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Nikon D810: “Every Moment Counts (A Short Film Presented By Nikon Canada)”

Wed July 16, 2014

With its new D810, Nikon demonstrates the advanced cinematic power of its HD-SLR cameras (D4S, D4 and D810) for capturing broadcast quality video in “Every Moment Counts,” a short film directed by Preston Kanak.

“Every Moment Counts” creates an intimate portrait of Manny Vaughn, a real-life cod fisherman from Nova Scotia’s New Minas/Centreville community.

The story is a slice of life representing essential themes of the local culture — hard work, family, and dedication — set against the breathtaking beauty of the region.

Preston Kanak is a celebrated cinematographer who specializes in short films and time-lapse photography. He filmed his latest project, the “Every Moment Counts” campaign, in select locations around Nova Scotia to create an intimate portrait of a local rural fisherman and the thrilling geography of East Coast life. His purpose was to capture and share the beauty of the Canada’s East Coast with the rest of the country.

Utilizing the Nikon D4S, D4 and D810 HD-SLR cameras exclusively to create a photo and video series, Preston sought to do justice to the country’s most distinctive province by capturing its rugged and earthy landscape, unique light conditions, memorable locations, and east-coast culture.

In order to fully capture the essence of the environment in challenging shooting situations, Preston utilized specialized camera movements using camera sliders, cranes, underwater housing and octocopters. He also took advantage of the Nikon D4’s powerful features to create a series of intimate, stylized portraits of the fisherman using continuous lighting setups.

The Every Moment Counts campaign includes a photo series, 30-second teaser, three-minute documentary and a behind-the-scenes video discussing the capabilities of Nikon’s professional HD-SLRs and the technical specifications that make the Nikon products indispensable for filmmakers.

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UAV Drone Robots May Soon Assist In Lighting Setup

Sat July 12, 2014

If you work as a photographer’s assistant setting up lighting for the photographer, be advised that your job may soon be fulfilled by “squadrons of small, light-equipped autonomous robots that automatically assume the positions necessary to produce lighting effects specified through a simple, intuitive, camera-mounted interface.

Researchers at MIT and Cornell University presented a prototype system that uses an autonomous helicopter to produce a difficult effect called “rim lighting,” in which only the edge of the photographer’s subject is strongly lit. The helicopter worked at very high speed to automatically maintain the rim width that the photographer specified even if the subject — or photographer — moved.

When will this Unassisted Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) technology move from the lab to the field?

“Clearly, taking the UAV system out of the lab and into the real world, and making it robust enough to be practical is a challenge, [...] but also something that should be doable given the rapid advancement of all of these technologies.”


Continue Reading »

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Camera Gets No Respect, Is Shaved Off 0.5 mm At A Time

Thu July 10, 2014

A camera in the wrong hands can be a dangerous — or beautiful — thing.

Take Laurin Döpfner, for example, adept at using an industrial edge sander. Give her a camera and she decides to record how objects look like, sliced (or more crudely here, sanded off) 0.5 mm at a time using her edge sander.

Nothing escapes her maniacal fingers: wood, walnut, transformer (that’s the electrical, not the robotic, type), skull (not sure where she was able to get her hands on that) and GASP! the old camera (which the new one is replacing?).

She even caught it all in a time lapse video and we bring you proof of her misdeeds. Mercifully, we don’t see the actual weapon, only the (okay, we admit it) beautiful results.

Verschleif from Laurin Döpfner on Vimeo.

via kottke

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How Lenses Are Made

Sat July 5, 2014

We “discovered” this 2011 Discovery Channel video on how lenses are made. (The video refers to “television” lenses and the lenses are from JML Optical.) Though there are lots of marketing videos out there promoting this or that brand lens, they do not really educate much. This video, on the other hand, is more technical and gives an eye-opening explanation of how camera lenses are made, including the all-important electron-beam coating.

It seems to be a very manual endeavor and I wonder if it’s not much more automated these days. Anyways, it is very dependent on the people grinding the glass, polishing it and assembling it to make the finished product. After watching this video, it makes you want to handle your lens with a little bit more care, doesn’t it?

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Tutorials, Videos

DIY: Build A $5 DSLR LCD Hood

Fri July 4, 2014

Most digital camera LCDs don’t fare too well in bright sunlight. The image displayed is washed out and it can be quite challenging composing on the LCD. If you have a viewfinder, it helps tremendously. However, when you are filming a movie, you do really depend a lot on the larger image displayed on the LCD. One solution to the washed out LCD in bright sunlight is to purchase an LCD Hood. If you do lots of filming in bright sunlight, the expense is fully justified. But, if you only do it occasionally, you may want to consider the following DIY option.

An LCD Hood is a cover for your DSLR’s LCD to block out the sun’s rays so you can have a clear unwashed view in bright light. Why spend $200 for an LCD hood when you can easily build one for around $5 from items you probably already have lying at home? In this Youtube video, user Knoptop shows how to build one.


From Knoptop

There are other designs out there but we found this one easy to understand and it seems to require less effort and no maths. ;) The one problem you may have is to find a container that is the right size for your LCD.

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Planetary Panoramas by Vincent Brady

Sun June 22, 2014

Vincent Brady: Planetary Panorama Project &emdash; Devils Tower & The Heavens

Usually star trails time-lapse photography and panoramic photos do not go together, but this is exactly what photographer Vincent Brady has accomplished with his Planetary Panoramas – 360 Degree Night-Sky Time-Lapse.

In his setup, he uses a custom rig of 4 cameras with fisheye lenses. Travelling to “firefly parties in Missouri, dark eerie nights at Devils Tower, through Logan Pass at Glacier National Park, up the mountains of British Columbia, and around the amazing arches and sandstone monuments in the Great American Southwest,” he spends the daytime to scout out the best locations and times to shoot, and returns at night when the sky is clear.

Each camera is set up to take continuous shots, typically over 2-3 hours with 1-2 minute exposures, resulting in 100 or 200 photos from each camera. All the images from a camera are then stacked using StarSltax. The 4 stacked images are then manually — and tediously — stitched into a panorama using PTGui Pro. Finally, the stitched panorama is tweaked in Photoshop.

via Colossal

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Is the iPhone 5s All You Need? Bentley Ad Seems To Agree.

Mon May 19, 2014

To show off the “Intelligent Details” in the 2014 Bentley Mulsanne ($300K), especially the in-car connectivity and entertainment platform, Bentley chose to shoot a B&W commercial using the iPhone 5s and edit it in the back seat of the car using an Apple iPad Air. Of course, add on lenses, external keyboards, tripods, and expensive video stabilizer bars are liberally thrown in.

In the video, we see the “picnic tables” (which are apparently crafted from solid metal, fine veneer and hide) which are designed to accommodate an iPad and a wireless keyboard.

The video is a pretty impressive feat, but I doubt it is as easy as it is shown to be. Anyone who has ever shot and edited a movie knows the amount of shooting, reshooting and hours of painstaking editing it all takes — and it certainly does not take a couple of minutes editing on an iPad Air in the back seat of a car.

The iPhone 5s (any other smartphone) may well be all that you need for a point-and-shoot camera and video camera. But just take all the ads with a healthy grain of salt.

via The Loop

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Beautiful New Zealand in 4K Timelapse

Wed May 14, 2014

Martin Heck has published Part II of IV of a timelapse series he photographed of the amazing scenery of New Zealand, spending over 4 months “sleeping in caves under a sky of glowworms, hiking through the bush, exploring hidden canyons and floating with all the gear on my lap through gloworm caves and rushing down the river.”

You can follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/martinheck , Facebook: facebook.com/TimestormFilms, and on his Official Website: timestormfilms.com

The 4K/UHD Version is available here: youtube.com/watch?v=Xa0Q0J5tOP0
Part I / AWAKENING in 4K is available here: vimeo.com/93003441

AMPLITUDE | NEW ZEALAND 4K from Martin Heck | Timestorm Films on Vimeo.

Equipment used:
Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS 550D
24-105mm f4L, 70-200 f4L, 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 and Samyang 14mm f2.8
Dynamic Perception Stage One – Slider
eMotimo TB3 Black – Pan/Tilt Head
Processing and editing was completed in Lightroom 5, LRTimelapse, After Effects and Premiere Pro CS6

via fstoppers

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Coral Marine Life Timelapse

Sat March 29, 2014

To the naked eyes, they barely move, but the plants, fungi, sponges, corals, plankton, and microorganisms on a coral reef grow, reproduce, spread, move towards source of energy and away from unfavorable conditions. To record their almost imperceptible movements — and to make them visible to our eyes — Daniel Stoupin made a timelapse movie from the “hundreds of thousands of photos” he took. The resulting video, titled “Slow Life,” is eye-opening.

Slow Life from Daniel Stoupin on Vimeo.

“Slow” marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.

Visit our Featured Site: Microworlds

via colossal

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