Da Nang Photographer | April 2015

 

Danang Photographer Ehrin Macksey

Danang Photographer Ehrin Macksey April 2015 Hotel and Food images

Firstly I am very excited and honored that my work in Vietnam was featured in National German Newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/…/fotograf-ehrin-macksey-in-viet…). If you read German here is a little bit of what they had to say:

In einer neuen Serie stellen wir reisende Fotografen vor, die uns auffallen. Sie zeigen uns ihre liebsten Ziele und erzählen, wie sie die Stimmung dort einfangen.

Vietnam ist seit Jahren eines der populärsten Reiseziele in Südostasien. An Postermotiven mangelt es nicht – man denke nur an die legendäre Halong-Bucht. Der Fotograf Ehrin Macksey hat einen anderen Lieblingsort: “Die nördlichen Gebirge an der Grenze zu China und Laos sind besonders toll.”

April was a very busy month for photography and video productions.

I shot a food and hotel photography assignment for Hong Kong Express Airlines inflight Magazine. Some out takes from that shoot can be seen above.

I also filmed and directed 2 corporate documentary videos for international travel company OAT in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I was sent to Hai Phong to film, direct and produce the Vietnam portion of a corporate video for American Company, Office Depot.

I provided corporate event photography and event videography for Murex & EAsia Travel’s MICE events in Da Nang, Vietnam .

At the end of the month I worked as a cameraman and editor for a video shoot in Hanoi for American Broadcast Channel, PBS and their documentary show, Frontline.

I also shot and edited the 40th reunification anniversary for PBS’s primetime national news show, Newshour

Vietnamese TV show Trailer and Program Identity

 

Back in November I was contracted to develop the creative idea, direct, shoot and edit a Trailer and a Program Identity for a Vietnamese TV show about the everyday little things we can do to make life, the environment, pollution ect better.

It took me 1 day for shooting and 1 day of editing after I had an idea on what I wanted to do. Nothing fancy, clean, simple and to the point.

I headed out to get daily life scenes of Hanoi which was done with a mix of timelapse and regular footage. I wanted to show that even though we are all busy and hustling around the city it only takes one moment to make where we live that much better, which is basically what the TV program is about.

Everyone was happy with the results and the Trailer and Program Identity started playing on National TV back in December.

Trailer

Program Identity


 

3 – 5 min max!!

Tube Mogul Research

Tube Mogul Research

These days I do my fair share of videography / multimedia / photo film or whatever you want to call it. Probably more than the average photographer and I love all the creative options it offers in being able to tell a story .

That being said, if you do start to get into this type of work you will probably run into lots more paperwork, budgets, scripts, 20 page proposals and complicated production schedules than your average photography job. Another thing I also find, is that most of my clients think they get more value for their money if they have a longer film. i.e. 10 min or 30 min.

The problem with that idea is that most of my clients don’t show their video in a movie theater or on TV, it is shown via the web with all the distractions of email, Twitter and Facebook to steal their audience away from their video. Clients love the web because it is an extremely cost effective way to publish their video to the public and it has added benefits that TV can never have like viral dissemination to help spread their message to more people than they could reach by themselves.

Most clients think that everyone will of course want to watch their video because they are amazing and if they don’t, it’s because you didn’t do a good job.

Well …… sort of.

Most of us that are hired for this type of work know how to make something that isn’t total crap, which is why they hired us to start. Where you failed in doing your job was not in the content that you created but that you didn’t convince the client to change the length of the video to something more watchable online. So as you can see this is pretty dam important. If you don’t convince your client to change their epic film ideas to something more realistic and effective they might think you did a crap job even though you didn’t.

So how do you convince your client to change their 15 min epic corporate video to a 3-5 min video?

  1. Ask them when they last watched a video in full online? What kind of video was it? How long was it? If it was a corporate film or NGO film that is more than 5 min put it on in the office and wait to see how long it takes for someone to start talking. Most of the time I find people start talking in 2-3 min. AMAZING!! You prove your point right there.
  2. Next show them some independent marketing research to back up your professional opinion. This helps out a lot with skeptical clients.

Ok the first part is easy and may be enough to convince your client, but sometimes …. I know wait for it…. Clients are difficult. Shocker I know!!!

