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Dark Cloud: White Light


Wed 9 Oct 2013, 10:00am–4:30pm
Thu 10 Oct 2013, 10:00am–4:30pm
Fri 11 Oct 2013, 10:00am–4:30pm
Sat 12 Oct 2013, 10:00am–4:30pm
Sun 13 Oct 2013, 11:00am–4:30pm

Where: PATAKA Art + Museum, Cnr Parumoana and Norrie St, Porirua - Mana, Wellington Region

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Related Artists:

Listed by: cgiblin

Joseph Michael - Dark Cloud: White Light

A dramatic day in the life of 12 epic New Zealand landscapes has been captured through time-lapse photography in a new media exhibition at Pataka Art + Museum in Porirua City.

Joseph Michael’s Dark Cloud: White Light opens on July 14 and takes viewers into some of New Zealand’s remotest spots to reveal their changing moods over 24 hours.

Using the latest 2D and 3D technology, each evolving landscape plays out as a loop video that seamlessly condenses more than 20,000 individual photographs.

“When visiting places, people turn up, take a quick look, possibly a photo or two, and move on. Time-lapse has the unique advantage of showing the amazing transformations taking place day to day right in front of us,” says Joseph.

And it’s not just a visual feast; each landscape video is complemented by a unique original soundtrack that has been composed by kiwi and international artists specifically for the work.

Joseph’s passion for these vast landscapes stems from a childhood in central Otago but it is only recently that technological advances have allowed him to capture them in time-lapse.

The project has challenged Joseph every step of the way both technically and physically.
“It has really has pushed me to the limit in terms of my skills as a film maker – but also in the demands it has made on me physically and on my gear.”

His toughest shoot was a solo expedition into the Matukituki Valley behind Wanaka, where he carried 25 kilos of camera gear in a tough day-long trek, sometimes scaling near vertical cliffs.

And his proudest is a snow storm captured above the Routeburn Track in Fiordland. It came at the end of five long days of filming in the rain and only after the local ranger shared his food so Joseph and his crew could extend their stay.

“We made it work and it’s one of my favourite shots in the exhibition. You can literally see a snow-storm blanketing the valley then melting away the next day. The results are simply breathtaking.”

Joseph and his crew have travelled the length of the country to capture the landscapes, many of which are just off the beaten track.

It's involved hiking to find the best vantage points, lugging gear that included five super high-resolution Nikon D800 cameras, 16 lenses, 30 batteries, 4 tripods, self-made purpose-built rigs and a motion controlled time-lapse rig.

Once in position, Joseph had to continually monitor the cameras adjusting them to the varying light levels through the day and night.

In the course of developing the work, Joseph has taken more than 300,000 images which were condensed into three minute video loops with the help of film production facility Park Road Post.

About Joseph Michael
Joseph Michael grew up in Central Otago. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004, majoring in printmaking and was invited to Whanganui as an artist in residence.

Since then, he has pursued a passion for photography; working as a cameraman on live broadcast sport and television, before working on music videos, documentaries, commercials and most recently feature films. Prior to developing Dark Cloud: White Light, he worked in the motion control unit of “The Hobbit”.

His time-laspe work has featured in the documentary “Life in A Day” directed by Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void) and was shown at the recent Frankfurt Bookfair. He filmed the documentary “Me, You, Mankosi” in the Transkei, South Africa, which screened at the Durban International Film Festival in July 2012.

Joseph spent several years working in Wellington and is currently based in Auckland.