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Old December 4th, 2014, 11:01 AM   #46
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Whoa! I go on a 4 day shoot, come back and you guys have really had at it :)

It seems to me a case of where the expectations have been set. If a bride is paying 1500 for photos and 1500 for video then she expects totally awesome results. If she is paying 995 for a combined package and has seen plenty of samples of previous work then clearly there has to be some lowering of expectations.

If video cameras are fixed and not moveable (i.e. remote cameras) then we have to accept what they get and live with it. Acting on your own at least you don't have other photographers walking / standing in front of them at the wrong time. Guests are however another matter ;)

In terms of auto exposure vs manual exposure, I've been in enough nasty situations to see Noa's point entirely and I'd hate to have to go back to a bride and say that the footage was all blown because the sun came out (which can happen indoors as well as out), or it was set while the sun was out and now it's too dark because the clouds came over.

It's still tricky for me to understand the full flow and final results. I agree it's hard to see how the combined package isn't some how compromised with a single operator. By compromised I don't mean quality as such, I mean the production value, things that even single video operators find hard to achieve, like the couple walking up to the door (say in an entrance) then doors opening and you see them walk through fro the other side and the cameras follow them. You can't do that even on your own for video, but if you're taking photos too you have to choose which one you're going to get.... or maybe you don't. Maybe it's having the right tools instead.

Weddings have to be both profitable and enjoyable or they can suck the life out of you. Lots of room for thought here.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 11:03 AM   #47
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

The thing is Steve there will always be a demand for both or joint and the way that technology is rapidly developing, so many people are taking there own video and photos that I want to be sure that I can stay ahead of the game and offer them a quality professional service.

When I started taking wedding video 30 years ago, the norm for photographers was shots at the church door of Bride, Dad and the Bridesmaids, signing of the register and walk down the aisle at the end, then formal groups. There would be some of the couple at the reception, a setup cake shot before the meal, then the photographer would be gone. It is comparatively recently that photographers have started taking pics during the ceremony and speeches, informal shots and lots of romantic shots. It's even more recently that they have started to stay for the evening and get evening guests and first dance. Even the couple used to leave the reception after the meal to go on honeymoon 30-40 years ago.

I think much of the increased photography is due the perceived competition from videography and the ease of taking and processing large numbers of digital stills. Things will continue to change and evolve with technology and fashion and inspite of my advancing years I will enjoy the new challenges.

Noa- I will shortly be getting my first 4k camera and it will be fascinating to see if it changes how I work. 4k and 8k will almost certainly see the complete amalgamation of video and photographic cameras eventually, but it will be up to the operators whether they specialise in either or both.

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Old December 4th, 2014, 11:10 AM   #48
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Hi Dave, welcome back, the phrase light the blue touch paper and retire springs to mind :-)

It's certainly an interesting topic and one that is as important to discuss openly as the short/longform debate. Things are constantly changing and we are sometimes led by necessity rather than preference. There will never be a right or wrong way and I think that informed choices are always welcome.

As regards pricing, our joint package has been so successful that we will be increasing prices next year, strangely enough on the advice of clients.

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Old December 4th, 2014, 11:51 AM   #49
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
The thing is Steve there will always be a demand for both or joint and the way that technology is rapidly developing, so many people are taking there own video and photos that I want to be sure that I can stay ahead of the game and offer them a quality professional service.

Roger
Staying ahead of the game is my goal to; I just prefer to stay ahead by doing one thing really well, rather then 2 things, one of which would be very well, the other not so well. One of the reasons I love Video is that few of the guests are taking it in comparison to Photo. I mean with photo, they're all at it. Iphones, tablets, proper cameras, and there's rarely a non showing of the budding enthusiast with their SLR. Whilst the formal Photo Session is a circus of Photography from all corners, I'm there capturing the behind the scenes with video, in most cases the only one who is capturing video. Its the moments like these that make what I do worth doing.
In regards to combining the 2, I can be flexible. Grabbing 4k stills, no problem. Non Weddings, yeah I'll do both. Weddings where the couple can't afford a proper Photographer, yeah I did one of those this year, so got to say yes to that too. For other Weddings, I just don't want to be yet another guy snapping away with my camera with everyone else; I'd rather be the one person getting video. Still there's room for both approaches.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #50
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Oh and on the subject of 4K stills, I've shot loads of 4K footage, and focusing with video can be a tough nut to crack and less forgiveable with a still. I'm seriously considering an external monitor because of it.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 12:27 PM   #51
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Ofcourse, playing the dj is also nothing more then autoplaying a playlist of a lot of songs and just take a wireless mike along so you can announce things while you shoot some photos and while your videocamera's are on autorecord. :) I"m joking but actually, it could be done right?

