What is my work? Examples from the past three years or so…

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I originally wrote this last year as what you see online is not necessarily a reflection of what I actually do day in day out. It was hidden away on my personal blog and it felt like the right time to amend it and include a look back at some of my older stuff…

Most of my work you don’t see online. I don’t have the rights to show them on the internet or can’t get copies (like my Discovery HD work). What I do post on my website is some of the paid work I am allowed to show, like the two commercials below…as well as the stuff I shot and directed like Life of Crime, Eddie Gibson, Religion and of course my Anorexia films amongst others. The vast majority is my personal work…You can see example of some of these pieces down the bottom of this post. Sometimes people ask me to do what I do with my personal work for them and create something like that, like I did with Legends which you can see later on in the post too.

Shooting in Germany for Discovery
Shooting in Germany for Discovery

The personal films that you see mostly on my site are my passion, what I do that fulfils me on a personal level. You see, my passion is filming, it’s the biggest thing in my life, for better or worse. I am lucky enough to be doing what I love, so when I get the chance…whether it is to test a new piece of gear or just to capture something that I want to capture I go out and do it. I can be prolific at times when I feel really motivated. I have new bits of gear I really need to try out and the best way I find to try out stuff is to film with them and make something out of it. I adore natural light and try to harness it in the best way I can, I see beauty in everything and try my best to capture that. Much like a photographer does, I simply do it in a moving images way.

So how do I classify my personal work? Do I call them films, videos? To me they are films, as film to me doesn’t necessarily have to be narrative, have a storyline or deep concept. It can just convey an emotion, a feeling and that is what I like doing the most, as often this emotion or feeling conveys a message in itself. What that message is can be up to you, it can be open to interpretation. But I hope my work can sometimes bring a feeling of positivity to a world filled with a lot of negativity. They are often refer to as mood pieces, but I try to capture a moment, a feeling, a place in a series of images.

Stills photographers like Martin Parr, someone I only discovered a year ago (not that I am comparing his genius work to mine) captures people beautifully and naturally, something I love doing. Like him, I find richness in people’s faces, something that I believe works in moving video not just stills. I love to capture the world around me, people, places, objects, from my perspective. Not necessarily one that you share. But it’s how I see it, very often influenced by my mood at the time or inspired by something or someone I meet. It’s hard to put into words. That’s why I do it with my films! Another indirect influence is Ron Fricke, of Baraka fame. I shamefully admit I only discovered his work around 18 months ago after someone said my stuff reminded me of Koyaanisqatsi. A flattering and undeserved comparison, but very flattering all the same.

The Canon DSLRs have recently given me the chance to be really spontaneous in what I can capture, much more like a stills photographer. I kept my films Venice’s People and Miles Away handheld to emphasize this rawness of “capturing the moment”. It won’t stop me doing more considered classical pieces. I love nature and landscapes as much as I love people. The feeling I get when I make something that I really feel captures what I set out to achieve is a high no drug can replicate and when I saw some of my work on the 44 foot Stag screen at Skywalker Ranch I was dumbstruck. I never thought I would have this moment. After all these are personal “works of art” that I share but never expected to be embraced by some people so fully.

My goal with this website originally was purely to showcase my work and get work. Somehow, it has evolved into something much more. A place to share information. More importantly to me, my site has now become a place that inspires people to go out and film. To pick up their cameras and capture life as it is, go and make narrative films, film a documentary about something important to them, to push themselves more. This is what I am proud of the most.

I have started doing more and more speaking engagements and workshops, where I get to share my work and thoughts with people in a less virtual environment. I will be doing a number of these over the comings months. Already lined up are workshops in Boston, Oslo, Toronto and Tampa.

Oh and if I don’t reply to your email or question on my site or vimeo (email me rather than send using vimeo, it’s easier for me to reply), send it again. I get a lot and sometimes miss them but i always try to reply in the end! I try my hardest to help as many people as possible, even if it does take up a huge amount of time.

Peace, and keep shooting!

