May 2009 Archives
May 31, 2009
A bunch of photos taken while trying to avoid being blown off the hillside, glued back together in Photoshop. Lots of work needed, not least cloning out the huge splobs from the chunk of goop on the sensor that, somehow, managed to sneak between pixels on the camera’s LCD. Gaaah.
Still, I’m liking the wider-than-wide stylee. First time I’ve done this.
May 30, 2009
Flossie pointed me to this film at the BBC, in which BBC World News America’s Bill McKenna describes what he does. He’s the White House News Photographers’ Association’s ‘Editor of the Year’, so he knows of which he speaks.
The film’s a bit angsty, a shade too quick-fire to take in, perhaps rather too cutty. Which is probably deliberate, as it all serves to emphasise the confusion and distraction and noise and complexity of the edit suite — all surrounding the editor, as they try to do one of the oldest things in the world: tell a story.
May 26, 2009
May 14, 2009
The new Star Trek movie pretty much rocks, in a ‘mindlessly entertaining action romp’ sort of way. It looks great, rattles along nicely, and the humour gracefully avoids the Grating Curse of Jar-Jar Binks. Zachary Quinto’s Spock is excellent — probably good enough for him to avoid being Sylar for the rest of his career — and the moment when Chris Pine’s Kirk ‘Shats up’ is priceless. Draw a discrete veil over the astrophysics and the instantly-forgettable score, and it’s all good.
Well, mostly. I’ve one snark, and one more significant worry. The latter I’ll save for another post, but the snark is this:
I get that Abrams is trying to suggest action off-shot with all the lens flare, and I rather like the effect. In places the live-action look is reminiscent of Alwin Kuchler’s gorgeous cinematography on Sunshine, only with a white rather than black background to everything.
The CGI effect matches the style rather well, too – there’s some magnificent colouring work in the picture, and my, how CGI lens flare has progressed since the early days of the Video Toaster. But in All-New Trek the graphics folks have a new toy, and just like the early flare effects, they’ve seriously over-used it.
They’re simulating dirt on the lens.
Along with the flare, in the darker corners of the frames, there are weird nebulous diffuse/defocussed blobs, which to my eye looked like the effect you get from a dirty lens. Once I’d noticed them I couldn’t take me eyes off them – they’re damn everywhere in the CGI shots, and the result is distractingly ghastly. Space Dust used to pop on my tongue, not in my eye.
It’s doubtless a cute effect in moderation, but it’s taken way way way too far here. Any real camera op with lenses that dirty would be removed from the set. Come on, folks: keep your glass clean. Even if it’s virtual.