Monday, November 7, 2011

From Film to Fine Art

For years now I have been shooting lots of time lapse footage for the film and television industries. As the process to acquire such footage yields a ton of super high resolution stills, I always wondered what the heck can I do with these. For example, this piece of footage: 

recently appeared in an MSNBC special by Lawrence O'Donnell titled "Erasing Hate" - Actually they used a couple of my pieces of my footage which was very cool to see. I mean, there is nothing more exciting than seeing or knowing that millions are seeing your stuff. Well, in any case, back to the stills that made this 4K piece of footage. Yes, 4K - that super large format. It is basically a series of super high resolution stills in a sequence - hence the time lapse effect. A lot of them. 

Not long ago I had a visitor see some of my stuff laying around. She instantly honed in on the lightning pics. Keep in mind, I have these for "frames" of film to be used as footage. But she immediately told me that a gallery that she knew of, really could use some of this "fine art" on their walls and to sell. To sell? Yup, to sell! 

The thought never really occurred to me as I had talked to several friends that also shoot this type if stuff as photographers as opposed to me, the "cinematographer". No difference really other than my camera stays locked down in place until whatever is over with. And that is the real difference I suppose. My fellow photog's are always changing focal length, direction, aim, lens, shutter speed, and are always hoping to get that one special shot, while missing most. I on the other hand, well, I really don't have a special shot that I hunt for, I tend to get that special framing and then shoot a sequence of shots all with the exact same settings. Remember - locked down!

Funny thing about my method - it surprises me pleasantly many times. When I go through the 700 to 1500 shots, there is always a really nice shot somewhere in the bunch. Of course that one or more nice shot is just a "frame" of footage in my mind. But now, that is no longer the case. Now I actually see and understand what the photogs are hunting down. And now I bring those "frames" to the world as limited editions as prints that are matted and sometimes even framed. Kind of cool I think. Oh, and yes there is a story behind each one of these prints. Just like the one here:

From New Releases Qtr 4 - 2011

The moral of this story is actually quite simple. Even though I think more as a cinematographer, the end result many times comes through as if I was a photographer. If you want to know more about these limited edition prints, visit my other site/blog at

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