Posts Tagged ‘timelapse’

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20×20 art exhibition at 35 Chapel Walk, Sheffield UK, 5-8 February 2014

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2014 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

664CANON_full_takedown

20×20 2014 at Access Space, Sheffield UK

After several months at Access Space, the 20×20 open art exhibition moved to 35 Chapel Walk for a few days in a different location. I helped to re-hang the show, and here are a couple of quick timelapse videos of staff and volunteers taking down the show at Access Space and re-installing it. 35 Chapel Walk is a for-hire ex-shop unit in Sheffield city centre.

Now you see it…

Now you see it again.

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New Year, New View

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2013 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Set233from_IMG_8491

2011 was a bad year.

However, in 2012 I got married, honeymooned in Barcelona and moved into a new house in Sheffield, UK. Above is a 3-shot HDR taken out of the window in the spare bedroom.

2012 was a good year.

We didn’t buy the house for the views, but it is at the top of a hill, the garden is south-facing and the front room looks out over Sheffield, our chosen home city. From the point of view of a photographer, filmmaker and visual artist, things could be worse.

What’s more, 2012 started with an amazing couple of sub-freezing temperatures that gave me a rare opportunity to shoot the Sheffield Roundwalk in very frosty conditions.

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 14.25.52

So here’s to 2013. Expect more lots HDR photography and timelapse video, some of it shot from the comfort of my own home.

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MADE in one day – timelapse video of The Entrepreneur Festival

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

I was commissioned by Seven Hills PR consultants to shoot a single-shot timelapse video of people arriving for the MADE Entrepreneur Festival in Sheffield on 20th September 2012. The example I was asked to emulate is an existing video of large window graphics being applied to the outside of a building.

However, there was not going to be anything similar at Sheffield City Hall and, because of other events happening in Barkers’ Pool, a similar shot of the main entrance was obscured. So, the brief I had was to create something impressive to communicate the size and energy of the event, and shoot and edit it in a single day so that it could be shown online the following day.

This kind of open brief is both good and bad. I prefer to be given creative freedom, but with great power comes great responsibility, and I had to come up with something.

My solution was to capture the size of the event in terms of the number of delegates, and to end with a bit of a tease as the Oval Hall fills up, the lights go down and the event starts. Instead of a single shot, I used five cameras around the building but only used four in the final edit.


Sheffield City Hall is managed by Sheffield International Venues, and is one of the finest venues in the country with a huge capacity of 2,271 in the Irwin Mitchell Oval Hall. MADE was a sell-out event with a number of high-profile guest speakers including HRH The Duke of York and Dragon’s Den regular Peter Jones.

I’ve over-achieved a bit on this one, and it was a lot to get done in one day, but the client was delighted and it was shown to the audience during the last day of the festival.

hospitality.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk
wearesevenhills.com
madefestival.com

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Club Culture at the Culture Club – Shooting the Stars of Sheffield, UK

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Under The Stars is a night club for people with learning disabilities. It is organised and run by Sheffield-based social enterprise Reach 4 The Stars, and provides a safe and friendly environment for people of all ages (over 18) to enjoy a bit of Sheffield’s nightlife.
underthestars.org.uk
reach4thestars.org.uk

Here is a timelapse video I shot at their 5th birthday celebration event at The Hallam Union Building of Students (HUBS), Sheffield, UK, on 19th April 2012.

This week, Reach 4 The Stars / Under The Stars will be presenting at Sheffield’s regular Culture Club event, which is a platform for cultural organisations to publicise their activities and services. On Wednesday (19th September) the fifth Culture Club event will take place as part of the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind. The theme is “Diversity” and is organised by Sheffield City Council and The North Marketing Agency. The event is free and you can still book via Eventbrite.
nrth.co.uk

Hosted by the University of Sheffield, the “Festival of the Mind is a celebration of ideas, culture and collaboration. It’s open to everyone and it’s FREE“.
festivalofthemind.group.shef.ac.uk

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No photography please – capturing the elusive

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

I have just completed a commission for Museums Sheffield. I was briefed to shoot a timelapse video of the creation of a new wall painting by Paul Morrison, as part of his new solo exhibition, starting 7th June 2012.

