The Slow Motion Video Booth era

We are lucky to be one of the first to do the Slow Motion Video Booth in San Diego and across the country. It really is a fun source of entertainment and a great way to capture the essence of each event we do it at.

The things we have learned and I want to spread on to anyone interested in doing a slow motion booth.

First and foremost you have to be an engaging and outgoing person to effectively do a booth. All night you are explaining this entirely new concept to people. As with most video or photography productions the biggest challenge is getting people to open up and have fun in front of the camera. We always are trying to capture a little bit of each persons personality. That being said you have to be able to communicate with all brands of life and make it fun.

It takes a lot of creativity to come up with fun ideas for people to perform in front of the camera. I think of choreography when I have a group. Having one person do a hula dance and another some grease style dance meanwhile someone jumps into the shot last minute. Long hair is an instant excitement because it looks amazing in slow motion!

Coming up with new prop ideas that look cool in slow motion is also another challenge; Confetti, poppers and sparkly stuff that moves easily. You also have to be weary of making a big mess.

Take aways has been another challenge. We offer on site printing of screen capture images from the video. This is all shot in HD so a small photo looks great printed out. We offer USB drives for those who want their individual clips and same day edits; We also offer custom props.

The equipment needs to shoot fairly high frame rates and the lights need to be flicker free. We shoot at 240fps which will catch the alternating current switching on and off in a household light. We use two kino flo lights and a high end LED panel.

The Footprint goal

Our name means a lot to us. It all started because oddly enough, a lot of our first videos always seemed to have some ones feet or shoes incorporated in them. Then our family got a little bit bigger with our daughter Tristen. I used to think that the world was in bad condition and there is nothing that we can do about it. Now that Tristen is here, I realize that the world is struggling and there is something we have to do about it.

We have a very powerful way of delivering a message, video and photography. The human emotion can be affected tremendously by one simple image. Our goal is beyond making money, we want to give back. We want to make sure that the footprint we leave behind is a positive one. Once our business starts generating a steady income our goal is to make and fund documentaries that will make a difference. We want to expose truths and tools to make a better world for all of us and our future. We can make a difference and we will.

everyone needs their zen time

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This photo was taken in NJ facing NYC from right next to my brothers apartment building. I took the photo with a rolleiflex 3.5 and used ilford sfx 2oo film which is semi infrared film. I think I had a medium yellow filter on and it was early evening somewhere around 5. The Rollei is a 50 year old camera with a 85mm zeiss lens.

I was walking from the path to my brothers apartment building when the pylons in the middle of the photo drew my eye to the sailboat and then to the Liberty Tower. There is an eerie ghost familiar to me in this photo, this is where the Twin Towers stood and 10 days and 12 years earlier they were destroyed. Even though there isn’t and outline to those buildings in the photo, the Manhattan skyline will never be the same for me, the image of those buildings is forever seared into my memory. That day was the first time I had seen the Liberty Tower in person. It was nice to see that we can rebuild and move forward. I wanted to catch that moment; The sailboat which for me represents the core of freedom, in the city which was the starting place for so many immigrants looking for freedom.

Tonight I finally had a chance to enlarge some photos. Im still on the journey of trying to get the enlargement process down. Its been a long couple of weeks trying to get Footprint film launched properly with the Slow Motion Video Photobooth, I really needed some Zen time in the darkroom. It slows things down a little and gives you time to think, all the while magic is happening right in front of your eyes.

I learned more about increasing contrast and balancing your whites and blacks. Increasing your filter and decreasing your time to keep your blacks black and make your whites white.

I feel like working in a darkroom is such a major benefit to anyone working in photography and film. It is like learning Latin, while it is a dead language it opens your world to all sorts of languages like French, Spanish, Italian and English. I see the world of video and photography so different because I truly understand what contrast is, or how a black can add so much mood to a photo when it is truly black.

I so badly want to master how to light a scene beautifully, its just not something you pick up from reading a book, you have to do it over and over until suddenly you are painting with light in some way that is unique. Every time I light a sitter or a scene, I learn something new. I learn how certain skins reveal more than others, how certain surfaces reflect a very unique reflection and how textures can give a totally different feeling to something that is mundane in normal life.

Slow Motion Photobooth Videobooth

Footprintfilm Slo-moBooth from justin edelman on Vimeo.

