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How to Shoot a 7 Gigapixel, 60-Foot Wide Photo in 5 Easy Steps [The Devil is In the Details]

San Francisco panorama

I’ve always been a fan of photographic works by Andreas Gursky and others that are huge in scale and still maintain amazing detail. While Gursky is a living legend and none of us are approaching his sphere any time soon, there are a variety of more accessible approaches to creating massive images that maintain incredible details available to most of us

As such I want to take a second to introduce Ben Pitt. Ben is a tech / photo geek who has been reviewing digital things and software for more than 15 years – and as this post demonstrates – he knows a thing two about making these multi-gigapixel images with insane detail and will walk you though it in this post… Be sure to click on the link to this crazy 7-Gigapixel photo here (requires Flash) to get a sense for what I’m talking about. -Chase
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Thanks Chase. Modern digital cameras’ excessively high resolutions really bug me. Seriously, who needs more than 12 megapixels? (Don’t answer that.) So it’s ironic that I’ve recently caught a different kind of bug: creating gigapixel panoramas. It’s done by taking hundreds of photos and stitching them together on a computer. The image above weighs in at 7 gigapixels. Printed at 300dpi, it would be 61 feet wide.

As Chase mentioned, take a second to check out the 7-gigapixel image at by clicking one of these links Gigapan (requires Flash), Gigapan for iPhone/iPad or Photosynth (requires Silverlight). Hit the Full-screen button and see if you can track down the four details below. Go on – zoom right all the way to the sidewalk where you can peep into the lives of millions of San Francisco locals going about their day.

Gigapixel panorama stitching is a stiff challenge for the computer, but the technique is surprisingly easy and the equipment needn’t be expensive. There’s some high-tech kits out there, such as the GigaPan robotic camera mounts, but my image was captured using a normal tripod and an inexpensive ultra-zoom camera I happened to have with me on my trip. A long telephoto lens is crucial, and the Panasonic FZ200 was perfect with its 600mm (equivalent) maximum focal length and crisp focus. I generally prefer to use an SLR or mirrorless camera but I love how versatile, compact and affordable these ultra-zoom cameras are.

Step 1: Shooting
First, shooting was pretty straightforward. I mounted the camera on the tripod, switched the exposure, focus and white balance to manual and zoomed in. All that remained was to zigzag across the scene, capturing it a row at a time with about 30 percent overlap to ensure an accurate stitch. I took 1,229 photos, captured in 16 rows of about 75 shots each. It took just over an hour. The weather in California is thankfully a little more stable than it is in my native England, so the light didn’t change much throughout the hour.

Step 2: Stitching
A week later I was back at my PC and finally able to stitch it together. I used a free Windows utility called Microsoft ICE (short for Image Composite Editor). The stitching process is entirely automatic – simply import the JPEGs and the software identifies common features in overlapping photos, adjusts each photo’s geometry as necessary and stitches them all together. It takes hours to process hundreds of photos but you can just leave the software to get on with it.

Photosynth for iPhone

Photosynth for iPhone

[Note: Other stitching utilities are available for Windows and Mac, such as PTgui and GigaPan Stitch. These will set you back around $100 but they have some useful extra features, such as GigaPan Stitch's vignette correction or PTgui's manual adjustment for misaligned photos.There are also some impressive panorama-stitching iPhone apps too.They can't generate gigapixel images (the iPhone's 33mm equivalent lens isn't long enough) but you can't beat an iPhone app for immediacy and interactivity. Check out DPReview Connect's round-up of iOS panorama apps here.]

Step 3: Troubleshooting
I’ve found that automatic panorama stitching is rarely faultless, and there were four areas where ICE ran into trouble in my San Francisco shot. I’d anticipated two of these – the sky and the hillside in the foreground – as I knew that there wouldn’t be enough detail in these areas for the software to identify common features in overlapping photos. I got around this by shooting the skyline again at 195mm, which gave me enough sky so that I didn’t have to crop Sutro Tower out of the shot. Zoom in and you’ll notice that the sky isn’t as sharp as the city, but it’s only really apparent in the aeroplane just above the blimp. For the foreground I stitched a dozen shots at 25mm. That’s far less detail than the rest of the image, but considering that the foreground is out of focus, the join is fairly imperceptible.

