Cinemagraphs by Marek Glaser

Cinemagraphs combine my love of still photography and motion photography like few projects can. They also create a peculiarly strong viewer response. Surprisingly, most people I’ve shared them with haven’t seen anything like it before. It’s that little bit of unexpected movement living inside of a still photo that is a total magic trick. It gives people goosebumps. I’m looking forward to creating more of these soon.

Cinemagraphs have a powerful capability to engage because they are a fresh experience for many, but they need to be properly executed to succeed. I think they really need to speak in the language of still photography first and then they should surprise the viewer with the unexpected, surreal motion. Without that they’re just a looping video clip GIF and don’t have the Cinemagraph magic. 

Precision Matters by Marek Glaser

This past January I traveled to San Francisco to shoot stills and video for the latest GMC ad campaign that celebrates the art of precision. The campaign’s focus is centered on the brand’s uncompromising attention to detail.

The first ad roll out aligns itself with professional baseball, a sport that centers on the art of precision. Specifically, the aspect of throwing fastballs toward the plate with the sort of exactness that echoes a foundational value of the GMC brand. Enter Jeremy Affeldt, a pitcher for the World Series champions – the San Francisco Giants. He was the main subject of the shoot and the first of three broadcast commercials that recently began airing.

Jeremy Affeldt. Relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

Jeremy Affeldt. Relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

Some of the shots involved being right in the path of his 90 mph fastballs. Granted I was protected behind some boards and Plexiglass – for the most part. Although I tried my best to be ready for the loud impact of the ball hitting the safety barrier I was behind, after the first pitch I quickly realized that no amount of mental preparation could have lessened the extreme jolt of it actually happening. 

Jeremy Affeldt. Relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

Jeremy Affeldt. Relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

A critical aspect of this assignment was to shoot various background photos around AT&T Park that could work for a masthead image containing a lineup of the entire GMC line. The extremely wide aspect ratio of way these images live on the GMC.com homepage made finding suitable compositions incorporating the stadium exterior very challenging. Because the 5 vehicles would be added in later using CGI, it was really important to understand the sizes and orientations of the vehicles in the shot even though they weren't there. Careful measurements and a little imagination were needed to make it work. Normally I’d want to shoot tethered to a laptop in this situation, lining up the shot for the agency and client with mock-up overlays, but this shoot it wasn't really practical. Running around all over shooting additional stills and the video interviews made it impractical to commit to a more elaborate setup.

 Although the request was to capture the stadium exterior, after scouting the entire perimeter, it became clear that there really weren't any ideal angles that would work well for the type of shot needed. I ended up shooting something outside the stadium to have it but also made sure to get several angles inside the stadium as alternates that would definitely accommodate the vehicles. After presenting the options once we got into post production, the client agreed that the interior would work best which was great news. 

AT&T Park background plate

AT&T Park background plate

AT&T Park retouched background plate

AT&T Park retouched background plate

To go along with each potential background photo I needed to use a second camera to also capture a spherical panoramic image, often referred to as an HDR Dome. HDR is an acronym for high dynamic range, “high dynamic range” because multiple “normal dynamic range” images, taken at different exposure levels, are used to store the actual brightness of light sources in the scene into a special file format designed for this purpose. This special image is used by CGI artists to generate the reflections and lighting that will photo-realistically integrate the CG cars into the background.  

Spherical HDR Dome photograph.

Spherical HDR Dome photograph.

Final image with CGI vehicles integrated.

Final image with CGI vehicles integrated.

Masthead image usage on GMC's homepage.

Masthead image usage on GMC's homepage.

In addition to the still photography, I also needed to get a video interview with Jeremy. If he hasn't gone through tons of media training, then he’s a complete natural in front of the camera. Or both. Besides being a gifted athlete that helped his team win the 2014 World Series, he was hilariously funny, constantly cracking jokes with us on set.

Shooting the Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo Race Car by Marek Glaser

This past December, I had the opportunity to witness the first track run of the engineering marvel that is the Nissan GT-R Le Mans race car. Below are some shots of the test runs at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. The shoot was part of Nissan's 2015 Superbowl XLIX commercial campaign titled #WithDad

It will be very exciting to see how this energy efficient design performs at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

Nissan GT-R LMP1 Nismo

NightLapse by Marek Glaser


This time-lapse footage is shot at night where a half moon is lighting cool looking cloud formations flowing over the Pacific Ocean after a storm front passed through. You can see the rotation of the Earth in the movement of the stars. Flights from nearby LAX streak across the sky and sometimes through the clouds. There is a lot more apparent light in the footage than is visible to the human eye.

