Strange Music rolled through the northwest a few weeks ago, bringing ¡Mayday!, Ces Cru, Stevie Stone, Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, and Rittz. We got lucky and Shast Music was able to put together a set in Yakima (Which I think brought the the total number of shows into WA to 4 or 5.) I got even luckier and John was able to obtain permission for me to take photos of the show! The lighting was a bit different than other places I've shot, the house lights were usually on, and the set lights actually alternated having fill or back light on, so it took a little bit to get the levels right. I'm looking at low light lenses for the future, I love shooting short exposure, but I'd like to bring the ISO down to a reasonable level (I really start to notice it while cleaning up the images.) I think my favorite shots came from Stevie's set, he was using fill and back light in tandem, and that yellow light also just looked cool.
I was able to get a desktop SLA printer (Micro3D) at the end of last year. Since then I have been spending as much time as I can trying to learn the limits or the printer and its materials. After a number of tests, I decided to actually build something, so obviously I landed on an owl! I knew I wanted it to be kinetic in some way, I ended up having its head on a ball joint, and its feet hinged. Building from a basic sketch and an idea in my head I started to model. After realizing I wouldn't want to try print this as one piece I went back in after the fact and cut apart the model, so I could glue it together later. I printed tests as I went to make sure that the sizes were accurate to what was being depicted on the computer. (These tests were all done with PLA plastic as it is slightly cheaper.)
Once I'd gone over everything I could think to check, I started printing in ABS at a higher quality. The print went well and I didn't have any issues doing an initial smoothing pass by sanding down the layer lines a bit (Although in doing this I got a better idea for the fill quality settings, because I broke off the ball joint and one of the connector pegs accidentally). I intended on smoothing the prints using acetone vapors, what I wasn't expecting was how quickly this begins to eat away at the plastic. Placing the prints in the container, they tipped and some fell against the wall, touching the acetone and each other. This caused them to fuse together almost instantly, or become squishy, and hard to move. After some time in the vapors the body had lost a little to much detail, the head had fallen over at some point and become stuckthe the side of the body, and the feet were so small they began to curl up.
Back to printing. I got new prints out, and sanded (Not breaking anything this time), and then set each part to sit in the vapor alone for much less time. The result was much better, I think I could have left them in there for a little bit longer, but knowing that I was going to be painting over him, I wasn't to worried about getting a glossy look right now. Once they had fully dried out, I sprayed them all with primer, painted over them with some craft store acrylic paints, and then finished them off with a spray fixative. I put the pieces in and glued them together, the pivot for the feet was a little to loose (I hadn't added enough detail to hold to rod in place), so I glued his feet in, and the hole in his body got sanded down a bit too much, so it doesn't cover enough of the ball to hold it. The head rotates and moves the way I was hoping for, but it also lifts right out.
I filmed the whole printing process and put it together in the video below. All in all I'm pretty dang happy with him, and I'm already working on the next project in my head.
The folks over at Undercaste Studios have been doing a series of their own songs with rappers and producers, and filming the creation process. I happened to see a Facebook post from one of the owners, who mentioned in passing that the upcoming track "Fall Down" didn't have a cover image yet. I heard a bit of the track in their preview video, and wanted to try to put something together! Unfortunately, cover art had been finalized by the time I got this to him, but he seemed into it and hopefully I'll get to work with Undercaste in the future! I also learned to avoid any image editing in Illustrator at all costs, it just doesn't handle it well.
The other night Thomas texted me and said there was some really cool looking fog rolling in over Marymoor Park that I might want to film. So I ran over and set up the camera! This was the most "In the elements" I've ever left my camera, and despite being frozen, it handled it like a trooper.
I need to work on framing these better (I think scoping the place out before hand will help me get better at it.) But I still dig how it looks!
A new year and a new portfolio site! I've updated the demo reels, and stills on my portfolio website! I've also made a few more design changes to make the site even more streamlined. You can check it out at the link below:
After seeing Star Wars last week, I was quite taken the the rollaway star of the film BB-8. As a result, I decided to combine him with stupid puns, and make myself laugh (And become more acquainted with Illustrator.)
Thank you to Dave Chapman, Brian Herring, Bill Hader, and Ben Schwartz for bringing this little joy of a robot to life.
I went out to scout a location for a photo-shoot recently. After falling short of my goal (I couldn't get into the location I was trying to shoot.) I figured since this sun was setting, I might still be able to mess around with lowering the aperture on my camera, to get some awesome light rays through the trees. One of the resulting images was decidedly creepier than the others, since the main source of light was the sun, there was very little fill light looking in it's direction. I decided to see if I could creepify the picture a little, so I grabbed a picture from Pexels, and dropped it in. Here are the largest steps in the process.
The photoshoot I'm scouting for it meant to be rather eerie, so this ended up being a great warm up!
