DodhersFrom Stills to Moving Image – Apartment Two, Second Floor

The parallel between the still image and cinema has been something that I have been thinking about for quite some time, particularly as a lot of my current freelance work involves working with both stills and moving image in the same commercial sphere.

The parallel between the still image and cinema has been something that I have been thinking about for quite some time, particularly as a lot of my current freelance work involves working with both stills and moving image in the same commercial sphere.

Many of my favourite photographers are also fantastic cinematographers and directors in their own right, such as the late, great Stanley Kubrick who was a gifted press photographer in his early twenties before becoming one of the greatest movie directors of all time. The art of composition, framing, lighting and exposure are very similar in both crafts, and for many (myself included), one art form is a wonderful inspiration for the other.

Lately I have found myself frequently working alongside a cinematographer or DOP (director of photography) in much of my commercial work, attempting to capture stills and moving image as a coherent visual narrative. As part of my own professional development I continue  to explore how different technologies allow us to work in both mediums: for example, using continuous lighting over flash, enabling us to shoot both photography and video simultaneously in the same environment. This ongoing process of research, development and on-set experience has had a positive creative influence on my artistic practice, encouraging me to reconsider my own shooting style.

From Stills to Moving Image

In the world of photography and other lens-based media, one of the biggest motivators of change is the advancement of new technologies within the medium. The creative practice of so many renowned photographers and cinematographers has been shaped by the technology of their day, with 35mm film and later digital being prime examples of the shifts that have changed not just the way we capture images, but the creative medium as a whole.

In our current climate, one of the biggest advancements we have witnessed has been the accessibility of video on most consumer-based cameras and, possibly most importantly, on most mobile phones. With new iPhones and Samsung models now able to shoot jaw-dropping 4K and even 8K footage, the lines between the practices of photographer and cinematographer are becoming increasingly fluid for the contemporary image maker. Brands, agencies, agents and other commissioning bodies have latched onto this new technological shift, and now frequently ask that both stills and video are essential parts of most commercial briefs.

Whilst the two practices have been and continue to be specialist crafts in their own right, there are distinct parallels between the two. For us as contemporary image makers, an understanding of both technologies can open up new creative pathways in our own artistic practice and personal projects.

Animating the Sound of Silence

Returning to my ongoing personal series Apartment Two, Second Floor (previously titled The Isolation Diary), I wanted to draw upon some of these ideas and techniques to create a set of moving image sequences that could complement the still images in this project. When I first imagined this project it appeared almost as a set of cinematic film stills: a very personal story shot in the style of a short film, drawing inspiration from classic art-house and indie cinema. With this in mind, it felt like a logical and organic progression to incorporate moving image as a key element as the series developed.

The inspiration behind the videos was drawn from the many moving accounts that I’ve heard from people who battle issues of mental health or grief. Often they describe their hardest experiences as all the little moments in between: the silence they hear first thing in the morning or last thing at night, for example, when we are alone with only our own thoughts for company. Thinking of isolation and the sound of silence in my own experience of mental health, I was reminded of the practice of mindfulness or meditation when we are often asked to simply close our eyes and listen: firstly, to our own breath, then taking stock of the sounds of our immediate surroundings, and finally to listen to the ambient soundscape outside of our own four walls.

Listening to the sound of silence in my own apartment and realising just how loud and oppressive it could actually be, I was inspired to distil this cacophony into a series of creative pieces by animating a selection of everyday domestic objects around me. The video that I want to share here, titled simply 28/04/2020, is an attempt to visualise the mounting anxiety that I felt during the pandemic, experiencing feelings of worry, loneliness and depression brought on by the stress and strain of long-term unemployment and social isolation. It is a visual memory of that difficult time, attempting to give voice to complicated feelings which we are often unable to articulate when dealing with mental health issues – and show that silence is often anything but silent!

Behind the Scenes

Like all of the images in this project, this video was treated to the same pared-down aesthetic, often using only natural light in combination with white bounce and black negative fill to help sculpt the window light that was used to illuminate each shot. One of the luxuries about working on a personal project is that there is never any real deadline, and I was able to watch the sunlight pass throughout our apartment until the light was just right for the shot I had in mind. For any setup that I couldn’t achieve naturally, I used small ARRI tungsten fixtures to help replicate the light produced by light bulbs, or in one shot from candlelight, around our home in the evening and at night.

