I am undertaking a new art project. The above images are the first test results. This stems from a visual effects technique known as cloud tank photography. It has been used to stunning results in many movies, like, “Raiders of the lost ark” and “Close Encounters of the third kind”. I was thinking it would be interesting to use this in an art / photography project, and just see what I could get.
This was shot in a really small (10 gal.) tank but I would like to step that up to something more substantial. The “cloudy” look is done with just flour and water, poured in at different places to see what it would do, and then I would adjust based on what I was seeing. I will switch to tempra paint and possibly a few other dyes and inks to see what effect they give in the next run.
Here are a few links to some cloud tank info
Eric Alba VFX Supervisor
Scott Squires VFX Supervisor
and of course FXGuide / FX PHD
additionally Digital Juice Stock footage library, Compositors toolkit
I am always trying to figure out what is next for me, weather it is career, tech, art, science, or in this case cameras, surprise!
I think this might just be it !
It has pretty much everything I want and nothing I don’t. I do love my D700 and will be using it for a long time to come, but if I needed to put my eye to the future this is where I will be looking. It is of course a cost factor as much as any other factor, it is really pricey for me, but it is interesting to note that the D4 ($5,999.95) is cheaper than Nikon’s other flagship camera the D3X ($7,999.95).
It was a huge commitment, and a big task for me as an enthusiast, to one, switch manufactures and two to step up to the D700, with a healthy price tag of its own. Even used. Took me forever to decide, and I fretted over it for ages. I do this fretting, waffling and delay tactics thing whenever I buy a lens as well. So where does that leave me for a D4?
Well all I can say is one must have goals.
New Image added in the Gallery – “Underpass”
Is it? With the advent of online and digital media is it all doom and gloom for the library, and for that matter for the dead tree format books in general? Probably not. However there is no denying that a great deal of the reading people do is electronic, digital, or online. It is only going to increase.
We do still seem to tend to like a book to read when going to bed, or in the hammock at the lake, or on a plane, or what have you. I still see a lot of people involved in “analog” reading. Yet those numbers seem to be dwindling under the convenient onslaught of digital media.
While at the library which is a rare, and becoming a rarer occurrence, and would not occur at all were it not for the fact I have a teenager who needs to do research papers from time to time. My teenager does not like to go to the Library. He will only go under threat of homework and research papers.
When I was this age and even younger, I would ride my bike 7.5 miles, yes uphill in the snow both ways, to spend my entire Saturday at the library! Most every weekend. I was thinking about all of the above while I was shooting the images in this post.
Well be that as it may this post is more about the image and the process, I had very little time to shoot this image and really only got one go at it. I shot the image as a bracket series, 5 stops, thinking I might do this as an HDR, but after processing it was decidedly a disaster. I hated it. I did however like the Library sign and structure framed against the sky with a leafless trees.
See, terrible, and it seemed that no matter which way I decided to go I was going to dislike it. Even if I grabbed the sky and inserted it into this, which I did try, I just wasn’t going to be happy with this image. Too tonemapped, too gaudy, too ugly. I decided that I might in fact like to try it as a Black & White image. I brought the whole thing (the tonemapped image) into Silver EFX Pro 2.0. I really like most of the products Nik Software makes, with the possible exception of HDR EFX Pro. It is a bit like 7-eleven, not the best or most robust store one could shop at but, very convenient. I like the connivence of having it as an Aperture plugin, but it fails at a few areas every so often. I really prefer Photomatix Pro. I tweaked the image in Silver EFX bringing up the sign and entrance toning down the window to the left and the tree area to the lower right, but still wasn’t quite there. I though of what every good editor will tell you, “Everything you need and nothing you dont” so I cropped it to what you see above. Keeping just the Structure with the sign and some sky and the top of the bare tree.
I defiantly like that better.
Hope you like it.
Great stop motion, folded paper, motion control, ad for Peugeot
Complete with making of / behind the scenes.
Wish I had done it.
Over the years I have owned many cameras, from my first
Fujica ST605, to Pentax to Nikon to Canon to Nikon.Back in the days of film I shot with a Nikon F3 mostly and loved it. The switch this time was motivated not by brand loyalty, or of some sense of Canon vs Nikon, or only real Photographers shoot Nikon or any such dogmatic thing. It comes down to feature set and “feel” if you will. After having shot for a few years with digital and upgrading along the way, I discovered a slightly different way that I was using the tools, so when it came time to really and firmly set myself into a camera, I had to make some decisions.
So it came down to a few basic things.
Full frame sensor – Depth of field being a big consideration here, and experience with 35mm film and the lenses that go with that type of shooting are a consideration.
To this point I only had cropped sensor cameras.
Megapixels – I don’t want more pixels I want better pixels. Using an 18 – 21 megapixel camera is great and you can get some fantastic results and a lot of detail, however I really don’t want to slog around that much data. If I had a shoot I really needed it on I would probably just rent what I felt I needed. For my everyday shooting I really wanted fewer megapixels around 10 was ideal, my current D700 is 12 so I’ll take it.
Low light performance – High ISO is something we film shooters just love, we never had it so good. It is great that a lot of cameras can shoot basically in the dark, but if its a really noisy image then its not all that useful. So it is fantastic to have a higher ISO performance with almost no noise, I did not have this in my earlier digital cameras.
Bracketing – This as it turns out is a really big one for me. I am a Visual Effects Supervisor and Creative Director professionally so I need to shoot HDR for work projects.
Thats only the half of it, as it turns out I like to shoot HDR. I shoot a ton of HDR for artistic reasons. In my old system I had to have an extra remote and cables to enable the kind of range I get with my current camera.
Time lapse – as you can imagine as a former Physical Effects Coordinator a then a VFX Supe and tinkerer and all that goes into those things, this is of great interest to me, besides it just being plain and simple fun. Again I needed a external remote and cables to do this, it is built in to my current camera.
Feel – This is how it sits in your hands, how it “feels” using the equipment, it is also how everything is laid out, where the buttons are ect. As it turns out my brain is wired a bit more Nikon than Canon, I really liked my Canon gear but after using the D700 for as little as three days I never had to think much about where everything is, it just flowed better. This is paramount in design, if the tool you are using gets in the way of what you are dong, it needs work, while my D700 is not perfect it is much much closer to that goal.
So if you consider all of those factors together, it becomes easier to see why I arrived at the Nikon D700. There are of course other considerations, for instance, I have previous experience with Nikon, and I still had some older, but good and useful lenses.