Given the amazing contrast between the previous show, The Family in British Art, a traditional touring show of mostly dead artists, and the new one, a sparse contemporary show by a living artist, I suggested that as well as recording the wall painting it would be a great opportunity to shoot the transformation of the space from one exhibition to a radically different one.

Sounds like a great idea? Well, it is. However, not only had I offered two edits instead on one, but I had more than doubled my shooting schedule.

Anyway, it was a great opportunity to not only record the transformation, but also show just how much work it takes, and how many people are involved, installing an art exhibition. There are many problems associated with photographing works of art, not least the technical. You are probably familiar with the ubiquitous “No photography please” signs in galleries, and that is because of intellectual property rights.

Music by Laurence Alexander.
As an opportunist, documentary photographer I want to shoot everything.
No really, EVERYTHING! But it’s not that simple.
We were able to negotiate specific permission from the National Portrait Gallery to photograph The Family of Sir Thomas More, (c. 1594) by Rowland Lockey (after Hans Holbein the Younger), but many of the other works on loan could not be photographed except in general wide shots.

Working in observational documentary filmmaking I have only been asked not to photograph a person on two previous occasions. Most people are not that bothered but as a professional I have to respect the wishes of the subject.
You could not meet a more friendly and accommodating person as artist Paul Morrison, but he doesn’t like to be photographed, at least not closely. That is his right but it makes it hard for a commissioned filmmaker documenting his activity. The compromise we came up with is the single long-shot which I have varied a bit in order to make the video engaging for the audience.

Music by loshea.

Another elusive element was the action itself. Although I was given unlimited access and information about the the hanging of the Paul Morrison show, it was impossible to predict exactly what would happen each day, although at least I could rely on which wall was going to be painted.
I am particularly interested in behind-the-scenes action and the video has a lot of activity in it that was happening in the gallery at the same time as Paul’s painting. Also there are some very satisfying symmetries such as the projector being almost coincident with the painting’s black sun, and the backlit moments where the artist and technicians look like they have become part of the artwork.

There were all kinds of technical problems to overcome despite the shoot being a single viewpoint. I had two cameras fail – my backup SLR (aka main timelapse camera) and also my “A” compact backup – hence in the picture (top) my “B” compact backup and the “C” backup to the backup to the backup. Light levels changed constantly and a mixture of lighting technologies made white balance a real problem. I had to move the cameras on a number of occasions due to other work happening in the gallery that was nothing to do with me.

However, this all comes with the territory of non-critical, observational documentary filmmaking. I was accommodated very generously by Museums Sheffield who found me a desk to work at so that I could edit on-site. Also, the technicians who you see fleetingly in the videos extended me the utmost courtesy. I knew they had accepted me once they invited me to join them for coffee and teacakes, and also when they started making personal insults.
Despite the technical difficulties, it has been a real pleasure to work on these two videos and I could not have been more welcomed by the technical, front-of-house, management, curatorial, catering and maintenance staff at Museums Sheffield.
It’s just a real shame that I have been paid out of transition funding, provided to soften the blow of the loss of their major funding, and similar opportunities to capture this kind of activity in Sheffield are going to be more and more elusive.

Auctorum by Paul Morrison continues until 4th November 2012.

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The Family in British Art – last chance to see?

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Me with my mum and dad at The Family in British Art at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, UK.

Museums Sheffield is the umbrella organisation that runs the Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery, Weston Park museum and Bishops’ House museum. You may or may not be aware of the significant loss of funding that they have suffered. They have already had to reduce staff numbers and the opening hours of their venues.

Having installed art myself, and having spent a lot of time behind-the-scenes at many arts  and event venues, I am vary aware of how much work, and how many people, are involved in organising, installing and invigilating an art show.