We are one of the first production companies in San Diego to offer a slow motion video booth. Our slow motion video booth is a blast and provides great entertainment for your event guest as well as a great take away video which will be edited professionally as a music video.  Slow motion video booths are the most current trend and have only been around for a couple weeks now.

Please visit our full site for more information http://www.footprintfilm.com/slow-motion-booth.html

check it out on petapixel here.

http://petapixel.com/2013/08/29/slow-motion-photo-booths-the-next-big-thing-in-wedding-photography/

The video example they use is by Super Frog Saves Tokyo, who I think started this revolution

http://www.sfst.com/

Please contact us if you are interested in a Slow Motion video booth in the San Diego area.

Bad Robot

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Recently I had the honor of going on a tour at Bad Robot productions http://www.badrobot.com/ which was eye opening, inspiring, so cool, the best….. haha I could go on for awhile. These guys are responsible for shows like “Lost” and “Alias”, they also have done all the new Star Treks and are going to be doing the new Star Wars movies. This is the J.J. Abrams crew!!!

 

So what landed me on this tour? I got an email from a very friendly guy (later my tour guide) Josh. It was an email from Bad Robot which in my mind I was imediatly like “NO FLIPPING WAY THIS MUST BE SOME KIND OF MISTAKE!” The email said that they had been scrummaging the internet (a very large place) for a some good footage to be used in a trailer for The Mission Continues http://missioncontinues.org/ that will be in every “Star Trek, Into Darkness” dvd. Somehow they found the video that I did for my friends Dave and Kate, when Dave came back from a deployment.

 

Josh asked if they could license my footage which of course I was thrilled and honored to do. Not only that but being a veteran it felt pretty awesome to help out such a good cause in what tiny way I did.

 

I do have to laugh a little, the footage is a pretty short and insignificant detail added to Dave and Kates video. I thought they would want to use the part where they re-united. In any case Josh assured me that they had scowered the internet to the very edges of existence looking for the right footage to put in the video and told me I should give myself a little credit.

 

The tour was great!

I had to wait a little while in the lobby which was full of all kinds of figurines, statues and cool vintage toys. There was a table in the middle of the lobby which had pencils and paper and a little sign that said “please create”. They also had pre-stamped postcards to send off to military abroad I think it was http://www.amillionthanks.org/ (which I later learned that Josh was responsible for). In a room adjacent to the lobby was a kind of in house marketing/media/gift making/creative room. Josh showed me an old printing press that I think was 150+ years old that they use for “fun” to print things out. He showed me an example one of the interns had done which took him something like 18 hours to align all the letters in the plate (clearly the interns have to work hard there). There was a girl making these cool little clay statuettes and they had a sick 3d printer that Josh said they use to build/test their props for whatever production they need. I got to hold Captain Kirks phaser!!!

 

The rest of the tour was pretty quick, but I got to see some of the editing suites (they use Avid, because its easy to share work with it) a really nice sound studio and some of the compositing stuff. They had chefs that cook for everyone there and a built in theatre (which I learned later they had to use to shoot some inserts for “Into Darkness”)

 

Josh Brought me to his desk, where I got to show Dave and Kates video off to a few other employees and then he showed me The Mission Continues video. He also showed me some behind the scenes shots of “Into Darkness”.

All in all it was a great experience. I think it was awesome of Josh to invite me up there, take time from his normal work to give me a tour and he even sent me a couple sweet Bad Robot shirts. I also really appreciate that J.J. Abrams, his wife and Bad Robot are all very appreciative and supportive of military veterans.

 

Being a little guy in the film realm, it felt pretty good to have my video discovered by someone like Bad Robot.

 

Emulating the greats

marketta-5 marketta

 

 

The dean of my school asked if I would do a portrait photograph of her for future use. I was very humbled by her request and nervous I might not do a good job. I love photography and besides, what is the worst that might happen?

**EDIT** This was a portrait photo that my dean needed for professional reasons, not a completely creative or artistic photo

The shoot went well!

a couple things I need to get better at.

1. MASTERING THE ART OF PHOTO GRAPHY  – Light painting. Really what I mean is learning where to put the light on the subject, from what angle etc. There is an element or time for creativity and there is also a time when a person needs their portrait for work related purposes.

