Tag: Camera

Cinematography in Filmmaking

There are many fields in the film industry. Director, producer, lighting and camera crew, script writers and much more. A important job that influences the production in film that also creates and develops the visual narrative is cinematography.

So, what is cinematography?

It is the art and technology of motion-picture photography. This involves the lighting and location of a scene, camera choice, lens choice, camera angles and movements, as well as the involvement of any special effects.

Cinematography is important in film by supporting the overall look and mood of a film’s storyline. A cinematographer manages the camera and the lighting crew. they are responsible for creating the look of the scene, colour, lighting, and the framing of every shot in a film.

Some examples of cinematic techniques in filmmaking are:

  • Long shot

  • Close-up shot

  • Point-of-view shot

  • Bird’s-eye shot and more

These are some camera angles that cinematographers use to capture the story being told through different perspective that also cast different moods.

The 5 C’s of Cinematography

  1. Camera Angles – Vital to the stories narrative and the camera positioning helps to drive the story forward
  2. Continuity – To avoid inconsistencies, continuity must be considered in production and media
  3. Cutting – The order and sequence of shots become key in evoking the desired effect upon the audience
  4. Close-ups – Used to allow the viewer access to the intimate details of a characters emotions
  5. Composition – Plays a role in creating a mood and telling a story. Lighting, colours and spacing, among other visual aspects which are crucial in the co position of an image

Cinematography is used in every film and there are a wide range of motion-pictures that have creative cinematic experience. Here are two examples of cinematography in film.

Blade Runner 2049 – Cinematographer Roger Deakins

The attention to detail in the set design allows for long shots for the viewer to take in the atmosphere of the science fiction world with geometric designs. This angle provides a harsher look to the architecture that seems more imposing and unnerving when the characters are dwarfed by it.

The lighting in the film is constantly in motion, there are hardly any stationary light sources. The shift in light creates dynamic and alluring footage without being too distracting. Since the viewer knows what the source of light is, it enhances the reality of the scene.

Moonlight – Cinematographer James Laxton

Laxton uses bold colours and stunning shots to create an emotional experience. The film is driven by the internal conflicts of the characters rater than the plot. To communicate this in a visual way, the camera frames the subject so that they fill the majority of the screen, thus drawing the viewer into the emotional landscape being created. This would be a close up camera shot, it is used for the audience to see the emotional reactions of the characters more intimately.

During the swimming scene when Juan teaches Little to swim, the frame is set up in such a way that the viewer is not only watching this scene but also experiencing the rush of waves and Juan holding Little about the water. As if we, the audience are right next to them.

This is a brief synopsis of cinematography in film, as well as some examples where cinematographers used their creative and innovative thinking to create beautiful and stunning visuals to capture the heart of the story being told.

teleprompter Canada video film production

The Benefits of a Teleprompter

Interested in creating film content with efficiency that makes presenting look natural? Well, Big City Lights is offering a device just for that. Specifically, an affordable 16” teleprompter ideal for tablets that includes a travel case, a remote control and software. It is easy to use and works for any heavy duty tripod. Tripod and tablet are not included.

The video below shows the benefits of a teleprompter, as well as the assembly process. Take a look and find out all you need to know about a teleprompter.

Subtle Camera Work In The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5 Episode 2 “Ballet” SPOILERS!

An intense start to season 5 of the Handmaid’s Tale, Fred is dead, June is back home in Canada with her family, and Serena is trying to take a stand after her husbands death. What will happen next now that June’s villain is gone?

I was recently watching this season and was moved by how brilliant Elisabeth Moss is as an actress and a director. One specific moment that caught my attention is Fred’s funeral in episode 2 “Ballet” and not just because he is now officially gone. During this scene, the crew added some very subtle details that develop the characters into who they will be in this season but also shocking camera work that had me thinking about it for days.

The costumes were a minor identifier to Serena and Junes characters in this episode. Serena, with her all black attire, representing the bad or evil. June, with her stunning white dress, representing the good. This choice was to establish the roles these women will play, and the conflicts of good vs evil, angel vs devil. This leads into who Serena will become this season.

Another topic I wanted to cover is the end of the funeral scene. Now the funeral was originally supposed to be small and quiet, but Serena demanded the best for her husband, so she suggested a lavish, globally broadcasted affair, for those to witness what Gilead is like to the whole world. Remorseful, merciful, human. Serena walks behind the casket, looking regal and sorrowful. This whole event choreographed for her to look like she has control. Serena does care about her husband, but it is important to note that she had her own motives for this funeral. Mostly for it to pose as a form of revenge.

While the funeral continues, June and Luke are enjoying a day of normalcy. A chance to breathe before their world comes crashing down.

