Switching to Sony A7 series and shooting portraits...

Rough with the Smooth.

So Last time I was saying how I was all set to start practicing shooting moving images again. As far as I was concerned everything was set and I was ready to invest time and money on the first practice production. I had been in communication with the "talent" for weeks and she was seemingly keen. However as I sat in the location I had hired it began to become apparent that she was going to be a no show. Now this happens from time to time, but on this occasion I was set to pay her for her time so I found it strange. As it turned out later she has a reputation for this, I just wish I had known sooner as I would have booked someone else. This is the down side of this industry sometimes, you just come across unprofessional people, I suppose that is not exclusive to this industry and equally frustrating to everyone afflicted by it. So that is the rough part dealt with.

Positively, I have made a lot more friends in the industry here in Taiwan and found a better model for the reshoot as a result. I will be (hopefully) shooting at the end of April and this time it should be a success, keep your fingers crossed for me.

Continuing the ups, my third commercial shoot of the year went really well and the client is happy with the work, I can't show it as it hasn't been published as yet. I am proud of the shots and will show you as soon as possible.

I think it is ok to show you an image from one of the earlier projects I was booked for at the start of the year though. It was a really fun to be involved with and brought a bunch of new challenges to my table, which I enjoyed very much.

This image combined my studio skills, directing skills, and post production skills all coming together to create a final image to demonstrate infield use of a rugged, tough and great product. Cool right!

Along with my investment timewise toward film making I was investing some money. I had bought the Sony kit as I explained in my last blog.

Now I purchased a Zhiyun Crane 2 gimble.

I like the Crane 2 and it certaily has it's place in my production tool kit. However it is not a magic tool for everything and certainly a Ronin may offer a more stable platform. For me though, and with a bit of practice it is ok and I am begining to produce smooth, clean and dynamic shots using it.

Realising it was not a wonder device for all images I also invested in a Manfrotto MVMXPRO500 Video Monopod and a Manfrotto MVH500AH fluid head for my tripod.

Looking at how each one of these, the Zhiyun, the Monopod and a Tripod with fluid head can be combined, I have gone over my story board. Now all the camera movements and tools to be used are indicated. If there is one thing I have learned it is preperation, preperation, preperation. The more pre-production you can do, the more dialogue with your client you can have, the smoother the shoot will be on the day. If you can shoot smooth and to plan, then often you will have extra time to develop and produce something really amazing.

To continue my practice with my Sony kit, I have been making a portrait series intitaled "Portraits of Girls". The concept is simple, find subjects in Taipei, give them full choice of location (just as long as it is in Taipei), and just take my camera and use what coditions I am given. Hope you enjoys these...

Now I have created 10 with these great girls, I may start to look to shoot a "Portraits of Boys" series in Taipei, perhaps once I have a collection of 20 portraits I could look at an exhibition which could be fun, we will see. I am unsure whether exhibitions are valid anylonger, as I said though, time will tell.

Currently I am lining up fashion editorials, more commercial work and as I said earlier the second attempt at my micro movie.

I am always looking for opportunities and projects so if you have anything please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Hopefully you enjoyed this episode, and got an insight into the work that I do, and effort that we all put into it to produce beautiful images.

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National Geographic Traveller Assignment Kenting - Taitung

Kenting to Taitung.

Leaving the southern most point of Taiwan behind me there was only one way to ride, North. I was sticking to the East coast, the sky was grey as was the ocean off my right shoulder. I felt a little saddened that my journey was in it's final stages, so much had happened in the few days since leaving home to set out on the road. I was calm on the comfy seat of the big scooter, suspension adjusted to take the weight and a fairly simple ride to my next and familiar stop. Just one night in Chishang Township. 

Chishang Township is a small town just north of Taitung, it is famous for it's paddyfields and also Mr. Browns avenue. The avenue was made famous from a TV advert and then a tree got blown down in a typhoon. This caused a bit of a todo in Taiwan and soon the tree was lifted, replanted and furnished with plenty of support. It has turned the area into a bit of a tourist hot spot, some would say this has ruined the place, but I have never known it any other way. Coming from a city like London, I would not call  it busy there, I find it relaxing and tranquil.

One of the best things in Chishang is to get up early and grab some soybean milk skin for breakfast, it is really delicious and a favourite of mine when I am in this little town.

Of course before I got to the township I had to make the ride up the coast, I didn't bother to stop and make pictures as the sky was so grey. However I was sitting at a junction figuring out a way to go when a fellow scooter tour rider stopped to ask me directions. She was surprised to find out that I was a foreigner, but I had a working satnav now and so pointed her in the right direction. It's always good to meet a friendly fellow traveller on the road, nice to meet you Pappa Jane..

What a ray of sunshine on a grey road. Pressing on I made enough time to take a slightly different route up into the mountains before travelling down to the B&B. The clouds made the the light interesting, finding a good view I waited for the sun to set and light the valley below me.

On a sunny morning the paddy fields around Chishang Township can look so amazing in the early morning light.

This image was made on a previous visit and shot on my fabulous Fujifilm X-Pro2. On the actual morning I arose on my scooter tour, the clouds were low in the valley and the weather looked ominous. I had a very long ride all the way up the coast, past Hualien and on to Yilan. So this was not the greeting I wanted from the weather...

That's the tree by the way, just in case you were wondering.

It was time to go, the longest single ride of my whole trip and the penultimate leg of the journey. You can find out about that bit next time and then we are almost at the end of this story. Hopefully you have been enjoying it, sorry the posts aren't super regular I am not the greatest blogger in the world, but I do hope it has been of some interest.

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