Hauntingly Beautiful B&W Time Lapse
Friday, October 31, 2014
In the spirit of Halloween, how about something "hauntingly beautiful" today? I've seen a lot of great time lapse videos, but never one that looks like an Ansel Adams photograph come to life. That is, until now. This time lapse video called "Cloud Island" is beautiful black-and-white landscape footage captured over the course of five days on the Scottish Isle of Skye. With the addition of its string soundtrack, the stunning video becomes the very definition of haunting—hauntingly beautiful, that is. It's impressive for the fact that it's one of very few black-and-white time-lapse videos I've ever seen. The dramatic, subtly abstract nature of black-and-white imagery works very well, and it also has the added effect of really making it feel like a classic landscape photograph has simply come to life. I'd like to see more creative videos like this that utilize black-and-white imagery even in moving pictures. The creative team at Fourth Dimension Video made this video as part of an upcoming film in which these Scottish mountains will be transformed via 3D rendering in order to appear as though they are actually the Himalayas. (Sounds like there's another interesting project that I can't wait to see.) Until then, this gorgeous video is a must see.
Protecting A Photographer’s Copyright
Thursday, October 30, 2014
I've been noticing a lot of thoughtful writing about photography in the New Yorker lately, and this story by Betsy Morais maintains that tradition. It's about Yunghi Kim, a photojournalist who has spent three decades covering conflicts and events around the world, risking life and limb in the process of earning her living, and who now finds herself in a continual battle to protect that living thanks to challenges to her copyrights. Kim describes how she, along with many other professional photographers, spends much of her time tracking down deliberate infringements, and then either invoicing the offenders or taking them to court. Kim cites a recent ruling in which another photographer was awarded more than $1 million for repeated infringement on his copyrighted works. She says that ruling is important not so much because of the dollar amount, but because of the precedent it sets. It's a strong reminder that photographs have value, and that photographers are entitled to be paid for their work. Take a look at this interesting read about what it means to protect a photographer's copyright at http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/photographers-can-protect-work
From Portrait To Sculpture
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Here's another interesting connection between 3D printing and photography. Yesterday I mentioned a company that is working to turn photographs into 3D models to help people with visual disabilities regain their fading memories. Today I'll tell you about a couple of companies undertaking something similar—the three-dimensional printing of photographs. First is the 3D Shashinkan project. Shashinkan, of course, is the Japanese term for photo booth. And Tokyo creative agency Party is allowing customers to have their head-to-toe portrait made in a high-tech photo booth and then 3D printed in sizes from 4 to 8 inches tall. Technically these sculptural portraits aren't traditional photographs at all, as the subjects have to stand still for about 15 minutes while they're scanned in three dimensions. (Though I suppose in that regard it is very much akin to the long exposures that defined portrait photography in its earliest years.) Then there's Makerbot, the manufacturer of 3D printers, which has begun offering $5 headshots at its New York store. A regular photograph of the face is then translated into three dimensions via software, and ultimately printed out into sculptural bust form. I find it fascinating that folks are increasingly taking to "printing" photographs with the help of 3D printers. After all, why settle for a plain old two-dimensional photograph when you can literally turn pictures that strive to approximate three dimensionality into actual 3D physical objects? It remains to be seen just how practical this method of photographic printing will be (for instance, you'd have to hand paint every little sculpture in order to finish it) but it sure is exciting to envision a not-so-far-off future in which 3D printing of our photographs is less science fiction and more reality. Read more at Dezeen.com at the link below.
Turning Photographs Into 3D Objects
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
As someone who spends a lot of time taking pictures and looking at photographs, I often ponder how much of a challenge it would be to lose the ability to see. What a monumental change that would be for anyone, but for a photographer would it be even more profound? Along those same lines, I never really considered one major challenge faced by blind people: the fact that a visually impaired person doesn't have the same ability to look at family photos and reminisce. Those photographs are tied to strong memories, and the loss of sight can literally mean the loss of precious memories as well. It's the kind of thing those of us with sight take for granted. A Singapore-based 3D printing company called Pirate3D aims to help people with visual disabilities recapture some of those moments by reproducing those two dimensional old photos as 3D printed sculptures and reliefs. Then through their sense of touch, blind people are able to experience important photographs once again. Read more about it, and watch a neat video that includes very personal reactions to the process, via the link below.