Oh and do read my website ethics statement here if you get a chance…


Examples of commercials

NT LIVE: Shot on EX3 and Letus Ultimate

[xr_video id=”0d867833e4d04986a1bd2dbffacf7da3″ size=”lrm”]

Greenpeace: Voices of change. Shot on Canon 5DmkII

[vimeo 6695584 600 338]

Examples of my raw handheld work

Venice’s People: Canon 7D

[vimeo 7412515 600 338]

Monarch’s “Miles away”: Canon 5DmkII

[vimeo 10180051 640 272]

Examples of more classical personal work

The Echo: Sony Ex1 and Letus Extreme

[xr_video id=”0451316f95fc4595811b777177dc544c” size=”lrm”]

Alone in Tokyo: EX1 and Letus Extreme/ Ultimate

Sky: Canon 5DmkII, 7D, GF1

[vimeo 8951807 640 360]

A day at the races: Canon 7D

[vimeo 9978341 640 360]

3 Seconds: Sony Ex1 and Letus Extreme

Salton Sea Beach: Canon T2i/ 550D

[vimeo 10314280 640 248]

Love from Southend: Sony EX1/ Letus Ultimate

Prague: Canon 1DmkIV

[vimeo 8324034 747 420]

Legends: Sony EX1 and Letus Extreme

[xr_video id=”d9466e4eeaa845e69129bd83de92730f” size=”lrm”]

Life of Crime Examples

Jimmy Nicholson: Sony F350, JVC HD201/ Brevis 35

[xr_video id=”357cd431a75044f9bfb35d140982324a” size=”lrm”]

Bruce Reynolds: Sony F350, JVC HD201/ Brevis 35

[xr_video id=”62e5a27f59d44b0c9a11e0c5d9660bda” size=”lrm”]

Religion series example

Buddhists: Sony F350

[xr_video id=”21f6c68a786545a5be92da1136ffe533″ size=”lrm”]

Anorexia series example

Anorexia Part 2: JVC HD 201/ Brevis 35

[xr_video id=”1b0d6d99321942af900d2f8d6a4e9209″ size=”lrm”]

Something from a while back!

If I were Prime Minister…Sir Andrew Green: Betacam SX

Sir Andrew Green from If I Were PM on Vimeo.


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  1. Hi, i just want to say, that i started to read your blog since i knew the new 7D was coming out. I am an amateur photographer, since i’m 12 (31 now) and started with a Zeiss Icarex 35cs (still have and use:)); so ireally got inspired by your short movies and techniques/tutorials. I bought the 7D has i’m not professional this camera is already very good for me.
    So i just wanted to invite you to watch the short movie i made with the 7D and edited in after effects (my premiere) if you have time to say something about it. i know it has a lot of mistakes but hey i want to learn and later make a better one. Thanks for everything, and congratulations for your excellent atittude towards life and Photo/cinematography.

    link for the video: My Tokyo: http://csx-xmz.com/aperture/

    Best regards

  2. Fantastic blog I really should have read it earlier but have only followed you off and on and have missed many over the last 3 years and definitely not commented as much as I want to. I think now that I have committed fully to becoming a great videographer, I spend a lot more time researching and on the internet committed to the learning the art and constantly looking for ways to make a living as a freelancer. I learn a lot from you so thank you for all your posting. I was also only just starting out in video let alone freelance 3 years ago so I have come a long way now.

  3. Thanks for your story. When I was younger I dreamt about doing films, and somewhere there on the way I got stuck not doing it. I started working in the internet business and I almost forgot all about it. Last fall a good friend of mine inspired me to buy the 5D, which I did. I still haven’t really produced anything but it is a great motivation to hear your story and see your films. I really love them, and I really understand what you mean with ‘people’s faces’. Making a still into a movie. You get emotion, warmth and love. Makes me think of Bladerunner, when Deckard looks at the photographs and suddenly it turns into motion, just under a second. Such a great shot, that many miss.

  4. RE: Oh and if I don’t reply to your email or question on my site or vimeo

    I @tweet yer ass all the time with no responses, do you not get them because you don’t follow me back?

    Thanks for all your work and inspiration!


  5. Great great work Philip. Thanks for sharing all of this.

    This may have come up before but do you bother with release forms and the like? Specifically for subjects like the war vet in your Venice Beach film? He’s more than just someone you pan across momentarily.


  6. Hi Philip,

    I just wanted to thank you for being so generous in sharing your work, your experiences, and your wonderful talent. I’ve been following your blog for a couple years now, and it’s always been informational as well as inspirational.

