Vintage / Retro Action Set + in depth tutorial

If you want to order the action set, you can donate 5€/7$ (or more for sure) and you will recieve this action in return as a little thank you! The donated money will be collected for the rest of the year to be spend for a charity event. So you do something good and recieve something cool in return. Download link will be available via redirect after donating.



The goal of this action was NOT to give you a bunch of premade actions that only works 100% fine on the example images – this issue I ran into so many times and it was a pure hate and waste of money. I learned from that and tried to make it better, more valueable since EVERY IMAGE IS DIFFERENT!
I wanted you to have a cool solution for the retro look while getting the idea behind it – and with that the knowledge how to customize the featured adjustmentlayers.

Here are some examples:
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It’s a solution worth learning – something you can search for ages on the web for free or spend 100 bucks on an premium tutorial. Here you can learn something you want to learn instantly and enjoy the understanding of the action to unfold it’s full potential to your and your images needs – to keep this action exclusive, I’ll offer this set to donations above 5€/7$ only.

Yes, I use this action myself, what you’ve seen from my photography and still image works on my tumblr or facebook accounts, most of the images contain this action in a customized, tweaked version to fit the mood of the image. And yes, I share one of my secrets with you, grab this secret weapon as long it’s available.

Skill level:
Beginner with some basic understanding on the PS interface.
More intermediate to advanced PS users will have no problem at all but also may learn something new or inspiring.

Requirements:
Photoshop, enabled brain for sure…

Concert Photography and Videography

I’ve summed up a short guide based on experience about concert photography as well as the videography.

I got into concert photography a lot again after the Burning Q festival happend. Years ago I travelled through half Europe capturing my favorite bands on analog film but at some point it was getting totally crazy with the expenses as well as some changes in my life.. however, Burning Q hooked me up again and since that festival, I’ve been on a ton of events shooting metal bands – again.

Equipment:
For the equipmentside, I recomment starting with a 50mm lens – the Canon 1.8f is an affordable okay-lowbudget lens, it’s a prime, it’s not the 1.4f, but shooting at 1.4f wouldn’t be the best way anyway – sharp nose, blurred eyes…. I try sticking at a 2.8f and the 50mm gives you a sweet but quite limited range. on a fullframe body it is a 50mm – but cropfactor 1.6 makes it a 80mm prime. Still,that’s nothing to worry about, and with a lot creativity and back and forth movement this lens will give some sweet images.

I personally love my 35mm Walimex 1.5t videolens and on local club gigs you’ll see me working a lot with it on 1of the cams. Yes, it’s a 500$ lens that has no autofocus, everything is manual and it also has some issues. It’s designed for video and I’m used to this lens, so I can handle it’s issues quite quickly. But it can be a hate getting the focus on fast situations or actions. So beware of this lens if you are not flexible or have just a 15 minutes timeframe to shoot. What I love about this lens is the quality it can produce for it’s price. The reason I use this lens so often is the ability to shoot video also if the band ask for that instead of images. It’s a thankful range for video and if you’ve just one camera to work with you want something standart. There is not the possibility to change lenses without loosing frames and it’s also not like with camcorders where you can zoom (which allways adds touch of unprofessionalism to the shot in my eyes). Shooting video on a concert with 1 cam only means you capture video without interruptions. This must be well thought and for sure 1-2 friends or a second cam on a tripod shooting with you makes final video way better.

The big festival lens will be a 70-200 2.8f mostly due to the distance between stage and photopit. Now look at the pricetag for such a piece of glass and start thinking twice… use the 70-200 on a ASP-C camera to get the most out of it (remember it’s x1.6). You’ll get some supersweet closeup shots for sure. I used a cheap 70-300 lens only at the Burning Q Festival during daytime for the closer shots – at evening time that lens wasn’t handling the dark stuff so nice anymore…

For the local club and small shows a 24-70mm 2.8f is a good allrounder for wide shots at 24mm and closer ones at 70mm. It’s a no-brainer to buy one if you have the money before the tele or ultrawide lenses.

Finally we go one step further -have you ever seen those shots with audience and band involved? I love those kind of ultrawideangle glass, again, these glasses are totally overpriced compared to it’s time in use and a 14mm on a ASP-C body gives you 22mm. For this kind of shots, fullframe body is totally recommended which makes the ultrawide usage extremly expensive. Lowbudget shooters (with a fullframe camera – haha what a paradoxon) may go manual only with the Samyang/Walimex 14mm lens which is around 400$ -affordable but again as my 35mm too – manual and with it’s drawbacks.

