A Kauai videographer and photographer's blog


Toys for a Sunday Fun day in Kauai

Grabbed this photo shooting for a vacation rental near Queen’s Bath; so whoever rents the cute little pad gets to use some nice toys, too!  

IMG 4410 copy

Simple video plus from Kauai Video Productions


Awesome trees for photo backdrops 

Kauai has an assortment of mind-blowing trees—photographer’s delights to spruce up (pardon the pun) the spectacular beach and misty mountains that mostly occupy the background in our photographs. 

So if you find yourself standing in the shade of a Monkeypod tree, also known as a rain tree, you might want to bag it as a photo companion.  Or maybe you’ll stumble upon a massive Banyan—that’ll be an awesome shot.  If you find yourself in a tree tunnel of old mango trees, you’ll be able to capture a favorite moment. And don’t say no to a bold Koa tree.  


Pre Planning wedding photography and videography

  • Pre wedding cinematography -  when you want a wedding video that shows more than just your ceremony. It can mean communicating with your wedding cinematographer ahead of the big day, and discussing the types of scenes  you think might be great. This might be traditional type scenes, like getting ready, and guests arriving and or giving testimonials, and a montage of the reception.  Or it can mean something  completely and utterly different, like having the cinamtographer create a mini movie about your Kauai trip.    
  • Pre wedding film ideas:  this can include themes for the video, such as romantic, adventurous, dangerous, going for laughs, or just about anything you can think of. It can even mean filming scenes that match the lyrics in a particular song.  
  • Pre wedding photography - this is when you have specific ideas that you’d like to share with your photographer, to make sure that she / he includes the types of shots that you want in your wedding photography album / slideshow. 


 



Christmas-holiday-videography-photography 2017/18

Aloha … it’s holiday time again.  Boy, did this year fly by in a blink. Is time shrinking or is it just me?  So…are you having or organizing a party?  Thinking of hiring a videographer or photographer?  I’m offering a 2-hour holiday combo. You’ll  get a niftily  professional 4-minute edited video + 75 high res photographs. It’s limited availability!  So call me at 808-212-9742  or use my CONTACT page. 


Princeville 

I was hired to film aerials of land owned by Princeville.   Views that one only dreams of. Imagine, not too long ago it would have been prohibitively expensive to get these kinds of shots—a helicopter and a harness to lean out of the chopper’s open door.  Many moons ago I did that. I leaned out of the open door of a chopper to film the Napali coast.   But these shots were taken with my buddy Steven Rodger’s quad.  Thanks to Steven for stepping up at the last moment, as my drone was in the shop.   

The highest quality aerial photography in Kauai

Kauai Aerial drone photography and videography by Kauai Video Productions 


Kauai High School Photo Shoot

Photography session:  September 27th 2017 — purpose - new website for the school. 


Hanalei Bay Family  

September 19th 2017 — I spent the last few days filming a wonderful family who have experenced the tragic loss of a loved one.  They hired me to film a life celebration. Naturally, being a very personal film, it’s not for public viewing. After a gathering at Black Pot (the pier at Hanalei Bay) the family arranged a boat trip for the next day.  Thank you for the experience, Cole and Darcy and all of the family. 



       

Thank you for reading my blog.  I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a vlog, kind of a behind the scenes of the video and photo shoots I do.   Until I  do I’ll contunue sharing tidbits in the written form. 

Somone recently asked me how I price my shoots. I stopped to think, and for a moment I didn’t have an answer. How does anyone price anything? Well it’s all about time, experience and my talent, I answered at length.  And then she asked me, “And are all of those things fixed in stone?”  Hmmm. 

I guess the bottom line here is: if I’ve quoted you for a shoot, or if you’ve seen a fee posted on this website or an ad I’ve got running someplace, and you’re not fully satisfied with that sum, it doesn’t hurt to ask me: Can you do better, or “Could you do it for x fee?”  Nuff said on this ...


REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY  by DIFRASER

Happy to have completed another HDR real estate project.  HDR is high dynamic range photography. I do not use strobes (camera flash)  I use the house lights. I turn on as many as I can and wait until it’s dark enough for them to appear decorative.   HDR can be used on any photo shoot, even a wedding portrait session, for a completely different kind of look.  


Doing it again


  • After twenty years of a great marriage, Katherine and James decided to reaffirm their love for each and their family—four strapping lads. So they had a vow renewal service and celebration in Kauai. I was lucky enough to be chosen to memorialize the event in pictures. What a great family. Loved it! 

Photo by David Ian Fraser (Difraser) Kauai videographer & photographer

The family. Photo by Kauai photographer Difraser


Sunset weddings, a true Kauai classic, videography and photography by Difraser 

Walking the drone


I’m in the shot ...

