Paul’s Junkyard photo workshop: Cutting cars in half at sunset

The first Paul’s Junkyard night photography workshop was a blast. At sunset on the second night, the owner cut a car in half, and then lifted another one in the air for us to photograph. I was tempted to dub dinosaur sounds over the video. Troy Paiva and I saw some amazing work during the critique sessions, and we’re looking forward to seeing more photos online soon. I’ll be featuring some photos right here on my blog, and also keep an eye on the Flickr group.

We’re planning to do another workshop at Paul’s in the fall. The April workshop sold out in less than a day. The best way to grab a spot is to get on our email notification list. We promise not to use your car to demonstrate how the giant metal cutter works.

Oak Knoll Naval Hospital Demolition Time-Lapse Video

Photographer Riki Feldmann and I attended the implosion of the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital yesterday in Oakland. Areas with a clear view along Keller Avenue were crowded with onlookers. We were very fortunate to share an excellent spot with a small group of government employees who were involved in selling the property to the developer SunCal and Lehman Brothers in 2005 for $100 million. We talked to a woman who was born in the hospital, and a few people who had worked there before it closed in 1996. I’ve seen plenty of abandoned places that I’ve photographed disappear, but have never seen one blown up. Quite an amazing experience. Here’s a gallery of night photographs of Oak Knoll.

Time-lapse technical details: I shot 12 minutes of HD video at 30fps with the Canon 5D Mark II and a 70-200/4L lens. The still frames were extracted from the video using QuickTime Pro. Every 10th frame was selected, and then re-imported into QuickTime Pro at 30fps. The time-lapse and video footage were then imported into iMovie, where titles and music were added. The music is The Waltz from the 1969 Art Ensemble of Chicago album Jackson in Your House/Message to Our Folks.


Domingo’s to Gas War: A Highway 58 time-lapse from Boron to Bakersfield

Time lapse technical details: A Ricoh GRD II was mounted on an OmniPod Camo-Pro7 Beanbag and placed on the dashboard. The camera was set to manual exposure and cloudy white balance. 1280 pixel jpegs were shot every 5 seconds for 1282 frames. Quicktime 7 Pro was used to create the time lapse at 6 frames per second, compressing an hour and 46 minutes down to about 3 and a half minutes. Titles and music were added in iMovie.

When in Boron, check out Domingo’s Restaurant.

Learning from films: Red Desert / We Give Our Lives

Criterion recently released a restored version of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 masterpiece Red Desert (il deserto rosso) [Amazon | Netflix | IMDB]. On the second viewing, I made screen captures of scenes where the composition caught my eye — mainly focusing on the theme of people set against industrial settings. Many of the still images could stand alongside work from my favorite photographers.

Those of you attached to fast moving modern films with plot may find this film difficult — I hope the still images convince you that a viewing will be rewarding. The cinematography and use of color are amazing, and Monica Vitti’s performance is riveting.

The slideshow is set to a song by the group Sabbath Assembly who have a new release called Restored to One [LP |MP3CD]. The album is a modern response to the music of a cult called The Process Church of the Final Judgement. Psychedelic gospel music by way of The Family and NNCK? And Jex Thoth has an amazing voice.

The video is best watched full screen at 720p — it may take a minute to load, but it’s worth it.