Guide To Editing (Fro Knows Photo)

Sometime in 1918 Russian director Lev Kuleshov took the headshot of an actor looking into the camera and intercut it with another shot of a bowl of soup, then with a child in a casket and lastly with a woman lounging on a couch. Each intercut was a different edit and each was shown independently of the other and in each edit the actor was praised for his performance. Weather it was the longing in his face to stave his hunger or the introspection of a child lost or the admiration of beauty. Kuleshov discovered the power of the cut from image to image could create a relationship between the images and elicit an emotional response. 

After nearly a hundred years the art of editing motion pictures has gone from literally 'cutting' film and pasting it together, to a few strokes of a keyboard. As editing has evolved so has the method of editing and for most, learning the software or principles of editing requires some sort of formal education.  With Jared Polin's "Fro Knows Photo Guide To Editing" that is no longer necessary. 

I was surprised and elated that Todd Wolfe from cheesesteakmedia.com and co-host of the RAWTalk Podcast was informative, comprehensive and focused. Jared is a great performer of sorts as far as grabbing your attention but I often find that his thoughts outrun his mouth and he looses track of his message. Todd as co-host and instructor really keeps Jared's large personality in check. I was worried at first that I would see Todd get drowned out with Jared needing to over-explain something that was just plainly said. Instead I saw Jared checking his ego and playing the roll of the student, establishing that the Fro only knows as much as he does because he's willing to listen and learn from someone with experience. 

The guide starts with what would essentially be any film students first lecture. Learning what a 'cut' is; a transition from one shot to another using a variety of techniques:  dissolves, wipes, jump cuts. This brief intro to editing is vital to establishing fundamentals that otherwise without, could disorientate the viewer as they try to learn the principles of storytelling through editing.  Principles like the "180 degree rule" may be missed by the novice editor that has no experience with the production of the footage. For these principles to be briefly reviewed establishes that the editor must at least have a basic understanding of eye=lines, continuity and emotional distance. When I was in film school most of us wouldn't really understand the value of these principles until in the editing process. 

The guide then proceeds to take you through the editing process on several projects and this is truly the most important part of this guide. In film school an instructor may spend an hour walking you through the process of importing footage, cataloging it and starting the cutting process. Then they'll say "now it's your turn" and you'll spend the remaining time just mashing shots together. With Fro Knows Photo Guide To Editing, you have an editor selecting shots and telling you why. Anyone can take a headshot and cut to a bowl of soup, but why? What is the emotion I'm trying to evoke? Do I need to have a master shot of the kitchen to establish the location first? Having Todd explain his process and having Jared punctuate the principles behind Todds thinking is a great combo. 

This guide is a comprehensive and entertaining educational tool. Although Todd's professionalism is turned up a notch, He and Jared still bring some humor keeping the viewer from picking up their cellphone or browsing the internet. If you're a filmmaker, youtuber, or simply just want to cut some footage you shot on vacation together, this guide is for you. It even provides footage for you to practice with. I was fortunate to attend a film school, many out there do not have that luxury, but they can have The Fro Knows Photo Guide To Editing for a fraction of what I am still paying for. 

Thank you Jared Polin, Todd Wolfe, and the Fro Knows Photo Crew for your work on creating this guide. 

Keep Shooting,

C

Vision Can Turn To Procrastination

You ever have that awesome feeling of, "I have it all figured out!"? 

No?

Neither do I and I think most people who we can consider successful, never have that thought. I think they think more like, "I'll do this and if it works I'll keep doing it". The most important part of this thought is the 'doing'. I'm at this stage where I've spent most of my time trying to 'figure out' my 'doing' instead of just 'doing'.

That's not to say that having a plan or vision is a bad thing but it can and has stunted my growth. Instead of just shooting I'll get hung up on gear, lighting, wardrobe, location. These things matter but not as much as actually creating. Your vision can change or shift just through the process of making it a reality. What if you wanted to shoot concerts but decided you preferred the natural light in landscapes? How would you have known that unless you did those things? How can you do those things if you spend all your time and energy planning for concert shoots before  you even stepped into the photo pit? 

I love movies and want to make films of my own. I do not love all the jobs in film making. How did I come to know what I did and didn't like? I went to a film school that touched the surface of the different aspects of film making. A very expensive learning process but in the end I discovered more about myself and what I love about films than any book could have told me. 

