Cross Training Gets Results

Cross training for runners builds flexibility and strength in muscles that running alone would not. Cross training for photographers is when we develop skills in one specialty that strengthen another. In this case our Architectural assignments developed our HDR and retouching muscles which were then used to produce better product shots and do it faster which enabled us to complete 36 photos on location in one day.
_JT_1844_cab_seat_up_600WWe lit the cab interior with both strobes and reflectors Which had to be placed so as to not create objectionable reflections off the camper. In order to sync with the strobes the shutter speed cannot be set any faster than 1/200 second. With the aperture set at F9 for the proper exposure for the interior our sky was blown out. We bracketed the exposures to get one image with good sky tones and one image with detail in the darker interior parts. Back at the studio we composite the images in the computer to get one image with good tonal range in the sky and in the shadows.
Cruise Comp, int & equipTight interior spaces were lit with two small battery powered strobes with help from two studio strobes, run off a generator, spraying light through the windows.
A lengthy scout trip rendered this dramatic backdrop for the camper photos that was, for the most part, unaffected by winter with a green landscape and open spaces. many RV campsites were brown and crowded. We had to remove the side walk and parking lines in all the exterior photos and in some interior shots to show the camper parked at an RV campground.
_JT_1941_600WCross training gets results: Within two  weeks the cruise America photos were published in the US, Canada and Germany.

2017-05-19T23:56:11+00:00Photography, Product|

Editing, a book by Walter Murch

My ongoing training is not limited to software and equipment. I read and re-read books on various subjects. One such book helps me to better understand the problem of “where to make a cut” when editing video.

In the Blink of an Eye is a book on editing by Walter Murch who has won many awards for editing and sound design for films such as: The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather part II and III, Ghost and The English Patient among others.

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First he asks ‘Why do cuts work?”. Cuts in a film break the flow of the story. Our daily lives are one long take from the time we get up till the time we go to bed, or are they? Without knowing it you have “Cuts” all the time. Every time you blink you make a cut. Your blinks are like punctuation in a sentence. You will not blink in the middle of getting important information. You will blink at the end. When someone enters the room and calls to you you do not turn and look at them without blinking as you turn your head. Your thoughts are diverted from your work to the person seeking your attention. This is a new thought and thus you “blink” to separate the two subjects. This is the exact location of where the cut should be in a film. (Of course we also blink to lubricate our eyes and if there is a bright light shining into them.)

I will make a cut where I would feel comfortable blinking. A good actor blinks at all the right times. and, it is at those exact frames that the editor can make his/her cut.

Walter Murch says that an editor should make a barrier between the shoot and the beginning of the edit session. This will help to separate the emotions of the shoot from the choices in the edit. Something may have felt good on the set but it may not be the best choice in the edit room. The separation should bring your thoughts to something completely different from the project, like a vacation. A fresh look at the footage will help the editor to choose the right footage to tell the story and not the footage that he/she liked on the set.

There are times that a cut is made when the speaker is in the middle of delivering Important information. We may cut to someone’s expression or reaction to the speaker. This is an important element to the emotion of the moment or to the story. This brings me to Murch’s “Rule of six”. These are the 6 most important things to consider when making a cut.

The Rule of Six in order of importance:
1) Emotion, is it true to the emotion of the moment.
2) Story, does it advance the story.
3) Rhythm, is it rhythmically interesting and right.
4) Eye Trace, does it continue with the audiences focus of interest within the frame.
5) Two dimensional plane, does it respect the two dimensions of the screen.
6) 3 dimensional space of action, is it consistent with peoples location within a room.

The first 3, emotion, story and rhythm, are tightly connected says Murch. Most of the time if a cut honors those three you are safe to do it.

If you edit, produce or direct any film or video you can’t afford to not read this book, In The Blink Of An Eye. It’s only $13.95. Murch started his career on the old analog film editing equipment. The conversion to non-linear editing on computers was a difficult challenge for editors of his time. He adds his insights to the advantages and disadvantages of the newer non-linear editing systems that were used at the time of publication. The English Patient was the first movie to win an award for editing that was edited on a computer, a $100,000 machine, in 1996.

2017-05-19T23:56:11+00:00DSLR Video, Multimedia, Video|