Mac20Q Podcast 98 Photographer Darren Hull

In this podcast I am talking to Darren Hull who has landed himself a cool job after finishing his Fine Art studies in which he is photographing and videoing wood work products – And he has enough time also to do his own photography. Getting a job these days is hard enough . Handy if you can get one that you love.
On top of that he is going to be doing some portrait too. Quite a business man.
Darren is a Mac User so although we talk mostly about photography and video in this podcast I think it is still relevant as many Mac owners are into Photography.

I mention a photographer in the interview called Dave Hill. He does some amazing pictures and I recommend you have a look at . I also mention Photomatix the HDR photography application and for some excellent examples you could do a search in Flickr for the guy that goes by the name of ‘Stuck in Customs’ I have a few good HDR photos in Flickr too. I used the tutorial put up by SIC to guide me when I worked on the picture that I took in Dublin by the canal of the ambulance rushing past. And also with the photos of the shack in the French Vineyard. It was late evening when I took those photos and the light was great although I had to hurry to get the shots.

Part of getting a good HDR image is to choose a subject and lighting that suits HDR. YOu want something that there is a large dynamic range there with some dark area and also places that will be washed out if you expose for the darker areas in a normal photo.

As I say in the podcast I like the more extreme images – I am not concerned too much with lifelike as I am keen to get an exciting looking finished image.
I had lifelike while I was there taking the picture, the artist in me wants something extra and I like bold and colourful. I really love the HDR.

Seems that I am spending lots more time lately with shooting video more so than with than taking photos and with my guest in this interview it is the same with that.

The latest cameras with the video capabilities are pushing many photographers in the direction of video too. Canon 5D and the 7D are excellent for video to the point that there is a huge buzz amongst indie film makers due to the quality of the images that you can get from these new DSLR’s. Canon also now have the T2i a lower priced version and even more photographers will be getting on the video bandwagon.

Using the Canon 5D to shoot House

There was a big thing made out of the fact that the last episode of House was shot with the Canon 5D.
One of the things that is so good about video on the DSLR is the depth of field you can get especially with the prime lenses. There are all sorts of extras you can buy to make the DSLR camera more suited to shooting video as well as the variety of quality lenses available.

@FIlmutopia and the Lone Gun Manifesto

Clive otherwise known as @Filmutopia is a fan of the DSLR because of how easy it is to shoot video in guerilla fashion. You can go to a location and have your actors turn up on scene and do what they have to do in a more improvised way and be done before you know it. Clive has a Lone Gun Manifesto which recommends this way of filming. The idea is that you can film something and have it more natural and real. Out on the street you could be filming something and passers by might not notice.

I expect cost has something to do with this also, even though you could certainly still spend as much on the DSLR way as you would with using standard video cameras but you will save money on the setting up of locations.

Here are the headlines of Clive’s manifesto

1) One DSLR camera, One person, One microphone (The lone gun shoots alone)

2) Strip movie making down to the basics – a camera, a great story and some actors

3) A lone gun never asks for permission to shoot at a location

4) Put something original and honest in front of the camera

5) Think like a photographer, not like a film-maker

6) Money is for food, transport and a dedicated hard-drive for each project and nothing else

7) Natural light only

8) Everyone who works on a movie, has the right to distribute that movie for free or for profit

9) No credits before the title ever, regardless of how famous someone is.

10) The end product must be cinema quality (capable of projection to cinema sizes without falling apart)

11) A creative common license for the movie (how open you go is up to you, but people must be able to share and alter it for free)

OK. In practical terms this means that you are shooting in public places,but never in such a way that anyone is aware you are shooting. That’s why it is done best with a standard DSLR camera.

What kit to buy to be a Lone Gun Shooter

This leads to kit – what to use to make films like this
Here’s the list of kit I use (feel free to improvise better solutions):
1) A good DSLR camera

2) A portable digital audio recorder – I have a Zoom H2

3) A microphone (not the kind you’re thinking about.. The one I use cost $40) he uses a binaural mic

4) Something to use as a mini clapperboard – he uses a lighter

5) A small beanbag

6) A computer with some professional editing software on it

7) Some actors

8) A pocket sized notebook – I suggest an iPad

9) A brilliant idea for a movie

10) A script

11) A dedicated hard drive

12) An idea about how you’re going to build an audience

One thing with the DSLR though is the poor audio but there are ways to get around that. The sound can be recorded into something separate like the Sound Devices 702T or you could get the sound in via a pre amp like the Beachtek or Juiced link devices. I have been thinking of getting my hands on a Juiced link pre amp to use with a shotgun mic and my Canon Vixia. This is because when I record sound now using the SM58 which is a good mic anyway I end up with a lot of hiss that I have to get rid of so that I can use it.

What do you think of the Lone Gun Manifesto – Could you work like that?

Are you planning to go down the DSLR route?

Send me an email to or leave me a comment below.

Looking forward to hearing from you