All posts by kevinvogrin

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Be Seen Open Mic at Arts Seen Gallery

Housed in the Arts Seen Gallery in Scranton, PA, Be Seen Open Mic takes places at 9 PM every first Friday of month at, with the credo of “Creativity is encouraged. Censorship is not.”. Typical acts may include: performance art, music, stand up comedy, poetry, stand up tragedy, and magic.

For more information about Arts Seen Gallery Co-Op & Cafe or Be Seen Open Mic: https://www.facebook.com/artsseengallery?fref=ts

Here are my favorite shots from the event:

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SOAR – Students Off Campus Achieving Results (Documentary Trailer)

SOAR is a collaborative program between Marywood University and NEIU19 that provides students with autism “real life experiences” in an age-appropriate environment. The enrolled students attend classes at Marywood, participate in a half-day of vocational activities in various offices and departments at the University, and participate in student activities.

This follow up documentary shadows five SOAR graduates and their triumphs and challenges finding jobs, despite their Autism Spectrum Disorder. Information about the release and screenings of the full length film will be released shortly.

For more information about SOAR, please visit:

http://www.marywood.edu/soar/

Rekindle Your Creativity – Fifteen Minute Photo Walk – Shooting At the Farm

I can’t say this enough, the best way to improve your photography skills is to shoot constantly. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Even if you never use or share the images, the act of thinking, composing, and photographing, enhances your skill set.

One of my favorite exercises for this is what I call “The Fifteen Minute Photo Walk”. The basis is simple, go to a location, take in your surroundings, and shoot anything interesting for fifteen minutes. More parameters can be added to spice things up. Here’s a few categories and items I’ve come up with to pick and choose from for fun.

Only shoot: texture, line, geometric shape, with a single lens, laying down, people, with a single prime lens, at a 1:1 ratio, vertically, from eye level, looking up, looking down, etc.

Find or express: Happiness, sadness, a photo essay, motion, stillness, change, that which is hidden, etc

For this Fifteen Minute Photo Walk I found myself at a small farm that houses a few horses and a goat. The limitation for this exercise was that I would only use one single prime lens, the Canon 100m 2.8 Macro. This lens would have not been my first choice for this type of shoot, but I found ways to use it to my advantage to capture non-traditional portraits of the animals. Here’s a few of my favorites!

This is a great exercise that can be used in any location, even when stuck in the house. I hope it inspires you to keep shooting, or to get out and start up again. Once you’ve done your Fifteen Minute Photo Walk, go ahead and share with me what parameters you set, and a few of your shots!

1UP Games Commercial

New commercial for 1UP Games, a new and retro video game store located in Forty-Fort, PA. This was a collaboration between myself and members of Iron Reels.

If you are interested in a future project, or would like to see more of our work, visit the links under the credits below.

Credits:
Writer and Director: Tom Peeler of Sycamore Street Studios.
Cinematographer and Editor:  Kevin Vogrin of Kevin Vogrin Filmmaking.
Sweet 8-bit Graphics, Animation, and Sound:  Kyle Rebar.

Scranton Holiday Show Concert Photos

After finally fixing a broken memory card, I was able to salvage shots from the 2014 Holiday Show, which took place at the Leonard Theater, in Scranton, PA. Each year, internationally recognized acts originating from Scranton, PA return to share the stage and pay respects to their hometown. Proceeds from the event are donated to the youth art and music programs in the Scranton Area. The show was a great success, selling out early in the evening.

This year’s headliners were:

The Menzingers, Tigers Jaw, Captain We’re Sinking.

Flags For The Fallen Video

In honor of Memorial Day, I’m sharing this short video I created in 2013.
Each year on Veterans Day, Marywood University’s Office of Military and Veteran Services and Student Veteran Alliance plant more than 6700 American flags in the Memorial Commons to honor those members of the military who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Refraction Series (New Additions)

The Refraction series is hands down the favorite series I have developed, and holds some of my favorite images I have taken throughout the years. Each of the photos were taken through refractive surfaces, and all of the images in the Refraction series are straight photography, meaning created in camera and without digital manipulation. if you enjoy this selection, check out the rest of the series through the link below.

View the rest of the series

Rekindle Your Creativity – Video Portraits

A video portrait is an excellent way to spotlight a unique individual or location. Interesting subjects can be found at every corner, and are a great way to spark your creativity.

Storytelling, either through filmmaking or writing, is made up of two types of building blocks: concrete and abstract. To demonstrate the difference between each, picture the following words in your mind: horse… money… love. The word “horse” is a literal representation; the word is concrete and universally pictured as a specific animal. The representation of “money” may come as a literal stack of money or as luxury items and the lifestyle associated with them. The word falls in between concrete and abstract. A visualization of “love” differs between person and culture. It is abstract and represented by the emotions evoked and connected with it. Much like these examples, video portraits fall into three similar categories.

Artistic Representation

The artistic portrait (abstract) is less about the subject and more about the film’s visuals or techniques. These types of portraits often are without dialogue or have separate dialogue not linked to the visuals. I often refer to this style as lyrical or visual poetry.

In George Kuchar’s Wild Night in El Rino, the subject is not a person, but a storm. George gives the audience little information to this point aside from what is visually seen. Through the use of film he documents the nuances of the storm as seen through his eyes, capturing the mood and feeling of the storm the same way a poet would capture the storm through the use of words.

The second example, Kyle, I created in 2006. Again, the film’s focus is on visuals. I chose to use a Mini DV camera at a very slow shutter speed to create a pastel colored palate the subject travels through. The limited used of sound (footsteps, breathing, and guitar playing) further adds to the idea of visual poetry composing the portrayed subject.

Mini Documentary (Indirect Approach)

Al Monelli’s Man With Puppet is an example of what I refer to as the indirect approach to video portraits (a mix of abstract and concrete). The indirect approach has a story arch that does not expose the “who”, “what”, and “why” of the subject upfront. Rater, the focus is on the inner struggles of the subject and the content is told through the visuals, building the story of the portrait as the film progresses.

The second example by James Hollenbaugh is an excerpt from Self Portrait Portrait. What is interesting about this piece is that the concrete and abstract areas are separated; the visuals serve as the abstract, and the audio the concrete. Where one ends, the other fills in. The audio tells the inner feelings of the subject, while the visuals paint a visual representation. Both are equally important, and can not exist without one another. Combined together, they create this amazing portrait.

Mini Documentary (Direct Approach)

The direct approach tells the “who”, “what”, and “why” of the subject upfront. While this style can still be artistic /semi-abstract, the main focus is on conveying information about the subject to the viewer. This is often the structure of documentary, promotional, and more recently, “Kick Starter” videos, as this information is needed upfront.

The first example is another film by James Hollenbaugh,  I Made it With Colors. The focus of the piece is to portray the organization through subject interaction.

Art 21 has an excellent direct approach example with their portrait of Martha Colburn. The piece discusses her artistic process and is accompanied by visual representations to tell her story, portraying who she is as an artist.

Let this be an inspiration to use at least one of the styles listed (or all three!) in your future projects. Video portraits are individually unique and no two subjects or ways of portraying them are the same. Plus, searching for and finding the subject is half the fun.