A crisp fall morning with Ravi

A couple weeks ago I had a great quick little morning shoot with local model Ravi Bansal. We met up at my local dog walking park and shot a quick couple setups before the rain ended our session. First we snapped some portrait shots for her commercial portfolio. There is a beautiful pond surrounded by trees and bushes that are in full Fall colors so we chose that as our background.

Here is one of the finished shots, it was real simple lighting. Just one medium softbox filling in the shadow side of her face, and putting a little glint in her eyes..

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Next we setup for my commercial style shot. I was going for a fall catalog or print ad style photograph. I wanted it to be clean and simple and to display the clothing looking good in a cool fall setting.

Again it was a very simple setup, one medium softbox to the camera left and one small box up high over her right shoulder to give a warm rim light. In Photoshop I mostly played with the tone of the foliage and cleaned up the background a bit. I chose to crop to a wide cinema aspect ratio because I thought it placed her in the setting without showing too much distracting foreground or sky. And the real reason is because I have been walking my dog down this path for months thinking I would love to shoot a scene here for a film so I have imagined it in wide screen film format. Here is the shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I will have a new shoot to post up in the next few days to check back often.

 

 

Early misty morning with Ziicka

A few days ago me and my favorite MUA/model/producer/creative director/blue haired friend Ziicka got up bright and early to shoot in the morning fog. I had a lighting setup I wanted to try out and Zii is just always game to help out in front of or behind the camera so we loaded up and went down by the water front to catch the morning mist and fall colors.

Turns out the fog wasn’t going to stick around for us but we made the best of it and got some nice shots in just a few minutes.

Here are a couple shots from the day and a behind the scenes look at the lights.

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Giving in to BaDD HaBBiTs

I had a great shoot a couple weeks back collaborating with Glass City wonder girl Ziicka, and the awesome local band The BaDD HaBBiTs. It was just a quick run and gun shoot in an east Van alley to create some new images for the band and to make some new friends. We had a blast goofing around and making damn good use of available colors and textures within one city block of alley.

Zii took care of the creative direction and styling while I concentrated on squeezing every ounce of light out of my poor little speed lights. Fighting daylight aint easy with small light sources and big modifiers covering a whole band.

Check out the whole photo set over at the Glass City blog

The BaDD HaBBiTs

 

Finally updating some of my current photography work.

Fire red in the wind.

Again it has been a long time between posts on here. I have been busy, what can I say. But the good news is now I have some content to show off. I just added a small gallery of photos from a practice session with Ziicka at the Glass City space in EVF studio called Blue with Ziicka. It was a fun little testing session to try out some new lighting ideas I had and Zii wanted to try out not having eyebrows. OK. But they turned out pretty cool and I have had great feedback on them from the few people that have seen them. Check that gallery out here.

Next I shot an evening with clothing designer Harrison Oswald modeling his own creations and Ziicka doing makeup and styling. Check that set out here.

We had a great time and finished up so quick we had time to get Zii in front of the camera again to model some Titans Eve tee shirts. Check that set out here.

And finally for today I am posting up a few shots from a shoot I did for hair stylist Lucy Lopez. We were working with a theme of blazing orange and red hair on three beautiful models, Marmar, Liz and Kayla. Again it was fun times had by all and I really enjoyed getting to play with light to showcase the amazing hair styling of Lucy. That gallery can be viewed here.

That’s it for now, I have a bunch of video work coming up in the near future so look out for a big post of links to music videos soon.

 

Corby

It’s been a while but I’m keeping busy!

I kind of forgot about this place lately. I have been pretty busy with work and family over the past couple months not to mention filming and photographing a few projects.

The first big news is the web series I have been DPing for the last 6 months is almost ready to launch and we released the teaser just last week for it. The show has been a labor of love for the writer/director/producer/editor/lead actor Devon Ferguson and myself but it’s turning out really funny and pretty good looking if I do say so myself. It is a super low budget project but we have been adding a ot of production value by getting creative as well as calling favors. It has been a challenge for me because it is my first multicam shoot, we have been running 3 cameras for every setup which has been interesting for lighting, blocking, and trying to make every angle look good as well as catch the action. My B camera operator has been Lena Vinogradova for most of the series and C camera operator has been a locked off tripod. I can’t wait for the whole series to be out so I can share them but for now here is the teaser.

How to be an Actor

The other film I recently did was a short film for my work’s private film fest. It was really a friendly challenge among the locations of Sim Digital to shoot films on our gear to build some teamwork skills and get some hands on time with the pimp new gear. So when it came time for me to choose my dream camera/lens package to shoot on my choices were damn near limitless. Unfortunately the reality of our business is that if we have the gear and a customer wants it we rent it, so my “dream package” slowly went out the door on paying rentals leading up to the shoot day. Sigh…. oh well I guess I will have to make due with an Arri Alexa and the new Fujinon 19-90 Cabrio lens. (For those of you who don’t know what that means the Alexa has shot damn near every feature film and TV drama for the last 2 years, and the lens? Well just picture a Porsche Carrera Cabriolet, now picture a camera lens that is more expensive.) So I was still spoiled with gear way better than I would usually get to work with, and a great cast and crew made for a fun weekend of shooting. The other really cool part of the festival is that we are being judged by a panel of industry big shots most notably master cinematographer and academy award winner Guillermo Navarro who just completed shooting Pacific Rim. The results of the judging will be in next week but we feel pretty confident in our film to impress.

Here are a couple bts pics from the shoot.

 

“As Our Souls Decay” Bloodshots 2012

I recently participated in the Bloodshots 48 hour film challenge working at the DP on Team Sunshine. We had a great time and a great team and made a pretty amazing film in a short 48 hours.

The work really started about a week before the contest started, we had a meeting with all the Key crew members and started roughing out a plan for what we would be shooting, locations, crew, gear, food, schedules, transportation, budget, insurance, ect. ect. Luckily we had Kevin Rigney producing and he made sure all the logistics got handled, location was secured and insurance was taken care of. Production Manager Marielle Vroom worked out the crew schedules and transport as well as a million other things and 1st AD Eudora Chu kept us on schedule on the day.

So the 48 hours started at 7pm Friday when Writer/Directors Izaiah Kane and Pan Yannitsos picked up the secret envelope containing the four mandatory components of out film.

  • Sub-genre: Reincarnation Horror
  • Weapon: Hypodermic Needle
  • Item: Stitches
  • Dialogue: “You Haven’t Been Yourself Lately”

We then all converged onto Sim Digital who had graciously sponsored our team for our camera package, editing stations, and some petty cash for expenses. We also made our selves at home in there building during preproduction.

So Izaiah and Pan got down to writing along with Kevin Rigney, and Marielle and Eudora kept them on schedule while I got my camera package in order and started doing some testing with my first camera assistant Curtis Nicholls.

Curtis and myself had a pretty smooth prep building up our Red Epic X camera with Arri MB-20 mattebox and FF-4 follow focus, TV Logic 5″ onboard monitor, on an O’Connor 2575 head. For lenses we selected a set of Uniqoptics Kenji Suematsu Signature Series prime lenses  as well as an Arri Zeiss Tilt Shift set, we then added a set of ND, soft grad ND and polariser filters to the kit. We also rigged up a wireless video transmitter and PLC  f-stop wireless follow focus for the handheld work. For camera movement we selected a Ronford Baker over keeper and a Porta Jib.

After the easy camera prep I had to select and organize our grip and light package since my gaffer and grips would not be starting untill the next morning. So I had to get all our lights, stands, sandbags, c stands, flags, and everything else loaded onto carts and ready to load up in the morning. For our lighting kit I kept it pretty simple with a good selection of Arri 650w and 300w tungsten Fresnels, 600w and 1k open face fixtures, 1.2k HMI Fresnel and a propane flame bar for our fire lit scene. I got home from prep at a civilised 11pm and got some shut eye before the 6am call time the next morning.

Bright and early Saturday morning we met up at Sim digital to load up our gear and head to our locations in Langley. Due to the extra time we spent prepping and organising the night before we were able to load up in no time and stay on schedule.

We had a fantastic farm location for our whole shoot and we were able to find enough variety of looks to keep the whole production on the property saving us from time wasting moves. The “barn” was quickly dubber the horse mansion and we moved in and made it home base for the day and a location for the night.

My camera crew consisted of myself DPing/opperating, Curtis Nicholls 1st AC, Lena Vinogradova 2nd AC, Thomas Walker as camera trainee and Galiber Agustin backing up our cards as the DMT. I can say with out a doubt this was the best camera team I have worked with and I was able to concentrate on communicating and developing the vision of the directors and I was able to leave the details of building the camera to my ACs. We had a few delays in the morning but quickly got back on track and started checking shots of the list.

 

We shot late into the night and took full advantage of all the lights we brought with my gaffer Jeff Zwicker sculpting the light and wrangling his wild crew of grips. One of my favourite scenes of the film was lit by fire light from the flame bar with a hint of rim light from the 1.2k HMI light. We wrapped up around 1am Sunday morning making it a 19 hour day, and by the time we unloaded the gear back at Sim and I dropped off the cargo van I didn’t get back home until 4am. But the directors and editor were still at it working right through the night and all day Sunday in order to make the 7pm deadline. I got into the editing suite around 5pm Sunday afternoon to sit in for the final colour grade. We put a fairly extreme cold bleach bypass look onto the footage but it was just what we needed to make the story come alive on screen. Due to the time constraints we edited and finished in 2k Prores but we plan to recut the film for future festival showing and can’t wait to take advantage of the full 5K RAW footage for finishing the festival release. I want to thank Matt Wells and his crew for the fantastic edit and colour grade and Raymond Fryer for the photos.

