Friday, June 4, 2010

Magic Bullet Looks Fans Have a New Calling.

Red Giant Software, creators of video coloring software like Magic Bullet and Colorista, just made a super awesome iPhone camera app: Plastic Bullet!

The whole idea behind this of this app is to give iPhone pictures the "lomography touch" common with most plastic toy cameras. Having shot on a Holga medium format film camera, it is safe to say that the outcome is always a surprise. Vignetting, light leak, and distortions are all common with these types of pictures, and add to the appeal of these imperfect camera devices. Plastic Bullet takes this concept and uses it on pictures taken with the iPhone. After a picture is taken or is chosen from the camera roll, Plastic Bullet will randomly combine different filters to give you a truly unique picture. There is no control over which filters the app uses, but one can refresh the pictures as often as they'd like to see more filter combinations. This app has completely replaced my traditional camera app altogether. I am still dumfounded as to how a cell phone can take such high quality, interesting pictures. One of my favorite apps by far and the $1.99 price tag is much cheaper than buying a $25+ Holga.

Here's some recent pictures taken on the app Plastic Bullet:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Working Spaces.

My workspace was recently featured on setupsandspaces. I was contacted on Flickr by another member who showed interest in a few photos I had online of my desk setup.He asked if I would be so kind to take pictures of my desk as well as fill out a short bio on myself. My photos and descriptions would then be featured on a site showcasing different work spaces from all over the world. This seemed like a great opportunity so i took advantage and had everything done the next day.



This lens can easily be described as the poor man's tilt shift. This unique lens can be adjusted so that the disorted vignetting effect can be placed wherever the photographer decides. The lens itself is very soft and dream-like. When I get some time I plan to shoot some sort of experimental, dreamy short film with the Lensbaby.

Here are a few of my first shots on this lens:

Sticker Bombed.

Over the years, I've realized that I love changing things up. So over the weekend, I "sticker bombed" my car's center console. After seeing a thread on, I decided to try it out myself. I love the way it came out!

WRX center console

Sticker bomb


Contemporary art is all based on conviction. If you believe your blue painted canvas is worth millions, then it's worth millions. Just ask Yves Klein!

Inspired by my Contemporary Art Appreciation class, I decided to have a go at trying to produce a contemporary work. I decided to combine several portrait photographs of faces I had taken into one dismembered portrait. I employed color and unequal squares to further contrast the pieces of the face from the whole. I think the final product has an interesting look to it and maybe one day I'll have it hanging in my future house.

Jennifer (2010) - Doug Smith

Self (2010) - Doug Smith

Coco (2010) - Doug Smith

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The iPad is so in right now. On April 3rd, 2010, Apple unveiled their revolutionary new product, the iPad

I tried my best to ignore the hype surrounding this product. Everywhere I looked people were talking about it. Come D-Day (April 3rd), I went on with my day. The closest Apple store was located in Los Gatos, which was 45 minutes away, and I wasn't going to be standing in line waiting for hours. It hit the afternoon, and websites that I frequented often such as Gizmodo were bombarded with iPad postings. I couldn't deal with it any longer. I talked to my girlfriend Jenny about how badly I wanted one, and she told me she would make the trek to the holy land of the Apple store and purchase one... that is if any were left. She agreed to go halfsies with me because she would use it just as much as I would. I frantically called around to all the Apple stores seeing if they had any left in stock. Only one store in the West Valley Fair mall in San Jose had some left. I had to finish up on a film shoot I was working on, but my girlfriend flew over to San Jose to snag the last iPad. About an hour after she had left I got a call from her. Nervously answering the phone I asked her, "What's up?" She said, "Good news and bad news. Good news, they have iPads left in stock. Bad news, they only have the 64GB versions, which retail for $699." This was a little more than I wanted to pay. I would have been fine with the 16GB, but now that wasn't an option. I figured this was day one, and Jenny had driven all the way down there so.... "Let's do it," I yelled into the phone. She happily said, "Okay," and that was that. Two hours later she was back home in Santa Cruz and we were syncing it up via iTunes. I still had some more work to get done on the shoot, but my brain definitely wasn't all there. During a much needed break, Jenny and I found a quiet corner and just sat and stared at our sleek new toy. We had no idea where to start. From flicking, to pinching, to tapping it was a touch screen orgy. Many people on set shyly came up to us asking, "Is that the iPad?" and "Can I touch it?" We divulged in our spectators wishes so long as they did not hoard our new gizmo. I was nervous telling Jenny on the phone to go for it, but holding that piece of aluminum with a gorgeous glass screen, I knew it was well worth the money. No regrets here!

It's been over a month now, and Jenny and I have been using the iPad daily. There will be days where I won't even touch my laptop. Jenny uses the iPad for taking notes in her classes. She says it's so much easier to tote around a 1.5 lb tablet then it is a bulky computer. Plus the sex appeal of the chic new gadget has everyone in her classes focusing on her more than the content being presented in lecture. As soon as textbooks are available for the iPad, this will be the ultimate learning device.