Step 4: Photoshop finishing
Next, I loaded these three stitches into Photoshop CS6, resized the smaller ones to match the biggest and blended them together. This is one job that’s not worth considering without Photoshop. I tried various editors to see how they’d cope with the 15GB PSB file, and Photoshop was the only one that stood a chance. If you don’t own it, bear in mind that you can now rent it for cheap.

The trees in the foreground confused ICE too because they were blowing in the wind, so I returned to the original photos to patch this area. There was also one small spot that I’d somehow completely missed, so I had to rebuild it with some Photoshop trickery – I owe a beer to the first person to find it.

Photoshop CS6

Step 5: Sharing
Sharing – and even saving – gigapixel panoramas is another challenge. JPEG and TIF formats won’t go that high, so Photoshop’s PSB format is the only option I’ve found to save it to disk. The best way to view and share them is via online hosting sites. These work in a similar way to satellite mapping sites such as Google Maps, downloading small sections of the photo as they’re requested. I uploaded to Gigapan.com using its free uploader utility, and to Photosynth.net using a plug-in for Photoshop. You can also upload to Photosynth.net directly from Microsoft ICE.

There are some breathtaking panoramas on GigaPan, Photosynth and elsewhere – check out Martin Kulhavy’s work at www.martin.kulhavy.info, and this 30-gigapixel, 360-degree monster by Matt Uyttendaele, who happens to be the man behind ICE. These are the photographs that inspired me, and I’m happy to have produced something that – technically at least – is in the same league and yet was achieved with a cheap camera and basic tripod.

I love the fact that I created and published this image but I haven’t seen most of it. It’s a photo for exploring – finding the finer details. Like the man in the red cap reading a book on a roof, two toddlers planning their escape from a playground or the masses of street art that stretches across south San Francisco. There’s something satisfying about how this image is inquisitive but non-judgemental. From the fire-ravaged house façade to the man in the park with his tent, this is what San Francisco looked like on the 13th of October, 2012. I hope you find something interesting in there too. I hope you’re the man in the red cap, reading this now. Either way, If you’ve got a long lens and a couple of hours to spare, I’d love to see what’s happening in your neighborhood.

Photo of the Day [plus what + why + how + gear]

chase jarvis mountain bike

What: bike shot

Why this angle: the air + the trail tells a good story. plus all those vertical lines kept the scene clean. Nice light too…looking up really “opened up” the image. Simplicity almost always wins – in this case it does.

How: I laid under the jump and motor-drived the action at 9fps. we shot several attempts to ensure the rider was in the right spot relative to the rest of the scene…plus we added in the little bike tilt for some flair.

Gear n such: Nikon D3s. Nikkor 14-242l8 lens shot at 15mm. ISO 800. f3.5 1/1000sec (Here’s a link for you gear folks)

Feel free to let me know what you think. Or just tell me you like it.

Your New Hit List: 5 Things That Every Creative Person Should Get (and Give)

coffee smile chase jarvisGive. Whether to yourself or to a fellow artist in need. Every photographer, director, painter, writer, creative, entrepreneur, whatever mold into which you fit (or don’t) has basic needs. And thankfully, these needs are mostly free of charge. I’ve read 100 artist biographies, studied my own life and the creative LIVES of those around me and distilled some of the commonalities — and the outliers — for how and when, under what circumstance creatives kick ass. A pattern emerges. Therefore I suggest that you immediately (or ASAFP) give to yourself or to others….

1. Adventure + Experience. Whether in mind and spirit OR in actual physical practice, give yourself adventure and experience. Do stuff. Some stimulus, some INPUT is required as the raw building materials of a creative life. Profound is good, but unnecessary. What’s necessary are emotions, highs & lows, chinks in one’s armor, dents, road wear, and a range of experiences. What are yours? Some people go looking, others get hit but the truck, but in every case an experiential narrative is required for inspiration. So let me be blunt. Get off your ass. Given the chance to “go” or “stay”, you go. Whether you really go looking or metaphorically do, you won’t find “creativity”, you’ll find the stuff that creativity glues together. You’ve got to either cultivate, dig up, source, uncover or live these raw materials, these bricks, the sticks, and the meat to make something that only you can make. Live a life so that you can have a point of view.

