Arctic Lights

In March 2015, we have been north of the Arctic circle chasing Northern lights again. The resulting short film was entirely shot in complete darkness and shows various sorts of lights in the arctic night: (Artificial) lights from Tromso and its surroundings as well as northern lights captured in the area of Kilpisjärvi (Northern Finland).

The film is made from various types of footage:
(1) Video footage direct out of the camera (only one sequence),
(2) raw video footage with Magic Lantern at 1 resp. 2 frames per second and
(3) classical time lapse sequences made from raw photo stills.

The film was made with a Canon 5D Mk III and a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 resp. a Samyang 85mm f/1.4. The footage was processed and graded with After Effects and edited in Premiere. The music was purchased from Audiojungle.

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Northern Lights in Kirkenes

The Northern lights are a truly fascinating sight. They are so elusive – you cannot buy them and they are not always there when you chase them. We travelled to Finnland and Norway for one week with a lot of gear: Two Canon 5D Mk IIIs, a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, a Canon 24mm f/1.4, a Samyang 35mm f/1.4 and a Samyang 85mm f/1.4 (part of it rented) and two tripods. The film is made of classic time lapse sequences from hundreds of RAW-pictures as well as from directly filmed clips (one 5D with ML and FPS override set at 1 to 2.5 frame per second). The footage was denoised with Neat Video in After Effects where necessary.
The music was specifically recorded for this film by a friend, Gion Stump, to include Sam Naef playing the violin. I further added some NASA footage to illustrate the nature of the Northern lights. Enjoy the pictures along with the music!

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Sparks in the dark

This short clip was made entirely from Raw footage (Magic Lantern, ML) shot with a Canon 5D Mk III. I also used the crop function which so nicely works with ML. The moon towards the end of the clip was shot with a f/4.0 70-200 mm L IS and a crop factor of 10x. For the landscape shots the FPS override function of ML was used, thus enabling slower shutter speed than 1/33.
As can be seen, ML with Raw allows for breathtaking footage not possible with the normal h.264 codec. The Raw material was then converted into DNGs, rendererd into clips with After Effects CS6 and finally edited with Premiere Pro CS6. The work process is certainly longer, but well worth the effort if circumstances warrant.

Enjoy the colors and the sparks of the fire in darkness!

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