Last year was a solid four seasons of hard work in the Capture department. Per usual, more than a few thousand miles in the air and on the ground.
We shot plenty of jobs for old clients and quite a few for new ones. We made a lot of good pictures and videos and definitely shot some bad frames and setups along the way as well. That's just kind of par for the course when it comes to this crazy gig of shooting. The photo leading off this post is a good metaphor for this whole photography gig. Sometimes the way forward can look a little hazy, but it always manages to clear up in the end.
I'm sure you used a lot of photographs in your marketing this past year. I bet you also took hundreds or thousands of them in your personal life for Instagram or Facebook or whatever it is you like. We look at so much imagery nowadays, it's easy for it to get tossed to the wayside.
This year I took a lot of photographs. No surprise there. I also lit and shot a lot of videos, some of which I have pulled frames from for use here. It's good to look back on a full year of work, or just life for that matter, and be proud of some of what was accomplished. So here are my Top Ten Photographs/Stills of 2015, in no particular order:
- Illinois Football -
This was a still from a shot we did up in the Colonnades Club at Memorial Stadium. It's just such an impressive view with all of the columns receding into the distance that I knew I wanted the team framed up for a shot there. Does it make sense that they're randomly walking around up there? Of course not, but it looks good, which is the primary focus of any intro video.
- Kennesaw State Football -
Another still pulled from a video shoot. This is the first year that Kennesaw State has had a football team, so there's pressure there to show people what they're all about. I liked this frame because you can see how intensely he's keeping his eye on the ball. It feels like he could be stepping out onto the field any minute.
- Utah Football -
I took this frame during a shoot where we were primarily looking to capture action. But I caught a glimpse of the gold teeth and I knew I just had to show them a little more closely. I also love how his helmet is slightly crooked. He's a linebacker anyway, so to me it feels like he could be celebrating after just laying a big hit on someone, cockeyed helmet and all.
- USA Softball -
We shot a lot of individual photos for USA softball, all of the ladies by themselves, posing in various ways. But I loved the interaction when they got together, playing off of one another. The frame before this one was very serious and then they couldn't help but laugh at how 'tough' they were trying to be.
- SMU Basketball -
I really enjoyed the contrast of this one. The subject is 6-9 and 250 lbs but he brought his very new, very tiny puppy to the shoot and really wanted to get a photograph together.
- Illinois Basketball -
Here's a still pulled from the video we shot for the Illinois men's basketball team. All of the lighting was from continous lights setup around an indoor gymnasium. I light a lot of setups for video that I think are often more impressive than the setups we get to do for still shoots and this was one of them. We smoked up the whole gym and then brought in icelights really close to light his face. It's a wide angle lens pushed in close, so not the most flattering angle, but a cool shot I think.
- SMU Basketball -
Another one from SMU basketball, but taken during a different shoot. They wanted to highlight their fans on some of their ticketing materials so they put a call out for "superfans". I just really like the look on her face as she goofs around with her husband of many years.
- North Texas Football -
A still pulled from a video shoot here. We shot this video at night, right as the sun was going down with the stadium lights on. There's some supplemental lighting coming in from either side here as well. I really like the stadium name filling the dark area at the top of the frame, the hand in the back making a number one sign and the eagle statue in the front. Lots of little things going on in this frame which is why it made my favs from the year.
- Texas Tech Football -
Another one from a video shoot and a total contast in style to the last photo. This one was all about the action and the captured moment. No supplemental lighting or setup really here. Just me backpedaling through obstacles on the ground with a steadicam in my hand and trying to stay out of the way of a very fast, very strong athlete.
- Tulsa Football -
There's something about the look in his eyes that gets me here. I also love the tape on his knuckles and the little scowl that's starting to creep onto his face. Not someone I'd want staring me down from across the line.
Well, that's if for this post. Thanks for stopping by and check back soon for more Capture news.