I actually wasn't joking about the shooting video in 4K and take photos from that, I can take good stills from my 4K recordings, you even might reserve the photoshoot for a photocamera only of the couple and their family so you get some decent controlled raw photos and then do the rest of the day like you normally would do a videoshoot and extract all your stills from that, in that way you can put your full attention on what you are shooting and still deliver a quality product. That wouldn't be more effort on the weddingday (only extra work in post) but a reason to charge extra for it. Mmmh, this has got me thinking...:)
Oh, I didn't mean 4K stills, I meant 4K would allow reframing in post, so then I could focus more on stills with a separate camera. My bad.

For instance, I like cameras up front, in the side aisles (all our churches here have them), so that, during vows, I can get a great tight shot of either the bride or groom's face. A 4K camera would let me setup a 3 shot, but during post, turn it into a tight shot during the vows. Same with an aisle cam.

During the ceremony, most photogs I see take relatively few photos, but they're during key moments like the entrance, exit, vows, kiss, same time I'm busy with video.

3-5 pre-focused 4K cameras for video would do 80% of the ceremony work for me.

I still wouldn't do it, though, along with the conflicts the rest of the day, I'd rather use that strategy for better video, since then I can focus on that last 20% of footage that can help make the video great.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 01:02 PM   #52
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Exactly what I mean, the auto iris of a camera will not adjust the right way if the sun disappears or reappears, if you have strong backlight and the couple standing in the shade you have to expose manually to get it right, unless you don't mind a over or underexposed image that might not be fixable in post.

Not so with the TM series cams. they have a very effective backlight compensation function which you enable separately to any general auto-exposure function. If the backlight compensation feature is NOT enabled the auto-exposure would only be as good as adjusting for variable light falling on the couple. If it IS enabled then it will also adjust for varying amounts of backlighting on the fly, independently of the auto-exposure

My larger cleverer Panasonic AC90 does not work in the same way. Its backlight compensation is more like exposure compensation and its either on or its not. So while it does a good job of auto-exposure, adjusting for changes in the room,it does not compensate for variable backlighting in the same way that the TM's do. In that sense the little TM's are a superior piece of kit and particularly well suited to weddings. Again the TM's are good at maintaining focus on a moving subject and so excel at covering you when they are locked down and inaccessible during ceremonies.

In some particularly challenging exposure conditions I'll frame the TM's off-centre so as the auto-exposure value changes, then crop in post. Rather like you can do to defeat the GoPro's auto-exposure function.

And as I say the more cams you have the less stress. If you have 5 running and one craps out ..... probably not a big deal. If you have two running and one craps out .... you better make sure everything from the remaining cam is just right!

I've often read with interest your comments Noa on the great results you get with your little Sonys. But I've not tried one because I as far as I can tell they don't offer a similar functionality to the TM's. I think one member, Peter R possibly, switched from TM's to the Sonys but he may not use his cams in the way that I do so the functionality I have described may not have been important to him.

Really, exposing with the TM's is not a lot different to how I use my Canon 5 series stills cams up to a point. I may have them on auto-exposure, or auto with exposure compensation dialed in, or on full manual. I each instance I might also be using a flashgun, who's job may be fill-flash or the main light source. The flashgun itself may be on full auto or auto with its own compensation dialed in or full manual. It will nearly always be bounced off a ceiling or wall to soften the source. At certain times I may also have up to five off-camera flashguns fired by wireless triggers. But for all its sophistication the 5-series cannot do that TM trick.

