10 Movie Mistakes That Made The Films Better

Calvin Candie

Very often we hear about movie accidents, continuity errors, or actors breaking character in the final cut. This happens because (let’s face it), sometimes you can’t control everything, let alone control everything that’s happening when making a movie.

But sometimes these mistakes become assets to the movie and give it a unique turn. Here is the list of movie mistakes that made the films better:

 

10. Being John Malkovich – Hey Malkovich, think fast!

In this beautiful mind bending film made by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, we get it all and we need no explanation. John Cusack discovers a secret tunnel that lets you enter John Malkovich’s brain and body, becoming him, enjoying what a man like John does on a daily basis.

As this activity becomes more regular on Cusack and everyone who knows about the tunnel, the famous actor himself gets involved.

There’s this one scene in which Malkovich sees the tunnel and completely freaks out, he starts walking the highway, then a guy throws a beer at his head shouting “Hey Malkovich, think fast!”, and the actor falls on the ground and shouts – in real pain – says Spike Jonze.

The thing was that they got some sneaked beer on the set, by the time the scene started filming, one of them was wasted. He ended up charging 700 usd for a day instead of a normal 100 usd an extra usually gets paid. The beer works great as a touch of hostility towards Malkovich, which works perfectly in regards of what he is feeling. Not a good day.

 

9. The Usual Suspects – The Line Up Scene

The Usual Suspects

Usual Suspects is one of the most successful movies of the 90’s. Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Spacey, among others star in an extremely well-constructed thriller, which keeps you at the end of your seat for the whole hour and forty six minutes of it. (Keyser Soze!). However, there is one scene that was not pretended to go the way it went.

The Line Up Scene is an important one because it’s when the character introduces themselves. They are side by side in a suspects line.

As each of the characters says a particular sentence, they laugh, every single one of them. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It was a “serious” scene. The thing was, Benicio was having stomach problems, and couldn’t stop farting throughout the whole day. It makes the scene ten times better because opposed to just normal serious presentations, we get a glimpse of how well they know the police´s standard routine, and how little they are afraid of it. It’s one of the most celebrated scenes in the movie.

 

8. The Godfather – Luca Brasi’s Introduction

While filming the first Godfather movie, Francis Ford Coppola wanted a big, intimidating guy to play Luca Brasi. Luckily for Coppola, the set was visited by actual mobsters and their personal bodyguards. One of them was Lenny Montana, who got the part as Brasi just as Coppola saw him. He was a world wrestling champion, and a guy you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of.

The scene was simple: Meet Don Corleone and state his loyalty to him. But what ended up happening, is that Montana got so nervous around Brando, knowing he was a living legend. That he forgot his lines, and started mumbling.

Coppola saw this and loved it, to the extent that he filmed another scene in which Brasi is practicing what he is going to say to Corleone. This was a great decision (says Coppola) because it makes Brando’s character look more intimidating and powerful. For someone like Montana (who was huge) to be actually scared of the Don Corleone, was definitely an interesting take on it.

 

7. Easy Rider – Acid Trip

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Easy Rider, one of the most influential American movies of the 20th century happened in the spirit the film proclaims: improvising, making decisions on the go, and remembering to have a good time.

There’s a scene that starts in New Orleans on Mardi Gras. It’s the beginning of an acid trip for Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. To make this sequence, Hopper decided to give all of his filmmaker friends 16mm cameras, and let them record whatever they wanted.

They went out and did exactly that. Problem is, everybody was having a great time and not paying much attention to what was being recorded. Most of it was out of focus, over exposed and too jumpy. Story goes Hopper lost his temper and broke a guitar in camera man Barry Feinstein’s head.

On top of everything the film was exposed to sun light, which made it had light leaks. In the end Hopper decided to keep it, and it is one of the most celebrated and original scenes in the movie, going perfectly with the parade and the trip itself. It feels like as if the drugs kicked in little by little.

 

6. The Last Temptation of Christ – It’s accomplished!

the_last_temptation_of_christ

Based on the Nikoz Kazantzakis book, Scorsese’s controversial masterpiece stands as a different, radical interpretation of the standard biblical tale of Christ’s final days.

Towards the end, there is a scene in which Christ is nailed to the cross accomplishing the ultimate sacrifice for humanity. In this scene Willem Dafoe screams “It’s accomplished!”. Scorsese loved the second take and moved on. While getting ready to shoot another scene some camera man approaches him and tells him he, by accident, opened the filmed magazine, meaning there was probably a light leak on the film. Scorsese thought he had no time to re-shoot.

When he got back to New York he saw the take, there was indeed an Edge Fog, making the end of the scene full of flares and light leaks, colored red. Scorsese was delighted, “The Edge Fog became the resurrection of Christ, that’s cinema!”. Until this date it makes that particular scene feel more spiritual, full of light and maybe even the way heaven looks like, who knows.

The Art of the Cut Podcast Eps. 13 (w/ “The Goldfinch” Editor Kelley Dixon, ACE)

The Art of the Cut podcast brings the fantastic conversations that Steve Hullfish has with world renowned editors into your car, living room, editing suite and beyond. In each episode, Steve talks with editors ranging from emerging stars to Oscar and Emmy winners. Hear from the top editors of today about their careers, editing workflows and about their work on some of the biggest films and TV shows of the year.

