Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goodbye Kodachrome

In photography news, it's apparently time to say goodbye to Kodachrome.

December 30th is the last day Kodachrome film will ever be processed on planet Earth. Dwayne's Photo Studio is the only place where Kodachrome films are processed and just has enough chemicals for one more week of processing.

Kodak has stopped producing these unique chemicals that gave images the vibrant look seen in pictures of photography's great like Steve McCurry (famous for the Afghan girl) and Eric Gutmann and others). This happened in 2009, but Dwayne's Photo Studio still had chemicals to go for another year. Yet also their stock has come to an end.

I always feel a little sad when awesome things cease to exist.

Since I have so strongly embraced all things digital, I'm not sure how to feel about this one. But feel free to read the original post and comments at Agent 3Z.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Blender Foundation's "Sintel" - An Achievement for Open Source 3D Animation

Here is a moving and heart-wrenching animated short story that was created with a free and open source program called Blender! The point of the video's publication is to showcase what the program can do.

"Sintel" is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film.

This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world.

Check out Blender and download the latest version.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Photoshop World 2010 "Big Light Small Flashes"

Big Light Small Flashe

"Big Light Small Flashes" was an eye-opener for me as Joe McNally made some fantastic pix using only one flash unit. If you (like me) thought you needed a studio full of lighting equipment to make a good portrait, then this session alone was worth the entry fee.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Photoshop World 2010 Opening Show

Sent from my Teletype model 19

Begin forwarded message:

Date: September 1, 2010 6:37:49 PM
Subject: Re: Photoshop World 2010

Each year, Photoshop World launches with a different theme and this year was no exception.  "Rock Concert" was part of the entry passes, posters, decorations and even the keynote.  An authentic rock concert launched the 3-day conference in grand style.  Scott Kelby and the Pixel Benders performed a 2 song set to a backdrop of strobes, smoke, spotlights, and huge amps and speakers.  KISS-like costumes and makeup completed the parody as they belted out "I Wanna Photoshop All Night and Retouch Every Day" while a packed house went wild.

I'll talk about today's sessions in a later post.

Photoshop World 2010 Opening Show...and the photo.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Are Physical Photographs Dead?

I've been thinking something about paper photographs for a long time that I wasn't sure how to articulate. I like digital photographs better than physical ones. Unless I have an empty frame and a spot on the wall already picked out, I don't see a need for paper. For a long time, I've been alone in this, but this is starting to become more popular. Deane at Gadgetopia.com wrote a pretty detailed description of the differences between the way the general user thought of digital photos when they first came out and how we are all starting to think of them. Read the full post on Gadgetopia and decide for yourself if paper is truly dead.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Star Wars as a Silent Film

First the video, with an explanation to follow.

As you may have noticed here, I've mentioned Star Wars a number of times before. If there is one single film in history that has more actively fueled the fire of fan-made films --and by relation, all home video-- then I'd be very surprised. Some of these homages are funny parody, some are just practice and some approach the level of real art. I love them all.

The video linked above uses only footage from the original film, with a very specific filter (I'd assume) that gives it the right silent film look. I don't know all the technical details, but the appearance is spot on. It's in black-and-white, but also has a layer of scratches, muting and noise added to give it old style film resonance. Additionally, the frame speed was slightly sped up in most of the action sequences, giving it a much more herky-jerky movement (technical term, ahem) to the actors. Stylized dialog cards are added for each spoken line. I like that these have the Imperial logo at the bottom and that there are a few misspellings, perhaps purposeful.

The best possible detail used to give this video an authentic silent film theme is the soundtrack, played on an old-fashioned grand piano by itself. If you listen at the right moment as Luke plummets down the ventilation shaft, a descending chromatic scale plays exactly where it is most expected. The entire package comes together perfectly with the scratchiness of the video and audio in sync. It's funny and beautiful at the same time; a very good job.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Subscription Form for Videomaker.com

Free Issue of Videomaker

Most of our readers will have already seen this, but just in case you missed it, Videomaker Magazine is having a special promotion right now where in addition to the first issue free, you can also get instant download access to two standard legal release forms that every videographer should have.

It's a good idea to get the proper legal releases whenever shooting professionally. Visit the Subscription Form to get yours. You can also get more information on release forms at the following links.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Random Professional Photographers

Here are a random smattering of links to professional and amateur pro photographers. I discovered these via Delicious as a few of each of their photos were tagged for reference or inspiration. I've linked to their individual home pages here just to give a good sample representation of the thousands of photo portfolios that exist out there right now.

There you have it. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adobe Photoshop - Content-Aware Fill

This sneak peek video was bouncing around on Twitter, Facebook and Delicious for the past week. The possibilities here are pretty exciting.

This could possibly save a lot of time. See this and other Photoshop-related videos on YouTube.

More Information

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

This Music Video Wins

Everyone loves a good Rube Goldberg machine right?

Learn more about this one in the description on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More About the HBO Opening Sequence

As a response to my recent post about the opening sequence on HBO, I got the following message from Arco1.

I see you discovered the HBO behind-the-scenes video.

It was a very ambitious intro and was said to be the most expensive and innovative concept at the time, especially for cable TV. History sidebar - HBO was one of the first cable-only networks, and also one of the first to provide something more between movies than just a billboard with Oh God! You Devil starts in 17 minutes 08 seconds.

The original promo was full of amazing effects from start to finish. I remember first seeing it at a trade show, maybe National Assoc. of Broadcasters convention. More amazing is the amount of effort it took to do what can now be done on the desktop in a few hours.

I remember one thing that caught everyone's attention was the light-burst. Today, that moire light pattern is easy to construct in something like Adobe After Effects. Of course, having to construct a miniature physical city or physical "HBO" is no longer necessary either. Numerous add-ons can provide 3D solids or metallic text complete with light glints and shimmer.

The intro seems to be a part of HBO's legacy. I notice they sometimes use the swoop-through-the-city in part of their current bumpers.

How's that for historical perspective and technical perspective?

Monday, February 22, 2010

How To: HBO '80s Opening Sequence

If you grew up in the '80s and if you had HBO, then you will recall the opening introduction described below.

Remember that '80s HBO intro where the camera went from a city apartment, through Alec Baldwin's Beetlejuice model, and into space, where the HBO logo was full of lasers? It was pretty great, even when viewed through my home's fuzzy, accidental HBO reception with the knowledge that it would just be followed by another showing of Oh God! You Devil.

Have you ever wondered how that intro montage was created? There is a behind-the-scenes video that you will want to see. Check out more details at I Watch Stuff.com.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti Earthquake: 360° Video on CNN.com

Never underestimate the ability of video to tell a story or to put you into an environment. The world is watching the news of the earthquake from Haiti right now. Here is a video player on CNN's web site that gives you the ability to pan and turn the angle of your view as the truck that the camera is sitting on rolls down the street.

I apologize that the video automatically plays, but there doesn't seem to be a setting I can control to change this. Normally, I would just link to the video in that case. The content of the video is important enough AND the technology is cool enough that I posted it anyhow. Having a video simply autoplay is just too obnoxious.

Video removed.

Check out the full screen mode on CNN.com.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Just when I think I've seen the best fan-made lightsaber duel that's ever been published...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Let's Enhance it! Video

Okay, this is funny. Certainly it might be possible to do this kind of enhancement in the 24th century, but there are certain video enhancements that happen in movies that are just ridiculous. And this video makes that abundantly clear.