2. Getting the focus plane wide enough to get my models face completely in focus. I have a bad habit of going to the extreme ends of my aperture in this case I shot with a 85mm 1.2 on the 5D mark II

3. Directing my model, speaking with the model and comforting them to the point where I see or capture the emotion I would like

 

I also used a speed light with an umbrella. I shot through the umbrella to create a big soft light source. The best shots though were from natural light coming from a window. It was an 11am sun and a east facing window so the light was perfect.

As far as composition and creative process goes, I was recently inspired by an exhibit of Arnold Newman
http://www.arnoldnewmanarchive.com/

**EDIT** I dont consider myself a photographer even close to the realm of Arnold Newman, I was merely inspired by him.

He would typically include something about the “sitter” or model in the composition of the shot. So if you were a architect he might have one of your buildings incorporated in the photo or if you were a sculptor possibly an element of one of your sculptures. In my case it was my dean who is also a teacher. I felt that the library and some of her favorite books would be a wonderful element to include in her portrait. She loves to read but much like a book she passes knowledge on and educates.

Through all of this process I realized that not only am I am inspired by some of the greats but I also try to emulate them. My friend and mentor Anton told me once that there is nothing wrong trying to learn and copy other photographers styles, thats how you learn. Recently in my script writing class my teacher Lisa said “your foolish if you think youll be unique by not copying or reading other peoples work”. Obviously she wasn’t saying to plagiarize but she was saying take other peoples ideas and make them better. You cant be unique without knowing what else is out there.

I have a few people I really look up to in regards to photography. These are the people who I am trying to emulate in my own work.

Anton Orlov http://thephotopalace.blogspot.com/2013/08/on-hold.html
Rodney Smith http://www.rodneysmith.com/portfolio
Irving Penn http://irvingpenn.org/
Arnold Newman http://www.arnoldnewmanarchive.com/
Richard Avedon http://www.richardavedon.com/

Dean Bennici http://bennici.net/

FILM IS DYING!

I went into my favorite camera shop Georges Camera in north park to buy some chemicals for my darkroom when I was informed of some alarming news. I needed some fixer and when I asked for it the sales rep said “we have a bunch on back order from Kodak, but it might not ever come in,” which I said “It might not ever come in!?” MIGHT NOT EVER COME IN because Kodak may possibly stop producing one of the most essential ingredients to developing and enlarging film. Of course someone else like Ilford will end up picking up the slack for awhile.

 

It hits hard with me that I finally found something I love, a way of expressing myself artistically and the art is vanishing all around me. The majority of photographers I know dont use film or havent ever used film. There are a lot of believers in film but I am starting to see that the only people really doing film are Artist. Its almost impossible to make a living as a photographer shooting Film, unless of course you are that good. I myself would not take a film camera to a commercial job, or a wedding. However I still feel like analog photography is so essential to being a photographer.

 

Two things that make Film so special to me.

1. It is almost luck or chance every time you snap a picture. Film is very organic in nature, for all you know you could get a roll that is different from any other roll, it might be more contrasty or hazy etc. Everything has to go right to capture that special moment. Meaning that you have to frame the shot, set the exposure and hope that when you hit that shutter release button, the thing your trying to capture is exactly where you want it. Its a blink of a second out of life and everything in that camera has to work perfectly to catch it. Which is what makes that moment so valuable when its enlarged on a piece of paper.

2. Its a very romantic process. You snap a photo and when that mirror clicks up or that shutter sound goes off you know in your head, “that was a good shot” and you hope to god that everything else went right. Then you spend all this time in the darkroom, hands on with your film. A black roll of undeveloped film holding dearly to your image. A burst of light altered that film and now its your job to to pull your image out of that film. Its so fragile and delicate, so many things can go wrong, but when you hold your negative to the light and see that you did indeed get that shot you were hoping for, its the most rewarding feeling ever. I think the best part of all of it is the physical tangible object in your hand, both the negatives and the print.

The world will not be the same if film becomes a lost art.

 

 

Night photography/time-lapse

Last night a fellow student and I drove out to the mountains outside of San Diego. The meteor shower “perseid” was coming to an end after three days of spectacular light shows in the sky. A few things that I learned about night time photography and time-lapse.

