Ever Wondered What Happens If…


If you try one of those ‘Art Effects’ in video? Here’s an example – shot on an Olympus Epl5, ‘Dramatic Tone’ (monochrome) effect applied to HD video on a moderately windy day at Knowlton monument.

Shot purely as a test, this isn’t too bad at all – but it needs some work. The inter-frame flicker is a bit distracting – this is fixable with some processor intensive post processing which I haven’t had the patience to try yet. This is the same ‘in camera’ effect which was used here https://28mmf2.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/a-bit-more-in-camera-processing/,and it does tend to be a bit jittery during stills composure so it’s not too unexpected. Also applying the filter slows down the frame capture rate which doesn’t help.

The final edit is two, five minute videos compressed to one minute for vimeo upload – hope you like them.

I really must get back to doing some stills soon!

60 Minutes Compressed into One

Last weekend’s storm in the UK provided some great opportunities to shoot more of a timelapse video, currently in progress at the Knowlton historical monument.



The day before the St Jude storm the wind really picked up – perfect weather for timelapse as things are happening so quickly only short sequences are required to show the passage of time. Rather than 12 minute segments, 3 to 5 minutes were all that were required. These are compressed to one minute and stitched together, all very productive apart from blowing the tripod over!

St Jude is the Patron Saint of lost causes (or souls) – as the sequence fades to night maybe there’s something in that…

So here’s 60 minutes of ‘real time’ footage, which has been compressed to 15 minutes of final video, then further compressed to 1 minute for Vimeo upload.

All shot on a Canon 60D and a Sigma 10-20mm lens at the 10mm setting, f8.

Hope you like this – thanks for looking!

Unexpected Results (one minute video)

The first full day of shooting pseudo-timelapse footage for a commission is completed – and quite a weight off my mind.

Thought you might want to see some interesting results from a very good day’s shooting at Knowlton – a 12th century ruined church in the centre of a Neolithic henge. This is fifteen minutes of footage compressed to one minute and there are phenomena here which just aren’t visible to the “naked eye” in normal time.

A very foggy morning yielded some results which were better than expected. The sun flaring through the fog looked terrible on the LCD of a Canon 60D during filming but worked out well in the final edit. Shot through a Sigma 10-20mm lens at f9 (ish)

This is one minute of fifteen which make up the ‘Autumn’ segment. The one hour video will cover all four seasons so lots to do!

So – hope you like it – thanks for looking.

Shooting Video on the Move!

Having been messing around with Canon 60D video for a few months, the inevitable next step after stationary tripod mounted shooting is to try some stabilised video while moving. The tripod mounted side of things was relatively easy – just turn down the standard sharpness and contrast to their minimum setting, and the colour down a notch or two and correct in post processing. Apart from some basic pre-shoot checks (composition, level, exposure etc) that’s about it really – all very familiar to a stills shooter used to doing long exposures :-

Achieving stabilised video while moving is something else altogether! Hand holding is pretty much impossible, so some form of stabiliser device is required, and they range in price from a £150 to £thousands. There’s also the option of software stablisation, which seems attractive, but it can’t work miracles on a poorly shot sequence.

So – after hours of research, practice and a moderate outlay, here’s my solution. A Hague video stabiliser unit was bought in order to provide a basic level of smoothness to the shots. This initially proved very difficult to use and balance, but with practice (lots!) it’s beginning to yield some decent results – certainly better than hand-holding. A minor modification was to wrap some light cloth around the  gimbal unit and handle (secured with rubber bands) to dampen the very fluid movement of the camera during movement. This fixed most of the problems, but to remove the residual pitch and roll the video was run through a copy of Mercalli V3 software which does an amazing job of smoothing out the final movement.  It can’t correct extreme problems, but the Hague stabiliser provides a means of getting close enough for Mercalli to iron out the remaining final flaws.

The latest result is here, slowed down a bit to add a touch of drama. The subject is Knowlton Church in Dorset, which will hopefully be the subject used for two, one hour films shot over a year.

Hope you find this useful – thanks for looking!

(Old) Stills Photographer Gets To Grips with Video

The last month or two has been spent getting to grips with video – stills have taken a back seat for a while…. A potential commission for a large project has given the incentive to really sort out something I’ve been messing around with for years.

By comparison with stills, video is much more complex, where settings, editing and output are concerned. As a stills photographer of too many years it’s given me a headache on several occasions!

So – initial results after hours of experimentation and fiddling about are below. The Vimeo playback is still a too soft (more messing about required), and real-time video stabilisation has only just been cracked (more later). I’ve still to get Vimeo to consistently present the ‘HD’ option for playback. It’s been really interesting and a good – if rather frustrating at times – experience.

All shot on a Canon 60D and a Sigma 10-20, f4-5.6, best quality 1920x1080p settings then ‘timelapsed’ in Premiere Elements.

So, more to follow – the stabilised walking video is looking quite good but could do with improvement! The option of motorised rail mounted timelapse is on the horizon but I’d better sort out the remaining problems before that problem is tackled….

Thanks for looking.