Material Tube Photoshoot

Every now and again I try and squeeze in a photoshoot that’s not work related. Something creative and fun. Last year I worked with 2 great dancers Kirsty Clare and Fern Maia on a flour shoot. I was really pleased with the shots I got from the shoot and was already thinking of collaborating again with them. The material tube photoshoot was born.

Fern in material tube,
Fern in a long thicker material tube

I wanted to do something that would take advantage of their knowledge of both body position and  flexibility. So I decided that using stretched material would make for some interesting shots.

Kirsty Clare from our material tube photoshoot.
Kirsty in a full length thinner tube.

I bought a few different types of material as I had no real idea of how stretchy it would be or if it did stretch would it become too see through. After buying the material I had them sewn into varying length tubes. The idea being to get Kirsty and Fern to squeeze into them and then create shapes from there.

I had a variety of tubes made, long, short, open one end, open both, cream, white and different thicknesses.

B&W photo of Fern in a thin shorter tube.
B&W photo of Fern in a thin shorter tube.

On the image above I really wanted to try and emphasise Fern’s physique. So by lighting her with 2 strip boxes set slightly behind, one on on either side has created a few lovely shadows that have brought out her tone. I lit it with 2 Bowens Gemini 500’s each fitted with a PhotoSEL 140×35 strip box.

As I did on the flour shoot, I had in mind the idea of having the tubes coloured to give a different look to the images, so I added a 2 tone gelled effect in post.

Kirsty in a coloured tube
Kirsty in a coloured tube

Thinking up and creating different poses was made much easier, as I was able to give suggestions to either Fern or Kirsty  and whoever was out of the tube could help with physical direction. This further helped the model inside the tube as their vision and mobility was vastly reduced.

Sometimes and by chance you spot a shadow, shape or angle that reminds you of something. A good example is the image below, which reminds me of a Polar Bear.

I call this one 'The Polar Bear'.
I call this one ‘The Polar Bear’.

One of my personal favourites from the shoot, is the image below of Kirsty. I think the pose is superb and love the way the material has stretched. I do have a love of monochrome photographs, to me giving the image a very classical feel.

One of my favourite images of Kirsty from the material tube photoshoot
One of my favourite images of Kirsty from our material tube photoshoot

In contrast here’s another very colourful edit, this time of Fern.

Pink and Blue Fern
Pink and Blue Fern

I always listen to what the models would like from a shoot. Fern was happy if a few body details could be seen through the tubes. So I took a few shots of Fern within the tubes made from the thinnest material. I love the fact you can see the outline of Fern’s body inside the tube, yet it’s soft and diffused by the material.

Soft contours within the tube.
Soft contours within the tube.

Here’s one more of Fern within the thin tube, this time with a touch of blue. Again I love the fact that the material allows the viewer a glimpse of Fern’s body through it, but diffuses enough to leave intrigue.

Fern inside the thinnest material tube.
Fern inside the thinnest material tube.

This was another really fun shoot with Kirsty and Fern, we were laughing throughout the shoot…it’s hard not to laugh watching a woman wiggle around like a Penguin in front of you.

The last picture from the material tube photoshoot is another one of my favourites. I love the shape that Kirsty has made, really stretching the material to the maximum. Again, it might just be my interpretation but it reminds me go the film ‘Alien’.

Kirsty striking an 'Alien' like pose.
Kirsty striking an ‘Alien’ like pose.

I hope you enjoyed reading about and looking at some of the images from our material tube photoshoot. I’ve already worked again with Fern on another project, so watch this space. If you would like to find out more about Vivid’s video and photography services, please visit our what we do page. Alternatively call a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Stunning Icelandair Video – Vatnajökull – Time-lapse video and Aerial Footage

Time-lapse Video

It was an honour to be invited back to work with Icelandair on their follow-up time-lapse video to their original Northern Lights video (please see below).  Icelandair is the main airline of Iceland offering it’s services to 39 cities over 16 countries. The Vatnajökull glacier video was to celebrate their 80 year aviation history.

The excitement comes from working with a company who really like to make a statement with their promotional materials and branding. They do not rest on their laurels and go to great lengths to produce memorable videos. These videos really show off the company, their brand and their home country. It is a privilege to work with such a proactive company.

The Concept

drawing

In a similar execution, the concept was to take a normal Icelandair 757 and to paint the Vatnajökull glacier on both sides of the plane. Their video would encompass the production process and the focus on the stunning aerial footage captured above the actual glacier. This concept would be inline with their promotional objectives of branding. More importantly the video would showcase the natural splendour of Iceland.

The Process

Icelandair Vatnajökull time-lapse video - Sanding

In terms of the livery production, this was a long process. The job started off like most of the airplane livery time-lapses we have produced in the past. The plane is inputted, scaffolded, sanded and stripped to base metal. The primer was applied and then the blue was applied across the plane. This stage of production is now the divergent point from the norm.

As Soon As Possible

A specialist company was then employed to create the glacier. ASAP Aviation are from Germany. Working with the biggest brands in aviation they provide a comprehensive service that includes design, layout and special paint jobs. This was certainly a special paint job. The team had 10 days to accurately recreate images from the glacier on both sides. This was from the nose of the plane stretching all the way to the underside of the fin. This is not an easy task, fortunately ASAP have a wealth of experience in this field and produced the Northern Lights for the previous Icelandair commission.

ASAP Icelandair Vatnajökull time-lapse video - Mapping glacier

They got straight to work, mapping out the dimensions and providing the blend from the sky to the main blue colour. Next the mountain skyline was applied and a complete white colour applied to this area. After this the team painstakingly added all the details to the mountain over a 4 day period. Referencing from very small sections of the main image, the team work together to create a perfect match. If you thought that sounded difficult, they then had to do the same process to create the more complex glacier itself.

ASAP Icelandair Vatnajökull time-lapse video - Spraying

Vivid’s role was to of course document process through the time-lapse technique and traditional filming. We set up 10 cameras over the whole period and used camcorders and DSLR cameras to record the footage. Once the plane was finished, it was sent over to Iceland to produce the stunning aerial shots you see in the final film.

The Result

plane

Well it is there for everyone for to see. ASAP really brought the glacier to life on the plane and it looks stunning. This plane will now have so many practical and promotional uses. Apart from the main video that has gone live, there are news/print reports and photographs and video of the plane arriving at each destination. This promotion will continue for the life of the plane’s livery. The level of detail shown in the final paint is incredible and the likeness to the original source image is outstanding.

ASAP Icelandair Vatnajökull time-lapse video -Finished and outside hangar

Northern Lights #MyStopover

If you would like to see their previous video, please find it below.

Final Thoughts

It was a privilege for Vivid to work on such a commission. We have worked on numerous time-lapse video commissions and it was amazing to be part of a real effort to produce a stunning video. I think we can all agree they achieved their objectives.

Please click on the Icelandairair blog to find our more about the commission. Please click on the link, if you would like to find to find out more about Vivid Photo Visual’s time-lapse video service. Our time-lapse blog details more information about the time-lapse production process and the benefits of the time-lapse video promotion. If you have any ideas you would like to discuss, please call a member of the Vivid team 0n 0161 477 2404.

Behind the scenes with BiNO Clothing

Sometimes in our job we are lucky enough to be able to help out and work with friends.  This was one of those projects. BiNO Clothing is a fresh, new clothing label from right here in Manchester.  BiNO is the creation of 2 very creative minds, Leigh Culverwell and Simon Woolley, who “Inspired by the ever-evolving binary culture that forms todays fashion landscape,  created BiNO. Providing a genderless apparel range, which celebrates notions of sexuality and explorations of life through detailed embroidery and print.”

Manchester model Callum Shaw modelling for BiNO Clothing
Manchester model Callum Shaw modelling for BiNO Clothing

We’ve known Leigh for many years as we had a good mutual friend, sadly that is no longer with us. We’ve kept in contact and it seemed like at fantastic idea to work together producing images for BiNO.

Imogen Richards and Callum Shaw wearing BiNO clothing
Imogen Richards and Callum Shaw wearing BiNO clothing

Leigh and Simon had booked 2 fantastic Manchester based models. Callum Shaw and Imogen Richards. Callum and Imogen suited the BiNO ethos perfectly. You could tell they were both completely at ease wearing the full range of apparel and made the shoot such a fun environment.

Manchester BiNO Clothing as worn by model Callum Shaw
Manchester BiNO Clothing as worn by model Callum Shaw

All styling on the shoot was done by Simon and Leigh with the exception of Hair and Make-up. For this they brought in the expertise of Jen Eachus. She worked wonders on Callum’s and Imogen’s hair, incorporating items of hardware, such as Nails into their braided hair.

 

Black and White photograph of Manchester models Imogen Richards and Callum Shaw wearing the new BiNO Clothing range.
Black and White photograph of Manchester models Imogen Richards and Callum Shaw wearing the new BiNO Clothing range.

As you can see the Hornet is a focus point throughout the BiNO range. The Hornet is thought to be a symbolise evolution and the circle of life in some traditions.

Hornet T-Shirt and Cap by BiNO clothing Manchester.
Hornet T-Shirt and Cap by BiNO clothing Manchester.

Head over to BiNO’s website if you’d like to see the latest range and maybe hook yourself up with some clothing. If you would like to find out more about Vivid’s photography service, please visit our commercial photography page.

 

 

Product Video and Video Promotion – Benefits and Statistics

Product Video Promotion by Vivid Photo Visual
Product Video Promotion by Vivid Photo Visual

Product Video Promotion

Every business owner surely wants to sell more of their products and services, yet only a relatively small percentage have started to utilise the benefits of video promotion by using product videos to help sell their product or service.

Product Video Checklist
Product Video Checklist

Benefits of Product Videos

These are just a selection of the many benefits of product videos:

  • Quickly communicate key product information
  • Directly increases sales
  • Increases website page conversions
  • Visually demonstrates the products key feature
  • Works across both on and offline promotional channels
  • Can be hosted on YouTube and other video hosting sites, acting as an additional sales platform
  • Easy to share across the world
  • Provides value rich content for social networks
  • Enhances and compliments SEO strategies
  • Can be used for the life of the product, even easily updated when required.
Apple Product Video
Apple Product Video

Statistics about Video Promotion

Below we have compiled a number of video promotion statistics that show the immediate benefits of product videos and video promotion in general. Hubspot

  • People who watch a video are 85% more likely to purchase the product
  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%
  • Using a video in an email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-through rate
  • 90% of users say that a product video is helpful in their decision
  • Only 5% of users stop watching after 1 minute
  • Almost 50% of internet users will search for videos before visiting a store
  • 4x as many customers would rather watch a product video than read about it (Insivia)
  • 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in the next year
  • People spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without.
Using product videos on YouTube
Using product videos on YouTube

Styles

There is a misconception that product videos have to be the hard sell and under 2 minutes in length. Whilst short “advert” style product videos of this nature are an extremely powerful promotional tool, there is space for other styles of videos to be used. You might have for example, the quick “advert” style of video next to your click to purchase button, but some consumers have a need for more information. This can be facilitated by having a video where the MD or other key member of staff goes into greater detail on the product. For a potential customer this can provide real depth to the product. Some consumers will be happy with the advert style but you should alway try to provide the option for a more in-depth look at the product. This will only lead to further sales. Videos of this style could take the form of a Q&A style product video. This video’s objective is to make sure  all questions and concerns are answered. Vivid have created a Q&A video promotion blog for further detail.

social-media-1430527_1920

Cost & ROI

Obviously every business is concerned with the cost of video production and it’s return on investment. Vivid believe that you should always strive for the greatest production values possible on the budget available. A video should always complement your brand messages, values and image. That does not mean that a simple studio based video showcasing the product and it’s features does not have any merit. If anything you still get all the benefits of video promotion and in some respects the message can be more clear and concise. When asked about ROI, Vivid always point to the cost analysis against other promotional tools. This is coupled with the number of promotional platforms where a video can be displayed and the longevity of video promotion compared with other promotional mediums. Insivia’s research stated that”51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.”

Summary

In my article about the power of using video promotion, I explore in great detail the benefits of using video to promote your products. I believe that if you do not utilise product videos you are missing out on a valuable promotional platform that maybe your competitors are not. Video production can be expensive but it does not have to be.  A simple video with a representative showing the products and features can be an extremely powerful promotional tool.

About Vivid

Vivid Photo Visual, based in Stockport near Manchester, is a leading supplier of product video production, providing innovative and eye catching video production with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our our product video and product demonstration website pages.

Virtual Reality – A very real Future

Virtual Reality - A very real Future
Could this be the future?

Vivid welcomes Virtual Reality

Here at Vivid towers we recently had a very welcome visitor. One of the Vivid team brought in their newly purchased HTC Vive Virtual Reality (VR) headset. I should mention that other headsets are available (Oculus Rift/the Playstation VR amongst many others) but from VR reviews this seems to be best option currently on the market. The Virtual Reality headset was brought in to make use of Vivid’s studio space that we have available.

We thought it would be worthwhile to discuss our experience with VR and also the implications for the future. Don’t worry, we will try and keep it light.

Being big gamers (especially the current author), we could not wait to try out the new system. We can all remember back to the last big VR “race” in the mid 90’s. Technology was always going to hamper that but now, in 2016, this is no longer a problem.

Room Scale

HTC Vive "Room Scale" - http://www.wareable.com/vr/htc-vive-review
HTC Vive “Room Scale”

One of the main selling points of the HTC  Vive is the ‘room scale’ tracking capability of the system. The user is able to freely move around in an area of up to 5m x 5m, so we thought it would be good to make use of our studio space to try it out. Our problem was freeing up the studio, as “our Graham”™ was conducting a photo shoot. We waited for what seemed like eternity, but after 3 hours the studio was free. We set up the equipment, only to find the hand controllers needed charging. An oversight to say the least.

Virtually Amazing

pokemon-1624229_1920

Everything was set up and now was the moment of truth. I slipped on the headset and this new frontier of entertainment came into view. The first thing that struck me was the head tracking on the VR headset. It was flawless, and no matter how quickly I turned, the display matched it perfectly. This flawless 1 to 1 movement carried over to the handheld Vive controllers. I could even see a perfect digital representation of the controllers in the headset, that visually moved perfectly with my actual hand movements. Very impressive.

We played a wide variety of short experiences which included being on a rock face, clearing a cave in space and defending a castle with a bow and arrow. Yes this all sounds very strange but they were really fun experiences that worked perfectly. We played a cartoon zombie shooting game and again the controllers replicated holding a gun perfectly. The very accurate connection meant that you could aim as if you were aiming a real gun and within seconds you’d forgotten you were blindly stumbling around a studio looking foolish and were instead immersed in an alternate place and time.

We all had a go, but we think that “our Graham”™ provided the most laughs navigating this new VR world. Please check out the short video below to get a taste of his VR experience.

All this interactivity got the Vivid team thinking about the possibilities of Virtual Reality. Of course gaming is an obvious application, but we think that there are so many non-gaming applications to VR that are far more interesting.

Video Chat/Conferencing/Education

Virtual reality and video conferencing

Now this is quite an obvious statement, but video chat is going to be huge in VR. We have already accepted video chat into our lives. For some time many people, young and old, use it in place of the telephone. PC based VR headsets already work with regular video chat software.

To take that simple concept further, imagine a situation where you take a 360º camera and place it somewhere in a meeting room. This 3D camera would provide a simple way for the remote VR user, to enter the room and feel present with the people physically in the room. To enhance this, you could model the VR user’s room layout to provide an accurate representation of the meeting environment.

This has obvious business led applications but equally (cost permitting) VR could allow friends or teachers and students to meet together from all around the world while occupying the same 3D environment. Another way to achieve this ‘being in the same place’ effect is using 3D environments that multiple VR users meet inside, with each user seeing computer generated avatars representing their friends’/colleagues’ real world movements around the shared 3D space.

Virtual Reality Journeys/Tourism

grand canyon a destination for virtual reality?

Ever wanted to fly in a fighter jet into the stratosphere? Easy, record a 360° movie in the jet’s cockpit, load it up and let people access it. You could do boat trips through the Amazon one night, walk to Machu Picchu the next. Famous landmarks could easily place one of these 360° cameras at their location. If they so choose, they could charge an ‘entrance fee’ and viewers could observe all the sights and sounds in real time. You could quickly go anywhere in the world to check out today’s sunset from your favourite holiday/travel destination. The world could easily open up to everyone. These examples would only be pre-recorded or live video feeds with limited interaction, but complex modelled 3D worlds (and outer worlds) can be produced that mean you could explore the Moon and beyond.

Virtual Reality Relaxation

Waves lapping at your virtual reality feet

This is one the most interesting virtual reality applications. You come home after a hard day at work. You slip on your VR headset and you can virtually transport yourself to anywhere in the world. You want to relax on a beach for 30 minutes? Easy, load up the application (Matrix style) and you are there with the waves lapping at your virtual feet. The possibilities are endless.

VR Sports/Adventure/Exercise

kayaking-1149886_1920

There are already  a variety experiences that allow you to climb mountains, skydive, kayak through rapids. This offering will only develop and expand. Having played a few of the more active games, it is clear to see the implications for the exercise industry. The only downside is perspiration on your VR headset.

VR Music

acoustic-guitar-407214_1920

Listening to music could have a whole different meaning. You might find this weird talking about the audio aspect in a visual environment, but wait one second. It could be something as simple as using a 360° camera at a concert and having a seat either at a live gig or one that has been pre-recorded. This is also scalable, it does not have to be the biggest bands in the world, it could be the local pub gig. Listening in a more “traditional” sense means you could load up Led Zeppelin and immerse yourself in videos, images of the band and concerts. Create a virtual juke box and accompany the music with pictures and videos of family and friends.

Virtual Reality Websites

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Just imagine the possibilities in website creation. Instead of looking at a flat image on a monitor, you could enter a 3D world where you explore the the website. From a commercial aspect you could move around a 3D environment exploring a company’s message in a fun, informative and interactive manner.  This could mean virtually picking up a product and viewing it in your hands, even conducting a virtual demonstration.

Virtual Reality – An exciting future

In summary, virtual reality was an experience that Vivid will not forget and are sure to return to soon. There are so many possibilities out there for Virtual Reality and we are excited for the next evolution of how we react with the technology, each other and the world.

If you would like to find out more about Vivid do, please visit our video production page or our very Vivid blog. Alternatively, please call 0161 477 2404 to speak to a member of the Vivid team.

Video Promotion – Missing a trick by not helping your customers

Helping your Customers by using Video Promotion

Are you and your business missing an opportunity by not using video promotion? This short piece below is directly related to a recent Vivid blog about using video promotion to answer questions, but includes my own personal real world experience.

Video Promotion by Vivid Photo Visual
Car seat pre-conversion
Video promotion blog by Vivid Photo Visual
Car seat post-conversion

My Experience

Please picture the scene, I am un-boxing my child’s car seat. My lounge is now more cardboard and shrink-wrap than an actual usable relaxing area. I reach for the instructions, so that I can convert the car seat’s size to one appropriate for my four year old girl. I start to read the instructions and quickly find myself frustrated by my inability to understand what to do. Nothing I am reading makes sense to me and the accompanying drawn images are not enough for me to rely on. I quickly stop this pointless task and do what every other person does next, I open my laptop to search the internet. I am hoping to find a relevant video on YouTube.

YouTube is there to help

I navigate to the manufacturers sites to see a series of videos. Great, this should be quick and easy. I watch a simple but slickly produced video on how to put the car seat into the car. Ok that was helpful, but what I really wanted to know is how to convert the car seat to an age appropriate setting. Scanning through their other videos brought further disappointment. It seemed there was no demonstration on how to do this complex (for me) seat conversion.

Missing an opportunity

Why would a company do this? Why would they miss out on helping their new customers and making the whole post sales process so much easier? It turns out that the only video I could find, was a mother who had taken the time to produce a poorly shot but extremely useful video. I managed to get the child seat converted but it was not the company that had helped me but a random stranger. This overly long prologue leads me to the point of the blog. My impression of the company is that they manufacture high quality products that will keep my child safe. It would appear that they do not assist the consumer (me) once they have made their purchase. I had to rely on someone else’s endeavour to answer my question. This is where in my opinion, the company is missing an opportunity. An opportunity to cement a favourable relationship with their customers.

Someone else controls your message

What they have done is place a key company’s message about their product in the hands of a mother without even a tripod. This mother could obviously see how frustrated other people were with the lack of information and took it upon herself to help. As we all know, all messages should be controlled by your company and for a small cost of a simple video commission, this problem could of been avoided.

What Vivid did next

We then took it upon ourselves to shoot a simple video, to help people in a similar situation. The video was extremely quick to film and edit and we hope that people find it useful. It does not have to be a costly and grand video production commission. A lot of the most watched and helpful videos are someone in their bedroom talking about what make-up they like. Of course the powers that be, insist I extol the virtues of using a high quality video production company to really complement your company’s brand image.

What to do next

I believe that the company should produce additional videos that clearly demonstrate how to change the car seat over. Also for any pre-sales questions a simple presenter led series of Q&A videos would facilitate the consumer to make a purchase. They could then use these video assets to provide a comprehensive pre and after sales service. This could also carry on to market their products for future purchases and any recommendations to colleagues, friends and family. So I ask you, is there an element of your pre or post sales process that has not been taken into account? If there is, what communication tool would provide the correct information (it does not have to be video, but it helps) to the customer?

Benefits of Video Q&A videos

Here is a selection of the benefits available:

  1. Simply answers customers questions
  2. Can be used pre and post sale
  3. Demonstrates your authority
  4. Can be used on website and numerous other video sites like Youtube
  5. Puts customers at ease with their purchase
  6. Can you be used in both on and offline promotional channels.

If there is any questions or ideas you may have, we are here to help. Why not give a member of the Vivid team a call on 0161 477 2404 or leave a comment below. To find out more about our video production offering please click on Vivid’s video production page. To read more blogs about different aspects of video promotion, please click on our video promotion blog.

“My God, it’s full of stars” – Astronomical Time-lapse

Portugal Astro Time-Lapse

Recently there has been a lot of interest in Vivid Towers about space, the stars and the moon. I always remembered how clearly you could see the stars from where I stayed in Portugal. I thought that whilst I was on my holidays, it would be a good opportunity to learn a new time-lapse skill. Having never done an astro time-lapse before was a bit daunting. The Portuguese weather offered me numerous clear skies to perfect my skills to produce this video.

Photographic Equipment

As I was travelling with my family, I wanted to pack the minimum amount of equipment needed. So the only camera equipment that I took was a 6D. This was packed with a Tamron 11-16mm f/2.8, a Canon 28-105mm f/4L lenses, a camera remote controller and a basic (cheap) light-weight tripod. I started a few nights into my holiday capturing the sky above. My first problem was having to navigate with a camera and tripod up a very steep slope. This turned out tricky climb onto the roof of the villa.

Focus & Exposure

I have a lot of experience in commercial time-lapse projects but this was my first ever astro time-lapse and I was learning as I went. My first major obstacle was trying to get the correct focus for the stars. The method I used was to:

  1. use live feed
  2. focus on the largest stars
  3. take a picture
  4. check picture
  5. repeat process until happy.

I would then have to play around with length of exposure and this is where some more time was needed. It was also where I noticed the level of light pollution that was apparent, as my early attempts looked like I was shooting during the day.

The Time-lapse Shoot

As I was capturing mainly one complete video a night, I had to to really think about what would be the best composition, this was slightly hampered by lack of knowledge of the night sky. I had sole access to the roof and this allowed me to leave the camera capturing for most of the night, sometimes ending up with a warm camera, if I did not wake up early enough.

One of the aspects I enjoyed the most about this astro time-lapse, was the anticipation of seeing what I had captured that previous night. This anticipation has been somewhat lost since the change over from SLRs (film based) to DSLRs.

Astro Time-lapse video - Moon over the sea

“My God, it is full of stars.” Astro Photography Time-lapse

I really enjoyed my time trying out a different time-lapse style and I am pleased with my output. It is really amazing to see how many stars are actually out there, especially when you zoom into the pictures. Looking over the whole video, I think my favourite shot is the Moon moving and reflecting over the sea. This project has now inspired me to produce a better astrological time-lapse, one that really captures the Milky Way in all it’s glory

If you would like to find out more about Vivid Photo Visual’s time-lapse service please visit our time-lapse page or to read more on the same subject, please check out our time-lapse blog. Alternatively please call 0161 477 2404 to speak to a member of the team.

What a RIAT – Royal International Air Tattoo 2016

The Italian aerobatic display team Frecce Tricolori at RIAT 2016.
The Italian aerobatic display team Frecce Tricolori at RIAT 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2016

It’s 12 months since my first visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo, otherwise known as RIAT and as I enjoyed it so much last year I decided to go again this year. RIAT is held at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and is the world’s largest military airshow.

Due to family commitments it was just my eldest son Anthony (aged 8) and myself this time. Last year we couldn’t find any accommodation closer than 20 miles from Fairford and it was also fairly expensive. The problem with being this far away was the drive that should have taken 35 minutes actually took more than 90 minutes, due to the shear volume of RIAT traffic. This year we thought we’d have a go at camping in one of the nearby campsites. After a bit of Googling I found camping on Townsend Farm. It stated it had 3 ‘quiet’ fields for families, so this sounded perfect. I pre-booked months in advance as I know how quickly the local sites fill up.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor
Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor

I have to say the campsite was very good, even though we arrived late on the Friday evening which meant the campsite was very full we managed to find a suitable pitch for our small tent. This was out first camping trip and although the site was a temporary one just for RIAT it had very good and clean facilities. There was also a bar and food in one of the fields which was great as I couldn’t figure out how to light my small camping stove…but that’s another story.

We awoke early on the Saturday morning ready to make the 15 minute walk to the Yellow entry point as we wanted to try and get a front row position on the crowd line. We were in the queue for 7am, which by this time was already much larger than I expected considering the gates didn’t open until 7.30am and the actual flying displays didn’t start until 10am.

Polish Air Force MiG-29A
Polish Air Force MiG-29A

It seems that there may have been a slight technical error on our entry point as we didn’t actually get through the gate until 8am, by this time we couldn’t find a position on the front row so we set up just behind. I was a little disappointed not to be at the front as this would make take-off or landing shots difficult but I soon got over it. We decided to have a little snooze as we hadn’t had the best nights sleep due to Anthony having a really bad ear ache…I’m glad I was told to pack some Calpol just in case.

 

The Red Arrows in lined up in symmetry.
The Red Arrows in lined up in symmetry.

Gear wise I wanted to keep it simple, so I took my Canon EOS 7D mk2 and a Canon 100-400mm mk2 zoom, I did pack a 1.4x extender but unfortunately the weather for the weekend wasn’t the sunniest, a typical British July, so I didn’t bother using it. Last year I shot using a 400mm prime but this lacked versatility for group fly-bys and larger aircraft. Anthony had his Canon EOS 1200D and 55-250mm IS zoom, a great light-weight combination.

With the weather being overcast as opposed to lovely blue skies meant shooting at a higher ISO than I would like, so around 800 ISO, in my opinion a little noisy on the 7D mk2, even though others say differently.

 

The Reds formation at RIAT 2016
The Reds formation at RIAT 2016

The good think about the poorer weather was it created some quite moody skies, which made for a interesting background. Also, although I don’t know the technical reasons, the conditions made for some cool vapour trails and atmospheric reactions. The aircraft are not allowed to cross the crowd line and there are very strict rules regarding distance and heights for their displays. This meant that most of the high speed banks by the aircraft happened at quite a distance away. The top end of my 4oomm wasn’t really powerful enough for frame filling images, so I had to rely on a bit of creative framing.

 

BAE Typhoon FGR4 fitted with P3E weapons.
BAE Typhoon FGR4 fitted with P3E weapons.

One of the main attractions at this years RIAT was the inclusion in the flying display of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. This would be the first time that this state of the art fighter jets would be demonstrated in the UK. There are 3 variants of the F-35, 2 of which would fly at RIAT this year. The F-35A which is the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) version and the F-35B which is the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) designed to takeoff and land on short runways or aircraft capable ships. There is a F-35C which is the carrier variant (CV).

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II and Mustang P-51D
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II and Mustang P-51D

The F-35A Lightning II, as part of the US Air Force Heritage Flight made a fly-by with ‘Miss Helen’ a Mustang P-51D, over 60 years old. It was amazing to watch the skills of both pilots as they seemed only a few feet apart as they made their pass.

The STOVL version the F-35B was amazing to watch, it reminded me of when I was a child and watched the Harrier jump jet at Woodford Airshow. It’s the first supersonic fighter that also allows for vertical takeoff and landing.

Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II hovering.
Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II hovering.

I also managed to film a short video of the F-35B as it hovered and landed, it’s worth a watch.

For a bit more on the camera settings that I tend to use for this kind of photography, I have my camera set in the same way as I do for birds in flight.

Red Arrows in Swan formation
Red Arrows in Swan formation

AV (Aperture Priority) as the light was constantly changing due to the cloud structure. I have one of the rear buttons on the 7D mk2 programmed to over expose by a set amount, I set this depending on the light. I had it set to +1 stop at the airshow . This means that I can instantly allow for a subject that is backlit as it passes. I can take exposures and press/release the button as it passes to give me camera exposure and camera exposure +1 stop, just to lift the shadows a bit.

Typhoon FGR4
Typhoon FGR4

AI Servo Focus so the camera tracks the focus with single point plus 4 point expansion. Again I have a different button on the back of the camera programmed to change to single shot AF. This can be useful for when the aircraft are static prior to take-off and you want to frame the shot differently without moving the AF point. So you can perform a quick AF focus lock but you’re immediately ready with AI Servo should the plane start to takeoff, which happens quickly, as in the shot below.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor.
Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor.

Although the F-35 was supposedly the start of the show, for me the F-22A Raptor was just awesome. It’s like the F-35’s bigger, louder and angrier brother. You have to see and hear it to believe it.

F22_8496

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor

Here’s a high speed pass, almost supersonic. You have to be fast with your panning with this one!

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor almost supersonic
Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor almost supersonic

I shot in RAW, as I always do and made sure I had plenty of spare cards and spare batteries, especially as I was unable to charge up on the campsite.

Spitfire and Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight
Spitfire and Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight

On the Sunday we actually arrived a little later, just after 7.30am but this time we went straight through and managed to get a position on the front line. I was quite surprised but this was great as it means you can get easier photographs of the aircraft as they takeoff and land as know-one will suddenly pop up in front of your lens while panning. We had rain on the Sunday but also a bit of blue sky, so as you can see though these photographs there are a variety of weather types which is good.

Hellenic Air Force 'Zeus' F-16C Fighting Falcon
Hellenic Air Force ‘Zeus’ F-16C Fighting Falcon
Red Arrows close pass
Red Arrows close pass

I would recommend RIAT to anyone who enjoys the sound of fast jets. I’m not overly interested in aircraft, I’m certainly not a place enthusiast, I just love the sound and it reminds me of when I was a child. RIAT is the largest military airshow in the world, so obviously has the most aircraft flying displays.

Typhoon with vapour trails
Typhoon with vapour trails

So for me taking the photos is great, it’s challenging and fast paced but above all it’s the eardrum bursting sound that it the awesome part.

Red One releasing a smoke marker
Red One releasing a smoke marker

 

Breitling wing walker
Breitling wing walker
Frecce Tricolour display team
Frecce Tricolour display team
Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor
Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor
Typhoon FGR4 afterburner haze
Typhoon FGR4 afterburner haze
Orlik Aerobatic Team
Orlik Aerobatic Team

When the Red Arrows split into 2 separate groups during their display routine. They split into a team of 5 and a team of 4. The 4 are known as ‘Gypo’, named after the leader of the original 4 man team as this was his nickname. The 5 plane group are known as Enid, named after Enid Blyton’s Famous Five.

Five Red Arrows are known as Enid, after Enid Blyton's Famous Five
Five Red Arrows are known as Enid, after Enid Blyton’s Famous Five

The Red Arrows main formation is a 9 aircraft team. It’s therefore a little more unusual to photograph them in a 10 plane formation. In the picture below the 10th aircraft had actually been airborne to take photographs of the rest of the team during an earlier formation. Now that would be a great photo job!

The Red Arrows in a 10 aircraft formation.
The Red Arrows in a 10 aircraft formation.

It’s not only the small supersonic fast jets that display at RIAT, there’s always a few bigger and stranger looking aircraft on display. Some of these seem to deft the laws of gravity when it comes to their manoeuvrability.

Airbus Military A400M
Airbus Military A400M
Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey
Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey

One of the best displays in my opinion is always the Chinook. The pilot throws it around and makes it turn as if it were a toy and the sound of the air slap on the rotor blades is fantastic.

Boeing Chinook HC4
Boeing Chinook HC4

Summary

I hope you like this small selection of photos I took at RIAT 2016. My family and I had a really good time at the Royal International Air Tattoo and would certainly recommend it for anyone with even a passing interest in planes.

Thanks for looking

Graham

Using video promotion to answer your customer’s questions

Video promotion – helping your customers

Video promotion blog from Vivid Photo Visual
Short blog from Vivid Photo Visual about using video to answer customer questions.

What do your customers want? They want a good product/service for their money but equally they want any questions that they might have to be answered.  YouTube, being the second largest search engine in the world, can quickly and visually answer any questions a user might have, from the correct way to clean spark plugs to difficult accountancy questions. To start with, you have a product/service video (hopefully produced by Vivid), that demonstrates the key features and benefits of your products/services. To fully assist your customers, you need to have a series of videos that not only answer their questions, but help them understand more about the products and services you offer. This can be complemented by further videos to again help the customer in the buying process. 

Help your customers

Answered questions aid and make clear the viewer’s buying process, by giving them the information they require and therefore the confidence in their decision. This is the reason why it should be your business that answers their questions. Using video for this form of promotion allows for a more in-depth amount of information to be given and any topic can be discussed or demonstrated. Please bear in mind that it does not have to be solely used for external communication/promotion. This type of video can be used to communicate with staff members or key shareholders on business functions/performance or training. Using this type of video means that anyone in the world can at any time access the information. Basically, whenever someone has a question, a video can provide the answer.

Vivid have recently linked up with Sport Injury Clinic Physiotherapy (SICP) to provide a series of short videos that clearly demonstrate certain exercises used to aid recovery. This series of video Q&As, have several benefits for our client.

Here is a selection:

  • The videos can easily be placed on a website and act as a help guide for customers
  • Provides SICP with videos they can direct their customers to and this will allow for an accurate educational platform for their injury development
  • Positions SICP as an expert in their industry
  • Video will pull potential customers to their website
  • YouTube users with a question will be able use the YouTube search engine and these videos will be able to answer their problem. This will only increase awareness of the SICP’s services
  • Easy to share on social media
  • Long life when compared with other promotional materials
  • The video is SICP branded.

Best practices

Choose your objective

What are the best ways to implement this type of video? The first issue is to finalise what is the objective/s of the video. Without a true understanding of the objectives, the video produced might not be able to provide all the key information to the viewer. It could be that your sales team are constantly asked the same 10 questions. If you can answer these prior to the point of contact, then you are already working on a softer enquiry and therefore the potential customer should make for an easier conversion. Please take a moment to consider the potential cost savings to your sales process.

