Bio - Where I'm coming from.
Firstly, I am Greg Boris. I am currently studying cinematography at Columbia College Chicago. I started making paintball videos in 2004 and loved the process of getting interesting images and editing them to music. The decision to go to Columbia came from knowing that I could only see myself doing something along the lines of film or video. The program seemed very hands on and it was in a large city, which was very attracting to me.
I came to Columbia as a kid who made paintball videos and without much knowledge of actual cinema, but it didn't take me long to begin understanding and falling in love with all the work that goes into film. In my aesthetics of filmmaking class freshman year I saw In the Mood for Love. The motion, composition and lighting struck me in a way that no other movie had - I knew I had to focus on cinematography. I went home that summer with the bug. While working at home I gave myself the assignment of watching all of the IMDB's top 50 movies, among others suggested to me from other students and teachers. I watched 58 movies that summer. Good ones.
Upon returning to school I bought myself a Nikon FE-2 with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 and started my photography. Since then I've picked up a few more cameras in other formats and continue exploring image making. I use photography as a way to relax and learn. It helps keep my mind and eye sharp, hopefully helping me to become a better cinematographer.
__________________ (Oh!) Oh Mother War! Sleep in your arms tonight, I'm burning. I'm burning for your love.
OG Photo MOB - What's a photo? flickr - I like to pretend I'm a photographer
"Originally posted by -|2ain: Ima kill Dieing to live when he gets back! THEY MADE ME DO A RECTAL EXAM!!!! A ****ING RECTAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!"
"Originally posted by tremis: I love the self righteousness of the photographers with the claim that they "created" a photograph. Delusional at all? The law may ignorantly side with the photographer, but the subject has done the vast majority of the work and they dont get any credit/royalties." I take hipster photos on Instagram - @hobbesthetiger
I enjoy viewing your photographs and are happy you finally have a thread
In the film making world, what are you currently working on? Can you share some recent work in that department as well?
Photo wise, do you have any projects planned/in the works/completed? Like a consistent set of images with a general storyline or documentary approach? I think you could create some sweet documentary photo stuff. I dig the singular photographs you create, your style really shines through in them, however they are in my eyes all over the place and are sorta "one liners"? I wanna see a paragraph! haha
Keep it strong homie!
Before I exactly answer your questions Jimmy I'll give you a bit of a long description of my mindset toward lighting lately and some of my world with film.
I'm currently in Lighting II and have been thinking non-stop about light. As most of our work is based around studio lighting I have been rethinking most of what I see in the world and how light works. In the studio you start from nowhere, just an empty space and a dark (pitch black) room. Even when you put walls up, there isn't a sun (or moon), and you have to make the decision where it comes from.
Ex: Say you have a daylight shot of the corner of a room. There is a window on one wall. Lets also say that a character enters the scene and sits at a desk with a chair that is facing the interior of the room with the window behind it (character is facing the camera). You want to shoot at a desired exposure to give you what you want with the shot. Say you want everything in focus and with the lens you are using you will need a f/5.6 to give you the depth of field you want. Where to start? Well lets put a light blasting through the window like the sun. Is it soft, is it harsh? Is it white light, or slightly warmer/cooler? What do you want the falloff to be like? Do you want that light to be at a higher exposure than the 5.6 you are shooting at to be a bit blownout? Yes? By how much more? And this is all just for one light.
A camera doesnt see like your eye does, so you will probably need a shadowless ambience to fill in the shadows created by that light behind the character. How much detail do you want in the shadows. Figure out how to bring them to the exposure that you want. Unless there is another source of light in the room (do you want that? more things to think about....) there shouldnt be shadows created by the fill (remember the sun is shining from behind the character) so it has to be very soft.
What is outside the window? Is the background dark, like the sun is behind it as well? Is it blown out? Is there a medium between them? All of these decisions need to be made based on what is right for the story, continuity both in story and visual style and finally what looks right. There are probably other lights too, but I'm trying to not overcomplicate this description (believe it or not, this is a very short/simplified version of what else is going on with the lighting and shot).
Tomorrow I will post a lighting diagram and reasoning behind a shot that I recently had to give a clearer example.
That long *** "intro" leads me back to natural light. I've been paying more attention to how light looks to our eyes and to our cameras. From there I've been trying to figure out a way to collage/mush those two worlds together into a scene with lighting/blocking light. This is where some of my photography comes in. When I see a natural light or real world light that is beautiful or unique I take a picture, trying to expose something that looks interesting. I get to think how I would be able to recreate that to add something more unique to studio work.
A screen shot that I was goofin' around with the cinestyle preset on the 5D. Did some color correction just to check it out.
Quite a bit more stylized than I would normally do, but it was just for fun so screw it. Shot at 3200.
