A few years ago I posted some old colour videos of Mexico City in the 1940s and 1950s. They were fascinating glimpses into the past of the city, and the colour reproduction just made them so much more…je ne sais pas quoi. But you probably know what I mean. I haven’t ever posted any videos of London. Partly because there isn’t an awful lot available in colour. Partly because there something of a proliferation of London videos. Partly because London, when colour film became more common, was a bombed out war zone.
A few days ago a friend emailed me a link to an old London video that’s somewhat unique. It’s old. Real old. As the title of the post suggests, it’s 1927 old. But it is colour film. All of the most famous sites are covered. It’s an awesome video. Fancy a trip back to 1927? Here we go then. Check out just how filthy all those monuments and buildings are though!
The next piece of my Fuji X-S1 review is to show what sort of video the camera can shoot. It’s nice and easy to shoot video – as with most cameras these days there is a dedicated video button on the back of the device to get recording straight away. The camera also has the option to record at a couple of hundred frames a second for decent slow-mo shooting, although I have yet to put this to the test.
The result below is a little unfair on the camera. Once I had compressed the footage and uploaded it to YouTube, the output was noticeably degraded when compared to the original video files on my laptop. But still. The result is good enough, in my opinion. For what I would need to do with it. I’m sure that with a little tripod use and more time spent with the post processing, the results would be be better still. The footage is shot from around Budapest, during my recent holiday there. It was a fantastic week away, and I will have photos and a post or two to come.
A quick note on YouTube – they have finally enabled long time users like me to change from the pre-Google ownership usernames, to my proper Google user name. Important? Well, I signed up to YouTube on a whim originally, and as an anonymous viewer, not as a producer. So choosing the username ‘Chunderbuttocks’ didn’t matter much. Nowadays though….well, Chunderbuttocks isn’t really what I want to be known as. It’s been a minor annoyance to have that moniker attached to my YouTube account all these years. But no more. Adios Chunderbuttocks.
Following on from the vintage video of Mexico City that I posted a few weeks back, here’s a more modern take on the city. I absolutely love the videography. I reckon, from a purely technical viewpoint, this is the sort of video anyone could make with a modern DSLR. In theory, if one had access to some of the viewpoints and a helicopter. But the planning, imagination and sheer patience making something like this entails makes it a hugely impressive production.
No camera these days hits the shop shelves without packing some gimmicky extra features. Otherwise known as pointless crap that looks good on the television ad, but has no practical use when you’re actually out and about shooting. So I had a little skepticism when I read about the Art Filters built into the Olympus Pens, although I had actually read good things about them.
But I had to try them out. And they are pretty good! It has to be said, certain filters suit certain subjects and types of shot, and my samples haven’t been taken with that i mind. I’ve just been pointing my camera at anything that moves and everything that doesn’t. But still, what I have produced gives you a good idea of what they can do.
The camera can also use these filters in movie mode which is cool, although I had mixed results. Diorama (tilt shift) worked well with stills and video. Grainy too. The sepia is a bit strong for my taste. Pinhole is one of my favourite still photo options, although something went a little wrong when shooting the video methinks. I’ll have to try again and see if it’s me or the camera.
Soft Focus and Pop Art are definitely modes that will suit some subjects wonderfully, but look ghastly on other occasions. My efforts so far fit into the latter category I’m afraid. Click here to see the whole set of photos and videos on Flickr.
I found the video below on a blog, the author of which found it on another blog. It’s a great video from early 1940′s Mexico. In full technicolor glory! The sort of video I’ve been searching for for ages. I’ve seen lots of videos from my own country from the early 40′s, but few of them in colour. And the contrast between the two nations during that period cannot be overstated.
I’d love to be able to step back to 40′s and 50′s Mexico and spend a few years seeing the sights as they were, when the Zocalo was a green plaza without half a town’s worth of plastic tents filled with protesters on hunger strike. Check out the lives of Diego, Frida and Leon Trotsky as they made modern Mexican history. Visit Coyoacan when it was still a town in it’s own rights, separated from DF by green fields and canals.
I went hunting through the links on the video’s YouTube page to see what other bits of film I could dig up. TravelTalks had a second short Mexico film about motoring through the country which is worth watching. There’s also this 1941 US made film about Mexico in general. And another, but from a little later in 1947. In Spanish, there is the first ever Telecast in Mexico from 1950.
Here’s the rather crooked looking President Diaz Ordaz opening the Mexico City metro system, and a video of the first line being built. For sports fans here’s a propoer widescreen video covering the opening of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, and this brief video showing the opening of the World Cup in Mexico two years later.
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