This film has been so warmly received by people from many countries during my recent international speaking trips. My role in this production was as Director of Photography.
In four corners of the globe, in each of the four seasons, four outstanding violinists guide us on an extraordinary journey through their four distinct homelands. From the springtime blossoms of Japan, into the blistering heat and thunderstorms of an Australian summer; from a joyful autumn in New York, to the unforgiving cold and human warmth of a Finnish winter. The resonant and much-loved music of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and the timeless stories they tell, form the backbone to this bold and engaging celebration of friendship, homeland and the cycles of life.
Please click on the image
In between two international shoots, I’m running One-on-One training in North Sydney each day this week. Kicking off with Yaelle Naidoo from 3RDiCreative. The training is adding to her many existing cinematography skills.
I have been on shooting on the Tahitian islands of Moorea and Bora Bora. Working in 4k with the Sony PXW-FS7 combined with Sony/Zeiss lenses, it gives a new lease of life to standard (Full) HD and I've discovered some excellent post options.
I’ve combined this trip with a Silversea cruise lecture series, presenting a number of cinematography talks and screenings on the luxurious Silversea cruise liner, the Silver Whisper in place of flying back to Australia. So thank you Silversea, guests and crew for an enjoyable couple of weeks on the Pacific high seas.
The Sony PXW-X70 is a hit camera for documentary and corportate shooting. Shannon Anthoness of Little Dog Productions joins me for some One-on-One camera and lighting training in North Sydney.
There were ten presenters onboard P&O's Bucket List CruiseBreak. A few days of fun with bow to stern workshop events - I delivered two, including my Top Ten GoPro Camera Tips - "how to mount, shoot and wow"
This image taken on my iPhone between talks. The nicest time to observe the ocean.
October and November has seen busy times at PDV Digital Cinema. Plenty of video shooters leaving with new skills.
So much colour and action here at the two-day Morobe Show in Papua New Guinea. I could not wish for a better event to run a location practice shoot for my students at Ahi Media, Lae. 3 x GoPro Heros+, a Sony FS700 at running at 400fps, Sony NX5, Canon 5DM3 - I shot these images with one of my favourite cameras, the Sony A7s.
Part of the training that I’m delivering here concerns Slow Motion cinematography. Shooting on a Sony FS700 at 400 frames per second, I've captured Aussie FMX rider Matt Schubring doing an impersonation of Superman at last weekends’ Morobe Province show.
Why not join the final CAMERA, STORY and LIGHT weekend workshop for the year? The video camera training is designed for anyone with a desire to get beyond menus and dials and is suited to users of DSLR and conventional video cameras alike. If can't make it for the two days, then just come along on Saturday - there is still lots you'll learn.
"Pieter's workshop was brilliant. By the end of the weekend I walked away with more confidence and faith that I can communication great stories using film and with renewed inspiration to produce outstanding work for my clients.
If there is a passionate filmmaker in you that is bursting to break out Pieter de Vries workshops are a must!'
"I really enjoyed your weekend workshop. Thank you so much. It was friendly, fun and I learnt some great techniques to improve my video skills"
"Pieter has clearly done it all over many years so you can be assured investing in his training is money well spent because you'll be learning from one of Australia's most accomplished cinematographers"
Our market location shoot today in the tropical heat went well with Malcolm Gautheir and Nicky Polosi of Ahi Media behind the camera. I’m in Papua New Guinea running two weeks of video camera and lighting training for this fast growing company, eager to make a mark in corporate and commercial video production in PNG. They are well on the way.
Saturday + Sunday, September 20th & 21st - course details and booking HERE
THE CAMERA, THE STORY and THE LIGHT. These three elements form the foundation of successful video cameracraft and are the foundations of this workshop, designed for anyone with a desire to get beyond menus and dials. This course is designed for the users of DSLR and conventional video cameras alike
This week at PDV Digital Cinema it's been One-on-One training with Sydney filmmaker and producer, John Meredith from Sydney based production company Mondo Bilgola. He has a great setup from LanParte Germany and I prefer DSLR camera rigs that are at home on the tripod as well as on the shoulder. John seemed right at home with his Canon 5D M3.