    Thanks for all your hard work. It’s helped me grow as a filmmaker.

  7. Thanks for all that you do Philip! I can say you and your work has inspired me to go out and capture the beauty that is all around me. And right now there is a lot of it around here. 🙂 Coming soon.

  8. Superb stuff, Phil. You are inspiring me to break out from the corporate world and as you say a 5d would give more freedom to shoot more spontaneous films and not have jobsworth security people coming up to me. I’m really looking to improve, add more creativity and artistry, every day I learn something in this industry. An industry where we now generally have to produce things to tight deadlines at lower cost but with higher and higher production standards. Thankyou for inspiring me, it really is fantastic that you take the trouble to run this site.

  9. Phil,

    Whether you know it or not, I believe you have inspired a whole new era of film makers, myself included. Your website is one of the biggest sources of information on the internet and I can’t even begin to thank you for all that I have learned. Your story and work is very diverse and inspiring. I often find myself with creative block, and most of the time all it takes is going through your work to help spark my creativity. I only wish that I had found my love for film making at a younger age. I have always had a love for movies and thought that one day I would be involved in the business, but somehow I got sidetracked and found myself in an entirely different industry. About a year ago I started a new company and one of the major components was creating videos for the web. At the time I new nothing about filming or editing, but for my company to succeed it was something I needed to do. Well, it’s now a year later and I have never loved my job as much as I do now that I get to film and edit my own work. I tell you this because it was your site that got me started and taught me some of the basics. Since I have never had a mentor, or anyone close to me in the business, I really appreciate you answering all my questions even though you get about 900 a day. Your passion for this business is infectious and I’m just happy that you share your experiences and knowledge with all of us. You’re a good man Mr. Bloom, thank you for all that you do.



  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about “what you do” – it has certainly inspired me as professional photographer to challenge myself in new creative directions. Your work is amazing and clearly driven by passion and dedication, qualities that bring out the best in all of us.

    I have learned a great deal from your blog and creative work, so thank you again for your willingness to share and help those of us who are hungry to learn. Be Well!

  11. Thank you so much, Philip, for sharing your road to getting here.

    You’re inspirational, in both what you do, and how you do it. People like you – sharing, listening, teaching, helping, and understanding – make this world a better place.

    It’s really wonderful to have you out there helping people open their eyes to the creativity within. That’s a true gift in itself. Your work is allowing me to think and look forward – and feel – when it comes to filmmaking or even my photography. It’s this sharing spirit – whether technical, or visual – that keeps this place (and you as an individual) a positive environment.

    And with the DSLR stuff, well that’s just an amazing tool at the perfect time – with some great people willing to help and share for the betterment of filmmaking in general – and I for one, can’t say thank you enough to you, and your peers, for allowing me to believe my creativity has artistic value (if only to me), and must be produced. It’s the time

    Thank you for being here, Philip, and having the self confidence to be yourself – and share your wonderful work – for us out here. It’s awesome.

    joe q

  12. Dear Mr. Bloom,

    you are the reason why I am going to spend all my money on a DSLR.

    Thank you for that!

    I currently own a Casio EX-F1 all-in-one-wonder. But the look of DSLR videos is what I dream of every time I see moving pictures. I built a 35mm adapter to get this look (http://vimeo.com/9759841), it works fine, but when I see your videos…… So I decided to get a Canon 550d – that’s all a student can afford right now. But I reaaally look forward to this camera!

    Don’t stop this blog – it’s great!


    PS: I would order every single of your tutorial DVDs if I could afford them. Hope my girlfriend will order one for my birthday 😉 (just in case she reads this post)

  13. Philip, this stuff is great. I feel like an ass about yesterday (and I am an ass) for calling you out on twitter. My sincerest apologies for jumping the gun and not actually looking at your whole body of work. Seriously, I’m sorry about being a jerk. Cheers to this stuff and best of luck in the future.


  14. Well Mr Bloom, I would like you to cease and desist with all this website malarkey. You are encouraging far too many people to buy and use affordable cameras and call themselves filmmakers. In these hard times in the media industry we don’t need lots of extra enthusiastic and talented people coming in and taking our work at half the price. This is all just a symptom of what’s going wrong in this industry. What we need is focus on proper professional standards, standard rates of pay and job security for experienced and properly trained industry proffesionals such as myself.

