there’s somebody at the door

Camera - Nikon D200

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  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Focal Length: 26mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter: 1/125 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D200

More from the set of Vivid.

Often when shooting stills on films I don’t get to see what the camera sees. Basically, mine is the least important camera on set and I just have to deal with that. It doesn’t matter, though, because shooting a still image is a different art to framing moving film. I can get dozens of different angles, catch different moments, compliment an actors individual performance or the scene’s mood with off-angle framing, not to mention document the behind-the-scenes action.

This shot was one I wouldn’t have got at all due to the cramped conditions of the area the film camera was to inhabit, and the fact the camera was hand-held and followed another character down a corridor to this position so there was nowhere to hide for me. I got the shot by ducking in moments after the camera completed a rehearsal and cleared back to ‘number ones’ (starting positions) for a take. The 1st AD (whose job it is to keep the crew, the director and the production in general running on schedule) can get a little antsy if I do that too much but the hope is once they start to see the shots I’m getting and so long as I don’t actually impede anything, gradually I get a little more leeway to grab these shots.

And as it happens, the director loved this one. 🙂

Generally all the film stills I do get treated in Nikon Capture NX 2 for white balance and an overall colour balance pre-set, then I don’t touch them any further other than converting to JPG. However, the images I post here have been processed to my own creative tastes (and I’ll probably burn them on a disc for the production too). So the entire processing on this image is: I tweaked the white balance, straightened (and hence cropped) a little, added some contrast with the usual B&W/Soft Light combo, bit of vignette…

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