Beyond the Lens with Matt Givot

We now go Beyond the Lens with Matt Givot who’s famed video The Angels and Carmameddon time lapse video has been featured on News stations broadcast. Not only is he a famed photographer but also an avid Android fan who uses both his phone and device to assist in his photo’s. The following is the interview in which me and Matt go on record from everything from his photography to his Android use.


1. Tell us a little about your self(Also what Android phone you are using)?
I live in Orange County, CA. I am 35 years old, happily married, and a proud father of two. I currently have a Droid X and a Xoom.2.
What got you first into photography (More specifically time lapse) ?
My father was a photographer.  As early as I can remember I was helping him. My first camera was his Canon AE-1.  I have had a love for photography ever since. That being said, time-lapse is a new adventure for me. My inspiration came from Tom Lowe at There is a great community of time lapse shooters that are all willing to share there experiences on his forums.

For me, I love so many aspects time lapse.  It begins with the hunt (scouting). I personally shoot a lot of urban/city locations That means getting out of the car and walking around, immersing yourself in the environment. You have to spend time just watching and observing the surroundings. Life can sometimes be so fast-paced it is funny what you can see when you just take the time to stop and watch. The other thing I love is the time it takes ‘some shots can talk hours to produce so in most cases you cannot leave your equipment alone, this leaves plenty of time to just soak in the beauty. For me it is like therapy.

3. What was your first Android device(If you came from an iPhone also why the change)?
My first device was the Droid. I had been with BlackBerry for about 7 years.  As time went on I realized that much of what I do utilizes Google, and not just search, but with email, docs, Google Voice, Google Talk, and Google Earth. It just made sense to have my phone be a Google product as well.

The Angels from Givot on Vimeo.

4.You said your time lapse The Angels video you did your Android device/phone helped, would you mind explaining how.
My Android device was a huge help for me in the shooting of The Angeles.  To start, one of the most important things was the Android’s ability to truly run multiple apps at once. I am able to use the navigation, listen to Pandora, take calls, and utilize the camera and social apps such as Twitter, all at the same time. You might think why would you need to do all of that at the same time, but the truth is why not? In addition to that, as I mentioned before, scouting is a major part of what I do. This is where the true power of Android comes in.  I can be standing in a location, see a high point ideal for shooting (parking structure, hill, building) locate it in Google Earth, using my GPS location, and then get turn by turn directions utilizing the Android navigation. Another tool I used a lot was Google Tracks.  This app allows me to record my every step. I can then send that data back to my Google account and access  it later at the home base computer. Last, but not least, is a app by the name of Celeste SE, This app allows me to visually see where the sun/moon will rise/set using augmented reality.  Not only the times that it is going to take place, but also the location and path it is heading. Truly amazing tools!

5. You mentioned to me your an Android fan boy, how far does that reach? Waiting in line before a store opens for a new store or like me who has multiple devices and all has to be Android.
Yes I am a huge supporter of Android and  own multiple devices. I have converted all but one of my friends to Android. It is not that I do not like iPhone, I think that apple has made
a solid beautiful product. I just feel that sometimes people don’t realize what else is out there.
It is amazing to see some of the iOS announcements that everyone gets so excited about, things that have been on Android since the beginning.

6. How do you feel about the whole patent battles that are going on against those who build Android phones/devices
Business is business. You are not going to grow 3130% in 2010 and grab 46% without upsetting a few people. I personally feel that everyone making these devices knows the value in it and will not give up that easy.

7. Favorite/Most hated part about Android
My favorite part of Android is the seamless integration between the phone and office computer.
Services like Chrome to Phone, Google Voice, Gmail, Google Docs and Google Music just make my life easier. Most hated  would have to be the battery life, but I can live with that.

8. Do you see in the future with the ability for camera phones growing a time where you just care around your phone and not your camera any more?
Yes and no.  As a photographer/filmmaker you quickly learn that one camera cannot do it all. I have several cameras that each serve their purpose. That being said, I do however feel that it will replace the classic point and shoot camera, you know the one you grab when you are heading out with your friends to dinner/party.

9. Top 5 Android apps you can’t live without?
Google Voice, Google Tracks, Celeste, Swype, Bible
(in no particular order)

10. Any last words you’d like to tell those who want to start getting into photography?
Do not  think or worry about equipment, I shot ½ of The Angels on an old Canon 20D that I got for $250. Most importantly, don’t worry about what other people are doing, just get out there and shoot. You should be using your camera every day.

Ways to contact Matt: