Saturday, 13 April 2013

Keeping up with the Joneses

I'm not one for product blogs, but sometimes amazing things need attention lavished upon them; and Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera is one of those amazing things.

A 1080P HD cinema camera (it captures RAW Wide Dynamic range) with the form factor of a crappy pocket camera. Hang it off the back of a micro 4/3rd lens and throw it on some rigging and you've got a pretty amazing piece of kit.

Blackmagic has already introduced some stiff competition for the 5K Red Epic, with their 2.5K Cinema Camera and new 4K Production Camera, both resembling medium format digital backs. They're dirt cheap too, especially given the other uber-professional competition is keeping prices for 4K/5K gear closer to the £100,000 price point (to clarify, Red and Blackmagic are uber-professional, it's their price points that put them in competition with consumer and prosumer tat).

So, I can pick up a professional grade HD camera, couple it with a LANC remote, pop it on a Freefly MOVI gimbal and hang it off the bottom of a R/C quadcopter or clamp it to the roof of a car without without stretching the credit card (edit: to clarify, I don't have such a credit card with a $20,000 limit, I should probably remove the MOVI from the list, given the full price of it is $14,500, not the $2,500 deposit I believed at first it cost)? That's pretty awesome (edit: it's still pretty awesome).

I'm foreseeing lost sleep on the horizon.

Just as well I have a 4K Red One. That's helps me sleep at night.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Architech Phetish

Yes, I'm making words up now.

Architech = Architecture + Technology
Phetish = Photographic Fetishism


Anyway, to the post at hand. - This website is fantastic and well worth a few hours of your time. Peter McCready's gallery/interactive imagery are a 360° snapshot of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, France and document the LHC and the facility at large. Each panorama incorporates the background sound giving a truly fantastic sense of scale and environment.

Continuing on from my last post, I've been trying to understand the subject matter I want to focus on at the moment and seem to have settled upon a few distinct areas:

- architecture - superstructures, infrastructure and the behind-the-scenes processes and operations of modern buildings and structures
- technology - from space labs and satellite construction to industrial equipment and super machines, topped off with robots and control systems
- datacentres - a blend of technology and architecture with emphasis on making the ether we call the Internet, a tangible mass
- industrial design - from prototypes to beautifully ingenious design and engineering

I think that concludes proceedings...

Monday, 21 January 2013

New Year, New Plans

The past 18 months have been hectic and pulled me further from my preferred forms of imaging then I'd have liked. Having adapted (for one reason or another) my studio into a lab-slash-workshop, I no longer have the space I would need for fashion or portrait photography (well, I could make space, but I think models would be a little put off by their surrounds).

So an idea formed, inspired in part by my expanding collection of photography books, Wired/Make subscriptions and ever-growing list of favourite photographers, that I should focus (if your pardon the pun) on a range of architectural and technological photography projects.

It makes real sense for me to take the opportunity to explore more of these subjects, as both feature highly in my work, interests and passions. I've spent very little time photographing the subject matter, so I find it an exciting opportunity to learn new techniques and perhaps bastardize others to get a look and feel I'll be happy with.

From robotics to industrial design to skyscrapers to building services, I think I'll enjoy exploring the subjects visually. It also enables me to put a twist on the subjects and to focus (again, pardon the pun) on aspects of architecture and technology that I enjoy and find inspiring. As a hint; a big passion I have is with the workings and mechanics of things, whether it be the cables and pipes of a building or the intricate construction of a satellite's flight controls, I find great beauty in the hidden engineered details.

On one of my many to do lists a year or so back I drafted an idea for a book; a set of works offering a snapshot of the datacentres that power the modern world. My objective, would be to revisit and revise every few years (or major datacentre revolution) to document not only the beauty but the evolution they undergo too. There's a bit of work to undertake in getting the project moving, but this new year I plan to attempt it whether successful or not.

Similarly, I'm keen to improve the quality of the imagery I publish on my blogs - I've lacked anything more substantial than an iPhone for day-to-day photography and sometimes it seems a little overkill to shoot in 56 mega pixels with a medium format camera, so the iPhone had to suffice. Now, I've bought an Olympus PEN with the intent of better documenting my day-to-day works (and random things that seem remotely interesting) I hope to make a conscious effort to improve my blogs. I promise. That said, I do use my iPhone as a camera everywhere and anywhere, so don't be surprised by crappy pictures turning up

Expect lots of retrospective photos added to my previous posts (both this blog and Made by McCoy).