Wednesday 22 July 2009

The Funnel

Odd name for a blog posting but let me explain..............

A little while ago I shot a series of historical re-enactments of the life of Queen Elizabeth the first

We shot this in Penshurst Place

It seems like a dream assignment, indeed it was in many ways apart from one, yes you guessed it-budget!

By the time we had paid for all the locations, costume ,props, and crew we had not very much money left for talent

So, how does one make nine actors and a sparsely filled table seem like a full on Elizabethan banquet?

The Funnel

I first heard of it in relation to a critically acclaimed BBC docudrama called 'Culloden' by Peter Watkins made in 1964

Peter Watkins was faced with the same problem

Not enough talent and a HUGE area to fill

It simply means putting more talent at the front and filling in the gaps with talent progressively further off in the background

I used the same technique for my shoot

I used Elinchrom Rangers, with the main light in a Chimera Large Softbox on a Redwing boom(the Flash centre have one going second hand here!)

Shot on a Canon 1ds 28mm lens 1.3 sec at F14, a long exposure to pick the candles up, so VERY little ambient in the room which meant movement was not an issue

Note also that by shooting diagonally across the table I'm making it seem like there is much more food on it than there actually is.

All a case of making less seem like more

Something I have made a career out of...................

Thursday 9 July 2009

Total Recall...Not quite

I love Canon cameras, they have been my DSLR of choice, and before that I bought my first 'proper' camera , a Canon A1 with my paper round money in 1980.

I use the stunning 5d Mk2 at the moment, a camera I LOVE

As followers of this blog will know, I'm an advocate of good prime lenses, but sometimes a zoom just hits the spot

My 'standard' zoom lens is the Canon 24/105mm F4 'L' Series, a good all rounder

Particularly useful for this type of classic slow shutter speed zoom

3.2sec at F16 on a tripod of course and then zooming slowly in.

Perfect for a simple dynamic shot which the client loved

But this shot has been enhanced by a quirk of a lens defect

Check out this weird striped flare from the headlamp

Early Canon 24/105 lenses were afflicted by a strange type of flare which only occurs under a certain type of light

In fact Canon issued a 'Lens flare advisor note'

If you sent your lens to Canon they would fix it for you, free of charge

Needless to say, I like the unique effect and have chosen NOT to send it back

I'm just aware of it and choose when to exploit this quirk

vive la différence!