    Only joking! I hope I didn’t touch a nerve there 😉

    I really appreciate your enthusiasm and sharing of your knowledge and personal work. I am just hoping to re-enter the industry myself in some form withinthe camera department. Making cinematography techniques within reach has encouraged me to look at drama production, my original passion, which was something I pretty much forgot about early in my career.
    Your site and some others out there have inspired me to finally get off my arse and do something with my creative output. A few stills to get you started.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/q_man/
    Also started a tweet stream under the name CineQ, detailing my struggle to get back in the biz.

  15. dear philip,

    you’re a natural when it comes to your role as educator and mentor in a new and exciting field. you’re part artist, part storyteller, part engineer, part educator, part barnstormer… and the list goes on. post-modern “renaissance man” comes to mind — one that combines artistry and engineering in the face of rapidly changing toolsets and technologies.

    posted a blog about you just a day ago–met you briefly in austin at the fcp meet up… you have inspired me to create, hence the short profile… see: http://human2x.tumblr.com/post/481638629/philip-bloom-dslr-guru-educator

    took my 7d out for a session yesterday… not reading the manuals, though. just doing some fun tests driven by the gut, mind you.

    thank you for all that you share. it is a pleasure to have you as a mentor and virtual colleague at large…


    twitter: jimbruno08

  16. “I adore natural light and try to harness it in the best way I can”


    I’ve said it in previously around the web and here, but it’s wonderful how much you share and inspire.


  17. Hey Philip,

    It is really great to read this and get a little more background about your work. It’s great to see people who can actually make a living doing what they love – when they do not only does their work reflect that, but their personalities do as well.

    I came about your site about a year ago when I was scouring the internet for any relevant information about the 5D (and then shortly thereafter the rumored 7D). Your’s is the only one I RSS’d and the one I’ve learned the most valuable information from – thank you! When you can inspire so many different people from all over the world and even reach some very surprising people (LucasFilm), I think that says a lot about you.

    Thank you for all you have shared with us over the years, and keep doing great things!

  18. From your post:
    “More importantly to me, my site has now become a place that inspires people to go out and film. To pick up their cameras and capture life as it is, go and make narrative films, film a documentary about something important to them, to push themselves more.”

    I just wanted say thank you because that is what you have done for me. I found your work to be a real inspiration and shooting has added a whole new dimension to my life. I cannot thank you enough for helping me find something that is so personally rewarding. Thanks so much phillip!

  19. Phil,

    Sometimes you can wonder if you do the right thing, we all experience criticism and this can be unjust and not fair. A message of support for you from me, and a big thank you for the inspiration and help that you shown me when others wouldn’t help. This I remember and the many others that you have helped personally.

    I know even myself that it can get you down but remember you are creating a movement of something new online, you are doing this while others are not.

    Chin up – As the world would be different if you were not part of it………



  20. Thank you for your work and dedication. To say that you have contributed a lot to independent film making would be an understatement.

    By the way, I don’t know if you are aware of it but you are not very popular right now in photography circles. You are being widely blamed for the shortage of certain lenses (like the Tokina 11-16). Apparently film makers are buying lenses like crazy and have bought up entire stocks of some of those that have had low production volumes. People seem to be suggesting that it’s more than a coincidence that it seems to happen just to the glass that you recommend/use.

  21. HI Philip
    I follow everything you do for about a year, not having found the first sin, I find the work you do exciting and brilliant, you’re clear in your tutorials and you are nice in some movies I’ve seen. what to say congratulations and keep going with affection Alexander

  22. I always love seeing what your up to. You’ve got a great eye and you’re good a what you do. I like the rawness of Venice’s People. The first piece I remember seeing of your work was 3 Seconds.

    This is a great little narrative about you. Thanks! And if you ever need another cinematographer… have camera, will travel. haha


  23. I always love seeing what your up to. You’ve got a great eye and you’re good a what you do. I like the rawness of Venice’s People. The first piece I remember seeing of your work was 3 Seconds.

