Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Comment Spawned Update

I don't know how many of you go back and read the comments to the updates I've posted but, quite often, there's some great info in them. BTW, I really love reading and posting and answering comments so, whenever you feel the urge to say something, please do. I don't respond to everything but I respond often enough.

As a comment to my last update, "Merging Technologies, Merging Media, Merging You," an anonymous reader posted the following. I thought I'd turn the comment into an update because, well, because I've been shooting all day, I'm tired as hell, I want to update and I can't think of anything else to write about.

"I hate to say it Jimmy but every photographer turned videographer I've ever worked with was a pain. Photography and video are 2 different animals. Photography is about capturing that one perfect moment. Video is always moving so it can't stay perfect. Photographers seem to have a problem accepting that. My last run in with a photographer/videographer was with a guy who said he needed 4 hours to set up a talking head."

Here's what I posted in response:

"I don't disagree that, from the perspectives of many people, and in many ways, photography and videography are two different animals. But being a long time photographer AND videographer, I see it a little differently. I notice all the similarities rather than the differences.

Take digital photography, for instance. So much of it, the technical stuff that is, was born of video. Videographers have been using gear with CCD and CMOS chips for a long time. Videographers have been white balancing, dealing with reduced contrast and blown-out highlights, working with scopes that look-like and act-like histograms (wave flow monitors and vectorcopes) for I don't know how long.

From a technical standpoint, making the segue from film to digital photography, for me, was a snap. That's not a brag. It's simply because I had years of experience as both a videographer, as well as a photographer, when digital photography busted onto the scene.

BTW, I don't think this is going to be all about choices. I think video and photo technologies are merging to the point that photographers won't have much of a choice, leastwise, those trying to make their livings with cameras in their hands. How so? Because clients are going to ask... then demand it. Just my opinion."

And that's what I believe: I believe many pro photographers, from photo-journalists to commercial shooters and beyond are going to have to bite the bullet and make video part of their skills set. It's all merging and integrating-- still and motion picture capture. And it's gonna be part of the game for the majority of people who make their livings, as I already said, with cameras in their hands.

The pretty girl at the top is Charmane from today's shoot. She was one of four pretty girls I photographed today. I lit Charmane, on a white cyc, with 4 Profoto Acute 2 heads. That required 2 Profoto power packs. Image was captured with my Canon 5D, 70-200 f/4L, ISO 100, f/11 @ 160. Not a whole lotta processing applied to the picture other than the (obvious) B&W conversion.

Below is a BTS shot (behind-the-scenes) from today. I know a lot of you like seeing these kinds of pics and today, for once, I remembered to snap a few.

I shot the BTS pic with the same camera body but with my Tamron AF 28-75 on it. The perspective looks a little weird: She's much closer to the 7' Photoflex Octodome main light (left forefront) and the medium umbrella fill (right forefront) then she looks in the pic. There's a KinoFlo Diva-Lite 400 on the right-side of the image if you're wondering what that black vertical thing with the yellow lettering on it is. The Kino, by the way, doesn't play into the lighting I set up, it was just there, in the studio, and I was too lazy to move it. (Not that it was in the way or anything.)


Ed Araquel said...

Reminds me of a video I saw: which was also covered by Strobist and A Photo Editor...stills and video are merging even on the same shoot to create something new.

Also that Esquire cover shoot that was done with the Red camera for both still and motion as mentioned on my blog.

Lin said...

Well, you know already that I agree completely with you.

The problem we are finding is that many other photographers are exceedingly hostile to those photographers who embrace learning videography as an additional skill. I haven't exactly had hate-mail yet, but I have been stonewalled and ignored by many photographers and/or models within the photographic community who are disapproving and/or resistant to change. On the other hand, for those who are already videographers, we are making new friendships and learning loads. C'est la vie, I guess!

Pete said...

I think it's easier to go from video to still photography than stills to video, but perhaps that's mostly because that's how I did it.

I started out in TV, got into video then spent a few years as computer tech and writing code.

I first got back into video in the 1990's, then slipped into stills in 1999 when someone suggested that my frame grab pictures weren't good enough quality for a hobby newsletter.

The biggest difference is that video captures a feeling, or a mood, often with audio content leading the way; while still photos capture a moment (in sports it's called peak action) that expresses enough so words (captions) are only needed for details of what happened.

The basics of composition and lighting are similar enough that technically you can easily go back and forth, however if you are a natural light videographer, you may not have as much success as a natural light photographer, because often peoples expectations are different of the two mediums.

epenrod said...

This commment isn't related entirely to today's post. I've noticed that since you picked up the 70-200, you have been using is almost exclusively (at least from what you show us.)

I have that lens in a 2.8 model and would use it for everything if it were possible. What a great lens.

Thank you for your work. It is informative and insightful without being too technical, with a dose of humor.


jimmyd said...

@epenrod, In spite of how it seems from the photos I've posted, I haven't used the 70-200 exclusively. But, since purchasing it, I have used it quite a bit when I've had the opportunity and/or it's been appropriate to do so. I really love that lens!