare to GH2 for manual focusing) + real video assistance (Peaking + zebra + waveform) + full time display of histogram and sound recording level while shooting.

4K or higher bit rate are not important to me as my video will NEVER be projected on a big screen and the file of the GH3 are already big enough in term of storage. Quality wise, I really like some of my GH1, GH2 or GH3 shots, and I don’t see much of a difference in term of emotion, and I think this is a more important feature for an independent filmmaker than pixel count or comparing numbers on data sheets…

You can see more of my work here:

Fun look at how it was done before our time Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:35:31 +0000 Rambo 3716@/talks/discussions That camera looks huge, but actually it's a sound booth to stop camera noise.


Maria Montez sur le tournage de COBRA WOMAN de Robert SIODMAK ( 1944 )

ACES and ACEScc Intro and Tutorial, Workflow Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:21:42 +0000 balazer 12887@/talks/discussions ACES is a color encoding system and workflow for motion pictures. It enables accurate exposure compensation and color balancing, and lets you easily match between shots and cameras.

I've posted a tutorial video and OpenColorIO configurations for Sony Vegas Pro:

Intro and Tutorial video:

I've created new IDTs for the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro Protune. IDTs for Canon Log and Panasonic V-Log can also be added, but I need test footage to make sure that the levels are mapped correctly.

This Panasonic GH2 test video demonstrates the effects of exposure compensation in ACES, and shows the useful range of exposure settings for this camera. It also demonstrates that you don't need a log camera to take advantage of ACES. Even a regular Rec.709 camera can be used well with ACES, provided that you have an IDT that accurately transform the video into the linear color space. A log camera has more exposure latitude, of course.

Z-Cam E1 ZLog - how to use??!? Fri, 01 Mar 2019 22:35:24 +0000 storyboardcreativity 21657@/talks/discussions Does anybody know how correctly shoot in zLog mode? I never had any experience with any log profiles. There are many Z-Cam E1 LUTs to different color spaces. But when I convert zLog footage to sRGB, for example, I see VERY HUGE difference. Please, explain me how it works.

Is it worth getting Color Checker Passport? Tue, 05 Jul 2011 11:19:37 +0000 stonebat 331@/talks/discussions
Beginner Q: How best to white balance for video with GHx? Wed, 20 Jun 2012 18:45:02 +0000 jules 3650@/talks/discussions Beginner's technical question...

How do you set manual white balance in shots? Do you use a tool? which one? Or do you just put something white and black in the shot briefly at the start and do everything in post using that as a reference?

Any tips would be helpful!!

Diary of a Yak Shaver - Skill Building Fri, 06 Jul 2018 06:05:02 +0000 andyharris 20020@/talks/discussions The reality of an independent film maker is -- 'it's always harder than it looks'!

How many times do we watch a scene and think - they're lazy - I can do that, it's just package/tool/software/technique.

I find myself thinking the same thing, then I try to get the same results (of course with a lot less resources). Then I find this stuff is hard!

It's not the same as photography, where getting professional results is so much easier. With video it's a case of the weakest link is the one that stands out most. For example you get a great chroma key and you're really proud of the blend on the hair line - then you notice that yellow logo has become a brown logo.

I thought I'd use this post to document some the processes that I'm going through in order to build skills, sometimes a video on PV just unlocks an idea - other times it's a five hundred hour journey. This is where Yak shaving comes in, you set out to do a specific thing, but along the way you end up going down so many sub-tasks that one of them is bound to be shaving a yak.

I'll start with Camera Tracking. So far I've put about 20 hours in, including grabbing various clips to experiment on. Of course it's not just the tracking but the integration of the new objects afterwards.

Anyway, here's the very first attempt:

It's 12 seconds and it's rubbish, but it's enough for me to learn about:

  • setting up the tracking points
  • what a point cloud is and why some points are pointless
  • setting the camera parameters to give the tracker a lock onto the physical measurements
  • setting up and moving the ground plane
  • making the ground plane invisible (and later making just the shadow of the object visible)
  • adding an object in the 3D space
  • solving, re-solving (*N) and exporting the rigs

But perhaps mostly, so far it has taught me that long clips are a double extra triple piggy to track.

