Summer Solstice: The Longest Day of the Year

As a cinematographer, I have spent most of my life “chasing the light” all over the world. The Summer Solstice, which recently occurred, holds special meaning for me. It is the one day of the year when the sun shines the longest – which, for a filmmaker, is a gift when trying to get that last shot before the sun goes down. And truly, the last few moments of sunlight are the most magical.

The Summer Solstice occurs when the axis of the earth leans in closest to the sun. This event is revered by many cultures around the world with bonfires, music, parades, food, dancing, and fireworks – all in praise of the sun. Some even see it as a time to celebrate the light of consciousness within ourselves and upon the potential for consciousness to awaken.

It is also the official start of summer, so to celebrate, please enjoy a free download of my short film, Tropical Vibes, and start your summer off right — with your head in the clouds and your feet in the sand!

Magic Flowers: A Nature-Based App for iOS & Mac

Moving Art’s nature-based mindfulness app, Magic Flowers, is now here! This new app brings beautiful timelapse flowers to your Mac, iPad, iPhone, & AppleTV! In collaboration with Magic Window, we’ve created an app that uses timelapse to reveal an intimate and unprecedented high-definition glimpse into the hidden world of flowers. Each flower slowly blooms over time, showcasing magical changes in light, texture and color. The goal is to create slow and subtle movement that does not distract but instead delivers instant gratification through visual meditation.

Click Here to Download Magic Flowers for iOS 

Click Here to Download Magic Flowers for Mac OS/X

Magic Flowers has already been named as a Best New App in the Mac App Store! Read what people are already saying about Magic Flowers:

“I’ve enjoyed Louie Schwatzberg’s work for years and he continues to amaze me. Being able to watch these flowers bloom with such a perfect subtlety is incredible and offers me a nice window to the outside world as I work within my office.  Magic Flowers for Mac is truly mesmerizing.”

“As someone who lives and works within a major city, I try all that I can to find an escape whenever possible.  Magic Flowers for iOS has provided this.  Being able to listen to a beautiful ambient soundtrack while watching these flowers slowly bloom really gives me a fresh start on my morning commute.  I’m able to dive in and be free from everything surrounding me.  It really is magical.”

“I love putting this on when I need to disconnect for a minute. Gorgeous imagery and the desktop app is even better because you can keep it up as a background image. Get both now!”

Global Wellness Day 2015

“Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
-The World Health Organization

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 13, 35 countries will celebrate Global Wellness Day. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number one health problem in the world is surprisingly not a virus or a disease – it is depression — which is then linked to sleeplessness, stress and obesity. WHO also reports that there are 1.6 billion overweight adults globally and that most of the leading diseases are lifestyle induced.

We have designated days for nearly everything — jellybean day, donut day, beer day — and now we also have a day focused on encouraging our well-being. Because while a lifestyle change may be difficult, it could be that just one day being exposed to new ideas and experiences will change someone’s life. Make plans now to celebrate this day of well-being.

“With the slogan ‘One day can change your whole life,’ we celebrate Global Wellness Day on the second Saturday of June every year as an international day dedicated to living well.” Public events on nutrition, Yoga, Pilates, stress relief are being held around the world. Find out what’s going on in your community or decide to celebrate Global Wellness Day doing something fun and healthy on your own or with friends and family.

Want to win a FREE download of Magic Flowers, Moving Art’s new app for iOS or Mac? Here’s your chance! 10 lucky winners will receive either a Mac or iOS download of our nature-based mindfulness app launching exclusively in the App Store and Mac Apple store June 15. ENTER HERE TO WIN!

Introducing Magic Flowers, Our New App!

We’re excited to announce the upcoming launch of Magic Flowers, our new app that brings beautiful timelapse flowers to your Mac, iPad, iPhone, & AppleTV! Launching June 15th, Moving Art, in collaboration with Magic Window, has created an app that uses timelapse to reveal an intimate and unprecedented high-definition glimpse into the hidden world of flowers. Each flower slowly blooms over time, showcasing magical changes in light, texture and color. The goal is to create slow and subtle movement that does not distract but instead delivers instant gratification through visual meditation.

This new app is just one more way that Moving Art is introducing and sharing the power of nature through Visual Healing. Most of us are tied to our computers and phones out of necessity as well as habit. Installing Magic Flowers will be a  visual reminder to slow down and perhaps, it may even inspire you to spend more time in nature. Viewing nature, even on screen, can improve our focus, reduce stress, and re-energize us. Learn more about Magic Flowers and be one of the first to download when it launches June 15th!

The Power of Visual Healing

Did you know just looking at nature helps your brain function better? In this recent Washington Post article, we learn of yet another study that proves this is true. Researchers found that “interrupting a tedious, attention-demanding task with a 40-second “microbreak” — in which one simply looks at a computerized image of a green roof — improved focus as well as subsequent performance on the task.”

