Viewfinder

Nature's (scary) beauty

A Supercell Near Booker, Texas

However fearsome and destructive their power, tornadoes and hurricanes possess a rare and striking beauty that commands our attention. Photographer Mike Olbinski understands and embraces this beauty, devoting his career to seeking out and recording those massive storm systems while everyone else gets the hell out of the way.

A contented craftsman

Michael Swift: Horologist

Few people are even aware of what a horologist is, let alone the unfathomable patience and care required of such a craftsman. Michael Swift has humbly practiced that expansive profession, encompassing everything from watch repair to the study of timekeeping, for nearly four decades. This micro-documentary from Big Baby Productions sheds light on Swift’s lifework and allows him to reflect on the trade.

Did he just do that? He just did that

MacAskill’s Imaginate

The Imaginate project has been in development for two years, which is entirely believable considering this video is so unbelievable that, short of a Faustian pact or magic lamp involvement, only after years of practice could even a seasoned pro execute these kind of maneuvers. Ladies and gentlemen... Danny MacAskill.

A visit to fly fishing paradise

Off the Grid

This video, a special cut of "Off the Grid", a full-length fishing documentary about finding and fishing in places that are untouched or simply outside the norm, pretty much has it all. There's a quick summary of the epic trip that makes up the entire film, full of monster fish doing their best jaws impressions on happily bobbing flies; then we get to meet two young trout bums living the dream in northeast Ohio.

Take cover, so no one catches you watching it

Killzone: Intercept

Videogame fans get a bad rap. For all their insistence about the artistry and sophistication of the medium, gamers exist in the minds of other creative artists as….well, something like this guy. "Killzone: Intercept", a lavishly produced live-action short based on the popular game franchise, does substantial damage to that conception.

Life on the water

Walk on Water

Walk on Water opens with a powerful kayaker tearing through daunting rapids with astonishing ease. The film waits a long while to reveal that its subject, Greg Mallory, is paralyzed from the waist down. Mallory, who lost the use of his legs after a skiing accident, has found in kayaking a warrant for living life normally, a source of joy in the wake of a terrible tragedy.

Capturing California

Portrait of a Photographer

Say "Northern California" to most people and their minds jump to San Francisco. For 25 years, though, photographer Marty Knapp has shifted perceptions with his stunning images of Point Reyes and its surrounding areas. This beautifully shot exposé from Vertical Online dives into the history of the storied photographer: how he ended up devoting his career to such a stunning place, what inspires him, and his own personal lens on the art he creates.

The Elements of Cinematic Style

The View

The folks at Plot Point Productions have returned with another ode to the grammar of cinema. Their latest montage, set to a rapturous Moby track, focuses on a staple of epic filmmaking: the aptly named “back-to-the-camera shot”.

Beauty in Conflict

The Impossible Image

Artist and photographer Richard Mosse's new project, "The Enclave", uses infrared film to document ongoing atrocities in the Congo. The surreal, almost fairy-tale look of the images forces the viewer into conflict, making the story more poignant, memorable, and real.

Jaw-Dropping Film of Freerider Andi Wittmann

Framed

Intended to be the first in a series, this gorgeous profile of German freerider Andi Wittmann will be all we get -- tragically, the full set of videos didn't pan out. Watching this jaw-dropping pilot, we can't imagine why.

How the Legendary Denim Came to Be

The Story of the 501 Jean

Fashion trends are as capricious and dispensable as the blasé hipsters who sport them. Enduring appeal, on the other hand, is hard to come by. That’s what makes the both Levi’s and its 501 Jean such icons; it’s why we keep a framed poster of the 501’s history on the wall here at the GP offices. In a masterstroke of marketing, Levi’s put together this energetic film, which reminds us just how rich the 501’s history is.

A Soaring Film on Mt. Chimborazo's Ice Merchants

The Last Ice Merchant

We are in no rush to slow the pace of progress; after all, we stake our livelihoods on the new, the fashionable and the high-tech. Still, there remains a soft spot in our web-hardened, computerized hearts for the simple dignity of a life in nature, and that soft spot melts to mush (get it?!) before stories like that of Balthazar Ushca, the last remaining ice merchant on Ecuador’s Mt. Chimborazo.

The sights and sounds of two-weeks in Spain

A Spanish Roadtrip

It's got to be slog (a once-in-a-lifetime slog) to travel through an entire country in just two weeks. But to pare your footage from those two weeks into a three-minute video? Monumentally more difficult. Fortunately, this clever three-minute video employs split screen formats, so your eyes can multitask and take in more than three minutes worth of visuals. Good thing, too, because there's a lot to take in.