Black and White export Sat, 07 Jul 2018 15:23:09 +0000 DrDave 20022@/talks/discussions I've always wanted to do a Black and White export.
I just used the B&W filter in premiere, then adjusted the grey point and dynamic range.
Is there a way to get that silver, organic look?
p:w Alf

Advanced Time Lapse Photography Sun, 14 Jun 2015 23:35:36 +0000 MikeLinn 13174@/talks/discussions

Why not increase shutter speed? Why use NDs? (Seriously) Mon, 16 Dec 2013 16:35:13 +0000 Sangye 9113@/talks/discussions This is something I've wondered ever since getting into digital cinematography. Why are people so attached to the 180 degree shutter rule (which truly is an artifact of the film era), that they insist on keeping the shutter speed at 1/50 and throwing another piece of glass in front of their lens? Having broken my ND filter and not bothering to replace it, opting instead for managing shutter speed to expose correctly, I have come to the conclusion that I am getting better image quality now than I ever did at 1/50 shutter speed with an ND filter.

There are added benefits, besides eliminating the need for an ND, which will inevitably degrade image quality. For one, is an apparent reduction in rolling shutter - which stands to reason, as the sensor read-out is much faster with a faster shutter speed. Another added benefit is that footage recorded at faster shutter speeds plays much more nicely with Twixtor. I don't use Twixtor often, but it's nice to know that if I catch something on my camera that I want to see in ultra slow-motion, I haven't crippled myself with excessive motion blur. On the other hand If I ever feel that my image is lacking motion blur, I just add it in post.

I know that the 180 degree shutter rule is one of the most sanctified laws of filmmaking, along with the 24fps frame rate. I know that people go to great lengths to keep their shutter speed at 2x their frame rate. I just don't really understand why, given that it's not a physical requirement of modern digital cameras.

All about polarizing filters for photography Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:53:41 +0000 MikeLinn 13357@/talks/discussions

Sensor Cleaning Sat, 28 Jun 2014 17:29:07 +0000 Azo 10684@/talks/discussions I was looking into an easier way to clean the sensor on my cameras and found the sensor gel stick. I have a sensor loop and have cleaned the sensor's with the wet method and it is a pain in the ass. Every time I do the wet method there seems to be streaks from the kit that I use. also seems to use a type of dry cleaning method with the butterfly and a different type of sensor gel stick. Check out the videos below.

I will buy one of these to try out seems a lot easier then the wet method and the streaks are really a pain in the ass to clean. If you don't have a sensor loop you will not see the streaks, also they did not show up in the test images that I have shot. However I know that the streaks are there so I always try to get all the streaks out which is a time consuming process. My sensors end up clean as a whistle but the effort and time that it takes is too long. So moving forward this product along with the arctic butterfly will be my method for cleaning sensors.

The other great thing about this method is that usually you have to buy a kit that is specifically made for each camera sensor size. So for example if you have a FX, DX and M/43 cameras you need to have 3 different kits to clean your sensors. So this is another benefit to using this system as opposed to the traditional wet cleaning method.

New teleprompter software - beta invites (free) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 09:41:01 +0000 easyprompter 17370@/talks/discussions Hey everyone, about 8 years ago, I launched EasyPrompter - an online teleprompter/autocue. What was first a DYI solution to the problem of "all the prompter software out there sucks" quickly became a very popular web-based teleprompter tool. It's been way over-due for an upgrade and I'm happy to tell you all that the upgrade is nearly ready.

There are a couple features I wanted to highlight as I think they're pretty great, especially on something you run in a web browser

  • Rich text editing
  • Mirroring (horizontal and vertical)
  • Dual-screen capable - this gives you the ability to have an operator and a talent screen
  • Configurable shortcuts (keyboard / control surface / presentation remote)
  • Save unlimited scripts in the cloud
  • Access on any device - web, tablet or smartphone
  • Fully offline capable - once you load it, you can run it in the field without an internet connection

These are just some and more features will come as more people tell me what they need. I want this to be the best web-based teleprompter solution out there and you can help make that happen!

You can sign up for the beta right now which will give you at least 90 days access to the full EasyPrompter Pro in exchange for your feedback.

You can sign up at

Thank you!

Introduction to Digital Photography Free Course Mon, 10 Jul 2017 21:52:26 +0000 Vitaliy_Kiselev 17325@/talks/discussions

Looking to step up your photography game? Alison’s new ‘Introduction to Digital Photography’ course will help you gain the critical knowledge and skills to capture perfect pictures. This free online course is an updated and more detailed replacement of the old Harvard University Digital Photography course from the Alison platform and is easily accessible to anyone keen to learn photography that will help to master the art and craft of digital photography.

The new introductory course contains 11 modules that gives you an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge and understanding of digital photography, including the basic features of digital cameras, working with a digital camera, processing and formatting and the different photography styles - be it landscape, street or wildlife photography. The course also offers a detailed view of the history of photography and its origin. With the help of this course you will get better acquainted with handling a digital camera and helping you go beyond just the automatic settings on a camera. Post completion of this course you will be able to develop your own unique style of photography by mastering the techniques of digital photography.

