Slow Season Busy Work

It's slow season ya'll with way more time than work. It's that time of year when I'd honestly prefer shriveling up into a wad of insecurity and self-doubt and drink coffee till things get better.

Anne the Wife has been around long enough to know when I need to get out and go shoot something. Thankfully I got out to The Farm before the January temps in Oklahoma dropped to angry Minnesota winter levels. Oh, and by The Farm I mean "my-parents-land-forty-five-minutes-from-Oklahoma-City."

Obviously I'm always hoping for good light but that's harder to come by now with two young kids. Normally I'm running one kid to school around sunrise and then cooking, eating, and/or cleaning up after dinner during the evening light. My window to shoot these days feels like a relentless insult of midday sun.

It was still that "Hey dummy, no one likes you" type of overhead light while I was out the other day. The thought was to try and shoot anything around The Farm and how it was moving with the wind. I also had a can of Atmosphere Aerosol with me, but it was too windy for it to make a difference. The footage was all shot on a 35mm CP2 between 5-8k widescreen on my RED Weapon Helium at framerates between 60-150fps.


Everything got edited down to the good bits in a "cuttingboard" timeline. That gets copy/pasted to "v1" and I go from there. I always end up pulling framegrabs from the footage to feed the Insta-beast and color them as I go. VSCO on my iPhone is my go-to photo editor but I'm also learning to use Adobe Lightroom – thx YouTube. There's also the idea of making your own LUTs in Lightroom – thx again YouTube – and bringing them into Premiere Pro. I tried making a couple for this edit, but in the end I went with a pre-made LUT in Premiere. Color correction and grading – to me – is always the most intimidaing part of any edit. I'll reference my edited stills, but those looks rarely end up being appropriate as part of a whole in the final edit.

Music is the next part of the project. Wish I could say that I always get the rights to the music I use, but I don't – especially for these random edits who'll be seen by like six people. Client projects, yes. Recently I've been digging through SoundCloud for music; some let you download, others don't. It's great to find a song you like and then it refer you to others you might also like. For this edit, I used "Fireworks" by Pham. I'll break the full track down into bits, normally looking to keep the total edit to around 60 seconds – gotta feed the Insta-beast.

Once I get the music close to where I want it, that's when I start laying down the edit. Again, for this edit I wanted to do something with how the wind was moving the grass and trees. The footage alone wasn't enough so I also added digital zooms and subtle rotation at times. Editing something like this is mostly gut-level for me. I'm not looking to tell a story, but I'm VERY intentional about how each indivial clip feels and interacts with others in the timeline and music track. I'm constantly considering building/releasing tension, pacing, and resolution.