Juxt – a photography / video experiment

Some ideas can take forever to be made – but eventually they are!

Back in April, during our Easter break, I went out to quite a lot walks in Allesley village, it was practically closer to where I used to live than Coventry city centre – so I was out in the nature quite often. I usually had my camera with me, and took loads of photos. It was spring, everything was fresh and beautiful, lots of colourful flowers and pretty much a macro photographer’s dream…

Here are some of the best images I took back then:

Focus on yellow

Is storm coming?

Little purple something

While I was out taking pictures, I had this idea to create a stop-motion piece – so I made series of 3 and more, moved around and took lots of similar pictures around a small area, moving from flower to flower, and trying to capture the change in position.

Also, a few months ago I had come across a sound + photography experiment which was quite inspiring, and I always had it in my head, trying to find a way to do something similar:

So a few weeks ago, I came across the folders with images I had collected back then, and really felt like finally making this experiment. Here is the final video I created:

The music used is ‘Not Sensitive’ by Moby – available from mobygratis.com. I actually went through the request process, and was granted a license to use the track.

For the photography / editing part, I was importing the photos in folders / bins, then putting them all in separate sequences – and including these sequences in the main timeline. I didn’t bother with importing them with such and such ‘frame rate’ – I just sped them up until I got the visual feeling I was looking for. The process took surprisingly little time. I think it also had to do with my preparation and file management – all the media files were in their respective folders, sorted by theme and subject – so it was literally just a question of importing them and setting the speed.

I think the more interesting part of this production was the TV set bit – where the seemingly dead TV on the street suddenly becomes ‘alive’. In order to do this, I opened the TV photo in Photoshop, selected the screen area and changed its colour to bright green – then in the editing stage, I used the Color key filter in Premiere to key it out and see the flowers sequence beneath it. The movement was a bit of a pain, lots of trial and error with key frames, but I think the result is good enough.

I got some nice feedback for the video – that exactly because it was made with no clear purpose or brief (it was just a creative expression), and it had this unpolished look, it was able to ‘speak to’ the viewer, awake an emotional response to it and make them feel good. I thought it was a bit melancholic, and was actually surprised when people came back to me saying ‘it feels very optimistic’. I guess without realising it, I was able to make something weird and wonderful.

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8 thoughts on “Juxt – a photography / video experiment

  1. I meant the effect of the photos of nature already in the TV set. They seem like live video. The effect is like shaking the camera. I don’t know maybe only to me seem like live video effect.
    Can you point me to resource about technical basics of video editing and creating? I want to know enough to make interesting slideshow videos.

    Good Video by the way I like it!

    Like

    • It is a series of photographs, taken in Continuous mode – so the camera takes a few photos a second; the ‘camera shake’ effect you’re referring to is because I wasn’t using a tripod, so it’s indeed the movement of the camera before or after a certain photo was taken. It’s natural camera shake.

      I think the most interesting effect here is the low frame rate – it looks like a video sequence, but it’s a series of photographs. Usually, video plays with 24+ frames per second, and the sequence of images here is probably 6 or less per second – resulting in the ‘shaky camera / retro style jump effects’.
      Here are a few links that might be useful:
      http://vimeo.com/3340273 (photography and video sequences)
      http://vimeo.com/17853140 – Editing basics

      They are both showing ‘How to’ using Mac software, but you can apply the knowledge on any platform and / or software. There’s loads of resources on Vimeo and YouTube; the best thing to do is to start working on something specific and learn by doing, by solving the problems you have along the way – searching for answers. Another good resource would be the CreativeCow forums. It really depends what you’re trying to achieve 🙂

      P.S. I was only introduced to video a year ago, before that I had only worked with audio and photography separately. I’m still learning, and for me the best way to learn is to simply go and make things.

      If you need more specific help, drop me an email with your question 🙂

      Like

  2. Pingback: The end of my Daily uploads photography project « Rumena Zlatkova

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