By the end of this episode, we see June and Luke staring up at the broadcast at Yonge-Dundas Square, watching as Serena kisses a young girls forehead. That girl being Hannah, June’s daughter.

This moment had me reeling. I could practically feel Junes anger and desperation through the screen. Now the moment that I want to highlight is at the very end where we see Serena subtly looking down with a smirk, while June is looking up with pure rage on her face. Almost as if they are looking directly at each other.

 

The camera work was brilliant for this scene, it creates mood and displays the shift in power and control between Serena and June. These angles are a psychological manipulator that manipulates our perception. So this camera technique is a low-angle shot, from Serena’s perspective, with a high-angle shot, from June’s perspective. These methods are commonly used in a scene when you want to portray a specific power dynamic between the characters. The person looking down, using a low-angle shot, would seem strong or powerful while the person looking up, using a high-angle shot, would seem vulnerable or powerless. So this angle gives Serena strength, it shows the audience that Serena is something to fear. June, in this moment, is powerless against Serena. She has no control.

Executive producer Warren Littlefield said when talking about this scene, “Serena Joy’s stepping in and getting on the throne, and she’s masterful. She’s powerful. She’s a great chess player.” Further proving that the villain of this season is Serena. Slowly making her way to power by sharing the benefits of Gilead with the rest of this world.

I have not watched the rest of the season, but I am excited to see what other masterful scenes Elisabeth Moss made. Also what the rest of season will bring.

Battery Operated Lighting Options

Calling all filmmakers, photographers, hairstylists and party starters! Have you ever needed a wireless light to brighten a subject? To light a party? Well we have the products for you. This video showcases various options for battery operated lights to suit any of your needs. These lights are perfect for when you don’t have an outlet near by, or for on the go shootings. All the links for the battery operated lights we carry are available below.

Links:

Continue reading “Battery Operated Lighting Options”

Quick and Easy Lighting – The Ring Light

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Do you know little to nothing about lighting, and are looking for a fast and simple way to get the perfect look? If this is you, then a Ring Light may be just what you’ve been looking for. Here are a few reasons why..

 

1. ONE AND DONE

There are several different types of Ring Lights. They come in different sizes, but all the same shape. The most practical use for a Ring Light would be to light the face of a subject. Whether its for Film or for Photography, a Ring Light is easily one of the quickest and efficient ways to light a subjects face, without the use of multiple lights. This is due to the fact that a Ring Light is able to produce an incredibly uniform light, creating even shadows, and lights all sides of the subject. Just plug in, and enjoy!

Ringlight photo by Clint Adam Smyth, the master of light and lighting

2. THESE EYES 

Ring Lights have a great reputation for being able to create a beautiful eye reflecting effect. With other lights, it is often difficult to capture the detail of a subjects eyes. With the Ring Light, you are able to shoot right through the centre of it, which makes it incredibly easy to capture the detail in someones eyes.

Ringlight photo by Clint Adam Smyth, the master of light and lighting

 

3. RAISING YOUR VLOG GAME 

Due to its practicality, simplicity, and versatility, a Ring Light is the favoured lighting choice for most of the internet’s most famous vloggers and content creators. YouTubers who specialize in makeup, and beauty care will often use a Ring Light for its ability to bring out the details in the subjects face.

Ultimate Diva Ringlight Light by Big City Lights based in Toronto, Canada

 

4.  FILL’ING IT UP 

If you already have a decent lighting setup that you’re content with, adding a Ring Light to the mix will take it to the next level. The Ring Light can also be used as a fill light that can be used to cancel out unwanted shadows, and will provide a softer look.

Fluorescent Ringlight in Canada for Film and Photography. Great for Make-up!

 

5. WE GOT WHAT YOU NEED 

Ring Lights can often be difficult to come across at your ordinary retail shop, but here at Big City Lights, we offer a wide selection of Ring Lights for great prices!! You can check them out HERE, or visit us in STORE and see them for yourself!

Samsung Galaxy S10 | Everything you need?

The new Samsung Galaxy S10 was announced on February 20th, 2019. This phone comes packed with everything ‘new’ you could ask for here in 2019. Samsung hasn’t been a fan of the ‘notch’ design trend and can now say they never were part of it. The s10 comes with a 93:1 screen to body ratio, with a camera cut out on the top. Its finger print sensor, *cough cough Apple*, is indebted into the screen. Did I mention it has a total of 4 cameras?

Samsung’s camera game is through the roof, with 3 rear cameras and 1 for the selfie. Many people wonder why smartphones are getting more cameras side by side. The answer is that it allows for more depth when taking a photo. Having those cameras will not only give better perspective and picture quality, it will also give you that background blur that shows up like you’re shooting with a professional DSLR.