August 29th 2017 — So the day I got this new drone, my wife was worried that I'd do something silly, like try to piggy-back ride on it. Candidly, I’m not a complete novice. My other drone was almost as big as me, and it scared everyone who saw it, especially with me piloting.  So to appease the wife, we took a stroll. We could have just as easily been walking the dog, or the cat. We strolled, the drone kept pace, but after a while the drone begged to be cut loose.  

If you’re ready for the cinematic aerial look in your video, let me know.  Drone aerial photography/ videography adds a higher dimension to your story.  Aloha— Difraser.

Wedding videographer Kauai

Kauai videographer Difraser


DP

   

Blue screen love story video by Kauai wedding videographer Difraser

The couple in this love story video didn’t want the typical, you know, talking heads,   “I first met Samantha when she was  six…” bla, bla, bla. The video had to be original, moving,  and vintage style. We decided on a dance through the couple’s 10-year relationship. We filmed in multiple Kauai locations, beaches, rain forest, old ruins,  and then in a church hall, against a blue screen backdrop. It might seem overkill for a wedding/ engagement  but I love pushing the boundary for event video.    

Blue screen image (below) and under it a frame of the finished composited video. See the video HERE 

Below image is just one of sixteen different virtual sets that I created for the video.     

comp blue sc1


Wedding videographer Kauai

Kauai videographer Difraser

DP

What’s going on?

I shot a wedding video for a local couple. Technically, not really a Simple video because I was slogging 3 cameras. What the heck, it’s still a Simple Video.  See below.  

 Wedding videographer Kauai

Kauai videographer Difraser

DP

Bokah

35mm Sigma Art on the GH4 with the Speedbooster effectively becomes a 50mm equivalent on a full frame, which makes it a perfect portraiture lens.     



Wedding videographer Kauai

Kauai videographer Difraser

DP

Another visit to Queen’s Bath 

Queen’s Bath is not the easiest spot for a wedding couple in wedding attire to visit. The trail from the parking lot takes about 15 minutes to navigate, and you have to clamber over slippery boulders, and rocky water pools, as you descend to the lava rocks and waterways of Queen’s Bath. But once there, you find yourself in Dramatic Photo Central. Even on the descent there’s dozens of photo ops, such as waterfalls and panoramic scenics.  


 Wedding videographer Kauai

Kauai videographer Difraser

DP




Picture frame setting for a Kauai wedding

Have camera will go anywhere… even if it’s a Gopro snap. 

Put up a small canopy on the left side, the couple should be standing roughly where Zenovia is … what a master shot!   This is the ruins at Princeville, above Hanalei Bay.  The video BELOW was filmed without sound, just so that you can get an idea of what the ruins are like, photographically and cinematically.  

 Wedding videographer Kauai

Kauai videographer Difraser

DP

 

Patrick Ching's new art show

Famous Hawaii artist Patrick Ching, who happens to be a good friend, is working on a 20-episode TV series, which he’ll mostly shoot himself at his own art studio.  This week, Patrick and I spent the day together talking art and video, and I suggested that he  get a Gopro camera, not for the entire shoot of course, but for some of the shots. “It’s an amazing little camera,” I told him.  Fortunately, I had my Gopro 4 with me, so I proceeded to show Patrick jusy how good and easy it is to shoot with it. The clip below is without any lighting, or any setup effort whatsoever. I just whipped out the camera and hit the record button. Oh, and I shot at 1080p, not at the camera’s 4K setting.   


    

Happy 4th 

Fireworks yes… there have been many times during my career when I’ve been able to film festive fire…  The image below is of Soul Fire, a firedancing group that I’ve had the pleasure of filming several times in Kauai.  So have a happy, fire-safe 4th of July — Difraser  

Wedding Videographer Kauai

Firedance seq filmed by Difraser Kauai Video Productions


Zenovia strip


Zenovia strip

The beach beneath the ruins of Club Med, Kauai… the wife and I went out for a stroll. I took my smallest camera, Panni GH2.

Time for a wedding at Lumahai

Lumahai Beach Kauai wedding photographed by Difraser 85

Lumahai is a spectacular beach, the east side of the beach known as tourist Lumahai is my favorite part of the beach; it’s sculpted for drama and the big cinematic look. Okay, that’s kind of a mean thing to say because further north is the really famous part of Lumahai, the part where "South Pacfic" was filmed. It’s where Mitzi Gaynor wanted to wash that man right out of her hair.  So…on my birthday, June 17, a few days ago, I photographed a handsome young couple as they said their vows right at that spot where Mitzi sang, and then the couple pranced about on the rocks, with me chasing them with my camera flash on a stand.  Great fun it was, and then I returned home to celebrate my birthday with my family.   Here’s a few shots that I took.

