While cleaning the pond at my parents house I decided to relive some childhood memories of pond dipping. For those of you who have never had the sheer pleasure of dipping a net into a small and muddy pond to see what you might find (often leaves), then the rules of Wittgenstein’s Language Game dictate you will find this blog rather dull. Apologies. For the rest of us it was like sifting for gold, with the reward of a small dazed amphibian easily as precious as a golden nugget (although not in monetary value)
Who doesn’t love our garden friend, the frog?! They eat our flies and slugs and ask for little in return, in south korea they were forced into extinction due to overconsumption (perhaps the greatest evil that Kim Jong-Il did) but here in my non french garden they live peaceful if short lives due to our local herons. Above and below are some pictures of them. My aim was to show the full body of the frog compared to the normal shot of their head. To do this you will need
1. A pond
2. A net
3. A large ja
4. A Frog
After carefully catching the frog I put them into a jar half filled with water where they irritatedly swam around. Above is a picture of my mother modeling how I looked. It is important to note I was allays friendly to my green friends and after no more than five minuets I let them back into the pond to let them ponder on what just happened.
With the photographs taken it was just a matter of cropping them in post and hey presto you have an underwater shot of a frog without actually going underwater. Check out more of my photography here, if you have any questions or suggestions then post away!
Above is a video I helped shoot and edit for a Lisbon fashion designer. She came to us (Memory Box) with an idea and it was our job to turn it into a reality. One of her requirements was that a large percentage of the video had to be slow motion. I was unsure about this, but never one to turn down any money I said it was fine and spent the next three days prior to the shoot obsessively looking up every single tutorial possible.
What I found was with the right equipment and an awful lot of luck a Slow Motion effect is a surprisingly easy thing to do, although will take a lot of rendering time, if like me you have a macbook that’s a few years too old. However you do need the right stuff:
1. A camera that can shoot higher than 25fps, I shoot on a 600D and 70D both with 50fps.
2. After Effects (I used CS6, but have since experimented and got the same results with CS4)*.
3. A lot of luck.
“But what about Twixter?” I hear you ask. “This is a program everyone from Philip Bloom to a youtube stoner tells me I need to use. Who are you to go against the grain?” Well my dears, I am someone who will happily save you $500. I experimented with Twixter and while I found a improvements, I didn’t find anything that blew me away. However I leave it up to you, here is perhaps one of the best examples of Twixtor use I saw, watch and be amazed:
DAVID’S SHOOTING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Shoot at a fast shutter: anything 1/2000 – 1/4000s. [so your lighting needs to be good]
2. Shoot against a plain/solid colored background – sky/wall etc etc.
3. When you shoot really close/tight, slow the action down manually ie – move slower and fake slow motion. Its easier to get good results when the action is shot from a distance
4. and perhaps most importantly TRIPOD THAT BITCH.
DAVID’S EDITING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Import Footage into a new AE composition
2.Right click, enable time remapping.
3. Give composition more time so you can stretch out the footage
4. Find where you want to slow down and back to normal speed and add keyframes.
5. Move the keyframes to “stretch out” the time
6. Movement will be choppy, to overcome this go to Frame Motion> Pixel Blending.
7. And perhaps most importantly YOUR FOOTAGE WILL PROBABLY SUCK, DO NOT DESPAIR JUST TRY AGAIN.
I have since done another, perhaps even more slowed down film, which will be uploaded shortly. Until then, go out into the wild my young Zack Snyders and see what you can create. But before you go, one more thing, see if you can of what i cannot: create a slow motion film that has a narratively driven reason for being in slow motion!