If I'm unlucky the TM's may change the white balance temporarily for the worse but I can compensate for that in post. It does not have to be perfect. In a strictly business sense perfect = over-engineered. In other words in a general sense you are supplying something the client hasn't paid for and doesn't appreciate or need. But if you as the operator enjoy it for your own satisfaction thats fine. Its not business though.

Here is a longform ceremony illustrating backlight compensation. Its a short modest video and I've only used 3 cams. There really wasn't much point in frequent recomposing of the one video cam that I could access during the ceremony. I had one TM900at the back on lockdown on a lightstand. If you go to 4:56 for example you will see the severe variable backlighting. A second TM900 lock down hidden in a wall decoration at the front on the grooms right. I also had that on backlight compensation to allow for the white walls behind the couple. I was positioned to the brides left with an AC90 on a tripod. I shot stills throughout. There is minimal editing to the final video:
wedding videographers lillibrooke manor maidenhead berkshire jenny and james ashton lamont sample wedding video

Audio is from an H1 hidden in the flower arrangement on the top table.

It also illustrates that from a brides point of view the more depth of field the better so that she can see her guests as well as herself.

This is what the room looks like from the rear (15mm fisheye):

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/919-c/...29-04_ojlj.jpg

Imagine what having two operators at the front would do to the ambience.

As regards stills from 4k and 8k video it will work up to a point but only up to a point. You will have enough pixels for sure. But so much more at weddings depends on some extra sparkle, some extra lift, from fill-flash whether that be on-camera or off-camera. There has been a shift in tastes away from grungy available light style to bright and breezy and of greater technical merit. No amount of extra pixels can give you that because pixels alone have nothing to do with the direction and quality of light.

Pete
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Old December 4th, 2014, 01:37 PM   #53
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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[b]Here is a longform ceremony illustrating backlight compensation. Its a short modest video and I've only used 3 cams. There really wasn't much point in frequent recomposing of the one video cam that I could access during the ceremony. I had one TM900at the back on lockdown on a lightstand. If you go to 4:56 for example you will see the severe variable backlighting. A second TM900 lock down hidden in a wall decoration at the front on the grooms right. I also had that on backlight compensation to allow for the white walls behind the couple. I was positioned to the brides left with an AC90 on a tripod. I shot stills throughout. There is minimal editing to the final video:
wedding videographers lillibrooke manor maidenhead berkshire jenny and james ashton lamont sample wedding video

Audio is from an H1 hidden in the flower arrangement on the top table.
Pete
Pete, thanks for posting this. So, just to be clear, there were two unattended (video) cameras at the front and you were at the back with another video camera and taking stills? No stills from the front. Is that correct?
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Old December 4th, 2014, 01:53 PM   #54
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

In a situation like that, with a small venue, we would definitely not use a full crew on that. 2 people max.

I could make the case for single person doing both photo and video as there is no wedding party and no real obtrusive decorations which would limit camera placement.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 02:34 PM   #55
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Pete, thanks for posting this. So, just to be clear, there were two unattended (video) cameras at the front and you were at the back with another video camera and taking stills? No stills from the front. Is that correct?

No thats not it Dave.

I shot stills from a position at the back as the bridal party made their entrance:
http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/919-c/...79-03_ojlj.jpg

I did try to shoot video using the video cam at the back as well but there was so much guest activity in that confined area it was like a rugby scrum and the video footage from that cam at the back was not great. Once the bridal party had passed by I repositioned and recomposed the video cam at the back and also shot a couple of scene setting stills from the back:
http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/919-c/...97-03_ojlj.jpg

Then whilst the registrar was introducing herself etc I moved to the front without causing distractions. The rear cam remained lock down. It made a good job of exposing even though the sun through that huge window at the front kept going in and out of clouds. It also had to adjust exposure when the guests stood up mid-ceremony because then it had a load of dark clothing in the foreground.

The locked down inaccessible TM900 at the front on the grooms side was clamped to one of those wagon wheels on the wall so it was hardly noticeable at all.

