Scattered Light 100

looking....

 

Shot 24th August 2013, up the top end of Lake Tekapo. I was drawn here primarily to do some recording, but when I saw the beautiful structure of the gravel I had to jump out & shoot photos as it so reminded me of the beautiful karesansui dry gardens in Japanese Zen Temples, except I was imagining a zen monk with a very large rake!

 

looking....

 

I also shot some very wide versions & love them cropped to 2.35 but it doesnt really work on such a small screen as this blog – load this 1600px wide photo for the full effect (its ungraded & other than being cropped for 2.35 it is ‘as shot’ with my Canon 5DMkIII and 16-35 F2.8L lens)

 

looking....

 

And having reached one hundred Scattered Light posts I will be taking a break while I travel to Shodoshima, Japan to start my Artists Residency. This involves moving a lot of atoms – first driving to Picton, catching the ferry to Wellington, unloading the 4WD and VERY carefully packing the essentials. Then flying to Auckland, stop for a night and then on to Kansai via the Gold Coast… And then catching the ferry from Kobe to Shodoshima!

 

A whole new adventure is just starting!!!

 

Scattered Light 99

looking....

 

 

Amazing how a crop and colour grade alters the mood and feel of a photo – these are the same photo, shot at Lake McGregor Aug 24th 2013 (the latter graded with Topaz BW)

 

 

 

looking....

 

Scattered Light 98 St Bathans

Saint Bathans is a location with a lot of history, dating back to the gold rush with estimates that by 1870 over 2,000 people lived & worked there! Now there are just six permanent residents but it is a spectacular landscape and an incredibly peaceful place, especially in winter! The apparently haunted Vulcan Hotel was built in 1882 – must have been before Spocks TV career!

St Bathans!

History casts long shadows…

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

shot a beautiful time lapse of sunset of this little pier – will upload it when I get time

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

This last shot was taken 9pm at night (f/16 iso200 107 second exposure) – I headed out to do some recording, as I wanted to capture the very quiet lake waterlap without any birds present… I’ve been reading a great book on shooting landscapes at night (Seeing the Unseen – How to Photograph Landscapes at Night, great value at $8 for kindle version) so this was a little test that came out beautifully…. It was a full moon and I took my torch along but it didn’t take long to realise it was mostly unnecessary – had totally forgotten how light it is outside under a full moon!

Shot Aug 20th 2013

Scattered Light 97 Danseys Pass

Getting there is half the fun, right?

The initial getting there of this particular field recording trip involved a slightly surreal excursion into the clouds! I have traversed Danseys Pass (935m) once before, but it was maybe 5+ years ago & it was summer (a QTVR I shot at the summit is here)

This time it is/was winter, I kept my fingers crossed.. the forecast was good so I first made a quick side trip to Lake Aviemore to do some recording…..

the mainland!

I drove back to the east to Duntroon, then turned south, and started climbing…. gravel muddy roads, leading into the clouds…

the mainland!

At a certain point it became apparent the mountains were disappearing into the clouds! And not just discretely, completely!!! Driving along I started to wonder at what point would the road meet these clouds….

the mainland!

 

the mainland!

This is right near the summit (although thats easy to say in retrospect) I pulled over to shoot this power pylon, mostly for the way the cables disappeared into the cloud…. Two minutes after I stopped a BMW 4WD pulled up: ‘is this the top??’ – I could only reply; ‘I’m going in the opposite direction & have been climbing for the last half hour..’ This seemed to cheer them up… I asked if he was in 4WD ‘no….’ – I had been for 15 minutes, not because I needed to be but I’d rather reach the other side having not needed 4WD, than get in trouble ‘cos I wasn’t…. and it had been muddy, with severe drops/cliffs off the side of the road….. and there had been two or three signs saying DANSEYS PASS: OPEN 4WD only which made me be glad to not have to take the 2-3 hour redirect…

the mainland!

I presume they got there safely…. ‘slowly & safely’ were my last words to them… They looked nervous, I was loving it – how often do you get to see things like this!?!

the mainland!

the mainland!

the mainland!

This was out the other side – descending to the south…. It was about 5pm by then, so despite it being winter the land would normally still be well lit… And I was still about 45 minutes from my destination, Saint Bathans… And for all that remaining time driving, seeing the golden dusk lighting the Central Otago landscape, I kept trying to remember the poetry/text from a particular Colin McCahon painting….

I never remembered it, but the universe provided the answer for me. I arrived at St Bathans, just before it got dark… Picked up the key to the jail where I was staying for a few nights.. Unlocked the door and walked into the bedroom, to be met by a print of the exact same McCahon painting I had been thinking about…

the mainland!

view/buy a print here

the mainland!

some photos from St Bathans to follow – a deeply surreal landscape!!

Detritus 268

> Sculpting waves in wood and time

 

> Fashionably dressed animals

 


more info here

 

> imagine a world without google? easy, plenty of entities would step in to fill the gap, but presently they (or should I say we via them) consume 40% of all internet traffic!

