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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
High-quality photography is demanding, expensive and requires constant education.

If you're looking to capture images like these:
StephCarson …my life as a photographer…
A very telling difference between photo and video is encompassed in this small bit of copy on this website right under a series of photos of a bride.

Quote:
Here are a few of the other tried and true lighting techniques I also used. This session with the bride took less than 5 minutes from start to finish.
The images he's referring to are varied and each looks unique. To do the same thing with video would have easily taken me three times as long.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #17
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But do you do the same things with video? I don't. You might. I allow the photographer to direct things, and I simply piggy back off of his/her work, jumping in to get a shot or two here or there as I need. Rarely do I get time with a bride as the photographer gets. If you shoot high end video Ethan (I don't I shoot in the $1500 range) you might spend more time with your clients than I do.

I can only say I shoot about 40-50 weddings per year with video and I've just put together my first photography kit. My first shoot is Sunday.

The learning curve with photography is unbelievable. Do you use zoom lenses or primes? Flash or no? Boucer or diffuser or card?

The five minutes spent by a photographer getting great shots are crammed with directing the client, changing lenses, adjusting flash, etc..

No debate here, it is really apples to oranges, IMO.

Also, I can miss some things at a wedding. For example it has happened where I was forced to miss the guys or even the girls getting ready before the ceremony, but with photography there is no choice, you must get it all.

Photographers often have worked hours before I even show up.

At any rate, we can all agree that neither video or photography done well is easy!
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #18
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Jeff - I'm the video guy who shows up hours before the photographers. To do good work with video just takes longer so I tend to suck it up and show up a few hours earlier than the photog. I wish I was getting paid high end prices but sadly this isn't the case. My average booking is around $2000 or so.

When I said it would take me 3 times as long I'm referring to directing the girl, coming up with some sort of movement she can do and having her do it right, move right and look in the right spot while I flub the stedicam shot a couple times or bobble the move on the tripod at the end have have to re-do it and this is without having the added bonus of being able to have lights like the photographer. They can set up the shot, move a flash in the right spot, direct and shoot in seconds. If I were to try the same thing with proper lighting forget it, 10-30 minutes a shot easy.

My wife and I have been playing with photo lately and have been building up some gear with the thought of maybe making a run at paid photo gigs in the next year if we can get up to speed with it. I'm interested to hear what gear you've gone with. We went Nikon since we already had some stuff from our old D70. We've gotten some lenses and flashes and a D90 body in the last 6 months or so.

I'd love to go 5D but that would require a whole different set of lenses, flashes and whatnot. Being the cheapskate I am I guess I'm locked into Nikon for the time being. I'm still hoping for a Nikon answer to the 5D. Please.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #19
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I'm shooting with a Canon 40D (small frame) and I'm using two nice primes (30 f/1.4 & 85 f/1.8) and a crappy 70-135 f/3.5 zoom lens. I've yet to order the 70-200 that seems to be a standard lens for virtually all photographers. It costs about $2K and I just don't have the funds yet, but then I don't plan on shooting another event after sunday for a long time.

I will run use a second camera but haven't chosen one yet, probably a 1D, but that is a long way off a this point.

I don't start as early as you do unless my brides get the $2195 package which I sell very little of. I offer it only as a marketing tool. I actually don't like selling it, most of my brides choose the $1495 or $1795 for 7 or 8 hours, that's all I like to shoot because I hate editing 12-15 hours of footage. Been there done that, hated it.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #20
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Man I have been missing out!! Great discussion in this thread, I'm going to try and catch up.

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Are you aspiring to be a professional photographer or a hack?
Aspiring Professional! Wasn't the original plan, but it seems anything I do, I do it full speed. So naturally this is what happened when I discovered the beauty of the still image.

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I was talking to one of my photographer friends who assured me it would be well over a year of learning before I would be ready to shoot a wedding and then my results would still be pretty basic.
Well that really depends on level of exposure, and natural calling, right?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
If all you're taking is snapshots...Unfortunately I see much of it from so-called professionals, who are really part-timers who simply call themselves professional.
Unfortunately I have seen that to. This is bad for Photographers as a whole, but good for those of us that learn from other's mistakes.

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
John if you puchased a camera recently as you say, and have already taken paying gigs, wow, I'm not sure what to say.
Well I was taking snapshots for about a year...then purchase my DSLR back in December 08. I've had maybe 25% of my gigs paid. So far I have had great feedback. Even when I don't charge, people still offer me money. I don't believe I am Derek Blanks, but then again I don't get Derek Blanks $$. I get maybe 25% of what a "professional" would get.

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
John, the very first thing a professional photographer will tell is that you must have a back up camera and lenses.
100% true. I am slowly building my kit.

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Any videographer who moves into photography and only then discovers the basics of good composition is likely on the low end of the pay scale
That's where I am, the low-end (experience wise). But the overall goal is to have happy clients, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
If you're looking to capture images like these:
StephCarson …my life as a photographer…

you need to take classes or work for someone.
What's better than field experience? This is why so many people start off doing free gigs. To develop a strong portolio.

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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #21
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Video has so many other technical things going on that it is easy to push the photography side down the on the totem pole.
I know this post was directed elswhere, but just wanted to mention that even though I believe Video is a more developed skill, I would never "push it [photography] down the totem pole." I have a great deal of respect for Photographers. Even more so that I now have a little experience.

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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
There is just less to keep track of with photography...
yep, that pretty much sums it up.

I think the important thing is going in with a plan. Are you going in with an artistic approach? Documentary? etc...? I believe if you go in knowing exactly what needs to be done, ie. will I be focusing manually, which preset, any preset? then it's much easier when in the field. Of course you need to be familiar with the tools you use, or the technical aspect will limit you greatly.

