What really helped me create this video was one I had mentioned in an earlier post. Carbon Studios had made a short called Moonlight and it blew my mind. It also got me very excited because I owned the very same camera they used to create it.

I went out one morning and tried the pitch-dark shooting myself, but did not wait for a full moon. The camera performed wonderfully but I knew I missed out on a lot by not having a full moon above me.

So I went back out, this time with my brother Anthony, to do it the right way. I thought of a little story to make of it and just before 1 a.m. we headed over to the High School next door.

Shooting went down between 1 and 3 a.m. I was at 2.8 for every shot using the Canon 16-35. The results were pretty good, not much to say about the process-it’s all about the visual outcome.

One thing to mention though is a slight mistake I had made. I was a little too excited to be seeing in the dark with a $3,000 camera that I forgot the basics. Fog. You see, in Michigan, it gets very dewy, especially early in the morning during spring and summer. Feeling my pants had become five pounds heavier because of sitting on the grass so much, it reminded me to check my lens.

It was completely covered in fog-of course it was. It had been the entire shoot since I brought my camera and lens straight out of the house which had to be a good 20 degrees difference.

So take the results with a grain of salt knowing every shot was looking through a foggy piece of glass. Kind of surprising the results were as impressive as they were.


I didn’t want to go too crazy with the editing in order to keep the test simple and also true to the idea. No color correction was done but Neat Video v4 was used to get some of the grain down (grain that was more prevalent because of a foggy lens).

Lucky for me, I have a lovely music composer for a friend, Andrew Seistrup, so his song “A Home in a Lighthouse” was paired to make the video more dramatic and artsy.

One other thing to add, I did use the Canon 16-35, which is a great piece of glass, but I just missed being able to use the Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5-which I had rented from Borrow Lens just a week later. Comparing my footage to Carbon Studios I do wonder what my result would have been like with a Cine Lens. Maybe I would have paid closer attention to the fog while using a $5,000 lens-we’ll never know. As always, shoot everything any time you can. Nothing will be perfect anyway.