Not only can viewing nature improve our focus, reduce stress, and re-energize us, but it can also affect what type of decisions we make for the future of our planet. In one study, researchers found that subjects who viewed a 12-minute nature documentary before playing a game that involved managing a fishery resource engaged in more sustainable behavior.

Visual Healing by Moving Art is set to break the mold by bringing the power of nature seen through Louie Schwartzberg’s films to people everywhere. In addition to incorporating Visual Healing in spas and wellness centers, Visual Healing programs can bring healing to schools, hospitals, prisons, and even office buildings. The growth of research on the health advantages of being exposed to views of nature in urban settings is showing what many of us already innately knew:; nature is one of the best medicines we have.

Share Your Timelapse Film With Louie Schwartzberg!

As the only filmmaker in the world who has been shooting timelapse films for over three decades, Louie is the Master of Timelapse telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature. Now he’s looking for the next generation of timelapse cinematographers. Pick up your camera or iPhone & share your timelapse film with Louie using #‎MyTimelapseFilm‬ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Steller. Louie will be selecting a winner to be featured on our Moving Art social channels and on our license library!

Need some tips before shooting your film? Check out our blog post with 5 Timelapse Film Tips from Louie Schwartzberg to get you started! For more inspiration, visit the Moving Art License Library to see more of Louie’s work.

Coming soon! Moving Art, in collaboration with Magic Window, has created an app called Magic Flowers. Magic Flowers will bring your Mac into full bloom with beautiful slow-moving timelapse flowers for your Wallpaper and Screen Saver. Enjoy 42 unique flowers captured by the Master of Timelapse, Louie Schwartzberg. Magic Flowers uses timelapse to reveal an intimate and unprecedented high-definition glimpse into the hidden world of flowers, from exotic varieties to a classic rose. Each flower slowly blooms over time, showcasing magical changes in light, texture and color.  Magic Flowers launches in June, so stay tuned!

Visual Healing Through Nature & Technology

We all know that spending more time in nature is a goal to which we should all aspire. The physical and mental health benefits are numerous and have been proven over and over again. But what can we do when we’re too busy running from home to work to the store to the bank, to pick up our kids, etc.? Suddenly it’s dark outside, and we’re too tired or don’t have time to take a stroll outdoors!

For times like this, I believe in the power of Visual Healing (VH) which is why we’ve created our Moving Art VH program. Through my films that capture the miraculous beauty of our natural world, I hope to help people cultivate a sense of connection, peace, and love no matter where they are or how busy their lives may be. And now science is proving what we’ve already felt; spending time watching a beautiful nature film has the power to make us feel better.

In a recent study, researchers found that even looking at photos of nature in a quiet room had a greater cognitive boost than taking a walk outdoors down a busy urban street. Researchers also had participants take a break for 10 minutes in a quiet room to look at pictures of a nature scene or pictures of a city street. They found that cognitive performance improved after the nature break, even though it was only through pictures.  In 2013, scientists at the School of Biological Sciences at University of Essex wrote a paper called “Viewing Nature Scenes Positively Affects Recovery of Autonomic Function Following Acute-Mental Stress.”  Their findings indicate that people who saw scenes of nature after a stress induced event were more likely to see improvements in the recovery process than those who didn’t!

Moving Art’s goal is to bring Visual Healing to people everywhere. By bringing my films to schools, hospitals, spas, work places, and other environments, we can work together to help people cultivate a love of our natural world and bring healing to people in need.

5 Tips From The Master of Timelapse Film

As the only filmmaker in the world who has been shooting time-lapse films 24/7 continuously for well over three decades, Louie is a visual artist breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, & telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people, and places. Now, as the “Master of Timelapse,” he’s offering a few tips to help people everywhere to shoot and improve their own time-lapse films! So break out your camera or iPhone, and give these a shot!

5 Timelapse Film Tips from Louie Schwartzberg

  1. It is always important to be aware of good lighting. To be aware of where the light is going to be in an hour, or the end of the day, puts you in touch with the elements, the clouds, the rotation of the earth, and the geography; having to anticipate weather and light makes you more present.
  2. Try not to film trees and foliage that blow in the wind. It ends up looking jittery and nervous. Moving water is also a problem, but long time exposures can blur the jittery effect.
  3. If you are time-lapsing flowers try to control the wind from shaking the flower by supporting it or creating a baffle around it.
  4. When filming time-lapse flowers, using an electrical light source eliminates the flicker from the variability of the brightness of natural light over a period of time.
  5. Don’t use auto exposure settings. The drama comes from watching the light intensity go up and down, which you will record by leaving your exposure in manual constant mode. In auto exposure things go flat and flicker as the camera tries to make every frame look evenly exposed. That is fine for a still photo, but not for movie frames that go by at 24 frames per second.