I remained in the front left corner manning my AC90 on a tripod and with my two stills cams on my shoulders. One of these had a 24-105mm f4L IS, and the other a 70-200 f2.8L IS.

I could have added a GoPro to the AC90 but really there wasn't much point as those large flower decorations visible at the front left and right obscured much of the guests from my position in the left front corner. Thats also why I didn't do much recomposing with the front AC90 other than tighter to get the ring exchange etc.

I reckon that cutting between the bride and groom as they say their bits and cutting to the father of the bride as he gives her away, and cutting to the rear for some of the reading works pretty well.

And probably much more in line with what the bride will want to watch in future years rather than a breathless short mixing up parts of the day together with audio clips and high tempo music.

But it doesn't have the same sort of appeal for new clients as an MTV style short for sure. Thats a dilemma.

I've always admired improvisation and making use of what you've got in new ways. In my early military career a big part was reconnaissance in hostile territory. Two men per big badass motorbike at one point. Inevitably the tyres got shot out. The grizzled old seg.major who was my oppo forced the tyres off their rims with his bare hands and stuffed the innards with straw. Forced the tyres back on and we were back in action. Made a huge impression on me! I wanna be him. Wish I was a tenth as imaginative and resourceful as that old git.

Pete
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Old December 4th, 2014, 03:16 PM   #56
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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[b]Then whilst the registrar was introducing herself etc I moved to the front without causing distractions.
Pete
Got it - thanks.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #57
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Here is a longform ceremony illustrating backlight compensation
Nope, still not convinced and I do know the backlight function, there are still too many variables to be considered, you can see in your example how quickly the autoexposure adjusts exposure depending on where the subject is in the frame. You example is still quite controlled as the indoorlight towards the subject doesn't change, not like a outside wedding. You just are more lucky to have mostly indoor weddings with controlled light, I unfortunately am not and the automode will not help getting it exactly right when you leave it up to the camera to decide when lightconditions are tricky. I"m afraid we have to agree to disagree here.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 06:00 PM   #58
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Very interesting watching the video Pete as I have several of the SD only versions of your TM cameras and I love them. Your video though did show me that although we both offer joint video and photography, my videos are very different to yours.

Probably as my background comes more from video, I use a lot more movement in my videos rather than cutting from camera to camera with some reframing. So for instance, when the pageboy brought the rings forward, I would have covered that with a gentle zoom in to show the cushion and rings in closeup, before followning the ring being taken by the groom. During the vows I would use a very slow move in on the shot to give a more intimate feel and I would also use pan movements where necessary to cover movement of people at the ceremony desk. To me, camera movement is essential during times like the ceremony when action is minimal. I see the locked cameras as a means to drop in a cutaway while I am changing the main camera to a new focal point and getting closer detail shots.

Your way of working is considerably different to mine, so potential clients would need to see both to be aware of what style they may prefer. But that is no different to choosing a videographer or photographer only. Offering a joint package doesn't mean that all the offerings will be the same and it is up to the individual to tailor their package in the way that they feel gives them the best results.

Roger
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Old December 4th, 2014, 06:58 PM   #59
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

I think fair play to the guys that are doing this successfully. I tried it myself about 10 years ago and the couple were very happy. For me, I like working the video camera exclusively. I get good to great stuff during the photoshoot that gets me more business all the time. If I can get a 4k full frame DSLR to use for framegrabs I will when its available/affordable. Photographers sales of print copies died with film so if anything it will be a bonus for the photographer to have a video running that could rescue them from a problem some day.
I think there probably will always be a need for an organiser to arrange photo setups etc...
Time are changing and framerabs from 4k and 8k video footage will be useful in general. But some photographers are ultra fussy and wont be willing to cast their 24 million + pixels and raw control to one side any time soon... Thankfully
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Old December 4th, 2014, 07:04 PM   #60
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Can I just add that while I think fair play to anyone doing this, I would advise any others to think very carefully before offering it. Its a guaranteed way to get the photographers in the locality pretty peed off :) Expect some very aggressive counter punches...
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