Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Time

I think it is time.  Time for me to consider embracing video.  On a wedding we did a couple of years ago we did some video with my little LX3 that I had at the time, kind of just as a second thought.  I ended up inserting video clips into the slideshow we gave the bride and groom and it was a big hit.  Everyone loved it and people commented on it.  I know that slideshow earned us other jobs.  Thing is, I really didn't enjoy editing that video down into manageable bits.  It was tedious and painful.  Certainly not as enjoyable as editing photos, at least not for me.  But I see that video and photography are really undergoing the fusion that has been predicted for a couple of years and I very much want to stay current in my craft.

So, I've decided that I'm going to learn video.  At the very least I'm going to learn how to film some video properly that I can use later for the client.  I think I'd like to farm out the work for editing that video as learning a new editing skill like Final Cut Pro seems kind of daunting, and also painfully boring.  I'd rather hire someone.  I know too that I'm going to need to learn about sound capture.  Don't get me wrong, I love well done, well edited video to watch, but I just don't enjoy editing it myself and as much as this might sound like grumpiness, I still think the precise moment captured in still photography has so very much more impact.  I can look at people's photos forever, but stick me in front of their home movies and I'm probably going to go crazy with boredom.  Well done video though, well that is a different story, and I don't like doing anything half-way.

Thought I'd include a little tip I learned from someone a while back about how to store cameras and lenses. I can't remember who told me this so I can't give the credit, but it isn't a well kept secret.  Every time I buy something that comes with these little Silica Gel packets I keep them and throw them in the drawers where I store my camera equipment.  They absorb moisture and help keep your lenses etc. from becoming victims of mould, fungus and water damage.

I put our little watermark on the photo to remind myself to talk about one of my favourite new features of Lightroom 3.  The watermarking feature.  I used to watermark every image in Photoshop and it would take me a long time with the hundreds of wedding photos I produce.  Now, after I've finished editing and exporting all my full sized edited wedding images, I just select them again and export them to a separate folder on my hard drive as one batch export, all watermarked, all downsized to 600 pixels on the long side.  This has been a huge time saver for me and one of my favourite new tools in Lightroom 3.

I went downtown today to watch my daughter dance at a street fair with her ballet and jazz classes.  She loves dance and is often sporting a full smile when taking part.  I love it, love that she has found a passion and enjoys it.  I truly believe we all need it, something we love, whether it be photography, dancing, swimming, football, chess, whatever.  It just makes life so much richer.  All these things are hard work if we really want to fully enjoy them, but the work only makes it sweeter.  So if photography is your passion, then practice it, take your camera with you everywhere, nurture your interest and it will give back to you in life great satisfaction.  I took my camera today, not as some big time photographer, but as just one more dad taking snapshots of his kid.  But I used my camera today and followed my passion while enjoying observing the one my daughter embraces.  Is what I produced fantastic?  Is it going to earn me photographer of the year?  Nope, but still it all just keeps building.  Remember, it should take you about 10,000 photos you make before you really begin to master this craft.  Might as well chip away at it every day.

Hope you all had a great long weekend!


Wolfgang Lonien said...

Oh wow - I'm slightly below 5,500, last time I checked. But that's ok; I started in November last year, and I have a normal day job to support my family.

Your tip to bring the camera everywhere you go is well appreciated. I do this, always have the E-520 in my backpack, together with both kit lenses and an OM 1.8 50mm.

Glad for your daughter, that she found dancing so fascinating, and yes, it's these moments we capture that means nothing to anyone but ourselves. Our Zuleikha (5 and a half) will start going to school in 2 weeks, and she also would like to visit ballet classes. Why not?

About the video: with the 5D Mk II, you have a great tool; I've seen some wonderful bouquet-throwing bride video on Youtube the other day. Really looks like big time film, what this large sensor can deliver.

Always enjoy reading your blog; thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. And keep up the good work.


Neil Gaudet said...

Thanks for your comment Wolfgang. I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

I noticed that the Olympus EP-2 has dropped in price. I always thought it was too expensive, but since I sold my LX3 I've been missing a really capable small camera to carry around with me everywhere I go so I'm thinking I should grab one.

The 5D mk II is a wonderful video camera, but I haven't invested the time in learning to use it for video. That needs to change.

As for your daughter and ballet. I suggest trying it if she is interested. It is great as my kid is not very interested in traditional sports but with dance she has no idea that it is even exercise. She loves it so much I don't think she notices the sweat and effort. I've come to really respect dancers and the physical strength, coordination and ability it takes. And I'm of course very proud of her.

Wolfgang Lonien said...

That last sentence of yours made me smile - of course you are :-)

As for the E-P2: I'd love to have one of those, together with the PL 1.7 20mm lens. But first my wife will get an E-PL1 DZ kit, then maybe the viewfinder and that Panny/Leica lens.

She comes from a point and shoot, and besides - on the PL-1, the AA filter is weaker (thinner), so images should be even sharper than with the E-P2. Though I would love to have that metal body, gyro sensor, control and thumb wheel, ...

The video section of the Pens is of no big use here, since in Europe our TV standard is 25fps, not 30. So you have to convert everything, and maybe live with jitter and such.


Neil C said...

Apparently Silica Gel can be regenerated when saturated by putting it in the oven at 120 degrees celcius for 2 hours. It also turns pink as it adsorbs water (apparently).

Thought I'd share since you inspired me to google it.

Neil Gaudet said...

Thanks for the comment Neil. Good info!