The Goldfinch edited by Kelley Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week Steve spoke with Emmy winning editor Kelley Dixon, ACE about editing the new film “The Goldfinch”. You likely know Kelley from her work on TV shows like “Shameless”, “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad”. Kelley also worked as a first assistant editor under Sally Menke on “Reservoir Dogs” and on “Good Will Hunting” under Pietro Scalia. To hear Steves full conversation with Kelley about editing “The Goldfinch” check out the below link:

This weeks episode was brought to you by G-Technology and Filmtools.com. G-Technology is a leading brand for professional-grade storage solutions for the media and entertainment industry. Since their inception in 2004, G-Technology has consistently offered reliable, high-performance hard drives! If you are in the market for some new storage make sure to head over to Filmtools.com and check out the hottest product offerings from G-Technology.

You can also read Steve’s full interview with Kelley about editing “The Goldfinch” here.

The Art of the Cut podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Overcast and Radio Public. If you like the podcast, make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast app and tell a friend!

The post The Art of the Cut Podcast Eps. 13 (w/ “The Goldfinch” Editor Kelley Dixon, ACE) appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Thinktank Photo release Airport Advantage XT lightweight roller

Thinktank Photo has released a new bag for frequent flyers, with the new Airport Advantage XT. It only weighs 7.5 lb (3.4kg), which complies with strict international airline requirements to pass as carry on luggage. As for how much gear you can pack into it, Thinktank says that it will fit up to a 500mm … Continued

The post Thinktank Photo release Airport Advantage XT lightweight roller appeared first on Newsshooter.

Nikon, Leica and Olympus are Not Going to Attend Photokina 2020

Photokina is still the world’s leading imaging expo, but changes to its structure and a struggling industry may be pushing participants away. In a press release published to the expo’s website, the trade show’s organizer Koelnmesse revealed that Nikon, Leica and Olympus have all chosen to skip Photokina 2020.

The announcement strikes a grim-but-hopeful note, under the headline “Photokina 2020: An Industry in Transformation, a Decisive Chance for the Future.”

Stand: Leica, Halle2.2

“The imaging industry is currently undergoing massive changes, which also have an impact on Photokina as the industry’s leading trade fair – and this in a dimension never seen before,” begins the text. “While on the one hand the classic camera market reports strongly declining sales and turnover figures, the enjoyment of photography continues to grow – with a positive effect on the demand for pictures.”

The release goes on to call on the “major players” in the imaging industry “to make the greatest possible use of this opportunity.” Except that three of the major players—including one of the Big Three—have decided not to use the opportunity at all.

At the end of the third paragraph, Koelnmesse gets to the point of the whole release: the company reveals that Nikon, Leica and Olympus have all cancelled their attendance. Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Sigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, Hasselblad and others are all listed as attending, but for some reason, three of the biggest names have chosen to sit this one out.

Stand: Nikon, Halle 2.2

“We of course regret these cancellations, but they change nothing for the overall experience of Photokina,” says Christoph Werner, Vice President of Koelnmesse. “The unique mixture of product presentation, networking, experience and continuing training have been making Photokina a very special international event for many decades.”

We’re not quite as chipper as Mr. Werner, but it seems Photokina is poised to press on without Nikon, Leica and Olympus… even if the expo did take this opportunity to call the camera brands out for cancelling. What do you think of this development? Are trade shows and expos on their way out, or is there still a place for Photokina in 2020 and beyond?

(via Nikon Rumors)


Image credits: All photos courtesy of Koelnmesse.

Sometimes, Things Just Don’t Go Well

Sometimes, Things Just Don't Go Well

Watch enough YouTube and photography tutorials, and you might start to think that accomplished photographers do nothing but take spectacular shots day in and day out. But the truth is that even the best among us have days where things just don’t go right or the creative juices just aren’t flowing properly. This great video takes an honest look at what happens when things just aren’t going the way you had hoped.

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CyberLink reveals its new PhotoDirector 11, PowerDirector 18 and other creative software

CyberLink launched PhotoDirector 11, PowerDirector 18, and other updates to its creative software today, adding major new features like performance improvements for the latest R9 and i9 chipsets, AI-powered tools, 1:1 square video support for Instagram and Facebook, new transition effects, and more.

PhotoDirector 11 has been updated with Customizable Warped and Bevel & Emboss text effects in layer editing, the latter of which includes a layer editing tool with access to all of the ‘key’ editing and adjustment features, according to CyberLink. As well, the updated software now features AI Deblur and AI Styles, tools that use the software’s AI engine to remove blurs and add brushstrokes to images.

Joining the product is the updated PowerDirector 18, which has received a number of new features, including support for 1:1 square video and nested projects, new transition effects, motion graphics and animated tile templates, and Shape Designer, a tool for adding and editing vector shapes in videos.

AudioDirector 10 and ColorDirector 8 bring fewer, though no less significant, updates with the addition of AI Dewind for audio clips and Punch & Roll Recording for long audio tracks (AudioDirector), as well as Color Match for standardizing scene color and Color Replacement with Keyframe Control (ColorDirector).

When purchased individually, CyberLink charges the following prices for its four products:

Customers also have various 365 subscription options, including Director Suite 365 for $29.99/month or $129.99/year; this pack includes the four updated applications listed above, as well as unlimited access to 100GB of CyberLink Cloud storage, the company’s exclusive AI Style Packs, as well as its premium effects, plug-ins, and other content packs.

4 Lessons Paul Thomas Anderson Can Teach You About Directing

Paul Thomas Anderson is always a wealth of information when it comes to directing. Here are a few things you can learn from his work on “The Master”.

