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Experimental Time Lapse of Cornell

In this project, I seek to explore the techniques of  time lapse and tilt shift. Although new to me, such technology and practices are quickly becoming impressive staples of the worlds of cinematography and photography. Turning the lens on the same paths and surroundings I and so many others tread on and through every day – to class, from class, and to home – I captured the beautiful juncture of the library walk with the many paths of the Arts Quad. Life ebbs and flows through the paths like blood through veins – starting slowing until it becomes a powerful surge by midday. In this way, not only were new techniques explored, but new means of decrypting the livelihood of those who surround me on campus.

 

 

In order to realize this project, I set up a Canon 5D Mk III on the top of Cornell’s famed McGraw Tower. Starting at 7:45AM and finishing the recording at 1:10PM, my camera captured approximately 6,000  photos – each triggered automatically using a Polaroid remote on a 3 second interval.

Upon reaching the top of the tower, I was dismayed to find that there was no power outlet available – a worrying fact considering I did not have a dual battery extender with me. By some miracle, the brilliant LP-E6 battery in my camera lasted for the entire duration of the shoot, allowing me to perfectly capture the Arts Quad in all of its glory.

Here is a rundown of the camera settings:

ISO250
Focus – Manual
Exposure – 60 (to allow for 30fps)
Aperture – f/8 (to allow for capturing a broader range of focus)

By far the largest challenge of this shoot was ensuring that the footage would not become overexposed as the day grew longer and sun became brighter. Although this did occur at two points during my shoot – resulting in the need to end the footage earlier that was captured, the overall shoot was a success.

The tilt shift effect was accomplished in post using Adobe After Effects CC 2014. The procedure is simple and involves creating a linear gradient blur mask where the center of the image receives no blur but progressively blurs outward to the top and bottom edges. To fine tune this effect, I worked with placement and further altered the mask so as to disclude some elements (most noticeable with the tree in center of the frame).

While not a fan of the “miniature” look for this particular shot, such a procedure was great practice for later applications of this neat effect.

Overall I greatly enjoyed the production of this video and am beyond appreciative of all of those who helped in order to make this idea a possibility.

Moving forward, I would love to create additional timelapses of various campus and Ithaca scenes – particularly in the Winter and Mid-Spring seasons.

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chainged [video]

 

Five years. What have I learned. What have I become.

Looking ahead while never being able to move entirely beyond my past, I seek to explore the dualistic relationship we share with memories. On one hand,  we act as a spectator, looking on our memories – mutilated and repetitive – hoping to grasp a semblance of insight into what has become of our life. On the other hand, our memories act upon us, calling us back, pushing us forward, and always remaining presently embedded into our very nature.

To this extent, I have collected and arranged all of the video files located on my phone, camera, and computer. This myriad of memory sources are then transformed into a chronological yet decontextualized encapsulation of my life over nearly five years. Heartache, disruptive behaviors and tendencies, travels, events, encapsulated moments of media, all splayed out and externally decontextualized expositions of myself. Moments where I am most vulnerable are now transfixed with moments of stillness. Moments of inner strength, now bleached and oversaturated by moments of the mundane. It is at this juxtaposition that meaning and context is lost and only replaced by my own image.

Presented in a way not unlike the temporal, ever altering, and ethereal quality of memory, the interaction between these moments and my visage varies in semblance and focus.  Within this work, I seek to explore moments of highness and solemnness that stay with me and escape me. Through the overlapping and overpowering imagery, what emerges is not a linear story as these moments alone may portray, but a disrupted and disembodied visage – taking shape and finding form through the interposition of these projected works.

This project comes as a response to defining who I am in the world.

For those interested, the unedited, chronological montage of my life as filmed by my camera phone and DSLR can be viewed here:

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all bets are off [video]

Artist Statement:

The rhythm of life can take many forms: a playful melody, a repetitive tone, or an unending rapping that can drive one to insanity. Investigating the gloom, disdain, and melodrama that surrounds loneliness I seek to explore the viscosity of harmful thoughts and hopeless desires.

