War Machines

You know, people sometimes get on my case about the fact that I don't like shooting weddings and senior portraits. But if they shot the same types of things that I shoot, they'd never want to shoot another wedding in their life. I mean, seriously, just think about this: given the choice between shooting an engagement session, or shooting at the top of a mountain, which is cooler? The mountain. Given the choice between a bridal shoot, and Apache freaking helicopters? Duh. Apache freaking attack helicopters. 
I've worked with my friend Weston Critchfield on several projects over the last year, and he's DPing a music video which features some footage of US Army choppers taking off from the airfield, and I was brought on for the shoot for one day just to shoot some video of the helicopters with my telephoto lens. Yeah, it was awesome. I'm tempted to join the National Guard just so I can make $20,000 a year and fly helicopters. Ok, so that's a lie, but you get the idea. I shot a couple of photos while we were there, but my primary concern was shooting cool video.
I can proudly tout the fact that I was the first UVU student to purchase an HDDSLR for the primary purpose of shooting video. I got my Canon 5DMKII in December of 2008, and since that time, several of my peers have joined the ranks of proud owners of an HDDSLR. For those of you who don't know, I'm talking about a camera system that is a single-lens-reflex still photo camera, and also an HD video camera built into the same camera body with the same sensor. Canon and Nikon both have three different models of camera that do double duty, and I've been shooting then entire Wasatch Podcast on my HDDSLR. One of the major benefits is the fact that you can throw incredible lenses on these cameras and get depth-of-field effects that can't be duplicated by prosumer HD camcorders. The Panasonic HVX has been the industry standard for independent video for the past several years, and has been pushed aside by video systems that technically have inferior color and image data, but the depth of field just makes it look so much better that people are willing to sacrifice on the technical side for the benefits on the aesthetic side.
There were five of us on the shoot that had HDDSLRs and it was fun to bounce ideas off each other and share lenses. I had a fun time shooting with David's 200mm ƒ/2.8 prime lens. I couldn't tell a difference between that lens and my 70-200 ƒ/2.8L IS USM lens with regard to sharpness at 200mm, but it was nice to not have a million pounds of lens hanging off the end of my camera. Much more compact and a lot lighter.
All the people at the base were so much more helpful than I thought they were going to be. I should have known better, considering my good friend Ryan is in the National Guard, but for some reason I thought the environment was going to be a lot more rigid and stiff, but it turned out to be very laid back and fun. Utterly stress-free, and just a rad rush of watching these incredible war machines, and the soldiers that spend their time mastering them, do what they were intended to do.

1 comment:

Kev said...

I'm not gonna lie to you, Parker. That footage looks amazing. In all my wanderings on the interwebz looking for Apache videos and clips like them, I have never seen anyone that has filmed these things with this kind of a camera. Its so nice to actually be able to see the helicopter in action in that clarity!