Helmuth Bott's Porsche 959

You Cannot Do It Alone

In this video by eGarage, Peter Schutz, former CEO of Porsche AG, opines that the 959 may have had more affect on the automotive world than any car since its introduction. You'd be hard-pressed to find many counterarguments. Here, Porsche endurance racing legend Hurley Haywood both narrates and pilots as he cruises around in a prototype (one of six) originally owned by Helmuth Bott.

Big Waves Keep on Crashin'

Big Wave Skiing

Summer means slapping a coat of wax on your skis and sending them to the back of the gear closet. That is, unless you’re really stubborn (and somewhat deranged), like pro skiers Mike Douglas and Cody Townsend. Sick of waiting for the powder to start falling again, they took matters into their own hands. After...

Meet Phipps, A Flyfisherman Through and Through

By The Lake, Tasmania

In this calm, three-minute video, we're treated to a supreme visual experience by the aptly named Red Epic camera, a DSLR-sized rig capable of 5K resolution in every frame. We meet Phipps, a man who has lived in Tasmania his whole life, spending his time at a fishing shack that has housed his family for decades. The cabin sits on a quiet, trout-filled lake, and Phipps, genuine and wise, seems to be meant to inhabit that shack, to fish in that lake.

Beautiful things made out of beautiful leather

The Ghurka Story

Toward the end of this quick film Walker Macwilliam, creative director of Ghurka and narrator of the video, says Ghurka's purpose is "making beautiful things out of beautiful leather". We say that about sums it up perfectly.

Teton Gravity Research's Aerial Reel

The Bay Area in 4K

There is so much epic mega-ness in Teton Gravity Research's aerial reel that it's difficult to contain our bladders (too much information? Too much information): cornea-melting 4K ultra-HD footage, shot using a RED Epic-equipped gyro-stabilized camera platform mounted on a helicopter that is most surely badass; a grandiose soundtrack that seems right out of the latest action-thriller; oh, and then there's the Bay Area.

A time-stopping piece of automotive history: '74 E-Type

The Last of the Breed

Only 59 more E-Types were made after Dave Paddison's V12 Series 3 convertible rolled off the Coventry assembly line in 1974. "Last of the Breed", indeed -- nearly the last entirely. And what a specimen for a guy like Dave to own.

Hypnotizingly Beautiful Visual Tour of Paris in Winter

The Quiet City

Camera jockey Andrew Julian has an immense talent for spotting and capturing beauty. Apropos, then, that he journeyed to Paris, which happens to be brimming with beauty at every turn. Most everyone is familiar with Paris in the summertime, whether via the myriad movies set there or by dint of commendable vacation planning. However, Julian...

J. Crew on Film – “Holy Jackets”

In Biella, Italy, is situated a textile mill that first opened in 1663, where 3 generations of workers still strive to make the best fabrics in the world. It's fitting (tailoring pun!) then that J. Crew sources material for its Ludlow suits from Vitale Barberis Cononico, where 7 million meters of hand-inspected fabric are produced each year.

1971 Ferrari 365 Daytona

Poor Bill Hammerstein. He and his wife had so few guests coming by his SoCal home that he knocked down the guest house out back entirely. In its place, he built a three-stall garage that houses a red Shelby Cobra, a red Mercedes 300 SL convertible and a -- you guessed it -- red V12 1971 Ferrari 365 Daytona coupe. Yeah, that Daytona.

Battleship Island via Sony Action Cam

We want to hate this Sony Action cam mounted on an RC multi-copter. It's a drone. Those are the scary things that the government uses to spy on you as you go about your vital covert actions (picking your toenails, or watching Bravo channel). But this Sony creation -- it's kind of... cute. And also freaking awesome, mind you. This little bugger zooms around Battleship Island (you know it from Skyfall).

The Art of the Steadicam

You're following Tom Cruise through a hotel room, or better yet, Brad Pitt through a shoddy, packed bar. You are carrying a very large video camera, attached to a huge counterbalanced device (which happens to be attached to you), and you have to carefully move in a choreographed path around the actor as he delivers his lines. You have one, two, maybe three takes to nail the shot. Feeling the pressure yet? These are just the topical difficulties of the steadicam shot, a gem of the Hollywood industry that produces some of the most spectacular scenes in some of your favorite movies.

X Games Detroit Trailer

Detroit is trashed worse than Ke$ha on a Tuesday morning. Everybody knows it, and that's why we love that the city's in the hunt to host the X Games for the next three years. If you're going to have a rundown slum of wasted buildings, why not use said buildings as dramatic backdrop for awesome 360s and Fakie kick flips?