It’s a gift and a joy to live in the time of Paul Thomas Anderson. The director seems to always be planning and choosing his projects one thought process at a time.

His meticulous nature and determined outlook were never more evident than in his work on The Master.

The Master is a strange and beautiful movie about the will of the human spirit and the lengths we go to form not only control over ourselves but control over others.

Today, I want to go over a few directing tips from Paul Thomas Anderson from The Master and see how you can use them in your next projects.

Check out this video from The Director’s Cut and let’s talk after the break.

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The 7 Greatest Films (According to First Year Film School Students)

Have you seen Martin Scorsese’s “Boondock Saints”? It’s a classic!

Okay, let’s get this out of the way up front. I have to disclose the shameful truth that, at one point, I myself was a film school student. And even worse, at one point I was even a first-year film school student. I was in that exact, awful first class that every film school student had to sit through.

The one where all your bright-eyed peers are lined up in desks and the professor makes you introduce yourself one by one. Each of us is supposed to say who we are, where we’re from and…what our favorite movies and directors are.

It’s an odd experience. Because it quickly morphs from an innocent way to share something about yourself and your passions into a contest to see who can name drop the socially correct film knowledge. It also showcases film students at their worst. Because pretty much every answer will always be the same.

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Aputure’s new LS 600d prototype LED light offers 600W output

Filmmaking gear company Aputure revealed a prototype version of its upcoming LS 600d LED light at IBC 2019 over the weekend, introducing consumers to a model with an exceptionally bright output at 600W. The light is described as the next step up from Aputure’s 300d II model.

In addition to being shorter and wider than the LS C300II model, which Aputure says makes this model better suited for shooting in tight areas, the LS 600d light’s low-RPM fan is quieter than that of the 300d II despite the greater output.

The model has a 720W draw, while its companion controller can be run off a 48V DC input or four 310W V-mount batteries. Assuming the unit is run off batteries, Adorama reports the LS 600d can run non-stop for up to 1 hour and 45 minutes. The light features a Bowens-style mount, as well, for use with light modifiers and other attachments.

Cinema5D reports that the Aputure LS 600d likewise features three built-in effects: paparazzi, strobe, and lightning. The prototype version of the battery and control box will be slimmed down in the final production version of the device, according to Cinema5D, which reports that Aputure hopes to cut the size in half.

The Aputure LS 600d should be available to purchase in or around February 2020.

A Review of the Godox V1 Flash

A Review of the Godox V1 Flash

Godox is well known for producing affordable, high quality lights that a lot of photographers are quite fond of. The Godox V1 is their entry into the round head speedlight market, and it has captured the attention of a lot of photographers, particularly in the face of the much more expensive Profoto A1. Is it the right speedlight for you? This great review will answer that question.

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This Interactive Online Color Wheel Will Help You Understand Color Theory

The folks over at Canva have put together a fun, interactive Color Wheel tool that might just be the easiest, most enjoyable way way to play around with and learn about color theory.

Canva is an online tool/service that uses a drag-and-drop interface to help beginners create professional looking designs. As such, the color wheel they’ve created is actually meant for designers, but that doesn’t mean photographers can’t use it to learn about color theory as well.

As we’ve pointed out multiple times in the past, an understanding of color theory can work wonders for your photography, especially once you get into post-processing. Getting an accurate color balance is only a starting point, after which you can alter and modify the image to suit the mood and feeling you’re trying to convey.

One of the best ways to do this is by using colors that “work well together,” like complementary colors that sit on opposing sides of the color wheel (see the slightly overused “orange and teal look“), triadic colors for a bold look, or various shades of the same color for a monochromatic look. If none of those terms sound familiar, that’s where Canva’s interactive color wheel comes in.

The brand’s Color Wheel page explains the most common terms in color theory, and then gives you a fun and useful tool through which to learn-by-doing. For example, when you select complementary color from the tool’s drop-down menu, picking a primary color on the wheel will immediately identify its complement as well.

You can change the hue and saturation on the wheel itself, and then adjust the luminance using the point around the edge. Once you have a color you like, the tool will identify its complement; it even gives you the hex codes for both colors so you can type it straight into Photoshop. The same thing can be done with Monochromatic, Analogous, Triadic, and Tetradic color combinations.

Once you’re done, you can export the combination as a PDF complete with swatches, hex codes, RBG values, and CMYK values.

This won’t replace a comprehensive tutorial where you really get to dive into color theory and see its applications in action, but the interactive, hands-on component might just help you get a better grasp on colors and inspire you to get creative with the HSL or Split Toning tools in Lightroom after your next shoot.

To learn more about the Canva Color Wheel or give it a shot for yourself, head over to the Canva website by clicking here.

2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Shortlist Captures Nature’s Beauty and Its Brutality

The covered Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition—a contest developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London—has revealed a set of 15 “highly commended” images from this year’s competition. The winners won’t be revealed until October 15th, but this shortlist gives you a sense of the incredible submissions the judges had to choose from.

The competition, which is in its 55th year, received some 50,000 entries from photographers hailing from 100 different countries. Overall winners will be announced on October 15th, and an exhibition of the winning images will open at the Natural History Museum in London on October 18th.

Scroll down to see 15 of the contenders vying for Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019, and then head over to the WPY website to learn more.

