Category Archives: education

Planet Earth II Slow Motion Techniques!

Planet Earth II Slow Motion

The British BBC has always been at the forefront of image techniques that revolutionize our understanding of the nature around us. Planet Earth II is the culmination of millions of hours of work condensed into 6 episodes showcasing the wonders of the natural and human built world. The news site Vox has created some mini segments that explain some of the techniques used to create the series.

Of particular interest is the use of slow motion 4k Phantom cameras, a Sony a7s for low light and the use of an IR sensitive RED Epic camera shooting at up to 300fps in complete darkness.  The videos go into camera evolution as well as techniques perfected over decades. We encourage you to subscribe to the Youtube Channel for Vox Here and of course watch Planet Earth II which is a real majestic piece of modern documentary film-making.

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Strobe Alley Birth of High Speed!

Strobe Alley

Doc Edgerton was the scientist behind the modern high speed camera and imaging techniques. His experiments made slow motion and the possibility of freezing incredibly fast phenomena a possibility.  The principles many decades later remain the same such as extreme amounts of light and ultra fast shutters along with a highly sensitive film or sensor for modern photo and video.

As a piece of history, Strobe Alley is a repository of technology and information from the early days of high speed and what it took to get us here. We found an old video that goes through the place with explanations about these aging strobes and gadgets. You can visit this place at MIT’s Edgerton center if you are ever there but you can also take a look through this footage.

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Frog Tongue Science in Slow Motion!

Frog Tongue Science

A new study released by Georgia Tech led by Alexis Noel, Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student at that institution has revealed the hidden nature and mechanics of how frogs use their squishy and sticky tongues to eat their prey. With acceleration forces  reaching 12 Gs these prey experiment over 4x that of astronauts in a rocket leaving the atmosphere at 3 Gs.

With the use of high speed video cameras  at over 1,000fps the study was able to reveal the complex motion, eye retraction and viscous properties of the frog’s elastic tongue while catching prey.  The frog uses a mucus like substance on the tongue to generate the stickiness necessary to envelop the insect prey without ejecting them off from the brutal speed and force generated.

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HIGH SPEED IMAGING COURSE at MIT

HIGH SPEED IMAGING COURSE at MIT

Registration has started at Edgerton Center from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the yearly high speed imaging course geared at the principles of shooting and preparing slow motion setups. The course goes deep into the science and art of slow motion video and has access to some of the most capable high speed gear so that students can use and experiment with first hand experience.

Previous courses have been a great success and the imagery coming out of these classes is pretty jaw dropping. If you can attend the course in June this year it could be just what you were waiting for to jump into the slow motion realm.  Access to this gear is few and far between for even experienced personnel and videographers; plus learning from experts in the field can come in very handy to get better knowledge about the process.

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Slow Motion Educational Videos!

Slow Motion Educational Videos

We want to share a few videos that explain the principles behind slow motion video shooting. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to slow motion; how to shoot it, how to play it back and the dos and don’ts to get the best footage possible.  The principles of shutter speed, light sensitivity, triggering and playback are all based on classical photography techniques with the main difference being extremely short time-scales and the need for inordinate amounts of light… but it can get tricky!

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Lumix GH5 10 Must See Videos!

Lumix GH5 VFR Mode Menu

Seems like the GH5 introduction has really made a splash on the web, TV tech news media and in enthusiast circles. The spec sheet alone is the most advanced of any DSLR or Mirror-less camera to date concerning the acquisition of professional video.  There is however one setting that does interest us more than any other and that is the  180fps VFR mode on 1080p resolution.

Slow motion samples are very hard to come by on this pre production camera for what seems to be an unofficial lock on that feature with testers according to some rumors. However we have learned that the feature is not locked and it is available to everyone on the test units but it requires UHS II U3 SDXC cards which many users simply did not have available.

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