Welcome to 2017, aka the Future. What have I been up to since my last post? I shot a fun video on July 4 of fireworks at the location that I’ve gone to many times in the past to watch the pretty good show.

This time my setup was Sony A7SII body + E-mount to EOS dumb Adapter + Pentax Super Takumar all manual lens + M42 to EOS Adapter + Kowa Prominar 1.5x anamorphot.

The whole rig looks like this in low light:

As you can tell this looks like a heavy rig, and it is! And I had to walk to this spot about 3 miles in all. The weight is a price you pay for oval bokeh and wide angle anamorphic optical effect. I may have explained this in more detail before, but essentially if you don’t have a dedicated anamorphic lens, you need to “mod” existing setups to use front anamorphic adapter lenses. These are the lenses with the horizontally curved internal glass elements, usually popped off of vintage film projectors, and thus somewhat hard to find. Yes, you can go searching on eBay from like minded hobbyists who are always buying and selling these discontinued lenses, or accidentally stumble upon one in an antique store, but I’ve only ever discovered them via eBay after months of waiting and stalking. The first I owned was a teeny tiny beast by Bolex Möller 8/19/1.5x. The last number relates to the height of your picture dimension, or something like that. The closer to 1 the more “normal” it’s going to look (in most cases 16×9 aspect ratio). Most old rare adapters I’ve seen come and go are of the 2X variety. The particular version of the Kowa I purchased about 1 year ago is actually 1.5x which is even more rare if you can believe it.

Anyway, I shot that video in a mix of 60p and 120p, which unfortunately is only as HD as 720. Shot in SLog-2 because I knew the white balance would be wrong and dynamic range gross. I think the biggest challenge was to decide what to cut out for the sake of time. I recorded a lot of footage, when played back in super slow motion, just eats up the minutes.

Fast forward a couple months and I shot a new docu-piece for the Mitchell Institute, to be played during their fall fundraising gala.

We decided to go back to interview story telling featuring three awesome scholar alumni in various stages of their professional careers. They came in to the office and we went into a courtyard and shot the interviews against the sound of airplanes, and rapidly fading sun. I borrowed some soft LED lights and set them up as best I could, but wasn’t really completely happy with the setup. I shot with 2 cameras and an external audio recorder. Used some old and new photo/video from prior team building retreats the scholars go on, as B-Roll and voila.

I’ve also bought and sold some gear, which might be its own blog post, shot some test footage; attempted to strengthen my Instagram profile; tried to shoot more photographs anytime I go out; and attempted a failed experiment using green screen. All in all not terrible way to end 2016. In 2017 I want to dump content into this blog on a more regular basis… however we’ll see how well that goes. Maybe even update, or overhaul, this wordpress theme once more?

Here’s to a better 2017 people.