Ode to Kubrick, faster glass please, I want to see the Auroras better
Many year's ago, I was inspired by watching Stanley Kubricks work with tearing apart what was the status quo in cinematography and his use of insane idea's and camera mods to get the shot he wanted. The video below is a little sample of what I'm talking about.
I was just starting out with Breaking News Video Network back then and technology (and funding) were in short supply 15 years ago. Hell we were just coming on line with high speed DSL and the ability to edit and encode footage on our computers and upload them to The Weather Channel. The other networks were not even using FTP back then as it was brand new idea from moving away from Satellite Uplinks. I remember a couple trips to CNN to visit Arnie Christianson and explain what we were doing to get weather footage out from the field and they saw the light and the politics in the field to get video packages out for the upcoming elections.
I have always been kicking around some insane camera mod ideas to be able to document the Auroras in real time as opposed to the Time Lapsed stitched together still photography. For some it looks ok, but personally, I freaking hate it. It is not real.
Last year I got to spend the afternoon with Shane Hurlbut who was giving a class in Minneapolis, MN about lights and lighting in cinematography and did the idea's just start coming to light. You could say a lightbulb came on in my head, I had some bright ideas. Ok too many uses of the word light
How to take the latest technology and without spending millions on the Kubrick F0.7 lens setup, what could I do to get that look for under $50,000.00? While not looking to spend an insane amount on Zeiss glass, I would need to do something to get under the F1.0 range and do it with video. After looking at a lot of different options, mods, retrofits, I remembered the Kubrick story and something Shane said about the need for light and joking about Need for Speed (he was part of that movie). So the hunt was on and is still on for fast glass.
The result of faster glass is more light on the camera sensor and more detail and more videos like this one from earlier this morning. Here are the auroras over the lake near Avon, MN.