Commenting on the successful publication of this course, Alison CEO Mike Feerick said, “In today’s digital world, creating good images is about upholding quality and nurturing creativity. The new Introduction to Digital Photography course offers you the opportunity to master the technicalities involved in photography to help you take professional pictures. This course will be great learning to have, whether you are starting your first photography lesson or are looking to brush up your already well-practiced photography skills.”

Following the Introductory course, Alison has further, more advanced digital photography courses in production as follow-up courses based on the different levels of the learner’s journey. There will be 3 courses for each level - Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced which will be released in the coming months.

Software: Open source workflow Wed, 08 Jun 2011 13:47:47 +0000 lisergicsyn 198@/talks/discussions
So I would like to share experiences and advices about the use of alternative free and open source softwares in our fields (photography and video). I do not know so much so it would be great to know your 'personal views' about that.

I suggest to approach, at the beginning, the photographic field creating a list of open software to build a totally open source workflow.

are you with me?
Dolly Zoom Tue, 30 May 2017 10:28:55 +0000 MikeLinn 17052@/talks/discussions

EOS Movie Tutorial Lessons Wed, 10 May 2017 10:03:20 +0000 Vitaliy_Kiselev 16898@/talks/discussions

Corporate interviews Mon, 02 Apr 2012 16:21:14 +0000 oscillian 2760@/talks/discussions I'm about to shoot interviews of local entrepreneurs so I wanted to start this topic in order to get some tips and later on share what I pick up along the road. The idea is to make short portrait films, between 20 seconds and 2 minutes in length which intercuts interview head shots with footage of the work/services of the entreprenuer (I bet you all know what I'm talking about, since it's pretty standard stuff).

The plan is to go through some of the following steps involved:

  • Preparations
  • Questions
  • Light and sound
  • Shooting
  • Editing
  • Delivery

Let's start with the Questions: During an interview, what kind of questions would you ask to get the person to talk about his or her business?

I was planning to ask some of these questions to get the ball rolling:

  • Who are you?
  • What kind of work do you do?
  • What can you provide your customers with?
  • Why did you start doing this?
  • How do you know you're on the right track with your business?
  • What inspires you?

This is a clip that got me inspired on the psychology of interviews, I especiallt like the tip on sending the questions ahead of the interview and then start off by saying: "You know all those questions I sent you in advance? Let's forget about them and just have a conversation!":

Feel free to critizise and add your thoughts on the process!

Happy shooting!

How To Use The Rule Of Thirds Tue, 16 Feb 2016 16:15:27 +0000 MikeLinn 14596@/talks/discussions

How to create a wall of bokeh Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:25:59 +0000 MikeLinn 16631@/talks/discussions

Recommended books, ask for your input Mon, 18 Jun 2012 08:00:16 +0000 Vitaliy_Kiselev 3615@/talks/discussions I started new section in our FAQ :

Already added few books.

And want to ask you to post your favourite books here, so I could add best ones.

How lenses T-Stops differ from F-Stops? Sun, 01 Jan 2017 05:55:30 +0000 MikeLinn 16256@/talks/discussions

Color temp explained Tue, 01 Nov 2016 10:04:04 +0000 MikeLinn 15974@/talks/discussions

Steadicam balancing and operation tips Thu, 25 Aug 2011 17:08:29 +0000 jimtreats 765@/talks/discussions
Last night I got my first steadicam in the mail.

The budget flycam nano, I didn't expect too much, and I think I'm relatively happy for a cheap first steadicam. It did arrive with a few niggles, the bottom weight holding platform was a little bent, meaning the pole coming out of it wasn't perpendicular to the platform. I wasn't sure whether this would cause a problem, but i've bent it into shape of sort now. After this I experienced the problem where with the cam sort of balanced it would hang vertically with the camera pointing away from me, spin the camera any other way and it would always fall to the right a little. In the end i took apart the gymbal bracket and reattached it with even torque on both screws and i seemed to have improved this symptom mostly.

As a whole, the flycam nano does seem ok.. balancing is a bit of a chore but I think i can get close fairly quickly. I'm finding the handle a bit frustrating, the grip rubber can shift in certain orientations which always makes me a bit nervous. I also find i have to hold the handle very low down so my hand doesn't contact with the v bracket that holds the gymbal and stops it from flying properly. I brought the arm brace with it too, which helps with the handle holding a little, but in general i do wish the handle was an inch or two longer.