2. Space. Creative synthesis doesn’t happen during your adventures, amidst the chaos and the noise. The mayhem and the delight of life gives you the ingredients, but synthesis only happens when you’re quiet, when you’ve got space, a moment to breathe. Sometimes it doesn’t require much space: a sleepless night, a shower, or an hour inside your head. Other times it requires more. But I guarentee it won’t be while you’re in the thick of it. Inspiration might rain down upon you, but building that inspiration into something meaningful takes more room than you’re giving yourself right now; it takes time (even a sliver), and it takes iteration. Rarely if ever will something come to you fully formed, despite all the fairy tales you’ve heard. Provide some respite, some space after inspiration, and harvest you will.

3. A Mirror. Give yourself a mirror. Not literally, but a figurative mirror to reflect on that voice inside your head, and capture that voice in an emotion. The raw materials of which I spoke above, are certainly out there in the world, but a quick reminder that you’ll not find any answers per se “out there”. All those answers – and I mean every one — are “in here”. In you. Things coming from you – from an only-you-could-have-made-this perspective is a requirement of outstanding art and creativity. Hence the mirror. No opportunity to reflect, no creative answers.

4. A Schedule To Make, Ship, or Do. Give yourself the schedule you hate – the one that says make it today, ship it, build it, do it. Chuck Close said (paraphrased) that… “If I sat around and only made art when I was ready, I wouldn’t have made much art.” It’s because Chuck knows that we excel at what we practice. And if we practice everyday – even in the absence of the raw materials, the mirror, the space, we’ll certainly be ready when all that shit lines up. Trust me on this one. And don’t try and say I’m contradicting myself. given the above points. You’ve got skills that need honing, even in the absence of the creative moon lining up with the creative Venus. Make things every day. Publish, launch, post, iterate, share. By God it’s the only way anything gets done.

5. A Break. Give yourself a damn break. You don’t have to be weird, unhappy, in ecstacy or pain to create great stuff. You have to be there. You have to be in the game, not on the sidelines. Adventuring and synthesizing, and reflecting and creating and shipping all take work; and that work won’t always be great. Don’t be a critic. The lives of critics are boring, ugly, short and full of yuck. Haven’t written a book? Don’t hate on one. Haven’t made a film? Be generous in your commentary. Don’t take, give. Give time, give gratitude, and by all means give yourself and others a break.

That’s it.

And don’t think you’ll get by with just one of the above. You’ve gotta wrangle all 5. Trust me on that.

joseph beuys_creativity capital

snapshot of Joseph Beuys "Creativity = Capital"

Learn How To Learn Anything, Hack Any System & Be Your Best: Tim Ferriss on creativeLIVE

UPDATED AGAIN WITH A TREAT: SPECIAL OFFER: This is LIVE right NOW. Buy the Tim Ferriss creativeLIVE course #4HourLife and get a free copy of Tim’s new book. Click for details http://cr8.lv/4-Hour_promo. Sale ends today! (somewhere around a $35 value …book + shipping)
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UPDATE: Tim is LIVE NOW… both today and tomorrow. Tune in here at creativeLIVE.com/live
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Short version: renowned 4-hour-everything guy Tim Ferriss is gonna be on creativeLIVE next week for 2 full days of badass, actionable inspiration and instruction. Go here for details.

More detailed version and how this relates to you: One of the most important characteristics in making one’s way through a creative career or any entrepreneurial endeavor is learning what’s most important and executing against it. What do I need to know and how do I acquire that skill, be it learning how to light with strobes, make a music video, dominate at Photoshop OR…. literally anything else. In short, you want to learn how to learn. How fast you can learn, grow, be in the system while simulataneously hacking it is, in my humble opinion, crucial to success in any field.