I on the other hand, have been getting a lot of use out the iPads numerous apps. I was never big on the news before the iPad, but having such a content rich application as USA Today and New York Times, make reading news stories a pleasure. The Netflix App is great for those nights when you want to stay in bed an just kick back and watch a film, in fact Jenny and I just finished our third season of Weeds on the iPad. The games look phenomenal on the tablet as well. Plants vs. Zombies, Angry Birds HD, Flight Control HD, and Asphalt HD are all must haves. All the other core apps (mail, calender, etc.) work great utilizing the bigger screen. I'm proud to say that I finished my first iPad book. I bought the book Caught via Apple's iBook store because it was advised by recent purchasers as a great first book to own on your iPad. The ability to change the font and print size was great so that the content was the perfect size. Once more books become available, I cannot wait to order some more.

The iPad is still in its primitive stages, but its slowly getting there. New apps are coming out everyday that are making the device an essential tool in anybody's life. The main qualm people seem to have with this product is that one cannot so much create content with it. I do agree with this, however, Apple made this device for people to consume large amount of media (films, pictures, mail, news, magazines, YouTube, etc.). I cannot wait to see where app developers take the iPad and it's features down the line, after all the success of this product is mostly relying on them.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Took a trip with a few friends yesterday to Schan Franchisco. I had to go to the Museum of Modern Art for a class I'm taking, but we figured it would be a great opportunity to take some photos. The inside of the museum is extremely photogenic and the architecture is beautiful. Andrew and I were on 5D's and Jenny was on her D200. Probably snapped close to 1,000 pictures, although I'm really on pysched on maybe ten of them at most. Just the way it works I guess.

Regardless, here's some favorites from the awesome day!

Can't wait to go back!


Need I say more? No. Just watch.

Sara *Official Teaser* from Nick Rood on Vimeo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Toys.

I jumped aboard the HDSLR band wagon and picked myself up a Canon 5D Mark II. Seems like such a simple concept. Put a camera function in a high end DSLR, but no one was prepared for what happened next. HDSLRs blew up, and boy did they blow up big! Now TV shows, documentaries and even Hollywood productions are using these cameras.

The appeal for me lies in the fact that despite being a video camera, they still look like a still camera. This low profile look bodes well when recording clips in risky locations. For example, say you need to get a scene at a nice restaurant, but the restaurant won't allow you to film there. Just tell them your taking pictures and shoot your entire scene without ever getting noticed. Eventually people will catch on, but for now, bask in primitive glow of the future.

I bought the camera from Adorama (refurbished) along with three great lenses: the 15mm f/2.8 fisheye, 50mm f/1.4, and the ridiculous 16-35mm f/2.8. The first day I got the camera I had to shoot something. With all the camera stuff I have lying around, I figured why not shoot what's accessible? It seems like everyone who does a so called "camera test" always films their pets, so i kind of wanted to shy away from that and do something new.

Enjoy my first short short film shot on my Canon 5D Mark II

After the second day of owning this camera, the liveview function started to get buggy... mind you it is refurbished. I had a warranty so I sent it in for servicing. What I hoped would be a simple routine fix turned into a month long waiting period where I was without a camera. I still had my Nikon D200, but that's no fun! Finally, one day it unexpectedly showed up at my door, fixed and all. I wouldn't be surprised if the original camera was so messed up they had to replace it with a new one. Regardless, I have been shooting on religiously since I got it back

Another fun toy I got was an intravolometer. This device allows you set electronically set the camera to take pictures on a set interval, which is perfect for timelapses!

Here's a boring timelapse of me washing my car with the 5D + intravalometer

To really test limits of this camera, I brought the 5D up with my girlfriend and me on our last snowboard outing in Tahoe. I must say, this camera can take a beating. Cold, water, moisture, wind, everything that came the cameras way didn't hinder it in anyway. Filming with the 15mm fisheye also helped with notorious"rolling shutter" problem and makes handheld footage actually... watchable.

I am currently shooting a new film entitled Sara on this camera with my housemate Nick Rood and Jennifer Kehl, so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Text too much?

If so, there's a support group for you! My housemate Nick Rood and I decided it would be funny to make a short film about a support group that caters to those who have extreme addictions to texting. The film follows six individuals in their attempts to talk about their problems and control their texting addictions.

As Director of Photography on this project, we shot this short on my HVX + Letus 35mm setup using Nikon primes. I was hoping to get my hands on a HDSLR for this shoot, but things didn't work out. As much as I love this setup, it's often times a burden when I'm rushing to change camera setups. Regardless, I think the images turned out very good. We had the camera on cranes and dollies for a number of the shots as well. Below is a picture of the camera setup we were using on this production.

"Texters Anonymous" Trailer

And here's the actual film

And of course Nick took it upon his self to make a behind the scenes for the film