I spent a couple years before school planning to be a filmmaker, to tell stories that entertain and exhilarate the senses. I worked as a Concession Clerk at a movie theater, Dog Trainer, Clean Room Cleaner (yes I cleaned rooms that are already clean), until finally I had enough of putting off what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to film school. After school I learned that to be a film maker today you can't climb a ladder anymore you have to build a ladder.

I left Los Angeles, started working whatever and wherever I could until I had a 'plan' to build a ladder. I worked in a Distribution Center for Lowes, as a Lumber Associate at The Home Depot (longest held job of 2 years), I  was a Security guard, then a Security Salesman, now I'm a part-time retail employee for a tech store as well as a seasonal photographer for k-12 schools. 

I don't think my parents have worked half as many jobs in the same 10 year period.

My point being, is that I've spent quite a bit of time trying to survive and 'figure out' what to do, and at this point in the game I think it's time to stop with all that. It's time to 'do'. I can appreciate a well thought, designed and executed 'plan', but I've been planning myself into doing nothing.

It's time to take a step and gain momentum again. The hard part is already behind me, I just gotta keep moving, try new things, create better habits and repeat what works.  

Good luck to you.

Keep Shooting,

 

Portland Reboot

So in March I pretty much packed my shit and moved from CA to Portland Or. Why? Because Southern CA, Riverside County, Lake Elsinore is a hot dry desert that I spent 28 years of my existence in. I lived in LA and didn't enjoy it so much being that I was a poor film student that could hardly afford my transit fare let alone enjoy anything that city has to offer. 

My friend and writing collaborator moved to Portland and went to school to Portland State University with a focus on writing and film. I'd visit him a couple times and each time I was mesmerized by this city. First the color green never had so many shades where I grew up. The trees, the damp earth, the smell of natures decomposition. I immediately loved the environment. Then when I went into town, I started to love the culture here. Entrepreneurs everywhere. You can't throw a rock without hitting someone who's trying to do their own thing, food, photography, art, music, film, clothing. 

I realized that this place was a city filled with opportunity. I could create something here and not be drowned out in the static of other, more seasoned and accomplished artists. I'm excited to get shooting, building a book of business, and creating.

 

Keep Shooting,

C

Scream Kiwi

Welcome back, it's been a fun birthday weekend. I rented the Fujifilm X100s in preparation for some boudoir portraiture. Not just any boudoir portrait though, a cat-girl. Made popular by Japanese Anime "Neko Girls" are cosplay fans that dress up like, you guessed it, cats. There's a plethora of styles and genres ranging from cute and innocent to fetish BDSM. 

I had the pleasure of shooting a rather serious cat girl in boudoir fashion for her upcoming profile at thechateau.org (fair warning NSFW). As I understand it, The Chateau is a kin to The Playboy Mansion, except they care for the feline variety playmate they refer to as Kittens. Introducing their latest Kitten:  Scream Kiwi 

 Scream Kiwi (Brittany Gaston)

Scream Kiwi (Brittany Gaston)

The more I shoot with the Fujifilm X100s the more I wish I had $1200 to buy the thing. I can't believe how they packed such great quality tech in such a little camera. I get nice depth of field along with a medium format that looks great in camera. Pixel peeping is the best in Lightroom where you can really see how sharp some images come out.

Anyway, back to the story. Crystal and I met Brittany and her "Master" John, both young teenagers (legal people!) at her home for this shoot. Tucked in the hills of Temecula wine country this estate style home was just about perfect. Had I been able to scout it before shooting there I think we could have done some more interesting shots. Guess that'll have to wait for another day. We shot in the bedroom, bathroom and living room. 

This wasn't the first time I've needed Crystal's assistance but this was the first time I realized how valuable it is to have her on set. She's very attentive to my behavior and can understand what I want to communicate before I can find the words. 

 Yours Truly shooting the lovely Scream Kiwi

Yours Truly shooting the lovely Scream Kiwi

 Bathtime

Bathtime

Of course there are more photos to be processed, but I feel a bit tired after getting 10 done in a day so I'll just leave a couple in my "Portraiture" page for your viewing pleasure. If there are any other ladies out there model, or otherwise that would like to shoot a portrait session of any style let me know. I've already received requests so book now before all the weekends in March are taken! 

Keep Shooting,

C