Fun weekend project with BTS footage.

I listened to a podcast with Den Lennie where he said film school is not really necessary, but you do need some structured learning. This past weekend my wife and kids were out of town so I wanted to work on a project.  I wanted to structure my project so I could concentrate on three things:

  1. Thinking out side the box
  2. Fast and Slow Motion
  3. Blending Modes

I am a big fan of Patrick Moreau from StillMotion, I think I have listened to all the podcasts he has ever done, one of things he talks about a lot is thinking like no other film maker, if there where 15 guys shooting video at an event, he wanted to get the shots no one else was thinking about. So on this project I want to think outside the box and capture this lake that get photographed by thousands of people a day in the summer in a way no one else has.

Bear Lake Video

I wanted to practice with fast and slow motion as well, all of these fast moving shots were not done with time lapse, I was surprised to see how well just using the Rate Stretch Tool works within Premiere.

I ran across Elliott Sellers video on Vimeo a while back called Once Again and I got inspired to incorporate his use of blending modes techniques in to my project. I tried all the different blending modes and found that Screen worked well and sometimes not using any but just lower the opacity down work well too. I was thinking of using lots of color grading and effects like he did, but I couldn’t touch my footage for some reason.

I told Jake Nielsen that I was heading up to Bear Lake to shoot and wanted to see if he wanted to help out, he said yes and got a camp site in RMNP so I got one too. It was a cold night it down to 37 degrees that night. My sleeping was nice and warm but I just couldn’t sleep well, you can hear how tired I was in the morning, listen to what I say the temperature is.

There was a full moon and we headed up to the lake and got some neat shots of the lake around midnight.

I also got up at sunrise and only couple of other people were up there taking pictures.

I hope you enjoy my little weekend project.

Royalty free music by

Gear Used in This Video

Used on a lot of the shots
Canon 70-200
Canon 70-200 Jake's
Canon T2i



Bear Lake Under a Full Moon with Stars


  • Wow! Are you kidding me? I mean seriously… are you a pro? Very impressive. Are you sure you don’t make commercials for the National Park Service? Wow.

  • Hi Dave.

    Finally got home today and watched your video.
    Truly wonderful!!!! Love it.
    One gets the serene and natural feel of the lake served right in the video.

    You are picking up some great skills…and I hope to do the same
    thanks to many who inspire us … including YOU!


  • I think this is a serious step away from technical aspects into real film art 🙂
    What I noticed by watching a second or third time: Some of the cuts seem very hard, and some of the scenes are very short (which feels even harder by the next cut). Maybe some kind of transition effects could help. (But his is just my personal preference.) However, a great piece of work!

  • Thanks everyone for your comments, I really appreciate it.

    @Wolfgang, I get what you are saying, I think you might be right for this video it might have been been with more cross dissolves.

  • Hi Dave,
    Love the opening shots. It really sets the feeling of “camping.” On the ghosted shots, are you layering a shot of the action scene on top of a scene with nobody in it and then reducing its opacity?

  • Very well done Dave. I can see a jump step in the work you’re now doing – very professional. Bear lake looks amazing too!

  • Wow Dave you just keep getting better and better. You defiantly though out of the box on this one. Some times videos of scenery can get boring but you had me wanting more. Good job.

  • Dave!

    I must say this video is superb! I’m totally digging the feel. I think the music choice was perfect.

    Your editing chops are showing in this video! lol

    I loved the shot of the hands on the rock. i thought it felt very iconic and thought provoking!

    You should try to use the bezier curve on your opacity keyframes when animating, give them a bit of an s curve like you would with an audio envelope on a crossfade. That way the transition starts slow, ramps up then slows to the conclusion. It’ll feel a little more organic that way.

  • Great job. Enjoy reading and watching your articles, but never take the time to let you know. they are much appreciated.

  • Great video! Love to know my camera has that potiential. I am definietly trying the ghosting effects, love how those go together.

  • Wow, this is such an awesome video!
    I don’t quite understand how you made it though. Did you edit out the BG on a second layer and then turn down the opacity? That’s the only way i can think of.
    Or did you actually somehow do a really long exposure?
    No it has to be at least 1/24th.

    Also, what did you use for the color grading? AE, Premiere, Magic Bullet?

    Please expalin.

  • Hiiii , Dave could you please tell me , what effect is this ?? i need to do same effect to my Video , let me know the name of it , so i can find tutorials 🙂 .. thanks ..