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The Client Brief
My client wasn’t actually the Lodge owner but a Timber supply company that supplied and installed a lot of the woodwork in the lodge. They wanted some stills and video for their own promotional purposes so they contracted a stills photographer and myself.



My client just wanted the raw video footage off me so that his in-house team could do there own edit and this was just my personal no-rules (or guidelines) edit for y’all out there.


Equipment used
DJI Inspire 2 drone with my trusty Olympus 12mm lens
Panasonic GH5 with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm lens
Moza Air gimbal
You can see my full gear list here

Settings wise I ran the GH5 in my preferred CineD mode and set a manual white balance of 5800k which really bought out the warm timber tones. The outside drone was trickier and was a 6200k white balance to try and warm up the shade which brings me to…


The not so good…
Its mid-winter here and the lodge sits on the south side of a large hill so NO sun shine to speak of…at anytime of the day! This made it tricky for the drone as it looks cold and was an impossible battle to try and expose for the lodge and the bright mountains in the distance which had full sunshine.

My plan of attack was to try reduce having both shade and sunny mountains in the same shot or expose for the mountains and silhouette the lodge.  My rule of thumb when shooting is to try and preserve or expose for the highlights.


My Gimbal Hand forced!
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this but I actually forgot to pack my Slider and tripod which I planned to use on the shoot, I blame it on the school holidays here and being harassed by my kids!

So it was a gimbal only interior shoot which I think came up well, sometimes necessity is the mother of skills improvement!


The Good
It was as you can see a beautifully presented and staged lodge which makes your life a lot easier. The lodge also had a lot of LED strip lighting which really made the woodwork stand out again making my life easy for shooting.

As I mentioned earlier I also went with an interior white balance of 5800k on my GH5 to help bring out the warm tones and colour of the wood.


Favourite Shot
My favourite shot was the crane down shot at approx 0.29 seconds. I actually had my Moza Air gimbal attached to the end of an old plastic sound pole which has the larger 3/8-16 tripod screw which fits into the handle of the Moza gimbal. I love the look of these larger style crane shots you can get with a gimbal and pole. It also helps break up the same style and type of shots in my edit.


Extendable sound pole for gimbal



Here’s a picture of my plastic extendable sound pole I had my Moza gimbal mounted on the end of.  It can get a bit heavy and make sure you’ve got your gimbal attached securely!


You could actually make one of these with a painters pole and this attachment on the end for securing the gimbal too.  Here is some other options I found;




Editing Discovery
Actually more correctly, editing re-discovery, I have a free plugin for Final Cut Pro X called ‘Andys Gradient Filter’ which I forgot I had.  This essentially mimics a traditional ND graduated filter you can use on cameras to help balance exposure in difficult scenes.

This worked really well with the shots looking at the mountains where there is a big exposure difference and I forgot how good this can work.


Screen shot before plugin applied

Screen shot with Gradient plugin applied

Link to Andys gradient filter plugin Its free and works with both FCPX and Premiere.


Do I think its worth paying $20,000/night for staying in the lodge? There is no doubt its a beautifully done lodge and it also comes with your own private chef, nanny/maid quarters and exercise studio. I’m unfortunately not in that market to be paying that much for a nights accomodation so I’m not their target market so probably the wrong person to be asking!

If I found a brown bag with $20k cash in it today I think it would be a toss up between a family holiday to the islands (somewhere warm) or perhaps a Triumph Street Scrambler motorbike!



Thats it from me, happy shooting.