ALVIN Changes The Rooftop AC Compressor
When you’re always on the lookout for good photojournalism styled documentary stories as I am, you never know when or where a story is liable to happen. The best you can do is be ready, and jump when you see the scene setting into place. Never leave home without a camera, always have the camera battery fully charged in anticipation of a rapid deployment, and make sure to have a clean card inserted, reformatted, and ready to go. This story was a good example, transpiring right outside my office window today. I grabbed my Sony A7R and Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 and ran outside for a try at capturing the story of “Alvin Changes the Rooftop AC Compressor” on the rooftop next door.
It is times like this when I really love my A7R and the Zeiss 55mm combination. A Rooftop AC Compressor is not an easy thing to shoot. I was very pleased also with my growing familiarity with the new Sony A7R. The camera is starting to fall readily at hand, with the controls becoming familiar to my touch. My only wish would be for internal or OSS image stabilization, but I guess you can’t always have everything you want. I am quite pleased with the Sony for accuracy of color, excellent resolution, and great detail with gobs of dynamic range. This footage is basically tweaked in camera, so the look is ‘Baked In” No subsequent grading was done. The footage is just as it came from the camera save for adding the titles and music. The trick in shooting something like this is anticipation. Anticipate where the action will move next, and be prepared to move along with it. None of this was rehearsed in advance, nor was any of it repeated. Live action, you just get one shot at it. Pick your positions wisely, and time your changes and moves to fit “between the moments.”
Many thanks to Alvin and the two assistants for a most excellent experience, and for being such good sports letting me film them. If you ever need a crane in the LA area, give Alvin a call. He is the best!
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