Change of discipline today; photographer!

Madeleine pink table centre piece flowers Madeleine Pink table centre piece at Epsom RAC (Canon 5D mkIII, Samyang 14mm @T/3.1, 1/60’s, ISO 1600).

I am not a yes man. I will never say yes to doing something I haven’t had experience in, as it can just cause anger, frustration and disappointment from both myself and the client, especially if I don’t deliver what is expected.

Photography for me is one of those disciplines. Personally I am not a photographer, I don’t have an education or background in still photography apart from graphics and VFX, so I go against one of my own rules here purely because of the following reasons, that may be applicable to you too!

1) I learned videography and production on broadcast video cameras, transitioning to DSLR through the wedding film job I do; I was heavily trained and now 3 years on my 5D mkIII is my port of call. Many will be in the same position as me here and will follow the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed, ISO).

2) While at university, and still now I study cinematic and storytelling techniques (it wasn’t included in my Television and Video Technology BSc. course). Whether it be moving the camera or with a static shot, the composition of storytelling is a present and constant thought in my work.

3) I have prepared myself heavily with the correct equipment and research to use; high speed lenses, a range of lights to compose the image, building mood boards and finding out the clients requirements (as well as any inspiration they have that will add).

4) My client is very happy with what I produce, and if they weren’t they wouldn’t ask me to work with them again.

Note: I never advertise myself as a photographer.

That makes me confident to go out and take some photos of flowers for a florist, which I am doing today!

Madeleine pink table centre piece flowers Madeleine Pink table centre piece at Epsom RAC (Canon 5D mkIII, Tamron 24-70mm @F/3.2, 1/50’s, ISO 3200).

Transferring the skills from DSLR videography to photography have been easier for me, probably because I always shoot in manual, I love taking my camera out with me wherever I go, and the storytelling techniques of composing images are still present in photos like they are in video.

If however you find it a little more difficult, consult the exposure triangle, and keep a couple of things in mind;

Aperture – Wide open allows lots of light to enter, shallow depth of field. A narrow aperture reduces the light making the image darker, and creating a deep depth of field. Using focus and blur is one of the main tools the director uses to concentrate the audiences attention onto specific details.

Shutter speed – Controls the motion due to how long the sensor is exposed to the light. A fast shutter captures fast motion with minimal blur (sports and outdoor), a slow shutter means the sensor is exposed for longer, allowing the subjects to move in the frame while it is open, creating blur.

ISO – Digital noise added to increase the image exposure. Low ISO results in low noise, crisp images but with no added exposure, where high ISO will increase your exposure but will introduce digital noise that is more visible in dark situations.

Other key points to remember: White Balance/Colour Temperature – make sure your whites are white and your blacks are black. This depends on what light you are using, daylight for example is 5600K, but Tungsten is 3200K.

Make sure your camera is set to capture RAW and JPEG images to allow for greater definition when editing the pictures afterwards!

Madeleine pink table centre piece flowers Madeleine Pink table centre piece at Epsom RAC (Canon 5D mkIII, Nikkor 50mm @F/1.8, 1/50’s, ISO 1600).

It is worth a go if you are confident you can produce the images your potential client is looking for. Being a videographer not a photographer, I do not charge a standard fee to have me out for an hour and to post process the images later. This is for two reasons; I am a new business, and so is my client. Why out price your skills and make it a hard decision for your potential client to use you? Secondly, like I keep mentioning I am not a photographer and although I have rates and targets to meet financially, I see this more of getting out with the camera to be creative for an afternoon rather than a job.

Some points to consider if you are ever approached by someone who requires something different from your usual line of work! Do not forget to do your research though. Unfortunately I have had a number of experiences of photographers embarking on video without understanding the full production process, where I’ve been asked by their client to correct the mistakes.. So if you’re a photographer doing video, again have confidence in that you will be able to produce exactly what is expected, and with the internet being the biggest learning and education network, there really is no excuse nowadays!

 

 

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CamSmart 2014 Road Map

For those unaware, I have spent the last 18 months working with a photography and videography equipment company in China, called CamSmart! Many of you may have bought their DSLR Camera Rig from Amazon..

I am their European Rep, and product developer. I designed the professional camera rig that will be available to buy in February 2014, focusing on the different scenarios you will use a camera rig for, no matter what camera, location or type of shoot!

Michael is visiting England for the first time this week, with his wife Kaitlyn, we spent yesterday discussing the future plans for our products, marketing, advertisement and much much more, and topped it off with a wonderful meal in the Hilton.

