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Inspiring New York City Time Lapse: The Manhattan Project

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I’m headed back to New York city this week. The city has a unique way of pushing photographers and filmmakers to be more creative. The constant pulse of visual inspiration is motivational. My own work has been given the occasional Big Apple boost – in fact, it was just one year ago that I wrapped up my Dasein: An Invitation to Hang installation at the Ace Hotel. The mini-doc and some of my conclusions on “An Experiment in Creative Living” in NYC, can be viewed here

Photographer/filmmaker Cameron Michael put out a time lapse of NYC that has been making the rounds the past couple of days (via PetaPixel and FStoppers). Cameron spent roughly 5 months on the project and carried 120 pounds of gear from location to location to capture the piece. It pokes around the entire city and highlights the gorgeous juxtaposition of activity that makes the city so incredible. Super cool homage to the city that never sleeps.

Click through the above tabs to check out two more time lapse videos from other cities I find inspiring: San Francisco and my hometown Seattle. [via Acadian Bay Photography and TimeFramesvideo respectively]

Friday Fun – The Lemon-Ginger Caipirinha

Straight from Guaruja Brazil - the ginger caipirinha

It’s summertime and the weekend is here. I had the good fortune of discovering this fresh Brazilian cocktail this week in Guaruja surrounded by old and new friends. I highly recommend you try it out. Have a great weekend.

3 small chopped seeded lemons or small oranges, limes, tangerines (no need to peel)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
3/4 cup lemon juice (or other citrus of choice – tangerine, lime, orange)
1 1/2 cup cachaça (Brazilian sugarcane liquor) or vodka

Divide lemons (or small oranges, tangerines or limes – we had lemon) among 6 tumblers. Add 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled ginger to each glass. Crush the ingredients in the bottom of the glass with a muddler or handle of a wooden spoon. Top each drink with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 cup cachaça (Brazilian sugarcane liquor) or vodka. Fill glasses with ice cubes, stir, and serve.

Snapshots from Brazil

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Talking with the engineer Jacek

Here are some behind-the-scenes snapshots of my time here in Brazil with Mike Horn. Although we are almost done here, our collaboration with Mike and the Pangaea is just beginning. Much much more to come. Pay attention for our next trip to South Africa in a few weeks. Click through some of the above photos to see what we’ve been up to.

How far can you go in one year?

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Photos courtesy of Mike Horn and the Pangaea Expedition

It has been just over one year since my last encounter with the Pangaea. I met Mike Horn and his crew onboard the Pangaea in Seattle last summer shortly after our adventure in the South China Sea together (the chronicles of that trip are here and here). Now, by example of what can be accomplished in a year, consider for a moment that the Pangaea has traveled up and down both coasts of the USA, picked through the ice of northwest passage, wound their way through the islands of the Caribbean and sailed up the Amazon River before arriving here, not far from the birthplace of the Pangaea in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This distance is equivalent to sailing twice around the globe! Click through some of the photos above for a fast tour.

But what happens onboard and underway on the Pangea is much more than just these traveling these massive stretches of ocean miles. It is the action, education and this crew’s commitment to the idea of changing things on our planet for the better. Before I left on this trip, I posted about commitment and Mike’s example with the Pangaea. Mike’s expedition is educating youth and sending them to the front lines to make an impact on some of the ecological imbalances on our planet. It was this vision and total a commitment to this dream that manifested the Pangaea Expedition.

It was from just near here (in Guaruja grabbing some weak wifi in a canal where we are re-fueling for the Pangaea’s trans-atlantic crossing) 4 years ago in Sao Paulo that Mike created his own shipyard, hired workers from the favelas, purchased and hauled (by his own hand) the aluminum for the hull, and willed his dream of the Pangaea into reality and watched the 95-meter hull first touch the water not far from where I am writing this post.

Now, with 6 months left in the 4-year Pangaea expedition, the miles in the wake of this boat are mind-boggling. She has seen more than 140,000 miles, (10 Atlantic crossings and 2 Pacific crossings), Mike and his crew have educated more than 200 kids in the Young Explorers Program from ages 14-21 years old. These YEPs, as they are called, hail from 96 different countries and 6 continents in every corner of the world. Now, these environmental ambassadors, carry the message of sustainability back to their individual communities with the vivid stories that can only come from experiencing the planet’s most remote places in person. It is a powerful strategy that is working to create real action across the globe.

So after clicking through some of the photos above, ask yourself, What can you accomplish in just one year? The Pangaea is a great example of what is possible. There is no good reason to wait. Start today.

Notes from Brazil: Hanging 60 feet off the deck

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Mike Horn is a giant! Who's that high up in that red circle?

When you’re hanging off the mast of a sailboat 60 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, there is a tendency to ask the question, “Am I supposed to be here?” But it’s good to be asking that question of yourself, wherever you might be.

