Scottish Ensemble video

I’ve only just realised that I didn’t mention this: I shot and edited this film for the Scottish Ensemble, who’ve also used a bunch of clips as the background for their shiny new website.

It was another of those KBS shoots, which I’ll use as a convenient excuse for the dodgy colour balancing in places. However, I’m pretty happy with the end result.

Shot mostly two-camera on Panasonic HMC151 and GF1, the latter pre-hack (for those who know about such things) and sporting the darling little 20mm ƒ/1.7 and a hulking brute of a Sigma 10-20 ƒ/4–5.6 via a Nikon adaptor. Audio during the performance sections was recorded by somebody who actually knew what they were doing, on a Zoom H4n.


Eurogamer have a lovely article looking back at one of my all-time favourite games, Homeworld. A remarkable piece of work.

I thought I’d written about it before here, but the only reference to ‘homeworld’ I could find is this piece about Battlestar Galactica series 3, which is also worth reading. Did I really write like that? What happened to that Jonathan?

Perhaps not all progress is positive, and maybe I should try to find that person again.


My company, StoryCog, is looking for a new member of staff. Specifically, to take over the day-to-day running of SciCast.

You’ll find details here, including a link to the full job description. That PDF has been going the rounds of the sci comms world this week, and seems to be causing some amusement. Examples:

“Read it for a giggle. Then forward it to your HR department as a model.”
“Having read and captured over 200 science communication job descriptions yours is the most refreshing.”
“A model of BRILLIANCE and appropriate refs to gaffer tape”

… and at least one other comment which I’ll refrain from sharing just for now. Perhaps later.

Deathly Pressure

Speaking of film-making, here’s a little something Flossie and I shot while we were in America a few months ago. It’s not very good, but it’s ours.

Shot with a Panasonic GF1 stills camera (unhacked), with 20mm ƒ/1.7 & 17-45 ƒ/3.5–5.6 OIS lenses. Graded with… er… the 3-way colour corrector in Final Cut Pro. A couple of layers of it in places, though. So that’s like secondaries, right?

Shooting with Arri Alexa

When the camera sees more than my light meter does, it’s time to acknowledge that the game has truly changed.

(from ProVideo Coalition | Cinematography.)

Fascinating article, as much for how the shoot was done as for the footage.

Alexa (or RED, for that matter) are way out of my league, but at least they give me something to dream about while I’m waiting for the Panasonic AF100 and hoping it’s cheaper than the reported $6000. There’s always a fancier camera…

Photography in public places

Want a nine-minute briefing in media law? Here you go.

This is a recording of a 16 year-old rather clearly stating his rights as a photographer working in a public place, to a police officer attempting to detain him for… actually, it’s not clear what. There’s a rather good article (and comments) about this specific incident on the British Journal of Photography website. See also the photographer’s own blog.

For those keeping track, there have been numerous recent incidents of photographers being detained, questioned, or searched while working in public places. So many, in fact, that the next issue of Amateur Photographer magazine will include a free gift: a lens cloth handily pre-printed with the advice issued to MPS officers by their own head of ‘Specialist Operations.’

Meanwhile, if you want a more complete briefing on what you can and can’t photograph, this presents a somewhat more comprehensive and nuanced interpretation of the law.