It Ain’t Hollywood It’s Just a Test!


Please click the above link to see the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue filter in action!

One of the most common questions we get in our workshops and lectures – Do we use filters? If so, what filters and what brand? Let’s be clear – yes, we use filters but only Singh-Ray Filters. The two prominent filters are the Gold-N-Blue and the Vari-N-Duo.  Dr. Singh is an amazing designer and engineer and is always thinking outside the box. I’m notdreaming that I can improve on his filters, but what I’ve done is made a modification to a step-up or step-down ring. A great deal of my work today is incorporating video into our repertoire (we’ve always offered our clients video on a professional level.) In the day, it was the big Sony’s. Today, we’re able to maintain a great relationship with Sony, but we also utilize our DSLR’s because of the quality and because of their size, speed and the fact we have more lens selection. A simple raging river that was swollen by torrential rain when photographed with the Gold-N-Blue in the video mode is mesmerizing. You’re looking a normal photograph and over the next minute or so, it turns slightly blue, then, a darker blue, and then a more intense blue. By the time your eyes adjust to the gorgeous blue, it starts turning into a wheat color, then a yellow and then a midas gold color. That’s kind of cool! But, every time you put your hand on the filter, you tend to move the camera or photograph your damn finger! You want a seamless, smooth, Hollywood dissolve. The most simple way for me to do this was to build my little stick (it’s really not a little stick.) You take a 77mm filter, you put a step up-ring on it, put the ring into a vise, pre-punch two starting poles, start your drilling, then attach the nut, finish your drilling and insert extremely small machine screws. Then you thread your eye bolt into this and coat it with 4 or 5 rubber bands, putting the filter together with the ring, put the ring onto the lens, put the lens onto the camera, put the camera and the lens on a tripod.  I only use Manfrotto or Gitzo tri-pods.  You then turn the camera on, compose and by controlling the dissolve in the filter with the rubber band, it becomes seamless, smooth and gorgeous. To change the recipe to the famous “fade to black”, we simply replace the Gold-N-Blue with the Vari-N-Duo, which now allows you to go from one scene to another, or to open up or close down a scene. It’s quite pretty. Yes, you can do it in final cut pro, but I’d rather do it with a camera.

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