Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Stuck in Motion - A Cool Video Technique" (and an interesting representation of Japan?)

Trey Ratcliff is a photographer and author of the self-proclaimed #1 Travel Photography Blog, Stuck in Customs. He promises a new picture posted in his blog everyday. He also shares some  advice on technique and equipment. His video representation of Japan, Stuck in Motion (originally titled The Moments Between - Seeing the Edge), illustrates one of his interesting techniques and certainly reminds us visual anthropologists how visual representation is about the manipulation of time. Here is a quote from his discussion about his cool video technique:

Okay, stick with me for a minute here. I think an important thing to “think about” is the nature of human memory. We live life a certain speed. We are only immediately, consciously aware of about 30 frames per second. However, our brain does not record and react at 30 frames per second. It can do a lot more than that.

Our brains record memories like tiny fantastic movie reels, networked together by feelings, associations, and experience. As a photographer, I always have to remind myself that the brain does not store memories like a computer stores JPGs. We DO NOT take millions of snapshots and file them away. Nor do we take hour-long TiVo recordings of the day and store them for later retrieval. The truth is somewhere in between — fleeting thoughts of moments that grabbed you and will never leave.

We do certainly sense the world at greater than 30 frames per second. You know by experience that you can pick up on the micro-emotions that appear on people’s faces when you talk to them in person. You lose a lot of that over TV or Webcams. Those means can suffice, but, given the choice, in person is always better. Case in point, I’d wager to say some of your deepest memories were experienced in person rather than on TV or over a webcam, which take an arbitrary 30 (or 24) slices of time.

Read more at this blog post:

He seems to be spending some time in Japan and has many photos of Japan:

He has some great photos and videos - somehow he seems to go beyond typical stereotypes of Japan in his representations. His blog is a resource worth checking out.

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