I got sick last week, so this one is a bit late. Here are the cleaned up stills from all the sets at the Martians show. I love shooting under the colored lights. Yeah there are gonna be times when bounce light is way too hot, but it really makes for such a great rim light, and is always bright enough to catch these dudes in motion.
At the end of last month Ripynt and Carl Roe finally got to perform their show at the Jet Bar (After having to cancel the first show due to power outages). Accompanied by teewhy, Ariel Endure, ProduKtive, and DJ Rise, the crew demolished the set. I got to go, take pictures, film, and enjoy the hell out of myself! During an encore they decided to attempt the feat of spitting their Breakout verses in double time to an Outkast beat, I managed to chronicle a decent amount of it, and put it all together.
I'll be uploading photos from the show later this week.
After obtaining my camera a little over a year ago now, I've had timelapses in my head. I had long ago set cameras to capture video and then sped that up, but the effect created more of a sense of chaos rather than time passing, which I don't think is quite as pleasing (visually at least.) Now back to the more recent years. Due to a clerical error, I ended up spending a night in a hotel room, on an upper floor, with not much more than the aforementioned new camera. My options were, use a telephoto lens to capture shots, or try to set up a timelapse. Since the former might incite allegations of a voyeuristic nature, I opted for the timelapse. I set the camera up, looking down upon the city block, and construction site below, pulled an armchair across the room, and positioned myself at an angle pointed halfway between the TV and the window (What was I gonna do, NOT watch TV?) I grabbed the remote trigger, and began to count, every 15 seconds pressing the button, allowing the trigger's beam to bounce off the window back at the camera and taking a picture. This lasted fine for a while, until 10:30 actually, when the intervals started to slip, and I began to fall asleep. 15 seconds turned to 30, which turned to 45, which turned to me waking up at about 11:40, with no idea of when the last picture was taken. Figuring that was acceptable effort for a first try I called it a night. To my surprise when I finally got back to my computer, the footage didn't look awful. The most noticeable issue being the way the moon stutters across the sky like lunar Morse code. I like the planes though, even if they do move in a decidedly weird, and eerily consistent pattern.
Sometime shortly after I came across Alpine Labs' (Then called Vivo Labs) Michron, which is a small device that will trigger most DSLRs, and is programmable by most smartphones. After saving up to buy a smartphone with an Android OS (They did not make an app for Windows at the time), I finally bought one. My first attempt was admittedly too grand. The Michron allows for small ramps in both iteration and exposure, how hard could it be to predict the exposure? Turns out hard. The result was underexposure for about an hour after sunset, and then complete darkness until the end. But I had been through the process once now, so maybe next time, just aim for something simpler, either just ramp the iterations, or go for vanilla.
Come the night of that Perseids Meteor Shower, I was dogsitting at a friend's house, the location of which was just far enough out, that there was noticeably less light pollution. So I threw my fisheye lens on, and set out to try to capture some meteors. A few hours later I was walking the dog, passing the camera I heard the shutter clicking away diligently, so all seemed well. But upon coming back I heard the sprinklers near the entrance of the apartment complex come on. I'd forgotten those were a thing, so I weighed my chances, and decided I would move the camera to the other side of the street. This prevented it from getting soaked, but failed to continue cleanly capturing footage. The jump in the footage was in no way excusable, and the there were not many images in the post move sequence, as the battery died shortly thereafter.
I did however managed to snag a shot of this dude shooting across the sky though, so the night wasn't a total loss.
The next day I charged the battery, attached the battery pack, and found a spot just out of reach of the sprinklers. Just in case I wrapped the body of the camera in a trash bag, and hoped for the best. This time I got lucky. Not only did everything function properly, and for a decent amount of time, but it was the night a large bunch of clouds rolled in, and it happened right before sunrise. I didn't set an exposure ramp, so this time everything went white, but combined with the clouds/fog, I actually think it looks pretty dang cool.
In more recent happening, thanks to Thomas, I am currently working in-office at WebTuner on whatever needs to get done. During October there was a night devoted to pumpkin carving, which sounded like it might have visual promise, so I propped up the camera and let it go once again. I was having issues re-programming the Michron. I think it was stuck at a 10 second interval, which resulted in that chaotic video look (Someone mentioned it made them a bit dizzy), so I need to get in and fix those settings for next time.
For one of my most recent outdoor attempts, I set up on the side of the street and ran the camera through the night. Despite the cool shapes and patterns the headlights made, there weren't many cars, and the video itself was pretty boring. I did however snag several pictures of a local bunny, walking around! I decided to take a stab at a jump cut-ey style of editing, which devolved into my adding as many noises, lights and cuts as I could to make myself laugh.
I'll keep trying, and see what else I can come up with. I would say so far my takeaways can be simplified into two points.
A) The aesthetic of a timelapse, does not make the subject more interesting.
B) Everything is funny at 4AM.