Usually, when I am out and about with my camera it’s for a photography outing. This was not the case last week as I was actually shooting some footage to make some fan-made bumpers for my favorite internet sketch comedy group, Mega64. Mega64 is best known for re-enacting ridiculous video game gimmicks/scenarios in public and have done plenty of promotional videos for major game companies such as Konami and Square-Enix.
They had asked their fans via Twitter to create some bumpers for their 24/7 stream service, Mega64 TV where they would air all 12-years of their content including any fan bumpers submitted. They would air the bumpers as breaks in between their videos being streamed.
I had already edited some bumpers, some over footage I had shot when I first received my DSLR camera, but I was eager and hungry to do some more. Living in my new town of Lawrenceville, New Jersey gives me some great opportunities to shoot some incredible suburban scenery footage.
After an hour and a half of shooting footage of a puddle, a highway, a lake and a bridge, I decided to walk back home as I was satisfied with all the footage I had shot and was ready to edit some bumpers. Walking through the parking lot of a shopping center on my way home, I kept looking at the sunset wondering if I should shoot one more video of footage. After a few seconds of thinking and getting over my laziness, I took out my tripod out of my bag and set up my camera right on the side corner sidewalk near a Burlington Coat Factory.
Originally, I was just going to shoot footage as I played around with the settings. I set up my ISO at 400, white balance at fluorescent: warm white, picture effect in pop color and decreased the exposure composition just a little bit; I was also shooting in program.
The sky was more of a light blue and the sun a brighter orange with some trees and a church visible in the scene. The picture on the LCD screen of the camera told a different story as the sky was more of a darker blue, the sun a darker red-orange reflecting in some clouds nearby and the trees and church on the right side of the frame hidden in the shadows.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as the combination of the pop color effect and the fluorescent: warm white did a fantastic job of mixing the cool and warm colors of red-orange (the sun) and blue (sky) beautifully! The decrease of the exposure composition did a fantastic job of masking the trees and the church in the shadows while the fluorescent: warm white still made the parking lamp post visible in the frame.
Quickly, I hit record and plan on recording for about two minutes. I had zoomed in close enough to keep focus of the sunset in the middle of the frame and tilted the tripod to avoid any cars passing by into the frame. Thankfully, the decrease of the exposure composition hid any passing cars in the shadows. I began to get anxious as I was afraid that the sunset would disappear and I would miss a chance to take a still photo of this blue sunset. When the two minutes were up, I stopped recording and quickly took a still shot with the sunset still in place.
What began as shooting bumper footage to edit for my favorite internet sketch group turned into an opportunity to take one of my most stunning photos. This photo to me has shown how far I have come with my photography skills as I have been shooting with a DSLR camera for almost a year. As for the bumpers, I did edit them later on, uploaded them to YouTube and tweeted the links to Mega64. They never did use any of my bumpers for Mega64 TV, including the blue sunset one, but I will gladly take the consolation prize for taking this amazing photo.
So, special thanks to Mega64 and their bumper submissions for giving me the opportunity to take this photo. If you’re curious to see the bumper of the blue sunset, check it out here:
Mega64’s 24/7 stream, Mega64 TV, can be watch here if you like to check them out and see why they are my favorite internet sketch comedy group: http://http://www.twitch.tv/mega64podcast