Visual Effects Photography

Visual Effects are a major part of the success of the 20 highest grossing movies of all time.
All of these films either feature heavy visual effects as a main attraction (like "Avatar", "Lord of the Rings" or "Star Wars"), as support of the movie (like "Titanic") or are entirely computer generated animated films (like "Toy Story").
To create all these visual effects and combine them with the live action shot on set, a lot of elements and references need to be captured photographically for the production of computer graphics (CG). This is called
Visual Effects Photography.

This VFX photography is of technical nature and requires
professional equipment and sound photographical skills combined with knowledge of computer graphics and visual effects.
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VFX Photography for Roland Emmerich's "2012": HDR texture shooting in a residential neighborhood of L.A. with a Nikon D3 and the excellent AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 GED tethered to a laptop and remote controlled on a movie crane (2008 / 2009).
VFX Photography for Roland Emmerich's "2012": HDR texture shooting and HD reference filming at Ontario airport (2008 / 2009) with Canon EOS-1DS Mark III and the back then just released Canon EOS-5D Mark II with real big glass, the Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM.
Police are always present to secure the set, no matter if you are shooting between airplanes on the taxiways or lugging a crane through the neighborhood.
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VFX photography includes a variety of elements:

- digital backgrounds, environments and elements for matte paintings and CG scene creation
- digital HDR (high dynamic range) panoramas for CG lighting and scene creation
- Texture source images for computer generated assets
- still and moving reference footage for realistic CG and animation
Michael Grobe has been using photography to capture moments and turn them into lasting memories since he was 14 years old. He was first introduced to photography by his father who had an extensive collection of photography books and was himself an avid photographer. After grasping the concepts of shutter speed, aperture and focal length, Michael soon worked his way through his father’s collection of works from Feininger, Hedgecoe and Mante and began to express his own creativity through photography. Today, Michael is able to use his passion for photography as a fundamental part of his profession in the world of visual effects for feature films.
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VFX Photography in New York: Filming background plates with an ARRI 435 35mm film camera on top of skyscrapers over the streets of Manhattan (2007).
VFX Photography for Roland Emmerich's "2012": High resolution (40k x 6k) HDR panorama shot as an element for a matte painting with the Canon EOS-1DS Mark III and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM.

VFX Photography for Roland Emmerich's "2012": High resolution (14k x 7k) 360° HDR environment for lighting in computer graphics presented here as tonemapped Quicktime VR in LDR (low dynamic resolution). Shot with Canon EOS-1DS Mark III and the Fisheye EF 15mm f/2.8 on 360precision Adjuste Mk II panorama head.
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3D VFX Photography in Munich: Filming stereoscopic background plates with 2 RED mysterium X cameras mounted on a Screenplane Production Rig (2010).