Archive | November 2012

Get Out And Shoot!

This morning was mostly spent researching various freelance jobs on the internet. I’m at the stage now where I have a full production kit list of DSLR equipment, and a strong passion to make great pictures. I know jobs don’t just appear and aren’t going to come to me. I also know that to learn anything and be successful I need to get out and shoot and gain experience and trust. So that’s the plan.

Recently I’ve overloaded myself with knowledge on shooting and lighting interviews. I’ve seen dozens of tutorial videos of other people using DSLR cameras in their own fields of work for assignments and music videos. I’ve seen do’s-and-don’ts and behind-the-scenes clips, how-to’s and making-of documentaries. They’re all good for taking away great ideas, but nothing really compares to actually going out with a camera and creating something.

As a freelancer I have a few companies who I regularly get work with. Although, I have only been freelance for a year and I know that not all of that work is going to be continual and never-ending. I’ve recently found out that one of my employers are closing down the majority of their London office. Statistically, this takes away just under a third of the work I was getting. Yes, it’s bad news for me. It’s worse news for the 100 staff who will soon be job hunting themselves.

Armed with this information I’ve taken the leap I have always intended to take and started contacting freelance studios and production companies, in the hope someone is looking for someone with DSLR kit who is more than willing to learn for free. I know full well that getting ahead in this industry is a mix of experience and contacts. With little experience the best option for me is to do any offered work for free, or for less than what others charge, to get onboard and grab the experience required to get ahead.

Some of the work is done. I picture the “ball-that-needs-to-roll” as an actual toy ball, perched atop a confusing and well constructed puzzle game. It’s just a case of waiting for someone to give it a nudge and let it take a course.

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Tis That Season

For the whole of 2012 I’ve been browsing eBay, hoping that some kind soul would decide to part with their never-used Canon 5Dmkii at a ridiculously low price. No amount of cosmic ordering made this happen. Instead, in the early hours of an overnight shift a wise man with logical reasoning suggested that waiting another 6 months wasn’t going to make much difference, nor was waiting till after Christmas. And buying one now (or buying one in 4 weeks) was going to have the same financial impact. “If you really want one, why not just buy one now?”.

So this morning I caught myself on eBay. And the inevitable happened. My Canon 5Dmkii will arrive in the coming days. Along with spare batteries, dual chargers, memory cards and (randomly) a follow focus whip.

I’m chalking this one up to being a bunch of Christmas presents from myself, to myself.

I really have been meaning to get a hold of one of these for years. My Canon 550D has done wonders for my photography, and has done just as good in the video department. In fact, the 550D was used for filming macro shots and cut-aways for Channel 5’s reality show Big Brother. and Celebrity Big Brother in 2012, and I also shot a music video with it too. To me, it really shows that the 550D is just as good for HD DSLR cinematography than the 5D.

But in saying that, the immediate arguments arise with sensor sizes, colour depth and low-light capabilities. And that’s why I’ve opted for the 5Dmkii. As tempted as I was to go for the 3rd generation I couldn’t justify the additional £600 to have a pure HDMI-out (coming in a 2013 firmware update. Allegedly), and getting rid of “rolling shutter”.

I seem to have acquired a mass amount of DSLR kit since becoming freelance. 2013 is going to be the year it’s all used.