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Beautiful Documentary-Style Vignette on Tattooing Shot with a Canon 1D Mk IV


A good majority of news and documentary photographers tend to shy away from capturing video footage on DSLRs, owing to the cameras limited HD clip length. However, here’s a really fantastic example of a documentary-style story shot with a 1D Mark IV, directed by photographer Austin Walsh in Kansas City.

Interestingly, Walsh and his creative team normally do advertising work, but the resulting piece has the feel of a New York Times One in 8 Million project. Walsh, who created the piece for a PhotoShelter lecture on passion projects, also produced every component of the video from scratch, including its own soundtrack.

Walsh tells us:

When I was given the assignment to produce a motion piece involving Whispering Danny I had never met him and didn’t know anything about him.  As I did some research I found out that he had quite the story….Born with a throat condition he has lived his whole life with a trache tube, he was born and raised Jewish, has since became an Ordained Baptist Minister that happens to own and operate one of Kansas City’s most popular tattoo shops, Exile Tattoo.  With a back story like that it only made sense to produce something in a documentary style, but I only had 2 weeks to produce the finished piece, and 45 minutes to work it into the presentation. So, the Whispering Danny video can be thought of as the trailer to a full length documentary that doesn’t exist….even though it would be a great documentary that should be done.
Walsh shot with a Canon 1Ds [sic] Mark IV for its low-light performance, since he was working with the ambient light on location. He also used a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Canon 70-200 f/2.8 while shooting.

Update: Austin also wishes to emphasize a number of collaborators involved in the project to make it possible: Dustin Schirer (editor), Glendon Scott (creative direction), Tom Demetriou (writer), and Liquid 9 for color finishing and sound design.