A review on my 2013

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Well it’s been one of them years.
My project a month has been a lot of fun, Edinburgh school of art exhibition, screenings in Austria, Belfast and London along with about 50 litres of beer.
I started these projects to keep me creatively focused and to have the deadlines I need to actually get stuff done rather than just talking about it.
I may not have always enjoyed the projects and a number even fell flat on their faces. I did however gain a lot from this year. Not only did I make a large number of contacts and got to exhibit my work I also feel I have developed as an artist.
As a self defined “stuff maker” I have definitely focused my work to film.
I am not saying I won’t still be designing, photographing etc but my plan for next year is to focus on a few short films/docs over 2014.

So what has been my favourite project?

It has to be my February project. The month before my year went downhill (due to a flat fire).
This short one minute documentary filmed at Kelvingrove art museum has been viewed thousands of times and screened at a number of film festivals. Hopefully 2014 will have more of the same success. Already have a few ideas on the back burner just waiting to get a bit of attention.

Gig phone photography

This is one of my favourite photos of this year. In front of us at a frightened rabbit gig this fella got his phone out to take a few photos of the crew setting up, as you do. As he went to zoom it happened. He dropped his phone. Quickly retrieving it from the sticky O2 academy floor he gazed at the new screen design. A free new wallpaper called SMASHED!
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He then proceeded to take ‘photos’ of whatever was on the other side of this screen, hilarious.

N.b big auld pile of irony for me but had to get a photo of this.

December project: ongoing

For my December project I had been booked in well in advance by the always inspiring Cully of Morphe Arts. He has an annual party (Incarnation celebration) to celebrate Christmas and I was asked to supply a visual treat for the eyes. I am taking influence from T S Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi”.

I decided to do a bit of research into where T S Eliot was at the time of writing “Journey of the Magi” in 1927. He not only became a British citizen he also converted from Unitarianism to Anglicanism all in the same year as writing the poem. This got me thinking about the changes and journey that Eliot was embarking on.

Taking from this I decided to create a bit of a DIY experimental project. The concept is to use the mirrored viewfinder of a Kodak duaflex as a frame to film through. Then when editing to place two of these image beside each other using contrasting imagery to show the journey the Magi were on as well as the personal and theological “journey” that T S Eliot was on at the time of writing.

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A lovely nacho’s box to assist with exposure for the image coming through the viewfinder of the duaflex inside. I used a piece of plywood for stability. I also put a hole in it at the camera end enabled me to put a screw from a tripod through to hold the camera in place.
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The upside down image that is seen through the kodak duaflex inside the box. Makes movement very confusing.
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The V2.0 or Glasgow summer model
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What you can see in the viewfinder of my 550d. Lens being used is my staple 28mm Yashica.

 

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Dan who is supplying the reading of “Journey of the Magi” and also a very willing model.

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Will post the finished video up when its done.

Budget DSLR kit: Lenses

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For the last few years I have been shooting films on both Nikon and Canon HDSLRS. Amazingly cheap bodies that are light and shooting full HD, it’s pretty amazing what has been done with them. It has opened up a new world to the budget film maker.
Lenses are what I keep getting told to invest my money in. I had the chance to shoot with the wonderful canon L Series lens 24-70mm 2.8f (which comes with a tasty £2k price range) over the weekend.
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Ya know what, really unimpressed. I usually shoot with prime lenses that were designed for use with film cameras during the 70’s and 80’s, yashica, Pentax and contax all in my kit. All, I personally think are far better than Canon’s L series. Fair enough I am shooting on a crop sensor so the heavy monster perhaps just ain’t being given a chance.
Personally though I would far rather buy a 50mm 1.9f for £20 on ebay with manual aperture and using an adaptor put it on my 550d than that L Series!
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