Articles

Through the eye of a duck (this must be the place).

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Here are some examples from my first test of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. I am using it on an EOS 550D digital SLR and so is equivalent to an 80mm lens on a full-frame 35mm equivalent sensor. It’s known to perform well beyond its price range.

If you click on the close-ups, you will see the 1:1 version at actual size. You can clearly see me and the geese reflected in the turkey’s eye. Below is the full captured frame.

All these images are post-processed with Adobe Photoshop, using the Topaz Adjust plug-in to enhance the perception of detail, and also sharpened a little. However, software cannot add detail although it can increase your perception of it. all the detail is in the original shot and there is no substitute for good lenses.

Larry the Llama

These shots were taken at the rare breeds farm at Graves Park, Sheffield, UK. I think the turkey is the best of the shots and the goose the least good, but all very successful for a grey day and a bit of random shooting with a new lens.

Graves Park, Sheffield, UK
gravesparksheffield.info
Canon Camera
Canon.co.uk
Topaz Adjust
topazlabs.com

p.s. None of these animals are ducks.

Articles

Shooting into the light – Experiments in HDR

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

I have been experimenting with high dynamic range (HDR) photography since 2008. I first became interested when I was researching for an application for artist-in-residence at The Lowry Theatre, Salford, Manchester, UK. I was searching for reference images on Flickr.com and came across HDR photos and was struck by the increased perception of detail and colour depth.

At first, it was a very frustrating technique to use and it took me a while to get any results that I was in the least satisfied with. Just to make things even harder for myself, here are a few recent examples of my experiments shooting directly into the sun.

I use Photomatix Pro for post-processing 3 exposure bracketed images with +/- 2EV. I mostly shoot hand-held and find that the combination of Canon image-stabilised (IS) lenses and the software correction of Photomatix Pro (usually) compensates for my WobblyCam shooting.

Lots more HDR photography on my Flickr account.

Photomatix Pro is available here:
hdrsoft.com

Articles

A Rainy Night in Birmingham – Timelapse video of Holloway Circus

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Here is a single-shot edit of a random bit of time-lapse I captured during an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre on Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham, UK. This video was shot on a Canon PowerShot A640, time-lapse-enabled with the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK).
holidayinn.com
chdk.wikia.com


I captured triple exposures in order to post-process into high dynamic range (HDR) but I prefer the look of the single exposures. The still image is a tone-compressed HDR, post-processed with Photomatix Pro, but mangled due to camera movement.

I shot it as 1600×1200 pixels but wish I had used a higher resolution so that I could zoom in without having to scale it and, hence, losing quality. This is mastered to 1280×720 pixels and the original video zoomed to 200%.

The music is “Ooi” by Global Goon, c/o The Free Music Archive.
freemusicarchive.org/music/Global_Goon
j-hok.com/wp

Articles

More Cake & Less Movement – Doc vs Promo

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

New Manor Ware by Frances Priest

Here are two edits of a documentary video I have just completed for Edinburgh-based artist Frances Priest. She has just completed a residency at Yorkshire Artspace’s Manor Oaks Studios and the video was commissioned to document her work and cover an event at Sheffield Manor Lodge, UK.

The Turret House at Sheffield Manor Lodge

We originally agreed to make a subtle documentary edit with primarily timelapse video and sound design. However, the event was such a success, and the live video so good, I decided to make more of a promo edit that attempts to represent the event and all the organisations involved.

However, we agreed that an alternative edit, closer to the original brief, would be more in keeping with Frances’ existing online presence. “More cake and less movement” was my direction.

Both versions were made with the same material but edited very differently.
francespriest.co.uk
artspace.org.uk
manorlodge.org.uk

New Manor Ware is an artwork by Frances Priest, commissioned by Yorkshire Artspace, UK. The designs are based on elements from the ceiling in the banqueting room of The Turret House (1574) at Sheffield Manor Lodge.

The time-lapse was captured using the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) using Canon PowerShot A560 compact cameras. The still photography was shot on a Canon EOS SLR and post-processed with Photomatix Pro from 3 exposures.