Highly Commended 2019, Young Wildlife Photographers: 11-14 years old

Photo © Carlos Perez Naval | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: When Carlos’s family planned a trip to Panama’s Soberanía National Park, sloths were high on their must-see agenda. They were not disappointed. For several days, from the observation deck of the park’s canopy tower, Carlos could photograph not only birds but also this brown-throated three-toed sloth—the orange fur and the dark stripe on its back marking it as an adult male. It hung out in a cecropia tree, resting but occasionally moving, slowly, along a branch to reach new leaves.

On this morning, with the forest cloaked in fog and the sloth on the move, Carlos decided on a new composition. Climbing down, he shot from a lower level but at an angle that would still show the sloth’s key features—its three hooked claws clamped to the branch, its characteristic mask-like eye-stripe and its long, coarse fur. But by deliberately placing it in one part of the frame, he also captured the atmosphere of the forest—‘the sloth in its environment.’

Gear: Nikon D700 + 28–300mm f3.5–5.6 lens at 45mm; 1/125 sec at f10; ISO 1600.

Highly Commended 2019, Behaviour: Mammals

Photo © Adrian Hirschi | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: A newborn hippo, just days old, was keeping close to its mother in the shallows of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, when a large bull suddenly made a beeline for them. He chased the mother, then seized the calf in his huge gape, clearly intent on killing it. After trying to drown it, he tried to crush it to death. All the while, the distraught mother looked on.

Adrian’s fast reaction and fast exposure captured the shocking drama. Infanticide among hippos is rare but may result from the stress caused through overcrowding when their day-resting pools dry out. A male may also increase his reproductive chances by killing young that are not his, triggering females to go into oestrus, ready to mate with him. Male hippos are also aggressively territorial, and brutal fights are not uncommon. If they feel threatened by an accidental encounter, hippos will also attack and kill humans.

Gear: Nikon D750 + 400mm f2.8 lens; 1/2000 sec at f6.3 (-0.7 e/v); ISO 640; Gitzo monopod.

Highly Commended 2019, Black and White

Photo © Alex Mustard | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: In the clear water of the Red Sea, a shoal of bigeye trevally circle 25 meters (80 feet) down at the edge of the reef. For the past 20 years Alex has travelled here, to Ras Mohammad—a national park at the tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula—to photograph the summer-spawning aggregations of reef fish. ‘The big lure is that I always see something new,’ he says. This time, it was the high numbers of bigeye trevally.

Their circling behaviour is a dating exercise prior to pairing up, though it also deters predators. Spawning gatherings like this are easily fished out—but not here, as the national park is a no-fishing marine reserve. Using a lens system with a 130‑degree angle of view, Alex captured the shape of the shoal against the deep blue water below, the iridescent angled fish reflecting the light from the sun and his strobes.

Gear: Nikon D850 + 28–70mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 31mm + Nauticam Wide Angle Conversion Port; 1/60 sec at f11; ISO 500; Subal housing; two Seacam Seaflash 150D strobes.

Highly Commended 2019, Behaviour: Birds

Photo © Diana Rebman | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: On a bitterly cold morning on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, Diana came across a delightful scene. A flock of long-tailed tits and marsh tits were gathered around a long icicle hanging from a branch, taking turns to nibble the tip. Here, a Hokkaido long-tailed tit hovers for a split second to take its turn to nip off a beakful. If the sun came out and a drop of water formed, the tit next ‘in line’ would sip rather than nip. The rotation of activity was so fast-moving that it almost seemed choreographed.

Two days later, Diana returned and found that, with temperatures still at -20°C (-4°F), the icicle remained and tits were still drinking from it. But when the sun came out and the ice began to melt, one long‑tailed tit chose to cling to the icicle instead of hovering. That instantly brought the performance to an end, as the icicle cracked and then crashed to the ground.

Gear: Nikon D500 + 300mm f2.8 lens + 1.7x teleconverter; 1/1600 sec at f8 (+0.3 e/v); ISO 1600; cable release; Gitzo tripod + Mongoose head.

Highly Commended 2019, Behaviour: Mammals

Photo © Eduardo Del Álamo | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: A gentoo penguin—the fastest underwater swimmer of all penguins—flees for its life as a leopard seal bursts out of the water. Eduardo was expecting it. He had spotted the penguin, resting on a fragment of broken ice. But he had also seen the leopard seal patrolling off the Antarctic Peninsula coast, close to the gentoo’s colony on Cuverville Island. As Eduardo’s inflatable headed towards the penguin, the seal passed directly beneath the boat. Moments later, it surged out of the water, mouth open. The penguin made it off the ice, but the seal now seemed to turn the hunt into a game.

Leopard seals are formidable predators. Females can be 3.5 metres (11½ feet) long and weigh more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds), males slightly less. Their slender bodies are built for speed, with wide jaws bearing long canines and sharply pointed molars. They hunt almost anything, from fish to the pups of other seal species. And they also play with their prey, as in this instance, with the leopard seal pursuing the penguin for more than 15 minutes before finally catching and eating it.

Gear: Canon EOS 7D Mark II + 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 110mm; 1/2500 sec at f10; ISO 1000.

Highly Commended 2019, Under Water

Photo © Fabien Michenet | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: A juvenile jackfish peers out from inside a small jellyfish off Tahiti in French Polynesia. With nowhere to hide in the open ocean, it has adopted the jelly as an overnight traveling shelter, slipping under the umbrella and possibly immune to the stinging tentacles, which deter potential predators.

