How to Use Split Toning in Your Images

How to Use Split Toning in Your Images

Split toning is a great and relatively quick way to create a unique look in your images. This excellent video tutorial will show you how split toning works and give you some great tips for using it on your own photos.

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Canon Virtual Press Conference set for 20th April

Canon has just announced that they will be having a Virtual Press Conference on April 20, 2020 at 1PM EDT. This is going to be one of many online announcements in lieu of NAB 2020 and we will be working with many manufacturers to share what would have been announced at the show. Head to … Continued

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Motion Array’s Premiere Pro Plugins and More Are Free for the Next 3 Months

Motion Array makes its Premiere Pro Plugins, Video Review, and Video Portfolio software free for three months. No credit card needed.

Motion Array is offering three months of free access to its Premiere Pro plugins, Video Review, and Video Portfolio software until July 1, 2020. The best part about about the promo is that there is no credit card needed to sign up, nor will there be any charges after the three month trial.

The Premiere Pro plugins offer over 30 thirty different transitions and effects that include some basic transitions like ease in, bounce, spinning, and more complex ones like flares, light trails, and light leaks. During the trial, all the plugins are available and any exported or published content is clear of any licensing.

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The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #221 – Straight to Camera

Today on the show we split our time between the doom and gloom of the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and a breakdown of a recent commercial.

Lots of changes coming to everyone in the industry plus a few tricks and techniques to help you out when your next job finally roles around.

Commercial Cinematography Course: The Foundation

IF you like this type of content and you are looking to get up to speed with the concepts we discuss in this breakdown and all of our other podcasts this is the course for you.

The Commercial Cinematography Course provides an actionable blueprint for young cinematographers to get their head around the commercial industry and maximize the pre-production process of any project.

I am super proud of the course and the response from everyone has been fantastic.

IF you are interested in learning more you can see the entire course outline here:

Commercial Cinematography: The Foundation

Patreon Podcast: Knives Out, Power Windows In

On the Feature Film Podcast this week we take an extended look at Knives Out shot by Steve Yedlin ASC.

Steve made some very bold choices in the film and we go over what factors would have impacted his decision making and how he made the most of a difficult location.

You can find this week’s Patreon content by clicking the link below:

The Wandering DP Patreon Group

If you are a fan of the podcast and want more video content the patreon group is the place to be.  Each and every week I release an exclusive podcast, video, or live stream just for the Patreon members.

Patreon members also get access to the Private Facebook community for the show.  The podcast couldn’t exist without the Patreon support and I do my best to take care of the supporters.

Straight to Camera – The Spot

This was a single camera shoot over the period of 3 days but most of what we are looking at on today’s show comes from the 1st day of production.

Camera Gear:

Check out the gear I use on all of my commercial shoots by clicking the link below:

Wandering DP Commercial Cinematography Gear

We shot on the Arri Alexa Mini LF in Open Gate mode with the Sigma Cine lens set.

The majority was shot at T1.5 – T2.0.

For lighting we didn’t have access to a generator so it was only house power.

The Location – The House

The house was the product and the main location on Day 1.  We started outside to take advantage of the aspect and then worked our way inside as the light became toppier.

The Spot – Shot by Shot

Shot 1 – Outside the House

The Shot

Our presenter is outside the house talking through the features.

The Lighting

This was the first shot of the day and scheduled that way to take advantage of the lowish sun.  The backlight was key to getting enough level on the bounce frame left.

We added a T bar Neg camera right and then softened off the harshness of the sun with a 4×4 frame of HiLite.

The Result

Sun Path

Set Up #2 – The Lounge Room

The Shot

Our presenter walks through the house and lands here to deliver the final line of the ad.

The Lighting

This was the most challenging interior shots because of the time of day coupled with the lack of any lamps bigger than an Arri M18.

We keyed with the M18 through an 8×8 of 1/4 grid cut with a 4×4 of diffusion.  Inside we added an Arri Skypanel in a softbox to help wrap the key light from frame right.