Now i'm left with a reasonably balanced flycam nano, with my GH2 and 20mm f1.7 lens. I've managed to balance this with only 2 weights on either end of the platform. Which leads me to the first question. To get this to balance i've had to extend the weight platform to about halfway down the pole extension. So I wonder, is there a rule for how much weight to put below, or does more weight with less extension have the same properties as less weight with more extension?

I've been working with a 2-3 seconds drop time from horizontal, i've seen various recommendations on this, i've noticed the slower this drop time the less pendulum-esque the steadicam behaves when you're flying it.

I've seen mention of static and dynamic balanced. I'm not clear on how to verify whether or not I have achieved dynamic balance, i'll assume static is sufficient for the steadicam to remain vertical when placed there, in all camera y-axis rotations.

Whenever I see video of folks showing a balanced steadicam they always shift it forwards, back, left and right with it remaining pretty vertical and stable. I can do this, however when i do do this I find that the camera tends to spin on its y-axis a little. Related to this if i'm walking with the steadicam and i change direction the same rotation can occurs and has to be combatted with the other hand damping the vertical post or even turning it back the desired direction. Is this the behaviour of a balanced steadicam, or a symptom of one that's not quite balanced, or perhaps has an over lubricated gymbal? I'm wondering if the compact nature of the GH2 and 20mm lens is meaning that it doesn't have a very large or dense z-axis which is meaning that its moment of inertia in that axis is so small that its easy to rotate as i've just described.. So i'm wondering if i balance it with a heavier and longer 14-140mm lens I may find it is less likely to turn.

I guess that's about it. Any help or advice would be really appreciated! I accept that it's going to take a lot more practice, but i just want to get a feel of whether i'm in the right area.

Interview shots in documentaries Wed, 19 Oct 2016 01:39:04 +0000 inqb8tr 15906@/talks/discussions For people that frequently shoot this kind of footage, it could be useful to share interesting interview shots from documentaries in this topic, discuss them and get inspiration and ideas for our work. Something like a reference database.

Interesting in terms of lighting, composition, and general cinematographic approach - how does it relate to the story, characters, atmosphere

Let me start with some random examples,

Man on Wire (2008)

Interview with the main guy in the film is done in very minimalistic way. He emerges from the darkness, just like his story unravels from his memory, presented in very suspenseful manner.

X-ray Audio

This is very good documentary about production and distribution of 'prohibited' records cut onto x-ray sheets in USSR times. Really interesting topic and characters. The film features interviews with people who were involved in that seemingly crazy actions back in the days. Interviews show their passion and determination despite the danger they put themselves into. But they are also very funny and original characters:

This man surrounded with bunch of items that directly correlate to his story:

Or this guy filmed on location that bring us to the atmosphere of back alleys where 'trades' usually took place. I particularly like the light setup of this one:

Just few examples for now, but hopefully this can grow.

*How do I put images in text, i tried with some code from markdown wiki but links appeared broken?

Focal Lengths and Lenses used by Great Directors Wed, 14 Sep 2016 11:56:49 +0000 Manu4Vendetta 15725@/talks/discussions

Free lectures on Digital Photography Sat, 03 Sep 2016 08:29:13 +0000 Vitaliy_Kiselev 15648@/talks/discussions image

Portrait Photographs: a time and space Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:58:48 +0000 rNeil 9489@/talks/discussions Vitaliy has suggested perhaps a new discussion here in "skills" about portrait/people photography and the problems, ideas, and solutions that one finds. And as @maxotics noted in a recent post, it is so easy to shoot many images with a camera like a D600, in fact faster than we really can think about them. Most modern cameras are so quick and easy to make images with we all tend to shoot too much and think too little. My wife and I are as guilty of that at times as anyone. And we are both long-time professional portrait photographers: it's our only house-hold income. We've long known better but still ... these durn modern cameras!

Many images we as photographers take are just to create a very nice image. We're not thinking at the time we're using the camera about how that image will be treated in post-processing, then sized, framed/matted and placed in a particular space in a particular home with the planned intent to affect the emotions of the people living in that space. But if you stop to think about the aesthetics and emotional "content" of our living spaces, it can be very worthwhile to think ahead and create something ... satisfying. Worth viewing and worth living "around".

We have sought training and experience to do things differently: we work with our clients to plan out an image that will go in a specific place, and will have a specific emotional feel and bring that feel to that space. This is a process where size matters; composition matters; distance of viewers near/far matters; color schema matters; family inter-personal dynamics matters; space available matters. It's a much more complicated way to approach photographing your subjects. It's very much like trying to get all the emotional information from a movie scene into one still image placed in one space.

And when done really well, clients often shed tears when the image/s first go up into place. It can have that much effect on the feel of the room.