kottke.org posts about Vincent Laforet
Photographer Vincent Laforet hung himself out of a helicopter hovering at 7500 feet with his high-ISO cameras to capture these gorgeous shots of NYC at night. The blue-purple glow is Times Square.
These are pictures I've wanted to make since I was in my teens, but the cameras simply have not been capable of capturing aerial images from a helicopter at night until very recently.
Helicopters vibrate pretty significantly and you have to be able to shoot at a relatively high shutter speed (even with tools like a gyroscope) and that makes it incredibly difficult to shoot post sunset.Special thanks to long time friend and aerial coordinator Mike Isler & Liberty Helicopters.
Armed with cameras such as the Canon 1DX and the Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 MP back -- both capable of shooting relatively clean files at 3200 & 6400 ISO and a series of f2.8 to f1.2 lenses including a few tilt-shift lenses.
I was finally able to capture some of the images that I've dreamed of capturing for decades.
Check out the whole series on Laforet's web site.
Tilt-shift camera lenses have been around for awhile and have been typically used in architectural photography to straighten perspective lines. A few photographers have recently begun to make what look like photographs of scale models, using these lenses to control the angle and orientation of the depth of field. Vincent Laforet or Olivo Barbieri for example.
Pretty freaky, right? Keith Loutit has posted three videos to Vimeo that use the same effect. Seeing those miniatures in motion really blows your noodle. (via waxy)
Update: Director Matt Mahurin used the tilt-shift technique in music videos in the early 90s. Take Bush's Everything Zen video for example. (thx, siege)
Photographer Vincent Laforet, formerly of the NY Times, is in Beijing making photos of the Olympics. Here's a look at some of the stuff he's been shooting and the process behind getting those wonderful overhead shots of his.
Getting a photograph of Phelps from above is priceless -- so it's all worth the hassle. Here he is winning gold in the 200 meter individual medley. This was shot with a 400mm 2.8 handheld--oh yeah, hand holding a 12 pound lens ain't easy. Luckily it was strapped to me -- and I to the catwalk with oodles of safety cables. We weren't allowed to being extra CF Cards or even a paper start list, which is pretty extreme if you ask me. We were patted down before we went up by the photo escorts, and we all tried to get things in -- even our credentials were left behind. While extreme, I agree with one of the photo escorts who said that if even one sheet of paper floated harmlessly down from the catwalk. it would be game over for everyone -- no more catwalk access.
You can keep up with Laforet's Olympic output at his blog. (thx, stacy)
I've got a few stories about the Winter Olympics open in tabs, so in the interest of getting rid of them:
- Photographer Vincent Laforet discusses his process in getting the photographs he wants.
- How the broadcast graphics were done for NBC's coverage of the Olympics.
- The Nation on what went wrong with NBC's coverage.
- Here's the New Yorker's take on the TV coverage.
Finally, Gelf Magazine compares Olympic predictions with the actual results. The media outlets surveyed all predicted higher medal counts for the US, but weren't off by that much (aside from the ridiculous AP predicitons). Only NBC and Nike were surprised that Bode Miller sucked so royally.