Focal Point: Friday February 28, 2014

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Welcome to another Focal Point Friday! We’ve got features on Neutral Density Filters and a brilliant, time-lapse video by LA photographer, Ross Ching. Guys, it’s toe-numbingly cold out there, so get inside, put on some extra warm socks and enjoy!

Neutral density filters are designed to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor, without affecting the colour of the image. Unlike Polarizing filters though, they don’t radically affect the image that the camera captures; Instead, they just slow down the time it takes the sensor to record the image. This allows photographers to capture movement in landscape shots, producing soft, blurry clouds or misty waterfalls and creating stillness in motion. Imagine turning water to glass or even removing evidence of people on otherwise busy streets.

Photographers Lucie & Simon accomplished exactly this with their breathtaking series Silent World. From
Tiananmen to Times square, they combined long-exposure photography and some serious ND Filters to render the world’s busiest cities desolate.

Silent world from Lucie & Simon on Vimeo.

The concept is similar to a couple other stunning series of a similar nature.

Matt Logue’s photos of Los Angeles in empty LA which was created by combining multiple exposures, combining only the parts of the images devoid of cars.

Masataka Nakano spent 11 years creating images of Tokyo in Tokyo Nobody forgoing extensive image editing, instead he visited ordinarily busy locations during time of low activity and patiently waited for just the right moment to create each image.

These results can also be achieved to create stunning, haunting video as Director Ross Ching proves with his short Running on Empty 

Running on Empty (Revisited) from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

With “Carmageddon” looming in Los Angeles, I decided to take my “LA with no cars” video and re-edit it with new music, colouring and opening shots. Editing was done in Final Cut, colouring done with After Effects and shot on a Canon 60D.

Music: Wim Mertens – Often a Bird

Here’s the basics:
1. Record for 20-30 mins.
2. Go frame by frame and grab pieces of the road that aren’t obstructed by a car. Eventually, you will have every piece of the road.
3. Put the static image of the road in with the moving background.

For more information see: