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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Candra and I have been volunteering at the Fulton County Animal Services, taking a dog out for the day. No cheeseburger treat this time, though. We took Khaleesi (cue the Game of Thrones theme) to Arabia Mountain near Lithonia, Georgia. I shot some footage of our hike using my phone coupled with a variable ND filter. It's pretty shaky. Walking on loose rocks is no easy task. Plus I was trying to keep up with a dog experiencing a sensory overload. Read about adoption here.

New year, new resolution

I haven't been shooting much photos or videos these past few months. My main line of work has been keeping me busy. But 2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year. 2016 was weird, both politically and culturally. And it looks like it's going to only get stranger. 

I'm ready to put all my tools to use and make some multimedia projects a reality. I'm itching to produce something out of the ideas I've been sitting on and it's driving me insane that I can't find the time. But it's a new year and I'm making it my resolution. So stay tuned. 

Filming a promotional video

A little over a month ago I filmed a promotional video for The PINQ House boutique in Fayetteville, Georgia. It went well for a first-timer in the commercial world, but there are things I wanted to change. It was a learning experience. 

Sound over visuals

I placed my camera on the tripod to shoot the interview with the owner Rosha Rackley, A.K.A. Flower. I had her sit on a couch next to a window that was my main source of light. I placed a small LED light on the opposite side to catch some light in her eyes. After watching the footage a hundred times, I wish I had followed the rule of thirds. The picture looked good, but my audio left something to be desired. 

I don't have a microphone suitable for indoor recording. I had to make do with my short shotgun microphone, which would have been all right had the floor not been wood. I should have clapped to     hear how distracting the echo would be in the audio. Now I'm looking at adding a wired lavalier microphone to my arsenal. 

Forgetting to breathe 

When my camera wasn't on the tripod, I walked around the house with it on my shoulder, gathering b-roll to supplement the interview. It's comfortable, and you're supposed to be able to relax more. Yet I had to keep reminding myself that it's okay to breathe, that gentle breathing movements look natural in films. I tensed up and got some shaky footage.  

Despite wishing I had done some things differently, I'm glad I did it.

PINQ House: a promotional video

Rosha Rackley, A.K.A. Flower, runs a boutique/hair salon/event space for mothers and daughters in Fayetteville, Georgia, in an old pink house. Flower does a lot, but it's all to help create strong, independent women. Flower is trying to start a movement, and she hopes her daughter will take over the business when she's old enough. 

Music by Kevin MacLeod, "Life of Riley" (

Test footage from my phone

I picked up an anamorphic lens adapter by Moondog Labs for the iPhone 6S, and a grip to hold it all steady so I can film things at a moments notice. I drove to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Center, a ten-minute drive from my home, to get some test footage to see how the rig performs. Since there isn't a neutral density filter I can attach to my phone, I film during sunset to limit overexposure. A phone doesn't replace a dedicated video camera, but it's an enjoyable experience. So far.