    This is a great little narrative about you. Thanks! And if you ever need another cinematographer… have camera, will travel. haha


  24. hi Philip
    the first time that i saw your video was your tutorial for sony z5 slow motion…. at that time i never think that i will be a very good camera man
    or the best in my country …… thanks to this website and your hard work .
    can i say you are my big brother ….. your work with DSLR are super and because of that i manage to make something really big in my country .
    we are going to make a film with the DSLR.
    i talked with the directer about you and he is very interested to invited you coming to our country and see Our experience in filming with DSLR.
    i am an Arabian and my country is Yemen.
    my country really riches of really strange life and place.
    people they like from another world.
    you should see it your self.
    some pic abut Yemen:

    i will contact with you by your email….
    thanks .

  25. Delicious footage – beauty and meaning comes through….

    I’m about to buy a 5D Mii – could you recommend a short list of lens’ I should have in my bag? I’m working on a nature show, will need something long, and also doing a documentary with interviews, and have a few music videos to do…

    I checked your Amazon list, but was hoping for one short list. Also any other accessories that are indispensable. Thanks

  26. I also just want to say thank you. You’re an absolute inspiration, not just as a filmmaker but in terms of your blog and site! It’s brilliant to read… not too geeky… humourous… and gets to the point.

    I’ve been back and viewed your work and it is outstanding. Has a mood all of it’s own.

    These cameras are nothing on their own!! They need people to get the best out of them and so your advice alone is worth a 100 full frame sensors.

    It’s not just about the products. In my life too you’ve inspired me to work hard outside of my web designer day job to make short films, blog about the cameras on my site and take my own path to indulging a passion whilst taking on board all the stuff which makes your work so good.

    I’ve been in Taiwan for 6 months – here there is a big interest in these cameras too and Asia hasn’t yet really tapped into the potential of DSLR video – they’re all quite traditional photographers in that respect. There are some amazingly talented people here with such sensitive photographic eyes who’d make great cinematographers and film makers. I’ve just done a videoed interview with a website here, DCView.com and the photographers were amazed at what the GH1 could do in video mode. The Philip Bloom Effect hasn’t yet touched the heart and soul of Taiwan or China mostly because of language, but there is a massive base of talent just gagging to use the cameras for video!!

    Bloom – you’re a pioneer.

      1. Great, I think you will love it esp. Japan, HK and Taiwan… They’re very welcoming to western film / photo people too. I think Christopher Doyle catches Asia brilliantly in his cinematography. Another talented guy who I like the work of.

  27. Really good article Mr. Bloom, I must say i aspire to do work as good as yours, and you are an idol of mine. I dream to work professionally as a cinematographer. I’m glad you’ve had such success and I constantly look forward to your videos.

  28. Hi Mr.Philip,

    I’m a film student from Malaysia. Just discovered your website two days back. I am now systematically going through every page. I don’t want to miss a thing!

    I’ve no access to (and hence, no idea about) most of the equipment that you mention, but then, still learning heaps from the tutorials and such. I’ve seen the Canon 5DmkII on storeshelves (lol) and am saving up for one! Haha.. Not that I’m complaining. I recently got a Sony XR550 for my birthday (courtesy of my family, love them!) and am still learning how to use it properly. Do you have any tips for camcorder users? like good rigs and what not.. I could email you if you prefer not to answer here in the responses..

    Anyway, just dropping you a note to tell you that I really love your work. It has inspired me loads. THANKS!!


  29. I spent lot of time on your website and your job is just awesome mate !

    I’m hesitating to buy a Sony EX-1R or a Canon 5d the fact is my dad got a Nikon D300 and he has many lenses so do you think I could find an equivalence of the Canon 5D or 7D for Nikon ? (I know the reply but I prefer to have some advices from a pro 😉
    What do you suggest I do ?

    Tee video about “legends” was in Duxford ?

    Anyway thx for sharing dude.



  30. Hi Philip, I’ve been shooting on a pair of EX1’s for a few years now, and sometimes with the Letus Extreme. Your work was the motivating drive to get this gear. Recently, I’ve had the strong urge to start shooting more and more super slow motion. Since the Phantom is crazy money, I was looking for an alternative that still provides great optics. Would you consider the Sony XR550 a viable option..or is the lens just too small to get decent depth of field (or is it processed in an inferior codec? I’ve looked at the Casio, but the slower you go, the small the frame size… Any tips for high fps with good/great quality at a reasonable price (under $10,000)? Thanks and cheers, Dan

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