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Old July 3rd, 2009, 04:20 PM   #1
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Does becoming a Photographer make you lazy?

Now I have a couple years videography under my belt, but sometimes business gets a little slow. I have shot music videos, commercials, talent shows, conferences, etc...I decided to try my hand at photography on my off time. Since January I have been picking up photoshoots here and there. And I've actually grown much tighter to photography than originally expected. It truly is a different (though not quite as challenging) world. One thing that I can say is that stills posses their own science verses the moving image.

Since beginning photography, I have built my own studio (rather, converted my editing suite into a photography studio) and things turned out quite nice. But let me get to the point. When I go out to shoot a video, I have to load up my wide-angle, glidecam, letus, shoulder mount, tripod...I'm sure you see where this is going. Even when I just go out to shoot for fun, I still take at least my tripod and camera...and camera mounted light. But man, when I go out for a photoshoot, lights camera action! Just grab my 2lb camera, maybe an extra lens and flash...and I'm ready to work! Takes less than 5min to load up as opposed to 10 minutes of sweat and tears. Yes, I understand that the more involved the shoots become, the more equipment will start to build up. But for standard gigs, I'm pretty much set! And usually Photographers get just as much, if not more $$ than us video guys!

I go out and shoot a lot for fun, hey it's what I love to do. And sometimes when an event comes that I would usually catch footy of, I think to myself, "maybe I'll just get some great stills." I don't know if this makes me lazy, but man sometimes I don't feel like lugging my 6lb camcorder around. It's so much easier to strap a DSLR around my neck. This has only happened once so far. But I must admit it makes me feel kind of lazy, hehe. I still enjoy video more and love the fun, and the limitless creativity. Just thought I would share!!!

JS

Famous wedding quote: Videographer to Photographer "You shoot about one image per second, I shoot 30."
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 05:27 PM   #2
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Video to photography now video again

I don't know if I'd say it made me lazy, but it sure messed up my ability to concentrate on getting continuously good video footage.

I went from concentrating on capturing footage over a period of time with few screw ups in smooth zooming and panning in video to just trying to get a compelling shot in photography. I took more chances with photography because I was just looking for the great shot and could throw the bad ones out. The pro cameras are very good now. It's more about picking the best shot of what you got IMO than difficulty in getting good shots.

I'm having a hard time going back to concentrating on getting continuous good quality (relatively speaking) in my videoing now. I can't even get back to where I was, let alone improve.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 11:59 PM   #3
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I do both and you really have to "flip the switch" so to speak.

Video is fluid, photography is about capturing a moment.

I like them both and studying photography will make you a better videographer.

Video folks tend to lean towards a 'point the camera at it' mentality.

After learning more about still photography I think more about composition, background, subject posture, lens choice, DOF and even more about lighting.

Apply all of that to video and you have motion photography which is where we want to be.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 12:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Wall View Post
I took more chances with photography...
that's the gold! Taking chances!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Wall View Post
I'm having a hard time going back to concentrating on getting continuous good quality (relatively speaking) in my videoing now. I can't even get back to where I was, let alone improve.
Well that's the good thing about sticking to both when feasible...which leads to what Tim says...
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
I like them both and studying photography will make you a better videographer.
And that's the key. Learning and applying. Definitely a more serious statement compared to my sort of silly approach above. But yes photography is about composition, and so is video...but with the addition of motion. This leads to a whole new dimension (or rather the one that was there all along!) This is why my heart is in video, but shooting stills definitely broadens your knowledge, and helps respect each as a profession.

JS
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Old July 4th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
I do both and you really have to "flip the switch" so to speak.

Video is fluid, photography is about capturing a moment.

I like them both and studying photography will make you a better videographer.

Video folks tend to lean towards a 'point the camera at it' mentality.

After learning more about still photography I think more about composition, background, subject posture, lens choice, DOF and even more about lighting.

Apply all of that to video and you have motion photography which is where we want to be.
This is a nice concise statement. The last sentence is certainly where I would love to be. Studying and learning about photography did help my video skills in the ways you mention. But I'm still a better photographer than videographer in my knowledge and technical ability. It's also the fluid part of capturing video I now have problems with more than I used to when I had a "point and shoot" mentality.

That said, I feel I have more vision and imagination in video whereas I sometimes feel like kind of a hack at photography now. I'm good at capturing action shots where I can anticipate what might happen and get a unique shot others might miss. Sometimes I can capture emotion in subjects really well. Otherwise, my photography can't compare with the unbelievable wave of talent that has emerged since digital has allowed so many new people to become involved.

I often wonder if my quest to gain technical knowledge in photography, along with the need to capture pictures that would actually sell, has squelched my creativity. I lag behind in technical knowledge about video but still feel more creative than in photography. I know the good people can do both. Maybe just not me. Seeing all of the beautiful pics and video on the internet and other places, I'm humbled to the extreme in both areas every day.

Sorry, this wasn't really what the thread was about. Just some ramblings before my second cup of coffee.

Last edited by Denise Wall; July 4th, 2009 at 09:29 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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Does photography make you lazy? If all your talking about is taking snapshots, then yes.

High end or low end? Are you aspiring to be a professional photographer or a hack? Good photographers usually work non-stop and are as busy as I am (I am a videographer) while on the job. For weddings they usually spend more of the wedding day working than I do as they start earlier often times.

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.