For the body-side fullframe body for wide shots is recommended (like said above), to get the most out of your telezooms make use of cropping bodies such as 60D or 600-700D.

Last piece of gear you should have in your toolbag – especially on festivals – a second fully loaded battery or a batterygrip (batterygrip makes your cam look more pro^^…) and for sure some additional memorycards… it’s a hate if you miss to shoot the headliner of a 10 band festival cause your out of space or out of power…

Camera-Settings:
Light can be very tricky and you might find yourself in the situation long exposure gives you the only option to get right exposed images. I never shoot with flash (not unless band gives me permission using flash, even then I rarely use it – and if just indirect). You still have 3 options to get light into your lens like allways – shutterspeed, aperture and ISO. For the SS 100 will do, below that you’ll have motionblur, especially on drumsticks and headbanging musicians… on the aperture side 2,8 will work fine – in a dark club you might need to go with it anyway. ISO wise… yeah I hear people crying about noisy pictures… seriously, forget about noise for a while, think about a correctly exposed image. I mostly have ISO set up to 6400, 3200 in average and I’ve no issues with noise at all. Yes, it’s noisy a bit but nothing that’s not fixable in post. I love the analog grain from film but that’s personal taste. If a images is too noisy – try black and white on that image and noise might be gone at least a bit.

Postprocessing concert-images:
I’ve a quite complex postproduction going on with the images so it’s by far too much to discuss in here now. What I can tell you: shoot in Raw for more options in post.
I allways postprocess my images and deliver them only a small collection instead of every images taken. The key is to give out your best only and take the time to get the best out of each good shot – never batch process them. For some bands every image would do fine, but what you want is, going to the next concert of the band you shot before for and people reference you with your awesome work.

Hobby, journalist or just photographer… it’s fine shooting your favorite bands but at the end of the day you’ve costs and want to get something in return at least. The hobby guy normally do not get access to the big shows photopit and DSLRs are forbidden on most events for non-press and non accredited persons. As journalist, the images are for your magazine or blog or whomever you write for. But the freelance photographer,you may have the equip allready – but still need to make a living. Let’s have a view on this groop only. Can and – if – how does this concert photography generate revenue, I would say it can if done right so it’s a yes and no on that end and totally depends on execution.

As allways there is no right or wrong way. But we are not in the 80th or 90th anymore where the internet wasn’t main source for information and magazines ruled the music scene. You’ll have a hard time if you’re trying to sell your images to mags. Also you’ll have a hard time getting access to the shows which are real deal. Last but not least, for those majorlabel artist shows you need a strong portfolio and not just that – also an equipment worth a small new car (like mentioned)… that in mind, it’s a long way refinancing the equipment if concerts are the only focus.

So let me explain how this (my way) can work for a good anyway:
I don’t sell to magazines at all. I get asked sometimes by writers to contribute pictures but normally they are not willed to pay. I’ll usually give out my shots in a lower sized and branded version to the bands and independant for free – they can use it for their portfolio or facebook pages and on the other hand, I get some exposure in return. That’s a win/win situation at this point but still a minus in budget – as photographer you have costs to drive there, even the venues/entry is free most times. It’s still an investment and I prefer this investment over commercials printed in a newspaper not showcasing any work at all.

The real deal comes from another source. I’m videographer and the photography side is just a promotional “add on”. Most bands I shoot pictures are not only thankful for the images, they ask for other shots, such as videocapturing of there next show, musicvideos or promotional images for their CDs etc. And if you shoot 10 bands, at least one or two will call you back for some paid gigs…

Summertime – Festivaltime

Followers on Facebook may have seen the photos from last weekend local town event. I’ve been there taking stills for the top40 band alive!. I’m doing stills of performing bands since more then a one and a half decade. However summertime is festivaltime and I’m in the happy situation to do some photography and an exclusive videodocumentation of the Burning-Q-Festival. 10 Bands to capture shows from, doing documentation of the environment etc. The gig was a more or less last minute request and I accepted for the case of supporting young bands and the festival. Burning Q is luckily in front of my door – just 10 mins with the car. There is a lot planning involved in this project, also my assistent isn’t available until friday evening. Since I love sharing my workflow and schedule, tommorrow I’ll timelapse the preperation of the stage and doing some environment shots “before” the event. Friday no band is playing but there is the camping arrival as well as a metal party during the evening. The actual running order starts on saturday at 13:30. Lots of work, but it seriously will be worth it. I’ll keep you updated on this and release the movie as soon as the postpro is done.

