All posts tagged musings

  • Moto Euro 2012

    I spent last October zipping around Europe with my significantly lovely other on a pair of motorcycles. We did the Europe sampler: Germany, Switzerland, a corner of France, Northern Italy, and Austria. It was my first time in Europe and I was thrilled to do it on two wheels.

    I wanted to create something different with this video (in addition to not spending too much time shooting on vacation). My goal was to combine the inherent nostalgia of photographs with the storytelling power of motion and sound. The result is a unique look at our trip that might induce seizures.

    Technical details are boring. Nevertheless, this video is a little unique and probably deserves a little deconstruction.

    I took three cameras with me on this trip: GoPro Hero2, Fuji x100, and, as always, the iPhone. The motion sections of this vid where shot with the GoPro in 0.5 time lapse mode. That’s one picture every half second. Most of the B&W snaps where from the other two cams.

    Not every shot worked at 2fps. I had to take special care to move slow and smooth, always leaving something consistent in frame for the eye to follow. I think the jumpiness worked stylistically and I tried to match that feel with the way I edited the piece. There were a few shots that I really liked but were just too jittery so I stabilized them with the old-school motion tracker in After Effects. Warp Stabilizer didn’t work. It had seizures.

    Speaking of post, the nice thing about shooting 11mp stills (I opted for 5mp to save space) is that my footage was essentially 4k. Not a bad output from such a little camera. I used After Effects to assemble the stills into 12fps video clips. I left the assembled video clips at their native resolution and aspect ratio of 4:3. This gave me the flexibility to zoom and reframe shots as necessary.

    I think that about covers it? Hit me in the comments (or on Twitter) if you have more questions.

  • Month on a Moto


    It’s Sunday night and I’m leaving in the morning for a month-long trek on my motorcycle. The plan is to roll back to Minnesota (from California) with my dad for his 50th high school reunion, then split off and solo up through the Canadian Rockies and back down the west coast. The thought of a month on a moto gets me a wee apprehensive until I remind myself that I’ll never be more than a few hundred miles away from a Starbucks or a Walmart (shudder).

    No, this is not a gear sponsored trip. Nope, not planning on timelapsing all 5000+ miles. Not even sure I’m going to take a camera other than my iPhone. I want to truly experience this trip instead of frantically trying to capture every second with thin-sliced DoF and hasty slider moves. I think sometimes it’s OK to just live in the moment and not worry about visually mediating the moment to others.

    It will be challenging, maybe even numbing at times, but I’m definitely expecting an adventure. If you want snapshots from the road or the occasional update sprinkled with snark, follow me on Twitter: @jesserosten

    Trying out a fun little app on this trip called Instamapper. As long as I have cell service (which might not be too often thanks to AT&T) you should be able to see where I am on a map. Special prize if you’re able to catch a pic of my bike. Here’s a shot of the BumbleBeemer all packed up and ready to roll. Why, yes, those ARE pelican cases on the side. Thank you for noticing.

    (It’s a BMW R1200 GS for all you oilhead boxer fans out there. Thanks Lyn for the help with the pic. )

    Got some great projects coming up when I get back. Ciao for now!


  • New and Improved!

    new_stickerIt’s been a long time a-comin’ but the the new site is finally up and running. Big props to The Mike for all his stellar design work. Is there anything this guy can not do?  I submit that there is not.  He took WordPress and bent it to his will like Moses parting the Red Sea. Or like that little kid in the Matrix that bent the spoon (there is no spoon).  The design is not quite finished so stay tuned for a homepage and some additional refining. 
    I debated for awhile on how to break up the content of this site into categories.  The challenge is that I wear many hats – director, cinematographer, photographer, motion designer.  Most of the time, I’m wearing all those hats at once.  Aside from the obvious fashion faux pax this creates, it also contributes to my small identity crisis.  I know it’s cliche, but I really DON’T know what I want to be when I grow up.  I am, in fact, hoping that I never grow up but that’s another tangent for another time.  In the last few years I’ve learned two things about myself.  

    1. I love visual storytelling.  This can take on many forms, film, commercial, music video, photo, or animated piece.  

    2. I love light.  Light is, after all, what creates an image in the first place.  

    It’s safe to say that this blog will most likely cover anything that falls under those two topics.  Which is a round-a-bout way of giving myself license to cover anything under the sun.  Feel free to RSS subscribe to the blog so you can be notified of new posts.  If you’re not using RSS you are missing out.  Or you can stay up-to-date via Facebook or Twitter.  Thanks for stopping by.  And, hey, let’s be friends.


    ps. I grabbed some of the more “industry related” content from the old blog and republished it here.  So while the blog is new, there are some entries from last year.