Week 48: Black Water

Week 48 was the first week I missed doing a video, I was one day late. I had a busy week. I could get down on myself, but that doesn’t do me any good. I’ve now made 48 videos, and although I missed week 48 by a day, it’s still a pretty good accomplishment to have gotten this far, so I’ll keep my head up. Only 4 more weeks to go.

So onto the video, it was Monday and I knew I had to shoot something but I wasn’t sure what. I decided to just take my camera out and drive around until I found something.


Heading out into the unknown, it’s always good to have a camera with you.

My son went with me, we found a little waterfall near the side of the road and I thought that it might be cool to shoot. I got out of the car and took some test shots, then my son saw a “No Trespassing” sign and he got a little nervous. I figured I should set a good example, so I stopped shooting. We drove back home and I had nothing to make a video with.

It started getting dark and I knew I would have to make something in the studio. I started to think of ideas, and I remembered when I shot Week 26’s “Drink” (soda being poured into a glass), that I wanted to do a shot of an ice cube splashing in the drink, but at the time I didn’t have any ice. So I decided I would make that this week’s film (ice dropping into a glass). I wanted to make it different though, so instead of shooting it on white I decided to make everything black instead.

I set up the studio in about 5 minutes. I used 3 lights (2 Arri 150’s and an Arri 300).


Arri Lights.


One of the lighting set ups.

I also had a table, the camera, a tripod and a piece of black acrylic (Plexi Glass). I use acrylics a lot for product shots, they have a nice reflective surface, and you can get them in a variety of colors and sizes.


Acrylic, an essential tool for product shots.

I shot everything with the Sony FS700 at 960 FPS. I just really like slow motion, so anytime I can use it I will. I wanted to keep the last 5 or 6 seconds of the video just video (no audio). That way you are forced to focus on just the image, the slow motion water moving looks really cool on it’s own.


The Sony FS700.

I used the Metabones lens adaptor so I could use the Cannon 100mm macro lens.


Metabones adaptor.

I also used a samsung monitor, so I could see what was going on. The FS700’s LCD screen isn’t in the greatest spot, especially if you have the camera raised, it’s almost impossible to see it.


Samsung monitor.

I shot 7 takes of the ice dropping in. Each one took about a minute to shoot, then I had to wait about three minutes for it to render out. So in total I shot for about 30 minutes. I edited it in about 20 minutes in Adobe Premiere, and I searched for music for about 10 minutes. So I finished the whole thing in roughly an hour.

To be honest, this was really rushed and there is a lot I could do to make it better. First off, the objects themselves. I used a glass from home and it was old and had dishwasher stains on it, a new clean glass would have been better.

Second, the ice cubes weren’t the best. They were small, I got them from the gas station soda machine. I would have liked to have had nice square ice cubes that were bigger so they would make a bigger splash.

Third, I could have lit it better and used higher watt lights, and then stopped down to f11 or even f22. Stopping down would have kept more of the splash in focus.

Fourth, I would have liked to have made it look like whiskey instead of water. I could have used apple juice as a substitute, but I went with water because it was easy and quick.

There are always things you wish you had done, but sometimes, time and the rush to get things done get in the way. Many of these projects I shoot and edit in an hour or two, for that time frame I’m pretty happy with the work, but I also wish I could spend more time on them and get them perfect. Even though many of the films in this challenge are rushed, it’s still been a good experience, and it’s been fun for the most part.

This week I got the music from You Tubes Audio Library. They have free music available for your videos. The selection is minimal, but if you look you can find a few good selections. The song I picked was called “Phase Three” by Huma-Huma. I edited it to fit what I needed.


You Tubes Free Audio Library.

The font was Adobe Devanagari. I liked it, I wanted something with serifs. It reminded me of a whiskey brands logo font. I called the piece “Black Water” because that’s what it looked like to me, plus I thought it sounded cool. The only bad thing about it is, now I have the Doobie Brothers song “Black Water” stuck in my head.

That’s it for this week you can watch Week 48’s “Black Water” here.

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