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New music video plus Magic Bullet Looks examples compilation video

A while ago I shot a music video for You Already Know for their song “Let’s Fuck”. Well, we shot another, in the same studio (so poor lighting and visuals), but for something a bit different we projected various images and animations onto them in the room, giving the look below.

We only done 5 run throughs of the song, so it was a bit rushed. Another problem was that the lights were 50hz (being in a PAL country), whereas the projections were at 30fps (NTSC), so there was no frame-rate to shoot at that would result in no flicker or interference. Lesson Рalways plan the minutiae ahead!  And take your time. And freaky gas masks make everything cool.

Another video I put out was a second Magic Bullet Looks examples video. I made one a while ago just showing presets, so this time I mixed in some custom built looks. I’ve seen a lot of comments complaining that people should learn to colour grade the long and more involved way with other software, rather than “just pressing a few buttons” with programs like Looks. I think this is an underestimation of what Looks can do – there’s a tremendous amount of control over the minutiae (that’s the second use of that word in this post… most cromulent) of each effect and plenty of tools that pulling colour wheels won’t give you.


New video: Dungeness

This is a short video shot in Dungeness, Kent in the south of England which I shot whilst waiting for my boat to France.
The place looks generally post-apocalyptic, and so I tried to play that up; I shot almost everything deliberately over-exposed to wash out the sky and colour graded quite aggressively to that theme too.

Shot on a Canon EOS 550d / Rebel T2i DSLR with the Technicolor CineStyle picture profile using three very cheap lenses; the 18-55mm kit lens, a Nikon 50mm f1.4 prime and the Canon 75-300mm zoom.
Edited in Adobe Premiere Pro.
Colour graded with Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet Looks.
Sounds sourced from
Music: Hans Zimmer – A Hard Teacher (The Last Samurai score)

New Video: Spain to Scotland: Timelapse Drive

I recently took a 3000 mile drive from Scotland to the south coast of Spain and back. This timelapse video was made of the return leg, driving from Malaga to Santander, then getting a boat from Santander in Spain to Plymouth in the UK, then driving from Plymouth to Scotland.

Shot with a Canon EOS 550d DSLR with the Canon 18-55mm kit lens and a battery grip intervalometer in mode P (variable exposure & aperture) with an interval of 11 seconds.

Each of the stills (over 4000) were processed with the Topaz Adjust plug-in in Photoshop using a batch process, before being imported to Premiere Pro. Topaz Adjust gives stills that tonemapped HDR look (with only single images). Final colour grading done in Magic Bullet Looks.

Dungeness HDR photos

I have several videos up-coming, including a timelapse of a drive from Spain to Scotland and a video from Dungeness in Kent, UK. In the mean time, from the shoot of the latter, here are a couple of HDR stills I took;

I also have a tutorial coming that shows how to create an HDR look timelapse from a sequence of single stills that weren’t shot as HDR.

New video: Inverkip power station

Here’s a new video I shot and edited in a day at Inverkip power station on the west coast of Scotland.

Having braved baking sun, almost impenetrable outer fences, piles of asbestos, weak stairs, ladders and walkways and having to hide from a few security and police patrols, I shot this in a morning at this now disused and partially demolished oil fired power station.

Music is “Seattle – City Hub & Emerald Suites” from the Deus Ex: Invisible War soundtrack.

Shot on a Canon EOS 550d/Rebel T2i DSLR with a Nikon 50mm f1.4 + Canon 18-55mm lenses, edited with Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, colour graded with Magic Bullet Looks.

This obviously also served as a colour grading experiment, where I went for a custom extreme film look – very noisy and grainy, very low saturation. There are two base gradings, one for each “half” of the music as it changes tone half way through. Amazing isn’t it – you buy a camera with a very clean video mode, then set about making it look like an ancient piece of shit camera with extra software.

Here’s my favorite still I took during the day. This was a merged HDR photograph from half a dozen exposures taken whilst perched precariously on a ¬†maintenance walkway three or four floors above the ground.

Inverkip power station

New video: Drowning Marzanna

I shot a new video a couple of weeks ago; “Drowning Marzanna” (Topienie Marzanny). It’s of a Polish end-of-winter-start-of-spring ceremony involving the burning of an effigy of the Goddess of winter (“Marzanna”), then drowning it in a river.

“The tradition of burning or drowning an effigy of Marzanna to celebrate the end of winter is a folk custom that survives in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Typically taking place on the day of the vernal equinox, the rite involves setting fire to a female straw effigy, drowning it in a river, or both (…) This ritual represents the end of the dark days of winter, the victory over death, and the welcoming of the spring rebirth.”

Shot at River Kelvin near Botanic Gardens, Glasgow, 27th of March 2011.

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon EOS 550d / Rebel T2i DSLR.
Lenses: Nikon Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AI prime, Canon 18-55mm f3.5.
Shot at 1920×1080. Cropped to 1920×816 (2.35:1 ratio). Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Colour graded with Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet Looks.

Poker timelapse

A poker game timelapse I shot at the weekend;