Mount Martha Landscapes

Mount Martha Sunset
On a recent weekend away I found myself down at Mount Martha and faced with the challenge of trying to work out the best way to capture the sunset. I tend to shoot too many photos directly into the sun thinking it will look the best but inevitably don’t ever seem to come out as it appears to the naked eye. However, in the above shot by incorporating the local street lamps in the foreground and cranking up the saturation I was able to get a shot that seemed to stand out more. Also by waiting until the sun had set, it made the dynamic range easier for the camera to fit all the light in. The photos below are my other favourites from the trip. In order to make up for the way the shots come out of the camera, the contrast, saturation and vibrance have all been cranked a bit to match how it looked to me on the day.

Mount Martha Sunset

View of Melbourne from Mount Martha

Workflow for importing Adobe Lightroom videos into Premiere

If you’re an Adobe Lightroom user then there’s a good chance you’re using it to ingest video footage as well. I’ve been importing photos and videos side by side for a few years now but have only just worked out an easyish way to edit all that footage efficiently in Premiere. Although Lightroom has an export feature, to avoid re-compression it’s better (and faster) to edit the original video files in Premiere while also keeping reference to the videos in the Lightroom catalogue. This method works well for collections such as family-related ones where you might be bringing together different camera sources.

So until Adobe add a ‘create new Premiere sequence from Collection’ in Lightroom here’s how I did it:

  • In Lightroom, in the ‘folders’ panel, select ‘Add Folder’, this is where you’ll move the video files to
  • If you haven’t already, create a smart collection of your required videos using the file type ‘video’ to separate out from the photos plus any specific keywords you may have added
  • With the collection selected, press ‘g’ to enter grid view in library mode and select all of the videos
  • Drag and drop the selection into the folder created specifically for the videos

Lightroom will then move the video files from your existing folders (I use a date-based one) into a flat folder structure that can then be easily imported into a Premiere sequence.

Emma Heeney Video – ‘In My Place’

I recently filmed a live performance video clip for Emma Heeney in an amazing light-filled wooden panelled room that was built around a tree. The performers sat around the space and multiple takes were shot on a Canon 5DIII and 7D with audio through a Zoom H4n. Emma’s vocals and guitar were recorded on channel’s 1 & 2, BV’s on 3 and acoustic guitar DI on 4. Most of the final clip was ‘take 3′ with cutaways inserted from other takes and run-throughs to cover up camera movement through the song. Editing, audio mastering and colour correcting was done using Adobe Premiere CC.

Some of the main challenges:

  • Situating the performers within the space to make it look like a relaxed rehearsal
  • Having the camera on the appropriate performer at the right time of the song
  • Incorporating the glassed-in tree without overpowering the performance
  • Setting up and recording a multi-camera video clip with live audio from multiple mic sources in the space of a few hours

My original plan was to record a master wide shot with everyone in the frame then film cutaways in subsequent takes. However after we viewed the first few run throughs, the shot just didn’t look right to carry the bulk of the song. (This viewpoint can only be seen once in the very opening of the video).

Tree in room

The kitchen / living room (an extension at the back of the original house) was built around an existing tree and allows natural light to fill the space.

The master shot ended up being a locked-off close up of Emma with the Zoom H4n audio recorder clearly seen. I did try and move it out but from an audio perspective it really needed to be close in capturing Emma’s vocals in one mic and her guitar in the other. Having the recorder in shot also keeps the viewer aware of the ‘live’ aspect, even though multiple takes were recorded to make up the final clip.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns were also eaten.

Klinger Reunion Show

Melbourne-based band Klinger graced the stage once more after a nine-year hiatus on January 27th, 2014 and easily sold-out the Northcote Social Club.

Klinger @ Northcote Social Club

Staying at the back of the room, catching up with old friends and listening to the hits and memories from that late 90’s/early 00’s, it was probably one of the lowest count of photos I’ve taken at a gig with a total of 32 shots captured, mostly during the last few songs. It’s certainly an easier way to capture the whole band in action (although I didn’t quite get all of the drummer) and means shot selection is much quicker when there’s less to choose from. With my total photo archive now at over 120,000 since 2006, I could pretty much not take a single more photo and still find unedited shots to sort through for the next 50 years. That’s a lot of rainy days….

Real Estate Photography

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be one of those real estate photographers, trying to find the best angles to shoot rooms and make them look bigger than they are. Well, recently I got the chance when one of my graphic designer friends asked if I could take some photos of her apartment she was putting up for rent.

Apartment

Armed with my trusty Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens, I spent a few minutes in each room formulating the ideal vantage point before proceeding to shoot. A few minor adjustments to rug and cushion positions helped balance the frame and turning on the lights gave an extra warm glow.

Apartment

I was conscious of keeping the vertical and horizontal lines as straight as possible and crouching down relatively low helped create a feeling of space. Thankfully the owner has very good design sense so very little rearranging or covering up was required.

Apartment

Although difficult getting everything to fit in the frame, I found that even capturing a glimpse of certain items (such as the washing machine above and bathroom stool below) helped create the overall impression.

Apartment

Although I brought a tripod along, I didn’t end up using it as there was enough light (and ISO) to be able to capture the frames handheld. Also the tight positioning required (such as the above bathroom shot) meant that I had to squeeze my body into the corner of the toilet space to get the shot. I purposely kept pipes in shot as it kept with the 20’s feel of the room.

woodards

Update: The apartment received two pre-inspection offers based on the advert then was eventually rented out for more than the asking price, much to the owner’s delight.

 

Michael Paynter

Great to see the highly talented Michael Paynter back in the spotlight again, this time auditioning on Channel 9’s The Voice last week.

Although I was surprised to hear he had auditioned, I can understand his reasons for doing so given how his long-anticipated debut album never quite got released by Sony.

I first saw Michael performing as a support act for Kate Miller-Heidke at the Northcote Hotel back in 2006 and was impressed with his confident stage presence and powerful voice. So too were his vocally exuberant group of fans at the front of the stage, indicating that this was someone we’d likely see more of in the future.

Michael Paynter

Michael Paynter performing at the Northcote Social Club on April 19th, 2006. Photo by Ben Loveridge

Michael Paynter

Michael Paynter performing at the Northcote Social Club on April 19th, 2006. Photo by Ben Loveridge

If his upcoming performances on The Voice are anything like his cover of John Farnham’s Burn For You below, he will be a tough one to beat.

Update 28/5/13 : Michael was eliminated on The Voice last night after public voting, unfortunately he didn’t get to perform ‘Burn For You’ which was to be his next performance.

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These are a couple of songs he released over the last few years.