Crafting personal visual experiences since 2008

Posts tagged “humboldt state university

Happy Holidays!

This is a short piece that I did in collaboration with the Marketing & Communications Dept. at Humboldt State University.  It was a lot of fun to make!


They came up with the concept and design.  All I did was light, shoot, and edit it.  The idea was to build the viewer’s interest by having the set slowly be put together piece by piece until the final touch (pun intended).  Short & sweet!

The lighting was pretty basic, just a diffuse key light and a spotted back light.  I did add some very narrow side lighting for the snow to bring out the sparkles (we mixed fake snow with glitter).  I used a 500W lamp with a black wrap snoot for that.  It was tricky to keep that harsh light off the trees and Lucky Logger.  This was accomplished by using a silver reflector held in place by a sand bag as a flag.  It worked pretty well!

Holiday Card Set

I shot the scene using my Panasonic GH3 with the Lumix 12-35mm, which was fully extended to 35mm (an effective 70mm since my camera has a 2x crop factor) and wide open at f2.8.  This gave a pretty flat image with shallow depth of field so that the Lucky Logger would be in focus while the background would be a little soft.

Here’s a quick snapshot I took with my iPhone 5 just for comparison.  (I used the Snapseed app to add a little soft focus to the background and a little vintage film emulation to the image)

iPhone Photo


This is a good project to end the year on.  Who am I kidding?  I’ve got dozens of videos in production and there’s no end in sight!  It’s really not a bad sort of problem to have 🙂 It’s the time of year to reflect on our blessings and I sure am.  Happy holidays, everyone!

tip:  I knew that I would want to slow down the falling snow at the end of the video, so I shot everything in 60 frames per second.  By shooting in 60 fps and then exporting the video in 30 fps I was able to get 0.5x slow motion without losing any image quality.  This gave the ending scene a little dreamy, snow globe quality.