Subscribe to Brin Coleman's Blog Blog | February 2018

The end of the beginning 27 February 2018

University Final Project

This is an interesting time for me. As I come to the end of my degree, everything is slowly but steadily fitting into place. My insane work ethic, my ability and need to soak up knowledge and endless hours of experimentation are all paying off.

As I write this, I am still a student but in a few weeks I will be a self-employed filmmaker and musician. I've worked hard to get here but I feel very lucky too.

Music promo test film used in presentation

The first part of my final project, the presentation, went well even though I was very nervous. It is 15% of the grade of this assignment, so 7.5% of the total year, all gone in 15 minutes.

I included the film I made the day before in my presentation, a test to see if my idea would actually work out on screen. I am making a music promo. I want it to have real emotion, so the viewer really connects with the peopl eon the screen. It actually surpassed my expectations, which I'm obviously pleased about.

This film also underlined one of the lessons I have learned recently: projects don't have to take a long time. I planned what I was going to do in advance, then went out and filmed for 40 minutes. Editing took less time but I did it soon after, while the idea was fresh in my head.

Adventures in Timelapse

After much research, I have made a huge step forward in the quality of my timelapses and have been amazed to discover that I can get decent night sky timelapse with a fair amount of stars, even with the terribly light polluted skies of central Manchester.

The technique involved taking reasonably long exposures (1 or 2 seconds at the moment but I may try longer in the future) and using the Expose To The Right (ETTR) technique, in other words, over exposing images without clipping while using a ISO 3200.

It seems counter intuative: Won't there be lots of noise? Won't the stars be bleached out? Both questions sprang to mind. However, in the editing process, I took RAW images or jpegs and edited them heavily in Lightroom, using high contrast and a pretty drastic S curve, bringing up lights and taking down darks. After some changes to colour, you end up with a natural-ish looking dark sky with lots of stars and very little noise.

I'm practicing and refining this technique as much as possible and looking forward to trying it out in a sky with a lot less light pollution, like Idaho!

Watch this space!