The Result

Director’s Viewfinder

Set Up #3 – The Texture

The Shot

A tighter version of the above lines.

The Lighting

Similar lighting set up but we flattened the light for less contrast and jumped o a longer lens to really melt away the background.

The Result

Set Up #4 – The Side Wide

The Shots

The same walking through the scene action as before but for a different ad with different lines.

The Lighting

The sun is lower here making it easier to mix our artificial light source with the existing sun light.  We used the sae lighting as above but adjusted the levels to have them sit with the natural light.

The Result

Set Up #5 – Tight Side

The Shots

Tighter version of the above frame.

The Lighting

No change to the above set up.

The Result

Shot #6 – The Streetscape

The Shot

Our presenter walks towards camera as the camera dollies back.

The Lighting

I had originally tried to shoot this facing the opposite direction but the director needed more blooms in shot so we adjusted on the fly.

We built a platform for the presenter to walk on then broke the harshness of the sun with an 8×8 diffusion frame and added a Neg Fill wedge at the end of the walk to add some contrast.

The Result

Shot #7 & 8 – The Entrance

The Shot

Same as above but closer.

The Lighting

Same as above.

The Result

Shot #8 – Tight Spaces

The Shot

The presenter is seated on the couch as she lists some of the benefits of the product.

The Lighting

The challenge here was the physical size of the room coupled with where this shot had to sot in the schedule.

With little space to work and no interesting natural light to motivate from we had to BYO our own sources.

We used an Arri Skypanel S60 through a loosely hung 6×6 for a key then added a Joker 800 outside on a goalpost rig for the hair light. 

The Result

The post The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #221 – Straight to Camera appeared first on Cinematography Podcast & Tutorials.

Trailer Watch: #FreeRayshawn on Quibi

Filmmaker has two points of intersection with crime drama #FreeRayshawn, one of the first releases on Quibi and scheduled to drop on April 15. Director and executive producer Seith Mann was on Filmmaker‘s 25 New Faces list in 2003. And creator, writer and executive producer Marc Maurino has been a regular contributor for several years. In 2010 he was a blogger out of IFP’s Independent Film Week, which he attended with his debut script, Into the Machine. Several posts ensued, and then one of our great evergreen pieces: “‘It’s Just a General’: How To Take a General Meeting.’” His follow-up […]

You’re Never Too Old to Take up Photography and Now Is the Best Time to Start

You're Never Too Old to Take up Photography and Now Is the Best Time to Start

Photography isn’t a young person’s game, though it may look it from afar. And now might be the best time there will ever be to give it a chance.

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Canon will livestream product announcements on April 20th

Canon has announced it will be hosting a Virtual Press Conference at 1pm on April 20, 2020 ‘to unveil the company’s new professional imaging products and technologies.’

The press release, embedded below, doesn’t specifically say what products Canon has in store, but does say they will be ‘broadcast and cinema products’ that ‘[align] with the current and growing needs of the respective industries such as 4K UHD and HDR, as well as evolving technologies.’

In the meantime, you can spend your days in quarantine staring at the countdown timer on Canon’s website.

Canon U.S.A to Host Virtual Press Conference for New Professional Imaging Products and Technologies

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 30, 2020 –– Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that they will be hosting a Virtual Press Conference to unveil the company’s new professional imaging products and technologies. The Virtual Press Conference, which will be streamed on the Canon U.S.A. website at usa.canon.com/VPC2020, is scheduled to air on Monday, April 20, 2020, at 1:00 PM EDT/10:00 AM PT.

“As Canon continues to monitor the global response surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the effects of which have impacted every aspect of our lives, we would like to thank everyone for their understanding and ongoing support during this challenging time,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president, and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc “The road ahead is long and filled with uncertainty, but when the broadcast and cinema industries are ready to resume ‘normal’ activities, Canon wants them to know we will be there to continue to support professionals with new products and technologies that meet their needs.”

The new Canon broadcast and cinema products featured during the Virtual Press Conference are aligned with the current and growing needs of the respective industries such as 4K UHD and HDR, as well as evolving technologies.

For more information and the latest updates, please visit usa.canon.com/VPC2020 and follow us on Twitter at @CanonUSAprovideo and Instagram @canonusaprovideo.

Streaming Everywhere

Does this Zoom webcast interface look familiar to you, especially since quarantine started? 

This is my first blog entry since we’ve been stuck in quarantine from the Covid-19 virus. Like all of you, I’ve been feeling the full range of the human experience—fear, uncertainty, boredom and frustration. We’re definitely in unprecedented times and one constant I’ve been noticing a lot is that the weeks and possibly months of quarantine are leading to some interesting behaviors. If you consider yourself an introvert, you gain energy and engagement from being with yourself. If you’re an extrovert, you gain energy and engagement from socializing and being with other people.

In my circles, Zoom has been the webcast tool of choice since the quarantine began, but many others are using similar other tools too.

While quarantine is difficult for all of us, it has shown me that contrary to popular belief, I think that there are few of us who are all introvert or all extrovert. It seems more likely that each of us shows a disposition for being either an introvert or an extrovert, but most of us have elements of both qualities in our personality. It’s in times like we are in that introverts may be gaining a bit of a longing to go out and socialize since in quarantine, it’s been weeks of staying indoors, while those of us who are more extroverted may be dying a thousand deaths at not being able to go out and hang with people at all.    

Microsoft Teams has been the webcasting tool of choice in a lot of very Microsoft-centered workflows at large corporations that my brother and several other friends and colleagues work at.

The most immediate solution to our very human problem of isolating through quarantine seems to be streaming. Whether it’s Facebook Live, Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Facetime, I’m noticing a lot of activity with live streaming/webcasting the past three weeks. I sat down with a vendor this past week for a one-hour training via a Zoom session about a new audio app I’ll be writing about here soon. My wife, who is a teacher, has been on two to three webcasts per day since quarantine started a few weeks ago from her school and next week will begin teaching her students via Zoom. My friends and relatives all seem to be streaming for their work. We’re even getting together tonight for a Zoom “party” to catch up with our friends who we haven’t seen for quite a few weeks now. I’m not even sure exactly what we will do, but it will be good to hear what they’ve been up to, see their faces and hear their voices since we can’t meet up thanks to the quarantine.

For those who spend a lot of time on Facebook, Facebook Live is the natural choice to live stream. We’ve used it on a documentary series we’ve been shooting at some sporting events and it works surprisingly well, even from our iPhones out on a boat offshore. As long as you get cell service, it seems to work.

From a professional viewpoint, to me, this entire virus event feels as if it could be the beginning of a sea change in how people regard webcasting/live streaming. More people are using this technology now than probably ever have from a numbers standpoint. More people are probably discovering many tasks, meetings and gatherings that they had previously thought of as a “live, face to face” thing that are now being done virtually with live streaming and may shift more toward webcasting and live streaming even when this Pandemic ends.

Jimmy Fallon streaming live from his kid’s playroom for The Tonight Show.

Major entertainment from networks like NBC, such as The Tonight Show, are webcasting to broadcast live and live to tape from Jimmy Fallon’s home. DJs and musicians are live streaming to their audiences. DJ D-Nice has been hosting weekly dance parties called Club Quarantine where millions of people are live streaming his DJ sets and dancing “together” in their homes.

Right now, people who are quarantined, which is a good portion of the world’s population, don’t really have a choice about live streaming, it’s the only option for people to reach their audiences with new, live content now that most televisions studios and networks, at least here in the United States, have severely reduced their staff and many have closed or are running with a skeleton staff. Today is March 29, 2020, and predictions are that the virus outbreak will become worse before it gets better. When it does get better though, once we’re on the road to recovery, what will this all mean to live streaming/webcasting?