Here is a single-shot timelapse video of four days of installation in the Millennium Gallery, as part of Art Sheffield 2010, and shows some of what’s involved in hanging just one of the exhibits.
http://artsheffield.org

Since opening, the Millennium Gallery has had a very broad programme of exhibitions including traditional, contemporary and popular work. The gallery have hosted some of the most memorable shows I have seen in Sheffield, including a Francis Bacon retrospective, John Martin: Painting the Apocalypse, and my personal favourite, Ian Breakwell’s “The Other Side”.
http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/museums/millennium-gallery/exhibitions/past/ian-breakwell-the-other-side

Another factor that is easily forgotten is how many people benefit from art exhibitions. The fuzzy mobile phone phone is my family in the Millennium Galley, Sheffield, UK, during the current show, The Family in British Art. The final day of show is Sunday 29th April and I urge you to see it before it closes. It’s free and this may be your last chance.
http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/museums/millennium-gallery/exhibitions/current/the-family-in-british-art-1542-2003

Ironically, I have been commissioned to make a timelapse video of the installation of the next show at the Millennium Gallery. This will be payed for out of transitional funding to help Museums Sheffield become a smaller organisation. This means fewer shows, fewer staff and fewer chances to see.
http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/

Articles

Nerds and geeks and dorks, oh my! – The New Ridicules

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Martyn Eggleton of Access Space, Sheffield, UK wears it with pride.

According to Wikipedia Nerd is a derogatory slang term for a person typically described as intellectual, socially-impaired, and obsessive … A synonym is geek, though some believe it is less derogatory. Another synonym is “dork,” but it doesn’t suggest any intellectual aspects.”

In a world awash with technology, it’s hard not to get involved, but I have always been interested in computers, which I guess makes me a nerd. My introduction to programming was on a borrowed BBC Micro back in 1982, and I taught myself to program in BBC BASIC with an incomplete user manual.
http://www.proudnerd.com/

Later on I had a ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, various Apple Macintoshes, Windows PCs and now Linux PCs. So I suppose I’m also a geek.

More recently, these colloquial insults have been adopted by their targets and are now treated as badges of honour. GeekUp is a “grassroots knowledge sharing and networking social for folks involved or interested in the web and technology industry.” and we have a branch here in Sheffield, UK.
http://geekup.org/

Even the word dork, which was traditionally more insulting, has been reclaimed by people “doing strange things with electricity”. So I guess I’m a dork now too.
http://www.dorkbot.org/

Recently, I have been spending a lot of time at Access Space, Sheffield, UK, researching and developing software tools for streamlining my post-production timelapse workflow. This overlaps significantly with the collaborative documentary project, Flying Monkey TV, that I started with artist Matt Lewis in 2010.
http://flyingmonkey.tv
http://access-space.org

We’ve had a few false starts to the project, but in partnership with Access Space (one of NESTA’s “New Radicals”), I am making progress.
http://www.nesta.org.uk/news_and_features/britains_new_radicals

One line of investigation is using UNIX / Linux libraries on legacy Mac computers. I have a handful at home, doing nothing, and am interested to see if they can be used as workhorse machines for post-processing timelapse image captures. What interests me in Linux is not for the sake of it but the idea that I can leverage a lot of computer power cheaply, efficiently and legally.

The geek in me wants to see if it’s practical, the dork in me is stubborn enough to do it even if it’s not, and the nerd in me wants to tell everyone about it.
http://macports.org
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ports/releases/hardy/release/
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ports/releases/lucid/release/

Other derogatory monikers that may be appropriate are noob, dweeb and spod “one who wastes time on nonproductive activities online.”

I suppose I’m also a bit of a spod, although I am less proud of that, but dweeb sounds almost lovable, and as far as Linux is concerned, I’m definitely a noob.

Articles

Access Space, Sheffield, UK – One of NESTA’s New Radicals 2012

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Volunteer Access Spacers and staff in full swing, recycling, re-using and re-purposing.

It’s a terrible irony that Access Space, Sheffield, UK, has finally been recognised for its contribution but has had its funding cut by Arts Council England.

Access Space has just been named one of 50 “New Radicals” by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) in partnership with the Observer newspaper, identified as organisations who are making Britain a better place to live an work.
Nesta’s 50  New Radicals 2012

I first went into Access Space in 2001 to collect some obsolete BBC Micros for artist Paul Granjon to use in an installation for Lovebytes. Since that day, I have had a continued relationship with Access Space, scrounging hardware, visiting their shows, attending workshops and showing my own artwork there too.
It’s very easy to walk past their building and not know that they are there at all, and their low profile belies the enormous impact the organisation has had. They provide open internet access to anyone, and run a programme of free events, exhibitions and workshops.

Here are just two examples of how Access Space has supported me.

