Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Watch this video

MC2 Mark Logico just made a killer video. .. You know what?  I'm not saying any more.

I'm going to let it speak for itself.

MC2 took some time to fill us in on the project.  Read on below!


--- One Day in Six Minutes is a hit.  What gave you the idea?

The idea came to me when I saw MC2 Drew Geraci's Work.

I've never met the guy but I've heard about him from several people, and I was curious. I loved his time lapse and high dynamic range work. Time lapse was something I just wanted to try out. I tested the technique on the roof top of my building first. When I found it was an awesome success, I decided to try it out again when I went on assignment to shoot USS Boxer. Then I started building on top of it. Soon I had a whole bunch of time-lapse videos I didn't know what to do with. It was probably a few short clips later I decided to make a music video out of it.

--- What brought you to the Navy?  What are you doing in Hawaii?

I joined the Navy in Oct 2003. I joined so I can be a US citizen. I was a Filipino immigrant with a permanent residence at the time.  I am assigned to Commander, Navy Region Hawaii for two years now. I am one of three MCs assigned here. It is technically my fourth duty station.

--- Do you have a photography background?  

I enjoyed taking photos when I was younger but I never thought it would be a career for me. When I enlisted, I entered in as an EA in the Seabee community. When I finally got my citizenship 2 years later, a Chief Photographer's Mate encouraged me to cross rate into Draftsman. Two months after successfully crossrating, the merger happened and I was an MC.

  Sample of MC2's work.

--- You shot time lapse on a camera used primarily for stills.  How did you manage to not run out of 
storage space?  Why not use a video camera?

Large memory cards 8G and a 2T portable hard drive. I limited the number of shots I needed and I downloaded often. Our office didn't have a video camera to begin with. So I was limited to what I already have which was a D300 and a D200.

--- The video looks great.  Can you give us details on the equipment/settings you used?

I used a Nikon D300/D200, various lenses and a tripod. As for software, I used Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, Quicktime Pro, iMovie '08 and GarageBand for the music.

For the Nikons, you'd want to use manual settings as much as possible. You want to control WB, focus, shutter speed, everything. The two cameras have an intervalometer, and you can set it to shoot on any intervals you want, every one second, two, 60, 2 minutes, etc...

Choice of intervals depends on your preference. I discovered, the faster the event the shorter intervals I have to make. You get to find this out on the field. You'll find that you'll be using a little more math than you're used to. I opted for a high image quality but the smallest image size. This way you can shoot more photos, and at the same time you don't have to resize your images on Bridge.

The guided-missile destroyer O'Kane makes its way out of Pearl Harbor on Feb. 27 as Hawaii prepared for a possible tsunami generated by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake near Chile. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW) Mark Logico.

I used Bridge and Photoshop to process all my photos. The "Image Processor" (in Bridge) and "Photoshop Actions" are a powerful tools. It's difficult to explain it here but there are many tutorials out there on how these are used. Basically, You use these tools to resize, add filter, color correct, retouch, all kinds of stuff to all your photos without opening each image one at a time. Again MC2 Geraci's work clued me in the process.

I used Quicktime Pro to create the timelapse video clips, and I used iMovie to put all the clips together. You don't have to use iMovie of course, but Quicktime Pro is probably the easiest program to use to string photos into a time lapse. It's worth getting.

--- Tell us about your song choice.  Was it created solely for this project?

I'm not a musician. I asked around where I can get digital rights for any music. Out of desperation I turned to Garageband to create my own music. As it turned out it actually worked out for me. As you may already know, in a music video, timing is everything. When I create my music in Garageband, I set it to a 4 measure beat, which meant to me that each video clip should be an even numbered time duration. Each clip is cut to a 2 second, 4 second, 6 second clip. So when the music changes the video sequence changes with it.

--- What kind of obstacles did you overcome to get your footage?

This whole project was very time consuming, and once you decide to start shooting those photos, you have to commit to the duration. Switching from doing the timelapse and shooting regular photos was definitely difficult. I was doing this project on the side. No one other than my chief knew what I was doing so I got a lot of strange stares as I fumbled with my cameras. I suggest not mixing work with pleasure because there's a lot going on between the two.

Keeping the tripod still was another obstacle, especially out at sea when the ship rolls and I was faced with the elements. It rains a lot here in Hawaii, so I had a plastic bag over the camera sometimes. I had a great idea to setup a tripod on a RHIB boat. It was a great idea until I actually sat in one.

Acting skills.

--- Do you have any advice for the rest of us MCs?

Don't be afraid to break away from the status quo. I certainly didn't know how far this video went when I was making it. There will be a point in your career where you will get bored with the work that you do. Don't allow yourself to reach that point. Always find something new to try out. Find a project you haven't tried before. I didn't go out to remake the wheel with my video. There are thousands of time lapse videos out there. It just so happened the Navy didn't really have one.

There are so many things an MC can do creatively, but because of operational duties there is this mindset, almost an illusion, that certain products are the only thing that is expected of us. We are expected to BE creative, for crying out loud. BE creative! Do something different and challenge yourself.


Thank you for your time MC2.  We look forward to your next piece!

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