Content

What is the question that potential customers keep asking? How do we answer this? Ascertaining what is the best content to provide the best answer is obviously the key to this style of video promotion. This stage should involve meeting with key members of staff and formulating the best answer. Ask yourself what information is required and what information is necessary, and then trim down to get a fully realised answer. Bringing in as many key staff members as possible, should make sure that all aspects of the business have been consulted to make sure that nothing is missed.

On the flip side of this, the video does not have to be directly related to your business, but if it provides an answer that someone is looking for, then it’s purpose has been realised. This purpose could be from an S.E.O perspective, where the video will be used to provide increased interaction with your social media channels and website. It might be from a purely branded perspective, to directly pull a customer to a particular part of your website or just to have your brand name noticed.

Type of video used

Once the objective and content stages have been completed, you have to pick which style of video (product/demo/presenter/animation etc) you would like to use. Both budget and required application will play a big part in the selection of the video format.

What has to be appreciated is that is does not have to be produced on a big budget. You could simply record someone in their place of work, talking about a particular subject, recorded on a smart phone. Whilst this can be suitable for this type of video promotion, please bear in mind your brand image. As I am sure you are aware any sort of external/internal communication, should reflect your brand value and image. Equally you could come into our studio and get the videos professionally recorded and edited (with or without a presenter) to give that extra level of production value. This way would certainly alleviate the stress and time taken to do your own production and editing and provide the right video to complement and enhance your company’s brand values.

Length of the video

The quicker the video the better, but that can be said about any type of video promotion. That is not to say that you can not produce a long video. A video has to be the length to get across all the pertinent information that can answer the question correctly. So if that means a 20 minute video, so be it.

Vivid produced several health and beauty videos that went over 20 minutes, but because these are in-depth guides, the videos are extremely well received and have had well over 1.5 million views. As with any video, you have to ascertain what is the overall objective of the video and what information is needed to be displayed. This is obviously something that Vivid would help with.

There are so many positives to come out of this type of video promotion, we have even had our clients say that their competitors have pointed their customers to our clients (branded) videos. A potential customer has a question, make sure you business is the one to answer it.

Vivid can obviously help with every stage of this process. To find out more about video promotion, please view our video promotion and service page or why not speak to a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Germania 30th Anniversary Time-lapse Video

Germania’s 30th Anniversary time-lapse

Germania is a leading German airline, flying to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from it’s headquarters in Berlin. They were producing a bold new design for their 30th Anniversary. Germania wanted a video that was going to showcase this event for their ever expanding social media audience. Being time-lapse experts with one of our specialties lying in aircraft new livery videos, Germania approached Vivid to produce a video to mark this special occasion.

Production process

Painting the top of the Fuselage
Painting the top of the Fuselage – Time-lapse of Germania plane

Filming took place at Air Livery’s East Midland airport facility and production lasted 7 days. It was a relatively complex livery scheme, with duel contrasting green colours spanning the fuselage. We fixed our banker camera that would capture the whole process. At Vivid, we like to delve into the finer detail. We then had around 6-7 cameras running to capture the more intricate jobs and to provide greater depth to the production process. This was backed up with High Definition filming of key areas, that could not be time-lapsed due to the short duration of the particular task. In the editing process we stitched all the stills together and spliced the video footage into the final edit.

Time-lapse videos working in Social Media

Germania's Facebook page
Germania’s Facebook page

Germania have an extensive social media network with which they communicate their business messages on a daily basis. They really understand the power that video promotion can have on social media. They have been actively using the video to increase customer interaction. Their aim is to build brand awareness and converting likes and views from their social media channels to their main website.

It was a joy to work with the Germania team and to produce them a video that would be one of the main promotional tools to mark this special occasion.

If you would like to find out more about Vivid time-lapse offering, please click on the link and visit our time-lapse service page. To view more blogs please visit our time-lapse blog page. Alternatively please call a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Vivid’s new Website

Vivid’s new website has launched

Vivid Photo Visual's new Homepage

Vivid Photo Visual’s new Homepage, clean and clutter free

Well here we are, after 4 years of the previous website, it is time for a fresh new look for Vivid. Our previous website had served Vivid well over the years but with the changing style and function of our competitors’ websites, we felt that ours was starting to look a bit dated.

To the research cave

When we looked over our competitors’ websites we felt they were all basically the same scrolling parallax website with a slightly different colour/theme. We wanted something that would stand out from the crowd. When conducting our research it became very apparent that there were too many identikit websites. Avoiding this was going to be the defining basis for our website design and style.

The basis of this was a simple concept. Vivid know that we can compete, if not better our rivals on video content, client base, services offered and of course price. So if a customer was going to visit a series of websites we wanted ours to be remembered for the above parameters. We wanted our website to be distinguished by our branding and the website’s visual impact.

Too many cooks…

There were many good things about our previous website. The biggest problem with it was that it was becoming too cluttered, as we had tried to throw everything into the limited space. The website was becoming unwieldily and we wanted to move to a more simplified website. This still had to provide the pertinent information quickly. The approach we took with this was to look at the website design from a customers perspective. What information did they need to make an informed decision about our business offering? Take for example our previous homepage. It had a showreel, client testimonials, benefits section, large amounts of text split over two boxes and two menus pointing to the same information. If you look at our current homepage, it has an image which flows into a short 10 second trailer video (with no sound) that if the viewer chooses to click on will display the main showreel for the business. The customer might at this point choose to phone/email the Vivid team. If they require further information, they can navigate our simple menu to the right. On what we call the hero page (a main service offering like time-lapse video production page),  we had so much clutter that it hid the important messages about Vivid.

Hero Page Video Examples

This led to the following simplified page structure:

  1. Hero page showreel – Video
  2. Copy explaining service
  3. Benefits
  4. Video examples – Video
  5. Casestudy
  6. Link to the respective blog category.

This did leave Vivid with a problem. All the information that we had built up over the years on our previous website would be lost. We then thought up a way around this. Each YouTube based video would have a simple overlay that would allow the viewer to click from the video onto the respective blog title. This way would allow the viewer to watch the video and if more information was required, a short blog would provide greater dept to the project.

Vivid Photo Visual's new Blog
Vivid Photo Visual’s new Blog

Style Decisions

Due to our name and previous website, we could not go with a flat and uninspiring style. Our brand had to leap out at the viewer and this is where Creative Spinach came to help. They know Vivid well, having worked together on previous projects and by actually designing the previous iteration of the website. They did what they do best and set to work scouring their creative brains looking for a design that would stand out. The 3 c’s approach was demanded by Vivid (clean, colourful and clutter free) and this would have to be carried through to the final website.

Function of website

Vivid Photo Visual's new Client page
Vivid Photo Visual’s new Client page using Gifs

We wanted to make the website as interactive as possible and as we are a video production company, the use of video is key. We wanted to give the viewer a quick insight into our work for our clients, so we incorporated animated Gifs into a selection of the boxes. For example on our client page, instead of just having a flat client logo, the viewer can hover over the client logo to reveal an animated Gif and some basic information about the project.

One of the other drivers of the new website was the need for a functional mobile version. With website usage moving towards mobile platforms and Google’s search engine highlighting its importance, it was a key factor that pushed Vivid into this arena. We believe that our web designer has packed all the content and features of the desktop version into such a small space. We feel confident that users will navigate the condensed pages with ease.

It’s only words…

Vivid Photo Visual's new About Us page
Vivid Photo Visual’s new About Us page telling our story

With this vibrant new look, we needed a fresh new approach to the copy on the website. Falling back on our research of competitors and other website, we were dismayed by the boring paragraphs of text (that no one really reads) used in the copy and strived for something of a different vibe. Whilst we are a very professional company, we wanted a humorous take on the copy that would hopefully make the viewer smile but at the same time get over our core messages, quickly and effectively.

Final thoughts

Vivid are really happy with the final website and have already received some great feedback from clients and well wishers. You think that designing and building your website is a quick process and forget about how much goes into each stage. Therefore do not expect a new website for some time. Vivid would very much welcome any comments and feedback no matter how negative.

If you would like to find out more about our video production service, well I suppose, visit Vivid Photo Visual’s new website or contact a member of the Vivid team on  0161 477 2404.

Time-lapse Video Production

Time-lapse video: A unique and powerful solution

The time-lapse video, is one of the more technical services we offer. Time-lapse videos are a brilliant way of capturing the events happening over hours, days, weeks or even months! They create a truly unique type of video and is a great way to create a record of an event/process over a set and long period of time. Time-lapse video captures viewers attention and has provided our clients with an innovative promotional tool to demonstrate their products or services.

Liverpool Skyline - Building Photography - Time-lapse Video - Vivid Photo Visual
Liverpool Skyline – Building Photography – Time-lapse Video – Vivid Photo Visual

 Time-Lapse Video Production

With Time-lapse videos, processes that would normally be very subtle can come alive using this process. Equally if you have a process that takes a long time to complete, a standard video might be considered a dull way to show this process. Utilising this technique can make almost anything seem graceful and interesting. It can actually show the whole process in its entirety rather than the snippets captured using more traditional filming techniques. It is also a great way to highlight important business messages that have large scale parameters.

Time-lapse traditionally is a continuous process with a fixed camera, which obviously has its place. Vivid on the other hand, where possible, prefer to use multiple camera angles. This has the added advantage of allowing the camera point to move to different sections of the process at key times. Often within a given process there are certain sub-sections that can happen very quickly. Fixed camera set-ups programmed at longer time intervals may miss these. Where applicable, Vivid will also film HD footage of these sections and speed them up in the edit, to give the same look and feel to the rest of the time-lapse.

We have used the time-lapse technique for many different scenarios, including; aircraft repaints, construction, demolition, event build-ups, nature documentaries and street scenes for both company and agency footage.

Benefits of Time-lapse Video

  • Innovative promotional video
  • Captures a long process and condenses into a short video
  • Great audience response
  • Great audience social share.

Don’t just take Vivid’s word, visit the Matador network for their take on time-lapse video production.

Below is an example of what Vivid Photo Visual did for Four Seasons.

If you would like to find out more about our time-lapse video service, please visit out time-lapse video production page or to view more blogs go to our time-lapse video blog. Please call 0161 477 2404 to discuss any questions or ideas with a member of the Vivid team.

Product Video

Product Video – The lowdown

Increase sales with a product video

A product video is an absolute necessity for any business wanting to showcase their products/services and increase sales conversion. Fundamentally it quickly provides a greater understanding of the product or service for any potential customer. As all businesses want to increase their sales conversions rates, there is no better promotional method than via a product video.

Video Improves Sales Conversation Rates

Crazyegg state that people are more than 85% more likely to purchase a product/service having watched a video. Which business owner would not want that sort of sales boost. Give your website the right tools to sell your products and services.

Sunjunkie Pigs product video
Sunjunkie Pigs product video

Sales Team

By utilising product videos, you will be equipping your sales team with the right tools to promote your your product. When they go to present, do you not think it would be better to have a tool that can visually showcase the product and its benefits? Imagine you have a very large product that is too impractical to present to the customer in their hands. Use a video and you can have in their hands on an tablet or even directly to their phone.

Cost Benefits

Every business owner has a budget that they can spend on promotion. Marketers are put off by their perceived cost of video production and promotion. Lets start with the production aspect of the videos. It is fair to say that viewers want a better produced video, but that is only one aspect of what a viewer wants. They want their question answered quickly. As long as the message is correct and delivered appropriately. There is no reason that a person just holding the product and talking through each aspect of them is not effective. Having said that you have to think about how you are treating your brand and you want to match the production levels to compliment your brand message. Check out this handsome * video production company to get the right answers. * Disclaimer – beauty is in the eye of the beholder or their mother. Regarding the video promotional aspect, there are so many on and off-line promotional channels, where a video can be placed (majority of the time with no cost). It literally opens up a world or possibilities to any business owner or marketer. Please view below to see a selection of a product video capabilities.

Your-Video_test3_V2

Sharing your product video with the world

The video can be uploaded to YouTube and other relevant video channels to make sure that is can be seen in as many promotional channels as possible. This will also aid and boost your overall Search Engine Optimisation strategy. If you do not have a YouTube account, we can create your own branded YouTube channel to accommodate all your video content.

Long-term exposure for your product

The amazing aspect about product videos, is that like the product demonstration videos, once the video has been created it will last as long as the product itself. Unlike adverting in a magazine, where you have to keep paying every time you want to advertise, you have one fee to be paid and that is it. The video will run and run 24 hours a day everyday of the year for as long as required.

Text can be added to showcase product specifications
Text can be added to showcase product specifications

SEO Optimised Web Video Production

Vivid can assist to make sure that all the videos are labelled and tagged correctly, ensuring that you are showing up in all of the searches relevant to your product. Google is now listing videos in their search results. So it is more important than ever to have an online product video presence to make sure that you stay ahead of competitors in the search listings. You are 20 times more likely to shown on the first page when you have a video than when you have not.

If you would like any ore information, please visit our product video production page or to read more blog, please visit our product video blog page or our video promotion page. We always welcome a chat, so to speak to a member of the Vivid team call 0161 477 2404.

Presenter Video Production & Promotion

Presenter Videos: Get your message across

Presenter videos provide your company with a face and can also convey pertinent information in a quick and effective manner. This is imperative in today’s buyers’ search behaviour where the average website has only 8 seconds to keep potential customers interested. It’s a great way of creating a video presence on your website and on sites such as YouTube.

Boots Presenter Video
Boots Presenter Video

The benefits of a presenter video

There are many businesses that would benefit from using a studio presenter video, from simply having a presenter introduce your business to providing step-by-step guides to get your potential customer quickly to where they they need to be to make a purchase decision.

Who presents the video? You decide. As the face of your business you may choose to present it yourself, or maybe a key member of your team might be a natural in front of the camera. On the other hand you may want to leave it to a professional and have one of our many presenters, present for you. You know your business and it’s messages better than anyone and feel this approach the best solution to delivering the message, or you may feel that a professional presenter will be able provide the best delivery of the message. There is no right or wrong answer and at Vivid we will help you make the correct decision.

Cost effective price

Because of their relative simplicity, a studio presenter video would suit any marketing budget. Filmed in front of a green screen if required and then seamlessly placed on any page of your website, a web presenter can guide potential clients through your website, ensuring that they are getting the most out of each visit. As a web presenter video is usually shot in front of a green screen. This means that we can replace the background with anything you like. It might be decided that the website itself is the background, or alternatively a animation or video could be added suited to the company’s brand.

Client Example

Vivid produced an extensive range of presenter videos for our key client, thinkmoney. With these videos, the customer is helped through every stage of the process,. They always have a reference to view to make sure they are on the right track. As you can see below every potential question a customer might have is answered in this quick and too the point informative video series.

Present videos on the thinkmoney site
A small sample of presenter videos on the thinkmoney site

As you can see they include the videos series alongside their help/support and contact numbers option, showing the importance they place on the presenter videos. Any video used will of course reduce the cost of help and support being contacted.

Showing the importance of videos for their customers assistance
Showing the importance of videos for their customers assistance

This is a perfect example of a business leveraging presenter video to not only help their customers but to reduce the cost of the help and support team. For a more in-depth guide to this please view our thinkmoney presenter blog on this subject.

What can Vivid do for you?

What Vivid Photo Visual provide:

  • Comprehensive consultation of your business, ascertaining the key business/promotional objectives of video
  • Script writing/Filming/Editing/Output
  • Bespoke graphics/animation/additional filming that complement your company’s message
  • Promotional strategy to get the most exposure for the video.

Our Manchester Studio

We film in our fully equipped and green screen enabled video studio based near Manchester. This allows for tailored animated graphics to be added if required to your final video at the post-production stage. We’ll incorporate your provided company logo and even a call to action, so potential clients will know exactly what to do next.

As with all our Videos, if required Vivid on your behalf will upload your video through multiple on-line channels. This will help gain maximum exposure, increasing your SEO and therefore driving more traffic to your website.

If you would like more information about our presenter video service, please view our presenter video production page or to find more blogs to view please our presenter video blog page or our video promotion blog page. Of course, you can speak to a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404 to discuss any questions or ideas you may have.

Corporate Video

Corporate Video

Does your website deliver your company’s key message quickly and effectively? Do you struggle to keep people on your website, let alone convert sales? If so, you should consider utilising the promotional power of a corporate web videos. Put yourself in the shoes of the potential customers visiting your website. They come to your homepage or product page and you have few static images and a bit of text. Is this enough to persuade them to part with their money? I think we all know the answer. Visually showcasing your business is far more interesting to watch than to read, which is therefore more likely to keep the customers attention and the video/s can be utilised across numerous promotional platforms. A video can convey key business messages, visually showcases your business/products/services all within a couple of minutes. The fundamental objective of every video that Vivid produce, is to display the important company information as quickly and effectively as possible. Once your video has been made, there is a massive opportunity to leverage the single video across both online and off-line promotional platforms.

Talk Talk Event Video Production
Main arena

Where corporate videos can be used

A small selection on where web videos can be used:

  • Website (homepage/product page etc)
  • YouTube and other video hosting sites
  • Social media platforms – no better way to get your customers attention
  • Directories
  • Trade-shows
  • Mobile – sent directly to a customers phone
  • Core part of your email campaigns.

Please see on the Gif below to get a very quick understanding of some of the promotional possibilities.

Your-Video_test3_V2
Gif the promotional possibilities of the corporate videos

 The growth of web video

Video is already driving over 70% of web traffic today, in turn it accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic. Imagine that for a second, you have a single screen that the viewer is locked into. If you can create a compelling video, then you have complete access to the viewer’s buyer behaviour in their hands. YouTube alone used more bandwidth in 2007 than the whole of the Internet in 2000. That figure is only increasing. Let’s be honest, there is a lot of low quality video content out there. Anyone can produce a web video these days with the vast array of technology available. There is nothing wrong with producing your video in-house and it does not have to be expensive as long as the video message is the right message. Having said that, it is imperative that you produce a video that fits in with your brands core values. Will this cheap video harm your brand? At Vivid, we will alway produce a quality video for your promotional campaign that fits into your budget.

Video promotion and SEO

There are many SEO individuals and organisations that claim “we will get you on the first page”. We are not saying that having a video is a quick fix result to bump your website from page four to page one overnight. What Vivid is saying is that using web videos can be an important element of your overall SEO strategy. Here are some facts… Having a video is over 50 times more likely to get your website on the first page of search engines against text alone (Forrester). Google, the dominant search engine, saw the rise of video as integral to the Internet’s development, by purchasing YouTube in 2006 and also by incorporating video search options within the search parameters. YouTube is now the second biggest search behind…you guessed it…. Google. Final fact… Video promotion is now an essential aspect of any company’s Search Engine Optimisation strategy says video production experts.

Coop

The purpose of a corporate video

At Vivid, we strongly believe that there is no point producing a video unless the objectives are considered, this normally is based on a business or promotional aspect. Corporate videos are a window on your world. They perfectly show your company in a way that pictures and text alone simply cannot do. It is a way of gaining your potential customer’s trust and kick starting the sales process. Within under 2 minutes a video can quickly and clearly explain who you are, what you do and why the viewer should use your business.  They generally contain key business facts including your unique selling points, interviews with key members of staff, as well as shots of your working environment to give viewers an insight into your working world. They can explain complex operations simply and effectively. This concept can be expanded further. Lets say Vivid produced one video for the company. This could then be split up into a series of the smaller videos. On your home page you would have a short advert style video to give a quick general guide to the business, then each function of your business (sales/distribution/manufacturing etc) could have a short video on their respective pages with the overall longer video sitting on the about us page or to be used at presentations at corporate meetings.

The benefits of corporate videos

To summarise, the main benefits of corporate video productions are:

  • A professional visual representation of your company
  • 24/7 sales platform
  • The viewer has a greater understanding of your business, therefore an increase in sales
  • Can be split into different sections to accompany different pages of your website
  • Video testimonials are a powerful promotion tool
  • Can be used across multiple promotional channels
  • Provides your company with an online video presence
  • Can be used in online directories
  • Can provide a catalyst for your marketing strategy.

If there is anything that you would like to discuss corporate video production please visit our corporate video page or to read more of our blogs, please click on our corporate video blogs or our video promotion blogs, please contact a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Reference for Video statistics used.

Music Video Benefits

Music Video Benefits – The lowdown

The music video is more powerful than ever

Since the 1950’s music videos have been part of the music scene. Michael Jackson gave more credence to music videos and used them as a powerful promotional tool for the actual music itself. Since the rise of YouTube in 2006/2007, aspiring artists now have a medium to be found and some of the biggest stars of the modern age were found just on the basis of their YouTube and MySpace online presence.

Why not get your band noticed by providing your sound with an original and innovative music video. Step up to the next level with Vivid, a professional music video production company. What would a record company rather see, a band with a great sound or a band with a great sound and look? It is not just for bands or artists but any live act wanting to book more shows or show agents/musicals what they can do.

We bring experience and imagination to every project

We love nothing more than a good music video to get our teeth into. Drawing on our many years of video production experience, we have the creativity and the technical know how to produce your video from concept to completion. We can combine storylines, live action filming and highly advanced animation to allow any creative ideas to be visualised on the screen and to be seen by your fans. Let Vivid show you what we can do….

The Vault Music video feat Raphaella
The Vault Music video feat Raphaella

Get yourself noticed

As everyone and their dog know, to get exposure within the music world, you have to have the right sound (although that is not always the case) and the right image. This is where Vivid come in, Vivid can provide the concept/storyboard, the filming and the editing for any type of music video. We also have the expertise to instruct any band how to get the right exposure for their video and how to integrate it into their overall promotional strategy.

Cost

To get a music video produced does not have to be expensive. People wrongly think that to get a music video produced has to cost the earth. We have produced videos from simple band led performances to fully fleshed out storylines. Why not have a chat and I am sure we can fit into your budget.

Benefits of a Music video

  • Professional music video production elevates bands position
  • Captures your live performance
  • Be as creative as you want
  • Can be used across numerous promotional platforms
  • Can be sent directly to fans, agency and promoters

Why not found out more about Vivid’s music video production page or to view more blogs go to our music blogs page. Vivid would very much welcome a chat over the phone (0161 477 2404) or face to face so give Vivid a call on 0161 477 2404.

Product Demonstration Videos – The Lowdown

Product Demonstration Videos – The Lowdown

Vivid might be a bit biased, but we believe that there is no better way to demonstrate your products benefits and features than by using a product demonstration video. We have used this example before but imagine you are going to buy a new hedge trimmer. You go onto website A and they have a few product images and a technical spec. On website B, they have a video that quickly demonstrates all the features of the product and the actual product in action showing how easy it is to use, storage, start up etc. With the price/delivery being the same, what website would you buy from? I think we all know the answer. Now imagine that website B has a series of videos that explains numerous aspects of the video or has actual customer video reviews. This will further confirm your buying decision is correct as you have pre/post purchase guides/help should you require them. Website B owners are using videos in the perfect way, providing a comprehensive reference point for their product and in turn answering questions that might pop up and hinder the buying process if not answered.

Sunjunkie How to apply a spray tan, full length shot
Sunjunkie How to apply a spray tan, full length shot

Demonstrate Key Features

Rather than telling people about your products, it is much better to show them in the form of a well-polished video that will:

  • Show your product in the best possible light
  • Demonstrate the key features
  • Increase the customers understanding of the product
  • Lead to a greater level of sales conversions.

Communicate the features and benefits of your product

Filmed in your products natural environment or at Vivid’s Stockport studio, our Product Demonstration video production service will perfectly illustrate all the benefits and features of your unique product. Below is a breakdown of a few of the more pertinent benefits.

Product placement – numbers add up

The product demonstration video will sit perfectly on your website’s sales platform (your product page for example) and will provide the perfect sales tool. Kissmetrics state that having an accompanying product video will increase sales conversion by 64-86%. Potential customers who who have watched a video are twice more likely to stay on the website than those who don’t see a video. But what about customers who have not visited your website. Well there is the small but expanding website called YouTube, watch out for this one it is going to be big, Vivid predict. Using a video hosting site like YouTube (there are a multitude of other ones) allows potential customers to be pulled towards your website. From just the simple concept of customers seeing your video and finding your website to actually being allowed to link out of the video directly to the sales page.  Having a video uploaded to YouTube can help clients get the most out of their purchases by producing professional videos to show the new customer how to get the best out of their recently purchased product or services. This will continue the sales process even when you are asleep and at no extra cost. Also YouTube is not the only video platform, for no additional cost, you can have you video on 10 other video sites, all pushing customers back to your website.

247365

Product Demonstration videos can serve as an online infomercial – the perfect extended sales pitch. This sales tool does not finish at 5pm but is 24 hours everyday of the year. Not only will the video showcase your product, it will also position you as an expert in your field and therefore gain the trust of anyone watching, helping convert their interest to sales. Once created your video will have the longevity to last as long as your product does.

Close-up of G-Meter+ by Turnkey Instruments
Close-up of G-Meter+ by Turnkey Instruments

Worldwide coverage

There are no geographical boundaries to video promotion. We have numerous clients come to us trying to sell their products to the world but struggle. The answer is simple, produce one video and then either subtitle or provide a new voiceover for any countries/languages you are selling into. Simple. This will remove the cost and time taken to visit the countries and provide an unified understanding of the product no matter where the customers are.

Polti Youtube Channel showing different languages used
Polti Youtube Channel showing different languages used

You can simply email the link to a potential client or agency anywhere in the world and they will get the full personal demonstration right there in front of them, wherever they are. With the advent of smart phones and tablets this means that they could be watching it anywhere, from a cafe in Cairo to a restaurant in Rio…It is that flexible…

BiSn Bulk Head 3D animation
BiSn Bulk Head 3D animation

Promotional Flexibility

Like all video types, product demonstration videos has the benefit of a high level of flexibility when it comes to promoting your product/service. There are so many online and off platforms that the video can be placed onto (for little to mostly no money) to the point where it can be sent directly to a potential customers phone screen. Are you channelling the power of YouTube? YouTube is just one aspect of the whole spectrum of video promotion. Don’t just take vivid’s word for it there a multitude of articles all extolling the benefits of video promotion like this one from WP Gurus or this great article from 

Your-Video_test3_V2

We are here to help, if you would like to view our product demonstration production page or read more of Vivid’s blog about product demonstrations please click on the link. Alternatively, please call a member of the Vivid team to discuss any questions or ideas in greater depth on 0161 477 2404.

 

Sunjunkie “Pigs” Product Video

Sunjunkie “Pigs” Product Video

Sunjunkie is the Designer, Manufacturer and Developer of the high profile Sunjunkie brand of spray tanning solutions, equipment and retail range. They supply both the commercial and domestic spray tan industries. They wanted to showcase their coloured ‘Pigs’ spray tan machines and wanted to use a product video to show their customers the range on offer. Due to their product/brand and the market they aiming for, they required a sophisticated and quick video. This would be used to demonstrate the aesthetics of the product and the differing range of colours.

 

Sunjunkie Pigs product video
Sunjunkie Pigs various colours

Sunjunkie have an exclusive brand image and they wanted a new, glamorous and fun look at their Spray Pig HVLP range. They needed the video to be used on their website, at trade-shows and to accompany the product at point of sale. Sunjunkie have really embraced video within their marketing strategy to their benefit and this is just one of a series of videos.

We understand the power of a brand

To create the cool and glamorous look to the video, we went for a black background to emphasis the shape of the ‘pig’. With the spray tan machine being a shiny curved object, it would prove to be a very difficult object to film. This was because you could see the reflections of the whole room including the camcorder and the cameramen. This is a problem that would not deter the Vivid team and using our construction skills, built a fully closed off black enclosure that incorporated a complex lighting system.

The videos were more of a brand ‘mood’ video to promote the product but, more importantly the overall brand. They were purposely filmed to be a visual hook to entice people at a trade show or online. They concentrated less on the product functions and capabilities.

The benefits for Sunjunkie

  • Created stylish imagery for the product launch
  • Thousands of views for their product
  • More interactive website
  • Can be used at tradeshows
  • Versatile promotional tool
  • Show the full range of Pigs
  • Showed the material used and finish of the product.

Don’t just take our word on the benefits of product videos, visit Kissmetrics blog for a 2nd opinion.

We have a long-term working relationship with Sunjunkie and have worked on numerous video commissions for them. If you would like to find out more, please visit our product video production page or access more product video blogs. We more than welcome a call to a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Turnkey Instruments Product Video

Turnkey Instruments Product Video

Turnkey Instruments are a leading manufacturer and supplier of technical measuring instruments to the UK and the world. As part of a series of videos, Vivid produced a company profile, product demonstration videos and an accompanying product video. You my ask why produce a series of product demonstration and product videos, the answer is a product demonstration video shows the practical use (demonstration) of the product in its environment and a product video is considered more a fact sheet to show what the product is used for.

Showcasing products and driving web traffic

The videos would show the different instruments against a clinical background. Each video is used to demonstrate the dimension and scale of the product. It also quickly shows quality and finish of the unit and at the end a bulleted graphical overview highlighted the key features of each of the instruments. A call to action would be at the end to direct the viewer to the website.

Turnkey Instruments' Dustmate
Turnkey Instruments’ Dustmate

The whole range was covered and it provided a different style of video to the product demonstration videos, which had a more specific function. One of the purposes of these videos is to provide a greater online presence. If a potential buyer is on the second biggest search engine (YouTube) is searching for particular instrument, then Turnkey can capture that potential customer and pull them over to their website. Turnkey will have a sales channel complementing their other sales channels/website and at no extra cost.

Close up details of Turnkey Instruments' Dustmate
Close up details of Turnkey Instruments’ Dustmate

The benefits of the product videos for Turnkey:

  • Increased understanding of product
  • Greater online presence
  • Numerous areas to catch prospective customers
  • Videos can be viewed anywhere in the world
  • Aids and complements SEO strategy
  • Numerous promotional channels
  • Flexibility for both online and off promotional opportunities
  • Showed Turnkey’s expertise.
Text can be added to showcase product specifications
Text can be added to showcase product specifications

Vivid enjoyed working with the Turnkey Instruments team and helping shape their promotional campaign. The videos are still being used today and have helped their customers understanding of Turnkey’s products. If you would like to find out more about our product video service, please visit out product video page or view more blogs on product videos. You can of course contact a member of the Vivid team if you have question or ideas on 0161 477 2404.

Thinkmoney Animation video

Thinkmoney Animation Video

Thinkmoney is a leading personal account specialist based near Manchester. They offer managed bank accounts for their customers.

Think video – Marketing better managed

Animation videos have become a key part of most video marketers promotional plan. They allow a freedom to express a core message in a way that can not be done using traditional filming techniques. With animated videos, you have no restrictions, you are free to storyboard anything. Aside from actually telling the core message, there is the ability with animation to tell this story in a fun and informative way.

Objective

Thinkmoney were very keen to have a enjoyable and explanatory video that would quickly explain the unique account that they offer. We deducted that best way to achieve their objectives, was to use an animation video that would complement their brand guidelines and their new website.

thinkmoney animation
thinkmoney animation

Solution

It was great to work with a client like thinkmoney, as they have a really great understanding of their brand and the message they want to send out to their clients. Working very closely with their designers and marketing team, and using their newly created icons for their newly launched website revamp, we focussed on their updated brand image and we formulated a cohesive message to the proposed vision. This would be tied together with a cool morphing animation that flowed between the icons. It was important that we got the key messages over in the video but at the same time provided the viewer with a visually appealing video to capture their concentration.

thinkmoney jar
thinkmoney jar

Important element to their website

The video was used at the top of the accounts page on their website. It is one of the starting points for any new customer to understand the account. Thinkmoney have used the video on other promotional platforms as well as their website, including advertising on YouTube.

thinkmoney personal account
thinkmoney personal account

What thinkmoney received

The Benefits of this Animation Video:

  • Delivers key business messages.
  • Engaging for new and existing clients.
  • Great looking video with an innovative art style.
  • Can be used on many different promotional platforms
  • 1,000s of views and counting.
thinkmoney bank animation
thinkmoney bank animation

If you would like to look at how thinkmoney use presenter videos to aid customer’s navigation and understanding of services, please click on this blog about presenter videos.

Vivid are really happy with how the video has turned out and this is testament to the thinkmoney team. If you would like to find out more about our animated videos please go to our main animation website page or for other animation based blogs click here. Alternatively contact a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

BiSN Animation Video

BiSN Animation Video

BiSN are leading independent consultants to the upstream oil and gas industries. BiSN developed the Wel-lok M2M Bridge Plug to counter issues arising from using traditional bridge plugs. They needed a video to clearly demonstrate the drills abilities, an animation video was only way because even though some of the Vivid team had their Padi diving licence, none of us fancied deep sea diving in the North Sea.

Technical Animation Video

BiSN approached Vivid, having worked with us before, to produce an animated video that would clearly explain the complicated procedure, rather than the sales team having to constantly explain over and over. The objective of the video was so that the viewer could watch the short video and have a complete understanding of its purpose and its operation, this was key to the videos success.

BiSn Bulk Head 3D animation
BiSN Bulk Head 3D animation

Demonstrated products USPs through Animation

The basis of the video was to explain a complex tool and procedure easily and quickly to any potential customer. The first part of the project and the most important was the viewer understanding how the plug worked. We visited the BiSN headquarters and filmed an overview of the Bridge Plug. This 20 minute video was invaluable aid in making the sure the project was a success. It formed the basis for the project and made sure the Vivid team could see what each part did, how it fitted together and even the type of textures and materials it was made of.

3 Parts of the BiSN plug
3 Parts of the BiSN plug

We then collated what materials and assets were available, from design blue prints to simple items like PowerPoint’s. From this we could work out what we had at disposal and what needed to be modelled from scratch.

Working with the client we produced a suitable script that whilst was concise, it still allowed the whole plug to be explained in detail. The Vivid team then went to work and started to create all the necessary elements required for the final video. We produced a draft version, which was approved by the client so we could then go and provide the extra polish to bring up the production values of the animated.

Close up of the BiSN bulk head screw
Close up of the BiSN bulk head screw

The video starts with explaining each element of the drill and then moves into showing the features and benefits of the drill. The drill is placed in it’s natural environment to give the viewer a greater understanding the drill and it’s actual application.

Benefits of animation videos

The benefits to the client are:

  • Quickly explains tool and operation
  • Provides a informative style to the brand
  • Works off and online
  • Deliver key messages in an engaging and efficient manner
  • Timeless look and feel of video
  • The lifespan of video is the same as product.

It was great to work with the BiSN team and Vivid produced a practical promotional animation video that from feedback from the client, has proven a massive success for BiSN. If you would like to find out more about Vivid’s animation service, please visit our animation video production page or read more of our animation video blogs. You can of course call a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404 to discuss any ideas you may have.

Animation Video Production

Animation Video Production

Animation videos are an amazing way to bring your business message to your customers. They open up a world of potential that is simply not possible with any other type of video technique. The possibilities for Animation video production are endless, really the only limitation being your imagination. Showcase a product from any angle, under any light and against any background. Provide a video that people are going to not only watch but share to the world. Give personality to your brand by adding character or a novel aspect to the video.

