Last friday evening I took a drive out to Southborough, MA on a StudioNow/Yelp assignment to Expressions Art Bar. This small business profile was unique for me because the client asked that we incorporate American Sign Language into the interviews. Expressions offers ASL parties and interpreters, and they rightfully wanted to feature this outstanding service in their video.
A paint instructor and an ASL interpreter leading the paint group
This was shot on the Sony X70. I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about whether this camera really provides a commercially viable image. I say commercially viable because the video marketing world tends to favor large sensor, shallow depth of focus cameras. The X70 has a middle of the road size sensor, and if pushed, it can get shallow focus shots. But you have to make sacrifices in convenience to get those sorts of images by either shooting very close macro shots or using the telephoto end of the zoom. In either case, your camera is forced to be very near or very far from your subject. The still image below was from the quick interview set up before the paint class began.
Interview w/ Mary, Expressions owner. Camera approx. f3.4,50mm. Subject approx 4′ distance.
I’ve taken to bringing along a very compact LED lighting kit. Even the word “kit” is being too generous. It’s a pair of compact LED panels powered on Sony batteries. I use a photographer’s diffusion umbrella on the larger one as a key or fill light depending on the environment. The smaller light I use as a back light when it’s convenient.
Expressions Art Bar Staff
The Aputure VS-1 monitor that I ordered arrived about 30 minutes before I left for this shoot. I brought it along anyway, figuring I would learn to use in on the fly. It’s cheap, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like peaking, waveform, or zebras. But it does help with focusing, no more squinting to see the tiny LCD on camera. I’ve done some experimenting since and have tweaked settings so that the X70’s built in peaking and zebras are visible on the monitor. Still working on getting color to match though.
LEDs with umbrella, and the Aputure VS-1 monitor in action.