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Drones, Video, and Animation

Posted on: Jun 28, 2017

Russell and Artist Catherine Widgery discussing video shots at the Warm Springs BART Station.

Russell and Artist Catherine Widgery discussing video shots at the Warm Springs BART Station.

The lines between video and still photography are getting blurred every day.  Most good DSLRs (the cameras most of us use) are also video cameras.  The cameras with full frame sensors are now equipped with cinema-graphic lenses and sound gear to shoot broadcast-quality TV.  Much of what you see today on television is shot with Canon still cameras in video mode.  Working with our favorite videographer, Eric Sahlin, we have tip-toed into the world of video and drone photography with some excellent results.

Warm Springs BART Station

Generally speaking, buildings don’t move, but the camera can move around, through, and above a building creating remarkable imagery.  We recently completed two projects, one a video and the other a purely drone shoot that we want to share with you.  A finished video of an architectural project can be animated stills, live “B roll,” and drone footage spliced together in a seamless fashion.  Our video of the Warm Springs BART Station, done for Widgery Studio of Boston, was just that, a combination from all three sources.  All capture modes have their pluses and minuses as you can see in this video.  Some techniques, like time lapse, work best from live video while the drone may make the best long truck shots, and a slow pan shot may work best from a still image.  Working with stills and live footage can be a cost effective way to create a video for your website or PowerPoint presentation.

This movie, shot and edited by our partner Eric Sahlin, consists of live video, still image pans, and time-lapse footage.

This movie, shot and edited by our partner Eric Sahlin, consists of live video, still image pans, and time-lapse footage.


340 Fremont Apartments

Drone photography has come a long way in the last five years.  They have gone from toys to professional tools.  The crafts are much more stable, the lenses better, and the sensor resolution greatly improved.  Recently we shot 340 Fremont Apartments for our client Equity Residential.  The Fremont St. tower is sandwiched in with a dozen other high rises on Rincon Hill and presented some photographic challenges that were best solved with a drone.  We were able to station the drone 75 yards in front of the building and create a boom shot that rose close to 400 feet in slow motion.  Breathtaking!  And my partner on this project, videographer Eric Sahlin says that the crafts are only getting better with higher resolution cameras and real video shutters.  BTW, Eric has taken the time to get the FCC operator’s license so we are completely legal.  Sometimes, a drone shot may be your best alternative with a tricky building shoot.

340 Fremont Apartments. Drone video photographed and produced by Eric Sahlin.

340 Fremont Apartments. Drone video photographed and produced by Eric Sahlin.

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