In hundreds of night dives, says Fabien, ‘I’ve never seen one without the other.’ It is not clear if a jelly derives any benefit or why the relationship breaks down when water acidifies. Diving in deep open water in darkness—here at 20 meters (65 feet) down—is Fabien’s speciality. Zooplankton migrate up from the deep under cover of darkness to feed on surface-dwelling phytoplankton (which need sunlight), and other predators stream after them. Drifting with the jelly and its rider, Fabien combined all the elements of his composition at exactly the right moment.

Gear: Nikon D810 + 60mm f2.8 lens; 1/320 sec at f22; ISO 64; Nauticam housing; Inon Z-240 strobes.

Highly Commended 2019, Plants and Fungi

Photo © Frank Deschandol | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: On a night-time field-trip in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, Frank spotted this bizarre-looking weevil clinging to a fern stem. Its glazed eyes showed it was dead, and the three antennae-like projections growing out of its thorax were the ripe fruiting bodies of a ‘zombie fungus.’ Spreading inside the weevil while it was alive, the parasitic fungus had taken control of its muscles and compelled it to climb. When it was at a suitable height—for the fungus—the weevil held fast to the stem. Fueled by the weevil’s insides, the fungus then started to grow fruiting bodies topped by capsules that would release a multitude of tiny spores to infect new prey. Similar ‘zombie fungi’ are known to parasitize other insects.

Shooting the weevil head on, to show its characteristic elongated snout, Frank isolated the fungus against a soft background to emphasize the capsules. By the next day, the spores had been released and the fungus had withered, its mission accomplished.

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 100mm f2.8 lens; 1 sec at f5.6; ISO 100; Triopo tripod + Feisol head.

Highly Commended 2019, Urban Wildlife

Photo © Jason Bantle | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: An ever-adaptable raccoon pokes her bandit-masked face out of a 1970s Ford Pinto on a deserted farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. In the back seat, her five playful kits trill with excitement. It was a sentiment shared by Jason, waiting silently in a nearby hide, who had been hoping for this chance every summer for several years. The only access into the car was through the small hole in the cracked safety glass of the windscreen. The gap was blunt‑edged but too narrow a fit for a coyote (the primary predator of raccoons in the area), making this an ideal place for a mother raccoon to raise a family.

On this evening, she paused at the exit to check the surroundings just long enough for Jason to make his long twilight exposure. She then squeezed out to spend the night looking for food—anything from fruit, nuts and eggs to invertebrates and small vertebrates.

Gear: Nikon D810 + 70–200mm f2.8 lens at 145mm + polarizing filter; 0.4 sec at f2.8 (-0.7 e/v); ISO 800; cable release; Gitzo tripod + Wimberley head; hide.

Highly Commended 2019, Wildlife Photojournalism

Photo © Jo-Anne McArthur | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: Pinned to a white wall are the skins of rattlesnakes. Surrounding them are signed bloody handprints—triumphant marks of those who have skinned snakes at the annual rattlesnake round-up in Sweetwater, Texas.

Each year tens of thousands of rattlesnakes are caught for this four‑day festival. In spring, wranglers use gasoline to flush the snakes out of their winter dens—a practice banned in many US states. They are kept in poor conditions before being brought to the festival and tossed into snake pits. They are then decapitated as entertainment for festival-goers, who pay to skin them.

Proponents of the roundups claim they are needed to control the populations of venomous snakes to ensure the safety of people, pets and livestock. But opponents regard round-ups as an ecologically damaging, unsustainable and inhumane practice. What Jo-Anne found most unsettling about this image was ‘that so many of the bloodied handprints belonged to children.’

Gear: Nikon D800 + 17–35mm f2.8 lens; 1/250 sec at f3.2 (+0.3 e/v); ISO 2000.

Highly Commended 2019, Plants and Fungi

Photo © Michel Roggo | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: Slender stems of Eurasian watermilfoil, bearing whorls of soft, feathery leaves, reach for the sky from the bed of Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Michel has photographed freshwater regions worldwide, but this was the first time he had dived in the lake nearest to his home. He was swimming near the surface—absorbed with the beauty of the plants and their small reddish flowers—when he spotted a huge pike disappearing into the mass of vegetation below. Very slowly, he sank down for a closer look. When he reached the bottom, he found himself immersed in an ‘underwater jungle with an endless view.’

Watermilfoil is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa but has spread worldwide. It can grow from fragments and so is easily transported, rapidly colonizing ponds, lakes and slow-moving water, with dense growth that can shade out native species. When Michel inspected the stems, extending up several meters, he noticed that some supported thick clusters of zebra mussels. Originating in Russia and Ukraine, these small mollusks, with characteristic banding patterns, are prolific breeders that are spread by boats and have invaded most of western Europe and North America. Their filter‑feeding significantly reduces plankton densities, increasing water clarity and disrupting ecosystems.

Carefully manoeuvring his bulky diving gear in the tangle of vegetation, Michel composed his picture with a wide angle to convey the feeling of gazing up from a forest floor, among throngs of towering trees.

Gear: Sony α7R + 16–35mm f4 lens at 16mm; 1/40 sec at f8; ISO 200; Nauticam housing.

Highly Commended 2019, Behaviour: Invertebrates

Photo © Minghui Yuan | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: Standing side-on to the wall of the WC, his face and camera pressed against it, Minghui focused on the remarkable cocoon of a Cyna moth pupa. A more typical location would be a tree trunk or rock, as in the rainforest of Xishuangbanna, southwest China, where he had just been filming. But this caterpillar had chosen a wall. It had used its long, hair-like setae to weave the delicate cocoon cage, held with silk and just 4 centimetres (1.5 inches) long, inside which it would pupate.

