Sunrise

We're not all about film and video production if you have seen our work over the past few years. We also love photography, and recently we did a short hike up Mt. Tam State Park in San Francisco to study some mushrooms growing in the wild and watch the sunrise over the San Francisco Bay.

Shot on iPhone X

There's nothing short of inspiring than walking at night up a mountain and stop to see the slow sunrise over the city.

Shot on our A7Rii and a 90mm lens

We don't go foraging that often, but we were happy to have someone in our group who understood the different subtleties in mushroom varieties, and it was incredible to photograph up close some of these amazing creations of nature.

Macro shot with our 90mm macro lens and the A7Rii

Macro shot with our 90mm macro lens and the A7Rii

The intricate details of each mushroom are a wonder to behold and photograph to say the least. Notice how all the different details, color and shape, emerge so organically from these little beings.

A7Rii and 90mm Macro

A7Rii and 90mm Macro

As usual, feel free to check out Afonso's 500px profile or Photoshelter for more photo stories, or to buy any of these prints.

And yes, we even do corporate headshots, so it's not only mushrooms all the time...

Cotton Drone

As part of our most recent shoot with Allianz and Spectrecom Films in London, we wanted to share some of our favorite shots we filmed with our Inspire 2 for this commercial shoot.

Take a look at the video below, all filmed with the DJI Inspire 2 and either the 15mm or 42mm Olympus lessens, for some incredibly cinematic results.

The weather was really windy, so you can definitely see some drifting, but these are also not the final shots to be used in the commercial. Stay tuned!

Allianz

We just completed a week-long film shoot with our friends from Spectrecom Films in London, UK, and Allianz Global Investors.

Allianz hired Spectrecom to create a commercial film for one of their most recent projects, and Spectrecom chose us to help them out with the shoot in cinematography, logistics and aerial/drone captures.

We had an amazing shoot, using the C300mk2 as the main camera, some great lighting supplies by Kinoflo and Litepanels, our very own Inspire 2 for aerial shots, and a lot of other gear.

Check out the shoot photos below taken by the ever-useful iPhone X. The video will be completed and launched by the end of the year, so stay tuned here for updates.

iPhone X

We've been wanting to see what the new iPhone X is able to do in photography and video, so we couldn't be more excited to challenge ourselves (and anyone else who wants to join) this coming Saturday, November 4th.

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#iPhoneX_SF

An all-day photo walking tour of San Francisco, through the eyes of the new iPhone X.

If all goes according to plan we'll be setting up an iPhone X this coming Friday, and we'll be taking off to do a walkabout of San Francisco, starting at sunrise until we complete a full walking circle of the city.

Starting in the Haight Ashbury district, and traversing the diverse neighborhoods and sights of San Francisco, we want to limit ourselves to using the iPhone all day long to take photos, film some videos, and edit everything as we go. We're expecting to walk all day long, doing the whole waterfront and finishing off by walking through Golden Gate Park back into the Haight.

Will it work? Will we run out of batteries? Will it be exhausting? Will it be fun? Yes.

So join us.

Follow @afonso.salcedo on Instagram or look for #iPhoneX_SF.

let's see what happens Saturday.

 
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PS. If for whatever reason the delivery gets delayed we will post a warning about it and delay this experiment a bit.

Porto

We just recently returned from visiting the city of Porto, Portugal, and with it we brought a lot of travel photos that we took throughout.

Atlantic Ocean in a hazy dreamy fog.

One of our passions is photographing our travels, and Porto being a World Heritage Site and surrounded by both an Ocean and a River full of wineries, you can imagine how cinematic everything is.

Porto is a World Heritage Site, and the downtown areas are incredible to walk around in.

Take a look at some of the ones we added to our portfolio on Photoshelter, or check out our 500px/Instagram adventures for even more.

PhotoShelter Portfolio

THU
 

We're back at THU (Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn) for the 5th edition of this arts festival that encompasses the industries of film, video games, animation and traditional arts.

Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn takes place in Troia, Portugal.

It's one of the most inspiring week-long artistic adventures we've ever participated in and we couldn't be happier to be back and reconnect with some of the best talent in the world. This year, about 1,000 people will descend into this tiny paradise of a location near Lisbon, and over 70 countries are represented.

Sunrise over Troia, Portugal.

As part of the advisory board team, we will also do some Instagram takeovers throughout the week, and a few other surprises, so stay tuned!

The hallways of the Troia Design Hotel are ready for the hundreds of artists participating in the event.

For more information, visit the official website: http://trojan-unicorn.com.

Real Estate

We recently Brough our FAA-licensed drone, motion graphics know-how and production expertise to create this video for Branagh Realty, a high-end real estate companies in the Bay Area.

All filmed on-location in Lafayette, CA, with a seamless blend of animations, maps and aerial footage, including architectural renders, and we couldn't be prouder of our latest partnership with the team behind Branagh Realty.

Take a look below.

 
 
Drones

We are proud to announce that we are now officially licensed by the FAA to fly our drones for commercial usage.