So now armed with some independent marketing research on online video length you can change their mind and earn some professional respect to boot. But wait! Where is this marketing research your telling me about??? Well it is below so stay with me.

Back in old 2008 a great photography professor at the University of San Francisco, Ken Kobre, found some companies that published their research about the length of time people will watch online videos. Now you won’t find this awesome research on his new site but thank god he didn’t delete his old blog and you can still see his informative blog post here: http://kobrechannel.blogspot.com/2009/01/whats-perfect-online-video-length.html

Now I wouldn’t tell a client that “Ken Kobre says this and that,” even though he is my hero for publishing this great post. I would point them or give them a link to Tube Mogul. Tube Mogul is the company that did the research and they would be the authority http://www.tubemogul.com/research/report/18

I also like the other research that Kobre found from another source but strangely enough their website doesn’t work anymore.

Finally, I have found some other peoples thoughts about this topic that is more current than 2008. Here are the quotes:

Jeff MisentiVP of Fox News Digital – “the drop-off (watching vid online) after 90 sec is pretty severe.”

Joel Schwartzberg, – A director at PBS digital – “[he] cites attention span of 3 minutes for video.”

Anyways, I hope this helps you out on your next web video project. If you have any comments, strategies or other research you use to convince your clients to change the length of their video, please share them below in the comments.

 

 

 

Painting with light

Commercial photography Vietnam

150 Layer Light Painting

For over a 2 years i have been lucky enough to befriend a really great guy and talented photographer, Boris Zuliani. He used to live on Truc Bach lake and we would have beers in the evening with other photo buddies talking about our love of photography and film (or until our wives or girlfriends called). Boris’s true love and art in photography is light painting. He uses it with great skill and passion in his personal work and for some commercial work.

When I first saw his work I thought it was just beautiful. I loved how soft the light was and at the same time giving the exposure a different kind of contrast then that of a normal photograph.

As Boris and I talked over beers I started to think about making a video of light painting. I didn’t want to make a “tutorial” video showing the process of light painting, but more about the feeling light painting gives to the subject and showing the gradual exposure of a photograph out of darkness.

Then some time later……. I met a randy young lady named Gillian. Boris had done a couple of light painting portraits of her and she said that the experience was so different from any other portraits she had posed for in the past. She explained it to me, but this was some time ago and my brain has been punished by Hanoi’s cheap beer so i don’t remember word for word. Though, I do remember her saying how much she enjoyed it and that the experience was something special.

Then some more time passed…….. Boris called me up and pushed me to make the video. Then Gillian called me up and pushed me to do it as well.

Time to put my thinking cap on. I had to figure out a way to show a light painting photo slowly exposed in video format using the extra variable of time. Hmmmm…. then i figured it out (oh that engineering degree served me well).

I would use a very slow shutter speed and do a kind of time-lapse while Boris did his painting. Then i would layer the photos to be gradually exposed over time and make all the layers add the new exposure to the old one (yeah i’m a nerd for this stuff).

So me and my gun-hoe /semi intoxicated team went out one night by West Lake (Ho Tay for the natives) and shot this video in 40 min.

Post production took an incredible 24 hours of rendering in CS5 Premier Pro with my i7 core iMac (thing was burnin’ up!!!). I guess that is what you get when you have 150 layers in a video editor.

No grading, special effects or effect editors (After Effects or Motion) were used to make this (except for my logo). The video and photos were shot on a 5D Mark II and the video was all shot hand held at 50mm.

Now making sure that the subject was fully exposed is tricky because when we did the light painting in this way you can’t see what you have exposed, which is why some of Gillian’s leg is not exposed. Also you have to remember that each exposure adds to the next exposure so i also had to be careful not to make my image too bright or too dark other wise the final image would be over or under exposed.  I think the exposure was perfect for the layering, we just missed a part of the leg. I’m putting blame squarely on the intoxicated aspect of the project.

All and all, I am happy I was able to do this and thanks to my buddies for helping do so. It was something fun, different and somewhat challenging.

It could be interesting to make a clothing designer commercial like this. If your keen for that please drop me a line.

And now the final video. Thanks for watching.

Light Painter: Boris Zuliani

Model: Gillian Sturtevant

Photography & Video: Ehrin Macksey

Music: NiN