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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Unique Photography Project Takes ‘Self Portrait’ To All New Levels

In a world that is so obsessed with selfies,  it’s hard to stand out from the crowd, but the unusual technique adopted by American photographer, Brigette Bloom, may just steal the show. Bloom, an advocate for film photography, soaks rolls of film in her own urine before exposing it. Yes, you read that correctly, she pees on unprocessed film.

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Bloom uses a variety of techniques to process her film including steeping it in her own urine.

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Nikon Bans Film in its Annual Photography contest… Again.

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The Nikon Photo Contest has been running annually since 1969. Even with roots that go back, however, the company isn’t afraid to move on and not look back. With the announcement for this year’s contest also came news that Nikon is banning film photography again.

That’s right. Again. I’d tell you that there’s old vintage Nikon cameras out there right now going “Et tu, Brute?” to the news, but apparently the company’s had this rule for a while now in the contest’s past few yearly runs; there’s absolutely no scans of film pictures allowed in entry.

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3 ways Of Using 35mm Film in 120 Bodies

35-120-usage-06with the slow decay of film it is getting harder and harder to find film to use on old (or new) cameras that use 120 film. Even you do find 120 film (hint Amazon, eBay) it is not trivial to develop (not to mention expensive). But what if you have a Diana or a treasured Mamiya that you want to use? You can still use them with 35mm film if you can manage to load the film into the spool in a way that you can wind it after each shot.

The photos you take will not be restricted to the 35mm frame that you are accustomed to, but go all over the sprockets. It’s a pretty cool effect if you ask me.

Here are three ways with ranging budgets, innovation levels and description to use 35mm film on 120 cameras: [Read more...]

PSA: Have Photos Backed Up On CDs? You May Wanna Move Them!

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To be honest, I have not backed up images on CDs for over 10 years now. But back in the days when a D70 RAW file was about 5MB it made sense. You could fit about 140 RAW photos on one CD. Or if you back up a few years earlier, photo labs would provide film scans on CDs, with the average size of 3MB per scan, a CD would hold over 200 photos.

Any why not? CDs were cheap, easily stored and cataloged and they would last forever. Right? Wrong. It turns out that the lifespan of CDs is not as long as everyone initially thought. And it also turns out that CDs are more susceptible to the elements than we thoughts. And your old photo collection stored on CDs and DVDs is probably dying s you read.

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Photographer Splices Movie Stills Into Real Life Using His iPhone

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This is a cool idea I wish I could have come up with myself. Photographer Francois Dourlen has a signature move where he shoots with his iPhone – well, not with his iPhone, but with his iPhone incorporated into the picture itself. Recently he picked up an interesting hobby where he saves stills from movies he likes onto his iPhone; what he does with them is unique, fun, and incredibly simple. As he goes on about his day, he takes those stills on his phone and shoots photos of them being implemented into real life scenery that – you might say – completes the picture.

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Blade Runner: The Cinematography of Jordan Cronenweth

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Last Friday, I did my second entry in a weekly feature I started on the work of cinematographers. That entry covered Jeff Cronenweth, who is known for his work with David Fincher in films like The Social Network, Fight Club, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I wanted to write a follow-up to that today, because I think it’s called for in this case. Jeff Cronenweth is the son of the late Jordan Cronenweth, and he learned quite a bit from his father. This article will go over one film by him that ultimately, along with his son, became one of his life’s most impactful legacies: Blade Runner.

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AJA Enters the Competition with its 4K UHD Cion

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AJA is one of the most respected names in the video production business, and their presence at the NAB Show was bound to bring about high expectations. With the announcement of their newest video camera, it looks like they intend to deliver. At their keynote presentation, alongside a variety of mid and high-range products, AJA introduced the Cion.

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