New Environmental Art from Taiwan
Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan
Taipei Cultural Center of TECO, New York
Presented in Partnership by
The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
and Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia
Recently, I met two very talented installation artists named Chao-chang Lee and Ping-yu Pan who both create art in environmental settings in Taiwan. These two very humble and amazing artists were invited to the U.S. to create installation works at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education for the “Going Green New Environmental Art from Taiwan” Exhibition which has works at the Schuylkill Center and also the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia. I thought this would be a great opportunity to test my new Metabones Contax G SNAP! Gear setup so I volunteered to document some of the performances they were both having at their installations. Because we would be out in the woods, I decided to really be low profile so I took only my indiRAILSpro MP which has a built-in follow focus and monopod. I also brought just two lenses, my Contax G 90mm and 28mm lenses. Because I was afraid the 28mm was not going to give me the full coverage I needed I also decided to be adventurous and I attached a Raynox HD-6600PRO55 .66 wide angle adapter to the 28mm making the lens approximately an 18mm lens.
One of the great things about using Contax G glass is that they are very sharp lenses and one of the challenges is that they are also very sharp lenses.
So with the GH1 this can be a problem. The screen is just not good enough to find critical focus especially in some outdoor environments like a wooded setting. Since I started to notice that I was having trouble with critical focus, I decided to play it safe and I opened up to f/4 through f/8 in order to get more depth of field in the hopes of covering myself and getting more in focus than out of focus shots. In many cases, the documentation shows some of the challenges when you have such sharp lenses. You’ll see a few out of focus shots here and there so its always a learning process. Having said that when the exposure and focus was on these lenses really do now how to shine.
Most of the shots I’ve seen with Contax G glass have been from still photographers so seeing moving images with Contax G glass is really wonderful and very exciting. I was also just floored at how well the Raynox HD-6600PRO55 wide angle adapter did. I basically had the adapter on the 28mm lens most of the time and it was still fairly sharp with a little vignetting and softening on the corners. I’ve used the Raynox on a few different lenses and the vignetting and softness is much more pronounced on my other lenses. I’d say using the Raynox wide angle adapter on Contax G glass produces some very good usable footage. Overall, I really see a lot of potential for Contax G glass especially in narrative filmmaking where you have much more control over your shots. I still want to see if I can get more comfortable and use them in more of a documentary run and gun style setting but for the second time at using these lenses I think this was not a bad effort.
I’d like to thank Chao-chang Lee and Ping-yu Pan for the opportunity to meet them and to film their work.
Here is one of the pieces:
Ping-yu Pan’s installation, “Ark for Plants” is made up of fallen branches and pine cones tied with natural twine in the shape of an ark. Her boat-shaped sculpture is designed as a deer fence to protect a young native dogwood tree.The film clips capture Ping-yu Pan’s live performance at the installation where visitors are invited to cast a handful of soil into the place where the tree is planted.
For more information on the exhibition please visit:
Contax G 28mm f/2.8
w/Raynox HD-6600PRO55 .66 wide angle adapter
Contax G 90mm f/2 lens
Metabones Contax G adapter and indiSYSTEM SNAP! Gear