Earlier this summer my family and I visited Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale, NY after my wife told me it was an interesting location she’d heard about that would be worth checking out. I took a handful of photos with my 5D mk3 and luckily I brought along a 14mm Canon L lens as well as an old beat up 50mm f/1.8.
While it is a stunning location with beautiful reflections, there is one big caveat: it is dark. A lot of the shots I took that day were 1-2 second exposures.
Fast forward to half a year later, we packed all of our new and exciting tools into the van and spent some time in this epic and eerie location to film our latest project ‘The Place Where’.
Since its release the RED Monstro has been our workhorse camera, leaving even the trusted Alexa Mini in the dust. The large Vista Vision sensor in the small form factor, overall image performance and low light sensibility has been an incredible gift.
Inside the mine we used a mixture of daylight coming in through the large opening, an 800W LED light ball that we built earlier in the year and our 400W LED drone light that is remote controlled on a MoVI and flown on the ALTA 6. Flying in tight quarters, water below, as well as dripping from the ceiling, the mine is an extremely challenging place to fly in.
While our Leica R lens package covers the Vista Vision sensor, I really liked the look of the scout photos and stuck to the Canon 14mm L glass for the majority of the shots. A lens that surprisingly covered the sensor and is an extreme super wide, roughly comparable to a 10mm on a S35 sensor.
To push the sensor even further into the ultimate low light sensitivity, we used the Kippertie Full Spectrum OLPF and pushed as high as ISO 12,800.
For the exteriors of the cave we used our 1,600W super bright drone light rig - possibly the brightest drone light that currently exists. We also mostly relied on the 1,600W drone light for the remaining exteriors to create an unreal, supernatural-feeling lighting effect.
While all the gear that we brought out to the mine played a crucial role - e.g. the X-Jib Pro allowing for portable, techno-crane like dolly shots over the water, and the Tube Of Death providing adequate atmosphere in the sprawling location - the Monstro’s Vista Vision sensor was the primary element, being able to capture it all.
The 8K RAW and incredible IPP2 technology offers the industries best image quality, dynamic range and post capabilities - all this while being package in a super compact form factor. We are are excited to see how else we can push this beautiful sensor in other ways!
We hope you enjoy this piece and as always please feel free to comment or reach out with any questions.
Director of Photography: Tim Sessler
Pilot: Adam Koontz
Assistant Camera and additional Operator: Josh Holz
Music: Michael Marantz and Daniel Boventer
Special Thanks to the Century House Historical Society, Althea Werner, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema, Autumn Kay Brookmire, John Michelotti and the Michelotti family, Ignite Digi, Tabb Firchau and Freefly Systems!
Photo Credit for “Brooklyn Aerials 1,600W Lighting Drone”: Pictures Fabryc .