Friday, March 27, 2009

Photographer vs. Cinematographer or Videographer

First off, let me point out - the word "Videographer" isn't real according to any spell check system. Weird. This term is more and more common and yet none of the spell check systems recognize it. Yet if you visit - it states that it is a real word. I digress.

Okay. So the real topic of this insatiable bit is really about something else. It has to do with that little hidden line that many think or believe exists between photographers (photogs) and videographers (maybe I should use cinematographers?). Really there is no line, gray, black or white... it is a myth. But most don't realize this to be true. You see, I have heard this so many times from photographers that it makes the hair stand up on my cats. What am I talking about specifically? The phrase; "Oh, you don't do still photography." (I actually do, I just don't admit it.) - They don't pose it as a question, but rather as a subliminal (almost) insult. Almost as if still photography is the bomb, the only bomb, nothing but the bomb and videography, well that is for the weak, the un-knowledgeable, the lazy, the "oh, you can't hold the camera still so you need the moving picture aspect anyway." Whatever!

In any case, I wanted to show that in all actuality a still "photog" can also play in the moving picture world with a little creativity and a small step requiring one to delve into other worlds of applications. I am talking about many apps on a computer. But even that is a lie. They don't even need to leave one of their commonly used apps - it's called Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop actually has some really powerful video generating features. It is just that most don't even realize just how powerful this stuff really is. If you own Photoshop (CS3 and up), you can actually do a cartoon like flick very easily. Of course you could go out and buy special effects software for several hundreds of dollars instead. I prefer the latter - it's easier on my wallet. But interestingly enough, not many know how to do this to movies - only to individual shots or images.. just do a search on Google for "toon photoshop" - What is missing? The simple fact that most of the filters talked about can be applied to a sequence of images - a movie - in Photoshop as well. Wow.

But back to the other apps - the ones more commonly used. These are known as NLE's or Non-Linear Editors. They are known by their names commonly heard on the street as Vegas (no, not Las Vegas, but Sony Vegas), Premiere, Final Cut and so on. Most of these have a little feature called import an "image sequence". What? Wouldn't that be like --- a movie or something? Yes, an image sequence is also known to be a "movie". That word.. movie - would it possibly have something to do with moving? Movie -ing picture? Sequence of images? Film strip? Many frames in sequence...? What a concept! I digress again.

In any case - a fun experiment I did to prove to some of you still photogs that from a simple photo shoot - you can make some interesting movies... enjoy:

Moving stills - a demo. from VaderVideo on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Flying High - A dedication.

Every once in a while one gets really lucky. This happened to me a week ago. I saw the planes buzzing over my house and was thinking to myself "Self, wouldn't it be cool if you could get a bit closer to these?"

As was my luck, a neighbor called and asked if I would like to go onto base with him for a couple of hours to see the landings and takeoffs. We had access to pretty much anything we wanted regarding visual access to the "birds". We sat atop his company's container and watched. Fortunately the location was next to the runway. Cool.

Moral of the story: If you do something such as shoot stock footage - let everyone know! Sometimes they just might remember and invite you to something not just anyone can go to. This was one of those moments. Many thanks to my friendly neighbor for giving me the opportunity of what may be a lifetime when it comes to getting unique footage.


Flying High - A dedication. from VaderVideo on Vimeo.

Adobe - 2 Years (and a Half) Later - Great Stuff!

So here we are a few years later and Adobe didn't implode! On the contrary! Adobe is doing just fine and dandy. As a matter of fact,...