Behind the scenes

A personal film and the Nikon technology that helped realize it

The story of this short film was really born out of Keith Ladzinski's own story.

It was through a conversation with Keith about the way a camera helped open up his life and give it purpose that Nikon realized he would be the perfect person to tell this story.

As a young man growing up in Colorado, Keith's life revolved around his local skateboarding community. However, getting his first Nikon camera and discovering the power of photography led to him getting some of his first published work in skateboarding magazines.

Photographing the beautiful Colorado outdoors opened up more opportunities, and his photographs of rock climbing helped him develop his career still further on its path to becoming a full-time professional photographer.

Because of Keith's roots in Colorado and the importance of skateboarding and rock climbing in his life and career, these locations were close to his heart and natural places to shoot this film.
Given the importance of that first Nikon camera in starting Keith along his path, it was also appropriate that he shot the film on the brand's latest model, the Nikon Z 6. He used three Z 6 bodies, along with a variety of NIKKOR Z lenses for the video. For angles of view not supported by the currently available Z range, he complemented them with F lenses.

For Keith, the evolution of camera technology has long gone hand-in-hand with his own evolution as an image-maker, allowing him to be creative in new ways. The increase in the quality and ease-of-use of video, together with the reduction in weight that mirrorless technology allows, meant that the Z mount system was Keith's team's first choice for the shoot.
Key attractions include the system's ability to shoot 4K/30p, which allowed room for cropping in post-production, while its Full HD/120p capacity gives additional flexibility in controlling the frame rate. The Z system's new N-log provides maximum flexibility in post-production color grading, and the Z lenses ensure everything is shot with extraordinary optical quality.

Not only that, but the lightweight design allowed them to pair the camera with the necessary stabilizer without putting too much burden on the camera operator.

The result of all this was a film shoot in which Keith took the latest Nikon camera technology and lens knowhow on a deeply personal trip. He went back to his roots, both personally and as a photographer, as well as to his first encounter with the camera brand that first set him on his journey. It may turn out to be a story that opens up a new world for you, too.

Keith gives direction to the camera operator
Keith can shoot video of a skateboarder handheld, thanks to the Z 6's in-camera vibration reduction
A logistically difficult crane shot, made easier thanks to the Z 6's lightweight body in a smaller camera rig
Keith switches from video to stills to take a shot of a skateboarder from below using a fisheye lens
Another logically difficult shot, as Keith shoots a rock climber illuminated with Nikon's radio-controlled Creative Lighting System
A crew works together to film Keith, the 3 team members controlling focus, camera position and camera angle respectively
The Z 6 on a crane films a skateboarder leaping into the sky
Keith directs camera movement for the camera operator