"Thank you for the last two days...it was really valuable for me and great fun" - John Meredith
I'm currently shooting in Chicago with some of the town's finest blues singers. Each of these amazing artists burst into song during the filming - spine tingling behind my camera! Thanks Grana Louise, MzPeachez Williams and Liz Mandeville
I've met a number of other Chicago based blues singers and I've photographed and filmed them for the documentary Women in Blues. Drove to Mississippi (11 hours) for a few days of shooting in Clarkesdale. The annual Blues Festival down there is run by actor Morgan Freeman and we stayed at his amazing blues pub. Video and stills images are being shot on a Sony A7s camera with a Zeiss lens package with some wider shots being recorded on a GoPro Hero 3+.
Thanks MzPeachez Williams, Peaches Staten, Mary Lane, Claudette Miller, Laretha Weathersby, La La, Grana Louise, Shirley Johnson and Liz Mandeville
I’ll be hitting the Southern region of the United States in early August with Producer, Lisa Eisman of U n Me Films. It will be phase one; researching a documentary about how the blues and gospel women singers/songwriters and musicians have influenced music today. "Women in Blues" will be an assignment close to my heart.
The weekend workshop went very well and thanks to everyone who came along to make it one of the best. We pack a lot into the two days and I know that you draw on your new confidence next time you hit the record button.
"As soon as I got home, I downloaded the shots and before I knew it, it had taken shape and had a life of its own. It was an inspirational weekend".
Tristan Parry, Creative Director and Cinematographer, Media One Creative Agency".
Also this week, popular Sydney photographer Paul Wright seems happy with his Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4. Paul spent a few days with me at the North Sydney venue upgrading his skills to get his video shooting up to speed.
I filmed this short and sweet advertising spot recently during the Adelaide Festival. For Sennheiser’s new pro MOMENTUM headphones, it's part of a series of short documentary spots that feature talented sound artists from all over the world - you find out more about them, their stories and see how each artist uses Momentum headphones. Pure inspiration for anyone who loves sound. Thanks Dan Hughes at Page 2 Communucations for the tight edit and to good friend and location producer Martin Ireland from Sennheiser Australia.
I'm working on a series of great promos this month. Featuring boxers and boxing trainers Chy Chuawiwat and Mark Pitts. TV presenter Caroline Pembertone is chucking a few punches along the way. I'm predicting A fast and pacey edit with strong a thumping music track. These are noisy and motivating training sessions and it's not hard to let the energy of the room influence the camera moves. for this spot I am cinematographer/director. View completed video is here
Chy Chuawiwat, CEO and Ric Holland Director of Digital Agency Solutions, both from Sydney IT company 0ffis, a company that provides Instant IT infrastructure. Two keener guys you'd be pressed to find. They will soon be adding their freshly crafted home grown footage to the already abundant array of video content on the Offis website.
Just a few of the many images taken during my recent shooting assignment in a remote region of West Sepik of Papua New Guinea. I have been filming segments for the television series World Wide Berlin being produced by Berlin Producers/Fernsehbüro. The series journeys to some of the far off places which share the same name: BERLIN. Formally known as Berlinhafen, Aitape was established as a train station by German colonists in 1905 as part of German New Guinea and it was my home base for this assigment.
The tiny island of Tumleo just off the coast, was one of our main locations. It's a peaceful place with the some of the friendliest people on the planet. Fishing is the main business and the island's small population made us feel very welcome - the only dangers are the Malaria and Dengue hosting mosquitoes.
This is my second collaboration with Munich based director Hannes Schuler. A few year back Hannes and myself collaborated on the documentary drama series "Darwin's Lost Paradise", a 2 X 1hr international program featuring a few of the lesser known journeys of Charles Darwin. Interesting, we first met in Berlin for the initial production meeting.
As was the case in February, the April workshop was well attended. The nine fabulous people who came along had a great weekend of leaning with tons of fun along the way. It rained non-stop for our location shoot on Sunday, but it still was a successful consolidation day - just a matter of keeping everyone and everything dry under shop awnings. My next workshops are planned for July so keep you eye here or on the PDV facebook page
"The hands-on, practical nature of the workshop was extremely helpful. Piet was able to juggle giving relevant advice to experienced photographers/film makers as well as novices like myself"
"Thank you again for the wonderful weekend workshop - I have the impression today of being a new young filmmaker and also be much more confidant .... a new adventure has just begun.... Awesome!"
