This series of travel blogs from February 12th to March 1st is made possible by WIEGO. Georgia Street Media is proud to partner with Director/Producer Lori McNulty (http://www.lorimcnulty.ca/) to produce a short documentary for WIEGO and help tell the story of informal workers around the world and their health care issues.
One of the things I’ve been trying to do on this trip filming a documentary for WIEGO has been to give each country we visit its own colour palette. For both photos and video, I’ve been making a conscious choice to push the hues a certain way to help tell the story. In Thailand, the overcast skies and literal concrete jungle lent itself well to a more subdued blue/green scheme, and so that’s what I aimed for, both with white balance while shooting and also in post.
As for India, the slightly clearer but still diffused sunlight coupled with the vibrant warm tones of the people, environment, and clothing called for a more red and magenta tilt.
Finally, in coastal South Africa, with its mostly blue skies, waterfront, and abundance of wood structures, I pushed for natural and earthy tones like blue, brown, and green.
Of course, the light behaves differently in each place we travel to as well. Like I said, Bangkok’s grey blanket made for nice soft light. I was able to shoot with an ND-8 filter and maintain my shutter speed and a more open aperture when I wanted. Ahmedabad was a little brighter overall, but I was still able to use the same neutral density, though I would sometimes have to close down to f/4-f/5.6 during the middle of the day. Here in Durban, however, the light hits a little closer to home. Like Vancouver, clear skies and bright sun often make for harsh lighting conditions. An extra challenge of course is that (at this point in writing I spotted a monkey and chased it around for a bit – my apologies) 90% of the people we are filming here have darker skin, which adds another layer of complexity to exposing the shot. While here I’ve been using a variable ND filter, which is not as high quality as a dedicated ND-8, but necessary for the increased amount of ambient African light.
And now here is a photo of the monkey that so rudely interrupted my writing: