The essence of understanding photography is understanding light. Stand any object near a window and capture the light falling on it and you will get a great shot. I love this image where the light is coming through an old window pane, casting criss cross patterns over the medieval stone and hymn stand of St. Gwynog Church, Llanwnog.
The hymn numbers could be for a wedding, funeral, a baptism maybe, but probably it is a Sunday morning service, a regular new day in any city, town or village and we all look forward to those.
Just finding somewhere to shoot a night scene was very tricky. It had to be really dark because no one wants to work all night especially on a short film where the budget is tight. Only two suggestions emerged – one was a basement under a community centre in Hanwell over near Ealing while the other was a bunker in Dalston, London E8, that had been used as an air raid shelter in World War 2.
The bunker recce revealed a dank cavern of solid concrete down a couple of dozen steps. Moisture hung in the torch beams diffusing the light. There was the added bonus that there would no need for any set dressing to make it look grotty, and right outside was a pop-up bakery that exuded distracting wafts of freshly-baked bread all day long. Above all, it was solid dark down there with no light sneaking in anywhere.
The rest of the production team agreed it was ideal for our supernatural shoot. A mass of torches were rounded up to help the crew set up, and stout footwear was vital with the pooled rainwater and years of collected gloop on the concrete floors.
During shoot days, anything that fell on the floor got soaked and was often ruined. Paper scripts and schedules went quietly limp in a couple of hours due to the damp. And whilst the bunker maintained a steady comfortable temperature, it was easy to forget the scorching late summer weather upstairs.
The bunker’s only negative was that it wasn’t sound proof, and many shots were halted by the arrival and departure of lorries collecting and delivering skips, rubbish and more. Still the shoot was a success even if the schedule went AWOL, and post production is well underway.
A D Cooper Writer & director
The Penny Dropped” is in Post Production. My Low and High resolution images are with the Producers and the first images are carefully being released. For me, the shoot was such an adrenalin rush. At first, eager anticipation, thoughts and ideas, then the crazy day getting the shots down, and now waiting to see the final Production images and the film itself. Whilst as always I go on to the next assignment, the next lighting, the next microphone shot.. for me each shoot is “In Post”.
There is a little used function on my DSLR and it is called VIDEO. When my wife Chris Walker said she wanted to get her old sewing machine out and make herself a dress, I thought it would be an interesting topic for a short video and I might learn a new skill in the process.
Here was my chance to try out Amateur Photographer (06.02.16) magazine’s “Tripod Tricks”, in which it attempted to explain how you can use a cheap tripod to produce high quality looking footage. They highlighted techniques such as The Crane Shot, The Stabilised Shot, The Low Angle Tracking shot and The Slider Shot. You won’t see all these successfully achieved in the final edit as I struggled with panning and focussing, (no auto focus on an 1100D) but happily the machine and The Dressmaker take centre stage..
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For once I find myself with a minor ailment and ordered to rest. Now I have my head around the idea, I wander along to the local library in search of the book I can read from cover to cover in one day and do nothing else.
They say Madame Bovary is the perfect novel. It’s impact on writing style unquestioned. And so I settle down to immerse myself, test match cricket playing gently in the background. This notion of resting and doing nothing but read, whilst sounding idyllic.. I’m fidgety .. My photos from the Maidstone Fringe Festival have been released, I could do with circulating them.
Here’s one.. Father and daughter singing in harmony at The Devil’s Interval workshop..
Got to be a unique moment for them ..
Ok they may be amateurs but they can sing. This group of “ordinary” people coming together in song and harmony.. Their voices glorious yet unheard outside of the Bower House Venue.. And so to the as yet unheard voice (by me) of Flaubert..will it be a perfect voice?