Monday, February 20, 2017

My Tokina 12-24mm F4 Lens Has Arrived

I got my 12-24mm Tokina F4 lens from Japan today, there was no extra charges. Tonight at work I have the lens on my BMPCC body. The f-stop feature works flawlessly with the electronics of the Metabones EF Speedbooster. The angle of view 12mm-24 (about a 20.4mm-40.8mm on the camera) is quite wonderful. With the speedbooster the lens is effectively a f2.6 not fast but not bad. I really like the range of the zoom. I believe I will use this lens for 80% of my shooting. At the widest focal length of 20.4 there is little noticeable distortion, much less so than the earlier tested Rokinon 7.5mm (22.5mm equivalent).

Finally I can pay for everything and not buy any more major film making gear. It is time to start saving for the trip. My training to become a film maker continues on a nightly basis. Things are going pretty well as planned. We are on a positive roll towards the creation of the movie.

I Love The Look-Feel Of 35mm Tri-x

Spending time with the dad print this morning (see previous blog) has gotten me excited about shooting 35mm Tri-x again. Even when printed large like this (20x24 inches) the images have a feel, clarity along with grain and contrast range that is unique in art.

I will shoot 35mm extensively during my 6 month trip for this reason. My current plan is to take a R6 Leica SLR with 60mm f2.8 macro lens (possibly the R 24mm f2.8 lens as well) and a rangefinder M6 with 35mm f1.4 (possibly a wide angle 21mm as well). Using these Leica cameras in the dump and elsewhere is a sheer joy. Sometimes I shoot poorly when doing 35mm, I will have to be more careful this next trip. Choose my compositions, shooting situations and shot choices very carefully. If 35mm Tri-x is good enough for W. Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado, it is good enough for Mr. Yaum!

My thinking is I will take along 30 or so rolls of bulk Tri-x as well as 5 or 6 canisters of 100 foot Tri-x and a bulk film loader. I can put the exposed film in the metal cans then reseal them, and use the now empty 35mm cartridges to reload fresh film. This takes more time in the field (I have 6 months) but cuts down on overall weight (cartridges are heavy). You end up loading film after a hard days shooting, but such is life, it has to be done to save money and weight. I believe it is overall lighter to do the 35mm bulk film this way. The other advantage is that you have less of the accidental opening of 35mm film cartridges when it is stored, causing film fog and lost shots. I can safely seal all exposed film up in black plastic bags and mental Kodak canisters with duct tape after they have been shot. Then store everything in my rooms refrigerator to fight off the heat and humidity of Asia. The 100 foot metal Tri-x film canisters also take up less room when traveling or or the aforementioned fridge.

Update* I will need two types of storage cans at all times. One can for Tri-x exposed at 200ASA and 1 can for film exposed at 1600ASA. These two types of exposed films will of course receive different development times-types on my return to Canada. The 1600 receives a special type of STAND development in Rodinal that allows for successful pushing of the film.

4th Exhibition Print Session

I have been struggling my last 2 weeks off work trying to get my 4th Art Gallery of Saint Albert print made up. I worked on and was unsatisfied with the last 3 negs I put in the Durst enlarger. Two of the negatives had issues, one under exposed, one over exposed, the third I was not sure was worthy of exhibiting (I like it but not sure it is the best hospital photo choice).

Tonight 4 hours before the end of my week off  I think I found a worthy negative, an important negative.  Maybe some day this photograph will be collected, a lasting tribute to my father. I truly hope so. The photo was made during dads last summer, around August 2014. Dad is looking away thinking, with almost frightened but resolute eyes. It is almost like he sees death approaching from a distance, at least that is my interpretation of the image.

The photo below is the third attempt at the print, there is extensive burning on the bottom edges, the pillows, and the bandage at filter 0, some dodging on the eyes and face during the basic of exposure of 80seconds at f2.8 with a filter of 2.5. This show I am making an effort to print about 1 contrast grade higher than I normally do. I want to give this exhibition and dads trauma a more stark, harsh feel.

I will wash the 3 prints I made tonight, let them dry, then go from there next week. I should have this neg in its final form after bleaching and toning by the end of my next week off work. I hope to get started on my 5th image, which might possibly be a photo made that last day after dad passed away.  The bad news is I have a dental appointment (surgery) next week as well, hope it does not put me off my printing. Getting these prints made for the show is very important, a tribute to my father and our relationship.

20x24 inch 3rd attempt at dad thinking in bed photo, August 2014 (35mm neg)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Quote: George Takei (Actor-Activist)

"We are an interdependent people, sharing a common bond of humanity"  

Friday, February 17, 2017

My "1296P Mini Camera Wearable Body Video Police DVR 140" Has Arrived

Got my new compact body cam today. This is not a hidden camera but more of a wearable body camera with an obvious lens. I was thinking of using it to record my daily activity in the dump and other PUBLIC places, to give a more personal up close viewpoint for the blogs. This unit is easier to wear than the go pro option. Hopefully it will help humanize my subjects that much more, furthering education and a continue raising awareness.

In the sample video I am hand holding it, in real time use in Asia, I would place it in a pocket and forget about it for the day. The recording time I believe is up to 4 hours on a 32GB mini SD card.

The body camera used for this video
Note* This video was made on Adobe Premiere (still need to learn so much there!).


