DNOW 2011

  We just finished up Disciple-NOW at Germantown Baptist. I'm not going to lie, it was a pretty incredible weekend. A DNOW unlike any other DNOW I've experienced actually. The Student staff steered a different direction than we typically have before... and the response was amazing! I'm generally skeptical of emotional, mountain-top events. But I felt this time that the maturity of the students at this church really culminated through the weekend and they expressed that outwardly more than I've seen before. One of the more powerful things for me to see was one night when we gave out blind folds and had the students worship with them on. The goal was for them to be free of distractions and know that no one was watching or judging them(except the camera:) ). Seeing them choose their physical mode of worship was very moving. Here's the recap video I put together as well as the animated intro video we used to kick off the weekend.

For my DSLR film guys: I rented a RedRock Micro Captain Stubling Rig for the weekend and it worked great! It was my first time with a follow-focus and I've realized it's really the only way to go when shooting documentary, hand-held content. I guess truthfully it's the only way to go period. I also purchased the bargain-buy Cannon 50mm 1.4 which is a no-brainer for beginners. I wouldn't have been able to shoot all the low-light content without it.

For my AE animators: The intro video was a fun little challenge I forced myself through. I made myself animate the tree from scratch. When I first saw the logo that was created by our T-shirt designers I thought I could just cheat by incorporating Andrew K's "Evolution" swirls to get the growth effect. But that wasn't enough for me. I knew there was a way to do it for real. Luckily I found out when looking through the files that most of the logo was the same identical branch replicated. So I used Write-on to make it grow and scaled the leaves individually. Then I replicated the branch and got it pretty dang close to matching the original shape of the designer. I felt much better afterwards.


I saw this awesome piece of machinery in my dad's office over the weekend and... well.... this is what happened. Soundtrack was recorded straight off the device... no iTunes downloads here.

Used a Voigtlander 40mm f/4 from LensRentals with a close-up adapter.

These things just get more and more fun!


“The Carnival”

Couldn't pass it up... people, lights, motion, activity. So I went. Alone. Paid for parking, a ticket and one Ferris Wheel ride. It was great, and totally worth it. Shot on the 5D with a basic of the basic 50mm f/1.4(and a few shots with a telephoto). For just $300 I'm going to have to get me one of these lenses.


“Down Town” – First shoot on Canon 5Dmkii

Well I finally got it... er, well, my employer got it.... but we're attached at the hip.. MY hip. The Canon 5D. Pretty much the first DSLR to change the term to "HD-DSLR" by some crowds. For those who aren't familiar, it's a full frame still photography camera that shoots video. 1080p HD video as a matter of fact. This camera has started a blooming trend amongst film makers who are on a budget but still long for the amazing quality and depth of field offered by higher end cameras.

There's part of me that feels a little behind the curve when it comes to shooting with this technology though. Considering it's been around for over a year or so, and the more I research about it and watch tutorials and read blogs, the more I've realized that there's a LOT of people who've already migrated to this technology. I'm actually even afraid that the next model (the 5Dmkiii) might be released as soon as next month at the Canon Expo, which I only found out there was such a thing a few days ago. But oh well. We had to make the purchase for the church before the end of August for budgetary reasons, so it is what it is.

First impressions:

1  - The images are incredible! I've watched a lot of films shot with this camera and knew that the picture and depth of field was stunning before I got it. But it's different when you've shot it yourself and can look at the results on a large screen and see it face to face. I've never been able to use a piece of equipment that makes such gorgeous pictures.

2 - I have no clue what I'm doing! I've never considered myself a photographer and have only tried on occasion to act like one. But every time all I do is turn knobs and twist dials until something looks good. Then I push the shutter and the result doesn't look at all like what I set. So I try again. Video world is just different. The end result is meant to look the same, but the terms and workflows you use are night and day. So I've got a lot of learning to do.

3  - The 5D seems to be less purposed for being a video camera than the 7D(which I rented a few months ago). I think it's safe the say the 5D simply has the feature to record your Liveview, whereas the 7D has an actual "video mode" switch. On the 5, you have to go into the menu and setup the video recording function. And when it comes to image setup, on the 7 it's what you see is what you get. On the 5, you can put it in full manual mode and make exposure/shutter/ISO adjustments, but when you hit record it does an auto light adjust and changes to what it thinks looks good. It's been kind of frustrating. Chances are this is just something I haven't figured out how to fix, but I haven't gotten to watch through Phillip Bloom's beginner tutorial set yet. These are just my thoughts out of the box.

I'll continue to post more thoughts as I shoot more. I'm taking vacation next week and will be doing plenty of experimenting I'm sure.

Let me know what you think of the film(more specifically the images). It's comprised of the footage straight off the camera, no color correcting or anything. I just rented a basic Canon 24-105 f4 IS lens as all I had at the office was a 75-300 zoom lens that would fit it. As Phillip Bloom is arguably the worldwide leader of the HD-DSLR movement, my style mimics his for the time being(in fact I've been writing this blog in my head with a british accent simply because he's all I've been reading/watching for the past 4 weeks). I'm sure I'll be more creative in time, but I've got to learn the ropes first.


From the Road

Only a short way from Atlanta for the Passion 2010 conference. Pictures in this post are from my seat on the bus using the Hipstamatic iPhone app. It has different lenses/films you can "load" to give different looks. Seeing a lot of tweets/updates from people that say "expectant" in regards to the conference. Though it's good to look forward to what God's GOING to do, I think it's important not to let that override our sense of what God IS doing. Also, when going into a conference like this expecting great things, it's hard to stop and actually admit they are happening. We sometimes don't ever realize how good it is until it's over. Instead, we should be in constant reflection on the current moment and allowing God to work in us at the time. If we allow ourselves to get sucked into NOW instead of anticipating THEN, we will get stronger glympses of God's radiance and his desire for our lives.

Here's a few more "glympses" I got on the 7 hour bus ride...