Hot on the heels of a six day shoot in Central Queensland I have just wrapped up ten busy days training keen videographers in Sydney and Canberra. SBS Television, a two-day Sydney weekend workshop for ten, Dept of Communications, the ANU's College of Asia and the Pacific and top stills photographers. A shoot with Aussie rock band The Living End on Sunday and I Killed the Prom Queen on Sunday. There has been positive feedback.
"You managed to keep us all engaged and took time to make sure everyone understood the tools and techniques and allowed time for questions; I can personally vouch that no-one left the venue unhappy with the experience"
"Just wanted to to thank you again for a fantastic two days of training. It was incredibly insightful. Really feel more confident now in grabbing a video camera for the odd shoot with the Minister or for internal communication use"
This is a film we're making for the Stockmans Hall of Fame, in Longreach QLD and directed by a good mate, Bill Bennett. Bill and I have not worked together for some time and it was great to see him again - almost like we had not been away following individual careers in the meantime. The production was shot on my Sony PMW-F3 and Sony PMW-EX1R cameras. My stills photographs were taken with the Sony Alpha 7R mirrorless full-frame camera using a Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens + Canon 24-105mm zoom. Lighting used for the greenscreen setup: 2 x Kino Flo, 2 x Dedolight Felloni Tecpro 30 x 30cm LED lights, 3 x Rosco LED Lightpads.
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I presented a talk at the sell-out Camera Movement Workshop held at Dragon Image in Sydney on Saturday. While screening clips of my work, I spoke about my use of dollys, jibs, and Steadicam - there was lots of questions about which is the right device for the shot.
Drew Janes from Defy who design and build brushless motor camera gimbals presented the G2 and G5 camera stabilisers. I love this stuff. The day was hosted by US based tech reviewer Olivia Speranza
The last Sydney small-group video camera workshop for 2013 has just wrapped. Participants came from NSW, Queensland and Indonesia. More workshops are being planned for next year so keep you eye on the PDV facebook page
"I really enjoyed the weekend, everything you showed me will be a massive confidence booster and I now feel like I am on my way to getting some good results"
"Loved the course, it was fantastic - I learnt so much and now trying to put it into practice!"
The photography cruise on board the National Geographic Orion was an outstanding success. Guests from Australia, Britan, NZ and the US, bristling with camera and video equipment arrived in Denpasar Bali to start the ten day journey. Photographer Nick Rains and myself delivered a total of eight talks and workshops during the journey that took is from Bali to Cairns Australia. All lectures and workshops were filled to capacity - some overflowing. Most guests on board agreed that the tiny (Forgotten) Indonesian island of Banda Naira was probably the pick of the locations for stills and video photography.
The bustle of the jam-packed central market on the island of Kisar in the Southwestern Moluccas was also well documented and discussed - with so much to shoot it was hard to know just where to point the camera next. I filmed and edited a three minute video sequence of the market and the local school to demonstrate Final Cut Pro X at one of my at-sea workshops.
A trip to Vietnam, my latest tour. I’ve been continuing my series of talks for Silversea, a luxury Monte Carlo based cruise ship company.
As a guest lecturer I conducted talks and screenings of my work on the Silver Shadow as she sailed from Singapore to Hong Kong over ten days with stops in Vietnam along the route.
Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Hue/Da Nang and Ha Long Bay were the places visited. I am now in Bali, preparing for my National Geographic Orion cruise Indonesia's forgotten islands. I’ll be holding a series of workshops as we head back to Cairns Australia.
This photographic adventure on board the National Geographic Orion luxury expedition ship will feature workshops and masterclasses run by myself and photographer Nick Rains. It will be one of the standout photographic events of 2013. There are over 100 guests already coming onboard with a waiting list for last minute guests.
Click on the map to enlarge and here for full cruise details
Our route takes us from Bali along the trade routes of the early navigators and traders who opened up this new world of spices, gold and pearls. Every step of the way, you'll have the experience of Nick and myself to help you create stunning travel photography.
Shooting with Panasonic P2 cameras and Miller DS10 tripods, they wrap up with a location shoot on a perfect sunny Sydney day.
Laura Murphy-Oates, Calliste Weitenberg, Naomi Selvaratnam & Laurie Lawira.
I have had some time to use these two recent Cine Alta releases from Sony. Read my Australian Cinematographer Magazine reviews.