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More impressions of the Burning Q at https://www.facebook.com/EmotionVFXProductions

Since the festival is over, time to summaries everything. The fine thing is all in all everything went smooth. The bad part is, the audiorecording from the desk might have some issue – that in mind it will be hard to add the original desk sound to all footage. That’s one of the lessons learned here – allways backup yourself too, do not trust in the systems run by others. Another annoying thing was people playing and switching of the main & fullstageview camera. That in mind future same kind of projects will be handled different with at least one assistent. Third lesson to learn – if you don’t want to get asked all day if you can take a photo (just because the DSLR implies you are photographer and not doing cinematics…) , make your VDSLR look as one, take a rig or mattebox or something else that looks like TV…

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Urban Exploration – just take photos and only leave footprints!

I’ve found an interesting place last days – and it’s well known for the lake behind it. The place is an area 75 years ago sand and stones industry got their goods from.  I remember when I was a child, I’ve been there 2-3 times for swimming adventures, then totally forgot about that place. Back in the days there was no security guards nor any restrictions – besides warning and private area signs. The place looked like sand industry with one of the sand pits full of water. Seriously this place is dangerous, since after 10-12 feet the lake goes deep. Lot’s of people died here due to not being carefully enough… Over the years – now roundabout 25 years later, I revisited this place by accident. Nature striked back massively and there is a ton of flowers and beautyful plants gowing now, you can discover bats and birds and other animals. Beautiful place for timelapse and nature shots. The sad thing is the negative connotation by visiting this place… vandalism, stupid people leave there rubish there after their beach party and there is a ton of dogshit everywhere.It’s a shame…

The Lake and the Sun If you search for the right spots, you still got amazing scenery!

What caused my main attention was not the lake, but the little electric station house outside the main area…

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DISCLAIMER:  I’m not responsible for any (illegal) actions or happenings on your side at all and due to the fact it’s a industry owned private environment, please respect the owner’s will. I’ll not tell you where this location is to avoid forcing illegal actions such as vandalism. It’s dangerous, you can die when the cliff breaks for some reason! Keep this place as beautiful it is right now… if you know the place, contact the owner to get the rights to film there with permission for some timelapses and natureshots. At least if you go there illegal anyway, tell someone where you are for the case something happens and follow the Urbex-Codex: take your images but leave nothing else but footprints…

It has been a while…

….since the last post on the blog, mostly due to a lot of client work and personal projects. Few things happend, if you are waiting for the Slider Part 2, I promise it will come soon but right now I simply do not find the time setting it up the way I would be satisfied with it. However, short update on last month activity, reader of my facebookpage and follower on twitter may have seen some of the progress allready.

Let’s start with “The Unseen Dreamscapes” project – weather these days had been aweful in Germany for about two weeks. Not that rain isn’t a cool thing, but seriously if you look out for bright sunshine, sun does not turn up. Same for clouds. Weather it was a grey soup in the sky or no cloud at all – kind of annoying sometimes. I’ve been out several times at 5:00 am just to realize there is no cloud besides the ones hiding the morning sun… Since 6-7 days weather turned out hot and at least sun shines as stupid, I’ve been out with my wife on monday evening to shoot 3 minutes of footage during eveningtimes, a day to night timelapse and multiple scenes of the environment disapearing in the dawn. Amazing experience, amazing imagery. The good thing is the persidia-time is there till august, so during nights it’s damn easy at the moment having 100-200 falling stars captured per hour. I’ll update the Dreamscapes-page asap.

Due to NDA I cannot talk about latest client project nor post them at this stage besides one project recently done with CRAVING – a German viking metal band – cool spontaneous photoshooting for their upcoming album. I had a lot fun with the 4 guys, especially cause a lot of my gear was rented to a client over the weekend and I had to think a bit outside the box because of the limitations and the extremly tight schedule. All in all a good day with a cool band. Really looking forward to see and film them on tour in September. We also decided together to shoot videos for new songs in the near future. One might be performance the second more the art-type of video with nature and blackmetal typical stuff. Still in planing phase, I’ll keep you updated on that!

