Give Me a “T”. Leica Has a New Camera.

Photo websites on the internet have been burning up with news about the new Leica T mirrorless camera system today. I have to admit it is a stunning piece of industrial design. The thing looks gorgeous, but will it make you a better photographer? Probably not. You are only as good as you are, and you improve with practice. This is why a pro photographer can get a pretty impressive image from an iPhone.

The real kicker for me with this camera is the price. I did a recent Pounds to Dollars price conversion using the prices shown on DPreview and the entire set up, not including the case will set you back $7807.00 before taxes. For that kind of money you can get a hell of lot more gear that is equal to or better. It might not look as pretty, but will still take a photo and get you behind the lens time. The second part of that sentence is what helps you to become a better photographer.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the price Leica has set. All their gear is outrageously over priced. They are a premium luxury brand, and people will pay just to have a camera with that red dot on the front. And, Leica lenses are some of the best in the world, so the price you pay for good glass kind of makes sense.

OK, I’ll admit it. The video above makes me kind of want this camera like everyone else. I do love good visual design, and the Leica T has it in spades.

“What If” The New Nissan Juke Spot from UFO.

The spot below was produced by UFO for Nissan and TBWA / Else. Directed by Sebastien Cannone it features a nice blend of CGI and live action footage with copious amounts of special effects thrown in. If you watch this on a system with surround sound, turn up the volume. If not put on your headphones. The sound design is really, really good. There are so many things Iike about this spot. The fact that it is in an ultra-wide aspect ration, the blue color pallet, the entry shot where the Juke assembles from a series of particle systems, and so much more. This is a perfect example of you get what you pay for. Big money went into producing an ad that feels like a big budget film. What a great look for 30 seconds of automotive eye candy.

I Wish I Had Thought Of This.

I really do wish I had thought of this. The video below is of some crazy fun art pieces by  Juan Fontative. The pieces are constructed from discarded clocks, and push bike parts. Highlighting humming birds in flight and butterflies.

Each piece is a  perpetually looping flip book with flying birds lifted from audubon guides and illustrations of butterflies found in various other sources. The works are part film, part sculpture, and part audio.  Every aspect of the flip books are assembled by hand by Fontative, from the watch sized gears, to the clips, bolts, wormwheels and sprockets

The works are mesmerizing, and hypnotic. Perfect viewing for an afternoon in the Spring.

Cyclo’s CYLO One.

Former head of design at Nike, Eric Duvauchelle has launched a new bicycle company that will be releasing it’s first bike in the next few months. “CYLO One” is a commuter bike that is still in it’s formative stages that you can help shape. If you go to the site you can take a quick survey that will provide feedback to the designers and allow for changes.

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CYLO One” features an ultra lightweight aluminum frame for easy carrying, better handling, and a more solid ride in urban terrain. The bike features a 205 lumen built in LED light and a self activating brake light that uses an accelerometer to turn on as you slow down. The lights are powered by an internal dynamo to eliminate the need for any external power supply . In addition to the frame tech and lights, CYLO One is driven by a carbon belt drive so there is no need for oil, which means your pants stay clean well at least free of chain oil.

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The Shimano 3 speed Nexus internal gear hub is paired with Shimano mechanical disc brakes for maximum stopping power. CYLO One will be introduced in 3 colors, currently black, white and red.  If you take the survey on the site, you can have input on things like more gears, more colors, extra features, and what things the smartphone app for the bike will have. Yes smartphone app for the bike.

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“Birds”, by ZEITGUISED.

Here is a light hearted little two minute animation from . The animated short is a study of birds constructed in a variety of forms, all of which are taken from things related to, well, birds. The short film features some really nice CGI work, a fun little musical score and some nice sound design work. It’s fitting for a sunny April afternoon.

GlassFin Shows How it Made the Honda Wave.

Every day people see commercials on TV, the internet, in movie theaters, their mobile handset, etc. Most of the time we never really think about the amount of work that goes into the final production of that 30 to 60 second clip. The reality is, there is a boat load of post work that is done, after a boat load of on set production work. Then there is the preproduction work, with scripts, storyboards, style frames, and more. Below are two videos that show just how much post work goes into making that commercial sexy enough to maybe get you to buy a product.

The videos from Glassfin are for the Honda Wave 110. The first shows the final directors cut of the spot. A whopping thirty seconds of video. The second shows the compositing and post production breakdown of how this was put together with live action footage, CGI, particle systems, color grading, and so much more. If you have ever been curious about what it takes to make an award winning commercial, this is an excellent example.

An Animated Short, “Les Pyramides d’Égypte”

It’s that time of the year again. When universities wind down for the year and another graduating class emerges. From the Supinfocom Arles Class of  2014  comes “Les Pyramides d’Égypte” written, directed, animated, and styled by Corentin Charron, Lise Corriol, Olivier Lafay, Nicolas Mrikhi. Once again this stuff makes me a bit jealous of the talent, and totally envious of the amazing education these students are getting. It makes me want to go back to school and take a year or two polishing my craft.