With very little around in the way of 4k content I decided to set about creating something for myself and others to enjoy. Of course the project ended up snowballing and has resulted in the release of the “Textures” video (I believe the first commercial 4k release in the UK!). I thought I should write something to accompany the release and shine some light on the steps that led up to it:
Disappointed with the smattering of 4k content on the web, much of which seemed effects laden (I always wanted the focus to be on the resolution/detail and nothing else). And so it was that I started to think about recording some 4k content myself: Having already photographed much of the three Counties for ‘Vantage Point’ my first thought was to utilise the same great historical scenery to show the level of detail that can be captured in 4k.
I guess that was when I had one of two epiphanies:
1. I realised that focussing on great architecture (or any great subject) actually distracted one from the main objective – which was to highlight the sheer quality and detail) *
2. I found that the more subtle and static the subject matter was – the more one engaged with the quality and detail that was there!
These two realisations led me towards thinking about different subject matter and in reviewing the content that I already had the answer seemed obvious (if a little counter-intuitive when expressed in print) – ignore the traditionally interesting subjects and find something less obvious, yet more relevant instead!
After some experimentation with smaller 4k video devices I decided that to do the project justice I would need something closer to the professional 4K rigs that are out of my reach. I settled on the Panasonic FZ1000 – which although essentially a stills camera, has had some stunning reviews relating to its 4K video quality.
I quickly started to appreciate that just a little movement within a detailed scene was far more effective than anything Michael Bay might produce (!) and it followed that my own garden, with it’s gentle breezes and meandering streams, was an obvious place to start. I have to say that I had not fully anticipated the depth of content that sat so close to my own front door and yet I stumbled several times after devising “great panning and zoom shots across the meadow”– only to realise again that these simply detracted from the main objective. I am reminded of a phrase that has oft been repeated in my career as a software developer that was revealing itself to be just as relevant with my new hobby – “Keep it simple, stupid! ”
* I realised that this was always going to be true for the majority of movies and TV releases in 4k – sure the detail is there but you are actually engaged in following the storyline rather than focussing on the medium itself – this is, of course, just as it should be, albeit at odds with the objective here.
So if you want to see what that new 4k TV can do, and you like the look of the clip above then please take a look!
NB The full version of the video can be ordered here:
All video was shot using a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 camera (F2.8-4, 25-400mm lens).
The result was edited in Power Director 13 and the final result made ready for distribution on EX-FAT USB Sticks by encoding with the H.265 video codec.
Where to next?
I have no idea if anyone else is really interested in what I have tried to do here – for me I now feel I have a good appreciation of 4K. But there were always going to be some technical shortcomings and compromises (HECV is good but any compression medium has to be a bad thing for quality). I am also not a professional cameraman, nor do I have professional equipment but I guess there has to be a starting point and all in all I am very happy with the results of my first endeavour!
Please be supportive.