Showcase Your Product From The Inside

One of the other main advantages of using 3D Animation in your video, is that products with complex internal mechanisms can be broken down and shown in a way that a real product video couldn’t. Product videos are a great way to get your product benefits across, but sometimes it not possible to show this using traditional techniques. Take for example our video for BiSN, we can not go under water to view the drill in action and something as innovative as this product can be difficult to explain to people. For BiSN we produced an animation video that broke down all the elements of the product and then showed how it exactly worked in it’s environment. You can not do this any other way then by animated videos.

 

Now instead of having to explain the product, BiSN just take the video to their prospective clients and show them or point the customiser to the video on their website. Any one enquiring about product and comes across their YouTube channel or website will be directed to the product page where the video sits. Increase their understanding of something and it becomes a softer sell.

Showing BiSN video on their product page - Animated Video
Showing BiSN video on their product page.

Sometimes you can film the product in question, but you want that extra element of gloss to increase production value and at the same time add the ability to view the product from any angle. This is where 3D animation comes into it own. 3D animation can show the product from any angle, stripping back the layers of the product to reveal different aspects that are not apparent on normal video.

Showcase your service

We have demonstrated the benefits of Animation videos for practical product videos, but they are as effective when you want to show your business or service. Using the right visual hooks can entice a customer to explore more about your business. They do this by adding personality to the brand through characters used or by a fun story or visual clue. as mentioned animation is unlimited so you can move from scene to scene with ease. For reference please look at our video we did for Rezoomothey are an online recruitment company helping people find jobs.

Vivid produced a video that clearly demonstrates the service, its benefits to the viewer in a fun and informative way. Whilst it is not impossible to do this using film, it is much more impactful and cheaper to do this with an animated video.

Animation Video Benefits

There are so may benefits of either creating a full animation video, or incorporating a section of animation for specific aspects of your film. Below is a selection of the benefits:

  • Unlimited creative possibilities
  • Showcase your product in any situation
  • Bring your technical CAD designs to life
  • Provided a unique video to draw people to our website
  • Products can be viewed from any angle
  • Internal mechanisms of an item can be demonstrated
  • High quality animation adds impact to your video

Let’s discuss your animation ideas

There are so many aspects to animation, we are more than happy to discuss any ideas you may have. We can liaise with you design agency and incorporate your existing CAD drawings to help model the graphics or we can 3D model them from scratch, as you can see Vivid are more than just an animated video production company.

If you would like some more information, please visit our animation production page or view some of our blogs on our animation video blog page. Alternatively call Vivid on 0161 477 2404 to speak to a member of the Vivid team.

Solar Choice Corporate Video

Solar Choice Corporate video

Solar Choice are a leading supplier of solar panels to both the domestic and commercial markets. Vivid had previously produced a video for their domestic market installation service and now they needed a corporate video for their biggest project in their history. After the success of last video that we had produced for Solar Choice, they commissioned Vivid to produce a series of videos based around their biggest project at the The Yearsley Group’s Head Office. The project was part of a £3.5m investment into solar panels by the Yearsley group and this section of the overall project would be the largest installation of solar panels in the UK.

Choose Web Videos

One of the main benefits of video promotion is the flexibility of producing content from one job. From the one commission we produced a case study video, a “how to” video, individual interview and testimonial videos and of course a company promotional video.

Solar Choice Corporate Video
Solar Choice laying the bars

Case Study Video Overview

Solar Choice are experts within their chosen field have an enormous amount of passion for their service and their customers. Vivid’s objective was to capture this on video. Working in conjunction with their marketing team, Vivid decided that the video should be more about the practical application of their service, rather than any visual graphical hooks. At the end of the day a well-shot video is just that and because of this approach it has a timeless feel to it.

Solar Choice Corporate Video
Solar Panels

The video not only showed the scale of the project, the installation process, the size of the teams working and their attention to detail. Interviews with key members of staff detailed the project in great depth so that current and potential clients could get a real understanding of Solar Choice’s capabilities and how they operated. This was not only from a production aspect, but also explored many other functions like customer service, for example. To make the video really stand out we incorporated time-lapse elements into the film to produce some stunning sequences of the clouds rolling over the site. Yearsley also provided key interviews for Solar Choice which provided a powerful client testimonial of the whole project.

Solar Choice Corporate Video
Solar Choice team at work

The benefits to the client

  • Showed them as experts
  • Provided an in-depth understanding of the project
  • Well shot video of their biggest project
  • Complements their branding
  • Really demonstrates their capabilities
  • Created powerful client testimonials
  • Works on many promotional platforms.

The client was really happy with all the videos that we produced and are still using them years after completion, which Vivid feel is testament to both Vivid’s and Solar Choice’s dedication to using video promotion. It was great to work with Solar Choice and provide a key promotional tool. If you would like to find out more about our corporate video service, please visit our our corporate video production page or to view more blogs about the subject, please click here to visit our corporate video blog page. You can of course speak directly to a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Jahan Indian Restaurant Presenter Video

Indian food cooked with passion and served with flair

The Jahan Group is a North West based company producing the best Indian cuisine in Liverpool, Lymm, Warrington and the surrounding areas. Jahan wanted a  presenter video that could be used on their website and also as a promotional tool through various other on and off-line channels.

Jahan Restaurant
Jahan Restaurant

Vivid visited all their restaurants to capture a variety of footage to be used in the final edit. Instead of the more traditional voice over it was decided that we would use a presenter to give a face to the video. A call to action was created that complimented their website to positioned at the end of the video.

Presenter videos enhances your company image

The key element in any video promotion is the quality and feel of the footage. In fact it’s fair to say inferior quality video actually drives customers away, as their perception is that the products offered are of a similar quality. Vivid excels, in producing films that are of the highest production values, therefore adding value to your brand. The Jahan restaurant offers exceptional service, family friendly surroundings and fine cuisine, and the video we produced needed to capture all these elements.

Jahan Restaurant presenter
Jahan Restaurant presenter

Working with the client, we produced a script that encapsulated all aspects of this thriving business. We spent a few days filming different occasions at a number of the restaurants and then filmed the presenter to tie in all elements of the video.

Jahan now have a video that really show off the quality of food and service that they offer to all their customers and at the same showcasing the restaurants themselves. We produced two edits of the video so that they could be used in different capacities.

Jahan Restaurant waitress
Jahan Restaurant waitress

Benefits of presenter video for Jahan Restaurants

The benefits of the presenter video to the client:

  • High quality promotional video
  • Showcase the quality and feel of the restaurants
  • Presenter gives a personal feel to the video
  • Once produced it can be uploaded to many promotional channels
Jahan Restaurant fire artist
Jahan Restaurant fire artist

Jahan is a fine series of Indian restaurants and it was a joy to work with their team. Vivid feel that the ethos and the high standards of the restaurant were really captured in the series of videos we produced.

If you would like to find out more about our presenter video production, please visit our website’s presenter video page. We have produced a number of blogs on the subject, so please click on our presenter video blog page for more stories. You can call a member of the Vivid team anytime to discuss your ideas or questions in more detail on 0161 477 2404.

Talk Talk Corporate Event Video

Talk Talk Corporate Event Video

Juice Live Communications is of the UK’s leading event management companies. Talk Talk is one of the largest providers of communications and media in the UK.

Talk Talk were taking over Event City in Manchester to showcase their company’s services including the exciting new service “YouView” to their staff. The corporate videos would show the setting up stage running through to show the event in full flow.

Talk Talk Event Video Production
Talk Talk event video main arena

Working closely with the client we formulated a filming schedule that would allow for all aspects of the process to be captured. Filming took 6 Days from the initial production process and the actual 1-day of the event. Due to the numerous disciplines involved (filming/Time-lapse) the days were long, but the filming crew captured every aspect, even interviewing numerous of the key members of staff. Due to this being a clearly defined process we had to make sure that we liaised with the management team so that we completed the production schedule to their specification.

Talk Talk Event Video Screen opening
Talk Talk Event Video

Our Solution

Vivid’s solution was to provide a series of videos that could be used within different promotional channels. As well as producing a time-lapse video of the whole process, Vivid produced 2 corporate videos, a quick promotional video and finally a longer video that delved into the event in more detail. Vivid Photo Visual thinks that this type of the event, in terms of scale and also from a visual aspect, have allowed Vivid to really go to town on the filming aspect of production and produce a stunning commercial video.

Talk Talk Event Video Production Cameraman
Talk Talk Event Video Production Cameraman

Benefits of Corporate Video

Benefits to the client

  • High quality video showcasing; the company, their capabilities and their working process
  • Comprehensive visual approach to their website
  • Improved Search Engine Optimisation
  • Numerous Promotional tool
  • An online presence
  • Great for Trade shows.
Talk Talk Event Video Production Cameraman Johnny Vaughan
Talk Talk Event Video Production Cameraman Johnny Vaughan

It was great to work with such prestigious days and we are really happy to have produced a great series of corporate event videos that are still being used for promotion.

If you would like to find out more about our video production service, please view our corporate video page or for more blogs, please visit our corporate video blogs. You can of course,call a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Air Livery Corporate Video

Air Livery Corporate Video

Air Livery is an aircraft refinishing company with extensive experience in aircraft repainting, interior repair and refurbishment. They wanted to show customers the stages that an aircraft goes through during a full repaint process. Vivid recommended producing a company profile video incorporating a Time-lapse video of a 10-day paint spray process. This was because of the ability of a time-lapse to capture long and complex processes and to provide a more interesting video. Vivid produced a video that incorporated graphics and high quality filming showing the facility and the different stages of production.

Air Livery Corporate Video
Air Livery Corporate Video

Planning is Key

Working closely with the client, Vivid spent a long time in the planning and preparation stage, as this was a continuous one-time shoot and we did not want to miss anything important. Once we had both the storyboard and script finalised, our filming plan was created which showed Vivid and our client where and what we would be filming. As this was a defined process we had to make sure that we liaised with the management team so that we completed the production schedule.

Air Livery Corporate Video
Air Livery paint team at work

Versatile Video Production

Vivid produced two separate videos for Air Livery, which could be if needed, combined into one video. The Company profile video showed the benefits of using Air Livery’s facilities and included general information about the company. A step-by-step guide was also produced demonstrating how Air Livery re-sprays a plane to show the care and attention they provide to each client.

The benefits for Air Livery

High quality video showcasing:

  • The company
  • The facilities
  • The process
Air Livery Corporate Video - Man spraying aircraft
Air Livery spraying a Boeing 757

Additional benefits of their video;

  • Leverage YouTube
  • Improved Search Engine Optimisation
  • Promotional tool to be used in numerous promotional platforms
  • An online presence
  • Great for Trade-shows and client presentations.

We have now forged a very strong working relationship with Air Livery and they are a great company to work with. They truly get the power of video promotion and have made it a key component of their website promotion.

If you would like to find out more about our corporate video service, please click on our corporate video production page or if you would like to read more corporate blogs visit our corporate video blog page. You can of course pick up the phone and speak directly to a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

New College Manchester Corporate Video

New College Manchester – Corporate Video

New College Manchester is one of the leading language Colleges that specialise in teaching English to overseas students. They knew that they needed a corporate video to get their message over to any oversea students interested in learning English.

A study into your business

They wanted to demonstrate their capabilities/services and knew that video promotion was the best way to do this. Having discussed the project with the client, Vivid ascertained that it was just as important to sell the college as much as it was important to sell the City it was based in. They had seen our successful Beautiful and Miniature Manchester videos on YouTube and they wanted to use this as a basis for their video.

Happy students at NCM
Happy students at NCM

Mixing footage and graphics

There were several elements to the College that were extremely important to get across in the video. These were:

  • Courses
  • Manchester City Centre Living
  • College building
  • College services
  • Social & community aspects
  • Accommodation provision
Piccadilly Gardens near New College Mancheter
Piccadilly Gardens near New College Mancheter

On top of that it was imperative that the video worked within the strong brand identity of NCM. Working on a few concepts, Vivid came to the conclusion to implement the square design that ran though all their branding. We constructed a 12 by 12 grid and populated some of the squares with the coloured square designs and the other empty squares would be used as place markers to run the videos that we had produced for NCM. Each square would have its own section/function and this would run on a elongated loop, so that when the animation pulled out of the current video and then moved from one square to another, the grid would be a hive of activity with several video streams working at once. Due to the number of high definition videos running in the background, this is like the proverbial swan, looking serene on the surface, but thrashing below the water.

Students receive their certificates at New College Manchester
Students receive their certificates at New College Manchester

The benefits to the client

  • Lively and educational video
  • Highlighted each important element of the College
  • Gave viewers an understanding of the College and the services provided
  • Complemented the brand
  • Long lifespan.
New College Manchester montage screen
New College Manchester montage screen

Vivid are delighted with how the video turned out for our client and feel we have produced a dynamic and interesting video. It was a joy to work with such an important institution like NCM and we believe that we got the right blend between informative and visually interesting. They have a really good grasp on the importance of video promotion and this can be shown on the New College Manchester YouTube channel.

If you would like to find out more about our corporate video production, please visit our corporate video production page. If you would like to view more blogs about our corporate videos, please view our corporate video blog posts. Alternatively contact a member of the video team to discuss any ideas or question you may have on 0161 477 24o4,

Turnkey’s Product Demonstration Videos

Turnkey Product Demonstration Video

Turnkey Instruments Ltd is a leading designer and manufacturer of quality industrial and scientific instrumentation, ranging from heavy vehicle brake testers to air quality monitoring equipment.

Simplifying the sales process

Turnkey has a large product range consisting of various scientific instruments. They knew that their instruments were easy to use but needed to deliver this message to a wide audience. Turnkey wanted to save themselves a lot of time and effort by creating videos to help explain their product range as opposed to long-winded explanations to each and every potential client. They also wanted to stand out from their competitors by hosting a company profile video on their website and on YouTube. They recognised the fact that YouTube has become one of the major driving forces on the Internet and they wanted to capitalise on this by having searchable content on there.

Turnkey g-meter + product demo
Turnkey g-meter+ product demo

Showcasing a full product range

The main objective of the videos was to demonstrate how easy each instrument is to use and what results their clients can expect to receive. The other purpose was to run through the simple steps needed on each instrument, to provide a reading for their respective measurement. After consultation with the client, Vivid decided to create a Turnkey branded and keyworded YouTube channel with the Turnkey product range demonstrated for the entire world to see. This was followed by a call to action drawing customers to their website.

G-Meter+ by Turnkey Instruments
G-Meter+ by Turnkey Instruments

The process involved filming the entire range within their natural environment, showcasing a step-by-step guide to each instruments usage. Turnkey has a range of instruments that service completely different industries. The challenge was to make sure each instrument was filmed in its natural environment to provide a realistic setting for the instrument and to differentiate from their standard product videos.

Close-up of G-Meter+ by Turnkey Instruments
Close-up of G-Meter+ by Turnkey Instruments

The benefits for Turnkey

The benefits of the Turnkey Product Demonstration videos are:

  • The whole world can easily see the product range via both Turnkey’s website and YouTube channel.
  • Greater customer understanding of the products
  • Great to showcase your products at a tradeshow
  • Turnkey’s whole range covered by individual product demonstration videos
  • Giving their sales team the tools to sell
  • Versatile video to be used in numerous promotional functions
  • A sales tool 24/7 for the life of the product

Turnkey was a great client to work for and Vivd and Turnkey were very happy with how the videos turned out. If you would like to find out more about product demonstration videos, please visit our product video demonstration page on our website or to read more blogs please click here to view our product demonstration blog page. Alternatively if you require more information, why not speak to member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

Virgin Atlantic Time-lapse video

Big Brand Time-Lapse

Virgin Atlantic Airways is a British airline owned by Sir Richard Branson, serving the global community from its inception in the early 1980s. It is part of the Virgin brand group and is one of the leading airlines in the world.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 repaint
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 repaint

VAA Brand Re-launch

Virgin came to Vivid after the work they had seen us complete with Air Livery. They were impressed with the time-lapse style part of their company profile video. As part of a new livery launch for the Virgin brand they wanted to show the world their new look and airplane colouring.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 repaint
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 engine strip

15 days condensed into 4 minutes

Virgin wanted to showcase their new livery for their planes and having seen our work for Air Livery commissioned Vivid to produce a 3-minute Time-lapse video. It was important that we got the whole process and made it look interesting (not normally associated with paint) as this was going to kick off their whole global press launch.

We used multiple camera angles that resulted in over 70,000 frames and spliced with additional High Definition filming, meant that Vivid bought the 15-day process to life. It provided Virgin, with an extremely successful YouTube video and has gone on to have over a million views. It was also used as key component of their launch event for the ‘Mustang Sally’ livery and was shown on national news channels here and overseas in their other major markets.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 fin repaint
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 fin repaint

Working for such a prestigious brand on such an important video commission was a major plus to Vivid and showed us that our previous clients still liked us. The only thing we did not like about the jobs was the heights we had to film from, but to be fair we got used to it.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 engine repaint
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 engine repaint

The benefits for Virgin Atlantic Airways

Benefits of the Virgin time-lapse video:

  • Provided a centre-piece for the launch party
  • Can easily show a long process quickly, effectively and more importantly in an interesting manner
  • Dynamic Visual experience
  • Creative output
  • Provides a unique promotional experience
  • Can be utilised in many different promotional channels

For reference here is a link to the whole time-lapse story from Virgin on their website.

It was a privilege to work with such a prestigious brand and create such a powerful promotional time-lapse for their key launch. If you would like to find out more about time-lapse videos or time-lapse video production please click on the links provided or call a member of the team on 0161 477 2404 to find out more.

Sunjunkie – How to apply a spray tan

Our videos boost your brand

Sunjunkie is a designer, manufacturer and developer of the high profile Sunjunkie brand of spray tanning solutions, equipment and retail range. They supply to the commercial and domestic spray tan industries.

Sunjunkie How to apply a spray tan, full length shot
Sunjunkie How to apply a spray tan, full length shot

SunJunkie needed a way to show their customers the correct way to use their spray station. The most obvious way to do this, was with a product demonstration video. There are numerous spray tan application videos online, but 99% of them are of a very poor quality. Some of these poor quality videos were linked with reputable suppliers and Sunjunkie/Vivid felt that this had a negative impact on their brand. Sunjunkie wanted to produce a video that complemented and aided their comprehensive branding strategy that was already in place.

Sunjunkie Spray Gun close-up
Sunjunkie Spray Gun close-up

Our methodology

Working closely with Sunjunkie, our objective was to produce a video that clearly demonstrated a step-by-step guide to the spray tan process. The video would breakdown each element of the process and provide expert guidance to the viewer to give them a complete guide. At the same time, it was important to show subtle branding, to reinforce the promotional aspects of the video.

The best Spray Tan video on the web?

In the short time since the Sunjunkie spray-tan video has been online, it has had over 350,000 views, that’s potentially 350,000 new customers being exposed to the Sunjunkie brand. Some of those viewers will be interested in how to apply a spray tan, others will want to buy spray tan products, and know where they can buy these products.

Front of the body being sprayed
Front of the body being sprayed

The key benefits for Sunjunkie

  • 350,000 view of their core products
  • Complemented their branding
  • Delivered on the core objectives
  • Used to great success at trade-shows
  • Versatile video to be used on numerous promotional platforms
Back of legs being spray tanned
Back of legs being spray tanned

As mentioned previously, these types of video are a great way to interact with potential customers and to reinforce your company’s message to existing customers. With the viewers ability to share and comment, it has allowed Sunjunkie to interact with their customer base in ways that were not possible before.

Sunjunkie  have really embraced video promotion and have continued to add videos to their website. They have now, through their bank of videos had in excess of 400,000 views. Each view is a potential new customer.

If you would like to find out more about product demonstration videos then please visit our product demonstration page or call a member of the team on 0161 477 2404.

The “Vault” interpretative dance music video ft Raphaella with love

 

Interpretive Dance Music Video

We have been getting all creative here at Vivid. As part of our recent “Fun with Flour” shoot we decided we wanted to get Raphaella in for some additional images. With Raphaella being a trained dancer and having worked with her previously, we knew she would be perfect for the shoot. What turned up was an interpretive dance music video, a first for Vivid.

Shooting at our studio

As we had some additional time, our Graham wanted to take some extra shots around the studio. Our studio is quite a unique place and has some historic listed rooms and interesting features like a spiral staircase going up to the top office.  With the building being a bank in its past life, its main feature is the bank safe or in this instance the titled vault. We grabbed one of cameras and decided to do some filming.

Model posing in Wood panelled Room
Posing in the Wood Panelled room

Preparation is key

Lets just say the preparation for the shoot was limited and best described as organic. This was not the usual high standards of preparation that Vivid Photo Visual apply to our commercial clients. We will admit that the ‘story’ came out… ahem… in the edit.

The Ballerina - Raphaella
The Ballerina – Raphaella

The edit

However we did have some ideas beforehand and were working towards a darker and seductive edge to the video. This was undermined by our Graham playing ‘Karma Chameleon’ by Culture Club to set the mood for the video. Not sure Raphaella knew what to do. The music was quickly changed to fit the mood a bit better and Raphaella did what she does so well. The basic premise of the film was to film Raphaella over the differing locations of the Studio but to also link it to the Vault.

Model holding safe door key

In the edit we liked the contrast between the Vault and the interpretive dancing sections and to emphasise this we used the simple black and white effect to provide this contrast. The very simple story is a woman trapped in the Vault who yearns and daydreams that she is free but ultimately has to return to the reality of the Vault. Yes… some pretty deep stuff in comparison to the more vibrant and fun videos that Vivid normally produce.

Raphaella creating beautiful body lines.
Raphaella creating beautiful body lines.

Final thoughts on our Interpretive dance music Video

As always it was a joy to work with Raphaella and I am sure we will be working with her again soon. We would love to hear what you think of the video and if you like the video or blog, please feel free to share.

If you would like to find out more about our more normal commercial video production, please visit our video production page. Alternatively call Vivid on 0161 477 2404 and speak to a member of the Vivid team.

 

Fun with Flour – Dance Photography shoot – In-depth guide

For quite some time I’d wanted to have a go at a flour photography shoot involving dancers. I’m obviously not the first photographer to come up with the idea but if something seems fun and creative then it makes me want to have a go.

High speed flash flour photography
Kirsty, Keith and Fern synchronised flour throwing.

Preparation for a shoot like this would be key. I wanted to shoot in our studio so that I would have full control over the environment and lighting but knew this would be a very messy shoot to clean up. I also wanted to shoot against a black background but this needed to be wide enough and tall enough to allow the dancers to jump and throw the flour without it clearing the background. We tried to work out which would be the most cost effective and simplest way to turn our white Infinity Cove to black. In the end we thought we’d cover the Cove in Lastolite Black background paper. It took 3 rolls so it still wasn’t a cheap exercise but we still believe this was quicker and cheaper than painting it black and then back to white.

Dancer Keith Garlick interacting with flour.
Dancer Keith Garlick interacting with flour.

I photographed a dancer called Kirsty Clare a couple of months ago and we’d briefly chatted about the idea of the flour shoot, which she seemed really keen to do. As the shoot was getting nearer she mentioned that two of her fellow dancers would love to get involved, one being her boyfriend Keith Garlick, who I’d also previously photographed and the other was a fellow dancer, Fern Maia.

So I had the dancers sorted, the black studio and 10 bags of sieved flour. I just needed to decide how I was going to light it all.

Dancer Fern Maia tuck jumps covered in flour
Dancer Fern Maia tuck jumps covered in flour

Initially I was going to light the shoot using Bowens Gemini 500’s but at the last minute swapped to shoot using a pair of Yongnuo YN-560 IV’s fired by their YN-560TX trigger. The reason for this change was due to the flash duration. I figured that the Yongnuo’s set at a low power would have a shorter flash duration than the Bowens heads, I think I read somewhere that the Bowens had a duration of 1/900th sec and the Yongnuo’s as fast as 1/20,000th sec so stopping the flour mid air would be better using the speedlights.

Lighting diagram for our flour dancer photography shoot
Lighting diagram for our flour dancer photography shoot

I kept the lighting as simple as possibly, there’s no point having more light than required. So 2 speed lights fitted on stands one fitted with a Bowens S type adapter. The one with the adapter had a  Bowens standard 55 degree reflector, the other was bare tube. I wanted to backlight the flour to separate it from the background so had the flash with reflector behind the dancers. The key light was level with the dancers. You can see roughly from the lighting diagram above. I had 2 large 8ft x 4ft black poly boards flagging off the light to prevent lens flare/light spill.

Glen's main job - sieving flour onto Kirsty - Flour Photography Shoot
Glen’s main job – sieving flour onto Kirsty

So with all the preparations sorted, the afternoon of the shoot arrived, now the fun would really begin. When Kirsty, Keith and Fern arrived we had a quick sit down to discuss the best approach for the shoot. We’d start with a bit of flour and then add more if required. It’s worth saying that as well as being skilled dancers they were a good laugh and well up for getting messy.  Before shooting with the flour each pose or jump would be demonstrated so I could get an ideas of where the flour would go and what shape the dancer would make. From this I would have a composition in mind, prefocus on where I thought the pinnacle of the move would be and whether to shoot from the ground or up ladders.

Keith decided to go first, the music was pumping and off we went.

You’ll have to forgive my lack of dance movement naming but I believe the move below is a Pike Jump. I love the shape formed by both Keith and flour, it almost looks like gun. As with a lot of the final images I had intended to add colour to the flour in Post Production to add further visual impact. I call the shot below ‘Rainbow Warrior’.

I like to call this one 'Rainbow Warrior' - Keith Garlick - Flour Photography Shoot
I like to call this one ‘Rainbow Warrior’ – Keith Garlick

As mentioned earlier I had the flashguns set at 1/64th power which gives a very short flash duration, this really froze the dancers and the flour. I shot using a Canon 6D & 24-70mm f2.8 L lens. To get the exposure I needed (I didn’t want to have to shoot wide open) I had to up the ISO to 640 but on a 6D this is fine. Fastest flash sync via the controller was 1/160th sec. So exposure was 1/160th f7.1 ISO 640. Just for those interested 🙂

Purple Pike Jump - Keith Garlick - Flour Photography Shoot
Purple Pike Jump – Keith Garlick

All 3 dancers were very versatile so I knew we could experiment with different jumps and poses, singularly and also see how things looked in pairs or all together. So it was then just a case of flouring them up and taking the photo. Unlike outdoor photography where you can set the camera to shoot at multiple frames per second, in the studio due to flash recharging time you’ve one chance at each jump, so timing is key.

Fern flicking back her hair - Flour Photography Shoot
Fern flicking back her hair

One of the problems of a flour photography shoot, is obviously the mess. The perfect approach would have been to clear the flour from the floor after every shot, in reality as this was a fun project this would have both killed the atmosphere and added hours to the shoot. To compensate for the messy flour I decided to add a ‘floor’ in post-production and by blending this in Photoshop you can still see the flour on the black floor but it blends with the floor boards and adds a bit of grunge. Personally I think it works as a work round for not having a clean floor.

Colour added to Kirsty's hair - Flour Photography Shoot
Colour added to Kirsty’s hair.

The hair flick photographs worked really well but for me it was the jumps that I wanted to capture as I knew they would be more difficult to time correctly and hopefully would be the most impactful.

So to finish off with here are 2 of my favourite ‘jump’ photographs from the session. First one of Fern pulling off a great jump.

Fern pulls off a great jump - Flour Photography Shoot
Fern pulls off a great jump

Final image I think is my personal favourite, I love Kirsty’s pose, the rim lighting has worked well through the flour and I added some colour.

Great jump from Kirsty - Flour Photography Shoot
Great jump from dancer Kirsty Clare

Flour Photography Shoot Thanks

A final thank you to everyone involved in this project, the whole flour photography shoot was fun from start to finish.

The dancers – Kirsty Clare, Fern Maia and Keith Garlick were a joy to work with and not only did they make great models to capture, they helped with coming up with new ideas for different poses to get the best pictures.

What a day in the studio for the whole Vivid team, not only did we capture the images that we wanted, we also shot a video which gone on to have 1000s of views. If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography service, then please visit our photography page or to read some photography based blogs, please click on the link to visit our photography blogs. Please feel free to call the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

 

 

How to lose a stone in a week menu

Lose a stone in a week menu

As part of our lose a stone in a week video and blog series, we thought it might be useful to include the actual diet we are referring to. This is not a diet that you can just quickly pick up. You have to first work out if the diet is suitable for you body and age. From here it is wise to plan ahead for you week long diet, in terms of shopping and preparation. This diet is not for everyone and might not be suitable for your body or state of mind. If you feel it might not be suitable for you, it is important that you consult with a medical practitioner. You have to stick to the diet. There is no point jumping in and out of the diet. The diet is meant to be done in one go over one week.

Here as promised is a handy, printable PDF menu for the Lose a Stone in a Week diet. Just click on the link below to download the PDF.

Lose a stone in a week MENU

As well as the actual food you’ll consume on the diet, we have included a few hints and tips that will hopefully help you to get through the week.

If you just need a quick look then below is an image of the menu, this maybe easier to view on a tablet device than the PDF?

How to lose a stone in a week muni
How to lose a stone in a week menu

If you have landed on this page and would like to read the full article and watch the accompanying video please checkout our losing a stone in a week experience. Good luck and please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. If you find this menu or the accompanying article useful, please share with others.

Giving a gift this Christmas? How about a smile….

Every Christmas the Vivid team produce a Christmas video and usually it is about how great we are. This Christmas we wanted to move away from the Vivid line and produce a video with an important message.

Each year, there are over 170,000 children born with a cleft lip or palette and the majority of these can not afford the surgery.

There are so many charities out there, please find a selection below.

Now we are not stating that no one gives any gifts this year (hears collective sigh of relief from children across the globe) but how about just giving a small donation to a worthwhile charity. As people we have all these fancy items that “enrich” our lives but imagine the benefit to a persons life that a small donation can make. It doesn’t have to be a large donation but whatever you can spare, so instead of buying that novelty dancing man that begrudgingly sits on the shelf and is then discarded, how about making a child smile instead. This video reflects on a child with a cleft lip but is intended to be about all charity in general.

The video was shot in our studio and was drawn by the talented artist Antonio Subirats. Using the time-lapse technique allows Vivid to show a long process quickly and produces an interesting visual for the video.

So give what you can and make Christmas a better time for everyone. Peace….

It’s another Condor moment

Condor, Thomas Cook and Sunny Heart Time-lapse

Variety of our Video Production

One of the great aspects of being a video production company is that we have a wide variety of commissions coming our way. As readers of our blogs may know, we produce time-lapse videos for the Airline industries. We were contacted by the German airline Condor Flugdienst, they wanted Vivid to capture one of their Boeing 757’s being treated to their new livery. We had previously worked with Condor, producing a time-lapse when they had a retro-livery applied to one of their planes, it looked very cool.

A still image taken from a time-lapse video produced by Vivid Photo Visual for Condor Airlines. Showcasing their new Sunny Hearts livery.
Condor Airlines Boeing 757 with their new Sunny Hearts livery.

Sunny Heart

The new livery, which would feature the ‘Sunny Hearts’ logo on the fin was to be completed by Air Livery at their Norwich facility over a period of 12 days. Vivid have worked with Air Livery numerous times and it’s always good to work on projects where you are made to feel welcome. We shared our production office with Mel, the airlines engineer, who was great fun as well as filling us in with some technical aspects of the aircraft, which was really informative.

Condor Airlines stencil being applied to the fuselage on one of their Boeing 757's.
Condor lettering stencils being applied.

We used a series of DSLR’s as well as XDCAM for the project. This meant we could cover multiple angles and create a time-lapse that wasn’t you typical ‘one camera locked off’ video. The total frames for the project was in excess of 60,000 and over 300gb, huge considering the final edit was 90 seconds in length.

To get the elevated angle for the 757 we liaised with Air Livery and the scaffolding team to have a custom platform erected as high as possible to the front left side of the aircraft. This would give us an ideal angle for the wide angle shot, as well as a vantage point for other sections of the process.

Condor Airlines 757 being repainted with their new Sunny Hearts livery. Time-lapse video produced by Vivid Photo Visual
View of the Condor 757 from the elevated platform.

Other cameras were moved, clamped and positioned according to the stage of the project. This hands-on approach means no important stage is missed.

For the painting of the ‘Sunny Hearts’ on the fin, which is the new logo of the Thomas Cook brand they flew in an artist, Sascha to hand spray the logo. Most logos on aircraft fins are vinyl decals, by hand paining the ‘Sunny Hearts’ I suppose gives each one a sense of individuality.

Sunny Hearts logo being hand sprayed on the fin of a Condor Airlines Boeing 757.
Sasha hand sprays the Sunny Hearts logo on the fin.

It’s always amazing to see something the size of a plane, at close quarters, stripped down and re-sprayed.

We hope you like watching the video. If you want to see a few more aircraft time-lapse video, please check out the Vivid Photo Visual time-lapse page.

Are you channelling the power of YouTube?

I thought I’d write a short blog on how all companies can channel the power of video promotion. Companies who embrace video promotion and work in conjunction with sites like YouTube, can increase their online profile. This short blog relates to providing videos to help your customers answer their questions.

The power of YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Therefore, having video content online is an extremely important aspect of your SEO strategy. Obviously having a company profile video or product videos showcasing your products is a massive benefit to you and your customers. This is an essential aspect of video promotion and I hope you have these already. What I would like to discuss is how to create a series of videos that may be directly or indirectly related to your services. These videos offer a solution to a customers’ questions and helps them in their purchasing journey.

Vivid Photo Visual YouTube Channel - Video Production Manchester
Vivid Photo Visual’s YouTube Channel

The answer videos are an invaluable tool to helping your customers. Imagine if your customer is on your product/service page. Providing a comprehensive series of videos is invaluable tool to moving them closer to making a purchasing decision.

Now imagine if a potential customer has made an enquiry. You could then email them directly with links to a series of videos that explain the product and service and importantly answer any questions. Think of the cost of this interaction. Apart from the cost of the commission, the cost of a personal/automated email send is minimal. The potential customer will understand the product better and be more confident in their purchase. Don’t forget how easy it is for this customer to then forward on the links to video.

Benefits of Video Promotion

These videos have the following benefits:

  1. Showcase your company’s products and services
  2. Differentiate from your competitors and position your company as a source of information and knowledge
  3. Build your brands presence
  4. Has enormous social media leverage
  5. Works well with SEO campaigns
  6. Normally quick and inexpensive to produce and can be produced in-house. Please bear in mind the better the production values the better the response and that you have to not undermine your brand image and values.

Video Content

So what should be the videos subject matter? I always think ‘How To…’ videos are a great starting point. Use your knowledge to give handy tips to the viewers. You might be a company that manufactures carpets, so a short video on how to prevent furniture leaving indentations on a carpet would be helpful to a wide audience of people. A recruitment firm could have a short series of videos on interview tips and techniques. A quick brainstorming session will come up with a suitable selection of useful videos. Put yourselves in the customer/viewers mind and try to work out what they would like to see.

Video Bait

Sometimes referred to as ‘video bait’ are videos would sit on your YouTube channel, that can be indirectly linked to your product or service. They do not have to answer a question but they provide suitable content that will interest the viewer. The main reason to do this type of video is to make viewers aware of who you are and what you do.