 

 

 

Smartphone manufactures have been pulling they’re hair trying to figure out where to put the fingerprint sensor. Some have removed it completely and opted for face unlocking techniques. Others have thrown it on the power button, making it more chunky, or even stuck it on the back making annoyingly hard to reach. Finally, we’ve found a solution. A display built in finger print reader, that takes up the whole display! Although other phones have similar tech, using light from the display to read the fingerprint. Samsung is the first company to use an ultrasonic sensor. This sensor uses small vibrations to determine the small groves on your fingers. Quite impressive right.  This also means the display doesn’t have to be on to unlock it and it could still read your finger if they’re wet.

Manufactures are clearly running out of ideas. Some are just releasing the same phone but with a newer name and a slightly faster processor. Everything is a boring slab of metal with nothing exciting. Samsung changed that and is definitely gonna be waking up to more profit.

Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig Kit

The Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig Kit comes fully loaded with all of the essentials to get awesome stabilization, for your shots. The complete kit comes equipped with the shoulder mount, handle grips, an overhead grip, matte box, follow focus ring, and camera plate. There is also an option to just purchase the shoulder rig without the complete kit, which includes, the shoulder mount, grips, and camera plate. The rig is made up of metal, but is extremely lightweight. It is extremely simple to setup and use right out of the box!

This piece of gear is an essential for the arsenal of any aspiring filmmaker, or videographer. It is also a great option budget wise, if you are looking for something to get you stable shots without an expensive gimbal. If you would like to purchase this product, please visit the links down below.

 

Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig 

 

Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig Kit

 

 

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The GoPro Hero5

As technology becomes much more advanced every year, it helps companies such as Go Pro to create better action cameras.

Introducing, the Go Pro Hero 5, with it’s release on early October 2016. The Go Pro Hero 5 is a much more improved upgrade comparing to it’s older model, the Go Pro Hero 4. With a similar model to the Hero 4, The Hero 5 has much more features to offer.

First, let’s compare the Hero 4 Black to the Hero 5 Black.

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The Hero 5 has it’s own waterproof casing, meaning you don’t need to buy an extra case and it comes with a little more reinforcement. This means, with both cameras naked, the Hero 5 is quite bigger comparing to the Hero 4 without the waterproof case. The waterproof housing can allow the Hero 5 to be submerged unto 33 feet underwater, and can protect the camera against dust and sand. But comparing to the old waterproof case on the Hero 4 (which can go up to 131 feet) it’s relatively better. If you are planning on going below 33 feet with your Hero 5, then you can purchase a “Super Suit Housing” for your Hero 5. This also means that the Hero 5 will weigh a little bit more than the Hero 4 without the waterproof casing:
Hero 5: 4.2 oz (118 grams)

Hero 4 (without case): 3.1 oz (87 grams)

Hero 4 (with case): 5.3 oz (150 grams)

But what makes the Hero 5 a major improvement, is it’s new built in LCD touch screen display. But comparing it to the Hero 4 Silver (which also had an LCD display) the Hero 5 has a much more sharper, brighter and easier display. Also, as it is waterproof without a case, you don’t have that back door panel, which makes it more responsive. This makes it much better when trying to control and adjust your camera’s settings.

The way to control the two cameras are still roughly the same, with three customizable buttons and an LED display in-front (which was improved on the newer model), but now on the Hero 5, you also have a voice activation feature which can be very helpful depending on what you are doing. So if both your hands are occupied, with the voice activation feature of the Hero 5, you can say simple commands such as: “GoPro start recording” or “GoPro take a photo” to control you camera. There is also a waterproof remote that you can purchase to control your camera from a far distance.

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The Hero 5 has also a much more improved video shooting features compared to the Hero 4 Black, even though both can record 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps, the Hero 5 won’t eat up all that memory card space compared to the Hero 4. Also with it’s new video stabilization feature, which can reduce the shakiness of your video. It also comes with more linear FOV, which removes the fish-eyed view of the camera. Both shoot in NTSC or PAL formats and both produce H.264 MP4 videos.

The Hero5 also adds three new options that can be useful:

  • manual exposure where you can set the shutter speed
  • a raw audio track option which creates a higher-quality WAV file
  • an auto mode option that lets you put it in a mode that reduces the effects of wind noise

Both models have an image size of 12MP (4000 x 3000 pixels) and can take similar images, but the Hero 5 can produce much more clearer images and can be seen when viewed at 100%. The Hero 5 comes with HDR, GoPro calls it WDR for Wide Dynamic Range and it aims to capture extra details in shadows and highlights. Another thing is; RAW image format. Shooting in RAW mode have pros and cons. The main reason why, is for the for better image quality. The downside of shooting in the GoPro’s RAW format is that the images need to process and convert to JPG before sharing.

