David's Blog

Month: November, 2013

Russian Snowflakes

Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov has created some stunning double lens reverse macro shots of snowflakes using some cheap second hand lenses. Stunning. Follow this link  for more information and look at my previous blog post on double lens reversal shots to see how easy it can be! He really is an inspiration

 

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Turn Your Iphone Camera into a Macro Lens

As regular readers will know I love a bit of DIY photography and filmmaking. I stumbled access this tutorial on Artfidio.com  and without an Iphone or laser to try it out on thought I would share it her to see if anyone can use it and get their desired shot

 

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OK guys, happy snapping! 

An open Letter to Digital Filmmaker Magazine

Dear Digital Filmmaker magasine,

I am writing to you in this blog form as I have a few things I thick we can discuss. Firstly let me say that I have no problem with your presentation or how the articles where written. I should also say I have only read this one issue (issue 9), and as you do not do a .pdf of all back issues, say like Little White Lies, I am fully aware and open to be called uninformed on your general output, this I accept.

1) “Our Cover is empowering” I hear you cry. “She will be an important actress in Chile’s up and coming exploitation industry.” No it’s not, it’s a front page that screams BOOBIES. Between her and the picture of The Red Dragon directly below I’m not to sure which one I am meant to masturbate over first… probably the camera. The only other mention of a women in the whole magazine is a Q/A where one of your readers asks Is it sexist to put a calling out for a gorgeous actress. The answer, your cover and the complete lack of any talking women in the entire magazine would suggest that boys and their gadgets are meant to be left alone.

Lets leave casual misogyny  aside for a second and move onto number 2

2) Brevity. Ok, your cover storey is an article interviewing Ernesto Diaz Espinozo (or as I call him “The Chilean Robert Rodriguez”). You begin with a  rather breif introductory paragraph on chilean cinema, I would of liked a lot more information but your not Sight and Sound (or even Total Film) so that’s acceptable. What’s not acceptable is this

“his skills as an editor are undoubtable” (page 14)

ARE THEY? Now I won’t be a cynical bastard so I’ll agree with you and move on to where you show it… nothing. There is no mention of a his workflow, his editing style, how his editing improves his films. NOTHING. Heck we don’t even get the mandatory “I learned to edit for budgetary constraints.” Naught. What we do get is a shot of the machete gun girl wearing only a massive gun. Espinozo is undoubtedly very talented, but why not go further into why. Another line like this was spoken by producer Jonathan Scotticot who said on page 35 that Kickstarter has made

“Your short film problems potentially over.”

Now if I go onto page one of KIckstarter you get a list of lovingly funded films, same on page two and page three. But what about page ten? or 15, or even page 1,000? Just a long depressing list of rejections. Every indie filmmaker knows of mates with success stories, and knows a lot more with fails*. Yes I know he used the word potential but for you as a magazine, or him as producer not to follow it up with advice is just plain lazy.

I’m going to ignored lots of other problems and jump to my final complaint to keep this blog short.

3) Your definition of Digital Filmmaker. I classify myself as a digital filmmaker, I do not classify myself as a DP. For most of your magazine I was completely alienated by your pervy shots of Red Dragons and interviews with DPs and their kit. There are a minimal discussion (2 shoddy tutorials) on Editing, only one sentance about funding (kick-starter) and one about casting calls (the sexy actress comment discussed earlier) and nothing on scripting, storyboarding, colour correcting and finally releasing your digital film.

This in itself leads to another generalisation you seem to constantly print. When was filmmaking just about short films and straight to DVD exploration films? I have just finnished an advert, isn’t that still filmmaking? Your one article (and it is rather a good one) not about short films but instead how to shoot a live music gig has to open with “when not making his films.”

IT AS IF YOU WANT ME TO SERIOUSLY BELIEVE BEING GOOD AT DOCUMENTING AND CREATIVELY FILMING A LIVE EVENT ISN’T A TALENT, ISN’T ARTISTRY, ISN’T WORTH WHILE OR A SKILL WITHOUT MAKING YOUR SHITTY SHORT FILMS WITH GUNS AND BOOBS ON THE SIDE.

Breath.

With a name like Digital Filmmaker you could write about a whole spectrum of interests, it’s a shame then you’ve pigeonholed yourself into an over-stated advert for all things RED and EOS.

But I shall end on a happy note. I did learn that if you begin a sentence with “My film is not a sex film but…” (page 33) It probably is.

 

 

*However, after saying that if your a Board game designer I do know hover a rather strange man who will spend triple figures on boardgames, and does so constantly on kickstarter. 

 

 

 

Embrace Your Mistakes #3: Into the Wild

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I found this picture on my hard drive, I took it way back in 2012 and I was clearly to disappointed to do anything with it. Now I think it’s a perfect picture for this column. First let’s look at the negatives and mistakes:

1) The photograph was taken through glass. I have tried to colour correct the image so it is LESS noticeable than the original but you can still see on both the right and left hand corners the smudging and lightening of the image. If possible never take through glass, this is why most hides have slits in them. Unfortunately for me this picture was taken through my parents conservatory and I thought I might of scared them away if I opened the door and walked out. If you have to take a photograph through glass* than use a polariser.

2). The picture is shy. This is again down to the fact that I shot it through glass and because I had the camera on auto focus. In my defence If I had tried to of shot it with manual I would of missed most of the fight! In this case it was better of of constantly press the button rather than constantly adjust the focus ring. The picture is also shy because it has been…

3). Cropped and enlarged. The longest auto-focus lens I have is the sigma 70-300mm, and a very handy lens it is too. While it can take some lovely shots, it is simply not long enough to take these kind of nature shots. It is also quite simply fast enough leaving to slight blur and shyness around the moving figures, emphasised when you zoom into them as I have done.

Saying that there still are some benefits to it. While not a completely successful still-life shot the expressions on the two male’s faces and their aggressive wing stance makes it a least slightly interesting.

As always a backlog of Embrace Your Mistake pictures on my flickr set are up for your amusement and if you want to send any of your experiments or failures my way then be my guest!

*if you want to ignore me and shot through glass then here is some tips and here, if your very lucky (and very dedicated), is what you can achieve.

What is Memory Box?

For the keen eyed followers among you, ou might of seen my yesterday re-blog a post from Memory Box. I thought I would go into what Memory Box is actually is.

Memory Box is a Portuguese VHS and Photographic digitisation and restoration business founded by my partner Patricia Rodrigues and myself. You can learn more by clicking this link or watching the video above. Don’t worry if you don’ speak Portuguese! There are plenty of visual examples illustrating what we do.

The Memory Box Blog is slightly different, here we get to blog (and reblog) articles and facts about al things interesting in the world of analogue video and photography, in both english and Portuguese! So if your interested in all things retro and analogue why not start following us here. and if you have any queries, suggestions or articles you think might be on interest please do let us know