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Old October 4th, 2003, 01:37 AM   #1
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Video vs. Photography Pros

Hello all, I am new to the DV community and this forum. Wanted to post some opening thoughts and say that I am very impressed with this community.

I am a semi-pro photographer, and have been into photography for about 10 years. I've taught classes and worked in pro shops. I really liked shooting extreme sporting events such as sport bikes and the like. I've always been told that my work looks pro, though I've never considered myself a real pro. I've got some high end digital equipment and I think I use it well.

That said, all my still camera equipment is on its way out the door, and arriving in a couple weeks is the beginnings of a video setup. I've started with a GL2, a re-built computer workstation and Vegas Video.

Why the switch?

I've gotten such a negative feeling in the pro photo business. For starters, the competition is horrible. I'm a firm believer that talent will show, and it has, but the attitude photographers show to eachother has just made me sick over the past 3 years. If you have pro gear, you're talked down to by "real" pros who actually make thier living doing this stuff, and if you don't have pro gear, no matter what you shoot, you'll always hear "That would have been a nice shot if you'd have used a $$$$$$$ dollar XYZ lense".

This doesn't seem to be the case in the video world. Sure, there's competition, but I haven't seen the poor "attitude" yet. Everyone seems willing to help eachother out and give constructive feedback. Maybe it's because the video world is more complicated. If someone wants to be a photographer, they put down some $$ on a camera and business cards, and start clicking. With video, the technical skills required to put a product together go much beyond just clicking a shutter and applying some unsharp mask in photoshop. Yet the video world uses much of the same skill and creativity of photography - when it comes to feel, depth of field, lighting and so on.

Other than a couple years chasing the cats with a consumer video recorder - I have no video experience. I've worked with people who were semi-pro videographers, and I've worked with news crews for filming of a commercial and an in-depth story shoot, and I've always been thrilled with the video world. Until recently, the cost of entry was too high to get equipment much above the consumer level. That's all changed over the past couple years.

I'm jumping into video with both feet. Strictly as a hobbiest right now, but possibly fringing on paid projects down the road. Thanks in advance to everyone, I've been 'lurking' on the forum for a while and finding answers to all my questions. And thanks everyone for maintaining (so far anyway) a 'positive' and somewhat friendly industry.
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Old October 4th, 2003, 02:45 AM   #2
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Hi, Kevin. Welcome to DV Info.

Regarding your negative experience with photographers, may I suggest just to ignore these types? That's what I do. Mind you, the only photographers that I know that rub me the wrong way are the ones stuck behind a counter in a camera store. They're just people, some are people people while others lack social skills.
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Old October 4th, 2003, 09:31 AM   #3
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I agree with Frank. There is really no reason to assume that the "video world" is a happier place than the "photo world". Just be more selective about who you hang out with and what you listen to. The most important thing is that you do work that you're happy with. You have to try and be objective about what you're doing and learn from your mistakes. This is art and not science.

Welcome aboard!
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Old October 4th, 2003, 09:55 AM   #4
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Re: Video vs. Photography Pros

<<<--

This doesn't seem to be the case in the video world. Sure, there's competition, but I haven't seen the poor "attitude" yet. -->>>


Don't worry, you will.... :)
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Old October 4th, 2003, 10:46 PM   #5
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Kevin,

I too was doing photography, but was "captured" by the DV world. And, I have found everything about photography to hold true in DV and editing. It is a welcome change for me and allows me to work more with time. Yes, emotion of still images is incredible, but having the time surrounding events is also incredible in it's own way. I think you will find the transition to be smooth and a new, welcome journey. Good Luck!

Clay

P.S. As Dylan said, no matter what you do, you will always encounter oppossion and poor attitudes. Do your thing and do it well. Be careful who you surround yourself with or whom you choose to trust.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 07:32 AM   #6
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Welcome to video Kevin,

Just a thought, great still images mix well with video and are a great tool when putting together weddings, corporate videos, commercials etc. I'm sure out of habbit you will keep at least one quality still camera. I would have the 10D and some L lenses now if I could afford it. Many times I have had ideas for still images as I worked in video, I am sure many times you have had ideas for video as you worked in stills.

A question for you, Business wise, what do you think of the future of still photography and why.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 08:40 AM   #7
 
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I, too, have a history in still image photography. So, I think it's OK to say that, in my own experience, photographers tend to be whiners. Yes, there are many gearheads" whose sole purpose is to play with gadgetry, where actually TAKING images is only the excuse to play with gadgets. These people are only frustrated techies.

Unfortunately, I think you'll find that this videographers suffer from the same malady. Many here spend more time extolling their opinions instead of out shooting video. Oh well, as it's been suggested, the best policy is to just ignore them.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 12:22 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Parrish :
A question for you, Business wise, what do you think of the future of still photography and why. -->>>

Don,

I do believe that if a person has great talent, then they can be succesfull - IF they are really lucky. :) It's just an incredibly saturated industry. It's been said before that all the "good" pictures have already been taken, which is true to a certain degree.

