Love : Santa Monica
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.
Great stop motion, folded paper, motion control, ad for Peugeot
Complete with making of / behind the scenes.
Wish I had done it.
Funny Story -
Today I went out to shoot a specific image I had an idea for. This was going to be a funny ” take my picture” moment with Sir Bedevere from Terry Gilliham’s ”The Holy Grail” in the foreground and a dragon in the background. Whilst setting this up, the dragon toy I had for this , being cheaply made, plastic, and old, decided to fall completely apart, The leg fell off, I stuck it back on, the arm then fell off, I tried to fix that, NG, not working, well perhaps I can arrange it so that I don’t see the arm, the leg falls off again, can’t repair it anymore, so in frustration I chunk the entire thing into the gully! Fine! I won’t shoot that. So with a ”I wont let this stop me from shooting” attitude I decide to shoot something else “give that one a rest, come back to it later” I am in an area that has an old Train Trestle I decide this is what I’ll shoot and I can walk happily away with some kind of image, even if it wasn’t what I wanted originally.
Well in traversing the slope that decends into the creek bottom where this was shot, I had a bit of a time with the mud, which, here in Texas is a smeary, smooth, fine clay, (it’s insidious!) which when wet is the scourge of foundations all over North Texas! No big deal! Muddy shoes, slippery slope, so what I am a Photographer, this is nothing, I am after an image. Think nothing of it. I then plink around shooting the bridge / trestle for a bit, but I am in fact at this point not as inspired as I was earlier. So having at least “some shots in the can” I decide to leave, thinking, well I wil have to be careful ascending the slope out of here as it is muddy, no big deal, right. Wrong!
I try to find a way out that does not involve the way I came down or fording the creek which presently is about six feet deep. I inspect three other avenues out but to no avail, they are either just as bad as the way I came down, or covered in brambles and brush, or just too steep.
So back up the way I came, I can do this it’s just a small slope. I start up, loosing a bit of footing here and there, sliding around a bit, I can still do this, the slope gets a bit steeper, and slicker, oops almost lost it that time, it’s getting more difficult. I can so do this. I attack the steeper part of this slope and slide backwards, my body threatening to do a backflip, as I react to the slick surface, trying to stay upright. Just as I make the step that will transition me onto the worst part, it all goes wrong and I go down, onto hands and knees, well one hand both knees and a tripod, as I was carrying that in my right hand. Allright so I went down into the mud, so what, I’ll just get up and go for it and get out of here. You only ever go down in these instances once right.
Wrong, it is so slippery and loose its like the mud doesn’t want me to go up the hill. I try again, attempting to make footing as I go, I go down again, this time having to catch myself on some grassy bits to my left, really having to struggle with it now, try again, bam down again! Grabbing at some small tree shrub thingy this time. Still not making it! It is at this point I remember I watched 127 Hours last night. Momentary thoughts of how silly the situation is. Last ditch effort is somewhat successful but still manages to make me struggle, basically crawling out of it until I get to more level ground.
Thats it I am out. OK. Check. Tripod muddy, caked in fact. It acted as an entrenching tool while climbing out. Pants, Muddy from the knees down, and a few other places as well. Shoes, 10 lbs heavier that when this all started. Rapid strap camera strap, muddy! Jacket Muddy! Hands Muddy Check! I’ll have to get my pocket muddy as well as I have to get the keys to get int the car where at least I have a towel.
Camera, HA! That at least was in my LowePro 200 AWT sling pack, Check , take that Mud!
Takeaway / moral of the story – uhm .. when life gives you lemons , fall in the mud, no no thats no good.
How about – Keep on trying, change gears, preferably to a very low, high torque, mudslinging enabled gear.
Can’t wait to see this, not just because it is Navy Seals, some of the most badass operators on earth, and all that implies, action, guns, fire,explosions ect. but just as much from a filmmaking perspective. Shooting live fire is just something we don’t do on set, we generally frown on it, we want every opportunity to be safe, because we are usually just doing “make believe”. This however is something else. Wow.