Rubik’s Cube

I met someone during my last job and they had a Rubik’s cube on them. I noticed him solving it repeatedly so I asked him how he was doing it. He was nice enough to show me the tricks. Then my brother wanted to know how, but he lives ten hours away. So I decided to make a video for him. Before I did though, I went online and found a bunch of other videos about how to solve it. Most are poorly shot in low res and the ones that aren’t are too long. I even feel mine is too long, but even if I didn’t explain it, it takes me almost five minutes to solve it. So I think a ten minute video is acceptable.

Please keep in mind, even if you know the tricks, it’s difficult. It takes a lot of practice and patience. It took me two full days until I had it down. The guy that showed me told me it took him a whole week.

Hanging out with Banna

This past St. Patrick’s Day eve, my friend invited me to come hang out with him and his family to watch his new Celtic band Banna perform. Celtic music isn’t my cup of stout, but I had a good time. The band was good and festive and there was Guinness.

While the band performed, I took some pictures. Below are some of my favorites.

Chris

Zack

Jason

Jaye

Kalill

Jason

Chris

Jaye

Kalill

Zack

Jason and Chris

The Band

The Crowd

Fan

In Saturn’s Rings (Part II)

About five weeks ago, I posted a blog about the footage I shot for Stephen van Vuuren’s IMAX in a basement film In Saturn’s Ring’s presentation at the North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Science’s Astronomy Days event. After logging the footage, sitting on it, mulling it over and finally editing it, it’s been posted.

Here it is:

In Saturn’s Rings Promo from Ioannis "Yanni" Batsios on Vimeo.

Dexter Britain

I’m working on a promo video for In Saturn’s Rings and I needed to find music for the piece. Unfortunately, I can’t use what I like to listen to because it’s not going to be for personal use and just put on Vimeo. I needed music that I could easily get a license for.

Anyone that has to find the right music for a piece knows how difficult it is when you can’t use your own library of favorites. It’s such a drag to search hours and hours through creative commons licensed music because so much of it is pure crap. Then when you find a great song, you plop it in your edit and it just doesn’t fit properly and you have to go back to the drawing board. It becomes a dreaded chore.

So I spent the better part of a day looking through volumes of titles on Vimeo’s music store, The Music Bed, Audiojungle, Jamendo and even Moby’s gratis music (thanks Moby!). Ugh, so many bad cheesy songs out there.

Then I came across Dexter Britain. Wow. I was blown away. It’s without a doubt the best creative commons music I’ve come across. It has a classical contemporary feel to it that is timeless. If I was making a feature film, I wouldn’t hesitate to put this in.

Anyways, just trying to help fellow filmmakers out there with more options.

Give it a listen:

For more, click this soundcloud link for his page.

Faux Memories

I live in a very nice, well-to-do suburbs in North Carolina. I love it here. It’s peaceful, quiet; safe. Everyone here is nice. The roads are maintained, lawns are well manicured and it’s only fifteen minutes to get to anywhere you want to go.

I used to live in Detroit. Yes, the REAL Detroit, not the suburbs that everyone calls Detroit. Detroit is not peaceful or quiet. If it wasn’t for the bars, food, music, casinos and sports teams, it would suck. The homes aren’t maintained, roads suck and it’s an hour to get anywhere you want to go. Yes, it’s the polar opposite.

It was an easy transition to make. I got sick of watching my back. Multiple break-ins, car being stolen and a gun to your head will do that to you. I miss it from time to time. Especially when the sports teams are doing well. But I’m glad I moved.

The only problem is that I’m used to danger. Excitement. So I have a hard time coming up with photography ideas while I’m home. I see the same stuff every day and it’s clean and neat and safe and I can’t find anything to photograph! That’s why most of my work is shot outside of North Carolina.

My friend told me to grab my camera and go for walks. He said I’d find something interesting to shoot. You just have to put in the hours.

So I decided to take his advice and have been walking around with a big ass lens making people uncomfortable. Only one person has said anything to me, and that was about the camera. He wanted one. Anyways, I’d be dead in Detroit already. No one wants you photographing their crack house.

I decided to make some fake memories of the life I never had. Or wished I had.Teddy Bear

Bottles

Chimney

Driveway

Flakes

Happy Valentine's Day

Roofer

Storage Room

In Saturn’s Rings (part I)

This past weekend, I spent my time documenting Stephen van Vuuren promoting his film In Saturn’s Rings (formerly known as Outside In) at Astronomy Days in Raleigh, North Carolina. For those that don’t know, In Saturn’s Rings is a film made by still photos from NASA space missions. It is being made specifically for IMAX theaters and dome theaters.

I have been a long time supporter of the film since he first told me about his idea in 2007. I have seen it transformed from many script revisions to what it is today. I’ve seen Stephen persevere through many pitfalls. I’ve seen the motherboard failures, hard drive failures and lightning storms fry computers. He’s also shown the patience to wait for new software to be developed and improved upon and for new photos to come in. I’ve also watched him develop new techniques to get his image on to the IMAX screen.

So to be there from the beginning and watch all the hard work pay off for a special weekend was nice. In Saturn’s Rings got a huge response at North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Science’s special event Astronomy Days. Both screenings were at standing room only capacity. On Sunday, we had to turn away as many as fifty people. The booth outside was visited by people of all races, ages, religions and genders. Everyone seems to love space exploration!

People lined up to see In Saturn's Rings.
People lined up to see In Saturn’s Rings.
People lined outside the booth.
People lined outside the booth.
Kids love it!
Kids love it!
Packed audience watching In Saturn's Rings
Packed audience watching In Saturn’s Rings

I did some interviews with fans after the screenings and what seems to get people excited the most is that these are real photographs and not CGI. All the images in the film will be actual images taken in space. Below is a short clip Stephen posted a year ago. If interested, please click the link above and check it out. He’s still looking for supporters and volunteers.

In Saturn’s Rings 5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation – Expanded, Improved from Stephen van Vuuren on Vimeo.

Later, I’ll be posting more footage and interviews from Astronomy Days.

New Atlanta set

I think I’m done editing them. You can only play so much until you’re either happy with what you’ve captured or you set the photos aside until your skills improve.

I desperately wanted to make a killer panoramic print that has the entire gate complete with graffiti and teddy bears, but after many attempts, I gave up. For one, I shot it handheld and thought I could match it up myself (I couldn’t) and two, I took too many photos. I should’ve put my 24mm on and took fewer photos, but I wanted a certain look and opted for the 70mm-200mm and shot at 100mm. Bad decision. Oh well, learn for the next time.

It’s really two sets, the crucified puppets and graffiti, but I added them together. The stuffed animal photos are heavily saturated to give it a visceral effect. I wanted them to feel angry. I think it comes through. I put in the panoramic’s to show how they looked in their environment. If only I could’ve stitched them together….ugh!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy.

Singed
Singed
Disemboweled
Disemboweled
Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear
I see you
I see you
Cross to bear
Cross to bear
Yellow Bunny #2
Yellow Bunny #2
Yellow bunny
Yellow bunny
Rabbit's foot
Rabbit’s foot
Dumbo #2
Dumbo #2
Dumbo
Dumbo
Staying Warm
Staying Warm
Sinners of Dekalb Avenue
Sinners of Dekalb Avenue
Crucifix #1
Crucifix #1
Crucifix #2
Crucifix #2
Crucifix #3
Crucifix #3
Crucifix #4
Crucifix #4
Steal
Steal
Skull
Skull
2020 Vision
2020 Vision
Listen to me!
Listen to me!