The cage must provide protection against some predators but probably not against the wasps that parasitize it. Once in its cage, the caterpillar spits out silk, spinning almost invisible threads to suspend itself, head first from the cage while it turns into a pupa. The cage has an aperture at either end, through which the caterpillar expels its outer layer after its final moult and then—once it has reorganized its body—emerges from the top as a beautiful white moth, decorated in red and black.

Gear: Nikon D500 + 85mm f3.5 lens; 1/50 sec at f29 (+2 e/v); ISO 640.

Highly Commended 2019, Behaviour: Mammals

Photo © Peter Haygarth | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: In a rare encounter, a lone male cheetah is set upon by a pack of African wild dogs. (Both species have disappeared from much of their former ranges, with fewer than 7,000 left of each, mainly due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Both exist at low densities.)

Peter had been following the dogs by vehicle as they hunted in Zimanga Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A warthog had just escaped the pack when the leading dogs came across the big cat. At first, the dogs were wary, but as the rest of the 12-strong pack arrived, their confidence grew, and they began to encircle the cat, chirping with excitement. The elderly cheetah hissed and lunged back at the mob, his left ear tattered, the right one pinned back in the ruckus. As dust flew in the morning light, Peter kept his focus on the cat’s face. In a few minutes the spat was over as the cheetah fled.

Gear: Nikon D4S + 400mm f2.8 lens; 1/640 sec at f5; ISO 800.

Highly Commended 2019, Black and White

Photo © Ralf Schneider | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: Hugging its flippers tight to its body, the Weddell seal closed its eyes and appeared to fall into a deep sleep. Lying on fast ice (ice attached to land) off Larsen Harbour, South Georgia, it was relatively safe from its predators—killer whales and leopard seals—and so could completely relax and digest.

Weddell seals are the world’s most southerly breeding mammals, populating inshore habitats around the Antarctic continent. Reaching lengths of up to 3.5 metres (11½ feet)—with the females somewhat larger than the males—their large bodies are covered in a thick layer of blubber to keep them warm above and below the icy waters of the Southern Ocean. Feeding mainly on large fish, Weddell seals are impressive divers capable of descending to more than 500 meters (1,640 feet), with high reserves of the oxygen‑binding protein myoglobin in their muscles. This helps them to hunt under water for long periods, sometimes more than an hour.

Shooting from an inflatable boat, Ralf tightly framed the sleeping seal, using the white backdrop of ice and soft light from the overcast sky to mimic the effect of a studio portrait. Converting his image to black and white accentuated the tones and textures of the seal’s dense mottled fur.

Gear: Canon EOS 7D Mark II + 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 400mm; 1/500 sec at f8; ISO 400.

Highly Commended 2019, Wildlife Photojournalism

Photo © Matthew Ware | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: From a distance, the beach scene at Alabama’s Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge looked appealing: blue sky, soft sand and a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. But as Matthew and the strandings patrol team got closer they could see the fatal noose around the turtle’s neck attached to the washed-up beach chair.

The Kemp’s ridley is not only one of the smallest sea turtles—just 65 centimetres (2 feet) long—it is also the most endangered. Over the past 50 years, human activities—from egg and meat consumption to incidental capture in fishing nets—have greatly reduced its numbers. Today, despite protection of its limited nesting sites along the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico and a requirement for trawlers to use turtle-excluders, it is still under threat.

But as Matthew witnesses on his daily nesting-patrol, another danger is injury or drowning resulting from the huge amount of discarded fishing gear and rubbish that ends up in the ocean.

Gear: Canon EOS 700D + 18–55mm f3.5–5.6 lens at 18mm; 1/1250 sec at f4.5; ISO 100.

Highly Commended 2019, Wildlife Photojournalism

Photo © Thomas P. Peschak | Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Caption: A curious young grey whale approaches a pair of hands reaching down from a tourist boat. In San Ignacio Lagoon, on the coast of Mexico’s Baja California, baby grey whales and their mothers actively seek contact with people for a head scratch or back rub. The lagoon is one of three that comprise a grey whale nursery and sanctuary—a key winter breeding ground for this surviving breeding population of grey whales, the eastern North Pacific ones. Whaling left the western population near extinction and wiped out the North Atlantic one. Persecution may also have led to the whales’ aggression towards boats and, in San Ignacio, a long‑lasting fear among local fishermen.

But in the 1970s, a young whale approached a fisherman who dared to reach out and touch it. The trust between whales and humans built up, and today many females actively encourage their calves to interact with people. The fishermen have also gained a whale‑watching income in winter—now vital as fish populations and therefore catches decline. In San Ignacio Lagoon, a World Heritage Site, whale‑watching is carefully managed by the community—limited boats, no winter fishing and interaction only if the whales choose it. Just a few years ago, the community—with international support—also won a lengthy battle to stop a global corporation building a salt plant in the lagoon.

For Tom Peschak, a veteran marine photographer and biologist, a whale that demanded petting and got too close for him to focus was a first. In this sanctuary, it is the wild animals that call the shots.

Gear: Nikon D3S + 16mm f2.8 lens; 1/400 sec at f9; ISO 1250; Subal housing.