The following images are a selection of behind-the-scenes shots to I sculpted the natural light in the kitchen scene, to create the contrast and shadows that were an important part of the final piece.

Shaping Natural Light

As I’ve mentioned in my previous Dodho column, one of the key parts of this project was the effective use of bounced light and negative fill to help sculpt both the artificial and natural lighting in each scene. On previous projects I had always been using multiple sheets of black and white card, but I recently upgraded to a Matthews Studio Equipment 40” x 40” Kit including a black solid floppy, a black top-hinge floppy, an artificial silk and a white bounce floppy, coupled with matching C-stands, to bring some professional grade video lighting grip to this project.

Whilst this kit is sadly far from cheap, they are wonderful tools that allow for an extremely accurate control of light and are an industry standard both in the studio as well as out on location. They are perfect for controlling window light, for example in an interior scene, or negative fill on a model’s face in a portrait setting; the possibilities are endless! It goes without saying that good gear is far from essential and will never transform anyone into a talented artist, but it can really help us to work quickly and effectively when used correctly.

As a quick side note for any gear nerds out there, the new 40” x 40” set is a wonderful new addition by Matthews, slightly smaller than the Hollywood standard of 48” x 48”, meaning that I can still get all this equipment into the back of my old trusty 1.1 litre Honda Jazz!

Camera Considerations

The other big change for me when working with video was the physical camera that I selected to capture the footage. For almost all of my stills work I use a Nikon D850 DSLR, and whilst this is fantastic for RAW capture with a 45.7 megapixel sensor, it only puts out 8-bit video which sadly isn’t high enough quality for the creative colour grading work that I wanted to perform on these sequences.

For anyone not technically minded, the bit count of an image or video clip is the total amount of digital colour data that the camera sensor can capture, so a higher number here means that more valuable colour data can be recorded in the final file, often leading to much smoother gradients and transitions between lighter and darker tones. For most basic applications this isn’t an issue, but for creative post-production where a strong colour grade and other creative refinements are used, the limitations can quickly become apparent. These often appear as blocks of colour, or banding as it is professionally known, particularly across a solid colour gradient moving from dark to light or vice versa.

To overcome the limitation of my regular stills camera I decided to use Nikon’s new Z6 mirrorless body, allowing me to utilise my existing Nikon prime lenses but harness the camera’s 12-bit video output over an HDMI connection when used in conjunction with an external monitor such Atomos’ Ninja V, or in my case a Black Magic Video Assist. This setup allowed for much more colour data to be recorded and gave me far more flexibility in post-production, particularly for the creative colour grading that I had in mind. To help further solidify a cinematic aesthetic in the sequence, I used either a 1/4 or a 1/8 Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter over the camera lens. These types of lens filters are often used with cinema cameras and lenses, providing a gentle bloom in the highlights to give a subtle yet distinctive cinematic feel to the footage.

For anyone who is interested, the video was shot on ProRes HQ format using Nikon’s N-Log gamma profile, at 23.98 frames per second in 4K. This specific frame rate was chosen as it gives the motion in the footage that classic, smooth cinematic feel and does not appear overly crisp, the hallmark of most classic Hollywood movies shot at this speed.

Moving Forward

I hope this video as well as the behind-the-scenes gives you some inspiration for your own experimentation, and lastly please never be afraid to experiment. For most of the clips in this particular video sequence as well as the series as a whole, I re-shot many of them multiple times before I was ever happy with how the final piece came together. We never learn by getting things right first time, and what we discover during the process is often far more valuable than the images we create!

If this piece does resonate on a personal level then please do feel free to share it far and wide, and if you have any thoughts, suggestions, comments or questions please send me a message and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can!