Dad Dream

Had another dream about my father last night. We lost dad back in 2015 but the dreams continue. This dream was kind of nice and sweet, in the past they would be more emotional and difficult to handle.

"I came to my mother and fathers house early in the morning after being away from them for a long time after a trip of some kind. It was like 5am something like that. I was going to go inside the house to talk to them but then thought, ' No, it is better to let them sleep". As I was going to drive away, my father suddenly stuck his head out his bedroom window, he was not wearing a shirt, he just have just woke up. Dad smiled at me and waved his hand, calling me into the house"

That is all I remember about the dream, the image that sticks with me most is my just woken up shirtless father sticking his head out the window, waving and smiling at me. He was so happy to see me after our long time apart. Boy I wish this dream was true and that I could simply go into the house and talk to him again, be with him again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Video: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers!

Here is a bit of fun, just practicing using Adobe Audit and Davinci Resolve. All practice is good practice even when it is goofy like this.

I got to learn:
- shooting the BMPCC with Rokinon 7.5mm
- using the monopod/Came-TV Stabilizer combo
- creating a scream in Adobe Audition
- finding the right audio format to work with Davinci (AIF)
- editing a short sequence in Davinci, trimming,color grading, mask, sharpness, slow mo,  contrast
- muting the camera sound track and syncing a separately recorded scream
- delivering/rending a large quality file
- reducing and creating a smaller file in .MKV format to upload on the blog

Check out the end of the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers Clip" first. I am doing Donald at the end sort of :)) (forgot the hand gesture!).
"Invasions of the Body Snatchers" Ending Clip


Crane Monopod Cam!!

Played around today with the crane-mono pod camera thingy I plan to use in the dump. The best set up I found so far is as follows.

BMPCC---> Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens--> Manfrotto Aluminum Mono Pod--> Came-TV Optimus Gimbal With Remote Control

I also tried the 24mm F1.4 lens but it is not wide enough and too heavy to hold up. My larger Chinese made carbon fiber tripod was also tried but it seems to be a bit more shaky (too flexible?) when fully extended (a bit longer also). Check the earlier blog video for the results of the test.

Improvements? Will try out the 12-24mm Tokina F4 lens (maybe less distortion) and will try to slow down the pan left to right speed when I am using the remote control. I believe there is a way to access panning speed in the Came TV gimbal software (another thing to learn, accessing the software). I think it will allow for a slightly smoother pan as well. That is what I want a smooth/high/wide angle/slow pan over the dump and the workers.

Update* Did some research on adjusting the Came TV gimbal using the software. It all seems dodgy and highly screwupable (my word). I think I will make do with the current setting and leave it alone, last thing I want to do is break my new $1000+ USD toy.

Video: My Rokinon 7.5mm Micro 4/3 Lens Has Arrived

I got my Rokinon lens delivered today without extra charges. The lens is a fish eye designed for micro 4/3 cameras like my video BMPCCs. The lens gives an equivalent 22mm view angle when mounted on the BMPCC body. I quite like the look, there is a bit of distortion but it is sort of a funky cool looking aspect to the lens. When you have it mounted to the BMPCC without any accessories (rig cage etc.) the whole thing is super light. I did some testing of it today mounted to the camera and the Came-TV gimbal. I then attached everything to my aluminum Manfrotto monopod and raised everything up to try a improvised crane scan. See video. It all worked out rather well with a few hitches but I think this set up will work in the dump to give a wider viewer of the environment and the action.

Update* I think this is the first little film thing I have done in Blackmagic's Davinci Resolve.
Update**  One thing I forgot to mention is that if you set this thing on infinity your basically always in focus. A 7.5mm fisheye lens has amazing depth of field. You got to love that! It is a huge bonus when the camera is mounted on a stabilizing gimbal that cannot be touched without ruining the shot. It also will work well in low light (difficult to focus) shots and crane-monopod sequences like in the video for this blog. AM VERY HAPPY I BOUGHT THIS CHEAP BUT HIGHLY USEFUL LENS! It promises to be a useful moving making tool.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Came-TV Optimus Gimbal Has Arrived

Got my Came-Tv gimbal today, cost only an additional $19. The device works great thou it is taking me some time getting used to using it, figuring out how to first balance it then shoot with it. I quite like it so far especially the 2 handed version. In combination with my 24mm Canon lens, Metabones Speedbooster and BMCPP the weight is minimal. I can easily carry it with one or two hands. I am eager to try out the 11-16mm Tokina lens I have in the mail from Japan. That lens will give me a wider angle of view as will the small and very light 7.5mm Rokinon I have coming up from the States. I will probably use those 2 lens much more with the Came-TV stabilizer.

So far so good with this unit, I think it will be especially good for low angle following children through the dump shots and high angle views off a raised mono pod. Here is hoping it is a valuable addition to this film. Now I just got to figure out how to tell a story in film! I own lots of toy now but have little in the way of story telling ability!

Update* The one problem I had with the unit was the rather rinky dink mount for the remote control. It was all plastic and cheap and came apart a few hours after I first got things set up. I instead attached the remote using an elastic band on the left handle of my 2 handle rig. I find it is much better to use in that position as I do not have to reach down for the remote which destabilizes the entire rig. I can instead simply move my thumb a few millimetres which gives me full access to the remote and pan up-down, left-right motorized camera movements.