Click, Print, Gun

We're far from ready to step into the ring on gun control. Still, like any national issue, we hope to stay informed. Vice's Click, Print, Gun is a 25-minute documentary on how 3D printing -- an amazing and highly useful technology -- is affecting the gun control debate.

Viewfinder: Bottled History

Ships in a bottle have all the wonder of a parlor trick without the gimmickry. Modeling combines with magic to turn wood and glass into a beautifully crafted enigma. Somewhere around the 1:10 minute mark, when Ray Gascoigne discusses switching from American Yellow Pine to Western Red Cedar, you'll realize that you want to take the time to meet this man, see him work his craft, listen to him tell his time-worn stories.

Wide Web World

Enabling couch potatoes everywhere to say they're still "world travelers", Paul Wex's mashup of Nokia 3D Maps footage provides oh-so-realistic shots of beautiful cities across the world. Originally stymied by a sub-par (a.k.a. not ridiculously good) graphics card, Wex upgraded, then shot helicopter-esque scenes of New York, Toronto, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Boston, London, Vienna, Berlin, Sydney and Melbourne skylines. Soaring electronica music (also crafted by Wex) adds to the already grand scale of things. After all that tough sightseeing, you may need to take a break to browse the internet.

Tellason Stories: Meet Todd

Rather than creating maudlin product spots to peddle their premium jeans, Tellason decided to document the stories and lifestyles of their clientele. Their first film highlights the work of Todd Blubaugh, a Seattle-based artist who spends his time both behind a lens and fabricating one of our favorite forms of functional art: custom motorcycles.

Building the World’s Largest Ship (In 76 Seconds)

This video sets the prestige of shipbuilding back at least a decade. "That's not so bad!" says pretty much every single viewer as the Maersk Line's Triple-E Vessel is lego-blocked into existence in just over a minute. You're right. It's really not that hard. What's 1,304 feet, anyways? Just 150 feet shy of the Empire State Building, you say? Oh. And it actually took three months? Maybe you won't be enrolling in that online shipyard mastery class after all.

My Parents’ First Car

If you don’t get choked up, maybe even a little misty, watching this video of a son reuniting his parents with their first car, you may just be beyond our help. Not only does it portray the lengths one son will go to permanently etch smiles on his parents faces -- it also highlights the incredible bonds people form with their vehicles. A sacrificial sale when Joe Smith was drafted into the Korean War, his 1948 Plymouth Convertible always maintained a soft spot in Joe's and his wife Beverly's hearts. For their 60th wedding anniversary, their son Joel found, restored and delivered a working time machine, complete with three-on-the-tree.

How Ink is Made

We really wanted to hate these ink makers. Their product is outrageously priced, a vital part of enraging machines that jam, make annoying noises and refuse to connect wirelessly to our computers. But set to classical music, the Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory setting (complete with huge drums of slowly drooling colors, giant rollers and careful craftsmen blending every shade under the rainbow) actually reveals an impressive show of passionate craftsmanship. That and lots of glooping. We'll still curse your name when we have to buy toner, ink makers. But maybe with a few less F-bombs.

Renan Ozturk’s 2013 Reel

Renan Ozturk of Camp 4 Collective is (just like everyone involved in Camp 4 Collective) a beast. What's he a beast at? Adventure, for one, but mainly in capturing the epic: The epic actions -- rock climbing without ropes, skiing mountains that should definitely not be skied, flying over ice fields so large they seem to defy the horizon -- that his team undertakes; The epic and often terrifying extreme landscapes they explore; The epic people they meet. All together, the highlights make for a pretty stunning three minutes of footage. Stop reading this and watch it.

Never Enough Alfa

The automotive video wunderkind Petrolicious have struck auto nostalgia gold once again with their latest short dubbed Never Enough Alfa. As a few of you sleuths might have inferred, the video centers on a brand that's close to more than a few team members' hearts: Alfa Romeo. But any soft spot we have for the brand pales in comparison to collector Manuel Leon Minassian, who eventually started buying rides like people "buy tacos". Though he's got more vintage whips than he cares to share, one car in particular holds a special place in his heart -- a customized 1972 Alfa Romeo Berlina.

Trans-mongolian: A Long Train Journey

Often, the simplest things are the best. Not so often, though, do those simple, excellent things involve a journey of over 4,500 miles. Trans-mongolian: A long train journey is a singular short film; its only accompaniment is a Mongolian throat-singing soundtrack mixed with the rhythmic click-clack of the train; many of its rapid-fire scenes are shot in tilt-shift, adding to a mystic quality.

