ON THE VERGE OF NEW DIMENSIONS IN ART
With the GoPro cameras capturing fresh HD images and footage that was never possible before, new doors opened up with cinematography. With the footage, the opportunities to manipulate, incorporate and weave them together is endless. The audience of GoPRo has increased dramatically since the release of the newest camera lines, HD Hero and HD Hero2, and since then, the technology and software have advanced to allow minds of photographers, artists and athletes to create a work of art that challenges other forms of visual art in the form of movies.
Video cameras have been in use in Fine Arts almost without our realizing it. The camera can record such things as museum visits, artist interviews, artists at work played over the internet via YouTube and Vimeo. Indeed, many museum websites have incorporated video clips as a matter of course to display art in the New Media. Moreover, museums, galleries, and other spaces showcase video art and video performance as Fine Art.
Imagine the possible uses in dance. With a camera small enough to work on the body of a dancer, dance, as seen from the perspective of the dancer, can add new dimensions to both dance and choreography. Imagine also new dimensions and perspectives added here, for example, as the ones displayed on the ChoreoVideo.com site.
Imagine the point of view of the dancer, or dancers, projected on a screen on stage and incorporated into the performance. Now image the choreographer as director who, during the performance can cue which cameras are turned on and when. The possibilities are as limitless as the creative mind. In fact, imagine seeing dance form the dancer’s perspective. This clip taken from the point of view of the dancer exemplifies the capturing of fine art with cameras such as GoPro HD Hero.
Now, it only takes a device as small as your palm to film you and what you see in high definition.
Nick Woodman, who started the company GoPro in 2002, is an accomplished amateur racecar driver, as well as a surfer, mountain biker, and motorcyclist. Nick, the CEO of GoPro was inspired to capture quality action photos of extreme sports such as surfing after realizing that amateurs couldn’t get close enough or acquire high quality equipment to capture great photos.
Tom Foster, in an interview with Nick Woodman explains that GoPro is a company that’s deeply invested in storytelling (primarily in the form of extreme-sports videos), so Woodman suggested they do part of their interview in the cockpit of a vintage racecar on a winding narrow road in the mountains between cliffs, with a dramatic backdrop and some adrenaline-pumping action between questions. Foster said,
“The point comes back to storytelling. Videos created with GoPro cameras can have a level of production value that rivals that of professionally created content. That’s great from a technical standpoint, of course, but even more important are the viral possibilities that kind of content unleashes. The more authentic and immersive the video, the more viewers get sucked in and feel as if they’re experiencing the moment themselves. “It’s like a teleportation device,” Woodman likes to say. GoPro thinks not just about its customers, in other words, but also about its audience”
With such a versatile, and small camera, stories, whether it’s a dance performance, a surf contest, a sculptor or painter at work, can be told from different perspectives and different angles at the same time. Just like a normal video, you can see the action from the audience’s perspective, or, you can now see what the main character is seeing from their perspective. In this way, storytelling just became 4 dimensional.
GoPro has released 2 revolutionary digital camera/camcorders- the HD Hero and HD Hero2. The HD Hero was released in January of 2010 and the HD Hero 2 was released in October of 2011. Both the HD Hero and HD Hero2 do not have a viewfinder or a zoom lens. They consist of a three character LCD. The camera is composed of clear polycarbonate HD housing that is shock and waterproof to 180 feet/60 meters. They have threads at the bottom of the camera that can be used with a screw to connect to all of the different mounts. They have an aperture of f/2.8 and have a super wide-angle lens to incorporate all of the action. To Operate, the front button controls power and cycles through the menu options, while the top button selects and sets the camera rolling. When you are ready to start filming, you press the top button and you’re off. Once you are rolling, the camera beeps and a red LED light on the front and top flash to let you know that it is recording. The 1,100mAh battery lasts about 2.5 hours.
“According to GoPro, the Hero 2 is two times as powerful in every way. That means ‘two times sharper image’ (however that’s measured); 11MP Photos, up from the original’s five; ten photos per second, up from three; time lapse down to 0.5 second increments, previously 1 second; max fps 120, up from 60; and 170 degrees FOV all the way up to 1080p, previously 170 stopped at 960p, dropping to 127 degrees at full resolution.”
THE CREATION OF ART
With editing features such as Cineform studio, iMovie and Cyberlink PowerDirector, special effects that alter speed, lighting, timing, coloring and transitions can be incorporated into creating a masterpiece. Just like the first video showed, manipulating the timing (slowing it down, speeding it up) can add an incredible effect to the movie. Transitions can create a mood that manipulates the audience along with the music/sound.
Below is the trailer from the movie The Art of Flight. The transitions, timing, and sound together create a one-of-a-kind experience that gives the audience a chance to really put themselves in the characters’ shoes.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
Below is a video of an artist at work captured by a GoPro and sped up.
Just as this video portrays, GoPro can be used for anything and anywhere. It is its versatility that makes it accessible, flexible and maneuverable. Using a chest mount, it can be used to take footage of what a ballerina sees during a performance; using a headmount, a biker can portray what he or she sees during a contest; using a board mount, a snowboarder can portray footage of them on a board that no one could have ever captured before. This adds a new dimension to the quest of the artist to show you the world as they see it. GoPro lays the footwork for fine art to be created. Although the footage that is captured is unique and out of this world, it is what you do with the footage that makes it worthy of fine art in the new media.