Enter, my pal Tim Ferriss. Tim takes all this to the next level. I’ve personally learned more from him about ‘how to hack learning’ than anyone else. You’ve probably read or seen one of his previous #1 NYTime Best selling books (4 Hour Work Week + 4 Hour Body) OR seen him on one of my most popular chasejarvisLIVE’s ever (I taught him how to build a studio set and then he photographs a bikini model), but the real news I want to share with you here is twofold:

1. He has a new, super badass book coming out in 2 weeks; and

2. More importantly he’s bringing this new book + BOTH previous books to life in realtime on creativeLIVE (the online learning channel I co-founded) next week. Two full days of live, interactive learning with Tim and host of world class experts. Not gonna lie to you, I’m canceling all other obligations and will be sitting in the soundstage during the entire broadcast.

I’ve seen the syllabus for the course, it’s insanely inspiring and ambitious. I’m an excitable guy, but I’m rarely as hyped as I am for this workshop. Learn how to learn anything from the meta-learning expert. The course is live on creativeLIVE on November 14th + 15th. Check it out here if you want more info or to register to attend online.

You can order the book here from Amazon. Check out Tim’s blog here.

Here’s his creativeLIVE pitch:

[the book trailer video was shot by my pal, director Adam Patch. Head on over to the trailer on YouTube here and leave a comment if you dig.]

tim ferriss on creativeLIVE

NASA Photographer & Astronaut Donald Pettit Shoots In Space

Photography is in my blood, and space has always held a fascination for me. Easy to see then why photographer and NASA astronaut Donald Pettit’s talk about photographing in space held me rapt. No models or art directors, editors, agents or clients, just this one man an his small struggles to capture an environment that not many get to experience.

Watch the vid to learn about his work, his equipment, and a surreal existence aboard the space station for 370 days over 3 trips to space. Couple photos below to whet your palette for the talk…

[Saw this via PetaPixel - and big ups to our friends at Photoshelter for hosting Donald at Luminance 2012 and sharing this content.Check 'em out.]

donpettit2 nasa via photoshelter

Photo by Donald Pettit - NASA

ISS030 star trail composite don pettit nasa

Photo by Donald Pettit - NASA

donpettit-1nasa via photoshelter

Photo by Donald Pettit - NASA

[Saw this via PetaPixel - and big ups to our friends at Photoshelter for hosting Donald at Luminance 2012 and sharing this content. Check them out.]

Making Films, Photos & Life DIFFERENT not just BETTER with World’s Best Snowboarder Travis Rice + Brain Farm Cinema [LIVE Today]

Travis Rice on chase jarvis live by ColeBarash.com

UPDATE: the LIVE broadcast is TODAY. Check out the post below and be sure to tune into http://www.chasejarvis.com/live — 11am SEA time (2pm NYC -19:00 London) — and enjoy the show. See you on air in a few…

You’ve heard me say it before – don’t sink all your effort into being incrementally better. Instead be DIFFERENT. Be BOLD.

This upcoming episode of chasejarvisLIVE is focused specifically on this simple idea. And my special guests for this episode epitomize this ‘different’ and ‘bold’ mantra as well as anyone I know. Like all of my guests, these guys aren’t ensconced in the “this is how it is” photo industry – they’re innovators from a parallel universe…. (and they are giving away some insanely cool stuff to promote the show – scroll to the bottom).

Yes, Travis Rice is the best snowboarder in the world. But what makes him the subject of this #cjLIVE is not really his skill. It’s that he is an innovator, a risk taker, a visionary the star of the most progressive action sports film ever made (The Art of Flight). He’s a bold and creative leader in his crowded and noisy industry.

Analogously, Chad Jackson hails from Brain Farm Digital Cinema. He and his partner Curt Morgan are the makers of the most innovative, high caliber and DIFFERENT action sports films in the world (eg. The Art of Flight). By using unique techniques and special cameras (like the phantom), leveraging relationships and their special vision, they have broken away from the old action sports film paradigm to set a new bar, a different bar. Tune in.

