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2 Minute Short with E-PL1 and Minolta 50mm 1.7

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
We just had an intimate anniversary party for my son and his wife. Being everyone has a camera phone, and being that it was raining outside and so we were in tight quarters inside, and being the my kids aren't real fussy of me putting on a production with my camera, and being that I wanted to sit back and relax . . .

. . . I decided to just take along my Olympus E-PL1 with an old manual focus Minolta 50mm f1.7 lens and my tripod and silver reflector - just in case I'd be able to shoot a few comments from those in attendance. As well, I brought along my Olympus Sema mic with the lapel clip and a 12 foot extension cable that I purchased at a dollar store a couple of years ago.

I set up 2 chairs out of the way and separated them one behind the other, so that as I brought pairs of 2 people in - I could hook focus on each one as they said their bit. I asked each person to think up something they could say in no more than 15 or 20 seconds.

I ran the camera while my oldest grandson and granddaughter (who have worked with me before), set up each person in the appropriate chair and mic'd them up and held the reflector. As time went on through the afternoon and into the night - they took over the running of the camera as well.

The biggest problem with video is that even with each person keeping within 15 seconds to a maximum of 40 or 50 seconds, the finished video that included a recording of the song Robert wrote for Michelle and a couple of minutes with the camera running as they cut the cake - - - totaled 25 minutes.

25 minutes is great for them to look at once in a blue moon, but to make it interesting for everyone else I had to ruthlessly chop so that there was basically nothing left but a short highlight from each person. But it works I think and all the friends and family think it's great. (Robert and Michelle have the 25 minute, 1 1/2GB full version on their computer).

The camera provided auto exposure and the lens was set wide open at f1.7. Shooting started a couple of hours before sunset - with north light coming through a small window - - - and ended with just dim house lights providing the illumination late into the evening.