All Hail Me Old Gaffer

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4. Exposure Details: 1/50 second @ f4 ISO 400

The Gaffer is one of the most important people on a film set. Working closely with the Director of Photography (DOP) the Gaffer is responsible for lighting the scene and, as a consequence, contributing to the mood explored on set. The Australian motion picture film, Summer Coda, has been fortunate indeed to have the services of Colin Williams (Willy) as lighting director. With over 30 years experience in film and television Willy’s experience, good nature and professionalism has been greatly appreciated by all. I’ve been fortunate enough to chat with Willy about some of his experiences in the industry and the people with whom he’s worked.

I made the above picture of Willy while he was making careful adjustments to a light positioned on a lawn and directed, through a window, into a wonderful home in the midst of a vineyard and orange grove just outside the town of Dareton in far southwest (New South Wales) NSW. A close inspection of the image will reveal the decisive moment at which the image was made. Willy’s expression, particularly his eyes, the position of his body and the light on his face make this an image I had to make.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens. Exposure Details: 1/200 second @ f2.5 ISO 800

I made this image of Birren in the middle of a very hectic environment: indoors while lighting and camera were being relocated to record a scene from one of a number of different angles, as is commonly the case in the film and television industry. I was very happy with the way the light illuminated Birren’s face. It was a great candid moment that I only had seconds to capture.

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens @ 105mm. Exposure Details: 1/13 second @ f4 ISO 1600.

Jake is a local Mildura lad who joined the Summer Coda team at the beginning of what we all hope will be a fun and rewarding career in the film and television industry. Given his energy and easy-going nature I’m sure he’ll do well. I’ve very much enjoyed working with Jake.

The above image features Jake at the end of the day while the crew were packing away the camera and all the lights that were used to photograph a particularly beautiful scene that evening. I love the way that Jake is outlined by the light, which is hitting him from an extreme side on position, and the juxtaposition of the warm and cool colors which I achieved by processing the original image twice. The blue effect was achieved by shooting with my camera set to Tungsten (Incandescent on some cameras) that turned the light, which had been filtered to produce a neutral (white light) color, to blue. For the second image I simply employed the White Balance slider in Adobe Lightroom to produce a warmer color balance. The next step was to select both versions of the image, bring them into Photoshop and combine them in such a way to determine which areas of the image were rendered warm and which cool (blue). This is the sort of technique I teach in Adobe Photoshop intermediate level workshops that I run on an ongoing basis.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy