September 2009

:: Granville Bridge

Burrard Bridge & Granville Bridge

Today I did an impromptu landscape photo shoot while waiting for Tash to finish work at Granville Island. I love the view from across the water to Downtown Vancouver. The glass on the buildings reflect the sunset and the lights from the buildings reflect in the water making a picture perfect scene.

Here’s a short HD video that I captured on my camera of the downtown view with an Aqua Bus docking. These are little water taxi’s that run back and forth across the waterway so that people can get around on.

Aqua Bus @ Granville Island

:: Self Portrait…

photographybysaj

:: High Definition Video


The natural progression of technology seems to be it incrementally introduce new features into gadgets to constantly push the bar and get that competitive edge over the masses. Gone are the days where a mobile phone is used just for making calls. Nowadays it seems like it is a secondary feature to the phone and that the personal organizer facility, camera, music player, radio etc all takes precedence.

You must be wondering where I’m going with this. Just recently I purchased a Canon 5D Mark II which is a full frame DSLR, and one major revision to this flagship pro series camera is the introduction of 1080P high definition video. To me, when all the camera manufacturers started to push this as a major marketing feature for their new camera series I thought "Here we go… Is it really necessary to have video in a DSLR?" After seeing what you are able to achieve with filming on this camera I was truly amazed. This is the first short video created on the Canon 5D Mark II call Reverie by Vincent La Foret and it is absolutely amazing what was achieved with the range of depth of field, sharpness and fluidity:

 

Another video by Vincent La Foret

 

Off course it’s had its Hollywood post production etc, but at the end of the day the entire thing was shot using a DSLR. For those of you who are interested this is the technical specs of shooting video on the 5D Mark II:

• 1920 x 1080 (16:9) up to 12 mins (Quicktime 1080p H.264;
38.6 Mbits/sec)
• 640 x 480 (4:3) up to 24 mins (Quicktime 480p H.264; 17.3 Mbits/sec)
• Max file size 4 GB
• Quicktime MOV format (H.264 video, PCM sound)
• 30 fps

Here’s a quick example of the raw footage straight off the camera. This is my Coral Banded Shrimp "Juggernaut" one day after shedding his outer shell. He does this once a month on average as he grows larger.

 

Since I’m not a videographer, this feature will definitely just be a nicety for me rather than a necessity. It definitely will change the game for movie production in that such a versatile device will be accesible to more people and hopefully this will push the barriers of creativity as the 5D Mark II gets adopted into the world of video production. Don’t forget to click on the HD button when viewing the videos!

:: Post Production

Today I worked on a small project for Shane Roberts, who is a light heavyweight competitive body builder. He saw some of my portfolio work that had some HDR style post processing work done to it and he was interested in getting some of his portfolio edited in the same style. This technique involves manipulating contrast curve, dodging and burning highlights and some artificial modification and enhancement of light sources.

 

BEFORE                                                               AFTER 

I get a lot of flattering feedback and compliments for the photos that I take, so its nice to be acknowledged for a different skill set. You can check out Shane’s website here.

:: Urban Style Photoshoot

Today I did a shoot with Rhi Yee who is a model and hairstylist based in Vancouver. We wanted to have a raw, grungy street style theme, so working with Clara Chan (makeup artist) we came up with the concept of using an underground carpark with a whole lot of random junk to create a street felt set. The wardrobe was organised by Rhi and Clara complimented it with smokey makeup accented with blue/silver/purple. Clara did an amazing job with the makeup! You can check out her work here. Rhi was a great model to work with and she did the hair styling for the shoot as well.

The gas cylinders proved to be an interesting prop to work with and I love the silver material that I picked up. With some precise (and some not so) shakes and timing, the material caught the light and created a very cool metallic effect. The great thing about shooting underground is I have control over the light and it didn’t matter that it was pouring down rain outside! Kudos to Rhi and Clara for the awesome work!

This was also my first proper shoot with my new Canon 5D Mark II. This is one of the flagship camera’s from Canon and there has been alot of hype behind it. I must say… moving to full frame is an awesome thing, and the quality and sharpness of this camera coupled with the 24-70mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F2.8 lenses is a killer combination! I’ll write a full break down on my thoughts of the camera once I’ve used it for a few weeks.

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You can check out the photos from the shoot here. Let me know what you think!