David Scott Leibowitz is precisely the artist that he wants to be, making precisely the types of mobile movies he wants to make, delivering them precisely on his own terms, which by no coincidence pair with our needs precisely. It is for this very reason that we unequivocally welcome him warmly with open arms into TheAppWhisperer family as our brand new Mobile Movies Editor. He’s not only scorching hot with intelligence to match, he’s also multi talented with this new medium. Leibowitz wanted to mark his entrance with a Weekend Article, naturally about mobile movies and here it is! Our weekend of mobile photography/art/videography is very popular, if you would like to review others that we have published, please go here. For now, enjoy! (forward by Joanne Carter).
“Moving visual art is not the same thing as still visual art. I love both. Since my film school education in the 70’s, weighted heavily towards experimental film forms, I’ve made moving visual images as often as I make still visual images. I’ve been making both types of mobile visual images using my iPhone for as long as iPhones have been around, now 9 years.
Retired now, I’m blessed that every day has a weekend vibe, so when Joanne asked me to share my “weekend” mobile image making process, I decided to share a moving visual image process.
Recently, Meri Walker and I took a short trip to the Ft. Bragg/ Mendocino area of Northern California to spend some quality time with some old friends of hers. Our plan for our return trip was to hug the coast and the northern most groves of protected Redwoods. Ripe with tons of visual possibilities, and traveling with another iPhone artist (iPhoneArtGirl) meant the creative juices would be flowing.
I cleared40 GB of free space on my iPhone 6sPlus for this weekend’s captures. Carrying a few Sandisk Xpand flash drives takes away my worry about running out of disk space, especially when shooting a lot of video.
Apps that make the most of my experimental film and old-school video art experience most relevant include FilMicPro, KinoGlitch, RollWorld, PaintedCam, Diptic Video, Videon, Imaengine, iMotion, Glitch Art, Dermandar’s Panorama, and Time Piles. (Legacy apps like Infinite Eye and Frame Delay still work on my 5s and 4s iPhones and I keep them for that reason.)
Along the coast, I shot three clips I knew would be well used as bases for moving visual art. When I’m shooting, I’m looking for simple events that I can convert into digestible slices of moving visual meditative art. These kinds of simple events are contained by static frames containing either nature’s movement or movement caused by the presence of human beings.
I enjoy transforming these simple events into various permutations, each with its own meditative qualities”.
On this weekend, my base capture was shot with the native camera in Slo-mo mode, 120 FPS.
It is simple and static, except of course for nature’s movement. Slowing things down forces the viewer to take a much closer look at what’s going on and can, sometimes, transform mundane events into exciting visual studies. (You may notice that the horizon wasn’t level at several points during the capture and the great thing is that you can cut those moments later, if you need to.)
Creating ”Foam Twins”, the first of three variations (all using KinoGlitch), I used a simple horizontal mirror that achieves a stunning visual meditation. The viewer’s eye seeks and finds a stable horizon line, only to see it disappear into the sea foam. The inverse graphic and inverse movement can be seen inside viewers’ minds as eyes and brain try to make sense of what they’re seeing which is different from their normal experience. (The experience may be somewhat unsettling as the horizon shifts and elements for which we have a fixed reality change, sometimes drastically. This is a creative process that I enjoy deeply and, like all visual artists, I hope viewers will enjoy, too. I’ve been making moving visual art long enough to understand that not everyone has my sensibilities and that’s always okay with me.)
The second piece, “Foam DADA”, breaks the composition into morphing sections that transform in asymmetrical patterns and include the visual rhythm of the waves. The organisation of the elements in the frame changes constantly as the white sea foam covers the sand and sections of solid blue sky are scattered and moved throughout the frame. (Recognisable content – sky, sand, sea form and a crashing wave – become shapes and moving patterns of color and texture. This process utterly delights me, as the artist, and it’s my hope that viewers’ imaginations will be ignited by these permutations as well.)
This third piece, “Foam Memories”, abstracts the base immediately into moving cubism and then brings back enough detail for the viewer to find a foothold in reality. Creating it, I varied the levels of abstraction so that viewers have just enough recognisable detail to hold onto to get into the piece. Then, as that sliver of information vanishes, eye and brain are forced to fill in the details. When the cubist forms grow large, our imaginations stretch simultaneously, constructing new shapes from shapes we know are there, now seen in brand new ways.
To summarise, my “weekend” process has me looking – always – for simple events that I can capture with my iPhone’s video capacities. I make dozens of these kinds of captures anywhere and everywhere I spot simple events. What I’ve shared here is a creative process that started with a slo-motion capture and made use of only KinoGlitch to edit the static frame video footage.
There’s a big world of video capture and editing apps available for the iPhone and I’m working with them all in “retirement.” I’m not always starting with this type of static frame capture for my video art. I love making all kinds of moving visual art. Shortly, I’ll be editing a column here for TheAppWhisperer that will explore more of the tools available and ways I’ve used them to supercharge my creative experience. If you’ve found this piece intriguing, I hope you’ll pick up a few of the apps I mentioned above and join me for an online play and learning process.
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