Kilcoole Beach – Video

After upgrading my camera from a 600D to a 5d mk II last December, I decided to take it out on Christmas Day with only an old Olympus 50mm f1.8 lens for a test run.

I’d already used it at home, but just to get up to speed with the slightly different controls. Radio had been my major focus late last year, so it was nice to get out and play around with the camera.

This was filmed on the beach at Kilcoole. I wanted to give a dreamy, desolate atmosphere, but on arrival there was a Christmas swim going on, so it took some effort to remove the huge amount of people out walking, swimming, trying out their own new cameras and walking their dogs from shots. Good challenge, good fun.

The 5D has a much better capacity for increasing dynamic range in post-production, so shots straight out of the camera (using cinestyle) are quite dull, but I liked that look for what I was going for, so there’s only a slight adjustment in post. Curves, white balance and a colour balance toward blue instead of the slight red that seeped into the midtones in-camera.

Creating a visual sequence without people being majorly involved, or at least being background to the main focus (here the sea and beach) is a challenge I really enjoy. Here I wanted to let the environment, the dull day, the train tracks, the beach, the sky and sea be the main character, so to speak. It would have been easier with a wide-angle lens, but again, that’s the challenge with a single prime lens, and by using magic lantern firmware to add cropmarks, I was able to use an anamorphic crop in post to give that sense of scale to the landscape, as well as by using objects in the foreground to enhance the scale of everything behind.

Here are the results:


the piano of the old seaman (Evgeny Grinko) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0


– James


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