 

equipment used.

canon 5D mkII hacked with magic lantern for intervalometer

14mm 2.8 prime lens

85mm 1.2 prime

Tripod

I shot wide open with both lenses and at iso 3200

1. For time-lapse you really need a lot of time to be able to do one at night. I was shooting 30 second exposures every 30 seconds which is 1 frame per minute. That is 60 frames an hour which if you are outputting to 30fps that equates to 2 seconds of video. That being said you need a lot of time, one good spot and a full battery.

2. the infinity focus is not infinity. You have to back the focus down just a hair to keep the stars from being blurry. Also on that note, the movement of the stars is much less noticeable with wide angle like the 14mm. I shot with the 85mm and had to back my time down to about 10 seconds so I didn’t get star trails. If you shoot for 30 seconds with the 85mm it will look like the stars are blurry, but actually its that they moved in that 30 seconds.

3. High ISO was not noticeably noisy at 30 seconds which really surprised me. I was going to just shoot at 1600 but another meteor gazer who was in the navy came over and gave me a few pointers (thanks if you ever read this) and he told me 3200 would be fine, which it was. That being said, I also did a 5 minute shot aimed at polaris because I was trying to get the star trails. The shot came out OK, but would have been better with a lower ISO. In the future I will shoot a much slower ISO for those LONG shots.

 

Over all once you get everything tweaked the right way its pretty straight forward. Hopefully you have a good book, some NPR or a good buddy to enjoy the infinite universe with.

Starlight from justin edelman on Vimeo.

 

Polaris Acrossthemilkyway peter blight chairs milkyway2 milkway

The Journey

Doing videography and falling into all of this has been a journey. I have always loved taking pictures but never fathomed it would lead to making money doing it. I look back and think I wish when I was younger I had taken the time to fully understand the mechanics of the camera as a tool. Composition begins to grow over the years as you take more and more photos. Of course studying and understanding color theory, lines, the rule of thirds is important and you need to know all that, but I also feel that there is something deeper to it. Within every artist or photographer is an emotional connection to their work and that is what separates them from the rest. Most people want to just capture a moment; they do this because 1. they don’t want to ever forget that moment 2. because they want to share that moment with other people. There is nothing wrong with taking photographs for those reasons and they are equally admirable. An artist however has a message, a question or a desire to inspire.

 

For me filming and telling a story is about moving someone some how, its about putting people in a moment and hijacking their feelings for a brief period of time. It is the best way I can make someone relate to me. That being said, I have a moral obligation to use that tool in a positive manner. “Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged. (Dalai Lama)”

 

I started by taking LOTS of pictures. My mom gave me an old minolta SLR film camera and I used it. I didnt know what I was doing, but I took pictures. I made little photo albums which were inspired by my stepfather. Then I got a small handicam and started taking video. The problem was that I was just purely capturing without reason. It was more of a gag for my friends and I to see how stupid or drunk we were (mind you I was in my teens and yes I was consuming alcohol). I had no concept of editing and at the time editing software wasnt what it is now. It makes me mad now that I had that camera and didnt record anything with a good reason. Then I got a small kodak digital camera which was ahead of its time (sadly kodak didnt stick in there with the digital cameras). At this time I was in the navy and I started documenting my life without knowing it. Then a couple years later I got a macbook because I was so burned out by PCs. Suddenly my computer became a tool for art. A simple program called Imovie gave me the ability to turn my photos into a slideshow with music and transitions. This was a great solution for the thousands of photographs I had accumulated on my hard-drive. It was a great way to share with family and friends. Just some movement and music was able to push the human emotion to the next level. It turned a flat medium into something more dimensional. At that time it was purely a hobby and nothing that I had imagined would ever turn into a career. Of course your friends and family are always going to be your best audience because they will sit through a crappy video and tell you how great it is at the end. I have had to learn a lot now to entertain more than just the people close to me. The journey continues.

Photography

I have found myself leaving my digital camera at home more often than bringing it with me (unless of course im shooting video). I have been shooting a lot of street photography; In doing so, I usually photograph things that for some reason either move me, or I think in my head “people in a hundred years would find this interesting.” I feel that using a film camera makes me really have to think about what I am shooting. Each shot is worth a piece of film, an hour or more in post and a meticulous process of getting the photograph onto paper; in other words a lot of my time!! I feel that film is in some ways, is just as random as life, which makes it worthy of trying to capture a moment, or fraction of a second of life.