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Author Topic: Is the future of medium format still imaging actually video?  (Read 31988 times)
James R Russell
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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2009, 02:29:21 AM »
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Quote from: Khun_K
JAlready happen in the industries, the still is a smaller part (and was always smaller) of TVC or movie, less and less shot made in still studio, and photographer asked to come to the set to snap between the production - yes, not for those high budget assignments, but most of today's assignment when compares to past is all budget limited.  
And for the bring part of all these happening, photographer today is in fact given better change to really perform his roll as photographer to bridge the still and motion, with tools never available before. We just have to make a decision.

Regards, K

Kuhn,

I'm not saying your wrong, not saying your right, but in all walks of life there are no absolutes.  Robert Rodriguez can work a camera, Joe Pitka probably the most successful commercial director in LA started as an editor, Sodenberg regularly puts camera in hand.

On the flip side of this many of the better editorial still photographers know little of technique but are good directors, so there are no rules.

I guess you can position yourself where you want to be, but to have control you have to have know your art top to bottom.

Shooting commercially is like walking a tightrope.  If you only shoot for yourself, your gonna be out of work.  If you only shoot for the client, your gonna be out of work.  So you find this weird, happy medium.

My client's have a brand to protect and so do I.  Good work always comes when both parties respect that.  Great work comes when the mindset is 1+1 = 2.  Great business comes from giving a client more than they anticipated.

I have a rule and that is I don't work for the client's company, I work for the person that hires me.  If I make them look good, get them a raise, two weeks extra vacation, an award,  a bonus or just a pat on the back, then usually my life is good.  

Regardless of all of that, the real differences between still and motion are not as great as most people make it out to be.  Yes, shooting a feature is different than a commercial and LA is full of great commercial directors that fail at theatrical, but the real moral to this story is, if you work hard, you can be anything you want.  

Consequently shooting a web piece is different than a 30 second spot, but if you do it well, the rest always falls into place.

Going from stills to motion is not that huge of a leap.  Of course it's a different way to tell a story, a different way to frame a shot, a different way to show movement, but in the end if you know photoshop and lightroom, learning an AVID, FCP or directing the color in a Divinci suite is not that big of a leap.

I know still photographers that just loathe the thought of motion, but I "knew" ex photographer's that loathed the thought of digital capture, so life goes on and everything moves forward.

I actually like motion and it may be the ego in me, but I think it's kind of cool that I can get a viewer to look at my image piece for 1, 2, 3, or 4 minutes rather than just 15 seconds.  

I've been shooting motion for a while and though I'm no Kubrick, maybe never will be, I;m still learning and still moving forward and I have to admit it's been very good for our business, even in these tough times.

http://www.russellrutherford.com/magic_man/index.htm

I've also come within three seconds, three times of buying a RED and the only thing that stops me is my experience with medium format.  I just loathe the thought of buying some cumbersome system that locks me down and is a work in progress.

I commend Jim Jannard and the whole RED team and I am positive I'll end up with one of their products, but not until they get to a larger frame dimension and I'm positive it goes to high iso without issue.  (it may now, I just don't know yet).

What I absolutely don't want to do is drop 50 grand on a system and then find myself using a $3,000 Canon or Nikon for 90% of my work, because in the world of stills, that's what I and many others have experienced.

Personally I don't care if a camera is motion camera used for stills, a still camera used for motion and I don't care if the brand is Holga or Leica.  I just want to shoot what is unique to me and hopefully my clients.

But back to the thought of shooting for commerce, I dig the challenge, I love the juice that comes from a set of twenty people, twenty clients  and the stomach lining eating feeling I get when I have to perform on time, on delivery.   It makes me a better image maker . . . I think.

Once again, any of us can be what we want to be and personally If a photographer/artist wants to marginalize themselves down to dp or camera operator then that's fine, but if they want to control the project they will have to up their skill set.

Is the world of motion imaging going to roll over and throw open arms out to a still photographer?  Of course not, but in this biz, nobody rolls out the red carpet until you've proven yourself.

It's always been like this, always will be.

JR
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billy
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« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2009, 10:07:31 AM »
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[quote name='James R Russell' date='Jul 3 2009, 03:29 AM' post='295372']
Kuhn,


http://www.russellrutherford.com/magic_man/index.htm

this is great, how did you do this/ I am interested in the the technical info if you want to divulge it; camera, software, iso, etc
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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2009, 10:56:11 AM »
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Quote from: James R Russell
Kuhn,


Shooting commercially is like walking a tightrope.  If you only shoot for yourself, your gonna be out of work.  If you only shoot for the client, your gonna be out of work.  So you find this weird, happy medium.

