Hal Bergman Photography - Portfolio

Archive | Travel Photography RSS feed for this section

Un Poquito San Francisco

12 Mar

The other day, I went out and bought a Tilt-Shift lens. I’ve borrowed or rented them on several occasions before, but I’ve always wanted to own one. They’re designed specifically for architecture use, and allow you to correct angular perspective, as well as change the direction of the depth of field plane.  I get enough regular architecture work to justify the purchase as I tend to rent one for every gig, but more than that, since I’ve been shooting a lot of timelapse work for Magic Window lately, I wanted to experiment with using a tilt-shift lens for that.

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 2

When used “incorrectly”, changing the depth of field plane to create out-of-focus areas at the top and bottom of the image tricks the human brain to think that they’re looking at models… kind of the opposite effect of the miniature model making used for visual effects in films like Star Wars.  When coupled with the jerky, non-fluid motion of timelapse photography, the result is amplified. Several years ago, I was inspired partially by the work of Australian photographer Keith Loutit. His video “Metal Heart” is one of my favorites.

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 10

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 8

Armed with my new lens, I set out to wander around San Francisco and get comfortable enough to use it professionally.

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 15

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 12

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 13

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 14

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 7

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 5

Blog 2012 03 09 tsesf 4

I’m pretty happy with the results.

London

22 Nov

Blog 2011 10 19 london 15Blog 2011 10 19 london 2

Blog 2011 10 19 london 1

Blog 2011 10 19 london 3Blog 2011 10 19 london 4Blog 2011 10 19 london 5Blog 2011 10 19 london 6Blog 2011 10 19 london 8Blog 2011 10 19 london 9Blog 2011 10 19 london 10Blog 2011 10 19 london 11Blog 2011 10 19 london 12Blog 2011 10 19 london 13Blog 2011 10 19 london 14

Washington, DC

18 Oct

The first person to comment on how horribly behind I am on my backlog gets…  I dunno, karma or something.

Meanwhile, I’ll do things in reverse.  Here is just one photo, and five timelapses without sound from Washington, DC, where I was about three weeks ago.  (I’ll try to post three weeks of photos over the next few days, so that when I’m all caught up I can actually spend time writing about experiences)

Blog 2011 10 18 dc 1

 

Charleston, South Carolina

7 Oct

After New Orleans, I made my way by train up to Charlotte, North Carolina, rented a car, and headed South. I spent an entire week traveling around South Carolina, between a few days in Columbia and a few days in Charleston.

Blog 2011 10 03 charleston 5

I’d never been to South Carolina before, and what I found there blew my mind. Both Charleston and Columbia have amazing nightlife (better than every city of a comparable size I’ve been to, and most cities in general), and an emerging art scene.  I came to visit a (not-so-old) friend, and wound up making a lot of new ones.

Blog 2011 10 03 charleston 3

Above and below: my friend Jessica, who I lived with in San Francisco in 2010. She recently moved back to Columbia, SC.

Blog 2011 10 03 charleston 2

I’ve also never shot more timelapse scenes of one area in as short a time as I did in Columbia and Charleston in one week. The weather barely cooperated with me in New Orleans, and I got almost completely rained out of DC, but while there were some pretty hardcore storms in South Carolina, not only did I (mostly) avoid getting completely rained on, but the weather put on an amazing show in all of the timelapse scenes I shot there.

Blog 2011 10 03 charleston 6

Blog 2011 10 03 charleston 7

All of the images in this post are shot from a single location with my A camera, while my B camera was shooting the timelapse at the very top. More photos after the jump.

(more…)

New Orleans, By Day

5 Oct

In New Orleans, I spent a few hours wandering around between shooting timelapses. Again, I didn’t have time to pick music for these scenes, so think of it as an animated photo.

 

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 17

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 23

I rather liked the shapes of the shadow cast on the wall that this man on a ladder was making.

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 20

Joan of Arc

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 14

Above, a local artists’ tools. Below, the artist.

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 15

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 16

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 19

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 21

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 22

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 24

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 25

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 26

I love these old painted signs. Decades after being last panted, and even with a window cut into the wall long after, the advertisement is still visible.

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 27

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 28

New Orleans by Night

30 Sep

Just getting caught up on the blog. Here is a timelapse I shot on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I didn’t have time to add titles and a sound track, but think of it as a “moving photo”.

