December 28, 2011

Alli & Scott – their wedding day – fusion clip

The latest Fusion clip where we blend video and stills to give a short form overview of the wedding day, is of Alli & Scott – their wedding day – Temple Israel of Lawrence, NY . They were also the couple in the recent article on photographing the bride & groom’s portraits with video light.

The Fusion clip was edited in iMovie, with the soundtrack from Triple Scoop Music.

More interesting is the thought-process that went into choosing the camera settings for the Canon 5D mk II that the video clips were shot with …

the camera settings for shooting the video footage with a DLSR

With the video clip of  Lea – moving portrait, where I played with the  Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II (B&H), I explained some of the rationale in deciding on certain camera settings when shooting video with a D-SLR. But in this instance, where we were shooting video clips of the wedding, the approach was slightly different:

  • With Canon DSLRs, multiples of 160 ISO give the best noise performance. So for the entire video day, we tried to stay at multiples of 160 ISO, especially since we’d be cranking the ISO quite high during the wedding reception. The low light of the wedding reception necessitates a higher ISO. Adding a video light to it turns the background darker. Raising the ISO allows more of the actual ambient light to register.
  • Most of the wedding day was shot with the relatively slow aperture zoom, the Canon 24-105mm f4L IS (B&H). It’s a sharp lens and has a nice range, but that slow aperture can be a limitation. Since we worked indoors, there wasn’t much opportunity to change the aperture much from the wide-open f/4 to keep to the appropriate multiple-of-160-ISO settings.
  • We needed to keep the camera at 1/50th off a second shutter speed through-out.There are many articles online which will describe why 24fps gives a film-like appearance. And for specific reasons, it means we need to shoot at 1/50th shutter speed to maintain the 180 degree shutter rule, if we are shooting video at 24fps. So we kept the shutter speed to 1/50th shooting the video footage.
  • Therefore, since we wanted to keep to a 1/50th shutter speed, and had to shoot at f/4 or there-abouts, we had to change my ISO to suit, even though my specific ISO setting might not match the ideal.


equipment used during this shoot

Canon 5D mk II (B&H)
Canon 24-105mm f4L IS (B&H)
Canon EF 35mm f1.4L (B&H)
Manfrotto 458B tripod with NeoTec Pro Photo tripod legs (B&H)
Manfrotto 701HDV fluid head monopod (B&H)
LitePanels MicroPro (B&H)


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{ 17 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Carlos December 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Hi Neil,
great stuff as usual. As of late I have been looking into video as a possible option to add video clips to wedding packages. Is video something you provide to clients as a bonus or do you ever provide that at all to your clients? and how time consuming is video processing as opposed to photo editing? thanks in advance.



2 Neil vN December 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Carlos … this is the conundrum. These video clips take a long time to create, but I don’t see how clients would be willing to pay the appropriate price for the work when the end result is a 5-6 minute clip playable on their phones or iPad or computer.

So, for now, I have made these as an exercise and getting used to the video technology … and also as a way of promoting myself.

Sorry, I have no wonderful news there how to make these a profitable venture yet.

Neil vN


3 DaveT December 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm


An outstanding piece of work. I love the emotion, the story telling and the way you have melded the stills and video together. And, including that bit of live audio when the onlookers applauded was just right – not too long but significantly important.

Thank you for the details of the camera settings for video – I wasn’t aware of that aspect and have so far just been shooting video (Canon 60D) with no real consideration for noise.

It’s also gratifying to see that Imovie produced an excellent outcome.

Neil, I was wondering what ratio settings do you set for your video in the project settings for Imovie ? It looks like the video is 16:9 and the stills remain at their native 4:3.

Thanks again for a great post.



4 Neil vN December 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm

David .. thanks!

Yes, the video is 16:9 and the photos are 3:2
I tried to crop the photos to 16:9 but some of them are then too tightly cropped … so the option was then to just keep them to a consistent aspect ratio. But ideally they should all be 16:9

Neil vN


5 Peter Geller December 29, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Neil, fantastic work. truly inspirational. this looked like a great wedding to photograph, and you did it beautifully. Pete Geller


6 Jeffery December 30, 2011 at 12:04 am

Hi Neil,

Have you ever tried Proshow (back in your PC days) or FotoMagico? People rave about each slideshow program, but I can’t decide if I think the effects are cool or cheesy. I really like the simplicity of the slideshow you created in iMovie. Thanks Neil!


7 Neil vN December 30, 2011 at 12:11 am

I did try ProShow .. but as far as I recall it, it wasn’t as easy to use and set up as using iMovie and the Mac platform.

As for effects … you’ve seen the Animoto slideshows? Far too frenetic for me. I’ve long ago decided that simpler most often just looks better. The more clutter you add, the more it gets in the way of what should be great photography.

Neil vN


8 Craig toron December 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

Great stuff as always.
What did you use for focusing when shooting video?
Just the LCD screen?


9 Neil vN December 30, 2011 at 12:17 am

Craig .. focusing via zooming in to 10x and then manual focus, and then out to normal view again … and record.

Neil vN


10 photomatte December 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I’ve been thinking about doing exactly this (adding short video clips) with my 5D Mark II. There are times in the dressing room, while the bride and her bridesmaids are all getting ready, that would be fun for the groom to not only see, but hear. Adding video allows this. Same thing with the toasts: while there are plenty of guests who record the toast with their iPhones, not many are focusing on the bride & groom while the toasts are being made. Adding a snippet of video from that moment would also be fun (so they could hear the person giving the toast and also see how they reacted). Since I mostly shoot weddings by myself, however, adding in these video clips will be a bit of a challenge:)


11 Bill W January 3, 2012 at 9:09 am


Wonderful work, as always! Inspirational!

With regards to the ISO 160 settings, is this something you have found on the newest Canons (5d II, etc.) or does it also apply to older models (5d, 20d, 30d, etc.)?

Thanks, as always!


12 Neil vN January 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Bill .. the multiples of 160 ISO isn’t something that I tested and observed myself. I’m going by established info on other sites. So I have no idea which camera models it would pertain to .. but it might be a consistent thing with Canon in their approach to camera design.

Neil vN


13 naftoli January 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

why didnt u focus using the built in focusing system through the viewfinder and then turn on live view


14 Neil vN January 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Since you’re not going to use AF while filming a video clip, it becomes easier to keep the lens to manual focus, and get into a specific routine with the focusing of the lens. Then it is easier in terms of becoming “finger memory” with a certain sequence of buttons pushed.

But you could do it the way you describe.

Neil vN


15 naftoli January 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

if your lens has manual and M/A focusing (automatic with manual override) which i presume it does, then the only button u have to press is the live view button, and while filming just dont touch the shutter release


16 Brian January 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hi Neil,

Great work, as always. Long time reader, first time commenter.

I had to stop by as an attempt to debunk the multiples-of-160 ISO noise “myth”.

Short version: while it is true they produce less noise, they do so at the cost of 1/3 stop dynamic range. Sometimes this is worth it, sometimes it’s not.


Keep up the great work.


17 Neil vN January 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Brian .. thanks for the additional info.

Neil vN


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