Snow; Thursday 17th January, 2013.

I’ve always wanted to film snow. There’s something quite magical about the white stuff.
Anything under snow always ends up looking better than it already is and so did London, recently.

Anyway, yesterday I filmed at Osterley Park.  Snow began falling in the early hours and by daylight there was enough covering to warrant getting my camera out and film!

EQUIPMENT USED:

  • Canon 5D MK II (running Magic Lantern) with 24-105mm Lens
  • Hama Circular ND
  • A plastic bag acting as a rain/snow cover
  • Giotto Tripod
  • Konova Slider

CAMERA SETTINGS:
I shot the whole film with just the 24-105mm at 1/50 sec, f/13 and ISO 640. As it got darker, I opened up the aperture but kept the ISO constant to avoid any image noise.
I used a circular ND filter in the beginning to cut out the midday light reflecting off the insanely white snow!

PICTURE STYLE:
I shot in Technicolor’s Cinestyle to get the most amount of latitude in the shadows. This was useful when shooting under trees, as everything else was bright and white! The risk associated with shooting snow is your highlights being blown out. There are some shots I feel I could’ve paid a lot more attention to in regards to this.

MAGIC LANTERN:
As I was using Magic Lantern, I set up crop marks to keep everything in frame. I find this way the easiest method as my footage does not need to be re-scaled in post production when adding crop marks.

Slider on Snow

FOGGY LENS ISSUE:
My lens quickly fogged up as soon as I took it out of the bag. This is evident in some of the shots. I tried wiping the lens but the condensation kept reappearing. I’ve just read that lenses should be placed in a container with desiccant (those gel sachets that absorb moisture) and not in a warm camera bag when shooting in cold conditions. I’ll try this next time.

GLOVES ARE ESSENTIAL!
I wrapped up the 5D in a big plastic bag to protect it from any snow damage and it did the job. The camera was warm, but I wasn’t to be honest; the main concern being my gloves.I took mittens that doubled as finger-less gloves. These had no rubber grip, were not waterproof, and could’ve easily been mistaken as oven gloves!

Note to self: Make sure you have windproof as well as waterproof gloves, with adequate grip, when shooting in cold weather!

Magical Snow

 

PRE-PLANNING A SHOOT:
I’ve only been to this park a handful of times so what I filmed was not pre-planned. I had to move fast due to the temperature, and in case the snow came to an abrupt stop. The purpose of this project was just to film the UK snow. But scouting the location prior to any filming should be a must for all, especially if the location is right on your doorstep. Doh!

EDITING THE FILM:
After adding the S-Curve (LUT), the footage was edited and colour corrected in Premiere Pro CS6. I used Magic Bullet Looks to add a subtle grade.

All feedback is welcome.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks.

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