DJ D-Nice has emerged as one of the breakout new stars of the quarantine for hosting streaming, on-line DJ sets and a social media dance party called Club Quarantine.

I shoot documentary films, some entertainment programming and some corporate work. Up until this pandemic, almost all of my work was shot, edited and distributed through social media, broadcast and occasionally in theaters and through corporate internal networks. How does what has been happening with live streaming affect what I do for a living? At this point, I can’t really say, I don’t think anyone can. We won’t know how viewing habits and how viewers consume media will truly change until we’re over this pandemic and life begins to return to the new normal. I have some idea though about directions I’d like to take when we get to that point though.

The success of live streaming and webcasting seems to be tied to authenticity, being more conversational/confessional than presentational.

Authenticity

For those of us who aren’t Gen X or Millenials, media through this Pandemic and quarantine, to date, has proven that just like demographers and sociologists tell us, what matters most is authenticity. Seeing a celebrity or newscaster broadcasting from their living room or kitchen on their phone is proof of this. Take away the nice lighting, top-end cameras and professionally recorded and mixed audio and what you’re left with is either the real deal or it’s not. If authenticity is still there, the audience will still watch, even without all of the niceties of good production value.

The Media Is Changing Or Has The Potential For Change

In our relentless search for the next “big thing” with what we video professionals become consumed with, specifications, ever-increasing resolution, HDR, full frame and all of the other fads we have seen explode in popularity over the past couple of years with image-making, strangely, doesn’t seem to matter much when it comes to live streaming and webcasting. Most people view webcasts on either their phone or tablet and some on their laptops. All of sudden, 4K, 6K, 8K, HDR and FF don’t seem to matter a whole lot. What matters more from a technical viewpoint is having a reliable, fast connection at the upload and download end.

Most major new film releases from Hollywood during quarantine have either been delayed or put onto streaming instead of being released in theaters.

I’m not sure exactly what’s happening with media through this pandemic and quarantine that seems to be sweeping the world, but it feels as if some things are evolving and once things somewhat return to normal (or at least the new normal), it appears that some priorities may be changing. One thing to think about as a content creator is that in one fell swoop, the entire media industry has been placed on hold—there’s literally almost no production happening in TV and features, and even limited live streaming and webcasting beyond a few from their living rooms.

Think about all of the projects that you were working on (I had four projects cancel as soon as the quarantine orders went into place) that now may or may not happen. Look at all of the projects your friends, colleagues and clients were working on that have all been halted, stopped midway or just went away. Hopefully, we can all take some lessons from this shared experience and begin to think in a new and innovative way how to protect our industry and hedge our bets so that if and when another situation like this arises, we’ll be better prepared, creatively and financially to weather the storm.

My recent experience using Live Stream Studio has really redefined exactly what’s technically possible with webcasting.

For me, a key component of this new preparedness is to more fully embrace live streaming and webcasting. Both seem to be fairly disaster-proof unless the entire structure of the internet goes down. I’m thinking of new ways to try to tell stories and communicate with my audience during these times of unprecedented disruption and it seems that mixture of traditional programming (documentary and short clips) that can be streamed, mixed with live, authentic, real-time content could be an interesting mix that I haven’t seen done with webcasting much.

Regardless if you currently shoot or produce live events, documentary, narrative, music videos or commercials, how has the pandemic and the ensuing quarantine affected how you produce content? What’s changing for you and for your clients?

If you think about live streaming/webcasting as regular live TV but over the internet to anyone’s phone, tablet or laptop, the potential for creatively applying the medium is mind-boggling. It’s an infrastructure that can be put in place now, today, easily and quickly and executed at almost any level, from Facebook Live from your handheld phone to full-on multi-camera, professional-level live broadcast and everything in between. For those of you who plan on sticking with production once the pandemic passes and life returns to the new normal, it’s time to dig into your skills, thought and creative process and be on the leading wave of change in media that I predict will engulf us all. It’s time to adapt or perish.   

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