Last month, seven Sky Factory employees traveled to Steens Mountain in the southeast corner of Oregon. For two weeks the photography and digital cinema teams explored this uniquely varied and ruggedly picturesque location making over 50 hours of digital cinema recordings for the new SkyV™ and eScape™ products, as well as several hundred unique still images of landscapes and skyscapes, including several multi-image panoramas.
Both teams worked with state-of-the-art imaging equipment. High-definition digital cinema recordings were captured with the new RED One Digital Cinema camera and Carl Zeiss master lens, the same camera used on several recent feature films. Still images were made with the best-in-class Phase One 645 medium format camera using the Phase One P65+ digital back. Producing nearly 60Mb RAW files, we find that the Phase One achieves resolution superior to 4x5 film, and far exceeds film's dynamic range.
Why all the expensive new gear? The answer is simple - better illusions. We have learned from creating SkyCeilings and Luminous Virtual Windows that one of the principal differences between successful illusions (ones that provide a fulfilling aesthetic experience and trigger genuine psycho-physiological relaxation responses) and "pretty pictures" is the resolution, color, clarity, and depth of the image. Other manufacturers are satisfied with reproducing 35mm images or their digital equivalents. The Sky Factory pushes the boundaries of realism by committing to the best capture and reproduction technology available. This is equally important for still images and the digital cinema that supports our new products - SkyV™ and eScape™.
The Steens Mountain range is a unique geologic formation, a wide north-south escarpment that creates a broad western slope rising a mile to the mountain's 9,500 ft. ridge and a precipitous mile-long drop to the high altitude Alvord Desert on the eastern side. The dramatic changes in altitude and terrain foster varied ecologies, flora, fauna, and weather - all ideal subjects for Sky Factory's illusions of nature.
Working from early morning into the late evening, the imaging teams dove deep into the beauty and dynamics of nature's events - clouds forming directly over the Steens' escarpment and evolving through their long airborne journeys, snowmelt-fed alpine waterfalls and wildflower cradled creeks, the breeze gently ruffling the placid dark mirror surface of Krumbo Lake, or fierce winds bending old growth Aspen, Junipers, and wild mountain Mahogany, and always, the ever changing sky.
This immersion into the Steens' environs should better equip us to "bring the sky inside" for you. Now, we'll work to fully invigorate our products with the spirit of wildness and the purity of nature evident in places like Steens Mt. Sky Factory SkyCeilings™, SkyV™, Luminous Virtual Windows™, and eScape™ will bring you great aesthetic delight, as well as provide relaxation, well being, and vitality to mind and body.
ORA Oral Surgery & Implant Studio of Chicago is a pioneering practitioner of sustainable green healthcare and dentistry. As a LEED and GGHC (Green Guide for Health Care) project, the designers of the ORA office renovation adhered to LEED's Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) guidelines "To provide the occupants with a connection between indoor spaces and the outdoors through the introduction of daylight and views into the regularly occupied areas of the tenant space."
In some areas of the facility, such as the operating rooms where windows are an impossibility; the clients sought a creative solution that would still provide a connection with daylight and the outdoors. Sky Factory Luminous SkyCeilings, with their daylight-balanced backlighting, were designed as the focus of these rooms, evoking an invigorating and uplifting feeling for patients and staff.
According to Steven A. Koos D.D.S., M.D., the clinic's medical director, "patients are generally quite anxious prior to undergoing sedation, general anesthesia and surgery. We consistently hear how relaxing and soothing the combination of listening to music and the direct views of the SkyCeilings are. My team and I also love the SkyCeilings because no matter what time of year or what type of inclement weather there is outside - at ORA we ALWAYS have blue skies and sunshine!"
Check out our new Sky Factory Profile on Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, click the link and click the banner to "Become a Fan". Lately, we've been posting lots of pictures from our video and photography expeditions to Hawaii and Oregon for our fans to enjoy. You can see all the pictures and albums even without creating a Facebook account.