I am ever more excited to receive the camera rig (which is currently on its journey from China to me), as it is the physical representation of the hard work and effort that has gone into 18 months of work. A product that I hope to share with every video producer that needs an alternative solution to a camera rig, at a fantastic price.

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Back to normal for freelance videography

A week since IBC, things are pretty much back to normal for here in Epsom. I have been furiously emailing the companies and people I met to get my foot in the door for some videography or digital media content production.. We shall see!

Oh yeah, immersive experience, here is what I am listening to – http://8tracks.com/monkcoco/amsterdams-jams

I have been working on an edit for a video of a day trip around Amsterdam city, just a few shots of what I though was worthy of being included! (“You only get one” quote from Glen Symes). It is currently taking a looonngggg time exporting in Adobe Media Encoder due to down-res’ing from 1080p to 720p for the web, as well as some heavy grading done in Magic Bullet, which always takes time anyway.

Here is a couple of photos from the edit, and the grade to show you how 🙂

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What can I say, do your clients pay for render time? XD

I’m going to upload the video of Amsterdam later today, so keep updated as I shall post it on here! I used Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 to edit the video, and Red Giant Magic Bullet to grade. I did a couple of timelapses so just sped them up and used ‘Frame Blending’ to create the smooth motion blur. I shot most of it on my Canon 60D and Tamron 17-50 F/2.8, also using Sams GoPro Hero3 for the other shots. I chose Zero 7 “Destiny” for the backing music as it is chilled and ambient, just like the culture over there!

In the meantime I am developing my marketing strategy for the videography business I am trying to get funding for, through The Start Up Loans company (James Caan), but that hasn’t been at the top my list, although it really should be.. If you’ve got any tips for start ups and writing business plans then please forward them this way!

I am also working on videos in the edit suite which include interviews with F&V, NHK, Tokina, Ikegami, and NanGuang, so keep updated for those too!

Ciao for now 😀

 

What I’ve Been Up To.. It’s been a while!

Good afternoon! Its a blazing hot day here, I’m preparing my trip to IBC (checking flights and passes etc), and getting to know the other IBC Rising Stars at this years IBC in Amsterdam. I’m so excited!

I’ve been busy with a variety of jobs since my last post, including photography and shooting. I helped out a make up artist friend of mine by doing a photoshoot with a model in Hampton Court and Bushy Park. Here are some of the best photos:

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Leanne Cook is the Make Up Artist and has loads of experience in TV and special occasion make up. Here’s a link to her site – http://www.leannecook-mua.com/

I’ve also been working on a couple of weddings with JHWF, here is one that I shot in The Orangery, Holland Park, Kensington.

Other recent updates include the testing and shoot with the Camax LCD High Definition Field Monitor for videography, cinematography, broadcasting and photography. A full review of the field monitor will be uploaded soon, for now here are a couple of stills and my first thoughts about the monitor.

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  • Very easy to use straight out the box (although lack of battery and longer cables held me back from using it immediately on location, which I had to purchase separately.)
  • Basic functionality for a low cost solution.
  • Lightweight; great for on location or light rig solutions.
  • Overall a good basic solution to a field monitor, however this product should be specified by its packaging and reflected in the quality in design of the packaging and the manual and firmware.
  • I was surprised to see a battery not included.

What else has been going on? Oh yes! I am now a Manfrotto Local Hero, and have my profile on their page! Many thanks to Dave Beck for your help, and I am extremely excited for our LED lighting field test shoot this Friday! I will be testing out the 5 new on-camera LED lights, as well as the new 1×1 flood panels (bi-colour and daylight/tungsten), got a music video and model shoot lined up so keep following for the updates!

Here is the link to my Manfrotto Local Heroes profile – http://www.manfrotto.us/Local+Heroes/Adam+Plowden/52400709

Apart from all that, IBC is coming up next week which I am so ecstatically excited for! If you are attending and want to meet up then get in touch!

 

 

 

Today + Surpise postQ

It’s been a very long day, was at the Burford Bridge Hotel at 10-30 to start shooting the wedding of Jo and John! It was the hottest day ever. But, once again a great couple to work with and wonderful day behind the camera. Only to make it much much better by getting my new business cards! Thank you Moo for your glorious cards and printing quality! The backs feature previous works with Manfrotto, Moet Hennessy, Broadcast Magazine, BBC, and John Harris Media.
I was so surprised as I only ordered them a couple of days ago and didn’t expect such a fast turn-around, so thumbs up to you, Moo!