Lumahai Beach Kauai wedding photographed by Difraser 709
Lumahai Beach Kauai wedding photographed by Difraser 757
Lumahai Beach Kauai wedding photographed by Difraser 804



Shipwrecks Beach Kauai wedding videographer Difraser

Shipwrecks—popular like crazy for weddings. Understandably so for those staying in Poipu. And yes it is a very special location. But...IMHO way too common and too crowded with multiple wedding couples every day, all vying for the best spot, without a visible sunset in the summer months. Perhaps worse, cinematically the location is not dramatic when comapred to, for example, Hanalei Bay which in the summer is framed by misty mounatins, scattered boats, and a glistening sunset visible all the way until it sinks into ocean's azure horizon.     

Shiprecks - lazy summer beach for beach brides, and, if you get the very end of the beach for yourself without another bridal couple in the picture, an awesome location, but still not my favorite!   

For beach wedding photography my favorites are Queens Bath, Hideaways beach, Pua Poa Beach (next to the St. Regis), and Hanalei Bay. 

The officiant’s head was sooo big - by Kauai wedding videographer Difraser

Recently, I added “ Simple Video” as an option to my creative services menu; and priced the service under $800. This came about because a   client told me that she just wanted something simple, a no frills video, not raw footage but something quick and easy to show her family back home so they could hear their vows.  

The day came. The wedding was meant to take place on a grassy plateau adjoining the golden sands of Hideways beach, a paradise teaming with glistening lava rocks, verdant foliage and swamping waves.  Only when the officiant arrived at the parking lot next to the bluff, he immediately announced that he would not walk down to the beach because of a bad back.  We had to settle on the bluff's plateau. It was hazy, cloudy, with intermittent sun. Not ideal. The lack of foreground foliage was a huge disappointment, in my opinion. But some might argue that there isn’t a bad view in Kauai. I placed my camera in the perfect spot to capture the bride and groom framed against the vast expanse of the Pacific, and dressed the groom and the officiant with wireless mikes. I told the officiant how I was going to frame the sequence.  

The wedding began and within a few seconds the officiant placed his hefty self in front of my camera, partially blocking the wedding couple. This often happens at weddings—the officiant forgets that the bride and groom are paying for a wedding video. Obviously, I was forced to move my camera.  The officiant moved again. Again my camera found itself out of position. This fidgety officiant did this over and over, throughout the ceremony. 

On a typical wedding video I shoot multiple angles with multiple cameras and I have a plethora of editing options, so if/when an officiant goes off the game plan, well, it’s no big deal.  But this was meant to be a simple video, If I started chasing angles I would be in for a regular post production slate.  

I ended up compromising. Obviously I wasn’t going to give this lovely young wedding couple a crappy video with a huge officiant’s head blocking them throughout. I moved around sparingly. Got enough great shots, and later I was able to edit the film in a few hours. 

So is there a lesson in this? Not really. But I do have a caveat for couples thinking of opting for the "simple video." The package is not comprehensive like my “Elope wedding video.”  

Would I say this simple video is a poor choice? Absolutely not. After putting the little film together, I’d say it’s an excellent choice for those on a really tight budget.  

 

Anamorphic video - Kauai wedding videographer Difraser

Thanks to Will and Tiantian Russell for selecting me to film your special day at the Kauai Resorts. Once again I used the fantastic GH4 and my longtime faithful Canon 5D mark ll.

Techology is but a part of the video production process, but today perhaps more than at any time in the past the video technology that’s available allows for numerous totally different looks in presenation, such as the anamorphic look. While only a few film makers worldwide are shooting with anamorphic lenses to craft  wedding videos, the end result is so spectacular, so rich and epic, especially here in Kauai where the sceneary is breathtaking, that I think I’m going to offer the service as an add-on.   Here’s an example of the anamorphic (wide screen) presentation: https://vimeo.com/97096167

  

Davinci an editing option by Kauai wedding videographer Difraser

My first few moments on Davinci Resolve and wow! I’m blown away. No wonder it’s taken the post production community by storm.   I began grading GH4 footage (amazing camera) that I shot at the famous Wilcox estate in Hanalei this past weekend.   I’’ll post some before and after shots in a few days.  

I was contacted today by someone in Canada who wants a trash-the-dress video.  I haven’t been advertizing Trash videos for about 5 years, despite being one of the first to offer the service way back in 2009 back on the mainland. Back then I was charging $4500. I’m toying with the idea of a day-shoot, 2-person crew, 3-minute video for $950. Of course I won’t be able to do jib and long dolly shots for this fee, but I can still do an amazing video.