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.
Most of the professional photographers make sure, white’s stay white. Often we are challenged with tricky lighting conditions which make deciding on a white balance difficult. JPEG shooters are more vulnerable since the scope for colour correction is limited in post-production.
However, even if you’re a RAW shooter it is important to get WB close to perfect right in the camera. A bride on her wedding day looking resplendent in her saree would be disappointed if you supply her with photographs wherein her saree colour is way off. It happens quite a lot in wedding photography, purples turn into blue. Since the amateur photographer is lost in other aspects(composition, lighting etc) of the photograph, it(WB) gets easily hood-winked. However, the bride and her family are the first to spot the mistake. In rare cases, they might not complain but you are sure to lose the client for a future photo assignment.
In order to avoid such an unpleasant scenario, one should be careful about the WB during shooting. Often WB is a subjective topic. Some like their pictures to be warmer whereas others opt for the most neutral colours. I fall in the latter category. I do tweak the WB to one other than the prefect when I feel the need for it. Often I proceed with setting the camera’s white balance to a ‘preset’ closer to the lighting condition I am shooting in. When I shoot under mixed lighting conditions, I make sure to get a “Grey Card” reading from my subject. Of-course, I always shoot in RAW. Combination of these two methods give me a head-start when I have the photographs over the computer post shoot. Most often, the WB is spot on or close enough. The little adjustment(if required) is easily handled in post-production.