As the season transforms from summer to fall the days gradually become shorter and cooler. The changing of the color of the leaves on the trees happens so gradually that at first it’s not really noticeable then all of a sudden the bright warm colors are the trees are everywhere. To see the video click the picture below
Most of this video was shot in 2014 with a Blackmagic Pocket Camera, and stabilized with a DJI Ronin. It was shot in raw then colored in DaVinci Resolve, before being edited in Premiere, yes I know that’s the reverse of how post usually works with the color grading being done last.
If you want to see the Ronin in action and how I shot most of this video click on the picture.
In 2015 I added a DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone to my inventory and used that to add a few more shots to the video in both 2015 and 2016. Even though the Phantom could shoot in UHD, it wasn’t surprising how much further I could push both the color and exposure with the Pocket Camera which only shoots HD but is able to record raw data. Being able to shoot in raw is awesome when you’ve got the time to really tweak the colors.
I decided to shoot this project in 30p since I wanted to be able to slightly slow the footage down to make it 24p in the end. This had the benefit of slightly smoothing out some of the gimbals shots and I think warp stabilizer was only applied to 5 shots that made it in the video. You’ll notice a good portion of the video has sun in the shots, while I don’t remember going out to record with that in mind it just kind of worked out that way since I would get out of work around 5pm then I would have a couple hours to shoot before it was dark, luckily that’s when the sun was closer to the horizon and gave some really interesting light. I did shot on some cloudy days but after playing around with the edit those shots were just bringing the entire video down. It’s kind of strange, when I shoot timelapses I’m usually hoping for a lot of clouds or a completely overcast day since clouds show the passage of time so well and also acts as a giant softbox giving a nice soft light.
Initially I thought this was going to be a quick video to put out since I could get so many shots so quickly with recording regular video instead of timelapses. The problem and benefit to that is that it’s super easy to acquire a mountain of footage. I had so much footage that I just kept putting off the color grading, and I also didn’t want to have to sort through all the shots to pick out the best scenes. After all the shooting I ended up with around an hour and a half of footage and of that, 1 minute and 48 seconds made it in the video…. a roughly 50 to 1 ratio. I realize an hour and a half doesn’t seem like a lot of footage to go through but it’s about the equivalent to color correcting the length of a feature film….obviously a feature film should be more difficult to color correct since there are people in it, but a feature length movie was probably lit pretty well to begin with. Another reason for the long delay in putting out this video out was trying to find some music for it, I just couldn’t find anything that I thought fit with it. Usually I try and use local music for these projects but I’m not really well connected to the music scene in Louisville. I ended up going with some music I found on Premium Beat. I felt it was still missing something so I ended up writing a little narration to go with the video and have a voice over artist read it. This was my first time writing a “script” for any of my work, I’m not sure how it will be received but if you don’t try new things you don’t learn, and its always easy enough to mute the audio if anyone doesn’t like it.
Anyway, I hope these details were of some interest to anyone who may have read them. That’s three seasons down showing off Louisville throughout the year. Winter will hopefully be up this year or super early next year but who knows what if any difficulties I’ll run into with that. If I remember correctly winter should bring a return to focusing on downtown since trees are no longer a big focus of that video.