In 2004 they provided me with a group of compact Apple Mac computers that allowed me to create my series of HyperScape generative works. These would simply not have happened otherwise, and this led me to be invited to exhibit and visit the Electrohype Biennial in Malmö, Sweden in 2004, and again in Göteborg in 2005.

HyperScape 1 being installed in the Malmo Konsthall, Sweden in 2004 (left). HyperScape V (top right) and HyperScape IV (bottom right) in Access Space, Sheffield, UK.

In 2011 I was awarded a Small Research & Development Bursary to progress electronics and software development towards external camera triggers for capturing timelapse video. I spent 8 days working at Access Space and progressed my project significantly.
fmtvmissinglink.wordpress.com

A number of my own projects would not have happened at all without Access Space, and after many years of receiving support from them, I am trying to bring something back into the space. Here is a promo video I made using timelapse shot during one of their computer recycling marathons. Most of the people you see are volunteers, paid only with pizza, and give their time freely.

Their website is here:
Access Space, Sheffield, UK.

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There and back again: In-car timelapse experiments with CHDK

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , ,

Rain, plane and automobiles.

Here are a couple of timelapse video edits made from material I shot from in-car cameras, timelapse-enabled with the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK). The software is an amazing achievement and I use it regularly, although I only use a small part of its functionality. Installing it can be a bit fiddly and you need to spend some time with it, but I have found it extremely useful shooting timelapse and HDR.

Both videos were shot during car journeys that were at predetermined times so I had to accept the routes and weather conditions. One camera is on a suction mount on the inside of the windscreen on the passenger side. This position means that it is mostly in line-of-sight with the roof pillar and does not obscure the driver’s view. In the first video the other camera was mounted behind the passenger seat’s head rest, looking out of the rear passenger’s window.

Shooting through glass is always problematic, but there are ways of reducing the risks. Internal reflections can be reduced by masking internal features with blackout cloth, and/or mounting the cameras very close to the glass. Also, I use black cardboard masks to stop the camera seeing its own reflection. Cleaning the glass helps too. These two videos are just experimental and exhibit a lot of shooting faults.

I use CHDK on Canon Powershot cameras. I have several A560s and a few other models for various reasons. CHDK requires a different build of the software for each camera model so I mostly use several of the same model so that I can swap memory cards between them.

In unpredictable and and extreme conditions such as this, I mostly set the cameras to Program auto-expose and auto-ISO as it is impractical to change the settings during a shoot. This mostly works, particularly for video, as the movement hides a lot of the shooting faults.

I used the script Ultra Intervalometer and set the interval to 0 so the cameras shot as quickly as possible. This is about once a second for A560s. This depends on exposure time and they shoot slower in low light.

I performed various exhaustion tests on the batteries. I’m working on external battery boxes but running them on the two internal AA rechargeable batteries I get variable results depending on shooting period and interval.

Using fairly new Maplin 2,500 mAh rechargeable NiMH batteries (all numbers are approximate):

0 second interval – 9,000+ shots in about 4 hours.
5 second interval – 5,500+ shots in about 11 hours
10 second interval – 3,200+ shots in about 12 hours
20 second interval – 2,200+ shots in about 14 hours

To extend battery life I switch off the screen and this introduces a small problem that focus-lock is not preserved. This is not usually a problem for distant subjects but can be in some circumstances. Problems with the focus are apparent in the Jean Marc Calvet video, though not a big issue. When I’ve shot HDR timelapse, it is better to use external power so that I can lock exposure and focus in order to get higher quality results.

Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK)
chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

The music for both videos is by Jason Shaw.
audionautix.com

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It’s a toilet invasion! – Pixelwitch JaQ’s Latrino Boyz

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jacqui Bellamy aka Pixelwitch JaQ has a secret obsession with shooting beautiful people in toilet cubicles.

After three series of Latrino Gals, here are some stills and behind-the-scenes video from the first series of Latrino Boyz. The good, the bad and the fabulous from the music, arts and creative scenes around Sheffield and beyond.


There is a 2012 calendar available and the prints will be exhibited at the Rutland Arms, Sheffield, UK from 11th December 2011.
rutlandarmspeople.co.uk

Contact latrinoboyz@gmail.com.

Special thanks go to The Common Room, Sheffield, UK for allowing us to use the ladies.
latrinogals.co.uk
common-room.co.uk