The convergence of motion and stills in advertising productions has been on my radar for a while now. More and more, I’m being asked to create video content alongside stills productions for clients and, while this comes with many additional challenges that most clients aren’t aware of, I really enjoy shooting motion as much as stills and have tried to find ways to create both types of content that has a consistent look and feel that brands require for ad work.
One way that I’ve managed to create dual content is by using continuous lighting for both stills and video. I love complex and sophisticated light set ups and there’s no reason that traditional flash set ups can’t be done with continuous lighting with some advance testing.
In my experience, it’s just not practical or effective to light the stills set ups with flash and then relight with continuous for the video so, I’ve been gravitating towards making continuous work for me in both scenarios.
In terms of control and light quality, today’s HMI’s are pretty incredible and I’ve tested a number of them. When you combine that with the higher ISO capabilities of the current cameras, continuous is a viable solution for both stills and video now.
I used K5600’s Jokers for this series of cinemagraphs and still ads for a renovation contractor and shot both the still images and the video files on a Canon 5DS R just to make it as simple as possible to switch between formats.
The client wanted to have both cinemagraphs and stills with a retouched feel that was a little edgy and hyper real so, I consulted with retoucher Peter Worthington, who’s done incredible work for me in the past. Retouching the stills is one thing but, retouching the video files is more complex and time consuming process.
Peter came up with a plan where we would modify the stills as we liked and then duplicate those changes over the other video files layer by layer, then create the motion masks and export the final GIF’s.
On set, we used K5600’s Big Eye in an 800w Joker as our key light and alternated between a second 800 and a 1600 with barn doors on set to create edge light or some interesting backlight effects.
Here’s a behind the scenes video from set that shows some of the set ups:
About the author: Dan Bannister is a commercial photographer and director based in Toronto, Canada. You can find more of his work on his website.