Roger Ballen, known for his dark, unsettling photography, has brought his esthetic to the “I Fink U Freeky” video he recently directed for the South African hip-hop band Die Antwoord. The result, which has been widely circulated via social media, is a creepy but visually compelling freak show. Ballen recently explained to Phaidon that he shot photographs for the band about three years ago. They asked him to shoot a music video, which he was happy to do. “We started with my photographs for ideas and then mimicked them in the sets. Most of the sets started with almost like a ‘Roger Ballen still life’ and then we might have added in a mouth or foot or hand and then we went into them cinematically,” he told Phaidon.
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This video by NPR was honored in the video category of the 2011 PDN Photo Annual. NPR Music’s Project Song challenges musicians to write and record a song in
just two days, then records the results. David Gilkey, John Poole, Bob Boilen and Neil Tevault produced the video.
Moby and collaborator Kelli Scarr finished writing their song so quickly, they wound up recording three different versions of “Gone to Sleep.”
The 2012 PDN Photo Annual is now accepting entries in 12 categories, including video, web sites, photo books, advertising, photojournalism and more. To learn about prizes, the panel of judges, rules, deadlines (avoid the late fee and enter soon!) or to upload your entries, visit www.pdnphotoannual.com.
Nikon handed photographer and video maker Corey Rich a prototype of the new Nikon D4 and assigned him to create a short feature that would demonstrate the DSLR’s full 1080p HD video capabilities, before the camera goes on sale in February. With no restrictions on what he could shoot, Rich decided to focus on action sports. His seven-and-half minute video, titled “Why,” footage of kayakers and mountain bikers in action, as well as interviews with some action sports fanatics. Rich says the sweeping helicopter footage is thanks to Michael Hagadorn, a pilot who fashioned a special rig for the camera. (You can see Rich’s acknowledgements and a full list of crew members on Vimeo.)
To read PDN’s report on the Nikon D4, see our preliminary hands-on review and our coverage of hot cameras from the CES/PMA 2012 trade show last week.
This year, organizers for the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Convention and Trade Show invited their headlining speakers and renowned industry leaders to express what WPPI means to them. They got a lot of great videos in response to the request, but one of our favorites was done by Melbourne, Australia-based Jerry Ghionis. Inspired by the recent Old Spice commercials, check it out to find out what WPPI means to him.
If you’ve read PDN‘s story on Marco Grob’s techniques for lighting and shooting portraits fast (see “How I Got That Shot: The 3-Minute Portrait” in our December issue) you may be curious to see Grob in action. This video shows Grob using his portable lighting set up and handheld Hassie to photograph survivors of landmines in Afghanistan.
Grob traveled to Afghanistan in February to document the work of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA). More than one million people in Afghanistan have been injured or affected by landmines and other unexploded ordinances left from decades of conflict. Grob documented the work MACCA and UNMAS are doing to clear the Afghan countryside of landmines and to educate the public about the risks these devices pose. Grob talked about his portraits with the UN News Center.
With the help of a grant, 48 interconnected DSLR cameras, and some long hours of editing, Ryan Enn Hughes produced a pair of videos that combine thousands of still photographs into a 360-degree look at ballet and “Krump” dancers. Check out the results and the behind-the-scenes production video below. We corresponded with Hughes via email to find out a bit more about the project, and how and why it was made.
PDN: What interested you in creating these 360-degree videos?
Ryan Enn Hughes: The 360 Project stems from a proposal I wrote and received for a Chalmers Arts Fellowship—a funding body in Canada that supports extraordinary research and creation projects in the Arts. My proposal was to “explore the structural elements of the moving image,” which is in its essence the still photograph. My background is in Film Production/Cinematography —it wasn’t until late in University that I immersed myself in Photography. Over the last few years, more than ever, Motion Pictures and Photography have started to cross-pollinate—digital capture, digital software, and digital presentation methods in both media make the integration of the two fields seamless. Coming from a film background, I’ve always had a desire to push the still image further. The 360 Project is where I ended up.
