Captivating work from Mike Olbinski. Happy Friday.
Breathe is made up solely of storm clips from 2017…either from the spring across the central plains or from the monsoon here in the southwest. Some are favorites, some are just ones I knew would be amazing in monochrome and others I used because they fit the music so well.
Bogdan Teodorescu is killin’ it once again.
Marc Levoy has been one of the key leaders behind Google’s recent advances in computational photography, including portrait mode & HDR+. He’s also a professor emeritus at Stanford, and in this lecture series, he offers a very thorough, technical education in digital photography—for free.
The only knowledge I assume is enough facility and comfort with mathematics that you’re not afraid to see the depth-of-field formula in all its glory, and an integral sign here or there won’t send you running for the hills. Some topics will require concepts from elementary probability and statistics (like mean and variance), but I define these concepts in lecture. I also make use of matrix algebra, but only at the level of matrix multiplication. Finally, an exposure to digital signal processing or Fourier analysis will give you a better intuition for some topics, but it is not required.
Terry Gross’s interview with the co-directors of Pixar’s “Coco” is loaded with interesting details about character design (e.g. how the joint elasticity of skeletons corresponds to the characters’ health in the afterlife), casting a 12yo boy for a movie that took six years to make, and more. I think you’ll enjoy it:
Cue the Keystone Kops: Kayaker-turned-photographer Raphael Boudreault-Simard cranked up the frame rate & applied a faux tilt-shift effect to drone footage. Enjoy!
Our 8yo son Henry is mental for trains, and when things get dramatic at Chez Nack, the boys yell “Hey Google, play Inception Horn 10-minute edition!” Therefore we all really enjoyed this behind-the-scenes peek into how the filmmakers ran a “train” down the rain-soaked streets of LA:
Whoa—the FITT360 is a trip. Let’s hope it’s more successful than neck belts.
Drew Geraci takes us on a beautiful, 1000x-closer tour of the not-so-ordinary world:
Since I was capturing motion now everything needed to be 100% completely still. This was the hard part at 1000x magnification. I must have filmed the same sequence 10 or 20 times before I got a completely still and usable shot. The slightest vibration could easily ruin the scene.
The next challenge was lightning. Capturing video via a microscope requires a ton of light and the microscope’s light is only so powerful. Each bulb only lasted for up to 3 hours at max power before they would die. I must have gone through 8 or 9 bulbs during the course of filming (and they’re not cheap bulbs!). Because of this, I needed to rig up external lightning that could help illuminate the scene. I ended up using a small Manfrotto Lykos light which did the trick.
The Google Arts & Culture app (iOS, Android) now features the ability to search the world’s art collections for portraits of people who resemble you. My results weren’t amazing, but my friend Andy got a pretty good one (see below).
Meanwhile, here’s a similar fun effort in which people manually found their doppelgängers in museums.
Re-creating performances in famous movies, capturing them with an iPhone X, and then compositing the results into those movies is, of course, 100% my kind of jam. Check out the whole thing (all great, from The Wire to Arrested Development), or just jump to the Full Metal Jacket portion.