Speaking about blackmetal – if you like forests and dark moods, check out the forest images on my behance portfolio. Yes you read right, behance.net/emotionvfx shows some of my personal photography projects (not just the woods-pictures) – I’ve not added any video related projects there yet and I think about using it for personal projects only.

The second big news is the anouncement of an ebook about videoproduction coming in december in german language and in january in english also – it covers preproduction, postproduction and everything in between, giving answers to beginners questions as well as those I get a lot even from more advanced persons. It will be available for 9,99$/7,99€ only – the reason it’s so cheap is that I want to share the knowledge at an affordable price for everyone – most guides out there are few times that prize and some are just summing up free knowledge from the internet available for free. I wanted to do a book that 1) helps people saving months of using google to then particially find incomplete solutions and 2) answers all questions in one document in an easy to follow way. I’ll will throw in also the material to follow along the tuorials, so those interested in just editing or not having an own camera can still make a good use of it! It’s a three-in-one solution to make life easier and speed up your learning from years to days – the only thing I cannot put into the book is your personal pracise. Sounds fair deal? I think so.

That’s it for today, keep on shooting and editing!

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The Unseen Dreamscapes

This is the first preview of ”The Unseen Dreamscapes” project, which is showing the mostly unrecognized beauty of nature and elements , lonely places & landscapes. Everyone could visit and see these areas, however “The Unseen Dreamscapes”  reveals the true mystic, surealistic and sometimes even postapocalyptic emotions and looks most humans don’t have an eye for in these days due to stressy fast-paced daily life and lifestyle. Next to the images, the audiovisual media parts will contain loopable content to play repetitive on your TV or beamer-projection.

“The Unseen Dreamscapes” is planned to be released beginning to middle of 2014 as virtual copy for download and physical copy (limited boxset containing hardcover book & bluray/DVD). To make this happen donations are helpful and welcome.  Every one helping will recieve an honourable mention in the physical and virtual copies as well as an exclusive access to the visuals before the actual releasedate.



WE ARE CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR SPONSORS AND PARTNERS – IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A PARTNERSHIP AND WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PROJECT AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, PLEASE CONTACT US VIA OUR CONTACT FORM!

Project update 9th August 2013: We proudly announce the first two of the subchapters called REFLECTIONS and SURREAL SKYSCAPES – you can see the first impressions of these 2 chapters below. First short teasing trailers will be released on 15th to 21st of August 2013.

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Abandoned Chapter Teaser:
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If you want one the images as wallpaper you can download it for this purpose only- no need to pay anything.
(The shown images are NOT for unauthorized publishing or republishing in print or webmedia, not for resale or commercial use. If you need a license for use in your blog, magazine, print or webproject, or want to use an image for CD layout etc – feel free to use the contact form on my website to request a license – all images are available in their shown ratio – 3:2, 16:9, 1:1 with max.  3000 pixel width and 16 bit depth)

Samyang 35mm 1,5t promissed footage

Samyang 35mm Update : Meanwhile I shot several short scenes, a commercial clip, 2 music video and an interview with this lens and I really love the variety you can do with it in different situations. Most of it is part of a bigger project planned to be released later this year, which means I can not show it right now.

However I’ve prepared a few more extreme shots:

I’ve made this DOF and MF tests during a rainfree 10 minutes before the next shower came down. There are 7 more minutes of footage of flowers and trees but I loved the mood the rotten carport adds and there wasn’t so much light and all the water dripping. I think you can guess the potential behind that piece of glass.

I’ve not used a tripod or any extra gear. But the shakyness gives the whole piece some more feeling of never planned mystery. Funny, how experimental and spontanious things turn out sometimes.

To avoid the emailflood again: I captured it on a 60D, desaturated (-4) and less contrasty (-2), standart profile with sharpness set to zero also (I didn’t used cinestyle here). There is a slightly vintage colourgrading done in AE (standart tools only, no MBL), nothing spectacular and just added to give back some more colour to the greyish raining daylight. There is also a 2% only screened 100 iso pro-res grain stockfootage involved (get it on videohive!).
Some more footage coming soon.

