A Filthy Language Primer, Courtesy Chase Jarvis

At first glance, this appears merely to be a very cool behind-the-scenes look at the high-speed flash shooting Chase did last month in New Zealand. Lotsa high-tech flash talk, impossible sequences, killer pics -- yadda, yadda, yadda.

But the real takeaway here is of the etymological variety.

To wit, the adjective "sick." Which, of course, means "good." (Back in my day we went with the much less confusing "bad" when we meant "good.")

But what if something is really sick. As in, sicker than sick? That calls for the word, "filthy."

And if it is filthier than filthy, then of course you'll want to go with, "nasty."

More, including resulting pix, diagrams, and the obligatory lively discussion in the comments, at Chez Chase. I am heading over to read it now, as I sit down for lunch with a slice of filthy, nasty pizza. Which is prolly gonna make me feel sick



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Blogger mhakola said...

I thought the same thing when I read it this morning.

October 27, 2009 12:20 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

That's just nasty!

October 27, 2009 12:36 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Gross & Disgusting.

October 27, 2009 12:42 PM  
Blogger Benedict said...

Haha, nearly spat coffee all over the macbook when I read your last couple sentences there.

Through laughter, I mean.

October 27, 2009 12:57 PM  
Blogger Chris said...


I shot a CEO headshot about 6 months ago, and I was going a little above and beyond in trying to loosen him up (really by-the-book kinda guy, real flat expressions).

I started doing the Austin Powers thing ("You're a TIGER... You OWN THE JUNGLE!"), got him to give a great smile, and stopped to take a look at the photos for a second, and muttered "That's sick..." (in approval).

He overheard me, and said "Kid, I haven't heard that phrase in this office in 8 years. You're a fun photographer to work with."

I subsequently scored a recurring contract with the firm. :-D Work hard, play hard.

October 27, 2009 1:15 PM  
Blogger nm said...

cool post. thx chris !

October 27, 2009 1:39 PM  
Blogger lse322 said...

Rad and gnarly too! Super stoked!

October 27, 2009 1:40 PM  
Blogger Dom said...

Awesome video...although I was a little concerned about running a generator in a garage...at least the door was open...otherwise, that would have been sick (carbon monoxide poisoning).

October 27, 2009 2:19 PM  
Blogger diegonyc said...


Those guys know how to have a great time.

October 27, 2009 2:23 PM  
Blogger Chase said...

So is everything just pre focused? Or are there lenses that focus that fast?

October 27, 2009 2:37 PM  
Blogger Chase said...

Is everything just pre focused? Or are there lenses that focus that fast?

October 27, 2009 2:38 PM  
Blogger Herman Jimenez said...

In the skate world this goes down all the time. And in the most complex places to light anything. For those who wanna try this I use my SB-800's on manual power 1/32 or Q Flashes. I get a good 15 shots at 8fps with my D3

October 27, 2009 3:03 PM  
Blogger pFranzen said...

Chase (the commenter, not Jarvis):
A fisheye or a ~14mm lens like they're using is going to have a pretty deep depth of field at f/5.6, so it's just a matter of pre-focusing to the middle of the skier's path and going from there.

October 27, 2009 4:26 PM  
Blogger JanetD said...

Wowwwwww...that was pretty friggin' cool! Thanks for sharing.

October 27, 2009 4:51 PM  
Blogger Darien Chin said...

that was so malaria

October 27, 2009 5:11 PM  
Blogger taipan said...

Absolutely INSANE... Great now I have to go out and earn some more gravy so I can afford this "DISGUSTING" setup. Thanks for bringing this to us all Dave... you're a legend.

I love the fact that you never let any of us rest.

Oh... and this is what every assignment should be like... PUMPED !!!

October 27, 2009 5:22 PM  
Blogger GT animation said...


Yep, Filty! it is. Cool post-work.

October 27, 2009 5:28 PM  
Blogger Jay McLaughlin said...

Never used 'filthy' before, but I have been known to say sick, nasty, messy, disgusting, and savage... all of which mean good! haha

October 27, 2009 5:42 PM  
Blogger Chase Jarvis said...

thanks for the etymological breakdown, david. 100% accurate indeed.

@ dom. thx for concern about our health. indeed we didn't keep that generator running for long ;) would have been "sick" indeed

@ herman. the difference btwn what's going on with this new capability vs skate world or other earlier niches is precisely the difference btwn 15 frames over the course of about 25 feet (been there) VS. 40 frames at 8fps over 100 or 120 feet. might not seem like much on the surface but it's pretty significant

@ (other) chase. @pFranzen said it right. this is pre-focused and locked down. that said, the D3 and any pro nikkor could easily keep up with this fast moving subject in full daylight...just not under these conditions which is why I'm prefocused.

thanks again DH for posting and for everybody's comments. filthy.

October 27, 2009 6:41 PM  
Blogger Heipel said...

Dare I say it? Neatoh!

October 27, 2009 7:54 PM  
Blogger cocoliso said...

This is the Dogs Bollocks Man! ...seriously.

October 28, 2009 12:08 AM  
Blogger Kevin Winzeler Photography // said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 28, 2009 12:52 AM  
Blogger Sergei Rodionov said...

this is actually also pretty awesome testimony to AF system.. :)

October 28, 2009 12:54 AM  
Blogger Kevin Winzeler Photography // said...

@ Chase J. - Did you do any tests with a pocket wizard (in cold weather or otherwise)? If so, how close was it to sync cord consistency (you said not very, but curious if you can quantify it)? Two main obstacles at this point, at least for location work like this - 1) hauling a generator around. 2) Sync cord vs. remote 

Lot's of possibilities here though. Nice work man! I need to get to NZ next year.


Utah Photographer | Kevin Winzeler

October 28, 2009 1:36 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Chase is in the house! That's SICK! LOL.

I'm wondering how many shots that fast one could get off with a lot less expensive monoblock strobe before it A) Blew a fuse B) Caught fire or C) Smoked the bulb. (Or all of the above.)

Was that a Nikkor 14-24 F2.8 I spy in the video? I've gotta love that lens, it's one of my favorites. (And i'm only shooting it on a DX body still.)

October 28, 2009 3:17 AM  
Blogger fumiophoto@gmail.com said...

Dude! That ish was tight son. Straight grimey holmes! Those kids were pullin some filthy corkscrews.

October 28, 2009 3:32 AM  
Blogger O.Schaefer said...

Dude! I'm not sure which part was more sick, the photography or the skiers! Seriously, that was a great vid. Shame I'll be 97 years old before I can afford that setup...

October 28, 2009 6:02 AM  
Blogger Sodabowski said...

Pulse mode on the strobe, tabletop moving subjects and BULB mode on cam is the way to go for us unwealthy mortals :)

October 28, 2009 8:18 AM  
Blogger bcd13 said...

really nice sequence ... and lots of flash ;-)

October 28, 2009 9:14 AM  
Blogger Zach S. said...

How would you focus for something like this? Is there some sort continuous focusing mode that will track a moving object automatically? Or, did he just focus on one point and use a really narrow aperture to compensate?

Sorry, lots of questions :)

October 28, 2009 11:13 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

My studio strobes need an upgrade! Crazy....

October 28, 2009 5:20 PM  
Blogger mjk_photo said...

This is such a sick video!

October 28, 2009 10:15 PM  
Blogger raymond said...

That's one hell of a camera shot (or shots :D). Why use filthy? I thought you only use "filthy" when describing something not good, or something that smells bad?

Alright, I'm bad at dictionary terms, enlighten me. Haha

Great vid, by the way. I want to try those stunts.

October 28, 2009 11:19 PM  
Blogger Cesar T Sanchez said...

It is totally butt-cheeks. A really sick pair of them.

October 29, 2009 1:41 AM  
Blogger Iiro said...

that rail sequence was pretty ugly, never shoot a sequence from that angle on a rail never!

October 29, 2009 4:22 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Sheesh.... what every happened to "gnarly"?

Me 'n Gnarly were buds.....back when that was totally tubular.

October 29, 2009 9:22 AM  
Blogger Photorina Studios said...

!Que guay! (Spanish for cool, sick etc.)

October 31, 2009 3:17 AM  
Blogger Stormin said...

my iphone can do that...

November 01, 2009 2:59 PM  
Blogger robbiesell said...

What aperture where you getting out of your strobes? To get a quick enough flash duration to freeze the action, I'm assuming you're still shooting at around 60%, right? I noticed it being a semi-cloudy late day, but could you pull all this off on a bright sunny day?? I find I need nearly f14, so is your pack 2500 watts or something wild?

Thanks for the inspiration!

November 02, 2009 12:01 AM  
Blogger Florida Strobists said...

The greatest part was how the light tech was so excited, not to say that I wouldn't be.
I normally use my canon powershot for 1000 fps and my on camera flash, about 998 shots turn out.

November 06, 2009 5:40 PM  
Blogger Shawn Chamberlin said...

That would be so much fun. I'm curious what the duration is on those strobes, they're firing like crazy. I shoot strobes with sports, but the recycle time isn't like that.

November 08, 2009 8:27 PM  

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