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    Part 14 - the (close) Encounters Project

    Part 14 - the (close) Encounters Project

    About the ( close ) Encounters project

    This is a ongoing project that started about 2009 and is called the ( close ) Encounters.

    The HDRI ( High Dynamic Range Images ) panorama portrait panorama’s are made out of 63 pictures (minimal 9 exposures per angle, 7 angles so 63 images are used to make a HDRI portret panorama.

    That makes taking the image with some thrill — it could be ruined due to the fact that if the people are moving the portrait could fail. That idea makes it fascinating for me to do it, Its always exiting to shoot. Warn the "customers" *) in advance: “we will see in the final image who moved, so do not dare to move!” Until now ( almost ) everyone has listened very good in the portrait shoots from the last years.

    More background about this project please see here.

    Tip: you can see on the right the TAG's that makes it easier to navigate between the topics.

    *) this is a non - commercial project


    ( close ) Encounters project - Part 14 - Rakker, Cor & Bob


    For those who not like to read a lot, lets go first to a tonemapped version of the HDRI Panorama!

    Attention: a new browser page will be openend if nothing happens please check your popup blocker


    Here you can see a VR (360°) version of the panorama.

    Below you can see the full spherical panorama plus extra close up & 3D version.

     

     


    Will introduce the creatures on the panorama ( from left to right )

    Rakker – Cor's dog
    Cor Bal - his public Facebook page about Scheveningen: Scheveningen strand voor dag en dauw
    Bob Groothuis - the guy behind this website

    How it started

    Not sure when met Cor for the first time guess its 1,5 year ago. During a shoot of the Dutch Skies 360° HDRI project saw a man shooting a lot of images. He's easy recognizable from a distance due to his "glowing" red Unox hand gloves.

    Cor is shooting every day at Scheveningen and post this beautiful images on his (public) Facebook page: Scheveningen strand voor dag en dauw. Others contributors post also images. Nice thing to mention is that there are people who were born in Scheveningen and now living all over the planet still can see fresh captured images of their home town by visiting his face book page. You can check out his (group) Facebook page here: Scheveningen strand voor dag en dauw.


    Right after we met we had a kind off “click” together Wonderfull! We have a lot of fun during the recordings.

    We both are annoyed when there are people trespassing our studio.....“%^&%$ off” *) (even more when people refuse to say something back when you say “good morning”). Besides that we not inferring each-other while shooting we both are very focused. When the weather conditions are not ideal we shout “we want the money back from our ticket!”
    And nice think to mention is that Cor also goes to sleep very early in the evening and wakeup early hurry to get to the studio.

    *) just a joke between the two off us we do not do shout it off course.

    Below some photos of Cor busy in his natural habitat.

     

    Cor Bal in his natural Habitat

    Cor’s gloves

    One extra note regarding Cor’s Unox hand gloves.

    From a long distance you can see its Cor due to his Unox Hand gloves .

    Even now (in May ) it can be pretty cold early in the morning at 05:00, specially when you have to operate a camera.

    A few weeks ago Cor’s lost one of his gloves (the right one). After hearing it thought it would be a good idea to contact Unox client service ( Unox is a Unilever Brand) and ask if they could mis a new pair of gloves ( Cor is a interactive walking advertisement for Unox, with that in mind guessed its a easy gesture from Unox to send him a new pair). Originally filled in the customer service fields on a Mac but after pushing the send button nothing happens. A few days later did the same on a Windows computer and now got a conformation. Then about one day later got a mail from Unox:
    “Dear Bob, Thank you for sharing your experience with us about Unox Brand We would like to know how you have experienced our services. Would you like to answer some questions for us by clicking on the link below? Thank you! LINK TO SURVEY (removed it)Sincerely Consumer Service Unox”


    Well thats weird they never reacted at all to my first question! Anyway filled in the survey a week ago but not got a reaction. Think somethings wrong with their contact page and survey system most likely Unox customer service never got my question.