 

ukeleles? hmmmm….well, if you must…. but techno on a ukelele? skip to 5’55”

 

> i love this! 3d printed FFTs!!

 

> and related to the previous, I don’t care too much about baseball (although I love those fully enclosed baseball diamonds in the middle of Japanese cities) but this season data display is genius – scroll down & check out the animated gif of the 3d acrylic stats lit by an iPad!!

 

> Making Music with a Möbius Strip

 

> If I could build my dream house and only furnish it with three items, the first would be an Eames lounge chair, the second would be a studio built to my specs, and third would be this:

 

> life, its a weird beach

 

> checkout this beautiful (unembeddable) video: Dance of the Water Droplets

 

> if I owned a concrete mixer

 

> a question for bass players: is this genius? or something else?

 

> This evening I saw Jim Jarmuschs new film, Only Lovers Left Alive which was the closing film for the NZ Film Festival, and I totally loved it – it is definitely up there with his best! And great soundtrack, congrats to Sound Designer Robert Hein, Dialogue/ADR Brian Bowles, re-recording mixer Dominick Tavella and all of the sound team! Thoroughly enjoyed the mix and every element!
Almost needless to say the film also had a great score (has a Jarmusch film ever not!?) but beautiful work since the score originates directly from within the story… Very happy to see this film on the big screen…. Highly recommended!

 

> Off on my last road trip down south, before leaving the country. Heading south via recording stops at Waitaki River, Lake Aviemore and Lake Benmore, and then over Danseys Pass to Saint Bathans where I am staying in a jail for 3 days, and planning to test the hell out of my timelapse.motion control rig…. then to Arrowtown for 3 days, recording Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea and Lake Dunstan before heading back north via Lake Tekapo! One thing you can be sure of, there will be photos! Have to enjoy winter while it lasts – three weeks and I am in Japan! And summer! I can’t wait!!!

Working Blind

For those of us obsessed with sound and music, the idea of losing our primary creative sense is unthinkable. I cannot think of a more confronting reality than to be made aware of some form of degenerative hearing loss (more fool you if its voluntarily caused by your iPod or not taking ear plugs to loud concerts!) but what if you had to work blind? With little or no eyesight, would you continue to work with sound/music?
The answer for me would be, HELL YES! I can well imagine it intensifying the process, as the distraction of vision is removed the focus on hearing would surely become absolute…

But what about the practicalities? Can you touch type? Do you look at the keyboard when you execute shortcuts? Finding your way around a physical instrument would be ok, even if it required adding small indents or bumps for locating octaves or specific notes, but what about apps? Could you edit sounds with ProTools without looking, ever?
A friend made a request for help with this very subject: did I (and thereby you) have some suggestions for blind sound editing? He had already checked out my ProTools mouse-less editing post from a few years ago… So a question for you:

1. What other options or ideas would you suggest, if you had to set up and use ProTools with zero visual feedback? Even better, do you know someone who is visually impaired and doing this? Obviously this can’t involve sync to picture, but say you were editing dialogue for a talking book or a radio show? What shortcuts, setups or extra hardware could be fundamentally beneficial?

And a second question:

ListeningTest

When I do my Artists Residency in Auckland later in the year, I will be holding a listening workshop and one of the exercises/experiences will involve wearing a blindfold – to effectively make the listeners temporarily blind. So my second question is:

2. If you had a small audience of blindfolded people, what are some of the most interesting perceptual hearing tests or audible experiences you could provide? or from the other point of view, if you were blindfolded, standing in a paddock and wanted to have your perceptions engaged, what form might that take? I’m not planning this to play music – its more about listening and perception….
As an example, the first idea that came to my mind was about locating the source of different kinds of sounds. So I will have say five people standing at various distances and locations around the audience (ie in front, to the sides and behind) and ask the audience to point their finger at the location of the sound. Then try different sounds, comparing a percussive hand clap versus more continuous tones eg a harmonica.
What would you try?

Detritus 267

 

> Tarkovsky advice for young people of all ages

 

> mmm slow cinema

 

 


‘real’ sync of a series of explosions

 

> Love Boscomacs Reaktor instruments & effects and since my last visit theres been some updates & new effects released, check them out HERE & don’t forget to make a donation if you use them!

 

> Someone posted these on Muffwigglers forum, not sure who to credit for them but thought they were too surreal to not share….

 

 

 

“help! I’m being shot at by a guy driving a white grand piano!”

 

 

Quotidian Record is a limited edition vinyl recording that features a continuous year of my location-tracking data. Each place I visited, from home to work, from a friend’s apartment to a foreign city, is mapped to a harmonic relationship. 1 day is 1 rotation … 365 days is ~11 minutes.

