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Bold Coast Dreams...A One-Lens Visual Poem

Poetry has been described as the overcoming of self-imposed obstacles…for the fun of it. In that vein, legendary photographer and filmmaker David McLain set out to make a short film about the rugged, windswept coast of Maine and, for the fun of it, he only used one lens, a Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. “A lot of people think creativity is all about freedom and choices,” he says, “but I prefer when it answers to limitations.”

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Shooting with the 35mm f/1.4 GM on his α7S III, McLain gives a glimpse at the “Bold Coast” in winter. Like a great poet, McLain pushes the 35mm beyond its most predictable perspectives. He uses the wide-ish, normal focal length in unexpected ways including a stunning close-up shot of a person’s eye and eyelashes. 

Bold Coast Dreams is the kind of short film that makes you want to jump up, grab a camera and create something. 

Right. Now. 

Clocking in under two minutes, it’s proof that powerful and inspiring doesn’t have to mean lengthy. It also showcases how much sound can enhance the visuals to create an immersive viewing experience. “Getting the sound right was one of my favorite things in making the film,” McLain explains. “The sound allows you to experience the Bold Coast as much as the picture.” 

For McLain, Bold Coast Dreams was both a creative endeavor as well as a real world test of the 35mm G Master. “As for the lens, I'm in love. Lens tests are always kind of meaningless to me because they happen under controlled circumstances. I have to use a lens in real-world conditions and a wide range of light to understand it. My hope is that this short film shows you just how much I love the 35mm f/1.4 GM.”

Written by David McLain's  daughter Myla

I’ve grown up here
It’s all I really know
Maybe I take it for granted, I don’t know.

I am a part of this place I come from…
A place where I can run free.

The people here are capable
The coast, it makes me feel small.

I come from a place with heritage and legacy
It’s hard to really explain.

The stillness
The Boldness
They’re a part of me.

It's a different kind of world I come from.

I come from Maine.


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