Gavin Smart

Gavin Smart is an award-winning freelance photographer. He has a rich and diverse creative background which began with his rigorous musical training, studying the tuba at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music. While he no longer plays music professionally, this period of his life gave Gavin the colourful life experiences which continue to shape his photographic process. His cinematically-inspired images feature theatrical light, emotive colour and constructed photography, drawing a strong influence from painting, film and literature. His work marries the production of advertising for some of the UK’s top arts institutions, theatres and design agencies alongside carefully considered personal projects. Using imaginative storytelling to produce creative and thought-provoking imagery, his photography has since become a vital means of personal expression and an aid in making sense of an ever-evolving world.

Gallery

SOLO EXHIBITION

EACH MONTH, THE MOST VALUED PROJECT WILL RECEIVE AN INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITION IN OUR GALLERY.

DEADLINE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2021

PHOTO: © ALAIN SCHROEDER
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

300x250

With ON1 Photo RAW you get the professional photo editing tools every photographer needs to get professional results while keeping your workflow.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/magazine_dodho_mostly_white_300x250.jpg

GuruShots is a platform for people who love taking photos. Get ready to push your creativity and enter your shots in the ‘Mostly White’ photo challenge!

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/banner-300.jpg

Call For Entries #18 | After 17 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

RELATED STORIES
Canned food by Anne Mason-Hoerter

AmericaConceptCanned food by Anne Mason-Hoerter

This is my personal project from my isolation series. I noticed on the first day of our countries quarantine, a surreal frenzy at the local supermarket for canned goods.
Paper House by Jessica Somers

AmericaB&WConceptPaper House by Jessica Somers

Expectations, these are things put on us from birth. Who we are expected to be. How we treat others. What we do with our lives. Some expectations are gender specific. Some expectations find their way into our subconscious no matter how much we have been shielded from them.
Night Tales by Babis Kougemitros

ConceptEuropeNight Tales by Babis Kougemitros

The nocturnal wandering in the borderland of the city and in the far away fields is characterised by darkness and danger. However, the fear that the night ignites is tempered by the freedom it entails.
Suburban Observations by Nathan Wirth

AmericaB&WConceptSuburban Observations by Nathan Wirth

The suburbs often feel somewhat soulless, even heartless-- in spite of the fact that they often have, rather curiously, so many trees lining their streets and decorating the yards of their cookie cutter houses
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/instagram.jpg
Portraits by Gerasimos Platanas

B&WConceptEuropePortraits by Gerasimos Platanas

These works can especially focus on texture and its inherent emotional qualities, the way a visual pattern can intrigue, repulse, stimulate. But interestingly, in this series, you will find a shift in focus from that sharp clarity to a greater ambiguity
BigCASE by Viola Andrushchuk

ConceptEuropeBigCASE by Viola Andrushchuk

There is a so-called “anti-extremist legislation” in Russia, which includes a number of laws and regulations. Blurred wording of articles allow authorities to use it to suppresses the freedom of speech and to pressure on the mass media and critically-minded citizens.
TRENDING STORIES
Christopher Lin, Co-Founder to SLR Lounge

AmericaDnaChristopher Lin, Co-Founder to SLR Lounge

SLR Lounge is an online community for photographers featuring industry news, tutorials, and inspiration. We are also the go-to source for comprehensive yet intuitive premium workshops and resources.
The Land Where the Roots Grow Deep by Rebecca Moseman

AmericaB&WFeaturedStoryThe Land Where the Roots Grow Deep by Rebecca Moseman

This series of photographs is part of an ongoing project about the African American people living in the deep south.
Liv(ing) ….. Mov(ing) by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

AsiaStoryLiv(ing) ….. Mov(ing) by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri


The past is a memory, something that has happened already. Although sometimes it can be difficult to move on, as after a painful event it is a waste of life span to spend too much time living with which is gone by.
Myanmar Chin tribe facial tattoos by Tim Yare

B&WOceaniaShotMyanmar Chin tribe facial tattoos by Tim Yare

Tattooing of girls began from as young as seven years old with homemade inks poked into the skin with citrus thorns. Sometimes the girls had to endure the intense pain over several days.
Aesthetic vision; Black & white of Francesco Merlini

