Here's some more film scans from my travels. This time it's a few shots of the kids while in the Dominican Republic. This is Kodak Ektar pushed 2 stops. Turned out pretty nice. I'm really falling in love with film again, and dreaming of shooting some 35mm motion picture film.
Searching for Subtlety
I tried my hand at shooting some film again. It's been a long time. Keetch and I dusted off the Mamiya 645 this year and here's some of what I shot while we had some models in Cuba in January.
La Fince de Paco y Concha
Valle de Vinales Cuba
So in January, Keetch and I went to Cuba. We were offered the opportunity to join a group of photographers traveling to Cuba to create, learn and play. We had an amazing time, and met some amazing people.
One of our group(Sarah) arranged for us to visit Valle de Vinales. This included a quick(very quick) visit to Paco and Concha’s beautiful farm. I put together a short video to share the beauty of the area and one of it’s main products, tobacco. I wish I had captured more from this area. To really share the truth and honesty of the region. The beautiful homes, travelers on horseback, and farmers plowing their fields with blades pulled by oxen. The Vinales Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides an amazing visual landscape, as well as some of the best tobacco in the world.
This was shot with a Digital Bolex D16 sporting a Zeiss Tevidon 16mm lens, and a Canon 6D with a Sigma Art Series 35mm lens.
“A Small Cigar” is by Jethro Tull
I created these overhead diagrams to help clear up the blocking and camera angles prior to our shoot. We had a crazy schedule (shot all this in 3 days), and I wanted to make sure there was clear communication between myself and the director, as well as the 1st AD and Art Dept.
I managed to get into all the locations about a week ahead of the shoot and then spent a lot of time working with the director to pre-visualize the story in a very clear manner. We layed out where the camera and talent would be for every scene and shot, then broke it down into a detailed shot list. I believe this enabled the AD to prepare the most effective schedule we could manage.
Shooting in a high school meant that we had to work around their schedule. We came into the building on Friday during dismissal and were out Sunday evening. We weren't able to do any pre setting for art/production design, or any pre-lighting. I knew that we would need a definitive plan to work from if we wanted to have any chance of making our days.
Whenever I had a free moment during production I was walking through the upcoming locations(within the school), with my gaffer. This allowed him to dash away and start the next setup when the camera started rolling. The schedule was focused on managing a cast that was largely under 18, balancing their hours, tutoring and wrapping them out efficiently. This meant we had to compromise on geographic efficiency within the school. We were constantly moving. Bouncing in and out of spaces and up and down floors of the school.
My team and I certainly got a workout on this shoot. It was crazy. The fastest pace I've yet to work, especially while trying to maintain a high level of quality. It was like we were shooting a narrative at the pace of a reality show.
I wouldn't recommend shooting at this scale and pace with such a small crew but if you have to, then extreme planning is definitely in order. These overheads made it very easy for me to communicate ideas to everybody on the film. Not every board was followed to the T, but that's ok. That's part of the point. If you have a plan in place, then you have the ability to alter the plan to best fit the needs of the production at any given moment. If there is no plan, then you've got nothing. This was a great learning experience for me and I think the end result turned out well.
Check out The Bar Mitzvah Club here http://www.nbc.com/nbcplayground#/home and vote for your favorite (The Bar Mitzvah Club).
My new vehicle for exploring, is the D16 Digital Bolex. At it core it’s a very simple yet powerful super16 format digital cinema camera. I've tried out various c-mount lenses, with mixed results. The first lens I felt like sharing, is a Zeiss Jenna Tevidon 25mm f1.4
This is a really nice looking lens. Sharp and clear, it really is a great portrait lens for the D16. It does however, need to be kept in the "sweet spot." Similar to the 10mm in that it really needs to around an f4 or f5.6 to look good. It seems to me that they preform quite poorly with the aperture closed down, past f8.
So far my biggest problem with these Tevidon lenses is that they don't look great at or near infinity focus. So it could be lacking as a wide "master" lens. However, since it's clear that I'll need some ND's to maintain a f4 or f5.6 outside it's hard to say how it will perform as a wide lens, until I can test with ND's as well.
As I get into this a little deeper I'll put up some more controlled environment lens tests to really see where the lenses are lacking and where they shine.
Here's some test footage from playing around one day.