2015 was busy! It was filled with lots of projects for a wide variety of clients. When I was asked to share a few of my favorite projects from 2015, I knew it was going to be challenging. Every project is fun and unique in its own way. A few of the projects from 2015 that stick out to me are:
1. Towson Women's Basketball Intro Video
I enjoyed this project because the Towson Women's Basketball coaching staff had a clear vision of what they wanted this video to be. We traveled to Towson to shoot footage of the women's basketball team and Baltimore to bring their vision to life. It was the first video shoot I'd been a part of where we captured footage off campus. My favorite part of the video is how our video crew was able to show the movement of the team and basketball through the iconic locations in Baltimore.
2. Army Football Videos, Graphics and Animations
We had the opportunity to do 6 different videoboard projects for Army football. I really enjoyed these projects because each one was so unique. We had the opportunity to do a high end 3D logo animation, a Make Some Noise crowd prompt animation, a Shuffle game, a Derby game, a hype video and an intro animation for Army to use prior to their own video features. Stay tuned for some awesome new projects for the Army / Navy basketball game on January 23 at Madison Square Garden.
3. Delaware Custom Font and Wordmarks
This project was great because we had the opportunity to create a custom font for the University of Delaware and then used that font to design wordmarks for Delaware and all of their sports. Since Delaware was getting a new uniform supplier, all of these marks were then used on their 2015 team uniforms. It was really cool to see our work being worn by all of the Blue Hen athletes.
4. Duke Social Media Graphics
I enjoyed this project because we were able to work with Duke to create a consistent brand across all of their sports. This included creating profile pictures and cover photos as well as a wide variety of templates and holiday graphics for each sport to use. We based the social media profile and cover images off of the Olympic sport poster template design to create an even more cohesive look.
2016 is already off to a flying start with some exciting projects underway. I'm looking forward to another year of memorable projects!
Growing up, Christmas mornings were always filled with the insanely bright light from my father's 8mm camera (the video cameras at this time were still the size of carry-on luggage). I recently watched some of these old home movies over the holidays. We set up the projector and the screen and looked at sleepy kids with their hair sticking straight up, wearing highwater pajama pants (the Wallevand boys had crazy growth spurts that were apparently hard to keep up with). I love the nostalgia involved with my father's projector. The dark room, the hum of the film, the dust floating in the light, silent people smiling and waving at the camera. It's all very Clark Griswold and Christmas Vacation.
It's hard to imagine how just one month earlier we were closing out the job on another on-court projection video for Runnin' Utes Basketball. We've come a long way from shining an image onto a flat screen. Now you can project complex 3D animations and motion sequences onto a 94' x 50' basketball court. Video projection mapping can turn almost any surface into a dynamic video display. This technique has been around for several years and has been perfected in Europe. And it's not something that is limited to buildings or floors anymore. Some insanely talented people are taking the technique up into the stratosphere by projecting onto dresses and tattooing or "ink mapping" people.
Take a look at this American Express event for US Open week. This video was displayed on a 40' x 60' screen of falling water suspended over the Hudson River:
Here's a projection mapping display on CERN's large hadron collider:
Projection mapping in professional basketball and hockey arenas has become as expected as the national anthem and kiss cam. Last year, the University of Utah installed college basketball's FIRST permanent on-court projection system. The Utes have without a doubt one of the most unique gameday atmospheres in the nation. The combination of technology and music together with the exciting team visuals allows fans to experience the Utah brand in a whole new way. These projections create a fully, immersive fan experience. There is an explosion of energy released before a single second of basketball has even been played. It is the ultimate home court advantage and a great complement to an exciting team. Not to mention it is a one of a kind asset in the insanely competitive recruiting game.
Intro hype videos and starting line-up introductions are just the tip of the projection iceburg. As technology and techniques improve, who's to say we can't project a sponsored Derby race or Shuffle game? The sky is really the limit for fan engagement and partnership opportunities. On-court projection systems are becoming as important an investment as video boards and LED screens and several institutions are working their costs into building plans when they construct or renovate their arenas. Projection mapping is the future and those who want to be cutting edge are making the investment now.