WHO: You, Me, Snowboarder Travis Rice and Brain Farm Digital Cinema EP Chad Jackson + a worldwide gathering of creative people
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, October 24th, 11:00am Seattle time (2pm NYC time or 19:00 London)
WHERE: Tune into www.chasejarvis.com/live. It’s free — anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

HELP PROMOTE THE SHOW, SCORE STUFF.
1. In order to pimp the show and help bring together another ginormous worldwide audience, Travis is giving away a signed Lib Tech snowboard. YES, you read that correctly. Also, he’s giving away a signed copy of The Art of Flight photo book (it’s gorgeous). To enter to score either one of these send out a creative tweet that contains the URL (or short URL) to THIS post + hashtag #cjLIVE starting NOW and ending at the beginning of the show on Wednesday, October 24. Enter as many times (tweets) as you want — tweet and retweet — Travis and I will be watching for the most creative shoutouts.

2. Also, this is HUuuuuGE. Manfrotto will be giving away an incredible kit of gear during the episode. Bucks deluxe…

-Manfrotto 290 3-section carbon fiber tripod with quick-release 3-way photo head (I use this tripod)
-Manfrotto Midi-36 LED Light
-Manfrotto Stile Bella V Black Shoulder Bag 
-Manfrotto Lino Apparel Soft Shell Jacket
-Manfrotto Lino Apparel Photo Cap

We’ll tell you how to enter – but you gotta watch LIVE to nail this one…

Contest Rules
LASTLY, JOIN US.

Lastly, if you want to be part of the live, in-studio audience, send an email to production@chasejarvis.com with “The Art of Flight” in the subject line. Winners will receive a confirmation email with attendance instructions. Bonus points for tweeting about the show and sending folks here.

Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, Manfrotto and B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make and sell.

We would also like to welcome our long-time friends liveBooks to the show as well. I have been a Livebooks user for years and am excited to have such a great creative partner joining chasejarvisLIVE.

Please follow them on Twitter at: @hpprint, @HasselbladBron, @manfrotto_tweet, @BHPhotoVideo, @livebooks

Friday Film Quiz: Super Synch, Phony Film, or Frame Rate?

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I am on-the-record with a deep belief that photography and filmmaking are not all about speeds and feeds or how big your megapixels are compared to mine. Nonetheless, I do have a healthy respect for the technical side of the craft — and for those who dive in deep.

Like the guy who made this video, for example.

This optical illusion is “purportedly” made possible by synching the camera shutter speed with the rotation of the helicopter’s blades, giving the latter the appearance of “staticity.” Some cry hoax. Others say it’s real. Those who believe it is real have engaged in lengthy debate about how it was achieved. The two sides’ arguments break down like this:

SS: “As the title of the video suggests, the filmmaker synched his shutter speed with the rotation of the helicopter blades to make it appear as it does.”

FR: “This is a matter of frame rate, not shutter speed. The frame rate has to be synched such that with each frame exposure the blades are in the exact same position.”

So here’s the quiz – what’s your take? Real or fake? Shutter speed or frame rate?

Business Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs with Ramit Sethi

ramit sethi chase jarvis creative live

Big news. Ramit Sethi is doing a 3 day intensive course on creativeLIVE starting today. Right NOW in fact. If you know who he is and why I’m so stoked, go to creativeLIVE.com/live RIGHT NOW for free. If you don’t need or want to earn money with your creative work then no worries – total respect – skip this post and jump over to 13 tips for a more creative success (one of my fav posts). But if you do want to earn money or make a living with your art and DONT know why I’m so pumped then read on….

