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Video Production Techniques – Lens Whacking

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So what is lens whacking I hear you ask…

Lens whacking is basically letting light leak into a DSLR by not locking the lens into place. It can give you a great effect when used in the right circumstances and it’s always nice when you can produce something yourself rather than using a plugin. I’ve had a quick play with this technique and below is an outline of what I did and there is an example video I put together to show you how it can look.

A couple of things to bear in mind when lens whacking -

1. Make sure you are in an open space otherwise you will get very blurry images of your surroundings

2. You get best results when the gap between the lens and camera body is facing the main light source (e.g. film light, the sun, ceiling light)

To do this effect you simply offer the lens up to the camera and whilst recording tilt the lens away from the body so a gap appears, thus letting light in to the sensor. You control how much light comes in by how much you move the lens. It’s important to keep the lens cap on as you need the light leak to occur over black so it can be used in the editing process.

Post-Production procedure

To edit the footage is very simple, all you need to do is import the footage into your editing program, in our case Premiere Pro CS5, choose the bit you want, put it on the layer above your main video edit and in the opacity drop down menu select ‘screen’ from the blend mode drop down list.