Blog #92 Moving Pictures

March 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Blog #92 Moving Pictures

Moving pictures is not a reference to the Canadian rock band RUSH amazing 1981 album.  However, this is photography blog so this entry will be about this thing called video.  Early on in the 20th century when film was made into longer reels and recorded continuously, there was the birth of the movie, or quite literally, moving pictures.  Early silent films were 16 to 24 frames per second (fps).  By the 1920s when sound started to be paired with the moving pictures, the industry standard adopted around 24 fps.  These days, video streams at 24, 30, 60 fps, or way higher for slow-motion with butter smooth performance. Frame rates of 120 or 240 fps are pretty much baked into every smartphone these days.  This is absolutely amazing!

I love to make photos, usually on film cameras.  I develop and process the images myself.  I do very little post-processing as a rule.  Maybe a 10% crop, heal a few spots, adjust the exposure, lift the shadows, punch the contrast, add a touch of vignette, and voila! I’m on to the next one.  With Lightroom and Presets at our disposal, we can streamline our workflow to a matter of minutes.  

Video for me until recently has been elusive, complicated, and downright scary.  I just don’t have the hours and hours necessary to post process the stuff.   I was careful to never say never and it’s a good thing I didn’t.  Recently, I had the opportunity to shoot a music video for the absolutely fantastic group of talented gentleman Metro Vocal Group (MVG).  They were planning to do a special tribute in black-and-white and they really liked my black-and-white work so they invited me to shoot a music video with them.  I accepted the challenge.  I approached the scenes from a still photography perspective in terms of composition and lighting, which proved to be a good approach, for the most part.  Best of all, MVG was going to do all of the post processing.  This was going to be really important since the sound was at least as important as the video piece. 

Making a music video is hard work! The day of the shoot was like eight hours. All of that will be compressed down to three-a-half-minutes.  It was a really terrific experience and I gained a new found appreciation for videographers. I brought three lights and MVG loaned me a Sony full frame mirrorless to play with before the shoot.  I am really curious about the result and looking forward to the final cut.  Links will be shared later. 

I would encourage any film or still photographer to shoot some video, even shorts, to get a new feel for a similar medium.  As a visual artist, expanding your horizons us usually a good thing.  

The light is always right. 

jhg

*Images here were made Behind the Scenes on an iPhone or Nikon FE with black and white film.  Thanks to AnnMarie for the photos that I’m in.**

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