BACKSTORY
One of the most popular cjLIVEs last year was the Ramit Sethi episode. More that 25,000 people watched the 60 min live broadcast from 100+ countries, another 100,000 hit the re-watch in various places. And for good reason – it was a game changer for lots of people. Ramit is not a creative guru, a filmmaker or a photographer – this blog, my constant spouting, etc are full of that yummy stuff. Ramit is different. He’s a genius at teaching creatives like you and me who lack some business chops how to position our work. By example, in that single chasejarvisLIVE episode Ramit went into very specific detail about:

// how to win jobs by preparing ahead… specifically the “portfolio” or “briefcase” techniques…

// how to negotiate higher rates for your creative work – the very specific words to use that demonstrate high end value and vision

// how to position yourself as a high end creator – not a commodity that goes to the lowest bidder

// how to position yourself as the prize in any negotiation around you and your work

I’ll be honest – the reason I hosted Ramit onto #cjLIVE was because we’d met last fall and I learned more about the business of positioning yourself in n 1 hour talking to Ramit over dinner than I had from anyone prior to him. More than agents, managers, Hollywood people, marketing people etc. It was a shock, because I considered myself pretty good at that shiz… but he blew me away. The reason? Turns out he’s a Stanford educated behavioral psychologist. He understands value, perception, human delivery, persuasion, confidence and so many other things that – until he revealed them to me – were just nebulous concepts.

So don’t be fooled by the title of his NY Times best-selling book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Yes, he’s a personal finance guru – and you should listen to him for that advice as well (my wife and I are on his savings “plan”) – but why you should watch his 3 day course at creativeLIVE this week is simple – he’s great at teaching all these soft skills I’m talking about that will separate you from the rest… landing gigs, scoring that agent, billing higher rates, and getting respect in a crowded and noisy industry.

Check it out.

[aside - I'll be dropping into his show on Friday for Q&A. Stay tuned to my social feeds]

Become An Email Ninja — 6 Tips For Cutting Through the Noise

chasejarvis_how to becomeAnEmailNinja

Hey everybody, Kate here from Chase’s Production crew. Just like many of you, I use email as a daily communication tool in my job. A flood of incoming emails to address and a long list of outgoing messagesis usually on my daily list of “to dos”. Wrangling this beast of inbound and outbound communication is a necessary evil. As such, I have been working hard at becoming an Email Ninja.

I especially love this article from Tim Ferriss’ blog: 10 Steps to Become an Email Ninja. The art of being an Ninja is a great model — highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. These tips are excellent for helping manage the fire hose of INBOUND messages headed for your inbox. But it is not enough to stop there. Developing your ninja skills for the outbound messages – throwing “ninja stars” [emails] as I call them – will help you be more efficient in your work day. No matter what your profession.

As everyone becomes more and more savvy with regards to managing their inboxes and better at saying no, you must find ways to cut through the noise and get your message across and get them to say yes. It is harder and harder to cut through the chatter, so be disciplined. Simplify if you wish to be heard. Fight fire with fire…

6 Tips for Throwing Ninja Stars with Accuracy:

_use descriptive subject lines. Help the reader quickly identify the purpose of your email. And think ahead, think like a ninja: make it easy to search for your email later.

_what’s the purpose? If it is not totally clear from your subject line, make sure that you make your point and make it fast. Really busy people often decide if an email is important/relevant from the preview window.

_keep it short + concise: People do not have time to sort through a long email. It likely won’t happen. Respect their time and they will have more respect for you. Check out these tips. While this is presented as a way to save time as you triage your inbox, it is also a smart technique to challenge yourself to be concise.

_do you need action? Don’t bury your request. Make it clear what the reader of the email needs to do.

_help them help you. Other ninjas process quickly, so don’t make them work too hard to get you what you need. Do you need a meeting? Propose 3 possible times so they can just pick one and be done. Do you need a form signed? Attach the form. Are you sharing information? Format the email so that it is easy to read and organized so they can find and reference the information they need.

_be nice, polite and grateful. This is just because you should. And you’ll be surprised how often this gets missed. It really goes a long, long way to spend the extra ten seconds to include some short + sweet social graces. Ps + Qs!

Remember – the email ninja is: highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. Oh, and polite.

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As a bonus, and since we all love ninjas, here’s a video of a photo shoot we did a few years back featuring…you guessed it: Email Ninjas.

