Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Game Six In Three And A Half Minutes

The clinching game of the World Series as you've never seen it before (h/t Bronx Banter):

This was shot and compiled by photographer Robert Caplin and here is what he had to do to put it together:

This was probably one of the most tiring and time-consuming processes I've undertaken with still-photography. I arrived at Yankees Stadium around 3PM prior to the game and began scouting out locations for the time-lapse. The process itself took many hours and required me to rush around the monstrous stadium - scaling the upper decks, zipping back and forth from the outfield to the infield, and inside and out. Finally, I arrived home around 1:30AM and began downloading to my computer the 125GB (12,000 images) of RAW footage I'd collected.

After properly organizing all the files, I set my computer to stitch and render all the still images together in a low-resolution format just so I could see if the time-lapse actually worked. Exhausted, I finally got to bed around 5:30 AM while my computer rendered the files down. Given that the time-lapse consisted only of still images and not video, the files were 3-4 times the size of HD video! Needless to say, my computer spent a good chunk of time rendering all the data.

The next morning, I woke up early to check out what I'd shot, and was truly excited by what I saw; the already visually interesting images came to life in a surreal way.
Surreal, indeed. The game is already preserved through video (the TV broadcast) and still images (taken by the countless other photographers in attendance) but thankfully Caplin took the time and effort to capture the events of that night in a unique (and pretty awesome) way.

Mr. Caplin was also kind enough to answer some questions about the process for us via email:

FY: What inspired you to try something that was so time-consuming and ambitious (and hit or miss)?

Caplin: I've been a photographer for the NY Times and other clients for 5 years and I've realized what makes photography stand apart from the rest is trying something different. I was in a unique situation where I had no obligations, so if I failed, it wouldn't have been the biggest deal, and I'd still have had a learning experience.

FY: Was this the first live event you attempted to do this at?

Caplin: This was my first live event attempt.

FY: What is the piece of music that you used called? Is there a reason you chose that one specifically?

Caplin: It's Chopin's Waltz #5, I chose it because I felt it worked perfectly with the pace of the time-lapse. I also felt the classical nature of the music would be widely accepted by viewers. Last thing I'd want to do is turn off the audience by music choice.

FY: How did you pick the places that you set up? Was the foot traffic a problem?

Caplin: I chose on the fly where to place the cameras... I tried to find locations that werent too in the way, at the same time trying to find cool compositions and angles that showed a lot of moving parts.

FY: How many memory cards did you go through?

Caplin: I went through 7 8GB cards and 2 16GB cards.

Thanks a million for answering our questions, Robert.

You can find more of Mr. Caplin's work (much of which is New York City-centric) at his blog.

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