Who am I?
3D graphic designer, and photographer when my schedules allow me, I work from Fukuoka, Japan, where I came to settle down there 2 years ago to discover new horizons. And throughout these two years (as well as during previous trips), I discovered a beautiful country, full of contrasts and secret places. This is great, because it is precisely in Japan that holds this project!
The goal of this project is to produce a picture book (in square format, so each photo can be full screen) containing a multitude of "Planets" shooted in the most beautiful places of Japan! (Buddhist or Shinto temples, cityscapes, bamboo forests ... etc..). "Planets?" What is that?! The concept is very easy to understand, but a little more difficult to achieve: it is about taking a serie of pictures that, when combined together form a 360 degrees picture (in all directions, not just horizontal) . Then with graphic manipulation, this view is somewhat spherised, folded into itself... And the result is a planet ! ... Well, almost, as it remains many artifacts and junction problems who have to be cleaned, and finally we get our planet in its final state! This technique is called "planet effect" or "polar panorama".
OFF COURSE PHOTOS HAVEN'T BEEN SHOT YET, SO THE PLANETS YOU CAN SEE ON THIS PAGE HAVE NOT BEEN TAKEN IN JAPAN: I SHOT ITS ABOUT 3 YEARS AGO DURING A TRIP TO NEW YORK AND BOSTON. At that time I did not have the appropriate equipment (the famous 8-15mm lens mounted on the full frame camera I own now). So the result is OK, but far below the quality standard I designed for this project. I also would like to apologize for the fact this presentation page don't feel "Japanese style" so much, while this project focuses precisely on Japan. However, I invite you to visit my profile to see my photos taken in Japan, which will give you a more precise idea of the planets I will realize! :)
(you can find a link to my Flickr account clicking on the little blue icon on the left of my profile picture).
It is not my first attempt of the creation of a book, there is about 3 years ago, I already made a book about Japan ... Book which unfortunately didn't survived to the bankruptcy of my publisher, despite really good preorders (almost doubled compared to expectations). You can still get a glimpse of this book on the -still online- website of the editor, to get an idea of my work at the time.
Why using KissKissBankBank ?
After this aborted book I decided to go for this project with KissKissBankBank, and for two main reasons:
1: Finding a publisher is very difficult when you start, and past experience has taught me that there is no guarantee that it succeeds. This misadventure has made me think and turn to self-publishing: now it is YOU my publisher.
2: Achieving such a book requires me to purchase specific equipment I can not afford without your support. In a typical publishing, the author has to buy his equipment, then make the photos, build the book (retouching, layout, text etc ...) and finally get it published. Then his work will pay off about 1-2 years later (Typical publishing contract). Or in the case of my previous book, despite physical investment (buying a pro camera and objectives unit) and the investment of time (several months were needed) the project was canceled, and I finally finished with expensive equipment representing a large investment, without being able to repay. Here it is different if the project is successful, the money necessary for the purchase of equipment is advanced, and with it the realization of the book is only a matter of time!
What equipment do I have to make this book? (equipment previously purchased for the realization of my previous book and not to be taken into considered for funding of this project).
I already have a professional camera Canon 5D Mark II, some Canon lenses : 100mm amd 18-105mm, a Nikor "shift" lens 35mm. I also have a Canon 550D equipped with 10-22mm and 18-270mm lenses. All this equipment may be used for different photos included in the book, but do not forget it is the Canon 8-15mm lense (which I can buy if the founding is a success) who will -attached do the 5D mark II body- be able to shot the panoramas for the planets.
Japan, vast topic, where will be shot the photos?
Familiar to Japan, I have many spots in mind for the shooting of the pictures. Obviously some of them are known to the public, other are less. Planned locations are some areas of Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Asakusa, Sky Tree temple), Kyoto (Arashiyama, Gion, Fushimi Inari, Golden Pavilion ...) also Mount Fuji, Hiroshima, Tottori, Ise, Ama no Hashidate ... etc.. Although the list is not exhaustive, I have many places in mind! And do not forget that if anyone funds me with the highest special counterparty, he may choose a location where I will go, and make his own planet! (Even if he choose Hokkaido or Okinawa, the two most isolated parts of Japan!).
Finally, a big thank you to all those who will give me a helping hand for this project! :)
Waar dient de collecte voor
The founding collect will be used to buy the required equipment, and to pay the transportation costs. Here's some details :
1200€ to Buy a second hand lens CANON EF fisheye 8-15mm.
300€ to Buy a panoramic tripod head.
150€ for a software license of PTGui Pro (to properly assemble the different pictures into one file).
800€ for the transportation.
1050€ for the production and shipping of prints for KissKissBankBankers who supported me in this project.
300€ for the KissKissBankBank fees.
... AND IN A SECOND TIME, IF THE PREVIOUS GOAL HAS BEEN REACHED:
+955€ for a software license of Photoshop CS6.
+1000€ for the transportation, so, the possibility to travel further, and to bring photos from remote locations of Japan, to bring more unique planets !
+660€ for the production and shipping of prints for the additional donations.
+210€ for the KissKissBankBank fees.
Some additional explanations of expenditure:
About the objective CANON EF Fisheye 8 -15mm , why such a purchase is justified ? You probably noticed that in all the photos in the presentation of the project , the center of each planet is composed , either water or a more or less uniform and homogeneous surface such as ground, grass ... etc. This is due to the material that I used previously to my photos: an objective called " ultra wide angle" 16mm ... which is already good, and allows very pretty things ... but is not enough to have a professional result without connection problems between the pictures. A Fish- Eye as the Canon 8 -15mm at 8mm allow to have a viewing angle of 180 ° to each photo! This means a picture each cardinal point with both the sky, the ground has its vertical exact in his field of vision! This results in not too many shots have to be taken to achieve a planet, and therefore less problem areas to connect the pictures! This also allows to make real 360 degrees shots! (planets presented above are not ) which means having less stretch on the outer planets, and have "real planets" without false connection camouflaged by graphic skills to give the impression of a 360 degrees panorama. Finally , the use of such an objective venture to make photo in any location , near or far from the ground , no matter , no need for a homogeneous soil or water , soil appear as perfectly if no human , no camera , no tripod had been used to make the photo !
For panoramic tripod head, until now, I managed to create planets without, but without the use of such a tripod, the result contain parallax problems leading to the superposition of some elements on multiple photos.
About transportation: I live in the city of Fukuoka, in the East of Japan, and the idea is of course, to not be confined to this part of Japan, but to offer the most beautiful of all the territory ... In order to do that, traveling to Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima... will be a key element, and money will have a key role here, because transport is overpriced in Japan (it takes about €300 for a roundtrip Train Fukuoka / Osaka or even more for Fukuoka / Tokyo!). The more money I can put more in this part of the expenses, and the more I will be able to travel to different cities to take new shots. Depending on the money raised, I also intend to go to Hokkaido (most isolated northern part of Japan).
About the photoshop license, this one allow myself to have access to a much powerful tool than the one I currently use The Gimp. I use Photoshop every day at my work as graphic designer, so I am able to judge its effectiveness. Unfortunately I can obviously not use the license belonging to the company where I work for such a purpose unrelated to the compagny.
About the production and shipping of prints, books, and other counterparties, the cost of producing and mailing each copy of the book is about € 40, the prints range from 12 € to 35 € according to their size. Finally, the calendars and 30x30cm canvas costs are respectively 21 € and 38 €.