15 March 2012

Vincent Laforet in Amsterdam

The well known photographer Vincent Laforet was a few days in Amsterdam to chair the second World Press Photo multimedia contest. Canon and Adobe arranged an evening where Vincent told about his work and projects. I was lucky attend the session in the Beurs van berlage, Amsterdam.

Vincent Laforet, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam
The stage just before the start of the presentation.

Vincent told about his career as a New York Times photographer and how he got famous by shooting the first 1080p video with a still camera. The video is called Reverie, and you can see it here:

Reverie from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.
Director/DP - This was the first 1080p video widely released that was shot with the Canon 5D MKII. It was viewed more than 2 million times in the first week of its release.

Vincent talked about his passion for shooting photos from a helicopter (equipped with twin engines just to be sure). He also made a lot of photos from the Empire State Building.

The second part of the presentation was about the various films and commercials he made.

Famous Footwear - "Neighborhood" Spot from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

He told about the work that had to be done before the shots could be made.

BEHIND THE SCENES - "Neighborhood" from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

Vincent Laforet filming
Some facts I learned:
  • Photographer Clay Blackmore was supposed to have a first look at the Canon 5D Mark II just before it came out. Vincent saw a prototype at a Canon office and begged for four hours to test out the camera. He finally got the camera for just a weekend and had to promise to send the camera to Clay on Monday. That weekend Vincent shot the footage for the movie Reverie.
  • Vincent's father was a set photographer.
  • Vincen'ts nick name is 'Spidey' because he made a lot of photos from the top of the Empire State Building, and dangling outside helicopters.
  • favorite iPhone photography apps: Sun Seeker, Artemis, pCam and Focalware.
His latest movie is Mobius:

Mobius from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.
This version is a 720p version of the film that is optimized for fast playback on the majority of systems. It does not show the optimum image quality in terms of resolution and compression.
For the High Quality 1080p version of this film go to:

You can see many of the images presented in the iPhone/iPad App Visuals.

VISUALS by Vincent Laforet from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

I would like to thank Canon, Adobe and Vincent for the event!

12 March 2012

A Dragon in Assen

To celebrate the opening of a new wing of the Drents Museum in Assen, Groningen, the Netherlands a dragon was placed in Assen.

A Dragon in Assen

The first exposition in the new wing is called  ‘The Golden Age of China’, about the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), the glorious dynasty with the most open cultural character in all of China’s history.

Stay tuned for photos of the exposition and the new wing!

11 March 2012

Canon 50D settings for HDR Photography

In previous posts (My Canon 50D settings and My Custom Function settings on the Canon 50D) I mentioned my Canon 50D settings for general photography.
For HDR photography I use many of the same settings. There are a few exceptions which I want to explain here.

Light metering
For HDR photography consider using spot metering to measure the total dynamic range of your image.
Determine the exposure needed for the darkest and lightest spots while maintaining a constant aperture. The lowest and highest shutter speed are the lower and upper bounds of the dynamic range to be captured.

Focusing Mode
I use the following settings:
  • AF mode One Shot or AI Focus
  • Custom Function IV-1:2 Metering start/Meter+AF Start
  • Custom Function IV-2:1 AF-ON/AE lock button switch
‘Custom Function 'IV-1:2 Metering start/Meter+AF Start’ configures the Canon 50D to start focusing when a button on the back of the body is pressed (AF-On or the ‘star’ button) and not when the shutter button is half pressed. This way multiple photos can be made, while the focus is not altered.
‘Custom Function IV-2:1 AF-ON/AE lock button switch’ sets the ‘star’ button as the ‘start focusing’ button. I am using this configuration this because my previous Canon 350D body used the same button.

Live View
Consider using Live View while shooting the HDR sequence. This has several advantages:
  • The mirror does not slap up and down. This minimizes camera shake which is especially handy during long exposures
  • In Live View You can display a live histogram (press the FUNC button). This gives you an indication if you have exposed enough for the shadow detail.
Shooting Mode
Shooting the multiple photos can be done in several ways. 
When only three are needed, you can use auto exposure bracketing in conjunction with high speed continuous shooting. 

Manual shooting
In manual mode, I start shooting with the fastest shutter speed necessary.  

High Speed Continuous Shooting
I use high speed continuous shooting when I am shooting 3 pictures with automatic exposure bracketing (AEB).

10 March 2012

Invisble Car

First seen in a James Bond movie, the concept of an invisble car has been made reality in Germany.

09 March 2012

08 March 2012

Gino de Dominicis Skeleton, Milan, Italy

Gino de Dominicis Skeleton, Milan, Italy This skeleton was next to the Duomo. The skeleton looks small (as do the people around it) but it is more than 27 meters long.