    Guess this is a nogo but hope Unox reads this too and decides to send Cor a new pair off gloves and not send a lawyer to me for demanding to remove this from this website, so please contact me first through the contact form on the bottom of the FAQ page its not my intension to cause troubles )

     

    Day of the shoot.

    On a very windy 2 november 2018 went again early the morning to shoot a new Dutch Skies 360° HDRI sky. Off course Cor was also there. 

    We captured a really beautiful sunrise with a very power full low yellow sun.

    Cor was planning to go home suddenly spontaneously came up with the idea of shooting a HDRI Panorama portret of the 3 off us.

    Also shot a extra clean 360° HDRI plate (so without us) and thought it would save me a lot of time in production.......

     

    Technical- used tools

    The following tools were used to create this final HDRI Panorama portret

    Equipment

    Nikon D800 camera
    Nikon 16 mm lens
    360° precision panorama head


    Colorcard

    X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

    Software

    Nikon ViewNX 2
    Adobe Lightroom 5
    X-Rite ColorChecker Camera Calibration 2
    PTGUI Pro 11.13
    Photomatix 6
    HDR Expose 3
    Adobe Photoshop CS4 11.0
    Affinity Photo 1.6.7
    KRPano 1.19

     

    Technical- workflow notes

    To keep this article readable not going to deep into details how it is actually made.

    Had to start several times all over. Had big troubles with deghosting source images, mostly caused by the strong wind (we moved too too much). Photomatix was not capable fixing that, but HDRExpose 3 had a very powerful deghosting option.

    Like most of the times make combinations of HDR’s from Photomatix & HDRE Expose 3.

    Had to retouche a lot too.

    Below a before and after version of the 12k HDRI. 

    Took me about 2 days ***) to finish the HDRI and prepare the tonemapped versions for JP ( more info please see the Color correction (before & after) below.

     

     HDRI - Before & Aftere



    Color correction (before & after)

    Now time for finishing it with a very important last part: color correction

    Skin colours are way to complicated for me as much other details luckily my friend JP vd Burg is a expert in it. For years he helped me out with such art work ( not sure if art work is the correct meaning for me it means it in the context of JP’s work).

    It works like this more or less:

    Making a base tone mapping what direction the overall look should get (and how it more or less looked like during the original shoot so a kind of color memorising the scene. Then create a extra “beauty pass” render of a middle exposure then JP can do his magic.

    The trouble zone are the skin color and also the Cor’s glove, and my left hand and several other details.

    Below you can see the tonemapped version + extra middle exposure render + the final corrected versions as you can see at the top of this page here.

    Color correction

    And a close up of the faces so can see it better.

     Before - After

     

    We never have to communicate a lot it goes automatically with a few words. 

    Wow like always fantastic work JP thanks!

    Thats it! Its not know yet what the subject next “the (close) Encounters Project - Part 15 “ will be. This will most likely like most times come as a unexpected  surprise/situation.



    ***) well in fact worked on this HDRI portret for more then 7 days (started all over - 3 times) on the HDRI and the writing of this article, better not mention this in the article above otherwise you might thing “He’s not a professional when he’s working for so long on this project!” 

    Photography - Intro

    Photography - Intro


    Started with photography ( analog, digital & analog again please see here ) about 36 years ago. All completely in Autodidacticus Operandus.

    A couple of ongoing projects here:

    1) Dutch Skies 360° HDRI - Project
    2) HDRI Panorama portrets - the ( close ) Encounters Project

    The experimental stuff can be seen on the concept pages here, for now not much to see but that will ad more in the near future.

    Tip: you can see on the right the TAG's that makes it easier to navigate between the topics.

    HDRI Panorama portrets - the ( close ) Encounters Project Info

    HDRI Panorama portrets - the ( close ) Encounters Project Info

    About the ( close ) Encounters project

    HDRI panorama portrait information:

    This is a ongoing ( non- commercial *) ) project that started about 2009 and is called the ( close ) Encounters.

    The HDRI ( High Dynamic Range Images ) panorama portrait panorama’s are made out of 63 pictures (minimal 9 exposures per angle, 7 angles so 63 images are used to make a HDRI portret panorama.

