Archive for the Video Tag

Continuous Lighting Part I

Posted by Alex

We’ve written before about photographic lighting. Another lighting arena that I’ve recently explored is continuous lighting for video. As I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I jumped into this, I decided to start with a basic kit set up, and then go from there. I had researched enough to know that I would need at least three lights, but I was fuzzy on just about every other detail. I ended up going with the Smith Victor K84 Photoflood Kit. (Four lights: two A80 flood lights and two, smaller A5s.)

Now to this point, the kit has satisfied my requirements. I haven’t felt like I needed any additional lights on my projects and everything is lit well and looks (more) professional. That said, I have learned a lot in the process about what not to do.

First, these lights get unimaginably hot when they’re on for an extended period of time (more than 5 minutes). I use them in an enclosed room without a lot of ventilation and it can become unbearable really quickly. If you are interviewing someone, or performing under these lights, you need to either get things done fast, or have some way of cooling down your room. I broke a sweat just snapping the above picture, and they had only been on for 10 minutes.

Second, despite the benefits of using continuous lighting for photography (no camera syncing necessary, always see where you’re lighting etc), this kit is not powerful enough to really work in this regard. Unless the lights are right up on your subject, you’ll have to adjust the shutter speed significantly to get satisfactory results. It’s also impossible to get good portrait shots, mainly because your iris gets smaller as it gets used to the continuous amount of light; doesn’t look as cool as strobe. It works for some photo things, but I am mainly attempting to use this kit for lighting video. So far the footage has required a significant amount of color correction to make things look natural. The kit is a tungsten set up, which burns yellow/orange, and that is the color of the footage upon capture. Luckily I’ve been working a lot with Color and have been able to work around this.

The biggest positive to the kit is that it’s cheap (relatively). It helps to know some basic lighting strategy (three point etc), but the kit really doesn’t require much know-how to get up and running. It is a great starter kit and I feel like I have a much better idea of what I need, now that I have fumbled my way around with this one. Of course it will be a while before I can afford a real set up, but in the mean time I am having a good time experimenting and making mistakes. This probably wasn’t the kit of me at the end of the day, but it sure beats lighting things with assorted desk lamps and flash lights.

5D Fireworks

Posted by Scott

Canon 5D MKII capturing the NYC 4th show by Mike Kobal (24-70mm at 2.8 at ISO 2000). Once again, the MKII delivers amazing video quality. Still waiting for Nikon’s answer before I take the plunge though. There are some more 5D MKII video examples over at Kobal’s Blog.

By the way, did anybody else happen to catch the San Francisco fireworks “show”? This puts it to shame and then some. I’ve seen better displays at Dolores Park (before they started parking that mobile command station RV out there and ruining it for everyone).

Canon Rebel T1i Video

Posted by Scott

My brother Kirk got the new Canon Rebel T1i over the weekend and it looks like it’s working out quite well for him. He used Sigma 70-300 lens in macro for his first video tests (above, wait for the ant!) and as you can see, the detail is incredible (albeit slimy). I’d like to see some more tests in different lighting situations and with different subject matter, but so far the performance looks great. Although, after seeing what Will Calcutt did with the 5D MKII in Detroit I am not sure I could settle for the T1i, but it seems like a close second for the budget-conscious. At any rate, I am pretty close to jumping ship from Nikon. Video Link

Update: Kirk added a short clip of Forrest skimboarding in Sacramento:

John Whitney’s 1972 Matrix III

Posted by Scott


Just got back from Toronto today, thanks to everyone who made it out last night, I had a lot of fun playing the Drake. While waiting at the airport I caught this great clip via Create Digital Motion. “As visualists, the sad truth is we have a poorer sense of the history of our medium than musicians. Part of this is simply a lack of access. YouTube is a weak substitute, but it’s a start.” Very true, it’s sad to think how many great works in video (and design for that matter) have been lost to time and obscurity. Hopefully more work like Matrix III slowly make their way into the digital domain. Via Create Digital Motion

Moby – Shot In The Back Of The Head

Posted by Scott

Moby’s got a new album coming and this is the first single. Whether or not you think Moby’s still relevant, he’s probably the only electronic musician who can get David Lynch to direct his video. At any rate, much better than what I heard from him last year and the video is great.

The official music video for Moby’s “Shot in the Back of the Head” directed by David Lynch. From Moby’s forthcoming album “Wait for Me” (out June 30 on Mute).

Ted: BumpTop

Posted by Scott

I remember seeing the BumpTop desktop concept making the rounds a while back but today I came across a bit more interesting version. In it, BumpTop creator Anand Agarawala walks us through the interface and it’s various features during his presentation at the 2007 TED conference. The concept is obviously in it’s early stages and while this demonstration seems to highlight some of the more frivolous features of the interface, I think a lot of the ideas could be very useful in a future OS. My favorite part is when he dares to insult the sacred cow of OS X, pointing out that it’s essentially a more “lick-able” version of the “same old crap we’ve had for years” (i.e. Windows). You gotta love the audience reactions. Video Link

Note: Since this video is now almost 2 years old, a multi-touch interface is notably absent from his presentation. In the time since the original video Agarawala has updated and has a nice multi-touch BumpTop demonstration here.