B&WConceptEuropeAesthetic vision; Black & white of Francesco Merlini

After a start in fashion photography, I have begun a collaboration with the photojournalism agency Prospekt and the website of independent journalism Dust.it.
Where the Magdalena River Ceases by Karen Arango

AmericaStoryWhere the Magdalena River Ceases by Karen Arango

The murky waters of the river flush through the train of rocks standing on the embankment. As the louder and unstable motor of the small train overwhelms the passengers, the ride becomes an experience for those who visit for the first time.
Factories; Deep in the earth by Francesca Pompei

CityEuropeFactories; Deep in the earth by Francesca Pompei

Italy is one of the countries where the practice of architecture has been most affected by the economic crisis. The rich north regions were once home to many factories born from the economic boom of the Sixties.
Five minutes with Anik Rahman

AsiaDnaFive minutes with Anik Rahman

The best technique about my work is my eye. I try to make the photos just what I see. I talk with people a lot to know their story.
Photographers without Borders by Aga Szydlik

AfricaStoryPhotographers without Borders by Aga Szydlik

Photographers without Borders assignment in Tanzania was a humanitarian photo-documentary reportage on behalf PWB and Tackle Africa focused on helping the local community in Tanzania combat HIV epidemic.
FEATURED STORIES
Under the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

AmericaB&WConceptFeaturedUnder the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

Surreal, refined, disturbing: Roger Ballen has made a name for himself with his special eye for what is usually considered minor or outside, yet is nevertheless profound and touching.
Intimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

B&WBioEuropeFeaturedIntimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

Behind Glass is a collection of photographs made in monkey houses of small zoos throughout Europe. Anne Berry is recognized for her ability to create lyrical, intimate portraits of animals.
Fictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

ConceptEuropeFeaturedFictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

Birth Undisturbed is a fictional narrative photography series by Natalie Lennard, that brings scenes of natural childbirth into cinematic fine-art tableaux.
Japanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

AsiaFeaturedStoryJapanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

Japanese Aquariums is a journey into some of my oldest, most treasured childhood memories. Whenever I visited my grandparents in the small, northern Japanese city of Otaru, my grandfather, a high school teacher and an enormous influence in my life, would take me to the aquarium.
Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland became politically independent from Denmark in 1979 and is slowly getting on the path to economic independency. The ‘ice country’ is currently facing the consequences of climate change.
Intimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotIntimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

It is a declaration of love by Giuseppe Cardoni, but also by an Italian region, Umbria, which has always hosted the most important jazz festivals and where the author took most of his photographs.
Guatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

EuropeFeaturedStoryGuatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

Until the corn Grows Back; Lys Arango’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Criminal violence in Central America was something that happened very far away and that explained, according to the media, the gigantic caravans of migrants that from 2017 began to travel thousands of kilometres to reach the United States
Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Fortza Paris; Marco Cheli’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Over the years, until today there are many young Sardinians, specifically from Barbagia, who leave their island with the dream of becoming a jockey of the Palio di Siena.
Africa; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotAfrica; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

The project River blindness focuses on a neglected tropical disease, which is the second most common cause of infectious blindness worldwide.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/getty-images.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/black-eye.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Edelman-Gallery.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Medium.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Opiom.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Filter-Photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/head-on.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-independent.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/lagos-photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/gtb.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/IPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/in-focus.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/image-rights.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/riga.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/BGD.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ICP.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Mifa.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/miami.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/viewbug.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/OFF.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/KLPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/rotterdam.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-Nola.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/clampart.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dripbook.png
OTHER STORIES
X
stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Issue #14 | September 2020
Current Issue
Vicky Martin
Ryotaro Horiuchi
Susanne Mildeelberg
Diego Bardone
Nicky Hamilton
Alain Schroeder
Printed on 80# matte paper 22x28cm | 100 Pages
Showroom
September 7 to October 31, 2020
Julia Fullerton-Batten
LOOKING OUT FROM WITHIN
Get in touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
CALL
FOR ENTRIES
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Are you ready?
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
NEW!
FOLLOW US.
Subscribe now and get a free access to a curated list of resources.
Feel free to contact.
2017 (C) All rights reserved.
ghfd