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28 NOVEMBER 2014

Videographer uses drone to capture footage of Pripyat, Chernobyl

"Some tragedies never end. Ask people to name a nuclear disaster and most will probably point to Fukushima in Japan three years ago. The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in Ukraine was 30 years ago, but the crisis is still with us today. That's because radiation virtually never dies. After the explosion in 1986, the Soviets built a primitive sarcophagus, a tomb to cover the stricken reactor. But it wasn't meant to last very long and it hasn't. Engineers say there is still enough radioactive material in there to cause widespread contamination. For the last five years a massive project has been underway to seal the reactor permanently. But the undertaking is three quarters of a billion dollars short and the completion date has been delayed repeatedly. Thirty years later, Chernobyl's crippled reactor still has the power to kill."

(Bob Simon, 23 November 2014, CBS News)

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TAGS

19862014 • 60 Minutes • abandoned places in Eastern Europebarren land • Bob Simon • building and ruinsCanon 7DCBS NewsChernobylcontaminationdangerous placesDanny Cookedeserted places • desolate • desolate space • devastated place • devastation • DJI Phantom 2 • droneFukushima • ghost town • GoPro • Hannah Miller • liminal space • neglected land • no mans landnon-placenuclear disaster • nuclear meltdown • nuclear reactor • overgrown • physical destructionplaceless placeplacelessnesspreservationPripyatquadcopterradiation • radioactive material • ruin • ruinssarcophagustime capsuletombUkraine • urban desert • videographer • wasteland

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 SEPTEMBER 2013

How to deal with the demands of the rapidly evolving new technology and yet further the aesthetics of our filmic art?

"With digital capture and even digital intermediates, it becomes very easy to think of the image in the simplest of terms: contrast, saturation and color bias. But I think too often we forget about texture and sharpness. Film has organic grain texture that simply doesn't exist in digital cinematography. I'm not a film 'purist' but I think it's safe to say that with the advent of radical advances in digital cinema technology there has been a certain homogenization of the cinematographic image in regard to look and texture. It is common to shoot for an evenly distributed rich digital negative (protect the highlights, see into the shadows) with plenty of sharpness to endure the color correction suite and create the look in post. Everybody shoots the sensor the same way.

Painting is a great influence on me. Whenever I can I go to museums and look at the classics, the Dutch masters, Rembrandt and Georges de la Tour. Looking at these old paintings can be inspiring. These are the basics for cameramen because we can learn lighting from them. We can study the classic paintings and try to use that technique of lighting in our photography. I have lots of picture books at home–photography books and art books. When we did McCabe and Mrs. Miller, I showed a book of Andrew Wyeth's paintings to Bob Altman and said, 'What do you think of these faded, soft, pastel images?' And he liked it. Then I took the same book to the lab and explained to them that this was what we were aiming for. They understood right away why we were flashing the film. So it helps; a picture is worth ten thousand words. A picture can immediately tell you your feelings about something.

With digital capture, we have been given a completely different set of tools, trading physical lab processes for computer–driven non–destructive techniques, creating possibilities for the image to be pushed any way we wish in post. In a time when film is disappearing fast and digital is making progress in image quality improvement, it has become important for cinematographers to master these new tools."

(Vilmos Zsigmond ASC HSC, IMAGO European Federation of Cinematographers)

TAGS

aesthetics • American Society of Cinematgraphers (ASC) • Andrew Wyeth • ARRI Alexas • art of colour • available lightcamera technologycinematographycolour • colour bias • colour correctioncolour saturation • colourist • computer-driven techniques • digital capturedigital cinema technologydigital cinematography • digital intermediates • digital negativedigital picturesdigital progressdigital technology • European Federation of Cinematographers • faded images • film grain • film grain texture • film lighting • filmic art • filmmaking • Georges de La Tour • GoProimage contrast • image highlights • image manipulation • image quality • image shadows • image sharpness • image tone • IMAGO European Federation of Cinematographers • iPhone cinematographyKodak Eastman • lab process • light exposure • look and texture • low lightmaking process • McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) • mobile video productionnew technology • non-destructive techniques • organic grain texture • painting with light • pastel colours • post-productionpre-productionrapid technological changeRED ONERembrandt van Rijn • retraining • Robert Altman • soft image quality • Sony camerataste (sociology) • taste cultivation • taste formations • Vilmos Zsigmond • visual compositionvisual representation • visual richness • visual sensibilityvisual storytelling • visual texture

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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