Camera and edit by Richard Bolam.
richardbolam.net

Articles

Double Exposure – The Art of Commerce

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunrise at The Quadrant, Sheffield, UK

I am both a commercial media producer and a fine artist. As an artist, my ambition is to make beautiful, meaningful and lasting work for a general audience. I make my work for the world-at-large and I see no conflict of interests in being a commercial artist and also a fine artist. In fact, this is a very traditional approach, and I see myself as a traditionalist, although I use very modern technology and techniques.

This week has seen success for me in both worlds with my work being acknowledged as a commercial success and also being selected for an international film festival.

Still from The Quadrant video promo

Recently, I completed a job for The Quadrant, a managed workspace in Sheffield, UK, and this is a good example of how the two worlds of art and commerce can benefit from each other. I was commissioned to make a commercial promotional video and was given 24-hour access to their building. I saw an opportunity to make something of my own at the same time. Not instead of, but as well as.

I have been experimenting with techniques to capture high dynamic range (HDR) time-lapse video since 2008 and I saw an opportunity to test my workflow. I shot a number of views of the building as the sun moved during the day, and used the open-source Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) to enable Canon PowerShot compact cameras to shoot multiple-exposure time-lapse. For the promo I mixed these shots with other timelapse shots of activity within the building. The Quadrant are very happy with the promo I made for them, particularly as it is markedly different from the usual commercial promo, and this is what an artist can bring to a project, a high degree of innovation and a different way of looking at the world. Here is the finished video, music by Laurence Alexander:

I used the clips of HDR time-lapse to make a completely separate piece of work that is an artwork rather than a promo. This is part of an ongoing body of work called “The Secret Life of Buildings” and is a collection of video works that attempt to capture the essence of the building, rather than to simply document it.

Still from The Secret Life of Buildings #6

This work has been selected to be shown at the Chronos 2011 Film Festival of time-lapse, slow-motion and stop-motion in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and here is The Secret Life of Buildings #6 with music by Erik Satie, played by BL Underwood:

Articles

Electric Works, Sheffield, UK – High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos

In Uncategorized on October 4, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , ,

Electric Works is an office space in Sheffield, UK, catering for creative, digital and media businesses. Here is a link to some high dynamic range (HDR) shots I took on the unseasonably warm and sunny first day of October 2011. Post-processed with Photomatix Pro.
electric-works.net

Articles

Portrait of the Artist in Residence

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

I am currently artist-in-residence at Banks Street Arts in Sheffield, UK.
You can follow my progress on the blog here.
And I have a Facebook page here.
http://bankstreetarts.com/

Articles

Kill Your Darlings (You’ll thank me one day) – Timelapse Video of Kid Acne

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

“Kill Your Darlings” is the name of Kid Acne’s current exhibition at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, UK (21 July – 23 October 2011).
museums-sheffield.org.uk/museums/millennium-gallery/exhibitions/current/kid-acne-kill-your-darlings
kidacne.com

Here is a time-lapse video that I shot of Kid Acne painting the wall of the former Sheffield Independent Film (SIF) office, UK  in 2009. I had intended to do a much more elaborate edit but never found the time, so here is a utility edit to celebrate and promote his first solo show in his home town.
Here you can see him painting over an earlier work. Music by Kid Acne.

Special thanks to Yorkshire Artspace Society for allowing me to shoot from their building.
artspace.org.uk

Articles

Tramlines 2011 – Sheffield’s free music festival

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2011 by Admin

Here is a short excerpt from Tramlines 2011, showing Three Trapped Tigers kicking off on the Nando’s New Music Stage, slap bang in the middle of the city.
tramlines.org.uk
threetrappedtigers.com
Get the whole studio track for free here:
Or better still, buy it on the TASUKETE (HELP) Japan Tsunami Relief album with a load of other music, including Gallops and an archive track from Hard Shoulder, here. £5 for 37 tracks!

Articles

Tramlines Free Music Festival in Sheffield

In Uncategorized on July 11, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Tramlines is a free music festival in Sheffield, UK. It started in 2009 and looks to be a regular event in Sheffield’s cultural calendar.
tramlines.org.uk

Below is a video montage of some random bits I shot at the 2010 festival. The music is by Gallops, my favourite discovery from last year.
myspace.com/thegallopsband
gallopsgallops.com