Visual Poetry: Ami Vitale

I stumbled across the name Ami Vitale while reading From Still to Motion (which is actually written for photographers crossing over into filmmaking, which is the opposite of the path I took, but I find the book interesting nonetheless). Ami Vitale is an accomplished travel photographer who, since the advent of  HDSLRs, has also crossed over into the world of film.

There is a lot of talk in the DSLR filmmaking world about getting away from just making pretty images and actually telling a story. That’s a valid point, because to take full advantage of a moving medium like film we often need to see characters as they grow or develop through a clearly defined story, such as in a full-fledged documentary (like Salesman, for example) or work of fiction. But sometimes it can be truly inspiring to see exotic, engaging, gorgeous images that transport us to another time or place. Films that don’t present a clear cut story but rather use images to evoke an emotion are the poetry of film, whereas traditional storytelling documentary and fiction are the prose of film. (There is not nor should there be a clear cut boundary between the two: many a work of prose has poetic strands woven throughout.)

This short film by Ami Vitale is a visual poem, beautiful yet haunting. It’s basically travel photography in motion. I’m not a big Nikon fanatic, but I guess this proves that anything is possible! (I owned a D90 which I didn’t like for video, but it appears Nikon has made some improvements since then.)


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