 

And here are some still photos:

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 1Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 2

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 3

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 4

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 5

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 6Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 7

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 8Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 9

Blog 2011 10 01 neworleans 10

 

Shot from the Train

21 Sep

I’m posting things a bit out-of-order, but just pretend I’m not.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 3

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 2

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 1

If you hadn’t noticed by now, I’m working my way across the South and up the East Coast, mostly by rail.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 13

It’s my favorite way to travel. When I have gear to carry I drive, when I need to be somewhere quickly (or I’m crossing an ocean) I’ll fly. Otherwise, the train is the best way to go.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 8

On the longer stretches, I’ll set up a whole mobile office at my seat — or spread out in the snack car — and be more productive than I could be at any static location. If I’m California, I often get distracted by social obligations (although calling them “obligations” would be lying as I get sick of working on the computer pretty quickly when there is stuff happening outside). If I’m in a foreign city, I want to explore, not sit on my computer.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 14

Consequently, if I’m on a train for a whole day, or two, I have zero distractions other than making smalltalk with other passengers. More often than not in the rural South or Texas wilderness, I can’t even get cell phone service or internet access. I can usually blow through a 4-day editing backlog in a single day. After a few days of walking around a city, sitting at my computer on a train and doing the “boring stuff” on the way to the next spot is downright physically and mentally relaxing.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 11

I also like watching the country roll by. Unlike a freeway, there usually isn’t a wall to block your view out the window.  The photos I shoot from the window have a unique quality, due to the windows being tinted, filthy, and not being made of optical-quality glass. Most of the time the photos are horrible at best from a technical standpoint — and thus frequently useless commercially — but I’ve had several “from the train” photos do well in the stock libraries.

But that certain lo-fi retro quality they have…  I like it.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 6

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 7

Sometimes a crew member will turn a blind eye while I hang my camera out of one of the few windows that open, but I try not to push my luck.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 9

Of course, shooting from the back window offers the second most interesting view on the whole train (the first being from the locomotive), so when I’m not working at the computer I can often be found watching the view from the last car, camera firmly in hand.

Blog 2011 09 22 southbyrail 10

Freak Electrical Storm, New Orleans

20 Sep

I shot this last night on the West Bank (which is actually South of the city, but whatever).  This storm rolled in literally without warning… The weather went from 70 degrees and humid, partly cloudy, to pounding rain in under 15 minutes.  At first, I threw my coat over the camera to protect it from what was initially light drizzle so I could at least attempt one shot of the lightning, but within a few minutes it was pouring so hard I frantically packed up and dashed for the safety of the car, which was a quarter-mile trek, over a levy and partially through bayou. By the time I got back to the car I was completely drenched (equipment was fine), and when I got back to the French Quarter, the storm had completely cleared and you could see the stars in the sky.

I didn’t realize it was striking downtown New Orleans until I got back and looked at it on the computer.  Counting down the seconds from the flash is apparently not an accurate measure of distance.

Clouds glowing from lightning:
Blog 2011 09 21 neworleansbridge 1

The bolt hitting the Central Business District:

Blog 2011 09 21 neworleansbridge 2

The above photo cropped and zoomed in a bit:

Blog 2011 09 21 neworleansbridge 3

Leaving California

16 Sep

I boarded a train in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon heading East, this will be the last time I’ll be in California for at least a few months.

The weather put on quite a performance as we headed through Palm Springs.

Blog 2011 09 15 palmsprings 1

The weather always puts on the best performance when I have zero option of timelapsing it.

Blog 2011 09 15 palmsprings 2

Blog 2011 09 15 palmsprings 3

Blog 2011 09 15 palmsprings 4

Blog 2011 09 15 palmsprings 6

The sun set over the Salton Sea just before we crossed the state line into Nevada.

Blog 2011 09 15 palmsprings 7

Blog 2011 09 15 palmsprings 8

Sand Harbor State Park, Lake Tahoe

7 Sep

Following up on my other post about my travels to Lake Tahoe, I figured I’d post some photos from Tahoe that aren’t of the team working.

Here’s one of two timelapses I shot, this one in Sand Harbor State Park on the Nevada side:

And these are…  well, the rest are from Sand Harbor too.  I shot these with my other camera while the timelapse camera was doing it’s thing.

Blog 2011 09 08 tahoe 1
Blog 2011 09 08 tahoe 2
Blog 2011 09 08 tahoe 3
Blog 2011 09 08 tahoe 4
Blog 2011 09 08 tahoe 5
Blog 2011 09 08 tahoe 6