Mind-Blowing Photos of the Solar System

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ChaseJarvis_Photos of Outerspace_Michael Benson

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Michael Benson / Kinetikon Pictures (c) All Rights Reserved

Felix Baumgartner’s skydive from space, inspired me to look at more mind-blowing photography from outside our atmosphere. The photography and work of Michael Benson caught my attention. He has created a spectacular view of the solar system. Truly never before seen photos. To make the images on display in his upcoming book, Planetfall, Benson first curated thousands of photographs from NASA and the European Space Agency. The majority of his selects came from unmanned spacecraft hurtling through space. Some are from rovers on Mars or crewmembers aboard the International Space Station.He then processed the raw files and stitched them together into jaw-dropping shots from the cosmos. Click through the image tabs above to see what I’m talking about.

Photos from unmanned probes are normally black-and-white, shot with a variety of filters. To add color, Benson typically overlays images originally filtered in red, green and blue to create a composite spectrum that replicates what the human eye might see. The process can take weeks, but once it’s completed Benson is left with something unique: an image that is as accurate to the view from a passing spacecraft as most of us will ever come.

Deliver with Style — 6 Tips for Delivering Files to Clients

chasejarvis_digitaldelivery

Hi folks, Megan here again, Producer at CJ Inc. We recently delivered a couple of big jobs to clients, and it got me thinking about file management, tracking + job wrap-up. As the producer, I’m responsible for creating + managing the post production schedule, sending files to clients for approval, then delivering final images once all files have been been given the thumbs up. I work closely with Chase and the digital artist to ensure that we’re delivering exactly what the client has asked for, which means cross-checking each image with both the creative brief AND the contract to ensure that our bases are covered.

Here are some things to keep in mind prior to arriving on set.

_File size:
What are the images going to be used for? A billboard or in-store signage? A web banner or e-brochure? Usage is usually defined at the contract stage, so it should be well documented and understood prior to shoot day. This will perhaps inform which camera you opt to shoot with and image resolution.

_File format:
TIFFs? Layered PSDs? JPGs? RAWs?

_Orientation:
Is shot #4 a horizontal or vertical? Be sure to have the creative brief handy if there’s no Art Director on set to advise.

_Naming convention + folder structure:
Has your client provided you with a specific naming convention or preferred folder structure? This is especially common on retail and catalog jobs, where each shot usually coincides with a garment SKU.
[If not, you may want to decide upon an agreeable solution before you start shooting.]

_Delivery:
How many files are you providing? Are you able to upload to an FTP fairly quickly? Or will you need to send a hard drive to your client?
[If you are sending a hard drive, be sure to label it with your name + contact info so it’s easily identifiable.]

_Description of files + thumbnails:
Along with the hard drive, we like to include a memo (or cover letter, of sorts) outlining the project name, shoot description, deliverables + usage terms. All of the pertinent info relating to the files is concisely captured in 1 document for the client’s reference.

I also include a page (or more, depending on how many images are being delivered) of thumbnails, so the client knows what he or she is getting at a glance. A copy of each of these documents gets saved in the project folder on the server so if there’s ever any question about what was delivered and when, it’s easily trackable. File delivery is usually the last step of a job, with the exception of final billing, and can leave a lasting impression on your client. You really want to nail it.

Feel like I’ve missed something important? Have anything to add? Feel free to leave comments below.

+++++++++
(Disclaimer: I’m no Digital Asset Manager, so if you want additional info on any of the items above, check out the Complete Workflow and Backup for Photo + Video here.)

Pitch Your Creative Vision [chasejarvisLIVE rewatch]

Last week I hosted author and pitch guru Oren Klaff on chasejarvisLIVE. Wow. I knew it was going to be good – but we had no idea that there would be such a huge reaction to Oren and the information he shared from his book Pitch Anything. The community has been talking about it all week. So here it is again for your viewing and eternal viewing pleasure. Oren is not only the purveyor of more than $500 Million (yeah- read that twice) in successful pitches in a variety of industries – he also happens to be hilarious. Watch the episode to hear some of his epic quotes. He and his book – and a simple framework of how to make YOU and YOUR WORK become “the prize” — has helped me perhaps more than any other book on “selling” AND I think he can help you too.

