There has been a lot of excitement about the fact that some of the higher end digital SLRs (notably the Nikon D90) can now shoot High Definition Video. This means that there are new possibilities for people who don’t have huge studios or wallets to do creative things. In one case, it was with lenses and a special technique called ’tilt-shifting’ that makes for an extremely narrow depth of field from a distance, and video — in this case, time-lapse photography. The result is something that makes one feel like a god, (or perhaps King Kong or Godzilla), looking down with placid serenity upon the bustling of tiny humanity below. That’s what a series of videos by Australian Keith Loutit has produced seem to be. Have a look at what I mean:
The North Wind Blew South
I think there is something here that transcends just the bizarre and unsettling. It’s perhaps that we already have such a short time on the planet, but still, if we could just slow down and watch, we might see all sorts of things that we’d never seen before. If we could take a drug that would slow us down so that we were, say, operating at 1/10 normal speed for just a day, and didn’t suffer any ill effects, I bet that’s a trip that many of us would like to take. Yeah. A long, slow, trip.
I write this, remembering that this morning I heard that a critic and television commentator who I used to watch regularly, John Leonard, died on Wednesday. Kurt Vonnegut once said: “When I start to read John Leonard, it is as though I, while simply looking for the men’s room, blundered into a lecture by the smartest man who ever lived.” Who am I to disagree with Vonnegut? Leonard was indeed brilliant. Whenever I heard him talk on the show Sunday Morning, I thought that he made being smart something that was sexy, which perhaps the US is once again rediscovering. I hope he was conscious and knew what happened the day before he died. Perhaps he left with a smile on his face.