The Mindfulness Initiative

Today we are happy to announce The Global Wellness Mindfulness Initiative. The initiative is a global group of thought leaders dedicated to understanding the role of mindfulness, meditation, and nature in leadership, and Louie will be serving as its chair.

The cultural expectation is that we stay technologically interconnected at all times, but our digital dependency makes us less connected to each other, to nature, and ultimately to ourselves. As we shape the technological landscape of the future, it’s critical we realize that creativity and innovation come from focused, healthy minds. This initiative will uncover innovative solutions for leveraging technology to bring us closer to our true selves, validating that our hyper-connected culture can provide us with more access, tools, and structure to become focused and cultivate mindfulness.

Scientific research shows that viewing nature has immediate and lasting effects on our biochemistry, including slowed heart rate, reduced anxiety, increased awareness and improved sense of well-being. Louie’s films have always been about helping people fall in love with our natural world. While nothing can replace spending more time in nature, we’ve learned through our Visual Healing program that we can mindfully and masterfully leverage the best of cutting-edge technology to transform our interior environments and reconnect us to nature. We can use technology to bring greater awareness, accessibility, and healing power of nature to people everywhere living in diverse environments. We are already living in a technologically committed society; it is imperative that we learn to leverage it in healthy ways to bring us closer to nature and closer to our true selves.

The Quest for Truth: What Scientists Can Learn by Observing Nature

Albert Einstein remarked, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” He knew something that many scientists and engineers overlook in their quest for truth: nature holds the answers we’re seeking! We’re simply here to learn nature’s language and laws, and how we can interact with it. Every law of the universe can be witnessed by observing nature. In the west, we like to believe we arrive at facts once they’ve been scientifically validated. Truthfully, the facts were written long before humans arrived on this planet, and we are simply catching up. What science brings to the table is a deeper understanding of why things happen and how to ensure the right things continue to happen so both our species and planet thrive together.

We Protect What We Love

We begin with love. From our very first moment on this planet, we recognize beauty. Our initial attraction leads to connection, intimacy and bonding. What makes love last is our desire to nurture and protect. When we experience love, we’re not cognizant of the flood of dopamine, oxytocin and cortisol released into our bloodstream. We’re simply high on the intense feelings of happiness. Love relationships truly make the world go ‘round, and without love, we’d cease to exist as a species. Love is a universal law that governs human existence; science simply helps us understand what is happening to us.

All innovations in science and engineering are a copy of something in nature. And what better model to follow? Nature has spent the last hundred billion years in R&D. Consider the elegant design of a flower. Arguably considered one of the most beautiful gifts of nature, flowers engineered the shape of their petals, the length of their pistil, the smell and texture of their sweet nectar and their trapping mechanism to ensure their captor would be sufficiently covered in the flower’s DNA. Or consider why certain species of hummingbirds have such long beaks, sometimes greater than the length of their body. They co-evolved with deep-necked flowers featuring long corollas, such as the passiflora mixta. This relationship between flower and pollinator – the love story that feeds the earth – is responsible for over one third of the food we eat and took over 50 million years to evolve!

Where Art & Science Meet

As a filmmaker, I have spent thirty years mastering the art and science of time-lapse and slow motion cinematography, taking people on journeys through time, space and scale, capturing the truth of nature in a way that words cannot. With altered speed, macro and aerial techniques, I’m able to reveal what is too slow, too fast, too small or too vast for the human eye to see. Through this art form, I provide a point of view that is radically different from the human perspective. My work shifts our understanding of relativity and opens our perception beyond human vision. When we begin to consider impossible things, we dare to push past preconceived notions, assumed truths and accepted norms and enter into the place where innovation and discovery are born. This is the domain of the greatest thinkers of our time.

Nature lies at the intersection of art and science. Art looks at something as beautiful while science observes it in relation to its function. Nature uses beauty as a tool to master function and to further evolve its species. Since nature is the basis for the laws governing the universe, one could argue that beauty is our most powerful tool to not just survive, but thrive. All creatures respond instinctively to beauty – color, taste, touch, smell and design. It’s critical that scientists across all disciplines study the fundamentals in nature and art and look to the systems and structures of the natural world to solve our greatest problems.

We are at a critical time in history where we will depend heavily on advances in natural science and improved clean energy technology to eradicate global warming and climate change. My greatest opportunity as a filmmaker is to inspire a generation of change agents by revealing the mysteries of the natural world. When we fall in love with nature, we will instinctively protect it.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a beacon of hope for emerging scientific thought leaders. There are many ways to be in the practice of science. I want young people to understand they can make breakthrough scientific discoveries both in a lab and outside of it. As we evolve over the next century, I believe we will – we must! – turn to nature to uncover the answers that will save us. If my films can shift minds by unlocking a deeper understanding of the uni-verse, or inspire inquiry and imagination in youth, then my greatest work has been done.