31-December-2011

What a Year — It Was Amazing!

As the year comes to and end, and I try to reflect on everything I have done and everywhere I have been — all I can say is WOW!. The year started out with a great photography trip to Patagonia with Thom Hogan. We will ignore the extra few days we were held hostage in southern Chile. This was followed by the Nikonians Ultimate Travel Workshop II on the Semester at Sea M/V Explorer lead by Michael Mariant. This started in San Diego, and then stopped in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama (including a transit through the Panama Canal), Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and ended in Fort Lauderdale. My parents were along for this trip. I then attended a Nikonians workshop in Death Valley, also lead by Michael Mariant.

There have been a number of challenges at work. We shut down our San Francisco operations which included part of my group, and thus no more regular trips to California. We ended the year achieving (and exceeding) all of our objectives. I also attended a work sponsored executive retirement seminar. It is hard to believe that I have been working long enough to even consider retirement, but then again maybe I could spend more time working on photography.

This year I expanded beyond my Nikon cameras and lenses — adding a Leica X1 and Leica V-Lux 30 P&S cameara. NAS did add a couple of lenses to the kit (500 mm f/4 VRII and 600 mm f/4 VRII telephoto). Also at the end of the year I added a Nikon 1 V1 (mirrorless) camera body with the 10 mm f/2.8 lens, the 10-30 mm lens, 30-110 mm lens, and the 10-100 mm lens. I am looking forward to the FT1 lens adapter so I can use this camera body with a telescope.

Looking through my image database, it looks like I took something over 120K images this year — a new record for me. It also meant that I needed to update my digital asset management strategy. Lightroom is good, but can’t handle this many images. I’m currently testing Media Pro (Phase One). Capture One Pro (also Phase One) is now my primary image processing workflow, although I still am using Adobe Photoshop CS 5 and many Nik, OnOne, and Topaz plugins. I also needed to update my image storage and backup strategy after some hard drive failures. I’ve moved to a couple of Drobo disk arrays (16 TB) on and off-site.

Plans for next year? Thought about, but I didn’t sign up for the Semester at Sea Enrichment Voyage to the Carribean and Brazil (including a trip up the Amazon river). Thinking about a Hurtigruten cruise in Norway to see the Northern Lights, Nikonians Ultimate Travel Workshop III (San Diego, Central America, Peru – including Galapagos Islands), and also a trip to Cuba. If none of this works out, maybe it it time for a road trip out west. The White Ram (Roadtrek RV) is anxious for a road trip!

After dumping Facebook last year when my account was hacked, I joined Google+ this year. Google+ is a better platform for photographers. I really like the Daily Image Themes, and have been contributing a number of images.

 

Self Portrait in Death Valley. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 100, 16 mm, f/16, 1/100 sec). (David J Mathre)
Self Portrait in Death Valley. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 100, 16 mm, f/16, 1/100 sec). (David J Mathre)

 

 

23-June-2011

The Panama Canal Time-Lapsed Video is now also on You-Tube.

(The Vimeo version of the Panama Canal Time-Lapsed Video is still available on my 02-June-2011 post)

“Panama Canal: A Transit in Timelapse” is a multi-camera timelapse, created using sequential photography from 10 cameras at 8 different camera locations/angles onboard the passenger ship MV Explorer, for a total of over 5,500 photographs, pulled from 30,000 photographs during the 8-hour transit of the canal on May 8, 2011.

This timelapse was created as part of the Ultimate Travel Workshop II (UTW2) Central America & The Panama Canal: April 27 – May 17, 2011, a Nikonians Academy workshop operated by faculty member and workshop instructor Michael A. Mariant/M-Visuals in conjunction with the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea & Enrichment Voyage programs.

The eight camera position angles were scouted in advance, as well as mapping out the transit of the canal down into six different zones. Four cameras were shooting continuously in all six shooting zones for the entire 8-hour transit, while the other four camera positions were scripted for certain zones based on the storyboard and schedule.

Technical Specs:
• All cameras (a mix between Canon and Nikon DSLRs) operated on either internal or external interverlameter control.

• The forward (bow) facing camera and the aft (fish-eye) facing camera were shooting at 10-second intervals. The remaining side-facing cameras were shooting at 5-second intervals. This was due to the perceived perception of speed of objects coming towards/away from the camera (timed with greater intervals) versus side-motion perception of movement (timed with shorter intervals) to allow for a similar perceived perception of speed in the final multi-camera edit.

• All cameras were synchronized together via the camera’s internal clocks, to provide a simulated ‘timecode’, via the metadata, in the final edit.

• Exposure changes at each camera location (weather was a mix of clouds, rain and sun) during the 8-hour transit were timed to scripted camera cuts in the storyboard.

• All the photographs were sequenced in QuickTime Pro 7. Final edit/grading in Final Cut Studio.

“Panama Canal: A Transit in Timelapse”
All photographs, images and timelapse movies contained within this show/film are © Copyright 2011 UTW2 Copyright Collective. All Rights Reserved.

UTW2 Copyright Collective Members:
Jon Bloom
Albert Esschendal
Joan Hammond
David Hays
Richard Hulbert
Howard Ignatius
Jerry Kirkhart
David Mathre
Josef Smogursewski
Michael A. Mariant

M-Visuals is the acting representative of the UTW2 Copyright Collective

“Panama Canal: A Transit in TImelapse” is an M-Visuals Film,
produced and directed by Michael A. Mariant

.

Panama Canal Lock. Image Taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm) (David J Mathre)

02-June-2011

1) Nikonians Final Show: The Rainforest, The Culture, The People. Plus 2) A Time Lapsed Video of the Panama Canal Transit.

Thanks to Michael Mariant two videos of images from the Ultimate Travel Workshop — Panama Canal and Central America Enrichment Voyage are now online. The first video includes a time-lapsed video from Howard as the M/V Explorer departs from San Diego, and a time-lapsed video from 7+ cameras as we traversed the Panama Canal over 8 hours as well as some of the best images from all of the Nikonians on the trip. The 2nd time lapsed video is just of the Panama Canal transit. My two cameras were the rear deck 4 fisheye view and the rear deck 4 looking up from the starboard side of the ship.

Nikonians Final Show: The Rainforest • The Culture • The People from Michael A. Mariant / M-Visuals on Vimeo.

All the photography, images and timelapse movies contained in this show are © Copyright 2011 UTW2 Collective, encompassing the copyright of all involved photographers, represented by M-Visuals.

Panama Canal: A Transit in Timelapse from Michael A. Mariant / M-Visuals on Vimeo.

“Panama Canal: A Transit in Timelapse”
All photographs, images and timelapse movies contained within this show/film are © Copyright 2011 UTW2 Copyright Collective. All Rights Reserved.

UTW2 Copyright Collective Members:
Jon Bloom
Albert Esschendal
Joan Hammond
David Hays
Richard Hulbert
Howard Ignatius
Jerry Kirkhart
David Mathre
Josef Smogursewski
Michael A. Mariant

Panama Canal: A Transit in Timelapse from Michael A. Mariant / M-Visuals on Vimeo.

Additional Images from the UTW-II Panama Canal and Central America Enrichment Voyage and Nikonians Academy Photography Workshop:

27-April-2011, 28-April-2011, 29-April-2011, 30-April-2011, 01-May-2011, 02-May-2011, 03-May-2011, and more to come.