How to Create Stunning Images of Trees

How to Create Stunning Images of Trees

The wonderful thing about trees is that every single one is unique in texture, shape, curvature, structure, setting, and more, making them excellent subjects for landscape photographers. This excellent tutorial will show you how to create eye-catching photos of trees.

[ Read More ]

Tilta BMPCC 4K and 6K Flipscreen & M.2 SSD Modification Kit

In somewhat of a surprise move, Tilta showed off a kit that will allow you to modify the screen of your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K, to flip 180° up and 90° down. In addition to that the modification kit comes with a housing for an M.2 SSD drive that will bridge over to the cameras internal USB-C port and thus enable recording directly onto it. Furthermore the kit contains what Tilta considers an enhancement to the housing of the camera’s ports.

Do-It-Yourself BMPCC 4K and BMPCC 6K Modification

According to Tilta representative Jay Kaufman, the kit shown to us at the Tilta booth at IBC 2019 is still a prototype that arrived only yesterday, so there will still be a few modifications to it before sales start in November. The modifications kit for the Pocket 4K’s and 6K’s screen will come with all tools necessary to make the modifications, as well as video tutorials that will guide customers through the whole process. The modification is supposed to be fully reversable, although its influence on your camera’s warranty might be detremental. The kit works with the camera’s own screen and does not inhibit any camera functionality. So what is in store here?

What can it do?

The tilting mechanism strongly resembles that of the recently released Sony A6100 and 6400, tilting upwards up to 180° but also up to 90° downwards. The modified screen will still work with all of the accessories for Tilta’s cages for the BMPCC 4K and 6K, except for the sunhood – the new screen however has screwholes for a new to be released sunhood that will support the flipping screen. The mechanism itself looks sturdy and begs the question why Blackmagic didn’t implement something like this themselves.

In addition to the modification of the screen, there is also a housing for an M.2 SSD drive that comes with the kit. Somewhat similarly to the Atomos SSD caddies, this will enable you to insert your own SSD and use it with the male USB-C plug, that will sit flush right behind the newly modified screen. For now this USB-C plug is just bridging over from the BMPCC’s internal plug, but Tilta has plans to enhance this, so that the camera’s USB-C will remain usable. What that will mean for the total bandwidth of the port remains to be seen.

The third part of the modifications kit deals with the BMPCC’s ports. Assuming that user feedback for those might have been less than stellar, Tilta has implemented string-secured, carbon-fibre-styled plugs to close up and protect unused ports instead.

Where did this come from and when will it be available?

Modifications like this have been showing up in user forums and around the internet practically since the BMPCC 4K came out. This particular modification is actually a result of Tilta’s Tiltaing project cooperation with Mr Zhang – we reported about his BMPCC 4K modification back in June 2019. Tiltaing is Tilta’s initiative to fund interesting ideas and share profits with its inventors. We reported about Tiltaing from NAB in April 2018. Anyway, the large number of kits surrounding the BMPCC 4K and BMPCC 6K cameras without a shadow of a doubt speaks to their popularity.

According to Tilta the modifications kit for the BMPCC will already be available in November for $329.00. We will keep you posted on any new developments and when it becomes available.

Are you excited about these modifications to the BMPCC 4K and 6K? Would you actually buy this and install it in your camera? Let us know in the comments!

The post Tilta BMPCC 4K and 6K Flipscreen & M.2 SSD Modification Kit appeared first on cinema5D.

Sony FS7 Price Drop – Camera Body Available for $5,998

Shortly after Sony FX9 announcement, the Sony FS7 camera body received a significant price drop. It is now $1,500 cheaper, so the price for the body only is currently $5,998 at our partner stores B&H and CVP. Even though announced in 2014, the Sony FS7 still is a very popular and very widely used camera and in my opinion still counts as a good investment in 2019.

Sony FS7 price drop

Buy link: Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera Was: $7,498.00  Now: $5,998.00 (Savings: $1,500.00)

Just few days ago Sony announced their new full-frame cinema camera Sony FX9. We already published two articles about the new camera – Sony FX9 announcement with interview and all the camera’s specs and Sony FX9 hands-on and footage. Although Sony says the FX9 is not a successor to the FS7, its announcement already affected the price of this Super35 camera.

Even though the FS7 was introduced already back in 2014, it is still a very popular camera till today and it is being used by many productions all over the world. This camera has become kind of an industry standard for many corporate, documentary, and other types of productions. I think this camera will not get obsolete so quickly. I dare to say that the FS7 has actually been one of the best investments by freelance cameramen in the past few years.

There are many accessories available for the Sony FS7

Our partner store B&H currently lowered the price of the Sony FS7 camera body from $7,498 to $5,998. That means the total discount is $1,500 and that is a very nice deal. I will not list all the specs of the Sony FS7 here. Very briefly said, the FS7 has a super 35 sized CMOS sensor with Sony E-mount. It can record video to XQD media in up to DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) with up to 60fps in a robust intraframe XAVC-I codec. There are also other compressed codecs available when extended recording times are needed. When it comes to slow motion, the FS7 can record 1080p with up to 180fps.

Buy link: Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera Was: $7,498.00  Now: $5,998.00 (Savings: $1,500.00)

What do you think of this price drop? Are you planning to invest in the Sony FS7 now? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post Sony FS7 Price Drop – Camera Body Available for $5,998 appeared first on cinema5D.

