Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A photographer who can deliver a still shoot and a video shoot simultaneously is a photographer who’s in demand and commanding a high fee. Michael Grecco is doing it and putting HD DSLR technology to the test as he works his multifaceted magic.

This Article Features Photo Zoom

The tattooed woman was originally shot for the Naked Ambition book project. A documentary about the making of that book hit number three on iTunes documentary rentals and led to a major DVD deal and international acclaim for Michael Grecco.

Though known for his dynamic celebrity portraiture, Michael Grecco is no stranger to the motion-picture world. His recent directorial efforts in Naked Ambition: An R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry won rave reviews as did his coffee-table book of the same name.

After studying photography and filmmaking at Boston University, Grecco established himself as a successful photojournalist, including awards for his coverage of Hurricane Gloria. But the sun and the celebrity of Hollywood beckoned him to the City of Angels where he has had the who’s who of the big screen parade before his lens.

Grecco has always had a keen interest in the science of image capture, and he’s among the first commercial photographers to explore the use of hybrid camera video in professional applications. Digital Photo Pro spoke with the Canon Explorer of Light member about his first hybrid shoot to gain insight into the dos and don’ts of this fusion of the still and motion-picture worlds.

DPP: Who was the subject for your first fusion shoot, and what was it for?

Michael Grecco: I shot a young singer/performer named Karlee for her album packaging and PR material. We decided to make a little video, as well, potentially for release as her music video or a teaser video, in other words, segments to be released on her Facebook, etc.

DPP: What equipment did you work with? Did you shoot the video portion with the camera basically out of the box, or did you need to accessorize it to turn it into a video camera?

Grecco: We actually did the shoot with two [Canon EOS] 5D Mark IIs. We realized right away that it’s much more practical to use two camera bodies because of the different settings and configurations. One camera was dedicated for the stills and set for shooting with strobe. I used a 24-70mm zoom on that body, which was set to ISO 100, with the white balance set for flash. Most of the shoot was done between ƒ/5.6 and ƒ/11, depending on the desired depth of field.

The camera for video capture was set to ISO 800 and a tungsten white balance because we shot under the modeling lights. Also, it was in manual focus. We mounted it on the Redrock Micro shoulder-mount rig with the magnifier on it with a 135mm ƒ/2 lens, which we used close to wide open.


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