Monthly Archives: October 2009

Viva el Tango


This video contains music of Gotan Project (live from Germany). The song is called Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre). I really liked the rhythm and cadence of this modern tango, and so I had in mind for a long time to produce a photo montage video with it. Buenos Aires -- Tango

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to see it: http://www.vimeo.com/7361104

I started and stopped this montage many times, while I got distracted with other projects and more important life issues. The nature of the video probably shows the many attempts I made to rekindle the original idea. Somehow I found it to be syncopated and I’ve done better work before. On to the next…

I hope you enjoy this production.

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Yosemite in Autumn


When Felipe Rojas and me met through Vimeo a few weeks ago, we discussed the possibility of doing a video in collaboration. From concept to reality took a lot of communication, exchanging photographs, ideas, preferences and some video files (that in the end were not used).

The elements used on this project:

  • Our combined photographs from Yosemite
  • Aerial photography with simulated in-flight animation shots (public domain)
  • HDR images from Filip42 @ Flickr (CC Attribution 3.0)
  • Paintings from early 20th. century: C. Gordon-Cumming, Thomas Hill and Albert Bierstadt

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The project began taking shape slowly and the communication became more fluid and focused as we made progress. In the meantime we both had other pressing issues in our lives that we had to attend to with care and attention. Despite all that we pushed the ball forward.

See this video at: http://www.vimeo.com/7263360

As the first draft took shape, Felipe begun the tedious part of editing, music selection, sequence, rejects, adds and changes. Slowly now, we started expressing our styles, opinions, and preferences. From these discussions we agreed to make a series of changes and the second draft surfaced within days. After a few more subtle touches and adjustments the final production was wrapped up and posted to Vimeo within 2 days.

We both liked the outcome, and felt good about our effort. We agreed that if time and conditions allow, we may do another one in the future.

I personally enjoyed working with Felipe, since we both had an opportunity to practice our rusty Spanish, and have a few laughs. Above all though, it was a revelation to read and listen to another voice regarding a project in motion. This was refreshing, since I always work in a vacuum, until the video is finalized and published. Then for the first time I get to hear feedback from my viewers.

We hope you enjoy this clip as much as we enjoyed making it.

Cape Cod in Autumn


This photo montage was a breeze to make. The great photographs, the onset of the season, the mood… It all came together with ease.FL 324257642_f3293d0721_b 12Some photographs come by courtesy of Loren Charif and Christopher Seubert, two native Cape Cod residents. In addition to my photographs, I have introduced some aerial software generated rotations and also HDR modified photos to enhance the experience.The music (beautiful piano piece) comes from Koen Scherer and it’s called “Changing Moods”. You may hear more from this artist at http://www.myspace.com/koenschererdrijfveren

Watch this video at:  http://www.vimeo.com/7237803

I really hope you enjoy this video as much as I enjoyed making it.

Leo

Tango Milagroso


Somehow I stumbled into Mandragora Tango website, an orchestra of tango musicians based out of Minneapolis about 2 months ago. Since I wasn’t familiar with them or their music I started listening to just about all their recordings on their site. They make it really easy to hear their music. Their site is HTTP://www.mandragoratango.com .Tango Milagroso

When their song “El Recodo” collided with some colorful photos from my Argentinian photographer friend Crisfer, it was a case closed! I also added some images from Marcelo Romeo Photography, another collaborator from Buenos Aires. Modified some video clips digitally by using a craquelure application, a few paintings and art, and the cake was almost ready to be cooked!

The real challenge was the timing, which was sort of syncopated at times with a slower backdrop, making a perfect sync a bit difficult. The compromise was to speed up and slow down as I saw fit, making my own rules as usual… At the end of the 5th. edit, I was so saturated with the music and images that I couldn’t make sense anymore. Two days of rest (like a good wine?) and back to look at the almost finished product. Some minor adjustments, and VOILA!

I was rushing because I wanted to finish it in time to dedicate it to Crisfer’s for her birthday present, and I managed to post it one day earlier, so all worked out fine.

Tango Milagroso from Leo Bar PIX IN MOTION on Vimeo.

