Short Film – Christmas in Stockholm

So, here’s what I consider my first proper video production – a short film on my Christmas trip to Stockholm.

I recently started testing my Canon 5D2’s video abilities – hadn’t seriously used it for video yet even though I’ve had it for about 2 years. I decided to shoot video exclusively during my trip to Stockholm to visit my cousin and her family. I shot most of the video; my cousins also helped out with shooting a few scenes when we went ice-skating. Since I was traveling, I couldn’t carry too much equipment – here’s a list of what I actively used:

Canon 5D2, 24-105mm f4.0 L Lens
Manfrotto Monopod with Video Head (561BHDV-1)
Audio-Technica Pro-24CM Microphone
Hose clamps or controlling focus/zoom rings (pull focus)

Here’s a shot of my camera with the whole set-up (minus the zoom ring, which I didn’t have on when I took this shot):

Camera set-up

Camera set-up

Hose Clamp grip for lens focus ring

Hose Clamp grip for lens focus ring

This was my first time using the monopod extensively and my first time using the microphone/hose clamp grips altogether. I have to say that the whole system worked surprisingly well. The stereo microphone I used wasn’t superb quality and did pick up hiss when ambient audio levels would go down, but it was nonetheless a huge improvement over the 5D2’s internal built-in microphone (which also registers every adjustment made to the lens, since it’s built-in).  The hose-clamp grips, a very home-made and cheap method, worked remarkably well at controlling the focus and zoom, removing the need to touch the lens directly. I might invest in a slightly larger pull focus/grip later to increase the granularity of control – since the ‘arm’ on my pull focus here isn’t that long, it didn’t give me as much ‘resolution’ as far as controlling the focus as a larger pull focus would.

I took the camera out with  me on most days we headed out for long excursions. The monopod base-plate/camera connection is solid, so while walking around I would feel comfortable hoisting it over my shoulder without worrying about the camera falling off.  For a few scenes in the video (the one where the camera is near the car’s tyre, a few inches above street level, and the panoramic of the Stockholm river/coast) I even turned the monopod upside down, dangling the camera with nothing to hold it if it did fall. For the scene where the camera is near the car’s tyre, I just reached out the window and lowered the monopod with camera attached till it was roughly level with the middle of the car’s wheel and tried to keep it as steady as I could. For the shot of the Stockholm coast, I was standing at the edge of this bridge/cliff structure, on one side of which there was a long drop to the street below, right next to the coast. I did the same here, except here I extended the monopod out to near its full length and panned left to right, getting an unobstructed view of the coastline.

I definitely enjoyed shooting video much more than I thought I would. I had never really viewed my camera as a fully capable video camera up till now – needless to say, that has changed. Plan on shooting a lot more in the coming months!

About uzcmedia

A fan of all things epic and adventurous. What drives my creative instinct is seeking out those epic, breathtaking, grand, or even ordinary shots that'll spark a creative thought or leave the viewer with a sense of wonder, awe, or amazement. I shoot with my Canon 5D2 but also love using my iPhone camera to the max while traveling around. I shoot a lot of time-lapse/video as well as still photography and also use Dynamic Perception's Stage Zero rig.

Posted on January 12, 2013, in Europe, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Fantastic Shots! What a gorgeous part of the world! Especially at this time!

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