Video Example – All Eyes on You

We have recently produced a series of ‘How To…’ videos in conjunction with All Eyes On You, a local beauty salon. So far this short simple series has had in excess of 2 million views, this has clearly boosted our YouTube channel as well as building the client base for the salon. The videos show a step-by-step guide to various beauty and health techniques and proved to an invaluable visual tool for the masses of beauty technicians, their customers and general public. As a result, Vivid have have had hundreds of  thousands of views and thousands of subscribers.

Summary

In conclusion, aside from answer based videos, the main purpose of direct or indirect linked videos is to get people watching. This will add to your channel’s views, have links to follow in the descriptions, brand logo awareness and will help to build significant traffic to your main website. It is all about positioning your company and brand as informative market leaders, providing your customers with the right information to explore more about your company’s products and services.

If you would like any advice on any aspect of this topic, please give us a call on 0161 477 2404. If you would like to find out more about Vivid, please click on our video production page.

Southport Airshow 2014 – A stormy Saturday

Southport Air Show

As a child I have great memories of going to local air shows but it must be 25 years since I last went to one. My Granddad worked his whole life at BAE Woodford and whenever they had an airshow we would go and watch the displays. So I was very excited to hear about the upcoming Southport Air show.

Merlin HM2 Helicopter entertains the crowds.
Merlin HM2 Helicopter entertains the crowds.

He worked with many aircraft during his time there but the two that always stuck in my mind were the Lancaster and the Vulcan. The former because it was such an iconic plane during WWII and he had many stories from during that time, the later from seeing it in production myself on visits to Woodford.

So when I read that there would be fly-bys by the last 2 flying Lancaster Bombers and the last flying Vulcan I thought it’d make for a great family day out.

BAC Jet Provost T5
BAC Jet Provost T5

The air show ran over the weekend but the Vulcan was only due to appear on the Saturday so this was the day we went. The weather forecast wasn’t great, dull and overcast with a chance of rain…typically British!

Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb - BE505
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb – BE505

With the weather being awful, the sort of conditions that usually I wouldn’t bother  to take photos I knew the images would be a record of the aircraft rather than perfect photographs but I was happy just to be there.

North American P-51D Mustang
North American P-51D Mustang

I used my usual wildlife set-up so a Canon 7D and 400mm 2.8 IS and for most aircraft this was perfect but with the lack of flexibility I couldn’t get all the Red Arrows in frame. I think a good all round lens for an air show would be something like a 100-400mm zoom, to allow some versatility in framing. Having said this on a dull overcast day I was happy to have my prime lens for both the extra light it gathers and the superior focussing under these conditions.

Red Arrows at Southport air show 2014
Red Arrows at Southport 2014

I hadn’t seen a Red Arrows display for over 20 years and when I saw them approaching over the horizon I must admit it sent a tingle down my spine, childhood memories came flooding back. It was great to hear the running commentary from Red 10, Sq Leader Mike Ling he really gives an insight as to what the pilots are thinking, seeing and doing, it added an extra dimension to the display. Pity there were no blue skies but that’s photography for you.

Red Arrows smoke and crossovers
Red Arrows smoke and crossovers

When they did their closest fly past with my 400mm a single aircraft was almost filling the viewfinder, it made for real challenge to keep it fully in the frame at the speeds they were doing.

Red Arrow XX244 makes a close fly past.
Red Arrow XX244 makes a close fly past.

After seeing the Red Arrows display I didn’t think things could get must better but then came the warning over the PA system to prepare the children for the arrival of a loud aircraft. To our left through the murky air there was a small dot… ‘Typhoon’ one of the kids near me said with an excited smile. Within seconds it was no longer a dot but an eardrum bursting fighter jet, the sound was awesome! I looked at my 6 year old with his mouth wide open and hands over his ears but with an overall look on his face that simply said ‘Wow’.

 Flt Lt Noel Rees in a RAF Typhoon
Flt Lt Noel Rees in a RAF Typhoon

It was incredible to watch Flt Lt Noel Rees as he manoeuvred the £70m fighter as if it was a toy. This aircraft is capable of speeds in excess of 1500mph and as it banked round breaking the sound barrier, it’s a sound that just has to be witnessed. He was then able to hold the nose in the air and fly past at such a slow speed it almost looked stationary.

 Flt Lt Noel Rees bank round in an RAF Typhoon
Flt Lt Noel Rees bank round in an RAF Typhoon

As for two reasons that we went, the Vulcan and the 2 Lancaster Bombers, unfortunately the weather across the country meant that the Vulcan was unable to leave it’s base at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster which was a massive shame. Fortunately the Lancaster’s were already airborne and on their way, the weather by this point was terrible to say the least, very poor visibility and and hard rain. Still the sound of 8 Rolls-Royce Merlin engines breaking through the driving rain soon lifted the spirits. As for the photography well you can only work with what you’ve got so I decided on an edit that would compensate for the lack of light and also fit with the age of the aircraft.

The two remaining airworthy Lancaster Bombers
The two remaining airworthy Lancaster Bombers

These are the last two airworthy Lancaster’s, one of which is the Canadian Mynarski Memorial Lancaster, affectionately know as ‘Vera’ after her VRA registration. The second one is PA474 from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and to see them both in the air at the same time is something that I’ll always remember.

The whole day at the Southport air show was thoroughly enjoyable and I’d recommend it for any family or photographer. We’ll definitely be going again next year, fingers crossed for better weather and I hope to see some of you there.

If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography service please click on our commercial photography page or to find more fun blogs, please click on our fun blog page. Please call our Vivid team on 0161 477 2404.

A Product Video Retrospective – Sunjunkie Spray Tanning Demonstration Video

Product Videos – Essential

Product videos should be considered an essential component of any marketing mix. It has been a number of years since we produced the video. This certainly doesn’t mean that the video isn’t still an important part of Sunjunkie’s promotion. This highlights the longevity of the product video that we produced. We are always analysing our client’s videos and as of writing, the video count currently sits at over 350,000 views. This has provided a prolonged promotional tool for Sunjunkie.

Presenter holding Sunjunkie branded exfoliating wipes for spray tan application
Presenter holding Sunjunkie branded exfoliating wipes for spray tan application

Benefits of Product Videos

The key benefits of this video to Sunjunkie are:

  1. Provides an expert view for their clients
  2. Over 250,000 sets of eyes watching them
  3. Enhances brand image
  4. Showcases products in action
  5. Is a massive step up from similar videos out there from their competitors
  6. Excellent video to share/embed
  7. Long-term promotional tool
  8. Works both on-line and off.
The 'on' switch with the Sunjunkie logo.
The ‘on’ switch with the Sunjunkie logo.

Commission Background

Lets rewind a few years. Sunjunkie is a leading manufacturer and supplier of spray-tan products to the UK and European market. More importantly, to Vivid, a long-term client of ours.

Having had already commissioned Vivid to produce videos and photography for their products for their online promotional strategy. With the new video, Sunjunkie wanted something that showed their products in action. At the same time they also showed an expert/authoritative view of their business. Sunjunkie are extremely keen to help their salons get the best out of the products. With this in mind Vivid working closely with their Marketing team, we came up with the concept of a spray-tan demonstration. Sunjunkie had seen quite a few already on YouTube, but many were of a poor quality in terms of production values. They wanted a video that complemented their brand values, promoted the brand and products. More importantly needed to give actual assistance to their customers. This would hopefully at the same time convert potential customers to the brand.

Image of spray tan application taken from Vivid Photo Visual's product demonstration video for Sunjunkie
Image of spray tan application taken from Vivid Photo Visual’s product demonstration video for Sunjunkie

Comparing against Rivals

Vivid wanted to elevate the production values of the video. We wanted to differentiate from the usual American in shower set-up. Vivid proposed that the video would be shot against a white background in our studio. This would allow for a clean and clinical look. We hired two models; one of them was a fully trained beautician, which certainly helped in the practicality of the shoot. Sunjunkie provided the majority of the direction on the script, with Vivid offering assistance.

What was produced was a concise overview of the whole process. The video looked the part and gave the viewer a valuable insight into equipment and techniques used. This would be the catalyst for correctly finished spray tans. This would then cement Sunjunkie as a leading expert in within the fake tan industry.

Client’s thoughts

Marie Hills, the Business Development Manger for Sunjunkie had the following to say… “The video Vivid produced has and still is proving a huge success for us. Being in the beauty industry, training and demonstrations are so much simpler using the video. It also breaks through any language barrier for our international clients as the video pretty much explains the technique in a nut shell! I must add that the team at Vivid are a joy to work with always going that extra mile and producing great results without any fuss.”

The reveal shot...
The reveal shot…

Summary

In summary, this type of product video has had numerous benefits to Sunjunkie and we are really pleased to see the success it has achieved. It goes to show that a simple video that does not cost the earth can produce such excellent and on-going exposure for the company.

If you would like to find out more about our product demonstration video service please click on our product video demonstration page.

Big eyes, Catwoman and a touch of Madonna – Studio Photography

One of the good things with Social Media is it enables you to keep in touch with people that you may find difficult through more traditional means. So when I came to my next studio photography session, I took to FaceBook and easily found a perfect subject.

A high contrast B&W image of Lex
A high contrast B&W image of Leigh

I had a great friend, Rachel, who sadly passed away. Rach was herself a very creative photographer and through her I met some of her friends, some of whom I’m still in contact with. One of these is Leigh who I knew Rach had photographed and I thought it would be great if we could arrange a shoot together, thankfully she agreed that it was a great idea.

I’ve always thought Leigh has a look of a young Madonna, from back in the late 80’s when she was photographed by the legendary Herb Ritts. So shooting something in Black & White and along those lines was the way I approached the shoot, high contrast and lots of eye contact.

Back to the 80's
Back to the 80’s

I wanted to keep the lighting as simple as possible so all of the shots we did used a single light on Leigh. The image above had additional lighting just to light the high-key background.  I used a variety of modifiers on the lights to control the look and feel of the light.

Below is one of my favourite images from the shoot as I love the eye contact and expression on Leigh’s face,  it makes you want to gaze back into her eyes.

Gaze into my eyes.
Gaze into my eyes.

As well as the end result I find it’s great to photograph friends as it’s always the perfect way to have a laugh and a good catch-up. I hadn’t seen Leigh for a couple of years so it was fab chatting about life in general.

Leigh does have really good skin and she’s also great at applying her make-up so I didn’t have to do much in post production, just a bit of tidying up using the frequency separation method.

Soft skin and hard shadows.
Soft skin and hard shadows.

As you may know the Vivid Photo Visual studio has a couple of Grade II listed areas to the building. One of these is the wood panelled board room or as we call it the ‘Scooby-Doo’ room, as it looks as though there maybe a secret doorway hiding within it. By using a small stripbox fitted to one light which I feathered away from Leigh I was able to  create some great shadows on the panels.

Lex in the boardroom.
Leigh in the boardroom.

As previously mentioned Leigh has the most fabulous eyes and for the last 2 shots I really wanted to make them a feature of the image. For the first image I used a Canon 100mm Macro lens to get in close and focus on the eye. This is probably my favourite image from the shoot.

Leigh gave me the following Albert Einstein quote that I think fits the photo perfectly, “Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart”.

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart. - Einstein
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart. – Einstein

Lastly is a shot that to be honest I didn’t think would work. I initially tried it with a beauty dish but the light wasn’t hard enough to produce the shadow that was required.  I then shot it with a Canon speedlight fitted with a honeycomb grid to give a very narrow beam of light, first shot and it made me smile, I knew it would work with a bit of careful placement of the hands.

I call it ‘Catwoman’

'Catwoman'
‘Catwoman’

I hope you like some of these images, I’m really happy with how they came out. I’d like to thank Leigh for modelling and we’re already planning her next trip to Stockport, featuring some amazing make-up…watch this space.

If you would like to find out more about what we do, please click on this link to Vivid’s homepage.

 

Lights, Camera, Action – Flash Dance Photography Shoot

Dance Photography Shoot

I received a call off a couple of my photography mates to see if I fancied photographing two local dancers. The photography shoot was organised by Millwood Photographic Studios in Stalybridge. I’ve never photographed dancers before so thought it seemed like a fun thing to try.

Keith and Kirsty

The two dancers were Keith and Kirsty, who were fantastic so I thought I’d show a few shots from the night. I got to work with Keith first and I had a few ideas to try with the lighting. The first was a 4 light set-up, key light stripbox on Keith’s torso with a gridded fill pointed at his back. Then 2 gelled lights against the wall, a red and a blue.

4 Light Set-Up to capture Keith mid jump.
4 Light Set-Up to capture Keith mid jump.

To be honest I’d gone into the shoot with purely Black & White edits in mind but I do like the colours on the wall. I increased the colours a little in post.

Next is an image that fitted what I’d planned. Simply lit with one light. It was placed close to Keith to allow for a quick fall off of light, therefore adding contrast.

Keith lit by one light
Keith lit by one light

Millwood Studio

Millwood Studio is a great studio offering a variety of areas to shoot in. Keith was shot upstairs on the wooden floor with the old stone wall of the barn as the background. There are lots of props around for other shoots, piano’s, fireplaces and even an old apple cart. Downstairs it has a large infinity cove. It was downstairs that I took a few photographs of Kirsty.  The only problem with coves and a white room is the difficulty in reducing light bouncing round everywhere.

So I went again for a very simple one light set-up fitted with a snoot. Kirsty had her pointe shoes with her, so we thought it would be good to use them. Due to her having a well deserved rest over the summer, she wasn’t at full flexibility. Not that you could tell. We tried to keep the poses a little more controlled. I thought that this way I could create a pocket of light that would compliment the simplicity of the poses and create a shadow behind on the wall.

Female dancer lit with one light
Kirsty Clare on pointe

Sticking with the same lighting but moving it round so it’s a little more front on and slightly further away from Kirsty created the following shot.

Dancer wearing pointe shoes against a wall
Kirsty en pointe against the wall.

Isle of Man

Having just returned from a holiday to the Isle of Man, this next pose from Kirsty, which was just a bit of fun reminds me of the Three Legs of Man. Again I paid attention to the shadow angle on the background. Blue toned in post and I added a circular vignette to give the appearance of a Manx coin.

The Three Legs of Man....or woman
The Three Legs of Man….or woman

After spending a little time shooting with Kirsty, it was time to take a few photos of Kirsty and Keith together. Again this was a challenge as it was difficult enough capturing one dancer in mid flight never mind two.

I started with the only ‘move’ that I could easily describe. The ‘jump up and stick your chests out’ move. Similar lighting to the individual shot of Keith but with the background lights turned off.

Keith and Kirsty synchronised jump
Keith and Kirsty synchronised jump

Young and in Love

For my last 2 photographs I wanted try and capture a little bit of the love between Kirsty and Keith as they’re actually in a relationship as well as being dance partners. So first a simple posed photograph but I really love the natural way that Kirsty’s leg begins to wrap around Keith’s, as well as the gentle touch on his arm. Two lights feathered across either side.

More than just dance partners
More than just dance partners

Heart to Heart

Last is an action photograph of the two K’s. I actually thought of this ‘heart’ shape move myself. I found it hard to describe so I gave a demonstration to Keith of what I meant and to be honest I think he was quietly impressed with my dance skills… well that’s how I read the stunned and bemused look on his face!

A heart full of dance.
A heart full of dance.

Cheers to Paul and Neil for making me aware of the event and to Jamie at Millwood Studios for putting on a great night and keeping’s topped up with Tea’s & Coffee.

Finally a massive thanks to both Keith and Kirsty, I’d love to work with guys again sometime soon (we did on our flour photography session). I’m already thinking of a few new moves. If you would like to find out more about Vivid’s photography service, please click the link for our commercial photography page.

 

Condor Airlines/Thomas Cook – 757 Plane “Sunny Heart” Time-Lapse

Global Branding Initiative

Thomas Cook has rebranded their logo replacing the ‘globe’ based logo with a ‘Sunny Heart’. This marketing initiative would link together all their brands under one common logo. When Thomas Cook and Condor were thinking about how to demonstrate this, they chose a time-lapse video and of course Vivid to produce it.

The Sunny Heart logo being sprayed
The Sunny Heart logo being sprayed

This is what Condor said about the Sunny Heart initiative… “To express our mutual identity and establish closer ties with other like-minded companies, we are uniting under a common symbol: a sunny heart. We live by the values expressed by the heart – trusted, personal and innovative. The heart will follow our customers throughout their journey – from initial enquiry, aboard of our aircrafts, during their stay and all the way home. It will simplify their choices by offering flexibility, give assurance and provide a visual reminder that they are well looked after.”

As one of their leading brands, Condor Airlines wanted to commemorate their rebranding of a plane with a time-lapse video to document the change. Having worked with Vivid Photo Visual before, and being a leading UK time-lapse expert, they called upon Vivid to produce this innovative video.

Benefits of Time-lapse Videos

Time-Lapse videos have many benefits to them. Here is a small selection:

  1. Show long and complex processes quickly
  2. Provide interesting and innovative videos
  3. Captivate the viewer
  4. Can incorporate standard footage
  5. Work well with social media promotion.

The Time-lapse Process

Once we had received the job request, Vivid worked closely with Condor and Air Livery to coordinate all aspects of the plane re-spray video. The video was hot at Air Livery’s Norwich based Head Quarters. The job was set over a 12-day period with obviously a focus on the rebranding of the Sunny Heart logo on the tail. Vivid always have at least two fixed camera covering the entirety of the shoot. We then supplement this by have multiple cameras covering every aspect of the process. This is so we do not miss a shot. A typical job can capture between 3 to 4GB of data.

The wing of the plane being painted white.
The wing of the plane being painted white.
Sun flare hitting the camera as the scaffolding is taken apart.
Sun flare hitting the camera as the scaffolding is taken apart.

Embracing Video Promotion

One of the benefits of working with a company and brand like Condor Airlines is how they embrace Video promotion. They fully understand the benefit of showing the company inside and out. This entails showing all aspects of how the company is run and the increased social media interaction that is associated with their effort. Their videos are from the construction of their engines, to new cabin interior refits. They also include fun videos around festive periods for example, or more serious videos showing their important charitable efforts.

Image showing how Condor Airlines is embracing Video Promotion and Social Media
Image showing how Condor Airlines is embracing Video Promotion and Social Media

From a commercial aspect this has lead to over 3 quarters of a million YouTube watches. They have over 2000 subscribers and on the social media side, nearly 8,000 twitter followers and 172,000 people who like the Facebook page. These are impressive numbers and only likely to increase in the future with more people who believe in the brand. What this does is help push the brand forward in what is a very competitive industry. All these number are people who will continue to receive high quality video content from Condor Airlines. This all builds up the brand presence and image of Condor Airlines as they look to the future.

The Condor 757 just about to leave with it's gleaming new livery and paint respray
The Condor 757 just about to leave with it’s gleaming new livery and paint respray

Our Final Thoughts

At Vivid, we are extremely proud to have worked on such a prestigious project as this one and are extremely pleased with our output. This was all aided by the teams at Air Livery and Condor Airlines. We look forward to hopefully further work these companies in the future. We will of course keep our eye on further videos appearing on the Condor Airlines YouTube channel. If you would like to find out more about our Time-lapse service, please click on Vivid’s time-lapse production page.

The reveal shot of the New Livery and Sunny Heart Logo
The reveal shot of the New Livery and Sunny Heart Logo

Losing one stone in a week – My experience

My weight loss experience of the losing a stone in a week diet

Losing a stone in a week - Vivid Photo Visual
Losing a stone in a week.

My Background

Hello, my name is Glen Mackintosh and I work at Vivid Photo VisualPreviously, Graham had undertaken the ‘Lose a stone in a week’ diet and lost just over the stone. I think it is useful to provide you with a very brief synopsis of my weight and background.

I am 6ft1 (tons of fun and when I dress to a T). At the start of the last year, I weighed my heaviest ever at 14.7 stone. Through exercise, cutting out cheese sandwiches and aggressive betting with Graham, I got down to 13 stone. This has over time crept back up to my current weight of 13.7 stone.

The reason why I want to do this diet is because even though I play football 2/3 times a week, I can not lose this weight. My friend also did this diet recently and lost 9 pounds, so if I lose something like that, I would be very happy.

I just wanted to provide a daily update on my experience of the this diet. This is not my diet so if you die then it is on you or your family.

Losing 1 stone in 1 week - Vivid Photo Visual
Losing 1 stone in 1 week

Day 1 – Starting weight 13.68st

Breakfast

1 slice of dry toast with 1 grilled tomato or tinned tomato.Was not looking forward to this but I just put some tomatoes onto the toast and it was surprisingly nice. The milk/sugar-less coffee was not easy to take, I can not remember the last time that I did not have milk. This was not going to be an easy week but it is only a week.

Lunch

Fresh fruit any amount. This is where I messed up, the 2 bananas, 1 apple and half a punnet of Raspberries was no way near enough to suffice my increasingly hungry state. I should of doubled the amount taken and by the middle of the afternoon, I was starting to feel a bit sick and despondent. The black coffee was getting harder to take by each cup.

Dinner

2 Hard boiled eggs, salad and grapefruit. Unsurprisingly I came home early (I was starving). After repeated requests to my wife to go nuts with the salad (of certain meals it is not about the quantity), my wife came through for me. Even before the Grapefruit, I felt satisfied and feeling much better, the grapefruit was the bitter icing on the non-existent cake. That night I felt pretty good although it was hard(ish) as we had friends over and they cracked open a new case of red wine we had just received.

This was one of the harder days because of the content and because it was a shock to the system. My lesson from today is go mad on the fruit option. Will update tomorrow.

1st Days Loss – 3.2lbs

Day 2 – 13.36st

Breakfast

Grapefruit and 1 boiled egg. I am starting to like the pink grapefruits and I love boiled eggs, so the meal was not too bad. The only problem was my little girl requesting some of my egg and as she had said please I could not resist. I was not full but certainly was not hungry.

Lunch

Grilled chicken and tomatoes and toast. On the diet sheet it did not stipulate the quality of toast as it normally would, so I took advantage of this and got my local sandwich shop to produce the thickest sandwich of chicken and tomatoes you have ever seen. Not exactly sure if the chicken was grilled (it looked it) but not too bothered as I was starving at this point.

Lose a stone in a week diet - Steak
Lovely Steak

Dinner

Grilled steak and salad. My wife had visited the local market and bought some good quality but modestly sized steaks (even though I said several times to go large on the steaks). This was with some salad, which I made sure I finished all of it. The problem I was facing was this was football night, where I was expected to run around for well over an hour. I will say that my energy levels were certainly reduced, but that could be as much to do with the lack of food as much as the humidity.

When I got back home, there was nothing all night, no snacks, no cheese blocks, just isolation from all food. Sadly I have found myself getting excited about fruit tea. How the mighty have fallen.

I woke up this morning at 13.12st, not too shabby. You can start to see the weight-loss around my face but still the belly remains, hopefully diminished but still there. Onwards and inwards… See you tomorrow.

2nd Days Loss – 2.4lbs

Day 3 – 13.12st

This diet has started to be miserable, I was in the park the other day and saw kids playing football. I wanted to kick the ball the other end of the pitch, so that they felt the misery that I am feeling at the moment.

I am listless, quick to cause an argument, always and I repeat (for emphasis), always thinking about food. You do forget that you are on the diet and think “ooh I will have a bowl of cereal” and then quickly remember that this is not allowed, no snacking folks. I think my little girl is my worried about my unnerving stare as she drinks her nightly milk. I miss milk.

To be fair I am being dramatic, it is not that bad at all and weirdly I am find evening time (normally our usual shared bag of chocolate with my wife, she has the majority) a lot easier than I thought I would.

Breakfast 

Grapefruit and 1 boiled egg. Same as the day before and again my little girl using the key trigger of “please”, requested some of my egg, I duly obliged, although it was more of a slither of white coloured air than actual egg. Desperate times call for desperate measure people. Getting used to the grapefruit as I try to imagine them as bitter oranges.

Lunch

Fresh fruit any amount. I have learnt my lessons from the previous day of fruit for lunch and to excuse my calculated pun, went bananas for the quantity of fruit.  To be precise I consumed 2 bananas, 1 apple, a punnet of cherries, half a punnet of raspberries and 2 kiwis. Yes I felt a bit ill after this quantity but at least I was not hungry (my key goal). As the afternoon progressed, I did feel a bit lethargic, but that also could be due to the hot weather. But I have learnt my lesson…. eat a lot of fruit.

Dinner 

2 grilled Lamb chops and salad (I forgot to have the grapefruit allowed). On my drive home, even though I had told my mum I was dieting, my mum described in great detail what she cooked for my brothers meal. This only made me place the car accelerator closer to the floor.

When I got home I must admit, my sole purpose was not to find out about my child’s picnic in the park, (more food talk), but to harass my wife to finish the food. Again I love Salad and the chops were lovely, so overall a good and enjoyable meal.

I woke up this morning at 13.02st, so while the weight-loss has slowed down, it is still going down. My wife commented this morning on my weight-loss around my face and torso. I have football tonight, so we will see how the energy levels are. Onwards and inwards… See you tomorrow.

Day 4 – 13.02st

I feel I must start with a semi apology, a good friend of mine pointed out that I has misplaced a few words in my previous update. This might be true but whilst it looks like I dedicate half the morning to this, in reality it is about 5 minutes.

My daily food lust has spilt over into the night. I long to have a normal cup of tea. Soon… Although she is thinking that she is quiet, I can hear my wife eating biscuits and chocolate in the kitchen. It nice for her to hide her gluttony, but it only exacerbates my pangs of hunger. The chinese banquet I am having on Monday is invading my dreams and becoming the main focus of my life.

Breakfast

1 slice of dried toast. 1 slice of dried toast….. I will let that sink in for a moment. 1 slice of dried toast, it is as unexciting and tasteless as it sounds. I have had to call in my new friend, introducing Mr lemon juice. Whilst I m not the biggest fan of lemon juice in general, it has over the duration of this diet being called into action numerous times, just to make the food a bit less dry. This time my little girl was not pestering daddy for any of my food.

Lemon juice the best thing for this diet
This will help you through the difficult times

Lunch

Fresh fruit any amount. Having learnt my lesson, I again went overboard on fruit quantity. I had 1 apple, 1 banana, half a punnet of raspberries, half a punnet of strawberries and 2 kiwis. I love fruit but having this amount of fruit in one go is not the nicest situation. To be fair, this surely has to be the first time that I have ever had my 5-a-day recommended daily allowance (I await some clever bod to point that statement out as incorrect “actually 2 kiwis would only constitute half a portion”).

Dinner

2 Hard boiled eggs and salad (I did not have the grapefruit allowed). Whilst it is getting monotonous, I am still partial to a salad and I love eggs anytime, so it was not too bad. Not that I am becoming obsessed with weighing myself (I am lying to myself) but I weighed myself before and after football. 13.1st before and 12.12st after my 75 minutes of football.

I do not know whether it was the lack of energy, the hot temperatures or me throwing myself around the pitch, but it was hard and I could feel it afterwards, I even woke up stiff this morning. Having said all that, I had lost 3 pounds in the process, so it was a good step in the right direction. This was the first time since my early 30s that I have been under 13st, so I did feel somewhat elated.

I woke up this morning at 12.11st, so it was a big jump in weight-loss from the previous day, although I attribute some of this to the diet, the main thrust came from the football. Onwards and inwards… See you tomorrow….

Day 5 – 12.11st

It is on the home front now as I can see an end to this week. I felt good to have lost 10 pounds so far and also that on Monday I do not have to have just fruit for Lunch.

My wife has done a diet-lite but still has some chocolate biscuits at nighttime. As mentioned she eats them in the kitchen away from my eyes and over the sink which cuts down on crumbs around the house.

I do find myself wistfully thinking and talking with family and friends about food as if I was some elderly person recollecting on what used to be.

Breakfast

1 slice of dried toast. 1 slice of dried toast….. it does not get any better. What more can I say.

Lunch

Fresh fruit any amount. This is getting hard,  I love fruit but as a main meal it is becoming painful. Again went mad and had 1 banana, 1 apple, a punnet of strawberries and 2 kiwis. It is becoming a marathon.

Dinner 

Salad, get used to it.
Salad, get used to it.

Fresh Fish and Salad. My wife prepared a lovely Sea bass, which was joined by,  yes you have guessed it…. salad. Unlike fruit, I am still enjoying salad so not too much of a problem. What was a problem, was I then attended a good friend’s family barbecue. It looked a lovely spread and was not easy to watch people drinking alcohol and tucking into sausages. This social situation was made worse, when they offered my daughter a sausage and it had to brush past my mouth to make sure it was not too hot for her. Anyway 2 more days.

I woke up this morning at 12.11st, so no drop at all. Maybe today’s breakfast of Grapefruit juice will aid the weight-loss. Onwards and inwards… See you tomorrow….

Day 6 – 12.11st

Weekend update as I did not have the time to do this yesterday.

Breakfast 

Grapefruit
I hope you like grapefruit juice

1 glass of grapefruit juice. What more can I say.

Lunch

Fresh fruit any amount. This diet has pushed me to the edge with the quantity of fruit I have eaten. Thankfully this has been the last lunch of fruit.

Dinner

Grilled Chicken Carrots and Grapefruit. Not a fan of cooked carrots but they were steamed just right by my wife, so not too bad. Used some juice from the grapefruit, to make the chicken tastier and less dry. Seemed to work.

My wife forced me to go and get some chocolate for her, on the proviso that I needed a large amount of eggs for the final day (I could of got the eggs in the morning). Even had to fetch (not whipped she was holding the baby) the bag of sweets from the kitchen for her. Liberties..

I woke up this morning at 12.11st, so no drop at all.

Day 7 – 12.11st

This is the final day and to be fair not a bad day to finish on. There is a lot of eggs and a steak meal at the end.

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs and Grilled or tinned tomatoes. This is more like, 4 eggs scrambled (quantity not important) and some tinned tomatoes. Great breakfast, felt full up.

Lunch

2 Poached eggs. Since my 7 am breakfast, I had not had anything to eat. After meeting friends, by 2.30pm my stomach was eating itself. Thankfully my wife and mum produced two lovely poached eggs on a bed of spinach and I was full for now.

Dinner 

Grilled Steak and Salad. I bought 2 medium steaks from the market and made a nice meal with some salad. Again Mr Lemon came out for seasoning.

This was my last night of in-effect fasting, so I drank my fruit teas and watched the F1 and tried not to think about my wife sitting next to me scoffing on gummy sweets and chocolate bars, drinking her milky beverages.

The diet for me had slowed down by this point as I think I had reached a plateau of weight. Now I was ready for my final weigh in tomorrow morning.

My final thoughts…losing a stone in a week diet

I woke up this morning at 12.1ost, so overall I had lost close to 11lb. Before I started the diet I did not believe I would achieve the full stone weight loss. This was because I did not think I had a stone to lose. A friend of mine had done the same diet but only lost 9lb (he had cheated with tomato soup).

So an 11lb lost is a really great result for me. I started the diet as I was not quite happy with my weight. I was struggling to lose weight through exercise or my relatively (not brilliant, too much cheese) good eating.

So I used this diet a get rich scheme to lose the weight. This would be a catalyst to turn my lifestyle around somewhat. I do think I have somewhat changed my outlook to food. This week has taught me that I don’t need the bowl of cereal at 10pm, chocolate should be a treat not a prerequisite of my daily diet. Also no more crisps, they are the devils food.

At the end of the day, it was not an easy week, I missed milk and cheese the most. I missed having the ability to have what I want when I want, but the flip side of that is I got to a weight I have not seen in years and I can use this as springboard for a slightly healthier lifestyle and to be a bit trimmer.

I believe you can easily lose weight with just a bit of discipline and pretty much any decent diet plan. This diet is a drastic measure and a quick fix that I hope I can continue into a healthier lifestyle. Thanks for reading and I am going to get off my high horse as I look forward to putting all the weight back on. This food binge will start with my Chinese banquet tonight.

I hope you found my ramblings useful and I wish you well in your own journey.

Just remember, until next time, take care of yourselves and each other! Much love.

6 Stunning Time-Lapse Videos

The Vivid team always loved watching time-lapse videos, due to our commercial interest in the style. We also love the fascinating imagery it can produce. Over the last 12 months there have been a few time-lapse films that have broken the mould in terms of visual production values. We wanted to show what can be achieved with time-lapse video production. We hope you enjoy.

Barcelona

First up is a superb time-lapse by Rob Whitworth titled ‘Barcelona’. Rob has produced many amazing time-lapses but personally I think this is his best to date. Some of the scene transitions are mind blowing, literally how does he do it?

Ancients

There are some truly creative time-lapse videos out there. I always love a time-lapse that shows the beauty of Mother Earth. This one does that amazingly well. It’s simply titles ‘Ancients’ and by Nicholas Buer. Check out some of the night sky scenes, incredible!

Earth

The next time-lapse that I came across recently, dates back to 2011 but certainly isn’t in anyway dated. In fact it’s safe to say it’s out of this world, as the image were taken from the ISS International Space Station. The photographs taken over a 3 month period captures some stunning natural phenomenas, Aurora Borealis and Australis from various passes of the Earth. The whole time-lapse was skill-fully edited together by Michael König and is simply called ‘Earth’.

Virgin Atlantic

Next up is actually one of our own time-lapses, well you’ve got to like one of your own haven’t you? It turns out that other people must had liked it as well, as it was given a Vimeo Staff Pick award, which is cool.

Vivid Photo Visual’s Vimeo Staff Pick Award

It’s a time-lapse of a VAA Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 repaint, that was filmed at Air Livery in Manchester. It was initially put on Vimeo by the design company that was involved with the rebranding, and has now had over 325K views on their page. Maybe a little naughty on their part as it is our video, but they have now given us a credit in the description. I’ll link to our version as it’s the HD version.

The Lion City

The last time-lapse that I have for your perusal is from a guy that personally I think produces some of the most creative time-lapses I’ve ever seen. Keith Loutit was the first to create the ‘miniature’ look time-lapses using tilt shift lenses and other techniques. He’s now taken this a step further by allowing the viewers to experience focus and distance. Check out Lion City and be amazed.

Miniature Manchester

As an added bonus video here’s is our video ‘Miniature Manchester’ which was inspired by Keith Loutit’s series. It was filmed from a few rooftop locations around the city centre, as well as an apartment on Deansgate and Victoria Station.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick blog and watching a few of the time-lapses.

Who we are

If you think your company or business could benefit from their own time-lapse video or any other type of Web Video speak to Vivid Photo Visual, we’re based in sunny Stockport near Manchester and specialise in commercial video production.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outer Hebrides Wildlife Photography – An unforgettable encounter

Wildlife Photography in the Outer Hebrides

I’ve been overwhelmed with the ‘likes’ I’ve had for my previous blogs about my wildlife photography trip to the Outer Hebrides, thanks guys ‘n’ gals. The Outer Hebrides is a chain of islands off the West Coast of Scotland and a haven for any wildlife photographer.

Pattern on the side of a Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), North Uist
Pattern on the side of a Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), North Uist

A Sad Encounter

This particular blog has a sombre feel to it. My amazing week on North Uist was drawing to a close, I’d seen and photographed some fantastic wildlife. Even in the short space of a week had grown very fond of this windswept group of islands. The weather had recently taken a turn for the worse. The wind was rolling the clouds over from the West and it felt like a storm was brewing. The group felt that a walk to Balranald beach was in order. Maybe it would possible to see if any Skua’s would be pushed in close to the headland by the wind.

