Heading through the Cascades one weekend, we stopped off at a farm stand. They had apple orchards and were showing off one of the machines used for picking the apples. It had multiple tines for sweeping the apples from the branches when they are ready, presumably without bruising the fruit. I imagine this thing can pick a lot more fruit than a person in a given time.
The bottom of the peninsula runs in to the San Jose area and it is full of the tech businesses that are dominating the news these days. The departure from Oakland if you are heading south takes you out to the coast and then back over this part of the world. If you are sitting on the left side of the plane, you get a good view of the area. One of the most high profile companies is Apple and they are in the process of building a huge new campus. This is like a giant spaceship shaped as a circle that has landed in Sunnyvale. Given how big it is, it isn’t hard to spot from the air. We might have been high but it was still conspicuous. Here is the view I got.
Okay, maybe not a full evening but an hour and a half so close enough. A damp Monday evening in early November is not the sort of time that you are planning a trip out. However, Vincent Laforet was giving a talk at one of the local Apple stores and I was keen to be there.
I saw Vincent once before at my first ISAP symposium in Pensacola FL. He was still predominantly a still photographer in those days. He gave a talk about his aerial photography in New York and an unbelievably moving account of his time in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina which was accompanied by some equally moving imagery.
When Canon released the 5D MkII, Vincent filmed a short called Reverie to demonstrate the capabilities of the camera and it went viral. I don’t know whether this was the start of his move to film or whether he was already on the way there beforehand but he is now a director and a bit of a go to guy on the techie issues with HDSLR video.
His talk was a combination of some of his history – a fair bit of stills work since his audience included a lot of photographers – along with some of the video work he has been doing. I follow his blog so the video material was stuff I had already seen but that was not a problem. He talked a bit about what the newer technology is bringing to the video world and how different the workflow is.
The real interest came at the end of the evening though when he had a Q&A session. This really got to the heart of the issues people were interested in and he was very frank in his answers. He challenged people to think about what they were doing and who was going to be coming after their work environment (and what that environment would even be). He answered technical questions and gave thoughts on how to self-teach some of the things associated with film making.
He was a very approachable guy and willing to talk to everyone who wanted to get a moment with him afterwards. If you get a chance to see him at any event, I would certainly recommend it. In the mean time, his blog is well worth a look. He doesn’t always blog regularly but, when he does, it is good stuff. He also has a great gear page if you want some insight into the stuff he uses himself. Check it out at blog.vincentlaforet.com if you are interested.