A little video from earlier. Same setting but a bit closer. It was just very nice light and a rainy afternoon so I sang a lil song. Shot at 1600 with standard picture style.
Besides light, photography also allows me to practice with composition and content. What makes an image interesting? Who would appreciate this image? Stuff like that. This is why I'm kind of all over the place when it comes to photography; they are basically a bunch of experiments. I have a million series ideas that I would be interested in shooting and that I know I will get around to. I'm interested in melding content and aesthetic for a project that is meaningful, but for now I'm rather busy with film stuff.
What film stuff? Most of the projects I've shot in the past 2 years have been on film so I dont have quality digital transfers of most of them. As Im getting closer to graduating I will be getting transfers to build a better reel and portfolio but for now I'm poor enough just shooting. I have shot alot of my own personal projects but am just now starting to work with other directors, where I am the Director of Photography and focus on the cinematography - which is what I want to do in "real life". Either through classes or out of class work I have been working on narrative - again for a stronger reel and more connections. A DP wont hire me to DP, a director will so I have to work with directors and stories. I have also been working on sets that aren't mine to get as much experience as possible.
Those were kind of vague explanations of what projects Im working on because I have alot going on and dont want to go into too much detail what im doing. I will post things as I work on them and get back stuff.
As I said, tomorrow I will post a more in-depth explanation of a recent shoot I had and what went into - plus a little glimpse.
This is the explanation of one of my recent lighting schemes for a master shot.
One of my recent lighting assignments was to pitch an idea for a three shot story in a park near our school. There had to be one master shot and two close ups. Basically, it was a night exterior shoot where we had access to a large genny and lighting truck. We would prelight during the day and tweak/shoot at night.
I pitched a small story where a grim reaper figure approaches this heavenly figure on an an alter, hovers his hand over her body which causes her to wake. As she sits up there is a lighting change to make her look not so innocent. Basically. Anyways, this is how I dealt with shooting it.
I'll reference specifically which light by the number I put by them.
I chose to dolly in on the master shot, behind the reaper as he approached the woman on the alter. I was using a 16mm lens (on 16mm) so the shot's starting point was pretty wide. As I was shooting in the middle of Chicago I wanted to crush the background buildings and light into black. With the film we were shooting 7219 (500 tungsten balance) I figured out that a base exposure of f/5.6 on the models face would be sufficient to put the background into darkness. I decided to use a 1200 HMI (1.) with a full CTO gel to correct it to tungsten. This light would give me the 80 footcandles I would need to get exposure from 20-25ft where it was placed. From there, the rest of the park was also in black so I moved on to lighting the background.
I was going for a "stylized" look because it was basically a lighting test where I got to play around with different things. I wanted all the areas that werent the alter (background/foreground) to be two stops under my key so... @f/2.8. I wanted the scene to be very blue, as if moonlit. Using HMI lights would be perfect. They are incredibly efficient/powerful for the size. They would give me the exposure I needed and because they are daylight balanced I can leave them uncorrected to keep the ambience blue. I started attacking the background with the 12k HMI (2.) with some 250 diffusion in front of it. Because it is such a large light, the falloff wouldn't be super dramatic and I would be able to evenly light the large area behind the alter. The area directly behind the alter was 50ft away from the light, which when flooded and a 250 dif infront of it would give me the 20 footcandles I needed on the large background area. Some nets along the bottom controlled any of the spots that were a little too hot due to being closer to the light.
I needed some frontal fill as well to bring the front of the alter area to a f/2.8 as well. Two 1200 HMI's (4. & 5.) were shot into some bounce boards. The light from "4." also spilled onto the side of the tree that I dollied past to give it proper exposure.
From there it was just some detail lighting. I put a 5k (3.) with full CTB to correct back to the blue of HMIs on the ground shining up into the tree to bring out the leaves. There is also a 1k (6.) shining at a bounce board placed under the alter to give an extra little glow to the alter.
Here is a very bad san (from my photo scanner) of a frame from the 16mm workprint. This gives absolutely no justice to the film or lighting, but I'll put it up just a reference. This is the starting point. The camera dollies in with the grim reaper. As the camera passes the tree it begins to boom up as well.
I dunno what people really wanna see in this thread.
Do you just want me to post my work? I would kind of like to highlight different artists (present and past) to discuss.
Do people want the longer write-ups like the one above for that shot or are people not interested in that?
Just lemme know if anyone has questions or suggestions.
For now, a video from an acoustic show at our house last year.
I rather like write ups and explanations. It's nice to hear the artist explain a little of the process rather than trying to decipher the shot myself. Not only do I appreciate the image and the hard work of making the shot more, I can file the info away to perhaps use later for myself.