UPDATE, JUNE 2024: Strobist was archived in 2021. Here is what I am up to now. -DH


World Debut: Hypernova Music Vid, Shot with Flash at 10 FPS

At 10 FPS, the burst rate of the Canon 1D Mk III takes on almost a Tim Burton-like quality when shown as a movie -- a technique any sports shooter has seen while scanning through multi-frame bursts in Photo Mechanic.

Iranian crunch band Hypernova and director Richard Patterson married the fast motor drive of the camera with the Profoto Pro-8a Air, the Uzi-inspired studio strobe which can keep up with just about anything out there. (Actually, they used a whole slew of Pro8a's. Must be nice.)

First the behind-the-scenes video above, which gives a little look into how they did it. Then hit the jump for the final product and some background on why in the world anyone would want to do this sort of thing in the first place.

[NOTE: The music video is very intense, and deals with themes of religious intolerance and torture. And while the ten-FPS strobed technique marries perfectly with the subject matter, you cubicle slaves might want to turn the sound down a little and/or wait till the office killjoy hits the coffee machine. ]

The Result:

This is the first time this has been shown anywhere, which technically means that you are at a world premiere right now. And the whole thing kinda has a "Jacob's Ladder" feel to it, IMO. (Loved that movie.)

But why not just use a 5D Mk II and do it Laforet style?

Well for starters, you would need an insane amount of continuous light to push lumens that far into a scene. Using flash as a quasi-continuous light source lets you employ the same techniques to balance your flash with your ambient that we do for still photos. (The vid is, technically, 16,000 still photos.) That is something you could not do if all of the light sources were of the true, continuous variety.

Since you are turning the flash into essentially a continuous light source with the stop-motion technique, you end up with two kinds of "ambient" and a boatload of control between the two.

The flash generators are the same water-cooled, belt-fed machine guns that Annie used for the Profoto Anniversary shoot. Much more tech info on this whole process in available a special page at Profoto.

On a side note, I am digging that song, "Universal," in the BTS vid. I am a big Bloc Party fan, and I am definitely hearing some influence in there.

For more on the band and the director visit Hypernova on Myspace or Patterson's website.

RELATED :: Annie Shoots Conny Dufgran ::


New to Strobist? Start here | Or jump right to Lighting 101
Got a question? Hit me on Twitter: @Strobist
My current project: The Traveling Photograher's Manifesto