We bring our cinematography and filmmaking experience to aerial images, between capturing stunning HD/4K footage and high-res photography, so that your content will never look the same again!

Aerial imaging is one of the highest return-on-investment features you can add to your videos and content, providing your viewers with an unforgettable perspective on events or locations. We can't stress highly enough how this will add value to your videos, and we are happy to be able to finally bring our high-end cinematic quality to aerial imaging as well.

Check out our full ad below, and hit us up for a quote!

Solar

We recently completed another video project documenting an incredible customer success story for Borrego Solar, and their new Gore Mountain solar array installation in the state of New York.

With our creative partners in New York, and an incredible team even filming down a mountain while skiing, all footage was acquired on location and sent via hard drive to our main studio in the Bay Area for post-production.

With our FAA-licensed drone operations we are also now able to capture stunning aerial footage of the site, which is essential for solar arrays and other similar projects.

We couldn't be prouder of the work done by our New York team, and this great partnership with Borrego which continues to be an enormous success!

Drawing

We are proud to announce that we recently completed a major project for our clients JAM.

JAM is an e-learning company devoted to provide a safe online environment for kids to learn creativity: from drawing classes, to lego building and Minecraft, they hire experts in the field to mentor a class on a specific theme.

It's been a tremendous success with kids all over the world, and earlier this year we were hired to help them out creating a comprehensive realistic drawing class for JAM. The course would teach kids with zero experience or skills in illustration, how to be able to draw realistically people, pets, and more. It's a huge undertaking as you can imagine, but after four intense months the whole course was ready to be delivered.

One of the first shoot days at the office with the JAM team. Afonso Salcedo (front), Chalon Bridges (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle), Kelsey Holtaway (right). 

One of the first shoot days at the office with the JAM team. Afonso Salcedo (front), Chalon Bridges (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle), Kelsey Holtaway (right). 

We worked closely with JAM to design a course that would flow nicely throughout the whole program, as kids progress to more complex chapters. We directed and produced a 12-day shoot, with a mentor that JAM flew from Australia.

Since the complexity of drawing something realistically is tremendous, we knew we had to simplify the capturing of the footage as much as possible, so that we could save on production time and number of takes. It's not easy to redraw the same drawing multiple times, to cut together in post-production, so we decided to build a camera rig covering four different angles, including a mirror on top of our talent so that we would have extra coverage if needed.

This meant that on average we were able to capture a drawing from beginning to end without resorting to many takes. The four cameras were filming in tandem, allowing us to cut through in post more quickly.

Sound was recorded separately, but already synched with one of the cameras to make it easier to deal with post-production audio editing.

Even though everything is filmed widescreen, the delivery format was square, which presents a lot of issues in composition, visual effects and color grading. We only worked in square format, but as part of our delivery structure we provided all the widescreen footage as well for potential future usage.

After the 12-day shoot, we captured close to 15 TB of footage. 12-days filming many times over ten hours of footage, that somehow had to be compressed and edited into multiple 5-minute chunks.

Even though in the beginning we had estimated we would create about 75 videos, in the end we actually ended up producing 178 videos. Most of these videos were shorter than five minutes in length.

But one of our main goals of creating this class was to really make it easy for kids to visualize what the mentor sees as he is drawing. What is he looking at? How does he see shapes? Or lighting? It's impossible to clearly depict such things with simple video or talking points, so we went ahead and created an extensive amount of visual effects and animations to aid in key learning moments throughout the course.

With 178 videos edited, we ended up creating in After Effects 482 animations that were then composited back into our edited videos, most of these hand-drawn and keyframes to match the flow and gestures of the actual mentor as he draws.

178 videos edited and graded. 482 animations, most of these animated in After Effects.
— Afonso Salcedo

We couldn't be prouder of this achievement. 178 videos filmed, edited and graded with 482 animations all done in four months of production scheduling is pretty mind-boggling.

The course is supposed to be launching soon, and you can find more information at http://jam.com.

We couldn't be happier with this collaboration and with the outstanding class we created, and we're ready for the next challenge!

 
Kelsey Holtaway (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle back), Chalon Bridges (right), Afonso Salcedo (front)

Kelsey Holtaway (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle back), Chalon Bridges (right), Afonso Salcedo (front)

 

Thank you everyone at JAM for their amazing friendship throughout this whole experience!

Sonic Runway

Last year we were involved with one incredible art installation project for Burning Man, the Sonic Runway.

Recently, its official website was just launched and the Sonic Runway traveled to China where it will be on display as a three-month public installation. We edited this video from footage taken by Burning Man participants, for the official website of Sonic Runway!

Check it out! We couldn't be more excited about seeing the Sonic Runway grow so much.

Seventy

So proud to share with you all this micro-documentary we edited and color graded for our friends at Mr. Smith production company, and JFK University.

It was a tremendous amount of work, but we couldn't be more excited for another touching and successful creative collaboration with these guys. Thank you to David Valentin and Daniel Corona for always believing in Sutro.