As I approached the top of the dune system, I could see Dave ahead frantically waving his arms. I thought to myself  ‘slight over reaction to seeing a Skua!’ but hey Dave likes his birds. What I saw next is probably the most surreal wildlife moment I’ve had to date. One of those moments when your brain is expecting to see one thing but your eyes see another. At this moment of realisation your head just explodes. A Minke Whale was thrashing in the shallows, probably no more than 30ft out in the bay. There was no one else around, just Dave, Matt, Ferne and myself.

Juvenile Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) struggling in shallow water.
Juvenile Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) struggling in shallow water.

Feeling Helpless

What could we do? The honest answer is nothing! All we could do was watch helplessly as this incredibly brave young Whale fought for his life. On my list of species to get a fleeting glimpse of on the trip was a Minke but I never expected to see one in this scenario. I have to say it was incredible to witness, exhilarating, shouting at him and wishing him out to sea. I can still hear the thrashing of its fluke as he used all the energy he still possessed.

Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) as she thrashes for survival.
Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) as he thrashes for survival.

We’d already made a few phone calls to different organisations to see if there was anything that could be done. The problem was our location, we were remote to say the least. Ferne had already got her wetsuit on, she wanted to get in and help. We all did! Thankfully we all agreed that that would be too dangerous. All it would take would be for the 5 tonne Whale to roll and trap one of us and it would be all over.

Ferne just wanted to get in the water and help.
Ferne just wanted to get in the water and help.

Being photographers we did the only thing we could, we tried to document the plight of the Whale, so others could see what we’d witnessed.

Juvenile Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) fighting in shallow water.
Juvenile Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) fighting in shallow water.

Fading Hope

There was one point when we all thought that he had managed to make it out into deep enough water. There’s no doubt in fact that he was able to swim but within 30 seconds of our elation it was clear that all was not well. The Whale was obviously so weak, the lactic acid builds up so quickly in their muscles that he was unable to fight the strength of the tide.

The final fight of the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
The final fight of the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)

We seemed to watch the final battle of the Whale for hours. In fact it probably took less than 10 minutes to reach its final resting place on the beach after its brief attempt at survival.

It was all over for the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
It was all over for the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)

After the exhilaration  of  wishing the Whale back out to sea and seeing it end in such a sad fashion, there was a massive emotional come down. We all just stood around and looked at each other. It was one of those moments you’ll never forget. How easily such a powerful creature can be overpowered my mother nature.

We went back to the cottage to gather out thoughts and have a bit of a chill out. We needed to return when the tide had gone out as we wanted to secure the Whale for the University team that we arriving from Inverness the following day. They could try and determine what had caused the Whale to come into the bay.

Final Resting Place

The scene when we came back to the beach was again an emotional one. There he lay on the sand, almost lost in the grand vista of Balranald.

Her final resting place.
His final resting place.

Everything seemed so much calmer now and I wanted to take a final image of the Whale that showed his final resting place with an air of drama. I wanted the picture to tell the story, the battle scars, the struggle and Mother nature.

The final image of the Minke Whale
The final image of the Minke Whale

A Memorable but Sad Photography Occasion

So in closing it was the most memorable wildlife photography session I’ve had so far. I do hope you’ve liked the blog even though the subject matter is rather sad. Maybe with the results from the post-mortem they can further their knowledge about these fantastic mammals.

If you would like to find out more about my own wildlife photography, please visit my website Images of Nature. If you would like more information about my company, please visit the Vivid Photo Visual website.

Tour de France 2014 Stage 2 West Vale Yorkshire

Tour de Yorkshire

Tour de France Logo - West Vale
Tour de France Logo – West Vale

Well I’d be the first to admit that I’ve never really paid that much attention to the Tour de France. When I found out that the first 2 stages of the 2014 tour, were to take place within an hour of where we live, I thought let’s see what all the hype is about.

Fun Facts about the Tour de France

Here’s a few fun facts that I discovered about the Tour de France while I was doing some research.

1. The youngest ever stage winner was Henri Cornet aged 19 in 1904. I could’t believe it when I saw a man dressed as him on one of the bikes. See the picture in the blog.

2. There are usually between 11-15 million spectators that line the route each year.

3. Riders burn around 124,000 calories during the tour.

4. If you cycled the entire course you’d sweat enough to flush 39 toilets…nice!!

5. The Tour de France inspired both Kraftwork and Queen to write songs.

Polka Dot and Yellow Tour de France bikes
Polka Dot and Yellow Tour de France bikes

Stage 2

I put a message out on Facebook to see if any friends could give me any advice on an accessible area to view stage 2 of the race from. Stage 2 ran from York to Sheffield and covered 201km. One of the suggestions was the Yorkshire village of West Vale,  which turned out to be both a fantastic little village but also a great place to watch the race. I tried to learn a few of the cycling terms/phrases that I’d heard people mention before I went, so I wasn’t a complete novice.

Cyclist getting into the Tour de France spirit - West Vale, Yorkshire 2014
Cyclist getting into the Tour de France spirit, dressed as Henri Cornet the youngest ever stage winner in 1904 age 19

Family Fun

I went to the race with my wife and eldest son, as well as 3 other friends. To secure a good view we had to get into position a good 4 hours before the main Peloton was due to pass. What I hadn’t realised is that there would be so much to see before the main event. There was a real fun and party-like atmosphere to the event.

My son adds his name in chalk to the road. The kids were encouraged to do this.
My son adds his name in chalk to the road. The kids were encouraged to do this.

Everywhere you looked people seemed happy, there were families, groups of cyclists, jugglers, side shows, food stalls and even a parrot! I kid you not, a young boy had brought his pet bird to watch the race.

A boy brings his Parrot to watch the Tour de France.
A boy brings his Parrot to watch the Tour de France.

The Caravane

About an hour before the race the fun picks up a notch as the Caravane makes its way around the course. Playing music and throwing things into the crowd, the kids loved it.

The Festina caravane Tour de France 2014
The Festina caravane Tour de France 2014

 

Fun during the Tour de France caravane, Yorkshire 2014
Fun during the Tour de France caravane, Yorkshire 2014
Vintage Citroen joins the Tour de France 2014 caravane as it passes through West Vale
Vintage Citroen joins the Tour de France 2014 caravane as it passes through West Vale

The organisers did a fantastic job of keeping everyone safe and made a special effort to get the crowds in the Tour de France spirit. I think the crowd thought this Police officer was going to do a ‘burn-out’ right in front of them.

A Police motorbike geeing up the crowd in West Vale, Yorkshire
A Police motorbike geeing up the crowd in West Vale, Yorkshire
The Fruit Shoot vehicle passes through West Vale, Yorkshire.
The Fruit Shoot vehicle passes through West Vale, Yorkshire.

I’m not sure but I think even the model Caprice may have been there.

Enjoying the Tour de France...could this be Caprice?
Enjoying the Tour de France…could this be Caprice?
McCain Oven Chips
McCain Oven Chips

As you can see it was fun for all the family as the last of the pre-race Caravane passed through the village.

Fun for everyone during the Yorksire stage of the Tour de France 2014
Fun for everyone during the Yorksire stage of the Tour de France 2014
Teisseire Zero through the Tour de France 2014
Teisseire Zero during the Tour de France 2014 caravane

Race Start

After the buzz of the Caravane had passed everyone eagerly awaited the main event. I had been warmed up nicely but to say I wasn’t ready for what was to happen next was an understatement. Over the horizon we could hear the helicopters. I think there were about 6, the cheers from the crowds could be heard from the top of the hill, then the breakaway group came into view.

Perrig Quemeneur of Team Europcar leads the race
Perrig Quemeneur of Team Europcar leads the race
Bart De Clercq and Cyril Lemoine
Bart De Clercq and Cyril Lemoine
Armindo Fonseca - Bretagne-Séché Environnement Team
Armindo Fonseca – Bretagne-Séché Environnement Team

The First Group

The speed that they came down the hill was incredible and really tested your speed using a camera. Within seconds the first group had passed. So it was time to recompose and wait for the main Peloton to come down the hill.

BMC Racing Team lead the main Peloton
BMC Racing Team lead the main Peloton

Fisheye Photography

I had a great shot in mind, that I thought would be different but as things panned out it wasn’t great. I’d set a remote camera on top of a monopod that I would get my wife to hold up high. I was expecting, as in other areas of the course for the riders to fill the whole width of the road and thought if I shot with a 15mm Fisheye lens this would give a completely different image.

Tour de France with 15mm Fisheye
Tour de France with 15mm Fisheye

As you can see, although it’s still a different looking image, which I do quite like, there is too much empty space in the foreground as the riders kept there racing line through the bend.

The riders of the Garmin Sharp team in the Peloton
The riders of the Garmin Sharp team in the Peloton
Sébastien Reichenbach drops into West Vale
Sébastien Reichenbach drops into West Vale

On the outside of the main Paleton was two of the Astana Pro Team one of them being Vincenzo Nabali who went on to win Stage 2.

Vincenzo Nibali Stage 2 winner
Vincenzo Nibali (centre) Stage 2 winner

Final Thoughts

So as the day drew to an end, I have to say I am a Tour de France convert, it was fantastic to watch. I’ll certainly be watching as much of the rest of the race as possible. I think Yorkshire did the country proud, with over 2.5 million spectators watching the tour. At the end of the day it was about having fun and I love this last shot of a couple of local teenagers that came down the hill to the cheers of the crowds.

Tour de France future stars
Tour de France future stars

Thanks for reading my blog, please like and share if you enjoyed it. If you would like to find out more about my photography, please visit my website Images of Nature. I run a video production company, if you would like to find out about video production, please visit the website Vivid Photo Visual.

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit – Wildlife Photography on the Outer Hebrides

Rabbit Kit in a sea of green
Rabbit (Orytolagus cuniculus) Kit in a sea of green

Wildlife Photography on the Outer Hebrides

I love wildlife photography and it is a passion of mine. I thought I’d write a quick blog about a fantastic session I had photographing some adorable Rabbits whilst on my recent trip to the Outer Hebrides. I realise there are far rarer and more exotic animals to be found than our common Bunny but if the conditions are right I enjoy photographing anything.

Rabbit (Orytolagus cuniculus) outside its warren.
Rabbit (Orytolagus cuniculus) outside its warren.

Staking out a Warren

What made these Rabbits so perfect was the design and position of their warren. Most Rabbit warrens have multiple entrances and exits to allow the Rabbits to move around safely. This warren appeared, after watching the animals for a while to not have interconnected tunnels. The rabbits would always appear out of the burrow they went into. So by quietly getting into position the Rabbits should come out roughly where you’d expect.

My Photography Environment

I’ve created a very very basic graphic of camera/rabbit/background positions, for any camera techies out there.

My very basic diagram of Rabbit warren.
My very basic diagram of Rabbit warren. (Side view)

The other fantastic thing about these Rabbits was the position. The warren was in a steep field. So by positioning myself at the bottom looking upwards, shooting with my 400mm wide open was like looking into a sea of green. In the middle of the field it levelled off briefly and this was where the burrow entrance was. If a Rabbit sat in this section it would be perfect.

Usually the first indication that a Rabbit was coming out of the burrow was a pair of ears. I captured quite a few images of ears as I think they really work as a photograph. You don’t always have to show all of an animal.

A Rabbit Kitten just venturing out of the warren.
A Rabbit Kitten just venturing out of the warren.

Having Kittens

After a while there were up to 4 Kittens around the burrow, most moved away from the very small photographable space, but at one point there were 3 lined up perfectly. The only technical issue was that because I was relying on the shallowest depth of field, giving this wonderful dreamy bokeh, I wasn’t able to get all 3 sharp so chose the centre Rabbit as the in focus animal. I still love it as a picture but wish all 3 Kittens were in focus.

3 Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Kittens
3 Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Kittens

I’d tried to photograph Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) earlier in the week but with little success, as they are renowned for being a little skittish. Whilst sat motionless waiting for the Rabbits to emerge I noticed a Wheatear much further up the field. It seemed either unaware or not bothered by my presence. I watched it for a good 20 minutes, gradually it moved down the field and I hoped would come into an area that I could photograph it. Thankfully it did and here’s the result.

Male Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Male Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Back to the Rabbits and here’s a Kitten as it makes sure there is no danger in the area. Ears standing up tall and sniffing the air.

Looking and listening for danger.
Looking and listening for danger.

Overall Thoughts

I took 100’s of images of the Rabbits during this session, it was fantastic. I would have loved some images of the Rabbits preening and cleaning, which can look so cute! Alas they didn’t, it’s the luck of the draw. My favourite, I think, is another shot of just a pair of ears! Shooting downhill this time, late in the day, backlighting through the ears with the light catching the hairs on the tips.

Backlit Rabbit Ears
Backlit Rabbit Ears

It just goes to show that sometimes the more common animals we have around us can give so much enjoyment.

Thanks for reading my Blog, there are others from my trip wildlife photography trip to North Uist, just visit the Vivid Photo Visual blog. Please share to others if you think they’d like to read it.

Wildlife Photography on the Outer Hebrides – Vehicle Hide

Sunrise on North Uist, Outer Hebrides
Sunrise on North Uist, Outer Hebrides

I hope you enjoyed my first Outer Hebrides blog  featuring images taken on the beach as well as a brief introduction.

For this blog I thought I would show images that were taken from the car. A car can make a great hide and with care, if a subject is approached slowly, can get you really good views. Whilst I was on the Outer Hebrides I made sure I made the most of each day, so I was up before dawn to try and capture subjects in the wonderful morning light. My opening sunrise photograph was shot with my 400mm 2.8 lens, not the usual choice for a landscape picture but the flattened perspective that you get can be stunning.

Redshank with replication in Hebridean Loch
Redshank (Tringa totanus) reflected in a Scottish loch.

The photograph of the Curlew (Numenius arquata) was from the same morning and on the edge of one of the many Lochs on North Uist, I love the way the sun is shinning through the  bird’s primary feathers and glancing off its breast.

Curlew (Numenius arquata) taking off at sunrise on North Uist.
Curlew (Numenius arquata) taking off in the first light of day.

Ideally you need someone driving the vehicle as balancing a large lens on your lap is not recommended. Be aware of your surroundings, these methods are for locations where there is virtually zero traffic. Be sensible and drive slowly looking ahead at any potential posts/perches to see if there is anything sat on top of them.

The main rules for getting great shots from your car are as follows;

  • Make sure you’re camera is set in advance, you probably won’t have time to mess with settings.
  • Know how to use your camera with it at your eye, fumbling around with you camera will probably scare away the animal.
  • Wear clothing that breaks up your shape, you don’t want to look too human.
  • No skin on show, wear gloves and hat/scrim
  • Window already down and lens pointing in the right direction.
  • Any movements should be very slow and smooth.
  • Approach slowly in the vehicle, smooth stop.

Where possible turn the engine off to stop all vibrations. Take some shots, you’ll instantly be able to gauge how the subject is reacting. It may fly immediately, a lot do, but if you get a willing subject and are slow and smooth with you movements you’ll be able to get some great shots.

The photograph below of a Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) was taken using the methods described above. For anyone that has tried to approach a Meadow Pipit on foot they’ll know they are very flighty so using a car certainly made it easier to get closer.

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) on fence post. Using a vehicle as a hide.
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) on fence post.

The best time of day is certainly early morning or late evening. The light can be beautiful and in the morning you are often the first vehicle to approach any perched up subjects. Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) are one of my favourite birds, their shape is unmistakable and the mottled pattern is always a delight to see and this one sat long enough to be photographed.

Using a vehicle as a hide to photograph a Snipe (Gallinago gallinago). North Uist, Outer Hebrides by Graham Ella
Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) photographed from the car.

With all animal photography if you can get a little catchlight in the eyes it brings the subject to life. The Snipe above is real example of this, as is the photograph below of a Starling (Sturnus vulgarise). Starlings are one the birds that often get overlooked, if you can get close enough and the sun is shining they are far from being plain. Again the car worked great for this, as I’ve never gotten this close to a Starling before.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) perched on a barbwire fence.
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) perched on a barbwire fence.

Sometimes you can’t get close to a subject. They may not necessarily be bothered by your presence  but maybe feeding too far away from the vehicle. If that’s the case look at including some of the environment. The photograph below of a Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) I think proves the point, we know what the subject is, the eye contact even at that distance adds a focal point and we can see the Owl’s within its moorland habitat.

Letterbox crop of a Short-eared Owl (Asio flames) within its environment.
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) photographed within its moorland habitat.

Another birds that is always fantastic to see is a male Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus). I did manage to get a closer image of a bird later in the week, but still loved this shot of it hunting for voles amongst the grass.

Male Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) hunting.
Male Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) hunting.

It’s not only birds that you may find on your early morning drives. One morning we spotted 2 Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) that were feeding in a field, they were patrolling the fence line looking for a place to cross the road. Once they get it in their mind that ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ they can be very determined. It was then a case of sitting, waiting and hoping they would jump the fence at the section near the car.

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) jumping a barbwire fence.
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) jumping a barbwire fence.

One bird that I was really pleased to find sat on a fence post, even though it remained there for a matter of seconds was this Buzzard (Buteo buteo). The fact it landed on an older post with Lichen on it was even better. You start to find yourself looking at different posts and perches and picking your favourites. There were some lovely individual Lichen and Moss covered posts on North Uist, I’m sure if I’d stayed longer one day something would have landed on one of them…maybe next time.

Buzzard (Buteo buteo) on a fence post.
Buzzard (Buteo buteo) on a fence post.

It’s not just on the posts that you can get close to the wildlife, keep an eye at ground level too. There is a good breeding population of Oysercatchers across the Hebridean islands and they often can be found in the grass along the road sides.

Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) in the grass.
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) in the grass.

One early morning, whilst driving, we came across another Red Deer. The lighting was gorgeous, just glancing over the horizon which illuminated the outline of the Deer. Red Deer are very aware of their surroundings, so I only managed a couple of frames.

Beautiful morning rim lighting on this Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
Beautiful morning rim lighting on this Red Deer

I’ll finish off with a few photographs of one of the main birds that I wanted to photograph, whilst on North Uist, the Short-eared Owl. I would have liked to have had an Owl filling the frame on a lovely old post but that wasn’t to be, a good reason to go back some day and try again.

The first image is the nearest that I got…

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) on post.
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) on post.
Short-eared Owl (Asio flames) on a post.
Short-eared Owl (Asio flames) on a post.
Short-eared Owl being mobbed by Herring Gull
Short-eared Owl being mobbed by Herring Gull

Again, real thanks for reading this blog and please share it with others if you like it. I do hope it makes you get up early one morning, drive down some country lanes and see what you can photograph.

 

 

Wildlife photography on the Outer Hebrides – Setting the scene and birds on the beach.

Caution Otters Crossing sign heading up to North Uist
Caution Otters Crossing sign heading up to North Uist

As some of you will know, each year I try and squeeze in a wildlife photography holiday or as Glen likes to call it a ‘camera Geek trip’…harsh but true. I say squeeze because time for personal photography is certainly more limited when running a business as well as having 2 young children.

Anyway enough of my ramblings and onto the location for this years trip. I love Scotland, the landscape and more importantly the wildlife. Previous outings have been to the Isle of Mull and the Shetland Isles, both of which are truly fantastic places. This year I decided on the Outer Hebrides, a series of islands off the west coast of Scotland.

Base camp for the trip on North Uist
Location of the cottage on the Outer Hebrides Map

I usually go on my trips with my good mate Pete, but unfortunately this year he was shooting a wedding. So I hooked up with Dave Winnard from Discover The Wild as we’d been out shooting Fungi a few times and he’d told me a about a trip he’d arranged to photograph the wildlife on the Outer Hebrides in May 2014.

North Uist sunset at Balranald RSPB
Sunset from the garden of the cottage.

Dave had organised the trip with award winning wildlife photographer, Andrew Parkinson. Also on the trip were 3 students; Matt, Ferne & Holly from Falmouth University’s Marine & Natural History Photography degree course. It turned out to be a great mix of people, all really good photographers and all great fun. Our base for the week was a lovely cottage with a freshly painted red roof, right next to the sea adjacent to the RSPB reserve at Balranald, North Uist.

I’ve said it many times before, in my humble opinion the Islands off the west coast of Scotland have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you could guarantee the sunshine and turn up the temperature a little, people would be flocking there. Maybe it’s a good thing it pretty much rains all the time, haha.

Scottish beaches are some of the most beautiful in the World!
Scottish beaches are some of the most beautiful in the World!

So  what makes the Outer Hebrides special?  Well one of the main attractions during late Spring/Summer is being able to see waders in their Summer plumage, where they look so much more colourful than the Winter birds we see further south.

Sanderling (Calidris alba) in full summer plumage - North Uist
A Sanderling (Calidris alba) in full Summer plumage.

My main camera gear for the trip, as it was mainly going to be bird photography, was a Canon 7D with Canon 400mm f2.8 IS, I did carry a 1.4x extender but didn’t use it, as often I wanted to be ready for a bird in flight and the extender slows down AF performance. Looking back there were certain subjects where maybe I should have used the extender and concentrated on the bird being static but larger in the frame. We live and learn!

Sanderling (Calidris alba) in flight. North Uist - Outer Hebrides
Sanderling (Calidris alba) in flight.

By spending time getting to know the environment, tide times and the species behaviour it’s possible to put yourself right amongst the birds without them feeling at all threatened. I spent hours lay within the flocks of Dunlin, Sanderling and Turnstones, it was fantastic. There was even a Purple Sandpiper, a first for me, feeding at high tide.

Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima) North Uist - Outer Hebrides
Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima)

Standard portraits of  waders, I know are a bit ‘normal’ but to be honest will always have their place and for me are still a great challenge to take. I also wanted to try and capture a few images that were a little different. The shot below was with the 400mm, it has wonderful bokeh, rendering the foreground and background beautifully soft.

Sanderling (Calidris alba) through a diffused foreground.
Sanderling (Calidris alba) through a diffused foreground.

You don’t always have to show the birds very large in the frame. I wanted to try and capture the Dunlin with its reflection, as if it was stood on a frosted mirror. I felt by having the bird smaller in the frame added to the composition.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina) with reflection. Balranald RSPB North Uist by Graham Ella
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) with reflection.

Another great thing about the Outer Hebrides is that you never know what’s going to turn up, as the next shot shows. Another first for me was this Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) which should normally be much further North in Greenland. To get the shot meant a very ‘non army like’ sniper crawl along the shore line, inching forward like a Seal or maybe more like Jabba The Hut!

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) Balranald RSPB North Uist
Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) another first for me.

As the days draw to a close and the sun begins to drop, the lighting changes and it’s always worth having a few shots in mind. By positioning myself with the sun behind the birds made for a beautiful backlit scene, and I love the juxtaposition between the warm light falling onto the bird and foreground and the cold shadow area of the rock in the background.

N.B I’ve always dreamed of using the word juxtaposition in the correct context, Mr Henderson (my English teacher) would be so proud…

Photograph of a backlit Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) North Uist
Backlit Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) Outer Hebrides

As the light continued to drop I looked for images that could be shot into the fading sun. The sea was looking fantastic against the orange glow of the sun. I always shoot on Manual exposure, that way I can’t blame the cameras meetering choice if it gets it wrong. So I was all set and just needed a subject to fly across the scene, these 5 Oystercatchers were ideal.Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) as the sun sets. North Uist, Outer Hebrides

Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) as the sun sets.

The final shot of the Arctic Tern is one of my favourites from the trip. I framed the scene with the Sun just to the right of the frame, I’d seen a small group of  Terns flying in the area, so waited and hoped that one would fly into the frame. It’s when you wait for a period of time you realise that hand holding a 400mm 2.8 is pretty tiring on the shoulders, good exercise though.

Arctic Tern_5371web

This is the first instalment of my photographs from my trip to the Outer Hebrides, I do hope you enjoyed them, please share my blog if you did, that would be great.

I know that wildlife photography is completely different to the video production work we do at Vivid Photo Visual, but hey it’s my hobby and I love it!

 

 

Gumball 3000 hits Manchester – Vivid Team outing

Karl and Helen Hartey driving their Jaguar F Type at Gumball 3000
Karl and Helen Hartey driving their Jaguar F Type at Gumball 3000

I only found out about Gumball 3000 hitting Manchester on June 8th a couple of days before the event. Anthony, my 6 year old loves cars. I suppose most lads do. So I promised him on the way back from visiting friends we’d call in at the City of Manchester Stadium to have a look. As it turns out we bumped into Glen and his family as he’d had a similar idea.

Lamborghini Gallardo at Gumball 3000 Manchester
Lamborghini Gallardo at Gumball 3000 Manchester

Apologies at this point for the photo quality, I only had with me a trusty little Panasonic point and shoot compact, as to be honest the forecast was for heavy rain and didn’t think we would actually go.

For those that don’t know what the Gumball 3000 is, think back to the Canonball Run films from the 80’s. Lots of fast cars, drivers having fun and big crowds following them. The route changes each year but they cover 3000 miles. This year it’s Miami to Ibiza. Did I mention the entrance fee? This year only £40,000!

Team 46 Bugatti Veyron at Gumball 3000, Manchester 2014
Team 46 Bugatti Veyron at Gumball 3000, Manchester 2014

Anthony’s favourite car is the Bugatti Veyron and costing over £1m you don’t normally see them. When one turned up, he had a smile from ear to ear.

There are often a few celebrities that enter the Gumball, this year Jonathan Ross turned up in Manchester in a Lamborghini Gallardo he hired especially for the race. He’d just collected it from Edinburgh where he stalled it and it took him 30 minutes to figure out how to get it started again…oh well!

Jonathan Ross in a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
Jonathan Ross in a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

Another firm favourite amongst the crowds and certainly those that remember the 80’s was Team 37 a Dodge Challenger, painted like the ‘General Lee’ complete with a Dukes of Hazard air horn. Geek Fact – The original General Lee was in fact a Dodge Charger but the new Challenger looks more like the old Charger.

Team 37 Dodge Challenger 'General Lee'
Team 37 Dodge Challenger ‘General Lee’

It’s not just the new Supercars that enter Gumball, check out Team 40 in their 1963 Jaguar Mk2…with a few modifications under the bonnet!

Team 40 - 1963 Jaguar mk2 in the Gumball 3000
Team 40 – 1963 Jaguar mk2 in the Gumball 3000

There was also this monster of a truck that was entered by Team 63, it was recently featured on Top Gear and is a Brabus Super G 700 6×6! It was a real crowd pleaser due to its shear size and noise from the engine. All these cars love to rev their engines!

Brabus Super G 700 6x6 Gumball 3000
Brabus Super G 700 6×6 Gumball 3000

There were many other cars that turned up on the day that weren’t actual entries in the Gumball, some of which were absolute classics. Here’s a few of our favourites.

A stunning bright orange BMW 3.0 CSL

Bright orange BMW 3.0 CSL at Gumball 3000 Manchester
Bright orange BMW 3.0 CSL at Gumball 3000 Manchester

2 for the price of one next. Two of original batch of new breed Super Cars, the Ferrari F40 and the Jaguar XJ220 parked next to each other! You don’t see that every day.

Ferrari F40 and Jaguar XJ220 together
Ferrari F40 and Jaguar XJ220 together

Last is a car that to be honest I was unfamiliar with, it was Glen that knew what it was. It’s a Ultima GTR, the quickest accelerating and decelerating super car of all time. Multiple world record holder and general all-round speed machine.

Ultima GTR at City of Manchester Stadium - Gumball 3000
Ultima GTR at City of Manchester Stadium – Gumball 3000

After seeing a few tasty cars me and Glen thought we’d pick our Top 5 cars that we’d like to own.

Glen’s Top 5 Cars would be:

  1. Jaguar D Type
  2. Jaguar E Type
  3. Dodge Challenger, old & new
  4. Corvette Stingray (early 70’s)
  5. Ferrari 308GTS

Mine would contain a few a little more modern I think;

  1. Lamborghini Aventador LP700
  2. ’66 Shelby Cobra
  3. Ferrari 458 Italia
  4. Porsche 911 GT2
  5. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

I hope you enjoyed this quick blog and some of the cars on show. If anyone would like to put up the entrance fee and a car for next year, the Vivid boys would be glad to participate! We’d make you a video.

Venesta’s quality washrooms demand a quality product video

Venesta Product Video

Venesta are a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of toilet cubicles and toilet cubicle systems. Venesta incorporate cutting edge washroom design and use high quality materials for their product ranges. The quality of product supplied is coupled with an excellent customer service. They approached Vivid Photo Visual to produce a series of product videos. These video would showcase two of their ranges and could be used to attract potential customers to their systems.

Venesta branded door handle from the Unity range
Venesta branded door handle from the Unity range

Product Videos and Time-lapse

Vivid have extensive experience producing innovative product videos. We feel it is important that the product video showcases all the details/features required. The video also has to provide the customer with a visually interesting video to keep their retention. Working closely with their marketing department, we planned to produce 4 videos based around the installation process. This video series would entail the two range videos and an accompanying time-lapse video for each of the installation processes.

Venesta's Factory Image by Vivid Photo Visual

Interview based Product Video

The videos were based around interviews with their charismatic Chairman Martin Rees. Martin would be interviewed regarding each key stage of the design, key features and installation process. He would also provide important general information about Venesta. We then filmed shots within the office and the factory. One of the main elements to the videos would be the use of the time-lapse photography technique to capture the whole installation process for each product range.

Venesta's Brand image demonstrated by their website
Venesta’s Brand image demonstrated by their website

The key to getting a powerful and cohesive promotional video, was to work within the brand values of Venesta. These brand values have been carefully nurtured over the years to provide a classically understated look. We then produced a simple but concise graphical overlays to mirror these values whilst explaining the key features and benefits.

The key to getting the video right, was to work within the brand values of Venesta which has been carefully nurtured over the years to provide a classically understated look. We then produced a simple but concise graphical overlays to mirror these values whilst explaining the key features and benefits.

Venesta Product Video by Vivid Photo Visual

The video shoot was held over 3 days at their head office. The videos incorporated interviewing Martin, setting-up and maintaining the time-lapse of the current installation, filming the finished installation and also factory and office shots. The main concern was the time taken for installation and having to use a continuous light source that wouldn’t overheat. We decided to use Kino Flows as they are designed to run for hours at a time without overheating and they did a great job providing a uniformed light source for the filming and time-lapse photography.

Benefits of Product Videos

Product videos are one of the most powerful promotional and sales tools available to business and marketers. Below is a small selection of their benefits:

  • Sales – Hubspot has shown that after watching a video, people are 64% more likely to buy a product
  • Conversion rates – Crazyegg state that potential customers are more than 85% more likely to purchase a product/service having watched a video.
  • Retention –  Single Grain states that a 1 minute product videos are shown to have an 80% retention rate
  • Authority –  A product video can position the seller as an authority
  • Flexible – The video can be used on and offline across numerous promotional platforms
  • Lasting – A product video will last the length of the product and can be easily updated if the product changes
  • Speed – A customer can get a complete overview of the product within 1-2 minutes
  • S.E.O – Product videos compliment and enhance the overall SEO strategy and can provide important links from around the web
  • Sharing – A product video can be easily shared with the world directly to a potential customer.

If you would like more information about the benefits of product videos, please visit our product video overview blog.

Summary

It was a real pleasure to work with such a prestigious company and the people behind the brand. Interviewing Martin was a real joy to work with because he has such an infectious personality. Furthermore we are really please with how the videos have turned out and look forward to their success and hopefully working with Venesta on other projects.

About Vivid

Vivid Photo Visual, who are based in Manchester are a leading supplier of product video production, providing innovative and eye catching video production with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our our product video and product demonstration website pages.

Giving a Salon Perfect Pedicure

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to give your family and friends a Salon perfect pedicure?  Here are the steps required to make your subject feel super relaxed. Alternatively you can watch the full video at the end.

  1. Sanitise Feet  – use different piece of cotton wool on each foot.

    Sanitise each foot with a different piece of cotton wool.
    Sanitise each foot with a different piece of cotton wool.
  2. Work on one foot at a time
  3. Remove any existing Nail Varnish
  4. Soak feet for 3-4 minutes before commencing pedicure. Take out one foot and dry it with a towel. Leave the other foot in the foot bowl whilst working on the first foot.
  5. If toe nails are long, clip them first using a tie nail clipper. Make sure you clip straight across the nail clipping small pieces at a time. This helps prevent in-growing toe nails.

    Tidy up each toe nail using clippers.
    Tidy up each toe nail using clippers.
  6. Initially file the nails straight across to neaten up the shape just created. Bevel the edge by filing at a 45 degree angle to remove the rough edge and then soften the corners. Do these for all the toes.

    File each toe nail.
    File each toe nail.
  7. Using an Orangewood stick apply cuticle cream to the base of each nail. In this video Skintruth Cuticle Massage Cream http://www.salon-services.com/skintruth-cuticle-massage-cream-creams–lotions-and-butters-pmanicure59/ was used.

    Apply cuticle cream to each nail using an Orangewood stick
    Apply cuticle cream to each nail using an Orangewood stick
  8. Using a firm pressure massage the cuticle cream into the cuticle area of the nails.
  9. Place the foot back into the foot bowl and repeat all the steps on the second foot.

10. Take the first foot out of the foot bowl and again dry it off with a towel. Whilst drying the foot massage the cuticle cream into the nails. The cream softens the cuticles making them much easier to push back.

11. Wrap the slanted end of an Orangewood stick with cotton wool and use this to gently push back each cuticle.

Wrap cotton wool around an Orangewood stick to push back cuticles.
Wrap cotton wool around an Orangewood stick to push back cuticles.

12. After pushing back the cuticles it may be necessary to trim off any excess cuticle with some cuticle nippers. Just be careful to only remove excess cuticle and not living skin.

Use cuticle nippers to remove excess skin.
Use cuticle nippers to remove excess skin.

13. After the cuticles are done move onto the sole of the foot. You want to remove any hard skin with a Foot Rasp. Use the rasp in one direction following the grain of the skin. It’s better to apply a firm pressure as it helps remove the dry skin and also reduces tickling. When working on the heel always support the clients ankle with your spare hand.

14. After all the hard skin has been removed apply some Exfoliating Foot Scrub all over the foot and ankle to help to smooth over the areas of hard skin. Again use a firm pressure and use smooth sweeping strokes.

15. Put the foot back into the foot bowl and repeat for the second foot.

16. After completing the second foot rinse the cream off both feet using either your hands or a sponge.

17. Now give the first  foot and lower leg massage using a cream of your choice. Some of the cooling lotions like Peppermint work particularly well.

18. Using Effleurage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effleurage strokes up to the knee 6 times. It’s worth checking with your client that the pressure is fine.

Massage the lower leg using effleurage strokes.
Massage the lower leg using effleurage strokes.

19. Then using Petrissage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrissage knead up and down the muscle on the front of the lower leg. Slowly up to the knee and then drag back down to the ankle. Repeat this 3 times.

20. Repeat this process up the back of the leg, massaging the calf muscle.

21. Now make 3 slow circles around the ankle bone before moving onto Petrissage on the top of the foot.

22. Make slow circles with your thumbs on the soles of the feet. Start on the pads and slowly work down to the soles. Remember to use a reasonable amount of pressure. You can also use the cross friction method where you cross our thumbs over and under each other.