    That makes taking the image with some thrill — it could be ruined due to the fact that if the people are moving the portrait could fail. That idea makes it fascinating for me to do it, Its always exiting to shoot. Warn the "customers *) "  in advance: “we will see in the final image who moved, so do not dare to move!” Until now ( almost ) everyone has listened very good in the portrait shoots from the last years.

    After the shoot the most time consuming part starts: tonemapping, color correction & retouche. The actually shooting is done within 1 minute per pano, post production can take about 20 or 30 hours (or even more).

    Never ask money *) for the portrets specially because not doing it on request every project is self initiated. People who appear on  the images are free to do with the final version what do want only things ask is mention my name when it perhaps get published thats all. Asking money for it would ruin my motivation.

    Update February 2019:

    Last years the technical development of 360° camera’s ( so no need to shoot in several angles but just push the button once ) is going very quickly. More and more are entering the market and this is fantastic news.  But have to be honest, for the ( close ) Encounters series not want to use such camera’s its just too easy. Its much more exciting if there is a bigger chance of failure. It reminds me also to the early days of ( portrait ) photography, people were told by the photographer “ please do not move”.

    Previous Editions ( close ) Encounters

    Note:

    Due to the lack of time could only publish one ( close ) Encounters Part 3 & 14. Absolute my personal favorite one & next to that a pretty amazing background story behind it. The rest will appear later.

    ( close ) Encounters Part 1
    ( close ) Encounters Part 2
    ( close ) Encounters Part 3
    ( close ) Encounters Part 4
    ( close ) Encounters Part 5
    ( close ) Encounters Part 6
    ( close ) Encounters Part 7
    ( close ) Encounters Part 8
    ( close ) Encounters Part 9
    ( close ) Encounters Part 10
    ( close ) Encounters Part 11
    ( close ) Encounters Part 12
    ( close ) Encounters Part 13
    ( close ) Encounters Part 14 

    Part 3 - the (close) Encounters Project

    Part 3 - the (close) Encounters Project

    Original posting of this article was on 10 october 2010 (+ some updates )

    About the ( close ) Encounters project

    This is a ongoing project that started about 2009 and is called the ( close ) Encounters.

    The HDRI ( High Dynamic Range Images ) panorama portrait panorama’s are made out of 63 pictures (minimal 9 exposures per angle, 7 angles so 63 images are used to make a HDRI portret panorama.

    That makes taking the image with some thrill — it could be ruined due to the fact that if the people are moving the portrait could fail. That idea makes it fascinating for me to do it, Its always exiting to shoot. Warn the "customers" *)  in advance: “we will see in the final image who moved, so do not dare to move!” Until now ( almost ) everyone has listened very good in the portrait shoots from the last years.

    More background about this project please see here.

    Tip: you can see on the right the TAG's that makes it easier to navigate between the topics.

     *) this is a non - commercial project

    ( close ) Encounters project - Part 3 - Tim's Vermeer

    How it started

    How did this adventure started? Could not mention this extra information because some parts of it were secret until now.
    Well got in contact with Tim Jenison earlier in 2009 regarding my Dutch Skies. Later he asked if I would know people in the Netherlands who can get him in contact with a film crew because he was planning a movie in the Netherlands (he’s from the USA).
    So contacted a friend of mine Maarten Butter ( English version ) and so they got connected to each other.
    Then forgot about it until several months later asked Tim if everything went ok. He actually already had a film crew (thanks to Maarten) and was going to shoot on 10 September 2009 in Delft at the Vermeer museum
    Asked Tim if it was ok I could visit the shoot and he told me it was ok. Then it popped in my mind, “why not shoot a HDRI panorama portrait of the whole crew?”. Told it to Tim and he said ok too. Personally always interested in behind the scene’s so the people who are doing the real thing that are normally never visible.

