With the advent of modern day computer animation tech, it has become harder and harder to tell the difference between real and make believe. On the converse, in some cases real images seem to look fake because of the amazing clarity we can achieve. Louie Schwartzberg is an award winning cinematographer that has been pushing the limits of cameras and video for the last 30 years. Using time-lapse, super slow motion and a slew of other techniques, he achieves some of the most incredible images caught on film: images that blur the line between reality and the digital world.
It seems likely that a man who has been shooting video 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for the last 30 years would capture some pretty incredible things, but it is not just the amount of footage he has filmed that presents such quality; it is his extreme attention to detail and incredible level of patience that allows him to capture these images. Imagine how long it would take to time lapse a flower coming into bloom and then the pedals falling off. Imagine how many frames it would take to capture a time lapse of fruit growing and ripening on the vine. Now imagine the constraints that are imposed on this type of work. Since the project takes so much time, the light is always changing if it is filmed outside, but with Louie, the images are crystal clear with perfect exposure on every frame. Weather, wind and more can effect the quality, but he manages to make video that looks like it must be fake.
Schwartzberg doesn’t just pay attention to detail though, his aerial photography is breathtaking as well. His fascination with the simple and beautiful intricacies of nature has given him an interesting perspective on life, and that makes him more than just good with the camera. He was invited to speak at TED recently (video above), and his message about gratitude is worth the time to listen. Disney picked up his award winning feature length documentary, Wings of Life and he has done work all over Hollywood with projects like Sex in the City, The Bourne Ultimatum, Syriana, Crash, and Men in Black. Credited as a pioneer of the contemporary stock footage industry, Louie has already made a lasting impression in the world of filmmaking.