Hope that all involved enjoy watching it including the visitors, thanks for your comments.

Leo Bar

Working on a joint California project


Over the last few weeks, we have developed a relationship with a West Coast enthusiast photographer, Felipe Rojas, who got interested in collaborating on a photo montage video project.

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As we began discussing some ideas and approaches it became evident that we were of the same mind on many issues related to photography, videos, presentation, etc… As time evolved and we shared more concepts, we decided to make a production about Yosemite National Park in the Autumn.

I had always wanted to do a video on this fabulous and picturesque place but since my photos were scant and came from slides (now digitized) I needed many more to make any meaningful presentation. When Felipe shared many of his Yosemite shots, we both knew we had good deal.

Presently, we are about to share the first draft and begin making some adjustments. The video will contain both of our photos, art and paintings, HDR images and a simulated aerial video of the Valley of Yosemite.

If everything progresses at pace we should be able to post it to Vimeo sometime in late October or early November. The feeling is that it’s going to be a good one!

More info as we get closer…

Sinai Desert – Info and History


Sinai Desert

Sinai DesertI was inspired to make this video once I read, traveled and saw parts of it with my own eyes. I visited a small portion of the peninsula twice, many years ago. Since then it became etched in mind. I love deserts and mountains when combined, and Sinai is the best jewel containing both of these attributes.
While making this production I’ve used many different techniques and software. Also explored aerial views and flying effects (done with Photo to Movie). Some images were modified to look as if in HDR. Altogether, the people shots were the difference; in what is a striking setting.

You may see the video here: http://vimeo.com/7023511

Enjoy!
Leo Bar

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Some History

The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt. It lies between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, forming a land bridge between Africa and Southwest Asia. Its area is about 60,000 km².
The Sinai was inhabited by the Monitu and was called Mafkat or Country of Turquoise. From the time of the First dynasty or before, the Egyptians mined turquoise in Sinai at two locations, now called by their Arabic names Wadi Maghareh and Serabit el-Khadim. The mines were worked intermittently and on a seasonal basis for thousands of years. Modern attempts to exploit the deposits have been unprofitable. These may be the first known mines.

The Mamluks of Egypt controlled the Sinai from 1260 until 1518, when the Ottoman Sultan, Selim the Grim, destroyed them at the Battles of Marj Dabiq and al-Raydaniyya. From then until the early 20th century, Sinai, as part of the Pashalik of Egypt, was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. In 1906 it became part of British-controlled Egypt, when the Turkish government yielded to British pressure to hand over the peninsula. The border imposed by the British runs in an almost straight line from Rafah on the Mediterranean shore to Taba on the Gulf of Aqaba. This line has served as the eastern border of Sinai ever since, and is now the international border between Palestinian territories and Israel from one side and Egypt from the other.

St. Catherine’s Monastery is the oldest monastery in the world and the most popular tourist attraction on the peninsula. Located at the foot of Mount Moses, St. Catherine’s Monastery was the start of the city, it was constructed by order of the Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565. It is built around what is thought to be Moses’ Burning Bush, which has a chapel built atop it. It is a spectacular natural setting for priceless works of art, including Islamic mosaics, Greek and Russian icons, Western oil paintings, paintings on wax, fine sacerdotal ornaments, marbles, enamels, chalices, reliquaries, including one donated by Czar Alexander II in the 19th century, and another by Empress Catherine of Russia in the 17th century. But of perhaps even greater significance is that it is one of the largest and most important collection of illuminated manuscripts in the world (The Vatican has the largest).

The collection consists of some 4,500 volumes in Greek, Coptic, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Slavic, Syriac, Georgian and other languages. St. Catherine’s has a rich history indeed. So rich that it is a sparkling example of an undiscovered jewel of travel. It has been called the oldest working Christian monastery and the smallest diocese in the world. The Chapel of the Burning Bush was originally ordered built by Empress Helen, the mother of Constantine the Great, but the monastery itself was actually built by Emperor Justinian to protect the monks in the region and to honor the site of the Burning Bush. St. Catherine, whose body was reportedly carried away by angels, was discovered five hundred years later at the top of the peak that now bears her name. Her relics are stored in a marble reliquary in the Basilica.

