Showing your work & process

In his inspiring book “Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered“, Austin Kleon encourages artists to document their process and share tidbits of it as often as possible along the way, be it photographs, sketches, thoughts, videos, pinboards, etc.

Where you are in the process will determine what that piece is. If you’re in the very early stages, share your influences and what’s inspiring you. If you’re in the middle of executing a project, write about your methods or share works in progress. If you’ve just completed a project, show the final product, share scraps from the cutting-room floor, or write about what you learned. If you have lots of projects out into the world, you can report on how they’re doing – you can tell stories about how people are interacting with your work.

I have been meaning to write about how I wrote and rewrote (and rewrote) FOG, the short film of my two-fold microbudget film project for quite a while, but haven’t gotten to it yet. As I am reading Kleon’s book and thinking it’s been way too long since my initial post, it made me wonder if I had anything tangible to share right now. I thought of various tests I have done with my Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 lens, on two very different cameras: the Olympus PEN E-Pl1 and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Both cameras use micro four third (or MFT) lenses, like this particular lens, which means that in DSLR/35mm speak, it’s the equivalent of a 50mm lens due to crop factor. However, on top of this, with the Blackmagic Pocket’s super-16 sensor being smaller than that of an MFT camera (like the Olympus PEN), the lens’s field of view becomes in fact that of a 72mm lens on the BMPCC. So, same lens, different fields of view.

As I intend to shoot with this lens on both short and feature films and using mainly available light (natural and from practical lights), supplemented with a china ball, a small LED panel and a reflector, here are stills of various tests using this lens in those very conditions. You can click on the pictures to see the detail.

First off, using the Olympus PEN E-PL1: 

OLYMPUS E-PL1 M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
These lilies are technically lit from above by a soft frosted spherical light bulb over my kitchen table. But the picture is actually rotated, so they are “lit from the left”. The blurred horizontal lines in the background are a white door frame.
OLYMPUS E-PL1 M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
This miniature cactus with a fake papery flower glued on the top (the store did this!) is under the same snowglobe light as the lilies in the previous shot. The light blooming in the background is from a computer screen in another room.
OLYMPUS E-PL1 M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
My dog Paisley — the only member of this household who doesn’t mind posing for me. Here, I was testing how the lens reacted in very little light, the only light source being from the stove top a good 20 feet away. Paisley is very grey and so is the floor. So, not exactly a study in contrasts. But I like the bokeh.
OLYMPUS E-PL1 M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
A snail in the backyard. Natural light, rainy day. This is not a macro lens and I’m impressed with the detail.


Now, testing the same lens, but on the Blackmagic Pocket:

(I was mainly testing how it handled depth of field in low light conditions.)

BMPCC with M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
A tire swing, in a particularly shady area.
BMPCC with M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
After the rain @dusk. My character Lauren will look out of this window in my feature film Twilight State.
BMPCC with M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
Too dark? French lilacs partially backlit by a porch light and a distant streetlamp (posing as the moon). Shot @ 800 ASA, the camera’s base ISO.
BMPCC with M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
A little guy hangs onto the patio door’s screen, sidelit by a flood light outside. Notice how the dust/dirt on the screen adds texture… (Let’s pretend this was an artistic choice.)
BMPCC with M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 M. lens
Street shot @dusk, with various street lights. In front of the Green Spot.

That’s it for now. Are you “showing your work” too? Feel free to say hi and post a link to your work/process.


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