The Incredible Story Of A Well Known Photographer Who Kept His Homelessness Secret

homme-lessImagine this: In your 20’s you were a fashion model for Versace, Franco Moschino, and Missoni while living it up in the likes of Milan, and Paris. The success you found there led you to New York City where you found acting gigs in shows like Sex and The City and in an ad directed by the great Martin Scorsese. At the time, you were living in a one room dwelling in Chelsea, but they offered you $30,000 to vacate as the area entered gentrification. Smartly, you used the money to move to Rio and hone your photography skills, before moving back to NYC to photograph for the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and magazines like Dazed and Confused.

If that were your life, where would you picture yourself living? In swank high rise in Manhattan? Maybe a nice spread back in the south of France? What about stealthily camping under a tarp on the rooftop of a unsuspecting friend’s NYC apartment? [Read more…]

Oblivion: The Cinematography of Claudio Miranda

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Out of the top ten highest-grossing films of 2014, nine were either sequels or reboots for franchises already long-established – the remaining film was Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. With the current film industry an unarguable golden age for comic book adaptations, it’s become customary for most studios to play it safe and rely on audience familiarity to sell their productions. And it’s unfortunate – original stories like Edge of Tomorrow end up suffering in sales as a result while at the same time gaining critical acclaim (Edge of Tomorrow was even retitled Live Die Repeat around the time of its home video release in an attempt to re-market the film).

Given the criticisms warranted towards Interstellar (Oh man, that dialogue…), it was still refreshing to see a new, original, and all-around good science fiction film become a box-office blockbuster in the middle of Oscar season. For directors not as well-known as Nolan, making a film like that is a particular risk when taking sales into account; back in 2013, Director Joseph Kosinski took that exact risk with the release of his second film. After his debut with Tron: Legacy, Kosinski brought the cinematographer Claudio Miranda on board once more for a story he’d been working on since 2005. The result was a film released eight years later, titled Oblivion.

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Behind The Scenes: How They Restored The Original 35mm Negative Of Jaws And Updated It Into The Digital Age

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Here’s a really in depth behind the scenes look at an aspect of photography and cinematography that we rarely get to experience. As part of their 100th anniversary, Universal Studios gave the iconic 70’s film (that’s given sharks everywhere a bad rap) a breath of fresh air. The mini documentary is pretty interesting as it walks you through the entire remastering process from start to finish.

The original reel, which was shot on 35mm film, had suffered some damage throughout the years and would need to be repaired. They used a wet transfer film gate to repair the scratches, which essentially scanned the original negatives while they were wet. It’s actually a really neat process and you can see more of it in the 8:30 minute mini-doc below. You’ll also be treated to a peak at the digital editing process, along with some before and after shots which are pretty astounding.

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Direction, Cinematography, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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Out of everything I’ve learned when it comes to photography, what strengthened my work the most was watching movies. Much of how I shoot my pictures today came from observing and comparing different directors and cinematographers. It’s why I started writing about film at all here in the first place – We’re not No Film School, but it’s still never a bad thing to learn from a good looking movie. Most of us are familiar with the concepts covering film direction and cinematography in general – but considering this is at heart a “DIY” blog, I thought it’d be cool to give a visual presentation on just how much both factor into the end result of a film. So let’s compare two relatively recent films that adapt the same source material: Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

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Four Photographers Armed With A Hasselblad Take On The Streets Of Tokyo For A One Roll Of Film Challenge

 

one-roll-challengeWhat happens when you give a pro photographer a Hassleblad 503cx, a single roll of 120 film, and mission to tell the story of Tokyo in just 12 analog frames? Find out in this 18-minute behind the scenes look at the challenge where Mattias WestfalkBahagYoshiki Suzuki, and Paul del Rosario almost make it look easy. (It’s actually really difficult.)

The project may not sound like much of a challenge, as Westfalk points out in the opening scene, anyone can go out and shoot 12 frames, but to create 12 images worthy of printing is no walk in the park. The ease of digital photography and image storage allows us to fire off as many images as we like until we are happy with what we have, but ask any film photographer about their process, and chances are you’ll hear quite a different approach. Getting 12 usable photos from 12 frames of film takes patience, understanding, and a little talent and skill never hurt anyone, either. [Read more…]

Build A DIY Slide Scanner For $10

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Example of the slide scanner by Barkergk

Here’s a quick DIY project that can help you convert your collection of old slide film collection into digital images by Instructables user, barkergk. The project calls for PVC pipe, a smartphone, and a few other items that can be easily sourced and the project itself shouldn’t take up too much of your time making it a great rainy day activity. Let’s get to it! [Read more…]

Unforgiven: The Cinematography of Jack N. Greene

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Last year, actor Ken Watanbe starred in the Japanese remake of a film called Unforgiven. Though it may have had a limited release, its reception wasn’t diminished in the slightest. Acclaimed by critics worldwide, Yurusarezaru mono continued the cinematic relationship between samurai epics and spaghetti westerns at full ignition; the tradition’s beginnings are rooted in Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, which was a scene-by-scene remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo.

Out of everything the film achieved, Yurusarezaru mono reminded us that Unforgiven still remains an ageless masterpiece. After its release, the film became known as a eulogy to classic spaghetti western cinema; in other words, it signified the end of a generation. If that statement holds any truth to it all, then it’s fitting that Unforgiven was helmed by Clint Eastwood, who starred in the Sergio Leone trilogy that pioneered the genre in the first place.

The reason I bring up the fact that it eulogized a generation for this post is because of the fact that Unforgiven was entirely rooted in it; every element that made it what it was borrowed from the old classics, and that included direction, music, writing, and cinematography.

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How The Launch of Apollo 11 Looks Slowed Down at 500 FPS

It’s been forty five years since Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first two men to walk on the moon. The more unbelievable fact for us, however, is that apparently had cameras that could run at five hundred frames per second back then, as well.

For thirty seconds, the launch of Apollo 11 was filmed by a camera on location at 500 FPS. The ending result was a stretched out to about eight minutes, and gave us one of our sharpest looks ever at the launch of a spacecraft. Obviously, the content shown is a breathtaking sight on its own, but I really found myself focusing on the aesthetics of the video itself after a few repeat views. How amazing is it that we’re able to see footage this sharp, fluid, and clear from 1969? Shot originally on 16MM film, the film was spotlessly converted to HD for us to be able to view online. Check it out for yourself, and stick around for the commentary by Spacecraft Films‘ Mark Gray. For a video that lasts just under ten minutes, what you learn for nearly its entire duration is half of the enjoyment.

Seriously though. With just how expensive film should have been at that point, NASA must actually have been receiving sufficient funding back then.

The Spielberg Face

One of the reasons Steven Spielberg is considered a sage in the art of filmmaking is because of how successful he is at keeping the audience emotionally connected to the movie. Even from simply seeing the helicopter approach Isla Nublar in Jurassic Park, we’ve got that rush of excitement; we didn’t see anything at all yet, but we knew it was coming. We knew because John Hammond’s eyes started gleaming with childlike joy as he pointed at the island and said, “There it is.”

Here’s a badly-mathed-out breakdown of a good movie: while one half of the work goes into making the magic a reality through set design, visual effects, and sound editing, another half goes into making the characters of the film believable and enjoyable. Though dinosaurs may only have been in the movie for about fifteen full minutes of its screen time, we enjoyed the movie that much more because of how believable the reactions of the characters were.

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