GigaPan Magazine

I was the guest editor for the December 2013 edition of GigaPan Magazine. This month’s theme is Main Streets. I dug through the GigaPan archives and selected nine main streets from around the world. The images and text illustrate the commonality and distinctions of each community. Hopefully, it enlightens you to be involved on your Main Street.

You can view the magazine here.

Inside the Pot

This video collaboration with potter/artist Billy Ritter is designed in such a way as to disorient the viewer. The spinning motion of the filmic elements such as the helicopter and the repetitious four count music act as unifiers. Inclusion of the helicopter at the beginning of the piece does two things. One, it helps set the location of the pottery shop. Secondly, helicopters, like the potters wheel, work with rotating parts. It is a lucky symbol linking the larger world to the mound of earth about to be transformed, through spinning, into a functional and beautiful piece.

The music choice was made based on the ongoing rhythmic nature of The Funky Drummer. The main tempo and feeling of the song allows ones mind to enter into a certain state. The state should be very organized and predictable as the song changes little throughout. However, when the music does make slight changes the film editing changes as well, black screen or stop is used to delineate a break in the action. The four count measures were natural transition points in the film. As the visual are presented and transitioned, the occur only on the mark. Every transition occurred on either a four count or on some anomaly present in the original song. Editing the visual in this way provides a continuity. That continuity is evident because during the spinning cycles of the film the transitions are supposed to be transparent to the viewer. There were no less than four transitions that occurred in the cycling. The song was used in it’s entirety and extended slightly for the credits.

The New River

 (Christopher Rolinson)

This is an image of the third oldest river in the world, West Virginia’s New River. The currently misnamed New River is part of the ancient river Teays. Before the last ice age the river system flowed north from Virginia through West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. At the conclusion of the Wisconsin Glacial Episode the ancient the northern stretches of the River Teays were filled with glacial sediment. Ice dams blocked the old routes and new southern drainages like the Ohio River were formed. This portion of the river was far enough south to escape glaciation and remains a relic of a far older river system.

A GoPro Medley

This GoPro medley is the beginnings of about a years worth of GoPro clips. They all start out the same way, me or someone else staring right into the thing. I figured, why let a years worth of great impressions and expressions go to waste. If you watch carefully you may see someone you know. You’ll definitely get a brief sense of how I use the GoPro as a second or third camera. You’ll also see that I like to hike and swim in the summers.

Pittsburgh Opera Gigapan Project

Pittsburgh Opera Make-Up Session from StartPoint Media on Vimeo.

Back in October, as part of research with Carnegie Mellon University’s Gigapan Time Machine project, I created this short video time lapse as an add-on to the overall project. The Gigapan Time Machine movie is still in post production with Carnegie Mellon. This short film features the process Pittsburgh Opera’s Wig Designer and Make-up Artist James Geier used to transform soprano opera singer Jasmine Muhammad and apprentice Olivia Dolan into operatic characters.

You can check out the production stills here:

These folks collaborated to make this film possible:

Pittsburgh Opera Gigapan Project

James Geier
Wig & Make-Up Designer
Pittsburgh Opera

Jasmine Muhammad, soprano
Resident Artist
Pittsburgh Opera

Olivia Dolan
High School Apprentice
Pittsburgh Opera

Christopher Rolinson
Director of Photography
Point Park University

Marilyn Egan, Ph.D.
Director of Education
Pittsburgh Opera

Dror Yaron
Carnegie Mellon University

Clara Phillips
Carnegie Mellon University

Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Pittsburgh Opera
Benedum Center
October 6, 9, 12, 14, 2012

Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra
Conducted by
Maestro Antony Walker

Singers in Scene One:
Duke of Mantua ~ Michael Wade Lee
Borsa ~ Juan José de León

New Orleans

 (© StartPoint Media, Inc.)

To celebrate 9 1/2 years of marriage, Cara and I recently took a trip to New Orleans. This is a series of travel images to commemorate the trip showing off the street scene, the music, people and sights of this unique city.

We ate great food (daily), met great people, saw some sights and went to Bourbon Street at midnight. We learned how they live life and bury their dead.

And as a bonus we had a great view.

Geminids Meteor Shower Starstax

Geminds Meteor Shower Dec 2012 from StartPoint Media on Vimeo.

This is a view of the Geminids Meteor Shower in December 2012. This video is a follow-up to the experiment conducted with Starstax software. It is best watched at full screen.

The time lapse captured at least five visible meteors over an eight hour period. The camera was open for 30 seconds at a 30 second interval, about half of the time. There were likely more meteors that did not have the luminance to register on the senor.

 (© StartPoint Media, Inc.)


Oh Golden Dawn (Campfires) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Subway Plug

 (© StartPoint Media, Inc.)

I recently contributed video work to a New York Times project. The story was about a team of researchers at West Virginia University who have developed technology to help prevent subway flooding after a major storm like Hurricane Sandy. The team uses an inflatable three layer balloon to act as a subway tunnel plug to minimize or prevent water from entering the subway system.

You can check out the New York Times story by Henry Fountain and the video here.

StarStax ~ Polaris

 (© StartPoint Media, Inc.)

Mid-November brings the Leonids Meteor Shower. I photographed the impeding meteors using an intervalometer. It was a great idea and it would have worked except the meteors never really showed up astronomically speaking. So what to do with the collection of frames? I tried out StarStax to create this composite image of Polaris. The software also does progressive saving which creates cumulative star trail images as a time lapse which can be created easily for video applications.

For comparison, you can check out the footage as a regular time lapse here.

Toynbee Idea

 (Christopher Rolinson)

I spotted the tile shown above embedded along the Boulevard of the Allies in downtown Pittsburgh. This new sighting sparked a bit of research about the message and origins of the tiles and how it might relate to another project I am working on. The tiles often contain a cryptic message about the Toynbee Idea and Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001. During the research, I came across the documentary film Resurrect Dead. The film seeks to reveal the creator of the Philadelphia Toynbee Tiles. The story was intriguing enough to compel me to revisit the other known Toynbee Tiles in downtown Pittsburgh (see the gallery below). With the exception of the tile above, the others appear at intersections along Smithfield Street. Do you know of any others in Pittsburgh? How about Cleveland? It would help me in my research.