The majority of people that will read this article are photographers. Photographers learn something new everyday about making a picture that will grab the observer of that picture and hold their attention in attempt to extract the story that the picture represents. Remember that word story, because you will see it again.
A single image, perhaps shot multiple times to get it correctly by your expectations is what most of us are familiar with. A single image should convey a story and if you think about it the story is about what made you create the single image in the first place. It is what struck you about the moment that made you want to record it.
Now there are single images that have been taken or made for the sole purpose of having it judged which held no true meaning for your except for the fact that it would be technically correct in a judges opinion and at the same time present likeable subject as opposed to a subject with a story.
If you have watched the news over the past couple of months, this being May 2013, photojournalists who capture life in single bits at a time have presented us quick but meaningful images about happiness, sadness, tragedy, heroics. With one image they have been able to convey a whole story. Two come to mind. The Boston Marathon and the Class Five Tornado in Oklahoma. Both tragic events with single images that said it all.
Of course you are by now wondering what all of this is leading up to. The answer is not a lot. Because we are photographers or aspiring to be photographers makes us visual people. We see and observe and quickly produce a single frame in our mind and in our viewfinder and with the click of the shutter release we have frozen a moment in time, a unique moment in time never to be duplicated in the same way. An artful and historical record that hopefully will tell a story.
Over time we have become accustomed to the single image telling a story. But in a great many cases most of us, including myself have not given the proper due to the filmmakers and the video makers. They too have been telling a story, recording history. And know I am not talking about film like the “Avengers” or the “Thing Vs. Godzilla.” I am referring to people like our selves who capture still images in the form of clips. Those clips when combined and edited produce a visual record of the same events still photographers are recording but are put to motion. How they are presented is considerably more diverse than still images because they can be viewed normally, in time lapse, slow motion, fast motion, as well a different screen formats. While there are a great many differences between still and motion images, they both are designed to convey the same story just with different media.
An old friend, who is a videographer, once told me that a person should never attempt to shoot both video and stills at the same time or at the same event because it really is a left-brain – right brain challenge. He said to concentrate on one media form at a time or the results could be very disappointing. Having tried to do both I have found that while he is correct, in can be done
Almost every camera out there today can shoot stills and video with the flip of a switch and in most cases the video quality is exceptional. If you are like me you have more than likely expressed very little interest in the video capabilities of these wonderful electronic multimedia computer / machines/ cameras / recorders of life and new history in the making. I have been known to say I am a still photographer and have no need for video imaging. Of course that is speak for I do not understand video and therefore do not want to be bothered with it. That’s a bad attitude.
So I have set myself some new goals. I have decided that I am going to learn both video and sound because they really do go together. Do I want to become a video expert? No No! I do not want to be an expert. I want to be able to think in stories and produce small clips of events in combination with stills and edit them in such away to show life as I see it.
The camera gear I use for stills is Fuji X series bodies and lenses. They make incredible still images with my help. However they are not really great when it comes to video.
For video I have chosen GoPro Cameras. The Gopro Hero 3 BLACK in particular has become my go to video camera and while it is billed as a sports activity camera it can be so much more. It also fits in the palm of my hand and produces some of the best video around. In many cases it has become a go to camera for certain specialty shots in the movie industry.
For sound I have purchased several different microphones. I am not sure why but I guess I’ll find out. I have a Rode Stereo Pro, a Rode non-Stereo; Rode Lavaliere hooked up to wireless and an Hn3 Zoom recorder.
The one thing I have learned very quickly is that sound is as important as the video itself and can become even more complex.
For me I am going to dabble. I shall try to learn enough to make it artistically practical and hopefully will be posting video content as I progress with this new venture and goal.