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Digital camera video – what about it?

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography

“A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.” ~ Hal Borland


In a previous post I mentioned having three digital cameras of different sizes and, at least in my mind, different primary uses. However, each has the ability to shoot video — the Canon S90 does H.264 640 x 480 video while the Olympus OM-D and Nikon D600 both do HD video capture.

Most D-SLR’s these days have video capability, yet, I’ve only used this capability on a couple of occasions with the S90 and OM-D and never on the D600. To be honest, I’m not even sure how to use it on the D600.

The few videos I have done were short clips either recording an unusual event or while on a vacation — very touristy things.

And it’s not like video’s an option you can save a few bucks by leaving off your camera. ~grin~

All this video capability and what to do — at the moment, I ignore it.

However, it’s set me to consider how I’ve embraced conceptual “silo thinking” of there are photographers and there are videographers — you are one or the other and it’s not easy to successfully merge or cross over between the two.  But, is that true? Does it have to be?

I don’t want to make this discussion about age, but from reading conversations of “younger” artist/experimenters there doesn’t seem to be in their minds as much of a conceptual boundary or gap between these two mediums.

If I could find some creative way to embrace the artistic aspects of video along with photography I believe I’d enjoy that process as long as I could work within my own artistic vision.

Eric Jeschke at “Red Skies at Night” did some very creative video work this previous year but I don’t pretend to be creative enough to do short features.

So, that’s what’s running through my mind at the moment.  Any thoughts from photographers out there on the subject — beyond I just don’t care about video? ~smile~

14 Comments on Digital camera video – what about it?

  1. Perhaps it is because I am lazy, or perhaps that the medium doesn’t appeal to me, but I tried video a few times and it is quite the different thing that still photography. I found that it took me about 1 hour of time to get 1 minute of decently edited video. In checking with experienced videographers, they say that is about right, or perhaps that is a bit rushed.

    At any rate, it was interesting to experiment with it – it’s a wholly different creative field. Just because it comes from the same box, doesn’t mean that it can be treated the same way! :)

    • Paul, There’s certainly more time required but I’m not thinking about long videos. I think my thoughts are more in line with what Cedric is commenting of, cinemagraphs, animated GIF’s or perhaps very short video’s perhaps looping.

      Those I might be able to accomplish and I do like the results in some cases…not to replace still photography but as a different form which compliments it.


  2. I’ve tried filming with limited success. As Paul points out it consumes more time than still photography. But I am a big fan of movies and cinematography so I am easily attracted to artistic videos which we are seeing more of these days. I’m confident this is something that I will do in the future partly because it is so challenging and partly because it is such a wonderful medium of expression.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some day video became more popular than still photography.
    Cedric Canard recently posted… Moments

    • Cedric, I do like some of the shorten animated GIF’s or very short video features I’ve seen that provide an additional dimension to photography…although some might consider them the bastard child…not photography and not hardly video. ~grin~

      I’ll probably do some experimenting with it one day. Thanks!

  3. Paul Maxim // 4 Jan ’13 at 8:47 am // Reply

    I think I’m a little like you, Earl, or at least like what you seem to be saying. Video is something I only do when we travel and, to be honest, I’m pretty sure that I suck at it. But it “tugs” at me from time to time. It’s different than still photography, of course, but it can be so powerful. Like Cedric, I love good cinematography. If you look at films like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, you have to be more than a little impressed by the visuals. Along with the soundtrack, it’s as much a part of the films as the story itself. I rewatch them from time to time just to look at those amazing visuals.

    Unlike Cedric, though, I’m fairly certain that video will never become more popular than still images. As he says, it’s “challenging”. Far more challenging, I think, than taking a decent photograph. A photograph is generally a small fraction of a second. A video will usually last minutes (or longer). I think the difficuly of doing the latter (or maybe I should say doing it well) rises exponentially with time.

    • When I talk about video becoming more popular than still photography I am talking about ultra short videos from the types that are little more than moving stills (aka cinemagraphs: to videos lasting less than a minute. I once videoed rippling shadows caused by a flowing creek against the under-side of a bridge. It lasted seconds and I liked it as much if not more than any photograph I have made. A still photo of the shadows would have made an excellent abstract I am sure but the movement added that extra dimension. I think this is the kind of photographic artistry we will see more of but then again I’m a guy who once said that CDs would never be as good as vinyl ;)
      Cedric Canard recently posted… Moments

    • Paul, No doubt I’d suck and probably always suck at doing any lengthy video work. But I do think I could probably become semi-proficient with the type of cinemagraphs…animated GIF’s…Cedric is speaking of.

      The investment of time and effort doesn’t bother me if I enjoy the process and like the results. I probably will experiment some with it some day. Thanks!

      • Paul Maxim // 5 Jan ’13 at 8:17 am // Reply

        Just to be clear, I was talking about the same thing (I used the word “minutes” with respect to length). I guess I shouldn’t have referenced commercial films that run for 3 hours! Sorry for any misunderstanding.

        • Paul, the comment problem, timing out, you experienced today was caused by a WP Caching Plugin which has been “broken” since a recent update was released and installed — multiple problems with it. I’ve since taken care of that issue and the performance of this site should be noticeably better. Thanks!

  4. I’m challenged by video. I haven’t attempted to learn how to use video on the D600, nor have I felt obliged to do so. But it seems like a natural extension of still photography and short movies can be very entertaining and enlightening. With that thought, it might be an interesting project to learn about and maybe I’ll get bitten by the video bug. I don’t know what is available in editing software yet, though.
    ken bello recently posted… hazy shade of winter

    • Heck Ken, I’m challenged by photography so I can’t let being challenged by video be a determining factor. ~smile~

      I may experiment with some short video and see what happens. If it goes really bad you’ll probably never hear about it here! ~grin~


  5. Hi Earl,

    Thanks for the link. I think you will enjoy video and you will be good at it. After all, many of the hallmarks of good composition and lighting apply to video, which can be viewed as just another form of photography. There is the added importance of keeping the “story” interesting, otherwise the viewer’s attention begins to wander. Therefore your advice to start short and work up from that is very prudent. When I look back on the “Bacon” video I think I should have edited it a little tighter–it’s a bit on the long side. But there are some rewards for the viewer that hangs in to the end. :-)
    Eric Jeschke recently posted… There’s a new kid in town

  6. I am glad to see the option of copping out on the age angle; but, it is mostly about fear and intimidation. I have no confidence that I would be good at it no matter how big a fan I may be of good cinematography. Should I ever get brave and foolish enough to explore video, I will be thinking in terms of seconds-long projects, not minutes.

    Earl, I am looking forward to viewing your videos. I am putting my money on you. You will be good at it.
    Anita Jesse recently posted… Post #1 for 2013

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