Love the look of the AF100 (roller coaster porn)

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 11:50 PM | comments: 0

I got a chance to do a quick loop around the Gatekeeper construction site yesterday at Cedar Point. I brought my camera out in hopes that there would at least be dudes working on the foundations, and fortunately, there were.

I can't even tell you how pleased I am with the quality of the images coming off of this camera, despite the relatively high compression (which could be overcome with an external recorder, by the way). I've got it set for a relatively flat color profile, and now that I've had some practice with the exposure, I feel like I'm getting good results.

A lot of my happy-joy feelings also come from being able to use my Canon lenses. Sure, it requires an expensive adapter and comfort with going all manual, but I think the results are really worth it. Even with something relatively uninteresting like dudes pouring concrete, I love the sharpness of the images and the nice depth of field I'm getting. This one was shot with a Canon 24-105mm f/4 L. I suppose I should be happy with the results, because these are lenses I bought originally to be really happy with the still photos I was shooting. Even though the camera only captures 1/4 of what the lens sees (because the sensor is smaller than that of a full-frame SLR), I love to see video almost appear as though stills have come to life.

The other thing that I'm really having fun with is color grading. Because I shoot with a fairly flat color profile, and just below the edge of clipping the highlights, I pretty much have to make some adjustments in post to get it looking the way that I want. Straight out of the camera, it just looks kind of washed out. And yet, in some of the better exposed shots, you can see nice detail even in the relatively ugly gray sky.

I can't explain why, but I approach it very differently from still photography. With stills, I tend to make sure that I'm getting as much detail out of the photo as possible, and maybe make some minor color adjustment. I tend to like stills to almost have an "extra real" appearance. With video, I find myself wanting to make more decisions about atmosphere and texture. With the tools I use (primarily Magic Bullet's Colorista II), I can actually highlight certain things and animate masks to follow subjects, for example. It's to the point now where I see it going on in feature films. It's rarely necessary with most of the stuff I've shot on this camera, given the largely architectural nature of my subjects so far, but I did do it a little in the spring with the Luminosity video to correct for the harsh stage lighting.

For this video, the stuff straight from the camera was a lot warmer and brighter than it felt when I was there. I cooled it off quite a bit and tried to make the textures of the sand more "dirty" by squishing the midtones a little. How stupid does that sound? As if it were some kind of art. Still, it's fun to play with these ideas.

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