Just completed two solid days of One-on-One training with Jason. Working in the real estate sphere, he uses Nikons including the D800E plus collection of great Nikon glass. Our practice location shoot took place around the leavy streets of North Sydney. Jason is using the Small HD DP4 monitor in one of my favorite North Sydney streetscapes.
I've just returned from Korea. Fifteen days covering Australia and Asia for US software and data centre giant VMware, showcasing their new Horizon™ Suite using the Sony PMW-TD300 3D camera. Locations, Malaysia, Japan and Korea. Production company, Visionation. Director, Stephen De Villiers
As the DP I enjoyed using the TD300. It's a compact 3D video camera, shoulder-mount in design with a remarkably light body. One of the best features is that it is a fully integrated 3D camera reducing the burden of having to do complicated adjustments on location before and during shooting - adjustments such as time consuming left and right lens alignment and misaligned verticle convergence.
A thankyou goes out to Sony Australia for valuable camera technical support and to our Stereoscopic 3D Supervisor, Rob Morton. Rob kept the twin lenses alligned and perfectly converged for our endless tracking setups. I suspect this gig may have been slightly calmer compared to his work as Stereoscopic 3D Supervisor on Storm Surfers 3D. Finally, Calvin Gardiner and his team at Engine - they are doing the edit and post work.
Three elements - THE CAMERA, THE STORY and THE LIGHT form the foundation of successful video cameracraft and were the foundations of this workshop, designed for users of DSLR and conventional video cameras. Some of the participants of another sucessful weekend workshop.
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Just one spot left - book now. Details here
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"Thank you for an invaluable weekend as our private tutor in cameracraft and directing. My partner Stuart and I have come away with more information and skill than we hoped for, and in a very short time. In terms of honing our production skills, you are a miracle worker."
Ruth Ostrow, Videographer and Senior Journalist, The Australian Newspaper
One of the latest DSLR-for-video training participants. There are some inspiring nearby locations for our practical shoots.
There was a big turnout for my lighting masterclass at Australia's spectacular Apple Store in George St Sydney.
The scheduled one hour session went well beyond - I brought along enough video lighting to take car of the entire ground floor.
My thanks to not only all who came along but to Nick, Brandon and Bree from Apple, our model Celia and camera assistant Dan Becker. Nick Buchner from Sony Australia provided an F55 camera for the night, a good choice said the crowd.
Light, and the way it falls, sets the mood in every scene. Join Pieter de Vries, one of Australia's finest cinematographers, as he discusses the very latest photographic lighting tools and how to create softness, intensity and drama by looking into the shadows. He'll also share advice on interview lighting and professional lighting on a budget.
The Apple Store, George St Sydney, Thursday 13 June at 6:00 pm
Whatever happened to worst video game in history? More David & Goliath law suits. Part 4 in our series on screenwriting with Karel Segers. And special guest Cinematographer Pieter de Vries ACS talks about DSLRs, Pirates, The Trans-Siberian Express railway, Lenses and full-frame digital camera sensors.
Two Sony F3's on the job today for a new cinema commercial being produced by Page 2 Communications. Thanks Franc Biffone for some fabulous additional camera work and also Dan Hughes from Page 2 Communications - kept those kids smiling all day
The Illawarra Mercury and The Financial Review gain three new video photographers after their training days this week. My stills-to-video training courses have been a big hit. The iPad apps will soon be richer with video content created by these experienced photographers.
- Northside Creative Photography talk
- One-on-One training for shoot in Africa
- Krakow, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Geneva, London & Amsterdam assignments
- Lectures and shoot in PNG, Tufi, Tami & Trobriand Islands
- Two-day Sydney workshop - March 10th & 11th
- Lectures and photography shoot Bali, Java & Singapore
- In the Red Centre, Alice "Springs" to the Video Masterclass
- The Red Centre Masterclass fills
- Apple Masterclass in Film
- Latest custom workshop for HD DSLR pros
- SBS Television and Reed Publishing journalists training course
- The Shadowcatchers at the Cremorne Orpheum Cinema, Cremorne Sydney
- The Darwin workshops
- August, a busy month for video training
- Herald photographers HD DSLR training for the SMH iPad app
- Sydney's top freelance photographers take on the HD DSLR
- Michael Balint: up to speed with his Canon C300
- The Russian Far East expedition
- Defence Canberra
- SVMC workshop gallery