Tag Archives: video

BBC News – In praise of bokeh: the dilemmas of TV filming

Bokeh is a Japanese term used by photographers to describe that pleasing effect where the background of a photo is defocused, often into blobs or hexagons, while the subject is razor sharp. It’s what you need a real lens for, and it’s produced by the effect of the little blades that open and close the aperture, letting the light onto the sensor.

If you’re sharp-eyed you will notice bokeh has suddenly splattered onto your TV screen, as journalists have begun to use Digital SLR cameras to shoot video (trailing by about two years the practice of activists and demonstrators). Normal TV cameras, costing maybe five times as much as a Canon 5D MkII , don’t really do Bokeh. They’re designed to keep more of the scene in focus, and to maximize clarity over moodiness.

An interesting diversion from an unexpected source.

Brightwell 2012.m4v – YouTube


Folk’ll get bored with me plugging this!

All the footage was shot in HD on the EOS 7D, but due to indifferent lighting conditions the ISO boost ended up leaving a ton of digital noise. This is why the video is not HD, and has been turned to black and white. It still sort of works.

If I plan to shoot further layout video, I think I will need to do it under stricter conditions, bring my own lighting and have a plain backdrop to avoid distractions. I will also need to shoot the same movement from several angles, so a proper story can be made. Live and learn.

New Toy


Peering at the back of a camera while it’s pointed at something out of your line of sight is no fun. Making critical focus and exposure adjustments is not easy to do, either. Sharing any resulting video footage or still images beyond a couple of people peering over your shoulder is, well, awkward at best.

That’s why I have acquired a neat little 7in widescreen HD compatible video monitor. It attaches to my EOS 7D by an HDMI cable, and lets me see the LiveView screen without getting a crick in my neck. 

Of course, adjustments still have to be made on the camera, but it’s a lot simpler when you have a larger, clearer screen to look at.

This model supports all manner of pro level features, such as component video as well as HDMI. What attracted my attention was the use of battery adaptors that will let me use the Sony camcorder batteries we have about the place. That means I don’t have to rely on mains power or lugging the laptop on location if I don’t want to.

I am very pleased with it. Best Beloved bought it for my birthday—which isn’t until later in the year, but we do silly things like that sometimes!

Expect more fun short films to appear from my fertile brain over the coming months!

Wow and Flutter on Vimeo

I’ve been learning how to make movies with my EOS 7D. Shot and edited in two days. I think it turned out quite well for something just over two minutes in length.

I recommend the HD version, although there are some dodgy artefacts noticeable. I blame that on Apple’s iMovie ’11 making it a bit too easy to tweak things like exposure and contrast. Lesson learned.

A short video

I was out shooting on Saturday, and took a few seconds of video with the DSLR. Not having a tripod with me, things were a bit shaky and I’d forgotten I had set the camera to black and white mode, so I bunged it through iMovie and added the ubiquitous “aged film” look. Not sure entirely why I bothered with the 1080p HD variant, to be honest. Still, it has a certain vintage feel to it, appropriately enough as the event I was attending was all about the 1940s.

If I’d planned for it, I would have made more of the little details, as well as establishing shots. Live and learn.

Moving pictures!

I’ve been keen to try out the HD video features of my EOS 7D on a model railway for a while. Yesterday I had the opportunity on a visit to the S7 South East England Area Group’s new venue. For the first time outside an exhibition, the group is able to erect their massive layout Croscombe, and while it is far from complete it makes an impressive sight.

This video was mainly a way to prove to myself the camera can actually do what I want it to do. I think it managed quite well. With some more thought and a better plan, the next session might well produce a better film!

BBC News – How best to drive in snow and ice?

Auntie helpfully reminds us how to drive in bad weather, in case we’d all forgotten in the last two weeks…

(Incidentally, my car will definitely stall if I try the pulling away in first gear without gas trick. I suspect most cars still do, unless they’re less than five years old, or automatic transmission.)