For the past few years i’ve worked with FasterLouder to shoot portraits of the artists at Splendour in the Grass. This year we decided to mix it up and make animated gif portraits.
I’d never done them before, but it couldn’t be that hard right?
For the smooth movement you get in the cinemagraph style gifs i figured shooting video would be best, plus i’d want to shoot on a tripod to keep the background consistent.
One thing i do know about gifs is that they compress terribly for photographic images. Great for illustration, crap for photos. So the less that moves in each frame the better for file size.
And while I shot each artist for a minute or two, the final gif would only be a matter of seconds, and 10-20 frames.
Over the 3 festival days i shot about 40 artists. It was fun but mentally draining work. To think of a nice picture, but then add the factor that it’ll have to be animated, looped, compressed and stripped back is challenging. Especially if you don’t want to repeat yourself.
But at the same time, those limitations are what makes gifs great, and can spur creative ideas.
If you care for the technical side of things – i shot the video on my Canon 5D 3, trimmed the video in Quicktime Pro, added a subtle colour grade in Lightroom, then imported the video frames Photoshop to finish the animation and export to gif.
I spoke to Junkee a bit more about the project.
You can see all the gifs at FasterLouder:
- Part one featuring Architecture In Helsinki, Airbourne, Boy & Bear, Chet Faker, Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, Cloud Control, Darwin Deez, Daughter, Dune Rats, Klaxons, MS MR, Mumford and Sons, Robert DeLong, The National, Twinsy, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vance Joy, Wavves and You Am I.
- Part two featuring James Blake, Flume, Of Monsters and Men, FIDLAR, Birds Of Tokyo, Empire Of The Sun, Something For Kate, Palma Violets, Sarah Blasko, Surfer Blood, Jake Bugg, Deap Valley, Jagwar Ma, Passion Pit.
And while i was really only there to shoot the GIF portraits i couldn’t help but shoot some of the fans and performance.