Tilt & Swivel LCD screens had made appearance on cameras long ago. Now every other camera in the market including the professional ones offer this feature. Some find this a marketing gimmick but I will tell you why I feel it isn’t one.
# Convenience – The number one benefit offered by a tilt and swivel screen is that of convenience. Gone are the days when one was required to get low in the dust or take an overhead shot praying for it to turn out good. A tilt and swivel screen addresses these problems effortlessly. There have been times when I have put my camera under a wire mesh with a hole in between and used the tilt screen to help me aid compose. Without that, it would have been a spray and pray affair.
# Discreet Shooting – Tilt and swivel LCD screens are so useful when it comes to discreet shooting. Those candid moments can be captured as one is unaware that he is being photographed. Hip shooting is suddenly no more of a guess work game.
# Cinematography – With video on DSLR becoming main-stream, it is easy for the camera operator to turn the LCD as per his convenience. There is no need again to crank the neck and be in discomfort for extended period of times.
# Selfie – Though it was definitely not why camera manufacturers implemented a tilt & swivel LCD screen but it can be put to good use to take a selfie. Simply turn the screen towards the lens side and you can take a selfie making sure the frame is as per your desire. I use this feature for selfies but also for videos where I have no camera operator and I am one man army.
# Protection – There are times when you simply don’t need to review the LCD screen. At such simply flip the screen and let it rest inside to prevent exposure from outer elements. This also comes handy when storing the camera.
Movies have a tremendous amount of planning and execution behind the scenes. Often the scenes which appear simple can have tremendous amounts of production behind it. There is often more than meets the eye. My team & I, went ahead to recreate one movie still from “Wake Up Sid”.
The above was the original shot from the movie which we set on to recreate. Following is what we accomplished.
The lighting for the shot was a strip & a grid from male’s actor shoulder and couple of cutters to avoid spillage. The grid illuminated the female’s face too along with providing a slight edge light to the male actor. Behind the female was a light on grid pointed at male actor’s face and another light with a snoot for hair light on female. Editing was to crop in a similar aspect ratio along-with basic adjustments. The scene was shot at f/8, 1/50th at ISO 100.
I can see a room from improvement but this exercise taught me a lot. It requires proper planning and execution even for light which feels simple. Kudos to the film production, lighting, art direction, DOP & various other team which work in cooperation to produce such good to watch films. Even if you are a photographer, it pays to watch films. You can learn a great deal about lighting from movies. At the end of the day, they are simply 24 stills(fps) encompassed in a second.
Optical Slave Triggers – a piece of accessory which is tremendously useful if you work with strobes/speedlights. These are tiny in size but can help you accomplish wonderful photographs. It simply is a light sensitive sensor within which senses the light and triggers the circuit which then ultimately triggers the attached strobe or speedlight.
Ganesh Chaturthi has begun & it’s already in the third day. The city is painted with the fervor as the elephant headed lord makes his stay in homes of the devotees. Yesterday, some bid adieu to their lord at the completion of 1.5 days. The chowpatty painted colored scenes. Here is a glimpse through my lens.
An important aspect of photography is ‘timing’. Often a millisecond separates a snapshot from an award winning shot. Timing comes only from proper judgment and foresight of the situation. A photographer should be patient & calm as he shoots.
Out of the above three images, the second one is perfectly timed. It tells a story. The rest two are simply snapshots with no engaging quality. The three were taken just a few milliseconds apart.