Watch closely now

Espresso, Intelligentsia

If you need proof of coffee practiced as an obsession, art form and science, this quick video -- a "how-to" on making a cup of espresso -- is exhibit A. Intellegentsia Coffee in Venice, California can come off as a little pretentious at first; but what you're really seeing is an unabashed expertise in truly great coffee. "We take every single step in the chain, from seed to cup, as seriously as possible", Kyle Glanville extols. We believe him.

Heart of glass

The Birth of a NIKKOR Lens

A good lens will burn your bank account faster than a real housewife after a bottle of chardonnay -- but there's a reason this precious glass costs so much. Dust-free production is an exacting process that requires plenty of human interaction to do right. But don't just take our word for it. Watch this brief Nikon film created in celebration of the 80th anniversary of NIKKOR lenses that highlights how their tubular bundles of photographic joy are brought into this world, and you'll see what we mean. And while you're at it -- have the missus watch too before showing her your latest receipts.

Be Safe, Live Wild

Strong

On April 6th, 2011, veteran backcountry skier (and former crab boat captain of Deadliest Catch fame) Roger Strong was caught in an avalanche in Snoqualmie Pass, WA. Roger and his two friends managed to survive the disaster, but two others were killed. The freight train of snow swept the group through hundreds of feet of steep trees -- and a collision with one tore both of Rogers tibias away from their femurs and destroyed most of his knee's critical tendons and ligaments, leaving him in a wheel chair for three months. In "Strong", produced by Arc'Teryx, Roger revisits the site of the tragedy exactly one year after it happened, reflecting on the choices that brought him there. Is it irresponsible to satiate an inner love for adventure as a family man? Should one dare to test fate again? These are the central questions of "Strong".

Chasing Waterfalls

Cascada

Just when you think you've grown a decent pair of cojones -- you know, conjured up enough bravado to hit the next level rapid -- out comes Cascada, an adventure film that blends bold cinematography and gut-wrenching paddling. Cascada follows seven audacious paddlers as they make their way through the Mexican jungle in search of the perfect waterfall (from where we're sitting, they achieve it) with ultra high definition cameras in tow. It's unbelievable stuff; we're not surprised, because the film is the latest from the mavens at Forge Motion Pictures.

Rising beauty

Moonwalk

MJ’s moonwalk was mesmerizing, as was Neil Armstrong’s; Dean Potter joins their ranks in this stunning video. Shot from over a mile away, “Moonwalk” captures the climber and tightrope walker racing against a rising moon that seems unnaturally propelled into the night sky. There’s a single moment, after finishing his first crossing and starting back...

The tragedy of shell shock in WWI

Coward

War is the ultimate human drama. Unfortunately, that drama is nearly always a terrible tragedy. So goes “Coward”, a short film by Stephen Murphy, Dave Komaroni and David Roddham. The 25-minute film, a staff pick on Vimeo, weaves the shocking front line realities of World War I with the mental debilitation caused by shell shock...

Gear Patrol makes the big game

Vizio 2013 Rose Bowl Game

Vizio has officially presented the Rose Bowl for several years now and often uses their accompanying commercial time to tease the gadget-loving public with new products. The commercial that kicked off halftime this year was no exception, showing glimpses of a few unreleased devices we're certainly excited to learn more about at CES. These include what looks like a Windows 8 tablet, a next generation Android tablet and of course, sleek-looking, new TVs. If you haven't seen the spot already, we've embedded it above to study at your leisure. Look out for it on the air over the coming weeks as well. Pay close enough attention (*cough* -- 8 seconds in) and you might even catch a glimpse of your favorite site, a.k.a. us. Special thanks to the fine people at Vizio for choosing GP for such a cool cameo. We are truly honored and can't wait to learn more about what's in store from the great American electronics company in 2013. With a resume credential like this, our dreams of landing a part in Rudy 2 are now that much closer.

For the love of the grill

American Craftsmanship from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

What separates the store bought grill in your backyard from the $10,000+ meatcraft carriers made by Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet? The fine folks at Gizmodo brought this video to our attention that addresses this exact question. Watch, drool and learn the key points well -- because you'll need some help convincing your better half to unlock the door after blowing junior's first semester tuition on 500+ glorious square inches of meat-searing goodness.

Something's Fishy

The Farmer and The Bluefin

Tuna fishing -- and farming -- is a bitterly divisive topic. Food documentary blog The Perennial Plate and Intrepid Travel tackle the issue in a way most on either side of the argument can't: peacefully. "The Farmer and The Bluefin" features the only fish farm in the world to spawn Bluefin Tuna, a species that is being decimated by overfishing, especially in Japan.