a place for sharing all things photographic and some things not

Films

Deep Sea Challenge

It’s been a while since I’ve written on a current event, but I’ve recently stumbled upon one that seems to be quite intriguing.

National Geographic has started a new expedition entitled the Deep Sea Challenge, and they’ve designed a one man submarine to be sent down to the deepest depths of the ocean (which, if you didn’t know, is taller than Everest if measured in terms of absolute heigh/depth).

It’s an interesting venture and I was even more surprised to discover that the first pair to achieve this managed to do so in the 1960s – for all our romping around Space we still haven’t quite figured out the entire surface of our own world.

Anyway, I mentioned it’s a one man submarine, so who’s the man? He’s the veritable James Cameron, if you’ve never heard of him (which rock do you live under?) he directed the film Avatar and more aptly, Titanic. Why’s he involved? Well this is the real reason why I can post this here – the sub’s rigged with a ton of 3D cameras all over the place and Cameron will be putting together a film to bring the deepest part of our Earth to a screen near you! Do keep an eye out for it.

Cameron has recently completed the first dive down (setting a record along the way) and has come up, he’s taking a break to appear at the premieres of Titanic around the world, so he won’t be diving for a while. The adventure itself, though, is highly interesting and I believe it’s the first one that’s been open to so much public access.

Here’s a video from the site detailing the process of going down.

that is a pretty swanky sub

Anyway, the site URL is http://deepseachallenge.com/, I’ll leave it to the perusal of the movie buffs or the genuinely curious!

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Travel Journal (a story for tomorrow)

I’m not sure how you guys spend your holiday but I spend mine with camera always in hand or within arms reach. It helps me relax when I’m doing what I love best.

This couple though, have taken that to a whole new level. Within 40 days they’ve recorded enough to form a short narrative video which took me away for a couple of minutes. While watching the video I kept wondering how much they had to deviate from their actual holiday plans just to put this project through! But then again I suppose if it’s what they love it’s less labour and more love.

How would you choose to document your travels? And how would you put a story to your journey?

I love the way that they’ve done it with theirs, though the amount of effort must have taken a ton of time. Despite that, it’s really well done, and definitely worth your time, especially if you (like me) are yearning to get away from everything!

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and they only found me, their future, quietly waiting. And I asked them the same two questions that I will someday ask you –

is it possible to be happy with this life? did you enjoy your story

gorgeous.


Letters to the Future – a short film

It’s been a while since I’ve watched any films – short films in particular. There was this period where I went on this short film craze and was devouring short films like crazy. I can’t remember half the films that I used to love and watch over and over again (though Validation was one of them) and I don’t want to remember the half baked one that I tried to make, but I definitely still love them very much!

This one comes from Woo Ming Jin who’s one of the featured filmmakers for Nikon’s Through Asian Eyes campaign. Aside from the Nikon bit (yay!) his film is also very captivating (whether or not it has anything to do with the choice of camera, we’ll never know).

It’ll play right into the hearts of poetry lovers/book lovers/romantics/nostalgics … well you get the idea of the genre. It feels like a poem being read aloud and supplemented with some beautiful images (I’m simplifying things a bit too much here) but watch it for yourself and see!


Snowsurfer!

I will unabashedly confess that I got this from petapixel, I haven’t been there in a while. It’s a great place to get tips and interesting bits of random photography news. But on to the good stuff.

Fashion photographer and filmmaker Jacob Sutton sparked this off with the idea of having “a lone character made of light surfing through darkness” and it has spawned a fantastic child. He constructed a complete LED suit and dumped it onto a professional snowboarder and filmed the results. The eventual video is astounding to say the least.

visually this is powerful in a myriad of ways, even as stills I can see the potential that this setup has. How I wish it snowed here. If it does where you are you might want to try this out the next time winter wanders round. It should be a good amount of fun!

Now I really really really want to move to a country with seasons.


Video of Kenya

My sincere apologies for a lack of posts yesterday, I was tied up with something else (as I had mentioned I might be for this entire week [and 2 more after that]) and really had no time to pen down something.

For today, there’s a video that was recently put together by one of my mentors (Jean Loo) that’s really cool (and quite fun)!

Jean’s a freelance photographer and she does a lot of cool stuff like travel all over the world and see all manners of cool things and she recently made a trip to Kenya; for work or for pleasure I have no idea. It could very well have been both!

Anyway, she’s great with her multimedia work and she put together a video of her travels comprising of some vide and some stills tied together by an upbeat backing track! The visuals are well done. It’s all good fun and also all that I may be able to muster for today, sorry about that folks!

The video can be found here


Act of Valor (the film)

There’s a new dramatic film coming up entitled Act of Valor, set to be released in the US on the 17th of February. It tells the ‘story’ of the US Navy Seals as the viewer follows various platoons out on various missions. As most people know I’m drawn to war related things like a firefly to the flame, so this caught my eye.

The way it was filmed was interesting, some parts really feel like a documentary but the entire film was actually filmed with the intention of being a dramatic film. Most of the shots were caught during training missions (so there was no need to stage big effects, everything was ‘real’ to some extent). The actors were Navy Seals themselves and during situational shots (ie in Mexico), locals were hired for the shoots.

It’s captivating for sure. The description of how the film was shot is itself rather long. Some of the scenes are fantastically done considering that most of these were done with 1 shoot.

As military cutbacks come to the forefront and veterans start to pour in from Afghanistan, works like these immediately gain importance in the world. I feel a little conflicted however, for this film will no doubt leave young teens itching to go overseas and shoot something (which is no doubt one of the intentions) and it feels like a very realistic shooting game. As documentaries like Hell and Back Again and Restrepo show, such a depiction is far from reality.

Proceeds from the film will indeed go to reintegrating veterans into the society, but I’m not sure how to feel about the entire affair.

For HDSLR fans – most of the film was shot with a 5DMII and with the D800 and D4 joining the fray as potential HDSLRs, the market only seems to be getting bigger. You can read about shooting the film and other details here.

But what I really’d like to know is what do you feel about things like this? The sensationalism of war is nothing new, but at this particularly delicate point in world history, are works like this appropriate to be put out to the masses? Can we accept the responsibility of the things that we might start?


Avalanche Ski jump with GoPro

One recent technical invention that must be mentioned (aside from the Lytro which I have yet to see hit the real consumer market) is the GoPro camera. The camera began emerging about 2 years ago and since then it has become one of the most popular cameras for adventurers, sportsmen and people who generally want to film themselves doing something stupid with a guarantee that even if they break their cameras won’t. The GoPro is (from my observations of multiple videos) freezeproof, dropproof, waterproof and can basically go everywhere (it’s even been sent to space).

I also managed to spot it as it made a cameo appearance in a photo from afghanistan (can you!) – 

-Image by Thomas Peter/Reuters

If you want to capture an event in inclement weather or are looking for a small reliable thing for HQ video quality, the GoPro is what you’re looking for. It is slightly on the expensive side but it can really be brought out for anything. I’ve never had the chance to use on personally but it looks to be ana amazing device packed into a small box, if you have the extra cash go grab one and start recording!

Now the real reason I wanted to write this post was so that I could post the following video – it is my absolute favourite video from the GoPro and it involves skiing, avalanches and parachutes. (Nothing more needs to be said). This is a really fun video and I’m quite sure everyone can use it on a monday to chase away those monday blues.

Enjoy! (jump to 50 seconds for the good stuff)

for more entertainment go watch the other 200 videos from GoPro (and that’s not even counting the unofficial ones)