Working with dancers is something I’ve been doing for a few years now (RGB Move, Ballet!, C-Walk, etc). I’ve always been taken by the concept of capturing a “peak moment of action,” and dance really lends itself to that concept. The way I view the project is like this: it is constructed of still photographs that when assembled like a flip-book create a motion picture, which end up resembling a type of rotating digital statue, which we in turn edited together.
PDN: Can you give me a rundown of the equipment you used?
REH: The gear used was 48 Nikon D700′s, 4 Broncolor Pulso G 3200J Lamp Heads, 4 Scoro A4S Packs.
PDN: How long did you spend editing the project?
REH: Post-production was a very big undertaking. There were several steps necessary to get to the end product. Before we could get into any actual editing, each frame in every 48-frame set had to be Photoshopped—painting out all the cameras that were visible in the original captures was a time consuming process, but enabled us to have greater control over the images. The editing process and sound design (Zelig Sound) was undertaken at the same time—it was a back and forth process exploring various editing techniques and sound design elements. Fortunately this project was not on a hard deadline, and our timeline was designed to allow our team to explore creative options.
PDN: In applying for the grant, what was your pitch in terms of the value of the project as a technical and creative innovation?
REH: I suppose the biggest factor in pitching this project was its interdisciplinary approach—the fact that it combined ideas, tools and methodologies from a variety of media. Another exciting factor was that what I proposed wasn’t a normal method of production—the gear, software, and know-how to create a project like this hasn’t been overly accessible in the past for arts based projects—it has certainly been around, but the availability, particularly the software to handle this type of project, I feel is new to a broader group of creatives.
PDN: Now that you’ve completed a pair of these projects, how do you imagine using this experience and this style of production in the future?
REH: This has definitely been the most technically challenging project I’ve undertaken to date. It’s definitely set a new bar for me personally in terms of where I want to take my work—both technically and creatively. I’m very interested in pushing the editing style used in “Krump 360″ and “Ballet 360″ further—making edits more complex, faster, and integrated with sound. I’m very interested in taking this style of production and applying it to Music Videos and Commercial Work.
Jessica Dimmock and Antonin Kratochvil, photojournalists with the VII Photo Agency, created the video “Double Standard” as part of Starved for Attention, the multimedia campaign about malnutrition created by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The video highlights the disparity between the US government’s approach to preventing malnutrition at home and the food aid it ships to developing countries.
Dimmock interviewed mothers in Johnstown, PA, who use Women and Infant Children (WIC) vouchers– not without difficulties– to purchase nutritious food for their growing children. In Uganda, Kratochvil interviewed a doctor who has treated infants dying of diarrhea, pneumonia and other diseases resulting from malnutrition. She talks about the nutritional deficiencies of the corn-and-soy cereal that the US ships –at great cost– as part of its humanitarian food aid. Kratochvil also shows in expressive black-and-white photos the corn farms in the American heartland where the cereal product originates.
“Double Standard” is one of several videos being shown in a new public exhibition that Doctors Without Borders is staging in four US cities. Visitors can tour an MSF field hospital and get information about an MSF petition which urges donor nations to ensure their food aid meets certain nutritional standards. The videos can also be viewed on the Starved for Attention web site and here.
Adventure photographer Jimmy Chin recently shot a feature story for National Geographic about the derring-do of modern day rock climbing, and Renan Ozturk of camp4collective.com made this behind-the-scenes video of Chin at work. It’s full of spectacular views, sweaty palm moments, and insight about how Chin works while dangling from a climbing rope on El Capitan and other Yosemite cliffs.
This video clip titled “Jump Rope” kicked off Week 20 of the photo series “CC52: A Year of Personal Work by Craig Cutler.” The video features Open Class amateur boxer and two-time Golden Gloves champion Chordale Booker. (We previously featured Week 4: Marshmallows, which can be viewed again at http://bit.ly/lkFg3c.
Format: RED ONE Mysterium-X Camera; 100mm-300mm zoom lens. Shot at f5.6 & f8, 2K resolution, 100 fps.