Following a breakup and between strengthened or renewed network ties, we can find ourselves alone and without hope. The darkness that can consume one in this position transcends emotion to become physically disruptive to life, to happiness, and to progression. Transfixed upon the very utterance of a single word, name, or phrase, we find ourselves removed further from the societies and peoples we so long to be close to and instead find ourselves pushed further into darkness. Soon this transfixion becomes the only world we know. For some of us, this world is a temporary passage that devours time and space. For others, the darkness lingers and keeps us shackled to a never-ending world of despair.

Part free form writing and part situationism, this work  attempts to induce and reproduce the harsh static and unceasingly painful experience of loneliness in its bleakest and most chilling form – one that quickly approaches neurosis but never crosses over into the darkness of psychosis.

Created with:

  • Canon 5D Mark III (50mm, 1.4 f/stop, 1/60 second, 29.7fps)
  • Zoom H4n
  • Apple Final Cut Pro X
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One Shot: Market Fresh

The challenge: “Create a short, one shot, no edit, no post production (color correction/effects) video.”

This short video was filmed at the Ithaca Famers’ Market in the early morning of a beautiful autumn day.
What you see is straight from the camera without any editing for color, stabilization, or time. The artist statement is as follows:

We find ourselves surrounded by an unpredictable yet highly connected environments. Pervasive as the ideology may be in philosophical discourse, there remains novelty in the truism that all that is nature is connected and all that is connected is nature.  In this work, I wish to engage this notion while at the mercy of the very environment which we connect with.

Being aware of these connections and being present within society can make a large difference while exploring the ways in which we are – as one – connected and intertwined. The ways in which one can explore this may be uncomfortable. It may require being quiet, listening, or otherwise being presently aware. Finding the inspiration to feel connected and thus be connected is an awareness that is innate to us all but does not necessarily come easy.

In this video, the sights, sounds, interactions, encounters, and interruptions appear, in person, disjointed. However, when framed and viewed through a lens, the connections become ever present as each facet of the environment becomes intertwined. It is this spontaneous moment of genuine, connected nature that I find grace within my work.

 

With that said, I absolutely loved the challenge that such a film presents! From the undesired, but present image shakes to the unintentional interactions with those around us at the market, such a piece clearly is at the mercy to the unpredictable environment.

Future films will, more than likely, benefit from a greater ability to control the environment, actors, and equipment – but, for what it is worth, the innocence of the moments captured within this short video speak loudly in a voice entirely of its own kind. As I mention in my statement, this voice has a subtle tone of grace and innocence with overtones of exploration and curiosity.

For that, I am extremely pleased with the outcome of a project I approached with so little certainty but so much optimism!

Hope you enjoy!

An Artist's Inspiration

Stop-Motion Animation: An Artist’s Inspiration

Turns out the easiest way to garner attention from just about everyone from students to professors is as simple as playing with Barbie and Ken dolls around campus.

Tasked with a stop-motion animation for my Intro to Digital Media course at Cornell University, I created a narrative not far from my own experiences at college. Overall the project was staged and created over eight days during which I recorded audio on a digital handheld audio recorder, staged the dolls with ample duct tape, floss, and luck, and captured each section with a Canon 5D MkI camera.

The final animated sequence was composed, edited, and animated using Adobe Photoshop CS5.

I had a great time creating this lighthearted film and enjoyed my first forray into the world of stop-motion animation.

2030: VIVIFI

2036: VIVIFI

Pronounced “vivify,” this video was created in a weekend for my Introduction to Digital Media course at Cornell University in Fall 2011.

The project required students to create a new reality within which they exist. I wanted to turn the camera on myself and explore what it might be like to go through my morning routine with a little assistance from technology.

Although rough around the edges, this is my first time using Adobe After Effects – a program I cannot wait to learn in depth, particularly after creating this video.

This video was shot entirely on a Canon 5D MarkII with MagicLantern and a Rhode Pro mic.
Editing – Adobe Premiere CS5
Graphics – Adobe Photoshop Pro CS5
Effects – Adobe After Effects CS5

Feel free to leave any feedback and I hope you enjoy one of my earliest digital video works from college!