I think everyone had a great time and our film turned out pretty damn good. We recently showed the film at the Bloodshots event to great review and walked away with a best art direction award. We were hoping for more but hey it’s not about the awards right? Unfortunately because we we are planning to submit the film to some festivals I can’t link to the actual finished film right now but I will post it up as soon as I can.

Thanks to all the cast and crew and to our sponsors Sim Digital, William F Whites, and Inspired Cinema and to Bloodshots Canada for putting on a great event.

Some Vice is Nice.

I never really hyped this gallery showing at the time because the subject matter and photography style is a bit outside of my target demographic (if you know what I mean) But it was well received and got a fair bit of attention around the Vancouver alt scene. So I figured it’s worth a post.

A few months ago the Glass City Collective, a non profit artist collective that I am an artist in residence with was asked to take part in the 16 Deadly Sins Fetish and Erotic Art Show at The FALL Tattooing & Artists Gallery. So instead of having a single artist represent the collective we did a group co-operative shoot. 5 photographers, 4 models, 3 stylists and a designer all working together in the East Village Factory studios. We had a great time and shot late into the night.

After all was done we had “Some Vice is Nice” a series of 9 custom printed and framed photographs for the show.

“Some Vice is Nice”

Concept work by ziicka
Digital after effects by Mbeau
Styling & project co-management by Tracy Cake

Riannaconda Burlesque & Other Arts // model
LittleBit Lizbit // model
Mar Marb // model

ziicka // concept, makeup & model
Hair by Lucy Lopez
Nails by Emily Eror
& Corsets by Suzee 666
Shot at the East Village Factory, in conjunction withGlassCity Studio-Salon.

Here are some of the promotional pieces using my photographs from the day.

Gearing up for Blood Shots

I have had a few weeks of taking it easy around the studio but for the last few days I have been gearing up to DP a film in the Bloodshots 48 hour film challenge. This is one of the bigger and longer running film competitions in Vancouver and always draws big crowds and great film makers.

I am excited to be a part of a great team being led by producers/ writers/ directors Izaiah Kane and Panayioti Yannitsos and a whole crew of talented folks. My camera team will be myself as DP and camera operator with Curtis Nicholls as my 1st AC and a couple young guys I have not yet met as 2nd AC and trainee. Handling the lights will be Gaffer Jeff Zwicker who I have not had the pleasure to work with yet but I’m sure will be fantastic.

I have been making my list and checking it twice (camera and lighting package list that is) and if our proposed sponsorships come threw we should have a very drool worthy camera/ lens package.

I will be updating the progress of our team this week as everything comes together and I will try to keep up a behind the scenes live blog during the shoot days next weekend. We have a meeting with all the Keys tomorrow evening so I should know more by then.

 

Keep checking back.

Sneak peek at new work.

So I have been pretty busy lately between personal projects, music videos, web series’, commercial contest videos, and photo shoots it a wonder my kid recognises me. Oh and I have that full time job too. Anyway I thought I might give a quick update on my current work. The first is my entry for the Peak radio station commercial contest, there are only a few days left until they announce the winner and I have been getting great feedback. I don’t know if I am in the running to win but I definitely am happy with what I put out there. The other long term project I have been working on is a Web series with Director/writer/actor Devon Ferguson, it is still in production so I can’t say too much about it but I think it will be damn funny and a different look than my usual style of film making. I also collaberated with Devon on a music video for the sexy all girl rap group Dipit n’ Butta Moah for the single “Grit in my Slit”. It was a tough day with a busy schedule starting early on the beach at Spanish Banks and ending late in the East Village Factory studio. But it was worth it because I actually pulled a still from one of the clips that I would be happy with as a photograph. And I don’t know if I have ever done that before. So check out the frame grab of Dipit smoking a fat “cigar”. This clip is also making it into my new reel which I am hard at work on and should have done in the next few weeks. I will also be updating my photography portfolio to better match the new website and the new direction all of my work has been moving toward.

Keep checkin in as all this new work starts surfacing.

Commercial for the Peak radio station

So the Peak radio station is having a contest to make a commercial advertising there new stronger signal. I figured why not throw something together, I could use the 10g first prize I guess. So with a quick bit of planning and some Salvation Army costume shopping I put together this 30 sec commercial. Just me shooting on my Nikon D800, Jonah ripping it up on the bike and “Peak Man” hanging in the beautiful North Shore wilderness at magic hour. Enjoy!

 

Corby Martin Director of Photography