Massage the heal using thumb circles.
Massage the heal using thumb circles.

23. Support the ankle and then rotate the foot 3 times clockwise, then anti-clockwise. This is good for joint mobility.

24. Slowly flex and extend the foot 2 or 3 times.

25. Finally stroke using the Effleurage movement 6 times up the front of the lower leg.

26. Repeat steps 17-25 for the other foot.

You’re now ready to apply whatever nail finish your client would like. The video below features Katie Miles, Owner of Cheshire salon All Eyes On You. She goes through all the stages above as well as continuing onto applying polish.

To find out more about Katie and the All Eyes On You salon, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/aeoybeauty?fref=ts

Thanks for reading this pedicure blog we hope you found it useful. To find out more about Vivid Photo Visual.

 

Guten Time-lapse Video – Celebrating the partnership of airberlin & Etihad

Etihad and airberlin Time-lapse Video

Vivid have produced numerous time-lapse videos for many different industries. What we are most well known for is providing time-lapse web videos for the airplane industry.

airberlin and Etihad Partnership Logo
airberlin and Etihad Logo #Movingforward – Time-Lapse by Vivid Photo Visual

Airline Partners

Recently Etihad Airlines and airberlin have become premium airline partners. They have been partners since 2011 but this is a new phase in their partnership. This partnership means airberlin has been granted a new connection to Abu Dhabi. This new connection is a gateway to the Arab countries, Asia and Australia for airberlin customers. On the other hand the reciprocal airberlin connection, provides the gateway to North America for Etihad customers.

Launch Event Video

To celebrate this historic new phase of the partnership, they decided to have a launch event and unveiling in Germany. The best way to show this new stage was to have time-lapse video showing the new joint livery being applied to one of their Airbus A320’s.

Vivid Photo Visual carried on their long term working relationship with Air Livery, and were asked to document the 10-day process at their Norwich facility over the Christmas period.

Time-Laspe by Vivid Photo Visual
Scaffolding coming together – Time-Lapse Video by Vivid Photo Visual

Time-lapse Video Set-up

We produced the time-lapse with a 6 camera set-up. The main camera (with back-up) was aimed to capture the whole aircraft, these cameras were positioned as high as would allow on a platform that was built for us by Air Livery. We positioned a 3rd camera to concentrate on the view above the wing on both the new liveries.  We then had 3 roving cameras that could pick up footage when required. Intervals between each frame varied from 90 seconds down to as little as 1 second for the quick procedures. We also took footage with our camcorders and spliced this into the main edit. Over the whole process took over 1TB of stills and videos to be used for the main video.

Tight Schedule

We had a very tight window for post production due to airberlin requiring the videos for their unveiling on the 12th of January. Lets just say, the first week back was a very busy week for the Vivid team. As always Vivid hit the required deadline and the video was used at their unveiling event.

Time-Lapse Video by Vivid Photo Visual
The Finishing Stage – Shining both the logos for Delivery – Time-lapse by Vivid Photo Visual

Summary

It was a real pleasure to work on such a prestigious commission and Vivid wish airberlin and Etihad all the best on their historic partnership.

About Vivid

Vivid Photo Visual are based is Stockport near Manchester and are a leading supplier of time-lapse video production, providing informative and visually interesting video production with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. For more information about time-lapse video production, you can visit our our time-lapse video page .

Presenter Video – Videos to help your customers

Presenter Video Production

thinkmoney is a leading personal bank account provider. Their service helps customers avoid unexpected charges whilst managing a well run account. thinkmoney really understand the power of video promotion. They actively embrace video solutions to boost their website’s presence and functionality. thinkmoney approached Vivid Photo Visual as they wanted to use a presenter video to help their customers. This would be to quickly help customers navigate their website, complete important steps and to understand their service offering.

thinkmoney's comprehensive web video offering on their YouTube channel
thinkmoney’s comprehensive web video offering on their YouTube channel

Assisting their Customers

They approached Vivid with the request to film and edit 14 presenter videos. Their objective was to aid their current and potential customer’s understanding of thinkmoney’s service. They wanted their customers to have as much assistance as possible. This would be through the use of text, images and videos.

Presenter with Brand Iconography - Web Video by Vivid Photo Visual
Presenter with Brand Iconography – Web Video by Vivid Photo Visual

Using Presenter Videos

The video would have a presenter to clearly explain the question/problem and would sit directly on the most pertinent page to aid the viewers. The videos would also be used as a step-by-step guide to help their customers complete important undertakings for their account. We had worked with their newly established brand iconography. We wanted to produce videos that informed the viewer in a simple but visually appealing manner.

Web Video used to help the registering process.
Web Video used to help the registering process.

Video promotion gives the viewer a different option to a simple text offering. The presenter video can be viewed at the users pace. You can always rewind the video to go over a key point, or pause the screen to jot down some valuable information. Some customers might just breeze through the processes safe in the knowledge that they have the videos to fall back on should they get stuck.

Video explaining where to enter information - Web Video by Vivid Photo Visual
Video explaining where to enter information – Web Video by Vivid Photo Visual

Brand Guidelines

Having worked on the original main animated video for thinkmoney, allowed Vivid to really work on developing the videos within the same design framework. The videos that we produced for thinkmoney all had different attributes that echoed the video message but all closely followed thinkmoney’s brand guidelines. Some were simple delivery to the camera, whilst other showed the viewer what information need to be entered where to help the viewer. The script dictated the requirements for the graphics and animated screens of the website and allowed them to be quick and to the point. We filmed them at our Manchester based video studio against a green screen background.

Benefits of Presenter Videos

There are so many benefits to having key question based videos on your website, here is a small selection:

  • Delivers key information quickly and effectively
  • Rewind or pause the videos at your own pace
  • The viewer can take their own time to understand the information
  • Reduces call centre queries and therefore cost
  • Brings a friendly face, reassurance and personality to the process
  • Makes a more dynamic and adaptable website
  • Gives customers the choice how they want to digest the information
  • Can break complex processes down to easily understandable chunks of information
  • Can be used on video hosting websites to bring customer to the website.

Summary

thinkmoney now have an ever-expanding series of videos that help their customers navigate their website. This not only helps the customers, but also reduces cost for thinkmoney. It is always a real pleasure to work with a company that truly understand the power of video promotion. Furthermore we look forward to any projects thinkmoney might have in the future and wish them well with their new website.

About Vivid

Vivid Photo Visual is based in Manchester and are a leading video production company. We provide informative and beautiful video production all with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our presenter video page and our presenter video blog.

Making our website more visually appealing – Website update

A main element of any business owners remit is to make sure that every aspect of your promotional output is top notch. One evening it dawned on me that Vivid were missing a massive trick.

At this point I could state the usual “you have 8 seconds to keep people on your website” fact, but whatever the the time-length, the sentiment of the statement is wholeheartedly true. You need your website to be “sticky” to keep potential customers on your site, so that they can find out information about your company and what you can offer and therefore make an informed decision. When I looked at Vivid’s home page and delving into the myriad of Google Analytical reports, I started to conclude that Vivid were not using their precious real estate to the fullest.

Old Look of Vivid Photo Visual's Website homepage
Old Look of Vivid Photo Visual’s Website homepage

First off we had a good quality (in my opinion) animation video, which had served us well over the years, as the first thing a viewer would see. Inexplicably we had a large text box to the right of the video, which housed about 20 words of text in a large font. The box supplied vague information about the business but took up over a third of the website real estate. This is something that we knew we had to update. We thought that providing a clearly defined navigation bar (please see above) that would take people to the relevant services and therefore would help potential customers find the information they needed quicker. Revisiting this change we decided that this was not enough , we are a visual promotions company and we should reflect this within our website design.   We discussed/argued about the format in the studio and decided that there was a need to provide a showreel to demonstrate all our different types work quickly. This was coupled with the need to update the righthand side navigation bar to something more visually appealing, but at the same time retaining the increased navigation aspect of the previous update.

Vivid Photo Visuals new Homepage, showing the full range of web video services that we offer in a more visual style.
Vivid Photo Visuals new Homepage, showing the full range of web video services that we offer in a more visual style.

On the homepage there was a new showreel produced, and now each of the service categories would be showcased by a visually interesting key images denoting a representation of the service. We wanted the viewer to get an immediate grasp of the quality of work that Vivid can produce with each of the service offerings.

Vivid Photo Visual's Hero Page for our Time-lapse Service showing the new style of the our website.
Vivid Photo Visual’s Hero Page for our Time-lapse Service showing the new style of the our website.

We took the showreel concept one step further by providing showreel videos for all the different services that we offer. Therefore there was a company profile showreel, a time-laspe showreel etc. This would allow the viewer to get a taste of what we offered and if they wanted to explore they had easy access to the rest of the site. On for example the time-lapse main page, the images that had replaced the text were now clickable images taking the viewer straight to different client video commissions. Again getting the viewer/potential customer quickly to the level of information they require.

The new time-lapse video page shows some detail about the client and a selection of key images from the commission.
The new time-lapse video page shows some detail about the client and a selection of key images from the commission.

Once the viewer had landed on the individual client page, on the righthand panel there would be a brief overview of the client and the commission itself, followed by key images that represented the video that we produced. Hopefully this would entice the viewer to watch the video or again would provide them with an understanding of the job itself.

We also worked on the social media side of the site by providing a better link structure to Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and allowing viewers easier access to follow VividPhotoVis on twitter. Building and adding to a website is never an easy task and while we are not experts we are pleased with the visual outcome of the recent update. This has been backed-up with a sizeable increase in the average time on the site, a reduced bounce rate and increased numbers of visitors. We are aways looking to improve our websites look and functionality and we are already looking at changes to the top of the website. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

If you would like to have a look at the new look website or would like to find out more about what web videos Vivid offer, please visit or call 0161 477 2404.

Manage your promotion properly…use an Animation Video

thinkmoney Animation Video

Vivid produce a variety of different types of web videos. One of the most creative types of web videos is using animation to tell a story. An animation video is only limited by a clients and Vivid’s imagination. You can have what you want in your video, one minute you can be in Manchester City Centre and the next morph to the other side of the World. You can show complex machinery working in action from any angle. Like our previous animation blog states you can really bring your brand’s personality to the fore.

thinkmoney Homepage Animated Video

thinkmoney personal account page with animated video by Vivid Photo Visual
Personal account page with animated video

After seeing our previous work, thinkmoney approached Vivid Photo Visual with the prospect of an animation video. This video would form the first element new customers would view. They were in the process of updating their brand an website with a new look. They wanted Vivid to produce a video that complemented their new style.

Flowing Animation Style

Working closely with their Marketing team, we formulated a storyboard and a script. We based the imagery on their icons designed for their new website. This led to Vivid creating a concept that would flow seamlessly between elements. We wanted the look to mimic something being written on the page and the icons to morph and flow from one to the next. Fine-tuning this process really shaped the video and allowed Vivid to hit the required 1 minute 30 mark. The video had to be visually interesting but provide genuine important information. Once we had shown the thinkmoney team some examples/concept and they had provided their feedback. Next was taking all these elements and combining them into our original concept. The video has been a massive success and has had nearly 40,000 views.

Animated Web Video by Vivid Photo Visual
Animated Web Video by Vivid Photo Visual

Summary – Some Kind Words

It was an absolute joy to work closely with their marketing team. We are really pleased that with all Vivid’s and thinkmoney’s hard work and creativity, we have produced a fun and informative animation video that clearly explains what thinkmoney offers and complements their new brand image.

thinkmoney have kindly said the following words…

“Vivid have produced an imaginative, creative video which is both helpful to customers and enjoyable to watch. They worked hard to meet our company requirements and delivered a video we are proud to associate with the new thinkmoney brand.”

We wish them well for the future and look forward to continuing our strong working relationship.

About Vivid Photo Visual

Vivid Photo Visual is based in the North West of England are a leading animation video production company. We produce visually exciting video production all with a strong business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our “what we do page” or contact us on 0161 477 2404 to speak to a member of the team. You can also visit our our animation video page or our animated video blog.

Vivid’s new Homepage showreel video

Vivid is in the process of producing an update to the website (will report back soon on this new look). We looked at the videos we use to promote our work, as we are of course a video promotional company and you have to practice what you preach! With this in mind we decided to update our showreel to fit on our homepage.

Vivid's new showreel on the trailer section of our YouTube channel
Vivid’s new showreel on the trailer section of our YouTube channel

 

This also coincided with YouTube now allowing for a a channel trailer video to be used. With our videos having been viewed nearly 400,000 times on Youtube alone and close to a million times on other sites, YouTube and videos sites in general are a very important promotional video tool. This obviously applies to our clients promotional strategy. At Vivid we go to great lengths to explain the benefits of these video channels and how to get the best out of them.

A showreel is obviously a great way to show 6 years of work within 2 minutes. As we have a diverse range of work covering many disciplines, we cherry picked the best shots to give a feel for what vivid can do to help you promote your business. The video flows between animated videos to live action videos and back again.

We have also edited a series of showreels for each element of our portfolio, so for example, the time-lapse main/hero page will have its own showreel. This will allow current and potential customers the opportunity to view the showreel and if they like what they see, hopefully contact Vivid to explore their ideas in greater detail. Conversely they always have the option to look further into the site and maybe go into the actual client pages, before they make up their mind.

We hope you like what you see and if you have any ideas you would like to discuss, please call 0161 477 2404. To find out more about what we do please visit http://www.vividphotovisual.com/

Boots use Vivid for their “how to” Presenter Video series

Boots Presenter Video

Vivid Photo Visual were really pleased when we were contacted by such a reputable high street name like Boots to produce a series of video for their YouTube Channel and website. They wanted to produce videos that would help both existing and future customers with the maintenance of their Hearing Aids.

The Shoot

While these video had to have a quality look and feel to them, it was more important to provide them in an easy to understand format so that the maximum informational benefit could be achieved.

Working closely with the client and the Marketing team we researched a lot of other “how to” videos and across the board they were of a poor quality. This would obviously not be suitable quality to fit in with the Boots brand. When we were designing the set in our studio, we didn’t want to over clutter the videos and therefore went for a simple white table against a white background, giving a professional, clean and slightly clinical feel. A perfect for their brand and products.

 

Karen Shepherd appearing on Boot's hearingcare product web video by Vivid Photo Visual
Karen Shepherd appearing on Boot’s hearingcare web video by Vivid Photo Visual

Karen Shepard, a Hearing Aid Audiologist, was the person chosen to provide the instruction for the video and it was brilliant to work with someone who was so confident and assured in front of the video cameras. This was complemented by her expert knowledge within the industry.

How To Videos

A how to video is where a presenter (normally) instructs the viewer on the steps necessary to achieve their objective. The presenter will break down each stage and this will allow for the viewer to get an understanding of the process. How to videos should be an extremely important part of a company’s promotional strategy. Not only do these videos have a practical application to them but they also position the creator as an authority on the subject. Furthermore they can attract a potential customer to the product or bestow confidence in existing customers that the business is taking care of the future.

Benefits of Boots’ Presenter Videos

The benefits of these videos for Boots are:

  1. They provide Boot’s customers with a greater level of service and product understanding
  2. They explain the products in an easy to understand fashion
  3. Videos are a great reference for Boot’s customers
  4. Allows for numerous promotional opportunities for the video series
  5. Boots demonstrates their position as an expert in their industry.

Summary

It was great to work with a company that is really embracing the numerous benefits of video promotion and provides videos that really enriches their clients use of their products. By using a presenter video they are reassuring their customers about their products. We look forward to working with them in the future.

About Vivid

Vivid Photo Visual is based in Stockport near Manchester and are a leading supplier of product video production. We provide innovative and eye catching video production all with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our presenter video production page.

If you would like to find out more about video promotion, please call 0161 477 2404 or visit our video promotion section of our blog.

All Eyes On You

 

All Eyes On You...Cheadle's unisex boutique beauty salon.
All Eyes On You…Cheadle’s unisex boutique beauty salon.

It seems like only yesterday that All Eyes On You opened its doors to the public but we are now into our eight month of trading. So much has has happened so quickly… we now have a team of three therapists and are currently preparing the new extension to the salon. All Eyes On You is a unisex boutique beauty salon based in Cheadle. I have been in the beauty industry for over ten years .

Katie Miles owner of All Eyes On You beauty salon in Cheadle, Stockport.
Katie Miles owner of All Eyes On You beauty salon in Cheadle, Stockport.

Whilst lecturing in the beauty department at Stockport College for the last six years it has been my dream to open my own salon, so when I found the perfect premises that is what I set out to do. The reason I liked the building on Queen Street was because it had plenty of its own free parking which I think is so important for my clients. I feel that All Eyes On You works for everyone due to it opening six days a week and five late nights a week making it accessible for clients who have demanding work schedules and families.

All Eyes On You unisex boutique beauty salon Stockport.
All Eyes On You unisex boutique beauty salon Stockport.

Our treatment list includes everything that you may require from maintenance treatments to luxury pamper packages and with my education background it is a priority of mine to ensure that the team are keeping up to date with new trends and training in the latest treatments. We also have an advanced nurse practitioner who offers anti wrinkle and filler treatments.

Eyebrow threading for those perfect brows
Eyebrow threading for those perfect brows

I am very lucky to have built up such a loyal client base over the last few years. My clients are very important to me and many of them have become friends. I think it is very important to offer a professional service at all times but making sure your client feels comfortable and relaxed which is consistent every time they come into your salon.

A client enjoying a relaxing shoulder massage.
A client enjoying a relaxing shoulder massage.

When designing the theme of the salon I knew I wanted to keep it clean and fresh looking. The colour scheme I chose was duck egg and white with a shabby chic feel. I am very grateful to Graham from Vivid Photo Visual for using his expertise to capture some beautiful shots of the salon. Graham was great at understanding what I wanted and what was important to capture. The photos have been a great way of adding life to the salon twitter and facebook sites and giving new clients an idea of what to look for when finding the salon or what to expect when they come in. Once upstairs is completed I am hoping to use Graham and Vivid Photo Visual again for some new photos and also look at the possibility of filming a tour around the salon with an introduction to the team which could be used on the website.

Inside All Eyes On You beauty salon in Cheadle, Cheshire
Inside All Eyes On You beauty salon in Cheadle, Cheshire

All Eyes On You will be hosting a re launch day in September when we welcome the public to come and join us for a look around and a glass of bubbly! Look out for more details on our facebook and twitter pages.

Katie x

MCE Superbike Championship at Oulton Park – Sport Photography

Tyco Suzuki's PJ Jacobsen at Oulton Park
Tyco Suzuki’s PJ Jacobsen at Oulton Park

MCE Superbike Championship at Oulton Park

I’m at that stage now where having 2 young children seriously hampers my ‘own’ photography time. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change this for the world but I needed to think of a way to turn this round. The answer, buy my 5 year old a camera and we’ll go out on ‘photo adventures’. Mummy can come to the MCE Superbike Championship at Oulton Park if she wants or she can have bonding time with baby. Everyones a winner!

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne leads the field at Oulton Park.
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne leads the field at Oulton Park.

Oulton Park

So this weekends adventure was to Oulton Park in Cheshire to watch Round 7 of the MCE British Superbike Championship. I’d taken Anthony earlier in the year to watch GT racing and we had a great time. That time by mistake, instead of driving in the main entrance we went round the side to the Shaw’s entrance. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as this part of the circuit is great to watch the racing. The viewpoint also allows you to park so close that you could watch from the car. This was very useful in April as it was raining.

So we headed for the same entrance, knowing it would be perfect. Today the weather was beautiful, a proper Summer’s day, which isn’t something we often say. We made our way in the car all the way round to Britten’s chicane and parked up.

Photographic Equipment

For any techies out there for all the shots in the Blog I used the same camera and lens combo. I didn’t want to be lugging bags and bags of lenses round with me. So my equipment of choice was a Canon 7D and fixed 400mm lens. The 400mm on a 7D (with the crop factor) made things a little tight on the exit of Britten’s. I do prefer the quality and faster aperture of a fixed telephoto over a zoom.

Luke Hedger leads the Superstock 600 race through Britten's
Luke Hedger leads the Superstock 600 race through Britten’s

This is where I am happy to admit that my choice in track position was 50% down to the thought process that a chicane seems like a good spot. The other 50% was down to the fact that I knew Anthony would want to keep going back to the car.

Getting the best Position

This was was my first attempt at photographing motorbikes on a track. I’d done the usual searches like ‘best part of the track to take photographs‘ or ‘photographing motorbikes at Oulton Park’ and seen lots of great photos. What I concluded was most were by photographers with passes to the inside of the fence. So I just used what common sense I have and headed for the chicane.

The BMW Buildbase Team riders at Oulton Park
The BMW Buildbase Team riders at Oulton Park

BMW Buildbase Team

Now what I hadn’t factored in is that although I could see over the tyre wall to the chicane, a 5 year old can’t! So Anthony was getting a little frustrated with blurred pictures of tyres and the back of marshall’s heads. So we moved between Britten’s and the exit of the Shell Oil Corner which leads into it. The photo above of the 2 BMW Buildbase team riders is taken on this short but very fast exit to the corner.

Photographing a Bike Crash

It was out of this corner and onto the straight that Josh Owens’ race finished. He exited Shell Oil Corner too wide pushing him onto the grass. With slick tyres and the exit speed involved there was no avoiding a face full of dirt. Bikers are a tough bunch though and he dusted himself off and walked away. You need to have fast reactions also as a photographer if you want to capture the action. I spotted him going onto the grass in the corner of my eye and quickly get him frame.

Josh Owens crashes out of Monster Energy Motostar Championship
Josh Owens crashes out of Monster Energy Motostar Championship

Rule of Thirds

The photograph of Tom Booth-Amos below, was a shot I visualised but needed a single rider to make it happen. I know everyone has heard of the rule of thirds in photography and I think this is why the composition of this image works. It is probably my favourite photograph from the day.

Tom Booth-Amos down the hill out of Shell Oil Corner
Tom Booth-Amos down the hill out of Shell Oil Corner

Below is a shot of Jenny Tinmouth as she leans through Britten’s. Jenny is the only female rider in the 2013 BSB season and clearly wants to be moving up the ranks.

Jenny Tinmouth leans through the Britten's chicane
Jenny Tinmouth leans through the Britten’s chicane

I don’t doubt that there are other fantastic corners or areas of the track, and the paddock would provide great photographs too, but with a 5 year old walking miles just wasn’t an option.

So I’ll leave you with a couple of photograph of the season’s Title Fighters. The first photo pretty much sums up the top of the leader board with Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne a fraction ahead of the Tyco Suzuki teams Josh Brookes. How will the season end?

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne inches ahead of Josh Brookes
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne inches ahead of Josh Brookes

Lastly, although there were 3 separate race winners on the day. The overall leader in the race so far is Shakey. So here he is waving to the fans.

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne waves to the camera
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne waves to the camera

Summary

So for me it was a fun day out with Anthony at the MCE Superbike Championship and we both had a great time taking photo’s. I would recommend that if other photographers are unsure what area of the track to head for at Oulton Park for photography, Britten’s chicane would be a great option. I hope you enjoyed the Blog, I’m going to keep adding personal projects and fun photographs.

About Vivid Photo Visual

Vivid Photo Visual is based in Manchester are a leading supplier of product video production, providing innovative and eye catching video production with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our commercial photography page or read some of our photography blogs.

Hook your customers with a product video.

Durahook Product Video

Vivid were contacted recently by Lockers & Benches. They are a Lancashire based company that manufacture and supply a wide range of changing room furniture and accessories. They wanted us to produce a product video for one of their most popular products, the Durahook (TM).

Durahook (TM) unbreakable plastic coat hook,
Durahook (TM) unbreakable plastic coat hook.

Unbreakable

The Durahook (TM) is a coat hook that is designed to overcome the problem of vandalised and broken hooks. There is an obvious cost to replace and they  can be sharp and unsightly. This hook is unbreakable and Lockers & Benches wanted a video that would show the benefits of the hook. Vivid worked closely with the client and produced a storyboard that would show all the features and benefits of the Durahook (TM). We believed that a hands on demonstration of the product with standing direct hits from a hammer really brought this message home.

Durahook Product Video_01

Animated Graphics

The video was a shot on location at the Lockers & Benched factory. We also filmed product shots against a white background at our video studio in Manchester. Additional animated graphics were used throughout the video to highlight specific features.

Durahook (TM) product video.
Durahook (TM) product video.

Product Video on YouTube

The Durahook (TM) product demonstration video is now an integral part of the newly updated Lockers & Benches website. The video has already had 15,000 of views on YouTube which in turn will be helping to generate website traffic and therefore sales.

Summary

We were really happy with the product video. We feel it clearly demonstrates the unique capabilities of the hook. The functional aspect of the hook is complement by the clear and concise graphical elements. It was a great project to work on and I’m sure Vivid and the L&B team will be working together on promoting future products.

About Vivid

Vivid Photo Visual is based in Stockport and are a leading supplier of product video production, providing innovative and informative videos with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact a member of the team on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our our product video page and product video blog.

Use an animation video to your business to drive recruitment

Rezoomo Animation Video

Here at Vivid Photo Visual, we produce a wide variety of web videos for differing promotional purposes. One of the styles of video where we can really flex our creative juices is through an animation video. The beauty of animated videos, is that the scope can be limitless. An animated video can really match the company’s brand values whilst at the same time quickly demonstrating the benefits of the product or service.

Who are Rezoomo?

Rezoomo is a new start-up business providing a unique service in the online recruitment business sector. The service mixes traditional online recruitment, advanced CV creation, website creation and a multitude of social media aspects. All these features means the user has numerous promotional tools at their disposal. The service allows the user to promote their skills directly to employers and vice versa.

The Animated Requirements

Rezoomo came to Vivid after having seen our “Evolution of Communication” homepage video. They wanted Vivid to produce a unique video that would highlight the many USP’s of the service. As previously mentioned there are a lot of aspects of the service to describe. We knew we would have a lot of information to display within a two minute total running time. Coupled with this was the requirement from the client to hit a tight deadline as the video needed to be ready for the launch of the service.

Animation of World Map by Vivid Photo Visual
Animation of World Map

Client Consultation

Speaking in-depth with the client we started to formulate the look, feel and the style of animation that would be used. They wanted the video to obviously fit in and complement the look and feel of the new website. Also because of the type of service that was being offered, it would have to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. The video would have to resonate with many different social and economic groups.

Animation Video by Vivid Photo Visual
Animation Main Character

Animation Video Style

Rezoomo and Vivid wanted to make the video professional but with a fun vibe.  There are so many features to the service so we thought it was best to use a simplified almost cartoon look. This would allow the more fun aspects of the animation to shine through. We wanted the video to flow quickly due to the number of features. This meant that each scene would morph into the next. To complement the style we used a 2D/3D animation mix to provide an interesting aspect to the video.  Working through the process, we produced a story board and an animatic. We then honed these elements so it could be fleshed out to the video itself. It was key to get across that this was a worldwide service, so we animated a number of world maps to get this point over.

The animated web video sitting on the homepage - Vivid Photo Visual

The animated web video sitting on the homepage – Vivid Photo Visual

Video Promotion

As you can see from the image above, Rezoomo really embraced our integration ideas for the video being placed on their website and put it at the heart of the website’s design. As this was the opening promotional aspect of the website, it was important that the video quickly explained to the viewer who Rezoomo was and why they should use the service.

Animation of Video Conference Call by Vivid Photo Visual
Animation of Video Conference Call by Vivid Photo Visual

Summary

We are really pleased with how the video has turned out and we enjoyed working with the team at Rezoomo. Above all, I think we portrayed the important aspect of providing the recruitment link between the user and the employee. We wish them all the best for their new endeavour, which we are sure will be a major success.

Client’s Testimonial

Cathal Doorley, Managing Director of Rezoomo said “Glen and the team at Vivid far exceeded my expectations and created a video that captures our product and service in in a visually engaging and informative way. I would highly recommend them and very much look forward to working with them in the future”

About Vivid

Vivid Photo Visual is based in Stockport near Manchester and is a leading supplier of corporate video production. We provide visually innovative video production all with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our our animation video production page or read some blogs about animated videos or video promotion.

A pair of Manchester based time-lapse video production

Jägermeister Time-lapse Video

It seems recently we’ve been talking about time-lapse videos quite a lot. It makes sense as one of our core service offerings is time-lapse video production. So it seems only right that we continue to do so, with a couple more time-lapse videos that Vivid Photo Visual have produced.

The first is a time-lapse Vivid produced for Jägermeister of a huge advertising billboard being erected promoting their ‘Give it a shot‘ campaign.

"Give it a Shot" Promotional Shot from Jägermeister UK Newsroom
“Give it a Shot” Time-lapse Video

Early Start

The advert was installed on the side of an old warehouse on Canal Street in heart of Manchester. It was a very early start for the Vivid team. So early in fact that there were still plenty of party people leaving the clubs around the Village. We used 2 cameras for the shoot from opposite sides of the building. A third camera was used to provide footage for additional angles. The early hour and weather weren’t really on our side for time-lapse but we still managed to produce a great video.

Vivid’s Studio Time-lapse

The second video is just a bit of fun. Vivid Photo Visual fairly recently moved into The Old Bank in Shaw Heath, Stockport. The first thing we did was have a large infinity cove constructed within the studio, which enables us to produce product videos and photography. We thought it would be a fun idea to set a couple of cameras up to capture the event.

Summary

It is projects like these that really show how versatile time-lapse videos can be. We have a few more time-lapse projects lined up in the near future so keep dropping by our website for the latest news.

About Vivid Photo Visual

Vivid Photo Visual is based in Manchester and is a leading producer of time-lapse video production. We provide innovative and eye catching time-lapse video production to really capture the process.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our our time-lapse video for more information.

6 Great Time-Lapse videos chosen by Vivid Photo Visual

Time-lapse Videos

I love watching time-lapse videos, there’s something so magical about seeing time speeded up.  I thought I’d share a few creative time-lapses that I’ve been watching on the web recently.

Kuala Lumpar DAY-NIGHT

Firstly a superb time-lapse video by Rob Whitworth titled Kuala Lumpur DAY-NIGHT. It’s an amazing video taking him 5 months and 20,000 frames. Some of the transitions between scenes and camera movements are awesome.

The Longest Walk

There are some truly creative time-lapse videos out there. This next one from Christoph Ruhage titled The Longest Way 1.0, captures a truly epic adventure. Christoph walked over 4500km across China and had the foresight to capture images along the journey that he could edit into a brilliantly different time-lapse.

International Space Station Time-lapse

The next time-lapse that I came across recently dates back to 2011 but certainly isn’t in anyway dated. In fact it’s safe to say it’s out of this world, as the image were taken from the ISS International Space Station. The photographs taken over a 3 month period captures some stunning natural phenomenas, Aurora Borealis and Australis from various passes of the Earth. The whole time-lapse was skill-fully edited together by Michael König and is simply called ‘Earth’.

Virgin Airways Ruby Tuesday

Next up is actually one of Vivid Photo Visual’s time-lapse videos. You’ve got to like your own production haven’t you? I actually found that other people must had liked it as well, as it was given a Vimeo Staff Pick award which is cool.

Vivid Photo Visual’s Vimeo Staff Pick Award

It’s a time-lapse of a VAA Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 repaint, that was filmed at Air Livery in Manchester. It was initially put on Vimeo by the design company that was involved with the rebranding, and has now had over 318K views on their page. Maybe a little naughty on their part as it is our video, but they have now given us a credit in the description. I’ll link to our version as it’s the HD version.

The Lion City

I’ve saved the best until last. The last time-lapse that I have for your perusal is from a guy that personally I think produces some of the most creative time-lapses I’ve ever seen. Keith Loutit was the first to create the ‘miniature’ look time-lapses using tilt shift lenses and other techniques. He’s now taken this a step further by allowing the viewers to experience focus and distance. Check out Lion City and be amazed.

Miniature Manchester

As an added bonus video here’s is our video ‘Miniature Manchester’ which was inspired by Keith Loutit‘s series. It was filmed from a few rooftop locations around the city centre, as well as an apartment on Deansgate and Victoria Station.

Summary

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick blog and watching a few of the time-lapses. Please let Vivid know what your favourite time-lapse videos are in the comments section below.

About Vivid Photo Visual

If you think your company or business could benefit from their own time-lapse video or any other type of Web Video speak to Vivid Photo Visual, we’re based in Stockport near Manchester and specialise in commercial video production. You can also visit our our time-lapse video production or read some of our time-lapse videos blogs.

Corporate Video helps to develop your business

DSCL Corporate Video

DS Colour Labs recently approached Vivid as they needed a corporate video. This video would be the centre piece of their stand at the forthcoming Focus On Imaging 2013 trade-show, held at Birmingham NEC. Vivid Photo Visual had previously provided DSCL with a range of product videos that currently help to promote their wide range of products and services.

Vivid were required to capture every aspect of their successful business. The video needed to show the scale the business and to provide an understanding of their business offering.

DSCL Reddish
DSCL Reception by Vivid Photo Visual

Trade Show Video Production

Vivid have extensive experience in producing trade-show videos. A trade show video should be clear and concise. It should have the ability to make the viewer understand your key business and how it can benefit them. All these objectives need to be achieved without any sound. This is because a trade show is a busy and noisy environment and most show organisers request that no sound is played. Vivid decided to keep the messages simple and let the visual image tell the story. We used eye-catching, bold and colourful graphics to provide additional detail to the scene and explain key information.

DSCL at Focus On Imaging 2013
DSCL at Focus On Imaging 2013

The After Party – Corporate Video

So what happens to the video once the short trade-show has ended? How can Vivid help make the investment in the video have even greater and prolonged benefits for your business? The trick is to re-edit the video into a corporate company profile video. Knowing that the video would eventually be used as a company profile it was initially shot with this in mind. So we changed the initial trade-show edit to a bespoke company profile video that sits on the DSCL website. The one video has multiple uses and shows the flexibility and power of video promotion.

DSCL processing services
A selection of services offered by DS Colour Labs by Vivid Photo Visual

Long Shelf Life

It’s clear to see that unlike many forms of promotion, video has a very long shelf life. It is an online sales tool for viewing 24/7 and 365 days a year. It can be viewed on a customers PC, Mac, Laptop, Tablet, Smart Phone, basically whatever screen has access to the internet.

DS Colour Labs Manchester
DSCL Head Office in Reddish by Vivid Photo Visual

Summary

Working with a passionate business like DS Colour Labs, was a breeze. They have really embraced video promotion and are using this form of promotion across numerous platforms. Vivid look forward to working with their team again in the future.

About Vivid Photo Visual

Vivid Photo Visual is based in Stockport near Manchester and are a leading producer of corporate video production. We film and edit innovative and eye catching video production, all with a business backbone.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please contact a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404. You can also visit our our corporate video page or read some more of our blogs about corporate videos.

Sunjunkie – Addicted to Product Videos

Product Videos Retrospective

For this blog we’ve decided to focus on one of our clients, tanning specialists Sunjunkie. Sunjunkie are a fellow Stockport based company. Over the last few years Vivid have built an extremely good working relationship Sunjunkie. This relationship has produced a series of successful product videos.

