Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hold perfectly still...and... Action!

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Like all things in life, people are demanding much more from a photographer. The last 2 years have seen a gradual blurring between the specialist who shoots and supplies still images, and the other who supplies moving images. This blurring has been aided by the growing numbers of DSLR cameras that are also able to capture Hi-Definition video. "So what," I hear you say, "my point and shoot has been able to record video for years. Some of it isn't quite HD but it looks fine on Youtube and the likes".

When you build video capabilities into a DSLR, suddenly you have access to a lot of high end movie techniques simply from the fact that you can now shoot with interchangeable lenses for differing types of view. Wide angles, zoomed shots, and macro can now all be recorded at will. And you can now control depth of field for more cinematic treatments like focusing on the main subject by knocking the background into a non-intrusive aesthetic blur.

And so it was that recently a client of mine asked me to shoot some of his product for him. He then went on to ask me to shoot the videos that were required to be used along with the product shots on his website. Also by shooting in Hi Definition, we would have the option too output for use in other media without loss of image quality. I have continuous lighting as well as my strobes and I have shot a fair amount of video on other formats in my time, so I said yes.

The models turned up from Japan, I shot the footage that was needed and edited it all down as required. Today I delivered the product shots and the videos. 

More and more photographers are finding that clients want to engage "image makers" who can produce and deliver a package of images, rather than having to deal with multiple vendors. Video production on DSLR's still has some way to go, but for many applications users are finding them to be extremely capable tools in the right hands.

But don't be seduced that because you're a photographer and your holding a DSLR, that all you have to do to great moving images is switch to video mode and shoot away. No, you need to think in terms of viewer angles, scenes, and be able to visualize how a fade or a pan would work best and a host of other considerations. Some photographers may feel resistant to this other side of creating images, and others are doing very well thank you as they are. But for many professional photographers, there will be a market driven encouragement to embrace this additional function that is appearing on more and more of our expense new cameras.

A few DSLR's with video capability are listed below:

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