A major issue driving this is the advent of digital. It's great and all, but the truth is, any yahoo with $200 can buy a digital camera and put out images that to the average viewer - rival stuff that was done in a studio with film and silver only 5 years ago. The price for a "prosumer" digital SLR with film or near film resolution (6MP or so), plus a mid line lense - a kit can be had for under $2000. This price will only continue to drop. Add to this mass media storage and the fact that digital pics are "free" (no film or processing costs), and within a couple years you'll have people snapping a higher volume of pro quality images than ever before in history - and thus, even more competition.

Then there's the customers. I did most of my work shooting sportbike races. I'd spend all day, baking my a$$ on the hot track, and shoot about 1000 images. Then I'd spend a whole day transferring, editing out garbage images, and burning originals to CD-R's. Then I'd spend a whole third day getting them cataloged and posted to my website. Then the emails would roll in.

Long story short, the customers wanted everything under the sun for pennies. "You want $20 for an 8x10? I can print one myself for $2 at WalMart." - Yea, but not without my original, which until I get paid for it, is still MY original. People just don't understand that a quality image takes time to shoot, time to process, and time to deliver - and when you're trying to make a living - time is money.

I was much happier once I resolved myself to get completely out of any sort of shooting for profit.

I guess I could finally sum this up... if someone asked my advise about becoming a true pro photographer... I would say, if you can do something else for a living... then do something else. If you've already got an "in" to a certain market sector, and you think you can get YOUR images to the publisher in front of the next guy, then go for it - but have a backup plan regardless. :)

PS - if you'd like to see a sample of the track pics, here's a link. These images are comming down in a couple weeks.

http://www.kkingdigital.com/event0006/page_01.htm
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Old October 5th, 2003, 12:54 PM   #9
 
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i rest my case
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vision is only as big as the window you choose to look thru
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Old December 1st, 2003, 06:33 PM   #10
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Kevin,

I'm glad you haven't run across the 'tude in the video world...yet!
:-)

Every week I run across this "ugh, it's only Mini DV" mindset, from broadcasters who are so lazy they'll only accept Betacam SP footage (never mind it's analogue and they just lost one generation by demanding the bump, nevermind Sony discontinued that format of cameras 2 years ago) to the camera snobs that sniff at the XL1 as a "home video" camera, even though everybody from Stephen Soderbergh to National Geographic use them, and we both know that "home video" or "professional production" quality resides mainly in the technique and skill rather than the specific camera chosen.

And I work in a company whose historic mindset runs toward "if it was done in-house it can't be any good." (we are changing that) And of course, vendors are dismayed that we are sitting here using Final Cut Pro instead of forking over $275.00/hour for them to do post....that is, when we are "lucky" enough for them to squeeze us in when they are all caught up with their big broadcast clients' work.

I'm not trying to whine, it's just that you are going to see crappy attitudes in just about every industry from people who should be more gracious. The good thing about digital video, is that it is not a stagnant, mature market thanks to the technological revolution, and you can create your opportunities.

As for the the role of the still camera, just watch a Ken Burns documentary. Many of us use his technique when practical considerations prevent us from originating action footage. That's one reason why I'm glad about the advent of the 10D. The other reason is of course that I am "free" from the film lab, meaning I don't have to wait for it to come back or even "finish a roll"... the images I shot this afternoon, I have this afternoon.

Your point about "Yea, but not without my original, which until I get paid for it, is still MY original" is key...it demonstrates that what we are selling here is intellectual property, the product of our creative work. The same cheapskate that wants the $2 Walmart print can also go to Walmart and buy a dozen CD blanks for $5 and burn illegal copies of his buddies' music libraries. Either way he is violating someone's copyright.

Bill said it best: "Many here spend more time extolling their opinions instead of out shooting video. Oh well, as it's been suggested, the best policy is to just ignore them."

And keep busy. My cruddy, humble little XL1 has lots of air miles on it and has been used to create footage in some pretty exciting environments with some interesting people. And people keep asking me to go back out and do more: this weekend I'm covering an event in Boston and next Tuesday I have one in Las Vegas.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 07:50 PM   #11
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Hey, Mike-
You've got mail!
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Old December 1st, 2003, 07:53 PM   #12
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I think there is some validity to the community spirit of the video/film business. Mainly because you have to work in teams. I think most of us got our start working on studio crews. Eight people with similar skills working toward the same product. Photographers don't go through that, and anyone who is their competition now will always be there competition. Whereas you may be competing with jo blow for a lighting gig this week, but next week he's DP on a shoot and you're trying to get him to hire you to do sound.
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