Dan Hume's Blog


Production Continues
November 12, 2011, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Specialist Project

Today I was in the Greenwich area of London, looking for some stuff to film. It was pretty quiet for a Saturday, so I didn’t really capture much. Opposite from me was Canary Wharf, which is well known for it’s tight restrictions for filming or taking photographs. I thought it might be good to see if I get stopped or not.

The photograph above is at Canary Wharf Tube station, using my iPhone 4S. It’s quite an iconic shot and a lot people often associate it with Canary Wharf. I love the glass roof; allowing the light to spill into the underground, which gives the image a strong contrast look.

I managed to get a few shots of the main central area of Canary Wharf, then I was approached by a security person and was told I’m not allowed to take photos or videos. I must admit having the iPhone mounted onto the tripod didn’t help being discreet about my filming.

I quickly pulled out my beloved Canon 550D to snap up a couple of shots showing my iPhone in action. I haven’t got many static shots in my documentary, which makes it hard for me document my production process as I’m hand held filming 90% of the time.

However, I was confident that because the device is a small compact phone and not some intrusive big camera, I thought it wouldn’t be an issue. It turns out that taking photographs of the buildings up close was forbidden, regardless of what camera you are using.

I put together this little video together of the shots I took at Canary Wharf. I must admit I did feel out of my comfort zone at times, especially when I had the phone on a tripod as it makes it more obvious that I’m taking a photograph or recording a video. So far all my shots are handheld, to co-incide with the theme of ‘discretion’. I feel the best technique of being discreet is to blend in with the crowd and hold the phone in a way that makes it look like your texting or browsing the web. One thing I like about the iPhone 4/4S design is that you are able to balance the phone on its side, enabling you to take to take static shots without needing a tripod. Obviously it’s not 100% stable if you’re in a windy area, then it may not hold out. This is also gives you the freedom to place the device anywhere you like, if you want to capture something quick. I did this at the very end of the video with the shot of the flowers.

The static shots really help push the maximum quality you can get out of the iPhone, especially when get the focus and exposure spot on. The depth of field or ‘bokeh’ isn’t something you gain a lot of from a small sensor, but macro shots of objects really help create that nice shallow depth of field. I think in the next generation iPhone, people will be able to capture great depth of field without the need to be right close up on an object. I’m sure Apple will have a new formula to make this a reality.

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