I was excited to discover photographer Thomas Jackson (previously here and here) has continued his Emergent Behavior series where he photographs airborne swarms of common objects like Post-It notes, cheese balls, and plates in environments where you would least expect them. He also reverses the concept, shooting items from nature like sticks and leaves against an urban backdrop. You’re probably wondering how some of these are made, so I’ll quote Jackson from over on Flak Photo’s Facebook:
I have struggled with the role of Photoshop in my work. I can’t make my images without it, yet I don’t really want it to be an integral part of my creative process. So I’ve set up some rules of the road for myself, and I’ve stuck to them while creating all my recent images. Basically I want the images to be as “in camera” as possible, so instead of employing PS to composite or more things around, I simply use it to remove elements I don’t want to be there. The sculpture in this image (175 glow sticks attached to a wire armature) is real, and it was photographed on the beach in Greenport, NY. I simply used PS to remove the support that was holding the thing up, and to make a few other minor tweaks. So on the spectrum between “retouched image” and “real time image”, I’ve strived to make it closer to the latter.
Jackson also mentions by email that the photo above using the leaves falls outside the realm of his usual approach and does involve a bit more digital editing. See much more here. (via flakphoto, thnx tanner!)
Update: Added a quote from Jackson about his process.
This post contains a number of extremely large animated GIFs which might taken a moment to fully download. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Director Kevin Parry (previously) recently directed a wonderful music video for Kalle Matson, shot by Andrea Nesbitt, featuring a number of visual special effects that appear to slingshot the camera through wide views of San Francisco. Parry has a full gallery of smaller animations where you can see some of the isolated shots, but I had him export seven large, absolutely bandwidth-sucking versions, five of which are above. For two more, see also Ocean Bay Bridge and Market Street. Regarding how this was all accomplished he says via email:
The zooms are done by setting up a camera at each end location and filming the camera zooming in and out. The middle parts are done by putting a camera on the front of my scooter and driving the spanning distance. All that footage is then animated after the fact, only using a very small amount of the frames that were actually filmed. And everything is lined up, cropped, etc. to fit my needs. The spins are done by carefully mapping out a circle around whatever target, and picking roughly 36 locations to shoot a still from. Those photos are then processed, and lined up after the fact.
You might remember Kevin’s video from a few months ago, A Stop Motion History of the World. Again, sorry for dumping these giant images in your RSS reader, but worth it, right?
Montreal-based photographer Benoit Paillé has been working on a fascinating series of landscapes using a bizarre lighting method involving a suspended glowing square. The images above are not photoshopped, the 1×1 meter light is instead hung in the center of each photograph and the resulting image shows the unique form of illumination that creeps into the surrounding area. Paillé says his goal is to redefine what a landscape photograph is by questioning its reality, creating a kind of poetic moment in space and time. You can see many more of his Alternative Landscapes on Flickr.
Wow these are great! Back in May a couple of friends in Japan started a new project called rrrrrrrroll, using photography to explore beautifully minimalist animations based on objects and people turning on a single axis. According to twitter the group makes roughly two animations a week (there’s 34 already), so it’s probably worth your time to tune in. If you liked these, also check out Stellar by Ignacio Torres. (via ignant)
Chicago photographer Paul Octavious has just released a number of new photos as part of his Lean With It series, where he captures people bending (I suspect falling) in parallel with precariously angled trees. It’s almost more amazing that he’s able to find these trees in the first place, let alone timing such great shots. See much more on his website.
I branched out a little bit in this week’s Flickr Finds, there were lots of other wonderful things I wanted to include rather than strictly photography. All the images above are linked to their sources.