My client's have a brand to protect and so do I.  Good work always comes when both parties respect that.  Great work comes when the mindset is 1+1 = 2.  Great business comes from giving a client more than they anticipated.

I have a rule and that is I don't work for the client's company, I work for the person that hires me.  If I make them look good, get them a raise, two weeks extra vacation, an award,  a bonus or just a pat on the back, then usually my life is good.  


JR


Very nicely summarized, James.
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mcfoto
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« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2009, 03:35:27 AM »
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I have the 5DMKII & am interested in the RED. How we apply motion to our work is a big question? We just did an ad campaign that had at least 50 images to make one ad! Got a couple of layouts last week & they are still + 3D but not motion. If we were shooting people on white backgrounds, location or catalogue I could see the use for motion. I am open to motion & love feature films as we both see more creative there than in fashion/editorial or ad work. We both find a lot of ad work in Sydney is complicated & sometimes too clever. Meanwhile I will play with the 5D.
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« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2009, 11:33:05 AM »
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Quote from: mcfoto
I am open to motion & love feature films as we both see more creative there than in fashion/editorial or ad work.

Not necessarily. Check out Nick Knight's work at ShowStudio.com  He uses both motion and stills for fashion ad work.

http://www.showstudio.com/campaigns/shisei...09/default.html
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Khun_K
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« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2009, 01:51:14 AM »
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Quote from: Khun_K
Just as I have started to use the original 1Ds camera from Canon years ago, migrate from my Contax N Digital, I always see the digital still and motion is the same media, like it was with film use on still camera and motion camera. Every technology is pushing it to happen, allow it to happen, and it must happen. What I see the difference is with still image, the photographer is the master, yes, shooting some advertising with agency and director and a layout (have to do it because the layout is sold), but still in large part, the photographer is the master.  For motion pictures, photographer is more like a technician, several of them, one holds the camera, one help with focus, one help to move the camera on dolly (when it is not on steady cam), the photographers are a team of technicians, and the director is the master.  I think it is inevitable the lines of still and motion will cross, but the term photographer and meaning behind it will not be the same, at least not exact the same.  When we look at the still image we question the man behind the camera, when we see the motion pictures, we asked about the director or sometimes the producer, few about photographer - or simply the "camera man".  I did not say "camera man" is not important, but typically we see higher value on directing.
But, I see the camera such as 5D2 is really a bench mark camera for photographers, more than the Red, because red still work like a movie camera.  Because camera like 5D2 with its latest firmware is the first true professional device that allow the still photographer to try to learn motion picture, be the master, rather than taking cues from directors, cut and roll as directed.  Already happen in the industries, the still is a smaller part (and was always smaller) of TVC or movie, less and less shot made in still studio, and photographer asked to come to the set to snap between the production - yes, not for those high budget assignments, but most of today's assignment when compares to past is all budget limited.  
And for the bring part of all these happening, photographer today is in fact given better change to really perform his roll as photographer to bridge the still and motion, with tools never available before. We just have to make a decision.

Regards, K
Very true, of course, so far there are only few once that cross the line and being successful.  And given how good 5D2 is, it is not going to change the entire way the motion pictures were shot, but at the same time, I think it will give rise to a lot more experimental short film or long film, creative production that was not possible earlier.  Shooting and film is a whole lot different, there are talents who shoot great movie and great stills, and there are great photographer produce nice motion pictures, but there are more could not achieve both.  I also don't think 5D2 will challenge RED, they are different, and different tools design for different functions. But again, I think in the sense of 5D2, it offers a powerful tool for still photographer to have a better grasp for what motion picture is about, that many of the still photographer could not try before.
beautiful clip by the way.

Regards, K
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pschefz
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« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2009, 03:45:06 PM »
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i could not agree more with what has been said here about how things are happening right now...maybe motion is a little bit of a buzz word right now, but it happens to be how things are seen and watched...there is a reason youtube is where it is.....so i won't even start to add to any of this or discuss the still/motion transformation...

but, everytime i look at RED it reminds me of classic MF...especially the price list....i understand that it is nothing compared to what film people are used to, but for still people who are used to owning their own camera it is still a bit steep.....the scarlett might bring down the body, but a whole kit is still up there....

i am shooting with the 5dII and am blown away every shoot....i really can't believe it sometimes....

my question is what will canons next 5d look like? we are at 35mmFF right now, keep the mpix, just make it even better, higher iso,....and find a way to suck out raw video from the sensor....
the fact that canon just came out with their firmware makes me believe that hey had no clue what it would do to the market...they haven't even thought about raw video and pulling stills from video!

but imo the part that will change the landscape entirely in favor of motion will be post production...if that red software really works the way it looks (LR for video)...there really is no reason to even start with a still shoot......

in almost all my still shoots, i could shoot motion right now....just flip the switch...or even better...i won't even know until i start editing.....

afaik the W spread with bruce willis was shot on a red.....
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« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2009, 01:46:59 AM »
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Quote from: pschefz
i could not agree more with what has been said here about how things are happening right now...maybe motion is a little bit of a buzz word right now, but it happens to be how things are seen and watched...there is a reason youtube is where it is.....so i won't even start to add to any of this or discuss the still/motion transformation...

but, everytime i look at RED it reminds me of classic MF...especially the price list....i understand that it is nothing compared to what film people are used to, but for still people who are used to owning their own camera it is still a bit steep.....the scarlett might bring down the body, but a whole kit is still up there....

i am shooting with the 5dII and am blown away every shoot....i really can't believe it sometimes....

I agree.

RED, 5d2, Still that move, stills that are still, motion that is still, motion that is frozen, it doesn't matter as long as we find a way to shoot something interesting and get it in front of the attended audience and the world of advertising, the more people that can see it the better.


http://www.russellrutherford.com/man_15_sec.mov




It's all just camera, light, subject, and some kind of story, even a 15 second one.

The old rules are dead, if we ever had any rules.

Nothing new about that.

JR
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 02:03:12 AM by James R Russell » Logged

jjlphoto
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« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2009, 10:15:42 AM »
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That RED demo reel is amazing. Amazing because it is so transparent. It is pure motion picture. That's it. The notion that it is digital capture doesn't even come into the viewing experience.  

Compare that to Public Enemies. Saw it last weekend. I immediately noticed something was really weird about it. Lost of purple fringing, probably sensor bloom, Maybe CA. Not sure. Lots of other things that made in very uneasy on my eyes and brain as well. At times it was difficult to watch. I posted my querry to another forum and was directed to this Photo.Net thread. All I can find is that it was shot on HD video. That one was not ready for prime time IMO.
http://photo.net/off-topic-forum/00Tq9c


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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2009, 07:10:45 PM »
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I like it.  Nice work, James.  Thanks for sharing--both your work and opinions.

-Brad

Quote from: James R Russell
I agree.

RED, 5d2, Still that move, stills that are still, motion that is still, motion that is frozen, it doesn't matter as long as we find a way to shoot something interesting and get it in front of the attended audience and the world of advertising, the more people that can see it the better.


http://www.russellrutherford.com/man_15_sec.mov




It's all just camera, light, subject, and some kind of story, even a 15 second one.

The old rules are dead, if we ever had any rules.

Nothing new about that.

JR
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« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2009, 12:01:57 PM »
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I just thought Id chip in with what I have been up to..

I shoot (most) of the stills for this company (thier brochure looks better than thier web but so it goes) Hassy/Sinar for stutio and NikonD3 for location

http://www.blackerdesigns.co.uk/

We have also been working on some promo video using a 5d2 that is not fully finished yet..

http://www.vimeo.com/4824319 (part one)
http://www.vimeo.com/5515337 (part two)

I have had really great fun and am really interested in the skillset to be learned in doing stills and motion for clients - I feel it is the future

All the work is with no crew just myself

SMM
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« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 12:03:00 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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James R Russell
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« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2009, 12:19:09 PM »
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Quote from: TMARK
I think, and this is my opinion based upon my experience as a stills shooter in NYC and as a video producer/gaffer/writer/DP in NYC, that stills will be increasingly marginalized, pushed off to the edges as one of three things:   a commodity (Flickr, iStock); incidental to the video shoot; or super highend work shot by fine artists.  The low and medium end of the market is disapearing under our feet.  Now that I mainly work in motion, I can say that my rates are WAY up, I feel more mobile, and I get more respect from art buyers because I'm not bidding against hundreds of others for a grey seamless/pretty girl shoot.  Ignoring the change that is already well underway is like the band playing on the deck of the Titanic.



I think if we take a step back and look at professional digital imaging, the one group that has always lead the way are wedding photographers.

I know when I started shooting digital stills, most of my workflow came from them, because they were at the forefront of having to deliver a large volume of images quickly to a client.

They also needed software for web editing, on demand printing and publishing and now I'm sure the same thing holds true for  motion imagery.

You can think of the wedding photographer's client's (the proud couple) as a small client or ad agnecy  that wants to get their message out that has a limited media buy, so they turn to you tube, flicker, facebook, or dot mac and publish their story.

You can also think of the wedding photographer as the main core group that medium format still camera makers lost in the transition of film to digital, hence the demise of Bronica, Contax, Rollei, etc. etc.

The wedding photographer is not different in their selection of cameras than the advertising photographer, which translates to they need what their clients need which is the ability to quickly craft and shoot stills and motion in a very pressured situation.

