Posts tagged art
Capturing moments of our lives has always been an important element of human culture. Before modern technologies existed, people told stories, then later learned to write those stories down. When cameras were invented, people suddenly had the opportunity to take snapshots of their life, whether spontaneous or artistic, that they could later admire. Nowadays, our phones enable us to easily combine still photos with video, yet there has always been one constraint to sharing and capturing that only storytelling isn’t affected by: the time on day, i.e., how much light there is at the time of day. Photos can have perfect composition but be ruined by bad lighting. On the other hand, lighting can be artistically manipulated to create different effects that can actually enhance the look (e.g., with filters or digital adjustments).
In photography, there is a technical measure of how much light you are letting into your camera aperture. Or in other words, the amount of sensitivity to bright or dim light the camera is set to when taking a picture. This measure is called the ISO, pronounced “i-sow”, and it is something that even film for early cameras had the ability to adjust. You could buy ISO 100 film for sunny photos, ISO 200 films for cloudy photos, and ISO 400 film for indoor shots. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera is to lower brightness light. The same rules apply to video. Although older cameras only went up to an ISO of 400, nowadays more expensive cameras go into the thousands. Just recently, Canon released a camera that has the potential to rock the photography/videography world; not for it’s quality of photos and videos, although that is excellent too, but for it’s ISO, able to be set all the way to 4 million.
The video below is about the CMOS sensor, which has been upgraded slightly over the past two years, but you can still see the incredible video quality.
You may be wondering what that even means. If an ISO of 400 is good for taking photos inside, and ISOs into the thousands are good for even darker lighting, what does and ISO of 4 million, that’s 10,000 times more sensitive that what’s needed for inside lighting, does? Well, it turns out that setting your camera to an ISO of 4 million allows you to literally shoot in the dark, effectively giving your camera night vision. Not infrared night vision where the picture looks like a color inverted iPhone, but real night vision, meaning you can film during the night and the video or image will look exactly the same as if you were shooting the day.
This technology was invented by Canon back in 2013 with their CMOS sensor, which just got integrated into Canon’s new camera, the Canon ME20F-SH. The camera is essentially just a cube with a lens, being surprisingly small, only around 4 inches across. It weighs two pounds, which is fairly heavy for a camera, but still allows the device to be used in a wide variety of situations and doesn’t inhibit its portability. Even though bringing the ISO up on regular cameras makes the video quality worse, the ME20F-SH still shoots at HD quality, allowing serious film-makers to use this camera for professional films.
Specs aside, this camera opens up a whole new world of possibilities for film-makers. From cave explorers to experimental directors, this camera can be used for an incredible variety of ways simply for that fact that it can see in the dark. Now, the camera isn’t for amateur photographers or directors who simply want to get a clear night sky shot, as after all, the expected price of the camera is $30,000. But, for people who do have the ideas and also have the money, this camera may totally change the way they film. For the first time in the history of capture-based art and storytelling, light isn’t an obstacle.
The Internet is full of surprises. One of these pleasant oases of intelligence, creativity and artistic genius is the website & YouTube channel The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows. The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows is a fairly unknown website that posts incredibly inspiring, thoughtful and philosophically profound pieces of writing and video. The great writing, paired with the great editing and unique film work on the channel, makes me surprised this channel isn’t more popular. Started as a website, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is, well, pretty much what it says. Created by John Koenig, a writer and graphic designer, The Dictionary is a collection of words, created by John, that describes emotions, experiences, and sorrows for which there aren’t currently words for where there really should be.
On his journey, John has tackles some philosophically profound topics, leaving you with a sense of wonder that someone could so accurately describe one event or another in your life, and wrap it up in one word. And although the words John creates are just from his mind, and aren’t actual words, I hope writers will start using them, as they seriously need to be integrated into our language. And, if you research a little, you can see that he actually uses other languages, mythology, and more to craft his perspicuous words.
To illustrate that, here are some examples of some words for which he has only written definitions (not created a video) on his website:
Lachesism – n. the desire to be struck by disaster—to survive a plane crash, to lose everything in a fire, to plunge over a waterfall—which would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life, and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other.
Gnossienne – n. a moment of awareness that someone you’ve known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life, and somewhere in the hallways of their personality is a door locked from the inside, a stairway leading to a wing of the house that you’ve never fully explored—an unfinished attic that will remain maddeningly unknowable to you, because ultimately neither of you has a map, or a master key, or any way of knowing exactly where you stand.
Jouska – n. a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head—a crisp analysis, a cathartic dialogue, a devastating comeback—which serves as a kind of psychological batting cage where you can connect more deeply with people than in the small ball of everyday life, which is a frustratingly cautious game of change-up pitches, sacrifice bunts, and intentional walks.
As you can see, these words and definitions are truly incredible. They make you think, and in a way you never have before, about your life’s experiences. And the video series that John has created to go along with the website only enhances the experience. With great animation, unique videos and intriguing new ways of filming, The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows’ channel and their videos make for an extraordinary experience to watch. Watch the videos above for my favorite of his videos, click HERE to go to his channel, or go HERE to visit his site!