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Old October 19th, 2012, 10:44 AM   #1
Time to show you a videoI guess!
Clive McLaughlin Clive McLaughlin is offline October 19th, 2012, 10:44 AM

Hi folks, I've been floating around here for a few weeks now, and finding this forum a great resource!

A little about me. I still work a full time job, and began my videography business on the side in January. It's nice not having the stress of fully relying on bookings for income, but man, I'm non-stop editing in the evenings. It's taking it's toll!

I've done 8 videos so far this year, and I'm currently working on a short documentary which is fun. I've a few more weddings before the year ends. And I'm slowly but surely re-investing and upgrading gear.

Here's my latest video. I think i tried to hard to work with the beat of the song. I'm not sure it works in some cases. Sometimes you get so involved in your timeline its hard to see it from the perspective of fresh eyes.

Anyway, here we go!


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Old October 19th, 2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

I know shallow DoF is some crazy kind of Holy Grail, but so many times I tried to look at elements of the picture that were soft - some very very soft. The man welcoming people - you see he's sharp, but the guests going past go soft so quickly and it's difficult to look around. The quick edits also are full of things to look at, but it is a race to see everything before it goes. I can see the point with a shallow plane of focus for when you wish to isolate a source, but many of these images were documentary in nature and I needed to see everything in it. Rows of people in seats - all the guests will be looking at who auntie flo is with, or what uncle Robs shirt looks like.

I love HD pictures with sharpness, so much of this was blurry - either intentionally or accidental. Some of the focus throws in vision seemed very random. It was pacey and fast, but as a record of who was there, with whom and doing what, I found it tricky to watch - sorry.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

Hey Clive,

I don't think the shallow DOF was nearly as bad as Paul made it out to be. I read his comments before watching and while there were a few classic DSLR moments, it wasn't excessive at all and the important parts were easily watchable. You may need to get things a little sharper, and a wider focus in general but that comes with more practice i guess.

The main problem i had with the highlight was with the beat-timing as you already pointed out. Clips flow better when they're not cut to the beat and this gives you a lot more freedom/leeway/creativity with your edit.

Otherwise all good! Have you tried working the audio narrative into your edit? :)
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Old October 19th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

Some nice compositions in there -- for instance, I liked the slider shot on the guests' feet, and the bride with palm outstretched during the photoshoot.

Got a feeling that some of the focus that Paul is talking about is a matter of slow shutter speed. Seemed to be a bit of motion blur?
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Old October 19th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

Thanks for feedback guys. I get what you are all saying.

As for the pace of the edit, This is the fastest i have done. And yea I guess I already had my suspicions it was too fast. You would probably prefer some of my previous edits with more time to watch.

Second, I've just recently started to realise I don't need to be at shallowest DOF all the time. I only just got a steadycam big enough for my DSLR. I knew I would have to keep the aperture narrow for using it. This recent excercise made me realise I should probably widen the DOF more often and see more depth especially in the ceremony.

Shooting my next one tomorrow. I will try to take some of this onboard!
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Old October 20th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

Well, one thing I often think to myself... your mileage will definitely vary... 5.6 is a good place to be for cinematography in general. Doesn't make focusing crazy, and gives you room to open up the aperture without touching ISO if lighting conditions suddenly change. I've got a feeling that feature films are often shot around this point (this is what I read in American Cinematographer anyway), so people are used to that sort of depth of field. But also, stopping down a little enhances lens performance, since if you push lenses to extremes of aperture or zoom, you're going to degrade image quality a little (more softness of corners, more chromatic aberration, etc). That is, if you care about such minor things; most of the time, and especially for events, I can't be bothered...

In the end, really just depends on the shot. I know my own tendency is to shoot too shallow; and the sorts of problems this causes include: (1) some shots, you want to be able to see more! If you're doing a macro shot of a ring, maybe you want the whole ring to be in focus, and not just the tip of it; if you're shooting a line of bridesmaids, maybe you want to be able to see all their faces, and not just single out one of them for no particular reason; (2) movement, especially dancing that goes towards and away from camera plane, etc. But, at extremes of shallowness, any movement is a pain. If you're shooting a reception speech with a 200mm at f/2.8, if the speaker just sways a little bit, they're going to go out of focus.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 02:41 AM   #7
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

So much for trying to widen the in-focus depth. Wedding yesterday was styled to be candle lit with dimmed lights and curtains closed in both the ceremony room and the reception room. But I tried to keep my aperture around 5.6 for most of the other stuff where it was possible with better light.

I had always used a small handicam with a small stabiliser. I recently I got a bigger stabiliser with a view to mounting my 550D on it. Obviously for stabiliser work you need a high aperture anyway, but for the dances I found I had to bump my ISO way up to even see anything. In the end I found I wasn't even getting footage that was significantly better than the handicam! (although maybe better colours)

This was the first instance really that I felt my camera was below par. I had avoided adjusting ISO much till this point because I was happy enough to keep things shallow. But now I admit there must be a happy medium, at least until I can afford an upgrade to a 5D mk3 (Or maybe just a 6D)
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 05:23 AM   #8
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

I think most people in this forum feel your low-light pain, regardless of what camera they're using! But it's sort of funny -- if Mk3s and C300s didn't exist, maybe everyone would be content with Mk2s... If digital cameras didn't exist, maybe people would be content with film's low-light capabilities.

How did that f/5.6 work out? Did it help at all? Did I lead you astray? Did you instinctively feel you weren't shallow enough?
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 05:37 AM   #9
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

Haven't had a chance to really look at the footage on PC yet Adrian. But i felt quite on edge doing it. When working at a sallow depth of field, the focus point is more contrasting and so easy to spot. But on my tiny lcd screen at 5.6 or more, I felt paranoid that i wasn't focusing accurately. I could turn my focus ring a good couple of mm and see no shift on the screen. I'm keen to have a look later and see how it turned out.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 10:37 PM   #10
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Re: Time to show you a videoI guess!

Many american films are shot between f5.6 and 8.. The old 5.6 / 8 split was actually a joke on a South Park episode it's so commonly used.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Well, one thing I often think to myself... your mileage will definitely vary... 5.6 is a good place to be for cinematography in general. Doesn't make focusing crazy, and gives you room to open up the aperture without touching ISO if lighting conditions suddenly change. I've got a feeling that feature films are often shot around this point (this is what I read in American Cinematographer anyway), so people are used to that sort of depth of field. But also, stopping down a little enhances lens performance, since if you push lenses to extremes of aperture or zoom, you're going to degrade image quality a little (more softness of corners, more chromatic aberration, etc). That is, if you care about such minor things; most of the time, and especially for events, I can't be bothered...

In the end, really just depends on the shot. I know my own tendency is to shoot too shallow; and the sorts of problems this causes include: (1) some shots, you want to be able to see more! If you're doing a macro shot of a ring, maybe you want the whole ring to be in focus, and not just the tip of it; if you're shooting a line of bridesmaids, maybe you want to be able to see all their faces, and not just single out one of them for no particular reason; (2) movement, especially dancing that goes towards and away from camera plane, etc. But, at extremes of shallowness, any movement is a pain. If you're shooting a reception speech with a 200mm at f/2.8, if the speaker just sways a little bit, they're going to go out of focus.
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