Like the older models, the Hero 5 has the ability to take time lapse of images and video. The first is old way of shooting a sequence of images, downloading those images from the memory card, and bringing them together on your computer using a separate software. Like previous models, the available intervals are 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds. You can also have the camera compile the video to create a time-lapse video. The new model adds a new option, and it’s a lower resolution which is 1080p. The reason for this, is it has been added is to make it easier to share the time-lapse video without dealing with the massive files from 2.7K or 4K video. With the smaller 1080p video it’s much quicker to take the footage from your camera, to your phone then upload straight to social media.

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The Hero 5 can also take external microphones, but  unlike the old model you’ll need the new USB-C mic adapter.

The battery life on the Hero 5 has improved and is using a higher capacity battery at (1220mAh vs. 1160mAh). With the new USB-C  port, the Hero 5 allows fast charging. There is a slight problem though, the new USB-C port isn’t USB 3.0 it still uses a USB 2.0 for data transferring. Which means, you can’t have that fast transferring speed. If you’re using an external microphone, you’ll need a new mic adapter. It also has a micro HDMI (Type D) socket to connect to a TV or display device.

There are a bunch of things that have also been tweaked and improved, which are:

It automatically detects which way is up.

You can turn off the LEDs selectively.

The longest auto-off setting is now 15 minutes rather than 5 minutes.

In the end, the GoPro Hero 5 can do what the previous models can do, but with a lot  more features and higher quality camera. As for now, the Hero 5 is still very limited to new accessories, unlike the Hero 4. Overtime though, that will change because of how advanced technology can become.

If you’re looking to buy a GoPro Hero 5, you can find them at various different websites and stores such as Amazon, Sport Chek, Best Buy etc.  with a price of: $530.00 CAD

– Carlos Jochico, Big City Lights

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Big City Lighting Tips Video #2 – Lighting on a White or Black Background

Ever had trouble lighting a model in various backgrounds? No need to fear, Big City is here! In our latest video we will show you how to light your subject for a white or a black background. It may seem like a simple thing to do but, if you want professional quality photo or video, you will learn the right way to do so with this instructional video. We will talk about lighting angles, metering and even, the butterfly effect. We’ve seen failures time and time again, from photographers trying to achieve crisp whites or variable blacks but, they’re just not doing it right. It’s funny how these small tips and tricks can make such a dramatic difference in the end product, whether it be a photo or a video. You can view the video below.

 

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The Beauty of Technique

French photographer Felix Barjou, 25 is making a big impact on the world of photography. When it comes to taking photographs, he likes to take things to the next step, creating ideas that can only be completed in photoshop. Because he has a wide skill set in photography, he is able to experiment with various styles. His photos can range from being dark, mystical, surreal. He creates a concept and executes it in any way he can. He combines his passion for lighting, image editing and staging to create outstanding and unique photographs.

He has a few techniques that vary with each shoot. For this specific shoot below, he runs us through the process of how he got his final image to be so perfected and realistic.

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In the photo above, he has made sure to separate the elements of the photo (model, mirror, background). He used two flashes – the first a speedlight with a blue gel to illuminate the face and arm. The second flash is a headlight with a grid for a small reflection.

He then asked his model to hold the mirror in two positions so he is able to overlay them together in photoshop and get the complete mirror:

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The final image is almost complete – just needs one more motion, which is the model’s hair blowing:

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After all the photos have been taken,  he took them into photoshop where he mixed all the photos together, fixed and brightened the colors, dodged and burned areas and ended up with the final masterpiece:

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The success of the Joe Barjou is incredibly inspiring, it really shows how far one can go when mastering a technique.

 

 

– Paola Pasqualini

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52 Megapixel, 4K Video, 16 Lens Camera That Fits In Your Pocket

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L16 Camera from Light

Tired of lugging a bag full of camera gear around every time you want to take great pictures? Not satisfied  with the images or video you get from your smartphone?  Well Rajiv Laroia, co-founder and CTO of Light,  may have a solution to this problem.

He stated that “I developed the underlying technology for the Light L16 Camera because I was

And I’m still not satisfied with the “good enough” pictures I get from my mobile phone.”

This camera is the first multi-aperture computational camera. With 16 individual camera modules, Light’s technology fuses 10 images into one super high-quality, 52-megapixel image. These images have fantastic depth of field control and incredibly low noise. And the camera offers true optical zoom from 35-150mm while being slim enough to fit in a pocket.

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Close up of the multiple lenses of the L16

Looks like this camera is still in pre-production, and is expected to be released in summer of 2016, but they already are taking pre-orders.  Introductory price is $1299 USD until Nov 6th, 2015, then will go up to $1699 USD after that date.

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