 

> Consciousness and the decisive moment

 

 

 

Scattered Light 96 CHRISTCHURCH

Yesterday I sent my parents along to see Anthony Powells film ANTARTICA – A YEAR ON ICE which I worked on in February, March & April this year… Its a film full of Anthonys beautiful time-lapse, along with fascinating insights into Antartica and the humans who live there. Check the trailer out & some other great footage by Anthony on vimeo HERE.
So while they were in the movie, I went for a drive around Christchurch thinking I might enjoy some nostalgia for favorite old locations (I went to secondary school, university and film school in Christchurch) So I thought I’d share some photos & thoughts about the city…

From the point of view of someone not living in Christchurch, there were two big quakes – first on September 4, 2010 and the second more destructive one on February 22, 2011. Two quakes, right? Wrong, so wrong…. This site perfectly illustrates what each of those two quakes actually consisted of, quake 1 = 12,595 individual events and quake 2 = 8,167… And to get an even better idea, check this link – it replays the events, on the top right you can see minutes ticking over… nothing much happens, but wait… approximately 30 seconds & see how fast that first quake hit & was followed by shake after relentless shake… and it doesn’t stop… Imagine experiencing a big quake like that – people often quote that the primary destruction occurred in 15 seconds – only to be followed by 8,000 after shocks!! Unreal, if only it was…

Having spent over a decade of my earlier life in Christchurch I know my way round, or I used to. I visited the city a year or more ago, but at that stage much of the city was inaccessible due to the destruction. Now, coming up to three years later, most of the city is accessible but what struck me on this visit the most profoundly, was the empty spaces…

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Streets that contained thriving businesses are deserted – much of the centre of the city, which was always the life of the city, is empty….

Kia Kaha CHCH!

I drove past a location where I had a studio for a year or two, an old church (the big 1200 sqft room had a tap in the corner, I always wondered if it was divinely sourced!?!) but the church was long gone, now just an empty flat site. But beside my old church was a massive building, its also long gone. In fact everything on that block, and the block beside it was gone. Just empty flattened spaces…..

Driving around I started to appreciate the process – if a building was still standing, there is hope it may be restored, at least in part. The street in the photo below made me think it was in the too-hard basket presently, or at least on someones to-do list…

Kia Kaha CHCH!

But the sites that provide hope, are where facades have been preserved. It must be an incredible place to be an architect at the moment. I have visited Kobe, in Japan a number of times and it is a beautiful city, with a fascinating mix of traditional and modern architecture. It was the war & relentless firebombing that motivated the fantastic architecture in Tokyo, but like Christchurch it was a massive quake that destroyed Kobe, the great Hanshin earthquake, richter 7.3 in 1995. So visiting Kobe a dozen years later provides hope for the future of Christchurch.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

There has been much debate about the Christchurch Cathedral – should it be saved? Its an emotive subject as in some ways it represents the identity of Christchurch, but as a non-religious person a church that I think of much more fondly was the State Trinity Church.
I don’t know, or particularly care if it was used for religious bizo, but back in the day it was regularly used as a beautiful venue for music. I remember seeing Bill Direen play there, and the John Paul Satre Experience and many others that I have forgotten… So it was heartening to see it still standing…

Kia Kaha CHCH!

While the future of the main Cathedral remains to be decided, a new temporary Cathedral has been built by the innovative and genius Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and as with all great architecture there has been much debate & proffered opinion about this new cathedral, the ‘cardboard cathedral’ as it has come to be known. I have bit my lip a number of times as I heard people criticise it, and yet it was only completed and opened last week. And if there is one thing I know about architecture, it is that it must be experienced. So, for anyone in Christchurch, I ask you to put aside your preconceptions and go and experience it, with an open mind.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

I can’t speak to its function as a church, but as an architectural work it is fantastic. As you can see from the photos, I visited it on a very overcast winters day – light outside was totally diffuse. But the light inside that cathedral is so incredibly beautiful, and instantly emotionally warm. And the construction is a work of genius, quoting: “The strength of the building has nothing to do with the strength of the material,” says Shigeru Ban. “Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily. But paper buildings cannot be destroyed by earthquakes.” It’s also consistently low-cost. When the ‘Cardboard Cathedral’ project was announced, many were concerned that the structure would ‘go soggy in the rain’ Quite the contrary. The over 90 enormous 600mm diameter, 20 metre tubes are protected by a polycarbonate roof above, and very solid concrete floor below. Sturdy LVL (laminated veneer lumber) inserted beams, lend further substantial support to these tubes. The Cardboard Cathedral will also be one of the safest buildings in the city. It is being built to last 50 plus years and to 100% of the earthquake code.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

The remaining thoughts I had about the city were that it felt inspiring. I cannot imagine living here and not being directly influenced and inspired by the city, as it is rebuilt and becomes a new city. Clever works of art appear to be embedded in the city, some of the work is intentional and the direct result of creative human input while some isn’t – its just a reflection on the fundamental change the city is going through. And the conclusion I came to as we drove south was that Christchurch is becoming a new city, and it will be a beautiful city of the future. Congratulations to Shigeru Ban for his beautiful contribution! Arigatou gozimasu.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

shot in Christchurch – Sunday, 11th August 2013