The DJI Pocket 2 is a travel vlogging device and using it outside that sphere is rarely considered by those who own one. Given the restrictions on travel from 2020, Vadim Sherbakov decided to see if he could make use of the little camera beyond its original intent.
Sherbakov says that because he was unable to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided he wanted to showcase the capability of the Pocket 2 camera as not only a vlogging device that he enjoys, but as a good b-roll camera and an overall capable machine for creative experimentation.
For this project, Sherbakov chose to work with liquids and inks and attempt what he believes is the first macro video with ink to be shot on the Pocket 2 camera.
“We use different inks, alcohol, soaps, and other different mixture of household chemicals for creating liquid art of flow and movements,” he says. “It was a challenging but really fun project as we have never shot macro with inks before nor have we done it with Pocket 2.”
Sherbakov says that it took three weeks of pre-production in order to nail down the kinds of effects he wanted to record, with trial and error working with different effects using the inks and chemicals. After that, he shot over 7 hours of footage over the course of a week and a half, with a final week and a half spent in post-production to complete the final film.
He says it wasn’t all easy, however, as he encountered some challenges while shooting the film.
“Especially with a macro lens on, [the camera] requires super-close proximity to the subject, meaning it was quite difficult to get pipettes or syringes below it. Because of that, the camera itself might be visible with some darker and glossy base substances.”
Sherbakov explains that while using the Pocket 2 was unusual, it has a few advantages that showed themselves during production.
“For example, the ability to digitally zoom in and out, not only as an additional movement but also as compositional benefits,” he says. “Gimbal movement left and right (that otherwise would require some expensive equipment), 4K in D-Log setting gave us the ability to bring up colors to life, and high-frame-rate for the slow-motion part of the film [were also helpful].”
Though he shot in a LOG profile, the colors seen in the video weren’t overly enhanced.
“No significant color manipulation has been necessary since all colors were done right in the camera,” he says.
“Surprisingly, it took less effort to color correct and grade those shots, since the actual image was very good to start with,” Sherbakov says. “I use Davinci Resolve 17 beta which has a Color Warper tool. Some noise reduction was used as well as a glow plugin to give the color a bit more ‘pop.'”
Sherbakov says that this project represented the possibility to showcase that the Pocket 2 is a more versatile camera than many would give it credit for, and can be used in situations that wouldn’t normally be considered for it, like what he shows here.
“We hope to inspire creatives to think outside of the box,” he says.
Image credits: Photos by Vadim Sherbakov and used with permission.