If all you're taking is snapshots, yes I could see how you would get lazy. A 5 year old can turn a camera on and set it to auto or program mode and take snapshots. That type of photography is not of interest to me. Unfortunately I see much of it from so-called professionals, who are really part-timers who simply call themselves professional.

On the other hand, I have spent a couple of months playing with my Canon 40D and still am not even close to ready for paying gigs of any sort. There is a local class here that costs $1K and I'm not even ready for that class.

John if you puchased a camera recently as you say, and have already taken paying gigs, wow, I'm not sure what to say.

My video customers often give me their DVD of wedding photos from their photographer and while most of them are quite good, the bad ones are scary. The $500 to $1500 price range is where the hacks reside, though there are always exceptions. There are some talented photogs in the lower end, but very few.

As a videographer aspiring to do stills I watch the photographers closely.

The better (read more expensive) photographers work non-stop, rarely getting a chance to breathe. The low-end photographers often stand around and do nothing when they should be working.

The better photographers often have two cameras hanging from there neck, and a third one for back up.

John, the very first thing a professional photographer will tell is that you must have a back up camera and lenses.

Any videographer who does not understand basic composition is likely a hack. 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, and at that end of the spectrum you can always find people who will only pay a few hundred dollars for some snapshots.

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…

you need to take classes or work for someone.

If you are satisfied with taking snapshots than what does it matter?
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Old July 4th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
...Video folks tend to lean towards a 'point the camera at it' mentality....
Can't really let that go without comment, Tim!

For me, the overriding difference between photography and videography are the TWO additional dimensions (that even the best photographers in the world never even think about):

(1) time (i.e. movement) - the development of a clip, the movement of the subjects in a frame, the re-framing, the grouping and breaking of compositions, the revelation and metamorphosis of a flowing image, etc., and how successive clips will work together, and

(2) sound - and how it contributes or adds to what is being recorded.

When I work with photographers (whom I greatly respect) I often reflect on how they are BLIND to both these aspects (and in discussions with them: they agree!)

Those "video folks" who just "point a camera at it" aren't exactly masters of their art, eh, Tim?
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Old July 4th, 2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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I am coming to video from photography; i.e., I started with stills but my job prompted me to learn video as well. My heavy background in still capture has significantly coloured my video work, as many of you have already mentioned. I think in terms of static shots with fixed cameras, and I have difficulty remembering to check my sound levels. Photography has given me a great foundation in focal lengths, perspective, depth of field, lighting, and composition, but I have a long ways yet to go in my endeavour to learn sound, pacing and timing, and moving camera techniques.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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Great thread here.

No, the folks that just point any type of camera at a subject are not masters of their art, but that was not really my point.

Video has so many other technical things going on that it is easy to push the photography side down the on the totem pole. Maybe the statement was overly broad, but it comes from my experience of whom I have met and seen along the way.

As somebody who does both, video takes way more to deliver the goods than photography does.

It is easy to to get wrapped up in the formats, editing setup & equipment, camera settings, sound, support, teleprompters etc...

I know when I am shooting video my thoughts have a way more technical slant than when I am shooting stills. There is just less to keep track of with photography and I am including studio shoots with 5-point lighting.

I am constanly trying to capture the creative thinking mode that I am in when shooting stills and try to get past all of the tech stuff in video and get to the same place.

But with HD, that can of worms is quite large!
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Old July 4th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #10
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As somebody who does both, video takes way more to deliver the goods than photography does.
<smile>

I abandoned photography for movies way back. Post shoot (I was a medium format guy), I enjoyed the immediacy of video compared to the messy, smelly, technically fiddly job of processing film - although I did enjoy printing. Albeit using resin coated multigrade rather than standard bromide. And don't get me started about mounting wretched slides.

Ooooh-err, it's all coming back now. The Polariods. The couriers. Joes Basement. That horrible, horrible E6 processor in the toilet, usually waiting for it to warm up at 3:00 AM. Nurse! Nurse!
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Old July 4th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #11
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Good point. I guess the statement only applies to Digital Photography.

And the statement does not refer to talent etc...
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Old July 6th, 2009, 10:15 PM   #12
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Video is fluid, photography is about capturing a moment.
I respectfully disagree. Both are story telling. One through moving images and sound. Second through capturing this important and outstanding/decisive moment. But both are about telling the story.

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After learning more about still photography I think more about composition, background, subject posture, lens choice, DOF and even more about lighting.
Tools of the craft.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 12:49 AM   #13
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Sounds like we are in agreement to me...

Both are about story telling, true, but I believe my quote has been taken out of context a bit.

I was speaking more to the process not the goal.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:28 AM   #14
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I have started doing both, and find the stress of photography way higher than video.
I did find that being able to go out with only ONE bag as opposed to several for video was quite liberating.
I think part of the reason for the stress was that I have been able to work with some of the better photographers in my area, so I am not comparing myself to other hacks, but to the real pros. Another thing is that with video you are not directing the show, so to speak (and if you are, I would argue that you are not a good wedding videographer, but thats for another post!) The photographer has the traditional role of direction a lot of the action. As a videographer I could sit back and wait for the photographer to take the lead.
I did a wedding a few weeks ago where they did not hire a photographer. There were literally people with cell phones taking pictures. It was very chaotic and a difficult atmosphere to work in. A good photographer makes my life much easier. I have only done stills at a few weddings, 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.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #15
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Well said Mark.
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