This is a personal project that was shot using a Nikon D4 camera for its ability to see in the dark. The footage was developed in Adobe Lightroom and then edited and color graded in DaVinci Resolve.

Music is "The Night Comes Again" by St. Lucia.

How to photograph a car without a car. by Marek Glaser

It starts with shooting the background after much thought and planning goes into how the specific vehicle will look in my shot. 

Background image.

Background image.

When I have a background image I think will work, I'll then set up a different camera where the car would be and shoot a panoramic image of the surroundings. This records everything that's going be reflected in the car.

Panoramic image.

Panoramic image.

The next steps involve setting up the 3D data of the car and placing it in the right position in my background image. 

3D data.

3D data.

Finally, the 3D data and the panoramic image are used to calculate all the lighting and reflections to generate a realistic image. With a little color adjustment and retouching we get the final image below.

Final image.

Final image.

Interesting coverage on my flying drone spot by Marek Glaser

I'm glad the Professor of Electrical Engineering they interviewed for the article appreciated the tracking sphere detail. Whenever I work in CGI I always strive to incorporate those kinds of realistic elements. Research is one of my favorite aspects of all my projects. 

http://robohub.org/no-drone-experts-were-harmed-in-the-making-of-this-video-or-were-they/

Subaru WRX CGI Wireframe

Subaru WRX CGI Wireframe

COSMOS A Spacetime Odyssey by Marek Glaser

Several months ago I had the pleasure and excitement of shooting the infamous eye that has become the iconic image of this compelling series created by Fox and National Geographic.  

This beautiful eye belongs to our project producer, Emily Balay.  It's by no means her first television appearance, but this is definitely her closest close-up.

We are always looking forward to the next episode!

2014 "Off the Clock" APA-LA Personal Photography Exhibition by Marek Glaser

Marek Glaser will be included in this years exhibit, curated by Britt Salvesen, Curator and Head of Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at LACMA. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

The opening reception will be held on April 26 at the Helms Bakery Building in Culver City followed by 2 month showings at the ad agencies: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Deutsch and Ignited.  The work will also be displayed at photo la 2015.

Marek Glaser   "Attendance Is Mandatory"   Photograph, 2013.

Marek Glaser   "Attendance Is Mandatory"   Photograph, 2013.

Contemporary Landscape Photography: An International Perspective by Marek Glaser

November 9, 2013 - March 23, 2014
The Oceanside Museum of Art

Marek Glaser's "A Small Town" is featured in this exhibition of 44 images that highlight our integral connection to our surrounding environment and the changing aspects of our landscape. With images ranging from urban settings to idyllic naturescapes, this exhibit presents a diverse selection of engaging scenes from around the world.

Oceanside Museum of Art Exhibition Postcard Mailer

Oceanside Museum of Art Exhibition Postcard Mailer

The Oceanside Museum of Art

The Oceanside Museum of Art

BMW M5 "Bullet" by Marek Glaser

Directed and shot by Marek Glaser, the BMW "Bullet" viral ad was created using a combination of still photography and computer graphics.  The high performance art peice has received the following recognition:

CANNES LIONES – 2013 – Shortlist: Film

THE BESSIES – 2013 – Best of Show

WEBBY AWARDS – 2013 – Honoree: Branded Entertainment Short Form

ONE SHOW INTERACTIVE – 2013 – Silver Pencil: Animation/Motion Graphics

ONE SHOW INTERACTIVE – 2013 – Merit: Music Videos  

ONE SHOW – 2013 – Merit: Cinema Advertising - Long Form - :90 and Over - Single

FUBIZ AWARDS – 2013 – #4 Best Ad of the Year

BMW "Bullet" Movie Poster

BMW "Bullet" Movie Poster

2012 “Off the Clock” Personal Photography Exhibition - Encore Presentation by Marek Glaser

The exhibition reopens January 4, 2013 with a free public reception from 5:00-8:00pm and will continue through January 18, 2013 at the Emmanuel Gallery, a tri-institutional non-profit art space in the heart of downtown Denver, Colorado.

There are 3 images created by Marek included in this curated exhibit that showcases the personal work of professional photographers.

The Emmanuel Gallery in Denver, Colorado.  Photo: Mark Stout

The Emmanuel Gallery in Denver, Colorado.  Photo: Mark Stout

2012 Art of Photography Show by Marek Glaser

A total of 16,905 entries were submitted by artists from 77 countries around the world for this juried competition.  The judge for this exhibit was Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.  A limited edition print titled “Small Town” was one of the 200 pieces included in the show.

Marek Glaser   "Small Town"   Photograph, 2012.

Marek Glaser   "Small Town"   Photograph, 2012.