Trimming My Trees


Good-Bye Tree

After several years of putting off the inevitable, it was time to deal with two of our aging and annoying trees, trim one and take down the other. A perfect subject for a time-lapse! And this was the rare occasion for me, where no money was involved nor was there a client. (except me)

I used three cameras, that were relocated several times each during the six hour job. As I reviewed some of the footage, it was clear to me that this was going to be a black and white film.

Black & White

The right ingredients for a black and white story were in place: lighting angles of the sun, (height in the sky) the contrast of the light, (no clouds per se) and color. (bright sun at 5200˙kelvin) Whenever I can, I arrive on location for my time-lapse construction films as early as possible. Beautiful morning light cannot be beat. Its’ color, lighting angle and contrast are simply ideal for time-lapse film making.

As my stories unfold, one day leading into the next, early morning light affords great opportunity for sequencing a story together logically, naturally and emotionally. And my clients love the look. Perfecto!

Plan B

But when morning light is not available, plan B goes into gear; how to turn less than ideal light into a watchable film? Color is going to be my first choice due to electronic photography’s ability to separate colors into discreet levels of hue, saturation and brightness. But this same feature can be used effectively by removing saturation and using hue and brightness only to push and pull values.

I added a few effects at the beginning, (titling) middle, (forward and reverse) and end, (music, no rooster this time!) of this film because it’s different subject matter and being short needed to be different.




Michael Stern

My work depicts, appreciates and honors the people who build. Their specialized equipment and stunning challenges are marvels I behold and get paid to interpret. Hope you enjoy this site.
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