Believing in your work is not an F-in tactic. -Oren Klaff

If you’ve been around my blog or this community for long, you’ll know that my focus is photography and directing, but most of all my guiding mantra is about living a more creative life – whether a photographer, filmmaker, designer, chef, painter, dancer, whatever. While we LOVE to focus on tapping into our “creative side” – take it from me, if you ever want to have a chance at earning a REAL LIVING with your creativity (or, hell, even making even a dime with your work) then being able to PITCH and SELL your work is essential. Don’t make me say that twice. The age-old idea of the starving artist is a sad, boring, and tired one. Better learn to talk about, position, pitch and sell what you make. This episode gives a road map to getting started.

Any of this resonate with you?

_ ever had anxiety about how to present your work to a client?
_are you confident with your skill as an artist – but discouraged by your ability to get paying work?
_have you ever seen a major campaign/exhibition and thought, “I can do better photos/film/copy than that?” …and wondered why you’re not getting the job?
_do you know that the demand for creatives going UP and is one of the fastest growing segments?

I already know your answer to those questions above. Check out the mission critical re-watch above for all the goods.

Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, Manfrotto and B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make and sell.

Please show them you care and follow them on Twitter at: @hpprint, @HasselbladBron, @manfrotto_tweet, @BHPhotoVideo

Aspen Photo Shoot: chasejarvis RAW Behind-the-Scenes Video

Real heli’s and remote octo-copters. Flying cameras and world-class athletes. Lots of hard work and a great campaign for one legendary resort.

Earlier this year in March you may have tuned into my live-updates while shooting the 2012-2013 campaign for Aspen/Snowmass resort. Amidst our 20 hour days we were able to kick out behind the scenes photos, some daily blog posts and a few other things highlighting our work (thanks to Aspen for being incredibly cool, most clients don’t let you do this…) But I also promised a behind-the-scenes vid… So here ’tis. 6 months after the actual shoot, but before anybody else gets to see it – we’re dropping it here today…timed with the launch of the campaign – and sharing several of the final ads before they land in magazines / billboards worldwide.

The focus for this work was to re-create and share the real Aspen experience, so we lived it. Shooting on location in the mountains comes with the usual crazy challenges. Cold weather, crazy wind, even colder hands and feet, scorching sun, altitude issues, running around above 12,000 feet… and in my case, a badly sunburned nose. While some of my BTS videos show that part of it, we wanted the focus of this video to be more on the ways we captured the photos, the people, the athletes, and the action. We skied, hiked, choppered, ate, drank and danced our way through this job – a helluva a lot work, but even more fun. Hope you enjoy.

Some nuts and bolts from the shoot not obvious from the BTS vid, but that you might be interested to know:
// I shot Nikon D3s + Canon 5d (remote from Octocopter) for stills and Nikon D7000 + Canon 7D for the Behind-the-scenes
// We strapped GoPros to my head, my leg, to an octo-copter, to myriad body parts on pro-rippers
// We used 2 real helicopters and 1 remote octo-copter
// Among the many shredders we worked with is legendary Chris Davenport. Literally one of the best pro skiers of all time. Chris has climbed and skied all 50+ 14,000 peaks in Colorado in one year and recently skied off Everest. Follow him here @steepskiing. Total badass. Consummate pro.
// We shot the entire campaign and video in 6 days
// We had a 6-person photo crew (2 producers, myself + 3 film/photo crew) + 25 others (agency, client, talent)
// We hiked + heli’ed to the top of Highland Bowl in pre-dawn hours and watched the sunrise above 12,000 feet.
// No animals were harmed in the production of this video – just a lot of brain cells

ChaseJarvis_aspen_2012 ad campaign

ChaseJarvis_aspen_2012 ad campaign2

And I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE the music track behind this video. HUGE thanks to one of my favorite bands, The Glitch Mob for working with us to incorporate this song. In between playing amazing live music, getting brought onboard soundtracks for movies like TRON and Spiderman, they managed to squeeze us in. The video wouldn’t be the same without this music. Follow them here @TheGlitchMob and buy their albums here on iTunes.

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