    The day of the shoot

    Arrived 10 September 2009 early in the morning in Delft and walked to the Vermeer museum. The museum looked closed but the door was open. While entering the museum a woman ( Farley Ziegler – producer ) asked me a bit serious what I was doing there……. Told my name is Bob Groothuis and had a appointment with Tim Jenison…. Then she suddenly changed her serious look and shouted very loud “ hey guys this is Bob and thanks to him we are all together here now!” – indirectly arranged through Maarten Butter the Film crew. A unforgettable moment!
    So the ice was broken and met Tim and the rest of the Film Crew. Pretty quickly Farley asked if I wanted to be in the in the documentary (the Dutch Brett Pret ;)) ! So play the assistant to Tim in one shot of the documentary!
    The shooting needed to be done quickly because the museum would be opened for public later that day. Like always it cost more time to shoot al the scenes so at the end there was only very little time to shoot the HDRI panorama of the Tim, Farley and the film crew. But think the end result got to be one of my favorite HDRI pano’s I’ve ever shot (see below for more info).

    Tim’s Vermeer

    Title: Tim’s Vermeer

    Plot Summary: Directed by Teller of Penn & Teller fame, the film follows Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, as he attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all of art: How did 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”) manage to paint so photo-realistically,150 years before the invention of photography? Jenison’s epic research project ultimately succeeds as he uses 17th century technology — lenses and mirrors — to develop a technique that might have been used by Vermeer, supporting a theory as extraordinary as what he discovers.
    Spanning a decade, Jenison’s adventure takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces; on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney; and eventually even to Buckingham Palace, to see the Queen’s Vermeer.

    The documentary was shown on several film festivals in the USA 2013.

    Official publication was in 2014.

    It got some very good critics ( just search engine it)

    IMDB

    Rotten Tomatos

    A nice quote from a viewer published on the Rotten Tomatos website written by reviewer Kevin M. Williams:

    "Did world famous artist Vermeer use technology to create his masterpieces? A fanciful consideration taken very seriously by a tech wunderkind and recorded by Penn & Teller to the enlightenment of all mankind. A documentary that'll force you to reconsider just what it is you think art is. Excellent stuff.

    So If you not have seen the movie just see it's fantastic!

     

    Inquiries

    Tim’s Vermeer has been acquired for distribution worldwide by Sony Pictures Classics and will be released theatrically in the U.S. in Spring 2014.

    If you need some more info about this documentary please contact:

    Sony Classics

    New movie on the horizon!

    Guess there is a new movie in production when looking at the IMDB website

    Tim's View of Delft (unconfirmed) 

    Storyline

    After the release of Tim's Vermeer, Tim sets up an exhibition with David Walsh at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania. Critics claim the painting method used in Tim's Vermeer couldn't have been used to create Vermeer's "View of Delft". Tim moves to Holland to prove them wrong.

    Can't wait seeing it!

    bottom line:

    Its until now ( writing this on 1 February 2019) a complete mystery why here in the Netherlands the movie Tim's Vermeer is "silenced". 

     

    lets go to the HDRI Panorama!

     

    This HDRI panorama portrait is one of a Dutch Film crew. Note that for Tim’s Vermeer there were more film Units/crews. If I’m correct there was another unit in the UK and the USA.

    Below you can see the full panorama.  A VR will be added later.



    Will introduce the people on the panorama (from left to right)

    Roel Ypma – Light
    Farley Ziegler – High Delft Productions
    Tim Jenison – High Delft Productions
    Steven van Dijk – Sound
    Richard Spierings – 1st Assistant Camera
    Robert M. Berger – Director of Photography

    Shooting an HDRI Portrait is one thing, another very important step is color correction and retouche. My good friend JP van der Burg did that for me. He’s a real master in color correction + retouche and to show you how it was before and after correction click on the image below. Jp can translate the clients wishes exact what they want without asking to much questions. One of the biggest hurdles was the sound boom a you can see because that thing is visible in more then 1 angles of the shoot. Another was the right arm of Robert the Director of photography. And much more correcting things happened to this image.



    Big thanks to Tim Jenison and his film crew for the permission of taking the panorama and the allowance of showing it on this website & Jp van der Burg for the color correction and retouche.