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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Worlds In Collision

What the intersection of still photography and HD video capture means for camera technology and the photographers who use it

This Article Features Photo Zoom

At the recent Collision Conference in Los Angeles, the rapidly intersecting realms of still photography and motion-picture capture were the topics of discussion.

The audience in the screening room at the Collision Conference: Where Stills and Motion Collide had just witnessed history. What was historic about the movie clips projected on the big screen wasn’t what was shot, but how they were shot—with D-SLRs.

In test shoots, photographers have been getting solid results from cameras like the RED ONE.
Terminator: Salvation DP Shane Hurlbut, ASC, shared scenes he and his crew recently recorded with Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs for an in-production, action-packed thriller involving Navy Seals and their undercover operations.

Hurlbut joined other leaders from both the still and video worlds, including Vincent Laforet, Alexx Henry and 24 DP Rodney Charters, ASC, at the conference in Los Angeles to explore the state of the art of hybrid image capture and to see how the new technology can be incorporated in the workflow of today’s image-makers.

Digital Photo Pro met with one of the masterminds behind the conference, Michael Britt of Image Mechanics, to discuss hybrid shooting and Video Capture for Stills—VCS—the hottest acronym to hit Hollywood in years.

DPP: What’s the current state of the art for still photographers who want to explore the moving picture?

Michael Britt: For HD video capture, the small and relatively inexpensive cameras are creating opportunities for image-makers to expand the reach of their visual storytelling without significantly increasing existing budgets or the size of their crews. Combined with a Redrock Micro kit, these cameras blur the line between photography and filmmaking, opening up new markets for both disciplines.

DPP: Fortunately, only the lines are blurred—the images projected at the Collision Conference are amazingly sharp at full movie-screen size. What are some of the applications for this type of shooting?

Britt: Content providers are hungry for multimedia that can break through all the visual noise that’s out there and grab viewers. New media is popping up daily. Just look at the growth of the digital signage business that was only a novelty a couple of years ago. First, it became ubiquitous in the London subway system, and then suddenly it started appearing in pedestrian shopping areas around the world. The idea of moving ads, or as Alexx Henry calls it, “Living Art,” is to animate a strong graphic image to quickly engage and tell a story. Broadband Internet, video cell phones, e-book readers and advances in flexible video display circuitry are creating new markets for image-makers and driving the need for content.


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