Including surprises, like this dog provides sizzle in Videos

“Love it!  Especially the DOG!!!  He is the real star,” writes Linda F.

While shooting this video a dog wandered in and out of the scene, sometimes a common distraction on the set, which we soon got used to. Shooting a lot of takes allows room to  crop out what we don’t need.

In this instance, a short clip of the dog lying down was also made. If you look closely, his eyes are bobbing around, almost in time to the music. I didn’t notice this until back at the studio. I couldn’t resist including it in the final.

Still Photographers often make great Videographers…

Still photography remains the mainstay of my work. Single images resonate in the moment and can offer a great study. Yet, when we’re out making those images, I often bump into situations that are prime candidates for moving images.

Essentially, that’s what a video is – a bunch of still images strung together to create a story in motion. Once we develop the eye in regular photography, composing images effectively,  video can be a very effective step.

Many videographers do not have the training, nor practice with a still camera, to structure situations as effectively as an accomplished still photographer. That’s where we can come in.

Which equipment is good for Video?

After many trials with my Nikon D90, which has an HD720 video mode, I was hooked. I had been shooting Elk in our area with a Nikon D70s and felt their behavior, especially during the Rut, could be enhanced.

As soon as my new Nikon D90 arrived I tried it out. My expectations were confirmed; however, the equipment had some limitations. First, the video mode was manual focus. I had to learn to work manual focus while the subject was moving. Second, I discovered the need for external light when shooting in low light conditions. That was not something I would relish, as I tend to like shooting in ambient light, so as not to disturb the mood of the moment.

I discovered the Sony Mirrorless a6000, when searching for a smaller sized outfit for carrying in the field. When it arrived, many of my video needs were solved. It had a great auto follow focus, and produced much less noise for low ambient light situations.

The video of the musician here was shot with the Sony Mirrorless a6000, hand-held, on auto mode, during a performance by a relative with family members in attendance. It was an opportunity to practice my craft in this exciting new field. The lens used in this video was the kit lens that came with the camera, a 16-50mm, in very low light. I am using a directional mike to cut down on the internal camera/lens noise made during .

The future…

Today more cameras include better Video modes and it looks like that technology will continue in that direction. I like using the Digital Single Lens Reflex camera and especially the Sony Mirrorless. It allows using quality interchangeable lenses, alongside our work with still photography opportunities.

If interest in using photography for extra income or even a career opportunity, including video can be another tool in your problem solving tool box. This is the new field worth considering.

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