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Some people Just dont get it .... some do

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 0 comments
Phillip Bloom has once again put up one of his "test footage" pieces, and once again his "tests" are like little works of art. He gets it. He gets why people are so excited by the new cameras. Unlike the the guys who sit in a room with charts and scopes and 57" monitors looking at one pixel at a time, he shoots real footage with his camera. Not only is the footage pretty, it also has meaning and is well thought out. Will his footage look as good as something shot on a camera that cost ten times as much. No but it wont look ten time worse either, and that's the point. In the photo circles there is a constant debate between the pixel peepers and those who shoot.Some times, I think the pixel peepers are just looking for ways to justify to their selves why they spent the money on their gear. Aliasing, chromatic aberrations and artifacting will always take a back seat to stunning images and involving story.

Cheers to Phillip Bloom for getting out of the warm studio and out into the frigid streets of Prauge and testing the way a camera should be tested.

What died in here??

Friday, December 4, 2009 0 comments
This was written as a response to some discussion going on the Ikan blog:

Tape is dead. Film is dead.
He said. "Lets put the This is dead, That is dead to bed."
Technology never dies it just becomes irrelevant, too expensive or unsupported. The horse drawn carriage never died, it became less convenient and reliable than the auto mobile. There was a time period during the transition from where the bodies of cars were built by the same guys that made carriages. Remember Sony's digital 8mm format. It was a temporary transitional tape format that existed just to bridge the gap until Sony could build new factories to produce DV tape mechanisms. The phenomenon of 35mm adapters were a bridge technology. When the HD cameras became affordable for the indie filmmaker they for the first time in video format had technology decent enough for capturing cinema quality images. The drawback was the lens sensor combination. #%mm adpaters were a fix for that problem.... a permanent solution is on its way. Is the new technology a viable alternative yet ... I say so. Having shot with a RedRock for commercials and an indie feature, I can say coming from a video back ground the process was a PITA. A lot of the PITA goes away with a DSLR. Is the final image perfect with a DSLR ... NO …  but neither was the 35mm adapter route. The light loss was a real drag, the back focus was a constant source of hassle. The size of the package was an abomination, it cost a lot more than you would think, and monitoring became an issue.... Was it worth it?? Most of the time yes.  The 35mm adapter route sure made some pretty pictures. The DOF effect was nicein many instances, but shallow DOF somewhere became the end all be all effect somewhere along the way. The softness and grain the ground glass did add some really nice unvideo like characteristics ti the image. But it was still a PITA to shoot with and I think it could really get in the way of the filmmaking process.  Is the digital SLR route easy and fail proof … NO. It IS cheaper, lighter, and faster,  the big thing is: it’s the future.  The versions we see now are the first generation of the technology. The big guys never listened to us when we asked for the technology 5 or 6 years ago, that and the core technologies were not ready. The next few generations will improve in all of the areas that lack.  Funny thing is they will too be obsolete in 5 years.

Understanding is the key

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 0 comments
In a past blog entry I wrote about the difference between an artisan and a craftsman. The majority of that entry was written for an assignment outside of this blog, but the comparisons have stayed in the back of my mind as I evaluate my own work recently, With my work, school and family schedule being fairly tight right now I find I don’t really have the free time for being creative and writing for this blog sometimes is put on hold. Unfortunately when I do have the time I often don’t have the frame of mind for being creative. . This weekend I witnessed how my work is affected by my frame of mind. Due to these time constraints I have shifted my creative energies from shooting and editing to writing and photography. When ever my job situation prevents me from shooting video on a regular basis I turn back to photography, a passion I’ve had since I was a little kid. This is a easier for me because it doesn’t required much more than myself and my camera. I’ve gone through these periods before and usually they are productive in that I usually focus on honing some knowledge or technique. This time I’m really stumped on my creativity. I go back and analyze my photos and wonder what artistic merit do they have if any at all. I wonder of I’m a craftsman or an artist?? More specifically I wonder of I’m a creative photographer or a documentarian.
This week end I had the opportunity to go out and photograph for fun. I took my new Pentax K7 and my three year old daughter to a car show. I’ve had the camera for a month now and in general have been really pleased with it. I no longer feel that the quality of the images I’m taking is limited by the technology as I had been with my old camera. I carried a few different lenses hoping to get to work with them in more depth than I have in a few years, hoping their alternative views would kick start some creative shooting. Things started out well and I got a few shots that look different than the standard family snapshots I’d gotten for thanksgiving a few days before. I find that when I lose the creative eye I revert to shooting to document instead of shooting creatively and I wanted to avoid that mentality on this outing. I tried to shale the cure over thanksgiving and try to with a photographer’s eye and not a snap shooters eye. I had a few successes but I was still not working on the level I wanted to be. I hoped the car show would be a good opportunity to work on this. About four minutes after I started shooting my daughter touched a light on one of the display’s and I was reminded that with her around I could not be a photographer that day, I needed to be a parent . The rest of the day the photos looked technically ok, but they lacked life. I had turned back into a documentary photographer. I took pictures of cars I liked. I took pictures of cars Kate liked. I took pictures of Kate looking at cars. I even took pictures of cars my wife would have liked since she wasn’t there to see them in person. All of the shots were the same, three quarter view of the entire vehicle. I’m ok with them, but I wouldn’t want to put any one through looking at the whole days output. Its ok. Kaye and I had fun on one of our daddy daughter days and she didn’t want to leave three hours later. I have photos of cars that will be of inspiration for the day I get to build one of my own in the garage with Kate and Calvin. The big thing I learned is I know where my weakness lies and I what I need to watch for.