I know that here onboard the Pangaea, with my friend Mike Horn and his crew, is exactly where Im supposed to be. Here’s a quick photo update from the Brazilian coast. As always, it is an adventure. Mike is truly a one-of-a-kind human who never fails to inspire us with his attitude and vision. Click through some of the above snapshots over the last three days. Stay tuned for more.


If you missed my stories about sailing with Mike Horn in the South China Sea in back October of 2010 are Here and here.

I also did a review from the deck of Pangaea on the mission critical gear I bring on these fast and light projects here

Be Committed to Your Vision

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Mike Horn on the Pangaea at Sea, Strait of Taiwan

Commitment to your vision is important. Just ask my friend Mike Horn. I mentioned in my post yesterday (about imagination inspired by travel photos) that I was scurrying around getting ready for a trip with Mike. I’m running to the airport right now – and needless to say my imagination is also running with the thoughts of spending time with the greatest Explorer of our time on his aluminium hulled 110-foot 4×4 of the sea, the Pangaea. Click through the images above to see the results of my last trip with Mike in the South China Sea.

I settle on the thought of commitment when I think of Mike. Sure he’s passionate, inspired, strong (superhuman even), creative. But its’ Mike’s commitment to his vision that is truly unique. There’s no one else like him on the planet. He has done things in his life that no one else has ever accomplished — this is a man who swam the Amazon, circumnavigated the Artic Circle by human power solo, circumnavigated the Earth solo by human power. First he imagined these things (see yesterday’s post) and then committed 100% to accomplishing them – no matter what it cost in terms of time, money, and physical hardship. In this regard, Mike is truly in a class all his own.

Check out my talk with Mike on chasejarvisLIVE here. Whether your planning your next adventure or dedicating yourself more fully to your craft – we can all take Mike’s example and apply it to what we’re doing. Be committed.

If you missed my stories about sailing with Mike Horn in the South China Sea in October of 2010 are Here and here.

Spectacular Lighting Just Twice a Year: Don’t Miss Manhattanhenge

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Photo: Steve Kelley

Photo: Steve Kelley

Seeking out uniquely spectacular lighting is a good bet for capturing stunning imagery.
May 29th, yesterday, was one of the two days of the year when our friendly neighborhood star, the sun, sets perfectly in-line with the Manhattan grid. Bi-annually, photographers in the big apple take advantage of this unique moment in our solar system. Click through the image tabs above to see some shots of New York in a new, er, light.

Manhattanhenge, as it was termed by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a result of Manhattan’s grid not being aligned with the geographic north-south or east-west lines. Instead, according to Dr. deGrasse, it’s angled 30 degrees east of geographic north. This angle causes Manhattanhenge to occur 22 days before the summer solstice, and again 21 days after (that’s July 12th this year). The neologism is derived from Wiltshire England’s Stonehenge, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices with a similarly dramatic effect.

Those of you in Manhattan, who missed yesterday’s event, never fear – you have another chance for great photos today. The phenomenon continues (albeit slightly off for Manhattanhenge purists) into today as a “full sun,” event. According to Wikipedia’s definition of the event the phenomenon actually extends into today.

And for all of you no where near New York today, like me, the challenge is to go out and find some uniquely spectacular lighting. It’s out there.

Breaking News: Facebook Launches Photo App

Facebook dropped a photo app today that will definitely turn a few heads. The app is chock-full of the features iPhone photographers want: You can crop, rotate and add filters to any picture in your camera roll in app. If your Facebook use is all about photos this app could replace the regular Facebook app. It offers a “news feed” that exclusively shows pictures as its home page. Screen shots below. What do you guys think? Like, Dislike, Neutral?

Facebook Photo App on Chase Jarvis Blog

Facebook Photo App on Chase Jarvis Blog

FROM THE FUTURE: Fully Remote Photography + Video For Less Than $100

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I don’t know these Galileo guys, but I want to know them now. After you’ve pondered this video for about a quarter of a second and fully comprehending the future of this device and others like it — all the way down to how it might affect your job, your future and your career path (for better + worse), consider kicking into their kickstarter project. I did.

Or you can always bury your head in the sand.

From their page: The Galileo is a revolutionary, iOS-controlled robotic iPhone platform with infinite spherical rotation capability. Just swipe your finger on the screen of your iPad or other iOS device and Galileo reacts, orienting your iPhone or iPod Touch accordingly. With applications in areas of photography, cinematography, social networking, and video conferencing, Galileo gives iOS devices endless possibilities of remote-controlled motion. Capable of infinite 360° pan-and-tilt at speeds up to 200° per second in any orientation, Galileo is an invaluable tool to everyone from an amateur photographer to the professional cinematographer, and vastly improves the experience of video chat for anyone needing to stay connected.

Click thru the gallery of images using the image tabs above the video…

…and then when you like what you see head on over to the Galileo kickstarter project over here. Last I looked they’d raised $330,000 of their $100,000 goal. Not too shabby.

(thx Bryan!)

The Smart Artist

Spinning through photos on my phone. Saw this. Don’t recall where I snapped the image – somewhere in NYC I think. But it is perhaps the most perfect summary of our quest.

Have a great weekend.

Photo Geek History Lesson: Pictures that Jiggle [Stereoview to Cinemagraph]

Animated gifs have become an internet favorite. And for good reason; a little bit of movement can go a long way in making an image come alive. But let’s take a geek peek at the history and evolution of these suckers. Me thinks you’ll likey.

In the early days, photogs made use of the stereoview. A stereoview is two photographs of the same scene taken from two slightly different perspectives, mounted side by side on a card; the photos combine and appear three-dimensional when seen through a viewing device called a stereoscope. Back in the day you’d get the 3D effect from a stereoscope.

Some examples from the Civil War via NPR’s Picture Show and from from the Smithsonian’s Photographic History Collection to show the images in 3-D by flickering the right and left sides of the views. Your eyes and brain will collaborate (ie freak out) to give the sense of depth. The captions are transcribed directly from the back of the stereoview card.

Here’s an animation of some women using a Stereoscope in Japan.

Then as we move along to the advent of the web, where we can see some more modern, delightful imagery from over at Dangerous Minds–Bar Mitzvah goodness–made with this same technique, minus the stereoscope contraption used by the lovely Japanese women above, and done with, um, software.

Fast forward to a newer kid on the block – the photographic animation leapfrog…using a still camera that can motordrive 6-10 frames per second and some fancier software. Here Blake Sinclair snags a shot of his adorable Olive, using motor-drive and then animating in Photoshop.

And on now to the newest prize, also by Sinclair, but this one is shot with video, and then masked certain elements to keep the stillness. This sort of animation is the current benchmark, and is more technically be deemed a Cinemagraph, which melds video and still into a seamless moment.

Most recently you may have seen traipsing around the internet, the work of duo Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg who have developed the technique beautifully. Here’s how they do it, as  described to The Atlantic in a recent profile:

We began seriously creating them during fashion week this past February. Our first few animated images were sequenced still shots looped in rapid succession which is a fairly common way of making an animated image. From there we began utilizing more fluid motion isolated in certain parts of an image to capture a moment of time, but also to un-freeze a still photograph by showing that moment’s temporal movement. The process involves still and video photography but editing is very manual and varies greatly from one to another so we’re routinely solving new problems when creating them.

We feel there are many exciting applications for this type of moving image. There’s movement in everything and by capturing that plus the great things about a still photograph you get to experience what a video has to offer without the time commitment a video requires. There’s something magical about a still photograph — a captured moment in time — that can simultaneously exist outside the fraction of a second the shutter captures.

These have become a bit of an internet sensation, and you can see why– these little vignettes are pretty appealing:

And lastly, check out their commercial application, here for Dogfish Ale. This truly feels like it’ll be pretty damn popular in the future. Or at least like Minority Report.

So there’s the brief history for you photo geeks. I probably missed something, in which case I’m hoping you’ll enlighten us all in the comments below… thoughts, links or images.

And BTW, when is the Stereograph/Cinemagraph iPhone app coming out?

Olympus is Talking Shit About Your Camera Phone

Image by Mark Matthews @markmimage

Seems that a new guerrilla campaign by Olympus in Australia is talking shit about the “rubbish” photos from your camera phone.

“If you’re camera also sends text messages, that will explain why your photos are rubbish.”

Plaques in select Aussie cities bearing the above slogan have been pasted to the street and other urban environs, with the url linking to Olympus. Personally, the message bugs me, but it’s pretty damn clever — made me look twice and type in the url. … Continue Reading →

Win A MacBook For a Snapshot: The Best Camera Challenge


Hi friends. I’ve ranted for years how mobile phone photography changed my outlook on a bunch of things…creativity born from constraints, the immediacy of the moment, digital sharing, the democratization of creativity, and on and on. As you may know, the ideals and the principle that ‘the best camera is the one that’s with you’ certainly captured my attention, led to my app, a book, a community, etc

But here’s a question: have YOU actually made any cool pictures with your mobile phone? If so, I want to see them. In fact, so does the world and PDN Magazine. So much is the case that the nice folks at PDN have put together a mobile phone photo contest called The Best Camera Challenge.

Entrance fee: $1/image, or 7 for $5. Enter as many as you like.
Categories: People, Places, Things
Prizes: an Apple MacBook for the Grand Prize and lots of other stuff for category winners. Winning images will be featured on PDN. (and I’ll laud you with praise in my social channels too…)
Enter here: at

You have one week to enter from today. Deadline is January 31. Details after the jump and at

Continue Reading →

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