I first became aware of Michael Levin's photographs in 2010. His photographs of everyday places and common subjects are transformed into something much more when he views them through his lens...absolutely stunning! Being that a large majority of Michael's work is done in Japan, I instantly had a connection to it as I too have a bond with Japan and have traveled and documented the landscape extensively in my own way. After watching my film Hayaku (vimeo.com/12112529) Michael contacted me regarding a project he was working on and felt it might be of interest to me. He told me that he really appreciated my work and recognized the dedication and effort that went into it. I agreed to go on a trip with him to Japan and work on his project. But for me, there was a greater opportunity at hand. We had several conversations and I gave him some ideas about expanding the project and he really took to it. A month later and we were in Japan having beers and sushi.
I wanted to document Michael at work, in Japan, in a way that hasn't really been explored with photographers. I told Michael of my idea to make an artistic representation of his experiences in the Land of the Rising Sun - to show him in his working environment in a way that complimented his work. Not to explain it with words, but to feel it through the flow of the film. I wanted to show the process, the journey, the adventure in a way that would give the viewer an emotional connection to Michael and his photography.
The final result is something that I think is truly original… something that showcases who Michael is, and more importantly, what his work is all about. This film is a collaboration between Michael and I and our love for photography, film, Japan and adventure. This is a subject that Michael and I are continuing to explore as we plan more trips together, more films and more adventures.
I hope you enjoy!
**Michael will be conducting a photography workshop in Brighton, UK. this September.
Please email email@example.com for all the details.**
"This movie presents a visualization of the star-forming region known as S106. This unique three-dimensional view illustrates and emphasizes that many of the objects contained within astronomical images are not at the same distance, but, in fact, spread across light-years of space. The Hubble image is augmented with additional field-of-view from the Subaru Infrared Telescope. The stars and the lobes of glowing gas from the Hubble/Subaru two-dimensional image have been separated and sculpted using both scientific knowledge and artistic license to create the depth in the movie. Of note, the relative distances between stars and the nebula have been greatly compressed."
"This devastatingly beautiful image shows the birth pangs of a massive star. Called IRS 4 (for Infrared Source 4; it was first seen in IR images), it’s the really bright star just below center where the two blue lobes come together. It’s a bruiser, an O-type star with at least 15 times the Sun’s mass — 30 octillion tons! — and is a staggering 10,000 times as bright. It’s still in the process of forming, but it’s nearly there.
Located about 2000 light years away, IRS 4 is surrounded by an enormous cloud of gas and dust that may have a mass as high as 25,000 times the mass of the Sun. When the star first ignited, fusing hydrogen into helium in its core, the vast amount of energy it started pouring out lit up the cloud in the immediate vicinity around it. Most of the cloud is still dark and cannot be seen here, but everything within a few light years of the star is being illuminated, if not ionized, by the fierce ultraviolet light from the star."
- Phil Plait