In the summer of 2009, I traveled to the Big Apple to create a short film about renown editorial, commercial and stock photographer Doug Menuez. I first “met” Doug as a guest on my podcast F-Stop Beyond. Till this day it remains as one of my favorite interviews. Once you watch this video, you’ll understand why. Doug has a vast array of experience and knowledge, and is pretty funny to boot.
This was actually one of the first videos I ever shot on a DSLR (the 5D MarkII). For various reasons, I didn’t get around to actually editing it until this past Christmas. I’ve now finished two of the three episodes of “Menuez on Manhattan.” Most of this was shot with Canon’s 85mm F1.2L (many thanks to my friend Jason Groupp for loaning it to me). WARNING: this is not usually the best lens to use on a stabilizing flying rig like a Steady tracker, Glidecam, or Steadicam (read my post from yesterday on prime lenses). However, I wanted a frenetic look to match Doug’s frenetic, New York life. It also gave me the shallow depth of field I wanted when interviewing in the tight confines of his Manhattan condo. (Frankly, I wouldn’t advise using it for interview either, as the depth of field can be so shallow, any kind of movement from the subject can put him out of focus, unless you use a LOT of light and stop down. I didn’t have as many lights as I’d like, so I had to shoot pretty open, giving me a narrow DoF.)
This was a fun piece to shoot and a nice addition to my F-Stop Beyond Vimeo channel of photography-related films. I hope you enjoy it. Part 2 will come in a couple of weeks.
Except for the shot where he’s playing the harmonica, the opening shots of the dead tree, and one stock footage shot of NY, all the video shots are with the 85mm.
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Production note: one of the downsides of shooting wit DSLRs is the “jello” effect caused by the CMOS sensor. You’ll notice it in one of the outdoor shots where Doug is walking by a gate.