 

 

G.L.A.S.S. 2 Days of Filming-Madness

Done with the filming part – we had 2 great days with GLASS. Filming their video was a great experience and a ton of work, too.  We shot an additional live-video, a 8 second commercial for ANY.TV and also made new bandphotos for GLASS during. Wired schedule but that’s the business ;)  Now it’s time to start the postproduction! Some photoshots and videos from the set will be added soon.

Special thanks goes out to:

  • Prototype Schumacher for Katy’s Dress
  • Musical Theater Bremen for the 2 huge spotlights
  • Uli Borchert for setting up lightshow during DANCE recording
  • Ralf Bogatu for RIG, Glidecam & Location as well as the wonderfull support
  • ANY.TV for support

 

Free Wallpaper, Timelapse and Lightpainting

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I’ve shot a lot timelapses during the past days and did some nightshots too. It’s great fun doing these nightly explorations. Hopefully there are some more cloudy nights to capture some seascape at night next weekend. If not, I still hope to get some nice astrotimelapses done – sadly here is a lot lightpolution even I’m living on the countryside… I’ll do a tutorial asap on shooting TL and processing in PS Camera Raw / Bridge & AE since this is a very interesting topic. In the meantime enjoy the free 1080p sized wallpaper.

Samyang 35mm 1,5t Overview

Our new Samyang 35mm 1,5t arrived this week. The lens is also rebranded Rokinon or Walimex. Time for quick test and overview:

  • Specification 35mm 1:1.5 AS UMC
  • Aperture Range(T-STOP)T1.5 to T22
  • Optical Construction 12Element in 10 Groups(1ASPHERICAL LENS)
  • Angle of View 43.2˚(APS-C)
  • Minimum Focusing Distance 0.3m(1.0ft)
  • Filter Size Φ77mm
  • Length 109 ~ 137.5 mm
  • Front Diameter Φ83mm
  • Weight 685 ~ 723g
  • Mount Canon EOS, Nikon, Sony, Sony-E, Four-thirds, Samsung NX
  • Lens Coating Multi-coating

Datasheet PDF

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Inside the box you’ll get the lens, a small sheet with infos and a little fake velvet pouch (yes it’s fake velvet -for that price they could have included a velvet one) to protect your lens when not in use as well as a sunhood. The lens itself comes with protectioncaps on each side of the lens. Not much in the box though, but the lens feels heavy and high quality.

The Samyang 35mm T1.5 AS UMC VDSLR lens version is optically the same as the standard Samyang 35mm f1.4 AS UMC version. The main difference is a toothed ring to attach a followfocus. For those wondering about the 1,5t – T-stop (for Transmission-stops) is an f-number adjusted to account for light transmission efficiency.

Note that this is a manual focus lens only – which is actually brilliant for video since there are hardstops on the focus. It’s not a Zeiss lens, but seriously it’s a great value for the money. Price for the VDSLR version is 459,- Euro which is around 650 US$.

My lens arrived very clean and no need to waste time to get rid of microscopic dust particles like other lenses.
The smoothness of the focus is just brilliant.

With 8 aperture blades you’ll get a 8 pointed star on bright lights  as well as a pretty round nice smooth bokeh if needed… The bokeh of the 35mm lens is beautiful, the Nikon 35/1.4  may have a better one but for three times of the Samyang’s price.

There are some downsides too, one is a slight focus breathing (which is a change of the image size when changing the focus with a fixed camera ). The focus calibration is the badly manufactured, on my lens I’ve no infinitystop and from other tests you may know allready every of these lenses may vary a slight bit. Moving the lens to far resulted in a Lens error message, especially on the f/22. However no big deal if you know that habbits of your lens.

In conclusion I can totally recommend this lens to every videographer. Manual only focus is great for video, it’s sharp as hell in comparison to any other 35mm lenses. If you have the time to focus manually, this is the Samyang is the lens to go. Since it has no autofocus, it will get hard doing action photos or randomly timed moment photography with it. It can be a real struggle though doing photos with this lens without tripod or at least the time to make the needed adjustments. Especially in bright sunlight when you cannot see the display clearly – you’ll have to use the LCD (or a viewfinder attached or a Screen – which you will have as a serious videographer into your toolbox) – That said if you want to shoot photos a lot, go for a lens with autofocus also. Just for video this lens is sweet choice and great value especially if you are on lower budgets.

 

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