We invited Marie Hills, their Business Development Manager into the Vivid studio to produce a short video. This video would highlight her experiences with both product video promotion and Vivid Photo Visual.

Sunjunkie are always looking for the best way to promote their brand and increase sales. Their product videos have proved to be a great success and a powerful additional platform. This has lead to an increase in brand awareness and sales.

Benefits of Product Videos

Product videos have many advantages, including:

  • Viewable online 24/7
  • Clearly showcase your products USP’s
  • 1 video can be broadcast through multiple channels
  • Video has great SEO benefits
  • Able to be sent directly to potential customers or stockists.

Sunjunkie’s Video Promotion Strategy

If we take a look at a couple of the Sunjunkie videos we can instantly see by the amount of views these videos have had, that it’s a great way to generate business.

The Sunjunkie spraytan application product demonstration video has currently had over 300,000 views and counting. Sunjunkie has suppliers across Europe and the video is a great way to help in the sales and understanding of the practical application of their products. A version of the video is also included on a DVD when purchasing certain products.

Sunjunkie Black Overspray Booth by Vivid Photo Visual

The first product video we did for Sunjunkie was a product video that would showcase their range of Pigs, their portable hand held spraytan machines.

Vivid Photo Visual’s product video placement on the Sunjunkie website

The video sits on the relevant product page and offers the viewer a greater understanding of the product and to visual see the pigs. This video has directly increased sales for Sunjunkie. Another vital benefit of hosting the video on YouTube is that it enables their products to be found from potential customers searching Google for relevant items. This video has had over 4000 views though a range of YouTube Channels.

Utilising Video Promotion

We think it’s clear to see that Sunjunkie are reaping the rewards from embracing the use of product videos in their promotion. The series of videos has now exceeded 400,000 views through various channels and Social Media sites. Each of these videos provide a brand building platform. They foster a positive overview of the company and at the same time educate the viewers about the product and the range. Add to this the additional Search Engine Optimisation benefits of video promotion, and you can see why product videos are one of the most effective forms of media promotion.

Sunjunkie Fashion Product Photograph by Vivid Photo Visual

Summary

We always enjoy working with the team at Sunjunkie as they truly embrace video promotion. Furthermore Vivid are looking forward to working with them on further commercial web videos for their exciting new products in the near future.

About Vivid Photo Visual

Vivid Photo Visual is based in the North West and are a leading producer of product video production. We provide informative and eye-catching video production solutions.

If you would like to found out more about what Vivid produce, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0161 477 2404. You can find out more about our product video and product demonstration  pages. You can also read more product video blogs.

A few snowy winter wildlife photographs

It’s at this time of year when the UK seems to come to a stand still as we’ve had a few inches of snow. So as I’m sat here looking out of the Vivid office window at the traffic building up outside it made me think of a few times I’ve been lucky enough to take some nature photographs in the snow.

So here’s a few of my favourites.

Firstly a rare bird for the British Isles a Crested Tit. Taken in the Scottish Highlands near Loch Garten where there is a good population.

Crested Tit on a Larch tree by Graham Ella/Vivid Photo Visual

Nearer to home and everyones garden favourite, the Robin. During the winter months they are easily attracted to even the smallest garden by putting out food and water.

Robin on snow covered pine by Graham Ella/Vivid Photo Visual

Next I’ve included a couple of snow covered landscapes, with the addition of animals tracks in the snow.

Derbyshire is well know for it gritstone landscape and here’s a photograph taken on a chilly morning at Curbar Edge. In the foreground there are tracks of either a Rabbit or Hare.

Wintery scene on Curbar Edge by Graham Ella/Vivid Photo Visual

Whilst up in the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands, after a quick stop off at Loch Insh for a sunset I noticed Otter tracks along the waters edge.

Otter track in the snow Loch Insh by Graham Ella/Vivid Photo Visual

Whilst up in the Cairngorms I was lucky enough to spent some time with Britain’s only herd of Reindeer, with about 50 roaming free upon the Cairngorm plateaux. The Reindeer were incredibly friendly, very inquisitive and very good subjects.

Reindeer on the Cairngorms Plateau by Graham Ella/Vivid Photo Visual

Finally one of my favourite snowy wildlife images. Whilst up in Scotland with the brilliant Scottish photographer Pete Cairnes of Northshots, we had the pleasure of photographing a Goshawk one of Britains rarest birds of prey, under controlled conditions. The snow was coming down hard, and to make the most of this I decided to photograph the Goshawk with a relatively long exposure to give some movement to the snow. Using a 500mm lens gives a very shallow depth of field and emphasises the weather conditions. I love the way the hawks eyes are piercing through the snow right down the lens.

Goshawk in snow storm by Graham Ella/Vivid Photo Visual

I hope you like a few of these wintery images. If you would like too see a few more of my wildlife images please have a look at Graham Ella – Images of Nature

With Vivid Photo Visual being a video production company I am hoping to start to add some Nature videos over the coming months, obviously I’l blog about it, so watch this space.

 

 

 

 

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time-lapse

It’s nearly Christmas and Vivid were feeling all festive in our Old Bank, so we decided it was time to create a Christmas inspired video. We moved into The Old Bank back in July and we wanted a video that would show a glimpse inside our quirky studio, as well as offering something festive.

The Old Bank is a mock Tudor building and is Grade II listed. It retains many of it’s original features including large vault and a beautiful wood paneled lobby. We wanted the building to be the main focus of our video.

Through a chance meeting with an old friend from school outside The Old Bank, we came up with a concept for a festive video. Antonio Subirats or ‘Subi’ to his friends, is now an acclaimed local artist, and although it had been over 20 years since we last saw each other, we agreed neither of us had changed a bit…honest.

Stockport based artist Antonio Subrats - by Vivid Photo Visual

The concept for our Christmas video was in two parts. Firstly to incorporate a brief first person walk through of the building. This would show a few areas of the Bank and the day to day comings and goings within it. The final section would be through the eyes of Antonio which would then progress into the second part of the video. The second section of the video would be a time-lapse of Antonio creating a pastel drawing of the outside of The Old Bank. The finished drawing would then be altered to give it the Christmas feel, with lights, snow, tree and my son peering out of the window.

During the walk through introduction we were fortunately joined by Manchester based model Laura Jo, who although is used to having her photograph taken, did a great job of doing a little acting. As we had a little time spare during the painting creation, I managed to take a few portraits of Laura in the upstairs room of the building that has a lovely old stained glass window.

Manchester based model Laura Jo - by Vivid Photo Visual

The logistics of producing the time-lapse section was the hardest aspect of the video. Antonio knew he would need between 5-6 hours to produce the drawing, and we needed at least 2 cameras that would be able to see as much of the canvas as possible. The cameras would need to not hinder him at work, so we chose to have one on a raised boom arm high above the artist, with a second positioned to the side. This approach allowed for angles to be changed within the edit, we also filmed other sections in HD that could be added within additional edits…watch this space.

The Old Bank by Stockport artist Antonio Subirats - Vivid Photo Visual

So from all the team at Vivid we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Thanks again to all our clients new and old for their business this year.

Please watch our Christmas video featuring the work of Antonio. It’s fun to watch and the final drawing hopefully will give you that warm Christmas feeling.

 

To see more of his artwork, please check out Antonio Subirats’ website.

 

Recycle Your Video

For this edition of the blog, we wanted to show how you can use existing footage/content and change it to produce new content. A few years ago whilst planning for the Manchester Business Show at the Manchester Central Arena, the team came up with the simple concept of using eye-catching animal images to provide a visual hook/theme to our stand. This included 8-foot images of tarantulas and chameleons with the usual play on words to accompany the images. We also had two iMacs set-up at the front with a simple video showing the animals in motion and then a graphic to show an aspect of our skill set. The images and videos certainly did their part and the tradeshow was a resounding success.

Bearded Dragon - Pogona vitticeps by Vivid Photo Visual

We filmed and photographed the various animals in our studio in Stockport. We were very fortunate to meet a couple of people that were passionate about spiders and reptiles and were very keen to help us with our project. It was a very enjoyable shoot, having a Tarantula climb onto your camera or a Milk Snake lick your hand is not everyones idea of fun, but we loved it.

Yemen Chameleon – Chamaeleo calyptratus by Vivid Photo Visual

For the next 3 years, we did nothing with the footage until now. By using the best of the footage, placing a new objective to the video and creating new motion graphics, the video has a new lease of life.

Why should we do this?

1. Showcases our filming and graphics animation capabilities
2. Allows for branding to be shown
3. Allows for a video that will be watched because of people’s interest in the subject
4. Provides another strong piece of online content, that can be used to complement our SEO strategy
5. Creative piece that could be used to attract people to our website

Red Iguana by Vivid Photo Visual

It is for these reasons that Vivid always recommend additional edits/videos when we are commissioned by a client. Each of these extra videos play their own part in improving the companies marketing and SEO performance, by adding relevant key words and tags to each one. We have had clients that have come back to us, months or even years since producing a video for them to produce an updated edit. Either by filming new additional footage for new aspects of their company or just re-working the footage from the initial film.

Red Kneed Tarantula – Brachypelma smithi by Vivid Photo Visual

To watch our short video containing a few of the animals we filmed, please click below.

Reptile Video

 

A fitting animation video for Cormar Carpets

Animation Video

Cormar Carpets are one of the UK’s leading carpet manufacturers. Based in Lancashire and with over 50 years in the industry they are widely respected. They have over 1 Million people choosing Cormar Carpets every year. Cormar contacted Vivid to produce an eye-catching animation video. This was to be used on their stand at one of the UK’s largest carpet and flooring exhibitions. The animation video would help launch and generate interest in their new online ordering system.

Cormar Carpets Animation Video – Vivid Photo Visual

The Video Brief

Their brief was quite specific in that the video had to attract passing custom to the Cormar stand. It would also target their existing customer base aware that they could benefit from their online ordering system too. The main purpose for the video was to initiate conversation… “Tell me more about your online ordering system”.

Cormar Carpets Product Video – Vivid Photo Visual

Event Video and Future Promotion

Vivid combined 3D modelled elements with 2D text to create a clean, eye-catching animation, that would add interest to the stand but also keep in line with Cormar’s brand image. When producing a video for a trade show, the most important aspect to is to make the video understandable with no sound. This is because there is a lot of noise at a trade show and most organisers ask to remove any sound from the stands as to not have each stand going louder and louder.

Vivid decided on a clean and almost minimalist look to the video to make the message crystal clear. We then had to take into account the future use of the video. Any future use would importantly add to the ROI of the video. A separate version with a professional voice over was produced. This could be used on their website, Youtube and could be emailed to existing customers. All these promotional channels would be a means of initiating conversation regarding the online ordering system.

The final reveal – Cormar Carpets video

 

Conclusion

It was a real joy to work with the Cormar team on this commission. Vivid are really pleased with the final result and got extremely positive feedback from the client.

If you would like to find out more about our animated video production service, please visit our animation video production page. There is also a blog that explains some more of the benefits of an animation video, please click on the benefits of animation video promotion blog. For further information please contact the Vivid Photo Visual team on 0161 477 2404.

8 Manchester Videos You Need To Watch

“Manchester, so much to answer for”

Plenty has been written about Manchester, and rightly so. It’s the original industrial city, the birthplace of the computer, and the first place to successfully split the atom. Manchester is the city where the Communist Manifesto took shape, the home of the 24-hour party, and the centre of the football universe.

As a tribute to this rain washed, bomb-rocked, red-brick wonderland, we’ve picked out 8 videos shot in Manchester. These videos capture the city’s unique energy, creative spirit and unconventional beauty.

From epic time-lapse to gritty music and skater videos, take a look at the belly and guts of the nation in all its Northern glory…

Manchester In A Day

Architectural photographer Andy Marshall spent a day on the Piccadilly Place rooftop shooting this tilt-shift time-lapse. It features many of Manchester’s most iconic buildings against a slightly alien cloudless sky.

Beautiful Manchester

Vivid also wanted to prove that Manchester isn’t always cold and wet, and wanted to celebrate the city’s incredible history. This video combines some of the footage we collected with some choice Manchester trivia.

Manchester Timelapse

Filmmaker Mike Staniforth waited for the sun to set before assembling his cinematic take on Manchester’s major landmarks and buzzing nightlife.

Miniature Manchester

Another of our own projects, we sent out a team of genetically-modified, camera-wielding giants to capture this footage of Manchester’s lively streets and structures. OK, not really… we used tilt-shift lenses to create an illusion of miniature people and vehicles. Much safer.

Pusherman

Opening brilliantly to a soundtrack of Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’, this promo for the skate film ‘Pusherman’ offers a starker depiction of Manchester filmed from a boards-eye view.

The Mouse Outfit feat. Dubbul O & Sparkz – Never Get Enough

Manchester’s music scene has moved a long way since the post-punk soundscapes of Ian Curtis et al. This video gives you an idea of the diversity the city has to offer, with plenty of reassuringly grey skies and concrete to remind you where you are.

Chimpo feat. MC DRS – Holding On

More distinctive Manchester sounds here, with a simple but unmistakably Mancunian video featuring shady characters, graffiti-coated subways and plenty of puddles.

deadmau5 & Kaskade – I Remember

From local heroes to superstar DJs with a global following, everyone wants a slice of the Manchester action. This extended video for ‘I Remember’ by deadmau5 & Kaskade may star a scouser in the form of actor Stephen Graham, but it makes the most of the Manchester setting to tell a story of breaking, entering and raving.

That completes our list. We’ve taken in shimmering cityscapes and grimy ginnels, soaring strings and badass beats. Whatever the city means to you, we hope you enjoyed watching our pick of essential Manchester videos.

Juice Live Communications – Talk Talk Live – Event Video

Event Video

For those who have never been to Event City in Manchester, it’s absolutely huge. It was chosen as the venue for telecommunications company TalkTalk as the venue for their new event. They required an event video to showcase the event itself and the effort that went into creating such an important.

Britain’s Better Off With Talk Talk

A Big Challenge

As you can imagine this is by no means an easy challenge. Very few companies would have the qualities, man power and proven track record in this field. Talk Talk chose the London based Juice Live Communications (acquired and bought into The 4th wave agency), who certainly do have the qualities.

Video Promotion

Juice contacted Vivid to produce a series of videos to showcase the production of the event, to be used for marketing and promotion. One video would be a time-lapse of the event build up. A further 2 event profile videos of different lengths including client feedback. This would provide both Juice and Talk Talk a full online and offline video marketing package.

Talk Talk Live coverage

I want to ride your Bicycle

The build up of the event itself was over a 4 day period. We positioned a series of time-lapse cameras around the halls to capture this. Event City, as mentioned is so large that they provided bicycles to get around the inside!  When it came to show day, we wanted to film a range of footage that when combined with build up footage, would capture the essence of the event. The vibe and feedback from the Talk Talk employees was great. They loved the individual ‘Lunch and Learn’ zones, and the fact they could put faces to names, as well as listening to their management team’s presentations.

The Light Sabre moment was amazing to watch.

Big Name and Close Friend

The event was hosted by Johnny Vaughan, a close friend of Sir Charles Dunstone, Chairman of the Talk Talk Group, and with his quick whit and laid back delivery he made sure all the 3000 attendees were laughing and learning.

The very funny host Johnny Vaughan

Production Time-lapse

Here is the production time-lapse video for the event;

Summary

It was a pleasure to work with 2 such illustrious companies, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.

For further information and to see how Vivid Photo Visual could help your company, please peruse the rest of Vivid Photo Visual’s website.

Sunjunkie “Behind the scenes” Photography shoot and Video…

Product Photography Shoot

With this blog we are looking at product photography shoot we completed, for a long-term client Sunjunkie. Sunjunkie are a leading supplier to the spray tan industry. They requested a shoot at Vivid’s photography studios to cover a new product launch.  Sunjunkie wanted to combine straight product photography with some shots using a model to provide a more glamorous and fashion based look.

Raphaella & Suzi

We suggested several models to the client, but it was obvious whom they were going to choose. Raphaella has the look. She also makes our job easier, by being so resourceful and offering poses to compliment the product.  We look forward to working with her in the future.

We used Suzy Clarke, who is a great make-up artist to create a professional look for the model. Her work really provided a punch to the pictures.

Raphaella holding Sunjunkie tanning product by Vivid Photo Visual

Behind the Scenes Music Video

Sunjunkie also asked if we could film the shoot to provide a “behind the scenes” type video to accompany the launch. As some people will know this is what we do at Vivid towers, so we duly obliged. We wanted to produce a simple video but something that captured the hustle and bustle of a photo shoot. It provides a brilliant promotional tool to access numerous promotional platforms and has already had thousands of views for Sunjunkie.

 

Never to waist an opportunity, Graham couldn’t resist getting a more artistic portrait of Raphaella. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…

Raphaella posing for the camera by Vivid Photo Visual

New Photographic and Video Studio

We have since moved to a new and improved studio and look forward to showcasing the new premises (next blog possibly). It was a great job to work on and we look forward to working with Sunjunkie in the future.

It was a pleasure to work with the Sunjunkie Team, Raphaella and Suzi and we are really proud of the outputted images and video. If you would like to find out more about our photography service, please visit our commercial photography page.

The Beekeeper Play by Michael Ashton – Interview Video

Interview Video

The great thing about video production, is the wide variety of subjects that we get to film. We were asked to produce an interview video and trailer for an exciting new play. I was very excited to have the chance to work with one of my oldest and best friends. Old as in how long we’ve known each other, rather than actual age, we are both still young…aren’t we?

My good pal Simon doing a sound check for us.

KS Productions

Simon, is a one of the directors at KS Productions Ltd. They are a UK based film and television production company specialising in providing the whole package. From writing, sourcing, funding to final production, this is the aspect Vivid were helping with.

KS Productions founders are writer Michael Ashton and his wife Kim. Kim is an award winning artist herself, but is was one of Michael’s books, The Beekeeper that Vivid would be working on.

Kim & Michael Ashton – The Beekeeper Play
Back Row -Eliot Giuralarocca, Robert Harding, Spencer Cummins and Chris Westgate. Front Row- Michael Ashton and Adrian McDougall

The Beekeeper tells the moving story of the relationship between a German Kommandant and a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz. The Beekeeper, is now getting superb reviews as a play. It was the opening night of the Blackeyed Theatre’s production of the play at The Waterloo East Theatre that we went to film.

The Beekeeper Play by Michael Ashton – Vivid Photo Visual
The Beekeeper Play opening night at The Waterloo East Theatre
The Beekeeper Play by Michael Ashton

Trailer Video

As mentioned the play is getting rave reviews, in and around the London theatre scene. We wanted to produce a short ‘trailer’ for the current play but also for KS Productions. The book is going to be made into a feature film. Filming will commence this summer, with a star studded cast. The more excitement and web talk created the better, so the video will hopefully draw attention to Michael, KS Productions and The Beekeeper and direct traffic to their website.

Before the main video was produced, we outputted a trailer to give an insight in the production.

It was a very different project for Vivid and we relished the change of scenery and the environment. If you would like to find out more about our video production service, please click on our what we do page.

Time-Lapse video for Thomson Airways – Vivid Photo Visual

Thomson Airway Time-lapse Video

It was great to be contacted by a new client Thomson Airways, to produce a time-lapse of an aircraft repaint. Thomson Airway is the world’s largest charter airline and a very prestigious brand. Thomson Airways wanted a video that would showcase and launch their exciting new livery paint scheme. Vivid like a good challenge.

Challenge Accepted

So the challenge began, organise multiple camera’s, clamps, cards, timers, controllers and power. Then to arrange clearance at the airport and to allow much preparation detail as possible from the production team at Air Livery. We have worked with Air Livery for some time, so we are very familiar with the respray process.

Thomson Airways old livery – Day 01

This was the first Thomson aircraft to be repainted in their new livery scheme was a Boeing 767-300. This is a sizeable aircraft and the repaint schedule was 12 days, so the Manchester based production team got to it.

The Process

It always amazes me, the speed at which these huge planes can be stripped down and repainted, yet this is a very complex procedure with extremely strict guidelines. In 12 days time this aircraft has got to fly as well as look great, so was another aspect of the challenge.

The process includes the following:

  • Plane input
  • Scaffolding dock
  • Paint stripper
  • Sanding
  • Prep for painting
  • Primer
  • Paint scheme application
  • De-mask
  • Prep for output
  • Scaffolding de-dock
  • Plane output.

The production process was as smooth as clock work. After 12 days, I am sure you will agree, it looks fantastic. It reminds me a bit of a Dolphin, with the curves and the shades of blue over the fuselage.

Thomson Airways G-OBYG prior to unveiling

Spot of Tilt-shift anyone?

Even though we were in the midst of producing the time-lapse video, there’s always time for a bit of creativity. I must admit I am a bit of fan of tilt-shift photography. So here’s a ‘creative’ view of the finished aircraft.

Can’t resist a bit of tilt-shift.

Beautiful Manchester Weather

As she was towed out of the hangar, seeing daylight for the first time, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and the clouds were fluffy. The day before was torrential rain! Well I suppose that’s Manchester weather for you.

Thomson Airways 767-300 G-OBYG in stunning new livery

If you would like to read Thomson’s own blog, please visit Thomson’s Airlines blog. If you would like to find out more about Vivid’s time-lapse video production service, please visit our time-lapse production page.

A smile fit for the camera – Same Day Smiles Promotional Video

Company Promotional Video

Recently Vivid were contacted by the nationwide dental implant specialists same day smiles™. SDS wanted a bespoke company promotional video that would showcase the quality of their Dental implants. It would also highlight the service provided and the actual practices that people would attend. After a consultation, with the same day smiles™ team, Vivid saw an opportunity to add to their overall promotional mix.

same day smiles™ Dental Surgeon by Vivid Photo Visual

Understanding the Process

Visitors to their current website could see the quality of the service. The process that the customer would go through to achieve their smile was not being expressed as clearly. Vivid devised a corporate video that took the viewer through the stages of the process. This would educate them of what to expect and to provide a platform of knowledge that they would expand on with consultations. It also reassured them that SDS offered a complete service not just some rushed job.

Using a combination of graphical animations and live video footage captured by Vivid, their business came to life. We visited many same day smile™ locations across the country, to show the numerous high quality practices that their clients would visit. Working closely with our graphics team, we forged a vision that tied into their overall corporate image.

Final Thoughts

We are very happy with the final commercial video product and we know it is a very successful promotional tool for same days smiles™. The following is from Kerry Hardy (Patient Coordinator at same day smiles™)

“I would have no hesitation in recommending Vivid Photo Visual to any business in need of a promotional video. Both Glen and Graham are utter professionals and have crafted some beautiful videos for us here at same day smiles™ to showcase our dental implant treatments to prospective new patients. We are delighted with the finished product, thanks to close communication with Vivid and their exceptional talents. Many thanks”

if you would like some more information about or promotional video service, please visit our corporate video page.

 

Admiral Sportswear Product Photography

Clothing Product Photography

Being of a certain age, the brand Admiral brings back floods of memories. My first England football kit was made by Admiral. I have vivid memories of Kevin Keegan and the boys in the 1982 World Cup wearing that instantly recognisable England strip. My 1st Manchester Utd kit was the 79/80 season Admiral away kit. So it was great to be contacted by Admiral Sportswear to do the product photography for their new range of retro sports bags and new high-end fashion range.

Admiral Sportwear product photography by Vivid Photo Visual
One of the new Admiral Sportswear bags – Vivid Photo Visual

That Manchester Connection

It was all hands on deck, as Admiral had a tight print deadline. Also due to shipping delays they weren’t able to get the garments to us when expected. The fact that we are both Manchester based companies made this situation a little easier. They were able to deliver the garments as they arrived into their depot.

Glen’s ‘arty’ clothes hanger photograph – Clothing Photography Manchester

Style Requirements

Admiral’s styling requirement for the shoot was for a slightly distresses garment. Not on a model or mannequin but flat perspective. The files should then be supplied with a slight drop shadow bottom right and with no background.

Product Photography for Admiral Sportswear – Vivid Photo Visual

It was great to be able to get a sneak preview of the new high end fashion line before anyone else. The range includes Polo, T’Shirts, Jackets, Sweatshirts and the retro bags, with I’m sure more to follow.

Admiral Sportswear Jacket – Vivid Photo Visual
Admiral Sportwear product photography by Vivid Photo Visual
Admiral Clothing Photography by Vivid Photo Visual

Final Thoughts

So make sure you keep an eye on the High Street for the new Admiral product range. We are sure this new range will be a great success. They were a great company to work with, and we look forward to future projects.

To find out more about our commercial photography service, please visit our corporate photography page.

GMP are ‘On The B-eat’ – Charity Event Video

Charity Event Video

Vivid were asked if we would like to get involved and produce a charity event video for eating disorder charity B-eat. The event was organised by Greater Manchester Police. It was in honour of Emma Egerton, who’s father John is a Chief Inspector for GMP.

Tragically Emma died of a combination of a nut allergy and Bulimia, in November 2010. Since her death John and Emma’s family and friends have raised both funds and awareness for B-eat.

A few eating disorder facts.

A night with the Stars

So it was time for the GMP staff to swap their uniforms for high fashion. They were even joined by stars from Coronation Street and cricketers from Lancashire Cricket Club.

Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent and Ellie-Louise Leach

The event itself was a great success raising £1000’s, through ticket sales, raffle and donations. Many companies got involved, providing a host of resources for the event. The event was hosted by BBC Radio Manchester presenter Becky Want. Local clothing retailers large & small gave their time and clothes for the fashion show.

Emma’s friends modelling on the night.

Final Thoughts

It was a great pleasure for Vivid to be involved in the ‘On The BEAT’ event, and we would encourage everyone to please visit the BEAT website to find out more about the wonderful work they do.

We had great fun making the film, and we met some great people. We wanted to produce a video that captured both the atmosphere of the event, but also remembered why the event took place. It important to remember this charity is doing amazing work helping people up and down the country. It must of been a difficult night for Emma’s family and friends. They all showed how important Emma was to them.

If you would like to find out more about our video production service, please visit our overall video production page.

 

Bear Grylls Product Video series by Vivid Photo Visual

Product Video for a famous Bear

When we received a phone call to produce some product videos, initially we didn’t realise they would feature one of the UK’s best know action heroes. The one and only Bear Grylls!

The company was Craghoppers who produce and distribute a full range of outdoor clothing for Bear, here in the UK and around the globe.

Graham was even more impressed. He could wear his new Bear Grylls jacket, that he thought was sure to earn him some brownie points. I think this photo proves it did.

Bear points to Graham in admiration…

Glen on the other hand thought his charm and wit would win Bear over. It didn’t and I don’t think his Berghaus jacket helped either.

Arm round Graham, disappointed by Glen.

So down to the job in hand. Craghoppers and Bear wanted a series of short product videos that would showcase some of the main features from each garment. The videos would then be used across many promotional channels to push the Bear Grylls products.

Working with a Pro

Bear was great to work with, obviously relaxed in front of the camera as well as very passionate about his Craghopper products. We needed to move quickly as Bear is a very busy person. We’d pre set-up the scene in the area provided in Bear’s equipment room. We shot with a 3 camera set, that allowed for as few takes as possible, giving us 3 angles to cut to.

Editing

The look and feel changed slightly during the edit. We added in some location footage, and grading with various effects. We also added an animated title screen. This was to match the look and feel of other products within the Bear Grylls brand.

In between takes I managed to take a couple of impromptu stills of Bear, and with a bit of post editing produced the following image.

Graham’s gritty Bear Grylls photo

Final Thoughts

The finished videos have just been uploaded to the Craghoppers YouTube channel. So feel free to have a watch. I can honestly say that the Bear Grylls clothing is brilliant. Being a bit of a wildlife photography geek (Glen’s words not mine!) it’s tough and hard wearing, like me (my words not Glen’s!)

We were really pleased to work with such a prestigious brand as Craghoppers and such a well known celebrity as Bear. We look forward to working with them in the future, where we can produce some more web videos for them.

Graghoppers and Bear Grylls now have a great online presence with these product videos that will generate both traffic and sales through their website.

If you would like some more information on Vivid’s product video service offering, please visit our product video page.

Gordons A-live! Vivid’s new website goes live.

Vivid Photo Visual’s new Website

Well we haven’t blogged for a while, a slap on the wrist is due! But since the last blog we have been busy finishing our new and improved website. Initially we set out to update a few areas of the site. This snowballed into the whole site being designed and rebuilt from scratch. It was a long and arduous process but definitely worth it.

What is good Website Design?

A quote to start off proceedings;

“Web design can be deceptively difficult, as it involves achieving a design that is both usable and pleasing, delivers information and builds brand, is technically sound and visually coherent”.
9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design

Concept to Completion

These simple ideas are what defined our experience from concept to completion. It was very important to us that it was not about how great Vivid was. It was important to show our prospective clients the benefits of video promotion. I think this can be seen clearly within the design of the website. As a video promotion company, it was essential that we used video to showcase our services and to clearly explain the overall benefits to the client.

If we were going to move on from the current website, we thought it would be important to expand the functionality of the website. The Vivid team spent quite some time researching other websites to see what was the modern practical approach to website design. Falling back on the work that had gone on for the branding and image of the previous website, we knew we wanted a vibrant image to be portrayed by the website. We do have Vivid in our name.

Vivid’s Design Parameters

After many design sessions/organised arguments, Vivid team came up with several parameters of website design for our new website. These were:

  • Easy to navigate
  • Structured website design – everything in the correct place
  • Informative
  • Showcases our work
  • Link to major video channels for Video SEO benefits
  • Jpegs used for Alt tags and to cover the horrible YouTube images
  • Video running throughout the website

We wanted to make sure that all out video production services were covered:

We teamed up with the Spinach Graphic Design team. They took our initial thoughts and muses and created a series of Mood Boards and basic concepts. We wanted to keep our ‘Vivid’ colour scheme. It was also important ti make the layout and navigation be user friendly, as well as incorporate a lot more content . Their final designs echoed their usual high standards. They showed a true understanding of our aims in terms of not only branding, but also content, structure. They truly captured the essence of what Vivid are about.

Early website structure…..
Video Production Manchester

Colour Codes

Content is King

Another must for our new website was for it to have a full content management system. This would allow the Vivid team to have full control over updates and content. This is something which we didn’t have on our existing site. We also wanted to be certain that our designs could be converted into a website, and still offer us the control we required.

Great design needs great implementation and there was only one company we wanted to work with. So from our first meeting with Spinach we also brought a representative from Daemon Designs the web design company we had chosen to use. We have worked with the Daemon Design team on other occasions. We knew that when we wanted to update our site, they would be company to do it.

It was important to bring the separate design teams together, so that they could work more closely throughout the project.

Finishing line…..

We love Feedback

We love the finished website and are already seeing the benefits from various angles. We have had numerous positive comments regarding it’s look and design, as well as improved SEO through the increased and improved content on the site.

Surprisingly, in our first month we have already beaten our month’s greatest new visitors total (even with a whole week of data missing and with no email marketing support), as you can imagine, this has lead to an increased number of leads for Vivid to can act on. So the hard work, the tears and the arguments have all been worth it and we look forward to our website serving Vivid for a long time to come.

We would like to thank everyone’s hard work in this project. Every team made sure we had the best website possible, including Spinach Design, Daemon Designs and my mum for externally proof reading 20,000 words, only mums would do this.

If you would like to find out more about the video production services that Vivid offer, please view our overall video production page.

Eagles and Otters and Hares…oh my! – Wildlife Photography

Isle of Mull Wildlife Photography Holiday

It’s been a busy time of late in the world of Vivid, and I apologise for the lack of blogging. Hopefully over the next few weeks we’ll have a ‘blogfest’ and be back on track!

We’ve been working on a lot of different Vivid projects but thought I’d do a quick blog from my recent trip up to the Isle of Mull. My friend and I went with my mate Pete Jones to try and photograph some of the local wildlife.

I’d visited Mull about 13 years ago with my then girlfriend, now wife Dawn and it’s somewhere I always wanted to return to to try and photograph some of the wildlife, especially the White-tailed Sea Eagle, which is one of the rarest and certainly most impressive birds you’ll see in the UK…..if you’re lucky.

Me with my big lens!

It is Remote

After about a 9 hour journey we arrived at where we were staying, in a cottage on the Ross of Mull, 5 minutes walk from where the above photograph was taken. We were in the middle of nowhere but with great views and hopefully great wildlife photography opportunities close by.

So lets cut to the chase and show you a small selection of my favourite photographs from my week.

Common Sandpiper
Curlew, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella

Mull’s Wild Flowers

Mull has a great selections of wild flowers, and numerous species of Orchid’s can be found at this time of year.

Heath Spotted Orchid by Graham Ella
Fragrant Orchid, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella

My Favourite Finds

The two main species that I really wanted to try and see and if possible photograph were Otter, which I had previously photographed on the Shetland Isles a couple of years ago, but only managed a few frames, and to be honest wasn’t completely happy with my results. The second, and top of the list was White-tailed Sea Eagle….. so here you go.

Otter, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella
White-tailed Sea Eagle, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella
White-tailed Sea Eagle, Loch Na Keal by Graham Ella

Landscape Photography

When not searching for, and photographing the wildlife, there’s time for a little bit of landscape photography too;

Pennyghael Shore, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella
Sunset over Scoor, by Graham Ella
View from the headland by Graham Ella

For those of you with young kids, like me, then you may not know where Mull is but there’s a pretty good chance your kids will recognise the main town of Tobermory or as they’ll know it Balamory. When I got home, all excited about the wildlife I’d photographed, my 3 year old’s eyes lit up with excitement when he saw….

Tobermory….I mean Balamory by Graham Ella

Enough of Penny Pocket and Archie the Inventor… back to the wildlife. Not a brilliant photo but you’ve seen Eagles and Otter so here’s the Hare.

Mountain Hare by Graham Ella

Ticked off

In the middle of the week, I managed to take a photo of a creature that I hadn’t planned on photographing, we actually became quite close for a day or so… as I found it eating me!! A Tick. Being from Manchester, I thought my days were numbered, my life flashed before me. Apparently they are pretty common, and the Nurse laughed that my cure for the Tick was to cover it in Savlon and stick a plaster on it! Isn’t that how we sort out all accidents?

Tick by Graham Ella

Yes, I know it makes me cringe when I look at it too!! It was my leg after all. Typical photographer though, make sure you get a photograph before thinking about how to get it out!

Lapwing by Graham Ella
Meadow Pipit, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella
Snipe, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella

One of the birds I’ve never seen and certainly wasn’t expecting to see was a Corncrake, so I couldn’t believe my luck to find this male ‘calling’ in the grass. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time! Again not the closest of views but as I said seeing one of these birds in the open is pretty rare.

Corncrake, Isle of Mull by Graham Ella

Final Thoughts

Mull is such a great place, and I’d recommend it to anyone that wants peace and quiet, great wildlife and friendly people. A few shots to finish off and thanks for looking at my ‘non work’ blog.

Swallow by Graham Ella Isle of Mull
Swallow by Graham Ella
Juvenile Wheatear by Graham Ella
Juvenile Wheatear by Graham Ella

A final shot of the moment the Sea Eagle swooped and took a fish.

