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Old April 15th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #1
Adrian Tan Adrian Tan is offline April 15th, 2013, 08:20 AM

I don't think I've ever posted any of my own footage here. Frankly, because I'm a bit embarrassed by it. I'm keenly aware of all the technical faults, but anyway...

I try to shoot in a "DSLR documentary" style -- meaning a documentary style, or my interpretation of "documentary", with a DSLR -- which is really a recipe for disaster. DSLRs aren't suited to catching candid moments for lots of reasons.

Almost all my work is for four or five companies around Sydney, and not for my own company. But I'm kept very busy, and I usually don't have the burden of editing. So it really is interesting to see the different ways people use our footage. From people who are scrupulous about cutting out all dodgy shots (shakiness, overexposure, underexposure, etc) to people who just care about content, and if you can see a tripod, bugger it, they're not going to muck around with After Effects to try to fix.

Anyways, here are two five-minute and one 15-minute examples. Didn't edit any of these myself (if I had, I would have cut out all the cameos that my friend and I make!!!). The first sample (probably the best) was for a company called Videoworx.

Tech details: You can probably see what gear we're using because we're in so many flaming shots. 5dMkIIs and MkIIIs. Zoom lenses, not primes. Four cameras for ceremony, and four for reception speeches (and Peter Riding is right -- even with two operators, babysitting four DSLRs at once can be tricky).

I stay on a monopod pretty much the entire day for close-ups and statics and a billion pull focuses. 24-105, 70-200. And my friend stays on a Merlin pretty much the entire day (if you liked the steadicam work, that's all him): 16-35. Slider doesn't see much use.

Last edited by Adrian Tan; April 15th, 2013 at 06:02 PM..

Adrian Tan
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Old April 15th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Re: Samples

Really nice Adrian. Good job.
Nate Haustein PXW-FX9 / FCPX
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Old April 16th, 2013, 03:17 AM   #3
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Re: Samples

Why did Ivana in the 1st video change her name to Zhilu and marry someone else in the 2nd video :- )

Very good use of the strengths of dSLRs and fast lenses in the 1st video. I'm thinking e.g. the close crop of the bride's face near the start, the narrow depth of field in the ring detail shot, and the pull focus with the priest at the altar.

The 2nd video doesn't seem quite as sharp as the 1st. Maybe down to the tastes of the editor. But some nice stuff. Please tell me those silly poses were engineered by the photographer and not you :- ) I can't imagine risking a bride lying down on decking in her dress.

Haven't watched the 3rd yet - too long for a highlights :- )

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Old April 16th, 2013, 04:49 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Re: Samples

Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Very much appreciated.

Peter -- you're right about the softness. And it's given me some pause for thought. Reasons for it? One is that the second video is SD. Another is that it's a different picture profile -- probably Cinestyle, whereas the first video was probably Faithful. Third video is Neutral. So, maybe I should shoot in Faithful from now on -- so much sharper, richer in colours, more beautiful blacks -- at the expense of less information in the shadows, particularly when it's contrasty, and sometimes very reddish skin tones.

The other main reason it looks soft is because it IS soft! Operator stuff-up. Out of focus in many places. You've made me wonder what my hit rate actually is. When I'm trying to shoot shallow, and trying to rack focus on the fly to catch a candid moment without using the focus assist magnifier, maybe I'm getting misses as often or more often than I'm getting hits. I'm not sure...

But that's the big problem with trying to use a DSLR for candid shots. I don't think I'm under any illusions about my work; it is what it is; it is full of out of focus and hunting for focus, etc. That does annoy me a lot, and hopefully I'm improving. But I guess at the end of the day it's a trade-off I'm willing to make in return for the times I do successfully walk the tightrope, like with the priest shot. And the clients don't comment on the softness, so that's the main thing.

Silly poses -- I actually liked the lying down bit! But your guess was right -- photographer's pose, not mine. I generally don't pose people at all, and just shoot from the sidelines.

Last edited by Adrian Tan; April 16th, 2013 at 09:21 PM.
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