St. Catherine’s Chapel is also a formidable fortification, with granite walls measuring 8 to 35 meters tall, surrounded by gardens and cypresses. Prior to probably the twentieth century, the only entrance to St. Catherine’s was a small door 30 feet high, where provisions and people were lifted with a system of pulleys, and where food was often lowered to nomads. It has withstood numerous attacks over its fourteen-hundred years existence, thus protecting a rich store of art. Today, while it is one of the oldest monasteries in the world, its original, preserved state is unmatched. Though patronized during much of its history by the Russian Orthodox Church, it is now under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Church. Most of its monks are also of Greek origin, though their ranks include an international flavor.

The (Ancient) Silk Road


I decided to produce this video when 6 months ago I was reading about Marco Polo and how pasta was introduced into Italy. Some little tidbits just hit you across the forehead without you noticing. As I got more interested in the relationship between early Chinese trade with Central Asia and Europe, it became evident that this trade route called the Silk Road was somehow analogous in connecting cultures and people to what the internet is nowadays. I had a tough time keeping this story to a reasonable digestible time. There was so much to tell and recount and the beauty of the scenery and its people was amazing.All in all it was a deep learning experience. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did making it.  You can watch it at:  http://vimeo.com/7007938
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Silk Pillows - Uzbekistan

~Brief History~

Silk Road is a special term which refers to the trade route between the Central Asia and China. Originally, the Chinese traded silk internally within the empire. Caravans from the empire’s interior would carry silk to the western edges of the region. They were often attacked by the small Central Asian tribes who wanted to capture the traders’ valuable commodities.

In order to protect these caravans and assure the safety of the trade, the Han Government dispatched General Zhangqian as an envoy to build good relationships with these small nomadic states.Starting from Chang’an, today’s Xi’an, which was the capital of the Western Han Dynasty, Zhang led his team across the vast Western Regions and reached Loulan, Guizi and Yutian states and established trade relations with these small kingdoms. Loulan, Guizi and Yutian were three important states in the Western Region at that time. They were all abandoned for uncertain reasons and travelers today can see ruins of these three once flourishing places. Zhang’s officers went even further into the central Asia. All of the kingdoms that Zhang and his team had visited sent their envoys to visit Chang’an (Xi’an) to express their appreciation for the new relationship and show their respect to the Han Government. From then on, merchants could travel on the silk route safely, and they began to explore this new route in order to carry silk from China to other parts of the world.

The famous Chinese Monk Xuanzang in Tang Dynasty traveled the Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty. Xuanzhang began his trip from Chang’an (today’s Xian) and passed through the Hexi Corridor (the area west of the Yellow River), Hami(Xinjiang Province) and Turpan(Xinjiang) and continued his journey westward to India. Xuanzang was surprised by the warm reception he received along his way. It was commonly believed that people in those states were brutal, wild and uncontrollable. Xuangzang’s trip changed his altitude toward the nomadic tribes in the Western Region and this contributed greatly to the Tang government’s friendly relationship with these states. By 760 AD, the Tang Government had lost control of the Western Region and trade on the Silk Road was halted.
It revived tremendously under the Yuan Dynasty during the eleventh and twelfth centuries when China became largely dependent on its silk trade. Genghis Khan conquered all the small states, unified China and built a large empire under his rule. Trade along the Silk Road reached its zenith during this period.

Marco Polo traveled along the Silk Road visiting the capital city Dadu,( today’s Beijing) and wrote his famous book about the orient. In his book, he mentioned a special board held by merchants.This board was the special passport issued by the Yuan government to the merchants to protect their trade and free movement within the country. Preferential treatment was given to merchants and trade boomed. The Chinese traded silk for medicines, perfumes, and slaves in addition to precious stones.

As overland trade became increasingly dangerous, and travel by sea became more popular, trade along the Silk Road declined. While the Chinese did maintain a silk-fur trade with the Russians north of the original Silk Route, by the end of the fourteenth century, trade and travel along the road had decreased significantly.
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Until the next one…