Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Slow Life and the Andaman Sea; A 'Must Watch' Video

I was just enchanted by the great work of photographer Daniel Stoupin when it came to my attention several months ago. Many animals appear to be motionless relative to our busy lives. But they arent; they do move and can be caught on camera. Coral reefs take on a new perspective through his lens.

Corals evolved about 550 million years ago and have survived all that Nature could 'throw' at them. Sadly, they are not doing well since modern industrialized man turned his interests to the sea. Nearly half of all the world's coral has died in the last 50 years.

Slow Life


"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.

This clip, as well as stock footage, is available in 4k resolution. Make sure you watch it on a large screen! You won't be able to appreciate this clip or see individual cells moving in a sponge on a smartphone. If you have a full-HD screen, when you enter full-screen mode, please press on "view actual size" next to the HD icon to improve sharpness.

To make this little clip I took 150000 shots. Why so many? Because macro photography involves shallow depth of field. To extend it, I used focus stacking. Each frame of the video is actually a stack that consists of 3-12 shots where in-focus areas are merged. Just the intro and last scene are regular real-time footage. One frame required about 10 minutes of processing time (raw conversion + stacking). Unfortunately, the success rate was very low due to copious technical challenges and I spent almost 9 long months just to learn how to make these kinds of videos and understand how to work with these delicate creatures."

No comments:

Post a Comment