Fujifilm Square SQ10 Unboxing/ Review/ Samples!

Fuji’s latest instant film camera, the Square SQ10, gets unboxed and road tested in a shoot with model Alina Lee aka Thumbelina in a pool and a jail. We show how the hybrid digital/ analogue camera works, see sample images, showcase the unique features of the camera, go over the pros and cons of the camera, and do our best to answer all your burning questions about the Fujifilm SQ10!

Advertisements

Fuji X-T2 Video Review + Samples

Another year, another Fuji upgrade- here’s my review of the X-T2 along with samples!  Side note, the video itself was filmed in 4k with the X-T2.

I’ve been thinking about how to better utilize my youtube channel beyond posting my video art, and I decided it’s a good place to do gear reviews and tutorials that wouldn’t fit on my Skillshare channel.  As I’m making more youtube content I’m also open to requests!  Comment or message me about what kind of reviews or tutorials you’d like to see and I’ll do my best to make it happen!

Fuji X-e1 Review

Image
jpeg straight out of the camera

My new Fuji X-e1 has been put through the paces for the last 3 days and I think I’ve worked the bugs out.  It’s not really a step up from my 4 year old Nikon D700, more of a step sideways, in the same way my Fuji Instax Wide, 4×5 view camera, and lomo cameras were really fun creative tools that I wouldn’t necessarily use for more commercial work.

One thing I was really curious about was how good in-camera processing was.  The truth is as I always suspect- in-camera editing of jpgs sucks, and this isn’t exclusive to this camera, it’s any camera or phone app editing.  If image quality is of any importance, nothing works better than shooting raw format and processing in lightroom/ photoshop.

Image
same jpeg with a little bit of enhancement in lightroom 5.3.

Specific to this camera, I haven’t quite sorted the autofocus yet.  I’m *almost* to the point of using the manual to see if it has a movable target like my D700 has.

The video it takes is beautiful.  The camera is so comfortable to carry and never feels like a burden.  The overall design and feel of it is marvelous.  The raw files are fine and work for me, as a photographer who normally adds grain and layers to my work I can see using it for a lot of travel, street, art and object photography.

I still have my full frame camera for those “professional” moments (which are fewer and further between anyways), but photographers stay fresh by shooting a lot and enjoying the process.    At this moment I really needed a camera that could get me excited to shoot again, and the X-e1 absolutely it.

Clint Mansell live in LA

This is a follow up to my previous post about Clint Mansell’s influence on myself and my approach to art.  I caught the “Clint Mansell Experience” live at the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles this weekend and thought I’d post what went down!

It’s Clint, Somos Quartet, Chris Vrenna on drums, a bass player, a guitar player, and a piano player.  So 8 people on stage.  He has a big video playing for most tracks.  Clint now sports a shaved head and goatee.

The show involves chunks of his major soundtracks played with monologues between each one a la VH1’s “Storytellers.”  It went something like:

introduction by Duncan Jones, the director of Moon

Pi

Moon (around 3 or 4 tracks blended- introducing the music he says “you’ll note the progression from playing with one finger (in Pi) to playing with two fingers (for Moon)”)

Stoker (about 10 min of this)

a song I don’t know performed by the piano player and quartet because “Grandpa forgot his glasses and I have to go fetch those, so I’ll leave you in the capable hands of (forgot the player’s names but he names them)”

The Wrestler

Last Night (with singing by the singer who did the credits song, singer appearing via video)

Requiem For A Dream (Meltdown + Lux Aeterna)

The Fountain (3 songs, ending with “Death is The Road to Awe”)

Clint is center of the stage with a keyboard and only plays the simplest of notes- only one song did he use a guitar and (I think) an ebow.  A couple tracks he sits back and plays nothing, like during a track from The Fountain.

Some choice quotes:

He described Stoker as coming about because the director saw him play a similar live show a year back.  Coming off of Black Swan, Clint says he moved to a different category where he could choose his projects more carefully and only do special things.  Clint says both he and the director lost their cat companions around that time, Clint says his cat had been with him for 15 years and he visibly tears up, and that’s why he doesn’t really remember much of the music from Stoker.

Clint’s mom and dad are in the audience and he dedicates the Fountain pieces to them.

Clint talks about NY kicking his ass and throwing him out, and moving to New Orleans.

Clint says writing music for a great film is the easist job, and writing for a shit film is the hardest job.

Clint says the Wrestler is Aronofsky’s reaction to how the Fountain was slaughtered.  Drunken Aronofsky told Clint “I proved I could do it without you!”, referring to how minimal the soundtrack is to the Wrestler.  Clint says Wrestler has so little music because Mickey Rourke’s performance was so strong music ruined it.

He thanks everyone for coming to hear “sound wallpaper for failed films.”  A harsh description for some of the most touching and visceral music ever but Mansell is nothing if not humble.

Vik Muniz: Waste Land

Waste Land is a 2010 documentary on an artist and his effect on subjects who work as recycle pickers in Brazil’s largest landfill.  Vik Muniz, the artist, uses unusual material to replicate his photographs on a large scale, then rephotographs the result.  The director is Lucy Walker, with music by Moby.

I love the notion of taking photography beyond photographs so I therefore love Vik Muniz, but he’s also an artist with a heart.  Muniz wants to make work that changes peoples’ lives for the better.  In the case of the Waste Land documentary, he wants to use garbage as a medium and wants to better the lives of the people who work with garbage.  Vik photographs them in classical poses, projects the image on the floor of a warehouse, and the pickers place material to match the values and lines of the photos.  The final photographs are to be auctioned off with the money going to the pickers.  One of the pieces actually hangs in the collection of the Phoenix Art Museum.

It would be easy to do a biographical sketch of an interesting artist but because of the topic, and because of the various effects Muniz’s good intentions actually have on the pickers, there is an enormous depth to the film which I can only compare to Born Into Brothels- another documentary about a photographer who changes the lives of her subjects.  One woman, Iris, talks about how she lost her song at age 3 to pneumonia and hadn’t seen her daughter in 6 years, and was begging to remain in the studio rather than return to work at the landfill.  Behind the scenes, you can see the discussion between Vik, his wife, and his artist partner where everyone but Vik is concerned they might be screwing up these peoples’ lives by inflating expectations.  At the start of the film, the group had expected the workers to be miserable, only to see they were joking and thought of their job as environmentally important; the truth turned out to be more emotionally complex.  Vik thinks it would be a good thing if the pickers were opened up to the potential their lives could have.

Could someone trying to do good actually cause harm?  Can art change lives, and should it?

Waste Land is currently showing on Netflix.