TEST SHOOT 002. Northleach

15th Feb. 2017

I am planning a day like shoot indoors.  Most likely I will use the kitchen at the apartment in Northleach. The kitchen has a clean minimal interior with a large north facing window.  The interior is mainly brown (wood cupboards). I will position the machine  in the centre of the room with space for me to move around with the camera.  I am looking to use a very narrow depth of field to blow out the background interior decor but to keep the subtle brown and white hues, which I hope will complement the black and gold and metallic elements of the sewing machine.

For this initial test shoot I will attempt to hand hold the camera and pull the focus at the same time.  The object of the test will be to see the random movement of this technique and to see how the colours of the background interior and the hue of the daylight work with the images.

I am planning a shoot for mid morning and will only use available light from the window.

This shoot served a purpose on one level – as an experiment of technique. I found there was considerable difficulty managing the focus at the same time as framing is shot and moving it around the machine. The clips were too short without sufficient leading and tailing off for editing purposes. The jerky random movement of the camera did not serve the viewer well to appreciate the machines’ beauty, design and engineering detail.  However, the experiment with such a narrow depth of field did cement my opinion that this would be a good method to create clips of the machine which enable the viewer to experience seeing machine in the particular sense – abstract (dreamy) way. Such close-ups take the machine and it’s mechanisms out of the context of sewing, the elements of the machines mechanisms could be cogs in an  large Edwardian, industrial mechanical mechanism in any number of processes.  The details of the engineering and design of the machine, its make-up is pronounced.

The general feedback concerning the final edited clip from this shoot was that it  was to jerky and I’m settling. Nobody I showed the clip to commented on the colour or the use of angle as the filming technique was too distracting. The technique lends itself to more of a documentary investigative approach to filming. It is used in TV as a way of connecting the camera as the viewer. The subject identifies with the camera as if it were their own personal point of view.  The result of the filming is inadequate and this is why as a viewer it becomes unsettling  and difficult to relate to and to read any of the any intended meaning. Whilst it was a good initial try out, this experiment definitely leads me to believe that the filming of the machine will need to be in a more controlled environment with more sophisticated  camera techniques. I haven’t intended to use sound on this experiment, but what I have experienced  firms my thoughts that the sound of the machine will be a crucial element to incorporate.


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