The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a web series of invented words with the self-described mission to “fill all the holes left in the language and give them each a name.” If it sounds poetic, that’s because it is. The videos produced by author, designer and “video guy” John Koening are narrated with somber poetry that aims to “capture the aches, demons, vibes, joys and urges that roam the wilderness of the psychological interior.” One recent entry into The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is especially relevant to photographers and videographers. Vemödalen: The fear that everything has already been done.
Cinematographer Danny Cooke spent a week with his guide Yevgein, known as the Stalker, exploring Chernobyl and the city of Prypiat, Ukraine. He came back with a haunting and beautiful video which is essentially a time capsule of the city, frozen by a devastating nuclear disaster that occurred nearly 30 years ago. His aerial shots are especially quite stunning.
If you’re interested in getting big budget looks in your low budget indie film, then you should be very familiar with the Shanks FX channel on YouTube. If you’re not, you should get acquainted with it… like now! Joe Schenkenberg aka Joey Shanks is the man with the know-how when it comes to creating Hollywood effects out of simple household items. He teamed up with PBS Digital Studios to bring you quality behind-the-scenes content online and has recently partnered with Red Giant to explain how he created a black hole effect very similar looking to the one in the recent movie Interstellar – all captured in-camera.
Before you blindly answer this question, you should know that fast memory cards are not only for sport and wildlife photographers. Wedding, event, and portrait photographers all benefit from having cards with fast write speeds to capture that unexpected moment. Even landscape photographers who take far less images can benefit. Cards with fast read speeds can download large image files to computers much faster. Memory card speed is just as important to your camera as it is to you in order to perform your best on the job. With this in mind, the folks over at Photoshelter have documented a series of tests to help determine which card is the fastest for your camera.
Drone technology and camera technology are on converging courses. Photography and flight actually share a twin history of development dating to the turn of the twentieth century, with the Wright brothers’ first flight on the heels of the proliferation of Kodak’s “Brownie” box camera. But thanks largely to the smartphone revolution this convergence is now advancing at a remarkable rate, as core components for both drones and cameras become increasingly smaller and more powerful. It’s easier than ever—and with 3DR’s open copter platforms
Sony seems to be stealing the show this week, first with the US release of their new 16-35mm f4 and then the announcement of the world’s first stacked CMOS sensor, they just keep bringing the fire with today’s announcement of the a7II by Sony Japan. The a7II builds upon the already stunning a7 lineup with a plethora of upgrades, most notably its in-body 5-axis image stabilization, the first of its kind in a full frame body.
Accomplished photographer Richard Mosse has taken an incredibly unique approach to capture both the beauty and tragedy associated with conflict. In his most recent series, Infra, Mosse uses an antiquated film to bring new light to the humanitarian struggle faced by the Congolese people. Currently on display at the Portland Museum of Art as The Enclave, Mosse's newest exhibit features a six screen video instillation in addition to his dramatic Kodak Aerochrome imagery. Capturing the suffering of war between The Congolese National Army and rebel factions in poignant beauty, this exhibit of infrared film leaves an eerie perspective of the overwhelming harshness of war.
Smooth video is critical for a professional touch on any video shoot. Currently, there are a number of stabilization options from traditional and expensive Steadicam systems to simple weight-balanced gimbal-based rigs like the Steadicam Merlin. Arguably, none do the job more intuitively, however, than the BeeWorks 5 Camera Stabilization and BeeWorks' special sauce, the Kinetic Remote.
Sony has been on fire as of lately and has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon. They have pushed the boundaries of a mirrorless camera system with their highly regarded a7, a7R, and a7S, and now seem to be pushing the limits of mobile photography. Yesterday Sony announced the Exmor RS, the world’s first stacked CMOS image sensor. Boasting an impressive 21 effective megapixels as well as 192 autofocus points and 4k video capture, Sony’s new sensor may be a gamechanger in the mobile photography market.
Being a native of the Pacific Northwest, photographer and filmmaker Ben Canales of Uncage The Soul was deeply concerned about the rapid melting of the Sandy Glacier Ice Cave. Wanting to create widespread awareness for this issue, Ben and his team spent over a year filming in the cave system. The resulting film is both visually beautiful as well as eye opening.
Known for their well-built camera backpacks that cater to photographers and videographers who take their kit on outdoor adventures, F-Stop Gear is unveiling the "Shinn," a backpack that has an impressive 80 liter capacity. Made specifically for cinematographers with large camera kits, it's been field tested on expeditions around the world, and is now ready to be made available for everyone else.
Visualization of sound frequencies using physical media is nothing new. We’ve seen it done by Martin Kilmas with his “Sonic Sculptures,” and we have seen videos in which a stream of water appears to be frozen in space (done by matching the sound frequency to the camera’s frame rate.) However, this is the first time I have seen so many of these tricks put together in such a high quality and artistically filmed video.
You may have the newest DSLR or the fastest lenses known to man, but without even a basic understanding of light, it is going to be an uphill battle to create the images you envision. While this tutorial is directed primarily toward animators, the ideas and concepts within it are applicable to anyone who wants a better understanding of some basic lighting fundamentals.
Our lives as photographers and videographers can be tough, but let's be honest - it's fun to be creative! We get to work with amazing gear and produce compelling visual content for the world to enjoy. However hard we work in our creative fields, I feel it's best to never really take ourselves too seriously. If we do, let's hope that one of our peers will put together a parody response like the one Adam Khamis created above to help check our egos and bring us back down to Earth.