Cartoni Red Lock Tripod with 60kg Payload Works with 75mm and 100mm Bowls

At IBC 2019 Cartoni is announcing a pair of new affordable yet professional grade Tripod legs, called Cartoni Red Lock. These new legs are set to compete with cheaper tripods flooding the market right now, and offer support for both 75mm and 100mm bowl heads.

At Cartoni competition from chinese manufacturers is taken rather seriously it seems. In response to competition from lots of other manufacturers flooding the market with cheap alternatives for cameras that are a lighter and thus need less tolerance for bigger payloads, Cartoni has developed the Cartoni Red Lock tripod legs.

75mm and 100mm Bowl Head on the Same Tripod

Cartoni Red Lock offers a swappable step-up ring, that will allow you to use both 75mm and 100mm bowl heads. It’s as easy as pulling out the step-up ring and putting in the other size. The step-up rings are made out of a sturdy plastic, which in turn will serve as a spacer preventing the mostly metal bowl heads from scraping against metal bowl of the Cartoni Red Lock. We’ve seen this simple feature appear in more and more tripods.

Quick Collapse System

Also added in the new design is a pretty simple quick-collapse system, consisting of a collapse belt, that is attached to the centre of the Cartoni Red Lock’s spreader. The way it works, is to loosen the lever locks of the tripod with one hand, while pulling the belt with the other, which will make the legs collapse towards the center which can then be pushed towards the ground and locked again (have a look at our video for a demonstration).

Specs, Price and Availability

The specs aren’t exactly ironed out yet, but we know that the Cartoni Red Lock can be lowered to around 1m even with the spreader attached, while being able to reach almost eye level on high side of things. Additionally the legs will weigh in at 3kg (6.6 lbs) only, while the payload capacity will be a whopping 60 kg (132.3 lbs). Pricing also has to be finalised, but the tripod legs alone should come in at around € 300.00, and the package with the spreader and bases should come in at around € 420.00.

With the option to use different sized bowl heads and the huge payload capacity, Cartoni has really delivered on this tripod. They are planning to bundle it with a fitting head, into a full package as well. Keep an eye out and we will update you on new developments and availability.

What do you think about the new Cartoni Red Lock tripod legs? Are you excited about the option to use different sizes bowl heads on one set of legs? Let us know in the comments!

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Bright Tangerine Prodigy Rain Deflector Protects Your Lenses

At IBC 2019, there are big camera announcements, but also the ingenious little products that solve set life problems, like the Bright Tangerine Prodigy rain deflector. Let’s take a closer look at this small filter system.

Bright Tangerine Prodigy Rain Deflector

First announced at CineGear earlier this year, we had a chance to catch up with Nicolas from Bright Tangerine during IBC 2019 to talk about their new Prodigy Rain Deflector filter system.

This product is different from a more “traditional” rain deflector system because they designed the Prodigy Rain Deflector from the ground up. There are no moving parts like other systems out there. Instead, there is a compressor on the side and a vent on top of a clear filter.

When it starts to rain/snow on set and your filter, all you have to do is launch the little compressor – that you can place up to 50cm away from the actual vent – and voila. A uniform and robust jet of air, blowing at 300 miles per hour, will entirely clean your filter.

Also, you can use it to remove condensation due to heat/temperature variations. You can mount it directly on your lens, or a set of rods. The Prodigy is built around a Bright Tangerine Misfit mattebox, so you can still put filters in it.

Pricing and Availability

The Bright Tangerine Prodigy Rain Deflector should be available Q1 next year for a price of around $3000.00/$4000.00. While this price can seem expensive, it’s actually two to three times less than other rain deflectors systems out there. This kind of system is aimed at the motion picture industry and rental houses.

What do you think about the concept of the Bright Tangerine Prodigy Rain Deflector? Do you think it could be useful? Let us know in the comments!

The post Bright Tangerine Prodigy Rain Deflector Protects Your Lenses appeared first on cinema5D.

Aputure LS 300x – Single COB Bi-Color LED Light

During IBC 2019, Aputure has just announced a bi-color version of their famous LS 300D Mark II that was released a couple of months ago: the Aputure LS 300x. This new fixture is one of the brightest COB (chip-on-board) LED light on the market. Let’s take a closer look at it.

Aputure LS 300x Features

The new Aputure LS 300x is a bi-color version of the Aputure LS 300d Mark II. The Aputure LS 300x can go from 2700K up to 6500K.

AputureLS300x_01

Image credit: cinema5D

The LS 300x is equally as bright as the 300d Mark II, which was already 20% brighter than the original 300d. If you combine it with the Aputure Fresnel 2X, it can produce up to 80.000 lux at one meter, pretty close to a 575W HMI light. It is one of the brightest single point sources LED light available.

The 300x looked pretty good in terms of color accuracy; it should be close to the 300d Mark II. We can’t wait to get a review unit to test it.

The Aputure LS 300x features the same ballast design as the 300d Mark II, except there is now a CCT knob under the brightness one. The yoke, special FX features, wireless capabilities, new cables design, and so on are the same as the 300d Mark II.

On the front of the LS 300x, there is still a Bowens mount, to quickly diffuse or shape the light beam by attaching one of the numerous lighting modifiers available from Aputure or other.

Pricing and Availability

The Aputure LS 300x should be available during the first quarter of 2020. There is currently no information about pricing; we will let you know once we have more information.

What do you think of the Aputure LS 300x? Do you prefer it over the 300d Mark II? Do you consider upgrading your current COB light for this one? Let us know in the comments!

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