Darren Heath is a multi award winning photographer specialising in Formula One. His work can be seen on his homepage darrenheath.com.
I sat down with him for a couple of hours in his house in London to talk about his work and what makes him work. Darren talks about his passion for Formula One, how he approaches a racing weekend, what gear he is using and what he wants to bring across in his pictures.
To film I used three cameras, the front view was filmed with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BMCC), right side with a Canon 5D mark III and the left side with a Canon 5D mark II. Sound was recorded with a Senheiser ew 122-p G3 feeding a Zoom H4n. Lenses were 50mm f/1.2 L, 85mm f/1.2 L and 24mm f/1.4 L.
This was the first time I used the BMCC and overall I was very pleased, the window highlight recovery was very impressive and helped to balance the light. I could have pulled down the highlights more, but I wanted the footage to mix naturally with the 5Ds. The sharpness of the BMCC is in another league compared to the DSLRs. The interview was shot in RAW to have the highest dynamic range and enable cutting into the image without compromising on the resolution. On the flip side, rendering into ProRes for editing was very time consuming. The BMCC is an impressive camera. It needs to be exposed differently to a DSLR with more light hitting the sensor otherwise the image gets noisy, even when shooting at the native ISO 800. The sensor is also very sensitive to light changes. In total the interview as around 2h and filled 650 GB of space.
The broll was also shot with the BMCC as was the opening and closing shot. The lens used for the open and close was a 200mm f/2.0 L, on the BMCC the focal length changes to 460mm with Darren sitting 1.6m away from the lens.