White-tailed Sea Eagle by Graham Ella
White-tailed Sea Eagle by Graham Ella

Now back normality. If you would like to find out more about more about Vivid’s commercial photography offering, please visit Vivid’s corporate photography page.

Product Video Series for Turnkey Instruments

Turnkey Instruments are a Cheshire based company that specialise in the design and manufacture of specialist industrial and scientific instruments. They wanted to know how Vivid could help their business by utilising video promotion.

Turnkey Instruments Cheshire
Turnkey Instruments Cheshire by Vivid Photo Visual

Creating a Video Portfolio

After discussing in depth with the Turnkey team their requirements, Vivid created a proposal. This would deliver a comprehensive video portfolio that could be used through multiple promotional channels. This package included a company profile video, as well as location and studio product videos for each of the Turnkey instruments.

Simret f2 product video by Vivid Photo Visual
Simret F2 product video by Vivid Photo Visual

Product Video vs Product Demonstration Video

You might think that product video is the same as a product demonstration video, we think differently at Vivid. A product video is something that shows the product and then will detail all the key features. A product demo video is a video that will actually demonstrate the product in action. Try to imagine the difference similar to a normal advert on TV and one placed on a shopping channel.

Advantages of Product Videos

The massive advantage to Turnkey of having videos produced, is the videos would be used to promote their company, products and services in so many different ways. All their sales reps now have each product in video form to show to clients, either face to face or via email. Each video is also viewable online, with appropriate keywords and tags to further add to Turnkey’s SEO strategy.

Graphic demonstrating the multiple channels that a video can be used for.
So many ways to utilise video promotion.

Corporate Profile Video

We also produced a company profile video, as this gives Turnkey maximum exposure on the internet. Potential customers can find them either by searching for specific products or by looking for manufacturers of certain services. The company profile video will also be used at trade shows and exhibitions, as well as on the Turnkey website.

Kind Words

After the delivery of all the videos, we received an excellent testimonial from Dave Brooks, Turnkey’s General Manager, who we had liaised with throughout the project.

“We engaged Vivid to supply us with company and product videos that our existing and potential new customers could relate too.

The finished product surpassed all expectations. The staff were polite and worked to achieve the perfect shot in each instance. They kept us well informed with their ideas while listening to our own comments.

We feel that the Vivid crew have become a part of us and we will be using them again as we develop new instruments. I would have no hesitation in recommending Vivid to anyone.

Dave Brooks
General Manager
Turnkey Group”

Final Thoughts

Vivid had a great time working with Turnkey Instruments and we look forward to working on future products with them. To understand more about our product demonstration video service, please visit our product demonstration video page.

iPad Product Video by Vivid Photo Visual

New Challenge

This blog is a continuation of our iPad Lifestyle product video, which was part of our internal challenge to produce a short film showcasing an iPad being used in a day to day scenario. To see this version please click on the lifestyle product video blog. This week is all about the studio version of our iPad product video.

Studio Setup

iPad Product Video by Vivid Photo Visual

We set up the studio, you have to really think about how you shoot objects. Anything that is reflective or curved can throw up numerous problems. We normally set-up a kind of black out tent that surounds the product. This allows for lighting to be controlled and reflection are ket to a minimum. The product is placed on a rotating platform that allows the camera to remain still but the product to move around. We borrowed an iPad from my sister-in-law (still waiting for Santa to get me one). At Vivid we always try and produce a video that is still going to work for our client in 5 years time.

Nice and Clean

iPad Product Video by Vivid Photo Visual

We wanted a nice clean, high key product video, with the addition of some animated graphical overlays. So after liaising with our graphics department we decided to go for simple lines and clean cut graphics. We wanted to show some of the key features of the iPad using animated graphical overlays. Whilst we wanted to mimic Apple’s overall advertising, the team wanted a more creative filming style to be used. This would have a more graceful approach than Apple’s own product videos. It was shot on a Canon 5D Mark 2 and a variety of different lenses including one of our macro lens to achieve the shallow depth of field.

Product Videos not Children are the Future

Product videos are the future of online product promotion and due to their adaptability, can be used in-conjunction with numerous promotional channels. There are so many benefits of product videos, here is a small selection:

  • Higher order vales and conversions rates (Marketing Week)
  • Showcases the products feature
  • Gives the viewer a quick and favourable snapshot
  • 24/7 selling tool
  • Used both on and offline
  • Ideal for all forms or promotions
iPad product video vivid photo visual manchester
Graphics from iPad Product Video – Vivid Photo Visual

As you can see from the video, we created some complimentary graphics, with a modern look.

If you would like to see more of our product video production service, please visit our product video page. Alternatively to view more product video blogs, please on our product video blog page.

 

IPad Lifestyle Product Video Challenge

The Challenge

We were chatting in the office and we decided that we should set ourselves a quick creative challenge. To produce a lifestyle product video, nothing too complex, short  and with a cinematic feel.

Short Preparation Time

So with only a small amount of preparation, I texted Katie, who models for us now and again. The timing was perfect, as she was available at short notice so we were good to roll.

So the basic storyboard for the video is a woman using her iPad at various times of the day. From waking up to going on a night out in Manchester.

iPad Lifestlye product video Manchester
Product video Manchester – Scene 1

After being woken by the iPad alarm at 10am!! The word ‘Lazy’ springs to mind (women and their beauty sleep),the blinds are then opened and it’s time for a fry up…

Lifestyle product video manchester - Scene 2
Lifestyle product video manchester – Scene 2

…or in this case a nice healthy Strawberry smoothie, well you need to have your 5-a-day! The day continues checking out the ASOS website on the iPad, seeing what’s hot and what’s not.

Lifestyle product video Manchester - Scene 3
Lifestyle Product Video Manchester – Scene 3

The day carries on and and after checking Facebook and ‘Poking’ a few people…. Katie’s ready to hit the town. The final 2 scenes are the iPad being placed in her bag, and door being closed behind her. Goodbye Stockport hello Sankey’s… personally I would have gone to Coco Savannah’s in Stockport but that’s just the way I roll.

lifestyle product video manchester - scene 5
Lifestyle product video Manchester – Scene 4

It was a fun video to make, and hopefully proves that it’s worth setting yourself a few challenges now and again, to keep things fresh. All filmed on Canon 5d mk2 and 90mm TS-E lens, for those techies out there…..like me!

If you would like to find out more about our product video service offering, please visit our product video page.

 

 

Vivid’s Golden Ticket Event

Well due to Glen’s love of hearing his own voice, and his passion for standing up in front of a large group of people, whilst throwing in the odd witty gag. Vivid have decided to put on our own event. An event that will be relaxed, fun and above all, informative.

Advert for our ‘Golden Ticket’ event

With our main business being Video Production, we want to inform people of the many business benefits of using video promotion within their business. Video is the fastest growing sector of online marketing but we realise that some people aren’t sure where to start with their online video presence. Hopefully after the event, they will.

You’ll leave with a better understanding of;

  • The importance of video promotion.
  • How having quality video aids SEO.
  • How to manage your online video presence.
  • Gaining maximum exposure of your video.
  • How to utilise video within your current communication strategy.

The seminar is going to be held at The Village Hotel in Cheadle, we have a great relationship with The Village and couldn’t think of a better venue to hold our first event.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7OAfVl6YD0]

So if you would like to attend, all you have to do is Click Here to register for FREE via our website.

The bigger the audience, the more people can witness Glen at his best (his words not ours!) And you’ll obviously have the chance to meet the rest of the Vivid team as well, we prefer to play down our talents.

 

Photography – It’s a mugs game?

Well excitement fell over the Vivid Photo Visual studio today, with the arrival of a new piece of equipment for Graham. A couple of things for those that don’t know me too well. I’m always buying equipment, mainly Canon, and I love a good cup of tea…or if Glen is making it, just a cup of tea!

So what way could I possibly combine 2 of my passions?

For those of you familiar with Canon L series lenses, you may well be looking at the photo above and thinking, yep a pretty average photo of Canon 24-105mm F4 IS lens! Well let me stop you there Sherlock! And for those Miss Marple’s amongst you, well spotted, the chrome filter thread!

Surely not a special edition Canon lens made only for Graham? No…….it’s a mug! How cool is that? A Canon 24-105mm IS Mug. So the first thing to do…. ‘Glen pop the kettle on mate’

A not so great cup of tea, in a great mug.

Technical Specs

Just to give you the technical specs of my newly purchased mug; it’s a life-size replica of the 24-105mm and even comes with a lens cap to keep your brew warm for longer! What more could you want?

So time for a quick break and an almost enjoyable cup of Glen’s tea.

Probably the coolest mug in the world!

Where can I get this Amazing Photography Mug?

And where did I get my great mug? Well my mate Paddy buys genuine Canon 24-105mm IS lenses and scoops the middle out. He sells them for about £15. You better get one fast because I don’t think he’ll be in business much longer! Actually it is better to click on the following link to Amazon selling the mug.

If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography service, please visit out corporate photography page.

Vivid produce innovative time-lapse video for Tecmark

Eye Catching Time-lapse Video

Time-lapse video with Animated graphics by Vivid Photo Visual
Who are Tecmark?

A few months ago whilst scouting locations for our Miniature Manchester time-lapse video we were fortunate enough to cross paths with Tecmark. Tecmark is a UK based Digital Marketing Agency. They specialise in mobile app development and marketing, as well as Search Engine Optimisation. They have offices in Manchester and London. Tecmark had seen some of our time-lapse video output including our ‘miniature Manchester’ video and wanted a similar style video.

Eye Catching

They were due to update their website and wanted an eye-catching video on the Home Page. They wanted a video that portrayed how technology has made our lives easier. How Mobile Apps mean we can have information instantly, wherever we are. We worked very closely with Richard, Kevin and Scott from Tecmark to come up with a Storyboard.

Video Storyboard

Time-lapse video with Animated graphics by Vivid Photo Visual
Working on the storyboard

 

The basic idea would be to show a young man at work. There would be a repeated scene doing the same task but in the years 1991, 2001 and now 2011. As the years have progressed, that task has become simpler. We wanted the film to have a movie trailer feel, that grows in pace. It would build up to a final scene with bespoke animated graphics. This would show how people use mobiles for so many things in our modern world.

Prop Search

Once the final Storyboard had been agreed, we had to source props. We wanted the same feel to each decade with subtle changes. For example with the computers used, going from an old PC up to a iMac to an iPad. As we’re all football fans we used the nearest football tournament mug to the year. So we had Italy 1990, Euro 2000 and Africa 2010. There’s also a few other props on the desks, cassette walkman for 1991, Sony mobile phone for 2001 and an iPad for 2011.

Filming and Editing

Time-lapse video with Animated graphics by Vivid Photo Visual
Danny outside Manchester Library

We filmed it over 2 days in Manchester and used local actor Danny Jackson, who we’d worked with before. To make the video stand out we created and animated bespoke graphics to really show how consumers are using smart phones and tablets to access the world around them. This all cumulates in the final scene. Danny is seen walking through Manchester’s iconic St Peters Square. He is using his smart phone and information just pops out of the screen. Then the scene opens to a wider shot and everyone is using their phone for information.

Animated time-lapse by Vivid Photo Visual showing Manchester's St Peter Square
Manchester’s St Peter Square

Final Thoughts

We are really happy with the final film and fits perfectly on Tecmark’s new website. We received great feedback from Tecmark who have already used the video at trade shows as well as on their website.

We’re looking forward to working with Tecmark again in the future on video production jobs. If you would like to find out more about our time-lapse video production service, please visit our time-lapse video page.

 

‘Slip and Dive’, Vivid film the new Daystar music video.

Well something a bit different from our last blog, no Miss Stockport but Vivid’s first ever music video. Vivid were asked to film a music video for Manchester band Daystar, for their new single ‘Slip and Dive’.

Ryan, Jack, Simon, Tom and Steven – Daystar

Who are Daystar?

For those who aren’t familiar with Daystar, they are a young guitar driven 5 piece Indie Rock Band from Manchester. They have just released their first album ‘Daystar’. The album was produced by Ronnie Stone who engineered Mansun’s Hit album ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern‘.

Music Video Production by Vivid Photo Visual
Simon Monaghan of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Stockport Video Shoot

The location for the shoot was the Moolah Rouge recording studios in our home town of Stockport.

Behind the scenes at Moolah Rouge ©Bob McGowan

We arrived and set-up prior to the bands arrival. This gave Glen a bit of time to do his usual ‘Human Beatbox’ which he has to do whenever he sees an open mic. Fortunately none of Daystar witnessed this so we didn’t instantly lose our ‘cool film crew’ image!

That happened later on when Glen asked the band to give a little more ‘Jazz Hands’ in their performance! To be fair to Glen, he had threatened us in advance that he was going to use the phrase Jazz Hands so at least he stuck to his word.

Simon Monaghan of Daystar performing Slip and Dive – Vivid Photo Visual

Dedicated followers of fashion

The band arrived and despite the Lead Guitarist looking like Ollie Murs (only joking Ryan!), they were top lads. Laura Sellers, their stylist arrived and together they picked out the clothes for the shoot. Within 30 minutes we were ready to roll, or maybe 45 minutes as Simon decided the first jeans were a little too tight!

Ryan Arnfield of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Full house

The room was pretty full with; the 5 piece band, the Vivid team, Dave Cooper and Phil Cuthbert from the bands management. A couple of photographers that knew the band, first was Bob McGowan who kindly has allowed us to use some behind the scenes shots on this blog.

Behind the scenes on Slip and Dive ©Bob McGowan

The second was Matthew Comer, who works closely with the band and has taken some of the stills on their first album. Finally, and to prove it wasn’t only a male only affair, was the stylist Laura, who worked really quickly and got the lads dressed and ready to shoot within record time.

Simon Monaghan of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

I think because the room was full it created a great vibe and the band really went for it. It’s not easy doing multiple takes and still looking like it’s your first.

Under The Spotlight – Simon Monaghan of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

3 cameras = 3 Hours

We filmed the video with 3 cameras, and it took 3 hours. In-between takes or when I felt the other 2 cameras were enough, I managed to take a few stills of the band during the shoot, to share on the blog.

Jack O’Connor of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Passionate Music Video

The shoot went very smoothly, and although this was the bands first video shoot, they were very professional and passionate about their performance. I think the hardest thing for any band is playing live in time to the original album track. Live performances always differ, you hold a note back, extend a note out, add an extra drum fill etc…. you can’t do that when making a music video, it has to match the album recording, and they did this very well.

Steven Woods of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

By 10.30pm we were happy we had all the footage we needed so we packed up and said our goodbyes. It was down to us now to edit the video.

Simon Monaghan, singer of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Now for the Edit

For the look and feel for ‘Slip and Dive’ we wanted a high contrast monochrome look. We had filmed it with unsoftened fairly harsh lighting, with this look in mind. It was a great video to edit and we have to say, although listening to the track 100’s of times whilst editing we still enjoyed listening to it. As someone said “it’s one of those tracks that conjures up images of youth dancing through the minefield of a paranoid drug influenced urban sub culture” I don’t think I could have put it better myself….in fact I know I couldn’t!

Tom Mallas of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Vivid’s 1st Music Video

This was Vivid’s first music video production and we really enjoyed making it. It added a bit of variety from our usual web videos and company profile videos. We wish Daystar every success with ‘Slip and Dive’ and hope to work with the lads again in the future.

If you want to see more of Daystar, or purchase the single, here are some links;

http://www.daystarband.com/

http://www.facebook.com/daystarmanchester

http://www.myspace.com/1daystar

If you want to find out more about our music video production service, please click on the music video production page.

Miniature Manchester Tilt Shift Time-Lapse

Manchester Tilt-shift Time-lapse

Well it’s nearly Christmas and the Vivid team decided that as part of our Christmas email campaign we should create a film that was a little different. Inspired by Australian filmmaker Keith Loutit, we decided to produce a short film tilt-shift time-lapse based around our home town of Manchester.

We used a technique called tilt shift time-lapse. For those not familiar with this, basically specialist lenses are used that enable the plane of focus to be tilted at an angle. When this is combined with an elevated view point it gives an almost “Toy Town” effect.

Looking down over St Peter’s Square in Manchester

Challenging Shoot on the rooftops of Manchester

First we needed to obtain access to some rooftops in and around Manchester. We were fortunate enough to have a few clients in Manchester that were very obliging. Coupled with some friends, and friends of friends who we managed to sweet talk. We filmed it over a few days and from 4 or 5 locations to give some variety.

One of the challenges when filming from rooftops is wind. You’re at the mercy of the Great British weather, and the wind is obviously not blocked by other building when you’re on the top of them.

Smile for the camera but don’t look down.

Safety is paramount

Obviously the main concern is Safety; of ourselves, the public and our equipment. All cameras & tripods are secured individually using climbing clips and webbing, so there is no chance of anything falling. As for us, we were clipped into literally the building, so there was no chance of any accidents.

Vivid would like to thank all the people and companies that gave us access. As we mentioned at the time Miniature Manchester is an on-going project. We hope to add further locations in the coming months. So watch this space…

Vivid Photo Visual are really proud of our tilt-shift time-lapse of Manchester. It was a wonderful experience to really produce a creative video and to try and emulate a hero of ours. All that’s left to say, is have a wonderful Christmas and fun packed New Year, oh and enjoy the video.

If you would like to find out more about our time-lapse video production service offering, please visit our time-lapse video page. To view more blogs, please click on our time-lapse blog page.

 

The New Adventures of Miss Stockport – Lifestyle Photography

Super Hero Photography

Sounds like a Super Hero character… Miss Stockport, here to make your day! It was a few weeks back now when Katie emailed me saying she’d seen one of the photo’s from our last session in the Daily Mail. Vivid work with a number of models to produce lifestyle photography images that are used across the world.

Not Knowing

One of the problems with selling stock images, is you know the image/size/market sector, who has purchased an image but not the exact details. As in this case, it’s just a matter of luck if you actually see it in print. The image used is the one below and it was part of an article on heat transfer from Laptops whilst using then on your knee.

Image used to show the impact on using Laptop on knee.

One more photo

So I thought it was about time we did another shoot to add a few more images to our stock.

Stock Library image content can be about just about anything, as in the image above, the search criteria may have been ‘Blond woman laptop knee sofa’. So the more variety the better, it’s just a matter of matching all the keywords searched for.

So for this shoot, first we went for something topical, being in debt!!

Bills, cards and calculator….. I’m skint!

It is a numbers game

One thing I always do on any images showing Credit Card numbers, Account Details, Names and Addresses is alter them in Photoshop, however small they are in the frame they get changed or removed.

I had a few images in mind that probably may never sell, but it’s all a numbers and chance game, you just don’t know what image may be required.

Finding the rare image

If a picture editor wants an image of ‘woman on phone’, through one popular Stock Library that returns 37000 images to choose from, little chance of them choosing mine.

On the other hand ‘woman wiring a plug’ returns only 16 results, so although an unlikely search, it’s worth shooting an image that fits that search.

Katie wiring a plug.

Another Bad lightbulb joke

Another search with low results is ‘woman changing a light bulb’ again you never know so it’s worth shooting a selection of images round this criteria.

As a matter of interest, how many models does it change a light bulb?

3 …….one to hold the bulb and 2 to turn the ladder.

Sorry had to do a light bulb joke, obviously Katie managed to change it all on her own.

Changing Light Bulb

And after a couple of hours of changing bulbs, wiring plugs, cutting up credit cards, pulling on jeans, taking pills, doing yoga it was time for a bit of rest and relaxation.

It’s a tough job being a model………

The tough life of a model.
Relaxing after a hard days work.

Not too difficult for the photographer either.

As always it was a pleasure working with Katie. If you would like to find out about our lifestyle photography service offering please visit out commercial photography page or speak to a member of the Vivid team on 0161 477 2404

This Blog’s not Automatic. Not Systematic. It’s Hydromatic…

Hydro Screw Generator

Why it’s Grease Lightening …… Sorry I got a bit lost in the moment then, took me back to my theatrical days!! Well this post is Hydromatic, well to be precise it’s Hydro Power ‘matic. Vivid were commissioned by Spaans Babcock to produce a video. This would be used to demonstrate the advantages of using a Hydro Screw generator. The video would use both film and 3D animation. Spaans Babcock are the leading manufacturer and installer of these generators so we knew this was a company we wanted to work with.

What is a Archimedean Screw Generator?

For those unfamiliar with a Hydro Power Generator or Archimedean Screw Generator, basically it’s a large corkscrew that is installed along a river, and is an extremely environmentally friendly method of generating power.

Spaans Babcock Hydro Screw Generator, Austria

Filming in Austria

The first location to film was in Austria, we were to capture footage for the main video as well as produce a separate case study video. As usual I missed out on the glamourous location, actually I was on holiday but all the same Austria would have been a nice place to go for the 4 days. The filming went well, good build up shots and an interview with the site owner was just what we needed. I’m told Glen and Tom relaxed after a hard days filming with a few pints of Puntigamer Bier, sounds perfect!

Trip to Alhampton

The second location was at Alhampton in Somerset. I went down to shoot this section of the film. I have to say it was beautiful weather and a equally beautiful location. I no longer felt let down for not going to Austria. This was an installation on private residence, on a River running through the property. I got all the footage I needed, and more of the actual installation. I waited a while for David the owner of the property to film the interview. Now a lot of people that are not used to speaking to camera can become a little ‘wooden’ or freeze. I have to say David was superb, a real gentleman with great articulation. Brilliant.

Spaans Babcock Hydro Screw Generator, Alhampton.

3D Animation by Vivid

So we had all the interview and footage we needed produce the video side of the film. We had already been creating the 3D animation section for the middle of the film, taking Spaans IGES files and re-modelling in our 3D software. The final video was produced in English, German and French and has been used by Spaans Babcock at various trade shows and exhibitions.

Have a look at the Alhampton Case Study video.

It was a great experience working for a prestigious like Spaans Babcock. We really happy with the videos that we produced. If you would like to find out more about our product video service, please click on Vivid’s product demonstration video page.

A Bird in the Hand – Photographic Studio Session

Photographic Studio Session

A quick post this week, and to follow on from last weeks post. Strangely enough it’s another of my attempts at getting a little creative. I had a photographic studio shoot arranged with another local model, Natalie. Who again, I have to say was brilliant, we had a good laugh during the shoot and we captured lots of great images.

 

Natalie, another great model to work with.

 

Using Natalie’s Dancing Skills

We captured a selection of different fashion and lifestyle images and having a good chat during the process. We eventually got onto the subject of dancing! Natalie is a professional dancer and dances with her sister, obviously this gave us some common ground as I am a self trained ‘drunken dancer’. Can I also add at this point for the record that Natalie “could not believe that I was 38!!” Anyway it was her dance training that gave me my ‘creative flashback. I remember once seeing an image of a girl arched on a mans hand, and wondered if we could create something along those lines. I just operated the camera and because Natalie would be super flexible we got an amazing image.

So after a bit of Photoshop retouching, here it is, I wanted a Classic Fine Art feel but with a modern twist.

 

A Bird In The Hand

 

Putting aside the fact that Natalie added the looks and has produced the perfect pose. I feel I have to give a special mention to the ‘hand model’. I think the curve in the wrist is just perfect. Who was this hand model I here you ask…… you’re right it was the one and only 38 year old drunken dancer himself!

If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography service, please visit commercial photography page.

A bit of blue for the Dads – A Studio Photography session

Well I thought I’d show a few photographs of a great model. We did a studio photography session recently with a model called Steph. Steph is a local girl with a great look, and as not to disappoint all the Dads expecting a bit of blue, here you go;

A bit of blue for the Dad’s

Rock Chick

Steph and I discussed a few ideas prior to the shoot, we were keen to capture 2 completely different looks. She has an interest in the ‘Pin-Up’ style of photography, with a bit of a fun but cheeky undertone, as well as her more natural, I’ll call it “Rock Chick” look.

Big Eyes and Blue Hair

Steph was an easy model to work with, good fun and had great interaction with the camera. Slightly odd taste in music!! But hey not everyone has great musical hero’s like me, he presses play on his Van Halen CD.

Behind The Mask

Black Mask

So after capturing some images of Steph’s more usual look, well not that she wears a black mask on a day to day basis.. that’s more like Tom’s scene! We moved onto some more ‘Pin-Up’ inspired photographs.

A little burlesque

I suppose the above shot is more burlesque than Pin-Up but still incorporating a shocking pink background…I knew I’d use it one day! I love the colours that are in Steph’s hair, blue’s, purple’s and green. When her hair is down you can’t see these other colours.

Well last of all for all those wanting a bit of cheek… here you go;

I think this was the first time we’d hung the washing out inside the studio! We were really happy with our studio photography session with Steph and can recommend her to any photographer. If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography session, please click to visit the commercial photography page.

Vivid, Virgin and Sky News – Time-lapse Video

Finally after a 2-year wait we got back on Sky News. This was to do with our recent award winning time-lapse video for Virgin Atlantic.

Our footage on Sky News HD

Richard is calling

Last month we were very excited to receive a phone call from Virgin Atlantic, a subsidiary of the Virgin Group. Sadly it wasn’t Sir Richard “smiley man with a beard” Branson who was on the line, but their Producer of OnBoard Media.

Virgin Atlantic had seen a recent time-lapse video that we had produced for Air Livery – a Manchester Airport based aircraft repainting Company. Virgin required a film of a similar ilk to showcase and launch their new livery (paint scheme) to be shown at a press conference at the end of July.

What is a Time-lapse Video?

For those not familiar with the concept of a time-lapse film. It is a cinematography technique whereby each film frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. In this case we took frames every 90 seconds over a duration of 15 days.

Graham in position waiting for the Virgin Atlantic 747-400

How we shot the Time-lapse Video

We positioned 4 cameras overlooking the plane and set them to take a single picture every minute and a half. Using this technique we were able to film the repainting of the plane over 15 days. This was then sped up, so the entire film takes less then 4 minutes. We also moved some of the cameras during the process, so in total we used around 9 angles. If it takes 25 pictures to make 1 second of finished film, then by my rough calculations, we took in the region of 60,000 frames in total! Also just to give that extra spice we added some HD filming for the close up shots, which we feel really brought the film to life.

‘Mustang Sally’ preparing for her make-over

Due to the tight timescales that we were up against Vivid were putting in some late shifts so we could meet the client’s deadline.

And here Vivid are on the Virgin Atlantic site

Please click on the following link to see the Time-Lapse we shot for Virgin.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojpTzn8Vd04]

We are really proud of the film that we outputted, and Vivid know that it was an important aspect of the new livery’s launch for Virgin Atlantic. We are also proud that such a prestigious company would choose Vivid Photo Visual for their video promotional material. If you would like to view Virgin Atlantic’s press release, please click to visit the Virgin Atlantic Blog post.

After 15 days ‘Mustang Sally’ looks stunning!

We wish Virgin Atlantic well for the future and I am sure that you will all agree the new Livery looks stunning and really compliments not only Virgin Atlantic but the overall Virgin brand. If you would to find out about our time-lapse video service, please visit our time-lapse production page.

The Deaf Institute Photo Marathon 2010 – Charity Video

We were approached by The Big Life Group, the company behind The Big Issue in the North, to donate a prize for their fund-raising event. This would be held at the Deaf Institute on Saturday the 17th of July 2010 – Photo Marathon. Vivid thought it would be good to offer our video production services. We proposed to create a charity video that could be used to promote the charities and future events.

Working for the Homeless

Vivid have always admired and respected the work they do within the homeless community. Therefore we were more than happy to help. As we are a video production company, we decided to create a short film of the days events. This would be both a lasting record and as a future marketing tool for The Big Life Company. We showed them how their video would have many promotional uses and applications. They could use it in on their YouTube channel, internal presentations, trades-shows and email campaigns. The goal would be to increase brand awareness, therefore generating funding.

The Competition

The basic premise is that contestants had to take 8 pictures over 8 hours on 8 given topics/themes. After the event, all the pictures were printed. A panel of judges would then decide the winners. After this they went on show in a public exhibition.

The Famous Manchester Weather

We had been checking the weather all week and were eagerly anticipating a beautiful day, oh how wrong we were! As we stood on a street corner near Oxford Road, at 8 in the morning of the Saturday, trying to shelter our camera from the ever present Manchester rain, we decided that the best way to judge a weather forecast is with a pinch of salt. We had to prepare for the opposite forecast! In spite of the heavy rain, there was a fantastic turnout. The group of photographers were eager to get their first assignment.

Following Photographers

We decided to follow a group of budding photographers round and were absolutely delighted when they decided to take photos inside! I think deep down Glen, would of liked to entered the competition himself, as he kept on making suggestions to the group. I think most of them went over their heads.

A Great Day

We hope the event is on again next year as it was a wonderful day (despite the weather). We produced a charity video that really gives the viewer a great understanding the day. Also it showed the work that The Big Issue undertakes to help the homeless of Manchester.
If you would like to find our more about our video production service, please check out our video production main page.

Miss Stockport 2010 – Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle Photography

Thought it would be only fair to congratulate Katie, who’s just been voted Miss Stockport 2010. Katie is the sister of a good friend, who was Chief Bridesmaid at my wedding. Katie has modelled a couple of times for me, with a view to us building our lifestyle photography stock library. She now runs a successful beauty salon All Eyes on You in Stockport.

Katie reading a lifestyle magazine

As you can see looking interested and at an imaginary person to her right, is all part of being a good lifestyle model.

Now a Business Woman in Hotel Room

As many lifestyle images as possible

Different magazine and location, this time Katie plays the role of a business woman unwinding in her hotel room. With Stock Photography, the idea is to shoot as many scenarios as possible as you never know what images a buyer is after. Reading a magazine may be part of their keyword search but formal/business/hotel may also figure, as opposed to relaxing/casual/fun in the first shot.

Who’s at the door?

A different feel to this shot, relaxing in her apartment, glass of wine in hand….. and who’s just buzzed the intercom and put a smile on her face? Not me, I was already there.

General Election

Looking forward to doing another shoot soon, but now it’s time for me to get off to the polling station to cast my vote on the future of who should lead Britain.

Gordon Brown?

Nick Clegg?

David Cameron?

 

It’s all about the eyes!

I’m sure it was a far easier decision voting for Miss Stockport! We always love working with Katie, really nice person, who is great to shoot and obviously has a great look.

If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography service, please visit out commercial photography page. You can also visit our alamy page to find Vivid Photo Visual alamy channel.

What a Lovely Badger!

Well now for something a little different, but thought it was worth a mention. As some of you may know, I try, when time allows to do a spot of Wildlife Photography. Nothing too serious, but it’s something I enjoy. So from time to time I’ll post a few birds, insects or in this case mammals to keep you all entertained. This shoot involved our friend the badger.

A photographer friend of mine, Graham, to save confusion I’ll call him Old Graham (he’s used to that by now) has an abundance of wildlife in his garden, so with an invitation to see his Badgers, and possibly photograph them I jumped at the chance.

“You can set your watch by them” were Old Graham’s words……. well this night I think their watches must have stopped, as they didn’t arrive for a further 2 hours, but it was well worth the wait.

One hungry Badger

Special Badger food was put out on the patio, and I have to say Badgers are very noisy eaters! I thought Glen was bad enough, only joking! A lone male appeared first and made light work of most of the food. For those interested in how it was lit, I used 2 flashguns fired via Radio Controlled triggers. All set manually, the hardest part is focussing, because it’s dark!

More food please

Well it was getting a little late now, my eyes were getting tired trying to focus on the faintest of shapes through the viewfinder, the Badgers hadn’t been seen for about 15 minutes, then all of a sudden 2 of them came bounding up, ate some food and then were off into the darkness.

A pair of Badgers

Time for a hot brew and then off home after a great nights photography. Not the best photo’s in the world, but sometimes it’s the experience, the pictures are just a bonus. Watch this space hopefully I’ll get some more Badgers soon.

Time for a Time-lapse

Resprayed plane leaving hangar - Time-lapse video production by Vivid Photo Visual
Plane exiting the hangar

Air Livery call on Vivid

Vivid have recently been commissioned by Air Livery, who are one of the leading companies in aircraft refinishing, to produce a Company Profile video to showcase their refinishing service. As well as filming and producing their 5 minute video we also produced 2 time-lapse videos of the whole event.

Preparation of a time-lapse commission

Producing a Time-Lapse is all about the planning and preparation. These are the factors that need to be considered;

  • Total length of time he subject needs to be filmed.
  • How long the final movie should be.
  • How many frames would be needed to achieve this.
  • Memory capacity required.
  • Power to the cameras.

So after calculating that we’d take a image every 90 seconds and the project may last 9 days, that’s a total of 8640 frames from each camera!

Time-lapse in a sticky environment

The other concern was the environment that the cameras would be left in, however clean an aircraft re-painting facility can be, there’s no avoiding the stripping, sanding and numerous paint applications. And don’t forget in the quantities required to cover 2 large planes at the same time!

So after weatherproofing all the rigs we were ready to roll.

So who was going to set-up the Time-Lapse cameras, in the roof of the hangers? Well there’s no room to be scared of heights in this game. That is unless your name’s Glen and you beg, plead and finally agree to buy the chocolate in the office for a fortnight.

So Glen was out of the running, too busy stocking up on Graham’s Boost bars. So it was decided that I was the action man of the team (mainly by me)

Where’s wally?

After setting the cameras in place using Arri Superclamps and adding an extra safety harness to each, just in case. I set the cameras going.

Daily visits were required to back-up the images from the previous day, as well as to change power supplies. All this had to be done without moving the camera’s, and when you’re 100ft up on a tiny gangway, that’s a challenge in itself.

Anyway enough of my super hero antics, below is one of the time-lapse videos, check it out.

We hope you enjoyed this short blog. If you would like to find out more about our time-lapse video production, please visit our time-lapse video page.

Check out our new Home Page video

Well this is our first post on our new Blog, so here goes;

We’ve just gone live with our new The Evolution of Communication video on our Home Page. We’d decided on a basic theme and message, the fact that the way companies communicate with their clients has changed, video is now king! A video communicates a message far quicker than pages of words…….

We also didn’t want it to be all about us, talented that we are 🙂 (Tom’s words not mine). We wanted the message to be key.

So we all sat down and threw ideas around to get our creative juices flowing, Glen’s were mainly football related as usual, but we humored him for a while, like we do! After throwing ideas around we finally decided on a fully animated typography style piece, to both showcase the complexity of the work we can produce, but we also felt it would get the message across easier.

Evolution of Communication Script

The next step was to try and get a basic feel for how the words and any drawings would sit within the animation. We wanted it to finish with a camera pan out to our logo, that’s initially all we knew. So we printed out a still of the Vivid logo, adjusted it slightly to allow for us to scribble (there’s no other word for it) a storyboard template to use as a base to create the animation.

The ‘Rough’ storyboard.

Next we got ‘Emma’ who’s one of the professional voice over artists we regularly use to record the audio for us. She has such a wonderful voice, I even got her to record our voice mail messages! If only iPhones would allow us to upload them! But now I’m straying off topic. See if you can spot a few sound bites from yours truly towards the beginning. I should have been an actor you know!

Finally after approx 100 hours in After Effects, a few hundred cups of coffee ,we have a video that we’re very proud of and is generating business….. that’s what it was for.