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Zoom Street Photo

The title is a red herring but I couldn’t resist when I found this photo in the archives. It’s the My Menu screen for the Nikon D90. This selection lets one change the order of the items in the camera’s customized list. As you can see I placed Battery info at the top as it’s something I check frequently—especially when shooting movies. This feature is also available on the Nikon D300s.

The video capability on the D300s is an improvement on the D90 which—need I remind readers—was the world’s first DSLR to include video capture. I’ve yet to try the Nikon D7000.


Since we’re talking movie mode here, Nikon’s 24 fps capture rate has a more filmic quality than standard 30 fps. Right off the bat you’ve got the soft quality of film. But that isn’t to say you’ll have the look your after. In this case you can reach for Magic Bullet Looks from Red Giant Software. It’s part of the new Magic Bullet Suite 11 mentioned in a previous post. (Watch for the review in Zoom Street’s August issue.)

Ostensibly a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, you can access it from within Photoshop, too. I find this enormously helpful since I often shoot stills in advance of a video project and can experiment with various looks. I can tweak the effects and when I’ve got what I’m looking for,  save the “look”  and, later, apply it directly to clips in Premiere Pro.

Here’s an example. While scouting locations I took this still in a nearby park. This was to be the locale for the title sequence.

original photo

The photo was too crisp and realist as I was looking for a more ethereal feeling. Using Magic Bullet’s “Black Diffusion” effect I had exactly the look I was after.

with Magic Bullet Look applied

I was also considering making the sequence black and white with the contrast kicked up a notch..

b/w version

Magic Bullet provides a great collection of tools for either post or preproduction.

In the end I decided to stick with color. Below is a frame from  the movie.

video still

More info here on Magic Bullet Suite.