Andrew Kornylak embraces the multimedia possibilities of modern digital cameras
By Dave Willis
Photography By Andrew Kornylak
As high-definition video capture in DSLRs has shown, exactly what a “still camera” is and even what a “DSLR” refers to is being questioned as technology moves continuously forward.For photographers, this relentless progress can mean a steep learning curve if you want to stay ahead of the pack, but it also means that the potential for bringing in revenue is exponential. It’s becoming de rigueur for pro photographers with HD-capable cameras to offer video for behind-the-scenes and supplemental material as part of the complete photo package, while there are some photographers who have experimented with what’s available to come up with something entirely different.
Photographer Andrew Kornylak has been embracing the multimedia capabilities of his camera and the digital medium since he went pro in 2000. He’s primarily an editorial and commercial photographer based out of Atlanta with a thriving business that includes portraiture and wedding work in the local market. There’s a heavy concentration on outdoor adventure sports in his imagery and in his personal life, which has landed him a variety of clients like Red Bull, National Geographic Adventure and The North Face.
Kornylak’s unique twist on still photography and video is that he has combined the two to offer clients “Stillmotion.” Somewhere in between stop-motion animation and music videos, Kornylak captures a high-burst, rapid-sequence series of still images that he then edits together and combines with music and voiceover narration.
“In 2006,” he says, “I saw a piece by Ed Kashi entitled Iraqi Kurdistan on the website MediaStorm. That was the seed of the Stillmotion aesthetic. The way the photographs were synchronized with music in a very direct way really appealed to me. It enhanced and expanded on what were already very powerful images, and I saw that there was a space outside of just slideshows and stop-motion animation to explore with photography.”
Kornylak is an avid rock climber, and he first began to experiment with Stillmotion sequences by shooting his friends while they were climbing. His photo agency, Aurora Photos, saw where he was going with the aesthetic and encouraged him to produce a tightly woven, more focused piece that they could market together as an Adidas promo. The result was Parkour, slightly longer than a minute in length and shot almost entirely on Kornylak’s Nikon D2X.
The short is shot in a flipbook style, and it’s a powerful statement, following Akil, a free runner, as he jumps off of walls, past obstacles and over precipices. In contrast, a self-contemplative voiceover narration is layered over the sequence, and through the dialogue, Akil reveals that he was stillborn with a weak heart, only to be brought back to life by doctors. The hip-hop track “Rush” by Talib Kweli is used as the soundtrack, propelling the still images forward as Akil runs. It’s an incredibly effective piece that closes with Akil noting, “I’ve already died, so I’m about living my life.”
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