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Continuous Lighting Part I

Posted by Alex

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We’ve written before about photographic lighting. Another lighting arena that I’ve recently explored is continuous lighting for video. As I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I jumped into this, I decided to start with a basic kit set up, and then go from there. I had researched enough to know that I would need at least three lights, but I was fuzzy on just about every other detail. I ended up going with the Smith Victor K84 Photoflood Kit. (Four lights: two A80 flood lights and two, smaller A5s.)

Now to this point, the kit has satisfied my requirements. I haven’t felt like I needed any additional lights on my projects and everything is lit well and looks (more) professional. That said, I have learned a lot in the process about what not to do.

First, these lights get unimaginably hot when they’re on for an extended period of time (more than 5 minutes). I use them in an enclosed room without a lot of ventilation and it can become unbearable really quickly. If you are interviewing someone, or performing under these lights, you need to either get things done fast, or have some way of cooling down your room. I broke a sweat just snapping the above picture, and they had only been on for 10 minutes.

Second, despite the benefits of using continuous lighting for photography (no camera syncing necessary, always see where you’re lighting etc), this kit is not powerful enough to really work in this regard. Unless the lights are right up on your subject, you’ll have to adjust the shutter speed significantly to get satisfactory results. It’s also impossible to get good portrait shots, mainly because your iris gets smaller as it gets used to the continuous amount of light; doesn’t look as cool as strobe. It works for some photo things, but I am mainly attempting to use this kit for lighting video. So far the footage has required a significant amount of color correction to make things look natural. The kit is a tungsten set up, which burns yellow/orange, and that is the color of the footage upon capture. Luckily I’ve been working a lot with Color and have been able to work around this.

The biggest positive to the kit is that it’s cheap (relatively). It helps to know some basic lighting strategy (three point etc), but the kit really doesn’t require much know-how to get up and running. It is a great starter kit and I feel like I have a much better idea of what I need, now that I have fumbled my way around with this one. Of course it will be a while before I can afford a real set up, but in the mean time I am having a good time experimenting and making mistakes. This probably wasn’t the kit of me at the end of the day, but it sure beats lighting things with assorted desk lamps and flash lights.

Wes Anderson: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Posted by Jakub


I’m pretty sure that i’m not alone when I say i’ve been waiting for this trailer for a long time. Looks really good, seems a tiny bit more mainstream that I would of imagined BUT there are definitely some unique parts and a great cast. I really like the detail on the animals and the background, should be an amazing film to see in the winter.

Kevin Dart / A Kiss From Tokyo

Posted by Alex


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You are probably familiar with the illustration work of the exceptionally talented Kevin Dart. His most recent project is the trailer above — promoting a hypothetical film and his new book Seductive Espionage: The World of Yuki 7. The film was a collaborative effort between Dart, animator Stepahne Coedel and composer Cyrille Marchesseau. I have a soft spot for trailers of films that don’t exist, and this one is truly amazing.

Art of the Title Sequence recently posted an in depth interview with the three creators. They walk through a lot of process and really go into the fine details of the production. Very interesting read if you enjoyed the trailer.

via Kitsune Noir

Datasette vs. Jason Cawood

Posted by Scott

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Dusty was over tonight and we were listening to some Datasette. That along with Jakub’s mention of Jason Cawood’s excellent “Salvaged” set on Flickr got me thinking I need to do a post on both. So it is; most of the songs were cut from Datasette mixtapes by Dusty so they don’t really have official names that I know of.

Datasette – Business Funk 1

Datasette – Business Funk 2

Datasette – Business Funk 3

Datasette – Minus Fourteen

Film the Blanks

Posted by Alex

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Film the Blanks is an ongoing design experiment that takes existing film posters and abstracts them down to their core elements. The project has garnered much press over the last few months, and I figured I’d post up some of my favorite pieces. I like the work because of the visuals, but there is also a strong participatory component that sets it apart. Each time a “blank” is uploaded to the site, users are invited to guess which film the abstraction represents. In some cases the solution is obvious, but it’s often remarkably difficult to discern which poster is hiding behind the blocks. Eventually clues are released and points are awarded to the successful guessers. It’s an exciting format for a design project; one that takes a strong concept, built around a fairly standard medium (poster), and twists it into something unique and engaging.

You can find all the posters in the Flickr set. You can also buy a few over at the Buy the Blanks store.

Quick Review: To Inform and Delight

Posted by Alex

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Don’t forget to enter the Milton Glaser giveaway! We will be choosing two winners on Monday, so you’ve still got a couple days to get your comment in and have a chance at winning the signed poster and/or a copy of Glaser’s new book. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via email. Leave a comment on the original post to enter.

I got a chance to see To Inform and Delight on Thursday and I really enjoyed it. It’s not a big production by any means; just a simple portrait of one of the world’s greatest designers. The film does a great job overviewing Glaser’s career and you really get a sense of the magnitude of his impact on the field. Glaser is strikingly articulate and a pleasure to listen to as he describes his career, work, and perspectives on design and art. It’s still playing at the Roxie in San Francisco until July 2nd.

note: For you Bay Area folk, Objectified is making another San Francisco run this weekend. If you missed the premier a few months ago, try and get over to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts before the end of the weekend.

Milton Glaser Poster+Book Giveaway

Posted by Alex

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UPDATE: Comments are closed, we’ll be picking a winner today. Thank you to everyone who entered!

To Inform & Delight is a new documentary about the life and work of Milton Glaser. It’s currently playing in San Francisco, at the Roxie Theater, and will be in other selected US cities this summer. Further info on the site.

In support of the film, we are doing a giveaway of a couple signed posters and Glaser’s new book Drawing is Thinking. The grand prize will be one hand-signed (by Mr. Glaser himself) film poster and one copy of the book (displayed above). The runner up will receive one hand-signed (by Mr. Glaser himself) film poster. To enter, just comment on this post and be sure to leave your email address so that we can contact you if you win (email will not be publicly visible). The winners will be chosen at random from the comments on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009. Click here to enter!

If you’re in the San Francisco area, make sure to get out to the Roxie and catch this before it’s gone. It will be showing through the 25th of June. Also worth checking out is the Hilman Curtis short film on Glaser if you haven’t already.