Random Thoughts On Video

I haven't had a lot to say on the rapid march toward video capabilities in what would be considered still cameras. That doesn't mean that I haven't thought about it. For my own purposes I really haven't cared a whole lot. On one hand - why not, I don't care, it's free. On the other hand - WTF, I still have too many gripes about what is wrong with a lot of still cameras for manufacturers to be playing around with this crap before fixing obvious flaws in the core competency of their products.

Speaking only for myself I really have no idea if I will ever get anything out of video for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I am a moment guy. Yes I like to tell a story but my head works in a series of moments versus a continuous flow of motion. It's just how I am wired. I guess the second reason is that I know just enough about video to be dangerous and to be candid - it scares me. You want to talk complicated, motion pictures are complicated, and the best of them feel much more like a team effort than an individual endeavor. They remind me far more of a commercial photo shoot where there are a multitude of roles filled by a multitude of people to produce the end product.

Having worked on video in a capacity of a few of those roles and having seen how the sausage is made, it is a huge mental leap for me to even think about making motion pictures. I have a list ten miles long of all the things I need to deal with, equipment needed, lighting, etc far before I give a rat's ass about the camera. Maybe it's just a mental block from knowing a bit too much as to what goes into making great video for me to even start. Maybe those who know less stand a chance. Possible but unlikely from what I have seen develop since the advent of the great still/video technology merge in DSLRs.

Most of the enthusiastic folks that made some sort of internet fame for themselves by jumping on the video bandwagon either stand no hope of hanging with the big-boys or have graduated to the reality that they cannot compete in the real world with just them and their DSLR. They have moved on to real toys, with real crews, on real projects. From my point of view they were motion guys already just looking for a way to get a voice.

I would like to think that I will try it sooner or later, not to be the next big video maker but just to see how I might use this apparently free medium that I now have access to by default. The giant issue is that I have never, not once, just shot a video because the moment presented it self. I shot stills instead. After the moment had gone, I thought to myself "Hey - that would actually have made a far better video". That only happens after I look at the stills. Combine this with the inhibitions I have about actually setting out to make a video by design and I probably have no hope.

How about you?


PS. The image at the top of the post is an image from a series during a lightning storm where I actually got a strike on camera while shooting the sequence. This only happened as there were about 2 strikes a second as I was shooting with my LX5 during the daylight at 1/125s or thereabouts. It occured to me after the storm that a video would have conveyed the violence far more appropriately. Why the heck was I taking stills.

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