The Blacksmith: filming my first short doc

For the past year, Tedwood has been sharing pictures of bottle openers, spoons, forks and knives, things that he's been forging in his garage. He said, "I've only been doing this for a very short period of time, but I know that I'll be doing it for the rest of my life." And he's gotten good at it. It's an interesting hobby. I don't know anyone else who does it and I was curious to learn why someone would want to.

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One light and a practical: another test shoot


All right, so really two lights. But I only used one to light my face for this test. I wanted to see what I could accomplish with one bright light. On camera-left, I used a Stella 2000 diffused by a white umbrella, and on camera-right, a white reflector to fill the shadows. Originally, the reflector was hanging from a light stand at a 90 degree angle. It wasn't doing much to fill in the shadows on camera-right, so I had to get creative. I MacGyvered gaffer tape and an extendable flashlight to the light stand to push the reflector up to a 75 degree angle. I used the practical light in the hallway to separate myself from the background. The two different color temperatures work well and give a nice contrast. 



Film noir inspiration

500 ISO,  f/4

500 ISO, f/4

I read an article on black and white filmmaking a couple weeks ago and felt inspired to try it. I've been practicing lighting, color correction and grading for video because I'm fixing to get out and film more often. This time I wanted to try something different.

For this test, I used a spot light as key and shot between two flags made of black cardboard paper for a narrow spread of light. Cardboard paper is inexpensive (and in my case, free, because they came with a portfolio case) but flimsy. A clamp wasn't enough to keep them from folding. I'm considering ripping apart cardboard boxes and spray painting them black. I placed a small LED behind me and bounced the light off a reflector for the rim light around my ear and neck. In my first test, which isn't pictured, I didn't use two lights, but happy I did for the final shot.