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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #22
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Are you going primes or zooms or both John?
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #23
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...but I will know that I have arrived when I am the lead photographer and there is a videographer following me around waiting for the action.
Lol does he get is own leash and water bowl?

Only kidding...somewhat. But staying in context, it is (usually) the Videographer's job to stay out of sight right? To duck off in the background, catching all the good stuff...all the memories...telling the story. Sure sometimes we walk around with steadicams, but that's big bucks anyway and should be expected at a big budget wedding. Kind of adds to the moment if you ask me. Everyone expects to see a Photograher waltzing around. But Video is still less common for weddings. You're right, we are not there to direct (unless it's that music video/wedding post from a couple weeks ago...hmmm, where is that link).

JS
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #24
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Are you going primes or zooms or both John?
right now I have a 50mm prime, and 18-55mm zoom. Would like to have more but I'm saving for the L glass I hear everyone raving about. Eventually I plan to have all primes, and one nice zoom.

BTW haven't had a chance to check out that link yet.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:07 AM   #25
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At any rate, we can all agree that neither video or photography done well is easy!
I'm with you on that Jeff. The thing you have to remember is that you are not there to enjoy the event, but to capture the event. I am just now getting to that point, and I've been doing video for 2+ years. These days I find myself at an event, and I won't even remember what happened...but I will get some great footage!

BTW congrats on 50 weddings a year, I'm workin on it!

JS
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #26
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I used to shoot wedding stills on 35mm film back in the old days, plus "art" photography for many decades before moving to video about two years back. I continue to do still photography, but digital these days.

What I found when moving to video was that my decades (yes, DECADES) of still photography gave me a leg up on the other videographers. First off, I knew how the eye would perceive a photographed or video image versus real life, and how to properly compose a shot for the correct look. Secondly, I knew about backgrounds, and how they can destroy or enhance the mood of the shot you want. Thirdly, I also knew about the pitfalls of using existing light, and how to work through and around issues like strong backlight and wide lighting ranges.

Probably the most important thing I learned from still photography (especially with film) is to be economical with my shots. This came from realizing that every time I pressed the shutter (with film), I was tossing anywhere from a dollar (for slides) to four dollars (for prints) into the wind. Even in digital, where theoretically the only cost is a few cents worth of electricity per hundred images, I tend to plan out the shots in my head before releasing the shutter or pressing the record button. I'm probably the only digital SLR photographer that carries (and uses) a Pentax Spotmeter V and a Sekonic L exposure meter.

What I didn't learn from still photography was proper pans and zooms. I knew about sound, but that's because I did sound work aside from still photography.

I don't do the wedding videographer thing, even though I've been asked to on several occasions. Part of it is a control issue -- you just can't be sure what's going to happen and be in proper position to get the shot. I like scripted work. The second part is the emotional aspect of the event: you just can't expect the client to behave rationally concerning their wedding. Even the most rational brides, grooms, and mothers of B&G's tend to go loco somewhere at the event. I had a mother of the bride whom I've known for years go on full meltdown mode and start yelling at me because I had the nerve to take a short bathroom break about ten minutes before the ceremony. Photographers can cover certain lapses by reshooting, while the video can't in most circumstances.

The videographer's burden has been covered in the previous posts -- tons of gear, the fact that the event has to be covered continuously, has to include decent sound, plus the videographer has to be invisible at the event. Throw in the post-production requirements, and it just isn't worth the money for me to mess with it. Aside from arranging the albums and taking print orders, the photographer's job is finished when the limo pulls away from the curb.

Short answer: still photographers make better videographers. Videographers going still for the first time suddenly realize that video's a cast iron pain in the butt.

Martin
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Old September 30th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #27
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Photojournalism to Video

All my experience has been in photojournalism, (primarily as a war/conflict photographer) and I find this an interesting thread because I've been concerned that shooting VIDEO is making me more lazy. With the video cam in hand, I have a tendency to just "let it run" to capture what I need instead of composing, and waiting for the moment. And since, I'm either locked down on a tripod or encumbered with using a shoulder mount, mics, etc., I'm less likely to work all the angles I normally would with a still camera. Maybe it's just part of the learning curve, but I also feel I'm distracted from my subjects because so much concentration is giving over to the technical aspects of videography. With my still camera, I was more capable of maintaining focus on my subjects and their stories, and the camera work just came...naturally. Maybe as I get more practice with video, the camera will just "get out of the way," as it does in my still photography, but there seems to be a lot more to think about than the still days where my only technical concerns were aperture, shutter speed, iso & focal length.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 12:07 PM   #28
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I started with black and white still photography and came to video only later. I like them both, but for different reasons.

Every once in a while, when I'm feeling creatively blocked with video, I dust off my old Pentax K-1000, slap a 28mm lens on it, and shoot a roll of Plus-X. It's a nice break. I don't have to worry about color balance, audio levels, smooth panning technique, frame rate, or making sure I capture all the action. I can really focus on composition, lighting, framing, selective focus and depth-of-field. It's a good refresher that I find carries over to, and improves, my video work. Plus, it feels like a good discipline to shoot without immediate feedback and have to wait for the film to get back from the lab.

On the other hand, I feel much more comfortable approaching someone in a crowd with a video camera and asking them for an interview. When I did candid street photography, I always felt a bit sneaky, like I was spying on people or something. With a video camera, I can give people an opportunity to visibly consent to the interview, explain themselves, tell their own story and put themselves into context... basically just to have a conversation.

One of the things I am looking forward to with the new crop of video-capable DSLRs is to combine both of these aspects, so I don't have to pick which one I'm doing that day. That, and the opportunity to re-use some of my old favorite manual-focus SLR lenses.
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