My thought on the RED is though I find the process of making a digital cinema camera amazing for the price point, RED in some ways reminds of the medium format makers in the fact they are slow to come out with that second tier version of their camera, the one that doesn't sell for $40,000 and
the one that does really autofocus, process easily, has a almost universal format and works in low light.

So the title of this thread "Is the future of medium format still imaging actually video?", to me should be expanded or changed to "is the future of professional image making video, stills or a combination of the two?".  I think it's both, I think stills and motion will co-exist with each other, but I do think the future of cameras will be systems that are capable of working in both mediums and are affordable, expandable and quick.

If RED steps up then they're the one, but if they don't do it quickly you know Canon and Nikon will.

If RED doens't go down the road of medium format, they'll succeed, but if the put thier buyers on hold waiting, waiting and still waiting, then . . . well . . . we know what is happening to the still specialty camera makers.

Actually if you asked me what I need it would be a D3x, or 1ds3 or 5d3 that autofocuses with accuracy and shoots 60 to 8 fps.

But don't ask me, ask the wedding guys.

JR

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pschefz
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« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2009, 10:24:21 PM »
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Quote from: James R Russell
I think if we take a step back and look at professional digital imaging, the one group that has always lead the way are wedding photographers.


JR

so true! they are also the ones who never know if that shot will end up as a 4x6 or a 20x20 which is why the larger format always helps....

there is a supposed leak on the entire next year nikon dslr line up out on the web....even if it is just bs...the specs sound right anyway....d700x this october: everything from the d3x plus HD video 24fps....all other bodies after that HD video as well....

i don't even care that the next flagship is supposed to have 30mpix.....

the question is when can nikon/canon provide variable framerates for HD? maybe even via software update? and when will they provide raw data, which is still be biggest advantage of the red?
once nikon/canon realize that pros might want that option (and i honestly don't think they even know that someone might want it) red is done....

i am amazed that red came out of nowhere (i am sure someone will correct me here) but they won't be able to compete with nikon/canon once nikon/canon start competing with them....

the other player here is of course panasonic...they not only work on the GH1 but also own a very nice share of consumer, semi pro and pro digital video....i would not be surprised if they are the first ones on red's heels.....
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TMARK
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« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2009, 01:40:10 PM »
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Quote from: pschefz
The other player here is of course panasonic...they not only work on the GH1 but also own a very nice share of consumer, semi pro and pro digital video....i would not be surprised if they are the first ones on red's heels.....

Sony is the one to watch, in my opinion.  The EX series video cams which have excellent IQ, the same color engine as the A900.  The EX series beats the Panasonics, even the $50k Panasonics.  The Sony development team for the EX1 is out on Long Island, I believe in Melville, a long way from the Japanese labs.  Sony sets up their product development lines as competitors, which results in a priduct like the EX1 and 3, that costs $5k - $8k, has better IQ, color response, low light capability than $50k - $100k Panasonics and Sony's.  The IQ is so good we use the EX3 with a PL mount as B camera with the Red.  The footage integrates seamlessly with the Red A Cam footage.  If the EX series shot raw, it would be even better.  If the sensor were Cine35, I'd be in heaven.  

As to JR's comment about wedding shooters leading the way, well, that is correct.  I never thought of it that way, but of course, the wedding market would eat up Scarlet like device, or an Epic.  Super highquality wedding video, coupled with high quality stills, either pulled from the raw footage or, more than likely, shot like a still with the same camera.  Wedding guys could be the photographer and the videographer.  More work but more money, hopefully, as well.  This is where the 5D2 is most likely working a revolution.
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« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2009, 08:17:52 PM »
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foto-z, has stated that things may not become good for 5 years or so, I believe he is dead wrong.  I was at the forefront of film to digital, and I heard statements like, it's not there yet, or give it time, a few more years.  Well from first hand experience, I've seen photographers lose clients!  They were too timid, or stubborn to react to a changing world, and today, they have less clients, less money.  This I have witnessed.  The transition to digital cinema, is on the move, get on, or get left.  History repeats itself over and over.

Image Mechanics in Santa Monica Ca is hosting a convergence conference entitled "Collison Conference" (http://www.imagemechanicsexpo.com/).  This is the future of our business, ever progressing, ever changing.  Learn FCP, Adobe Premiere, get more info.  Visit the sites that inform, teach, discuss.

My 2 cents,

Von
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 08:29:06 PM by digitaltechnyc » Logged

Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2009, 04:56:14 AM »
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Quote from: TMARK
As to JR's comment about wedding shooters leading the way, well, that is correct.  I never thought of it that way, but of course, the wedding market would eat up Scarlet like device, or an Epic.  Super highquality wedding video, coupled with high quality stills, either pulled from the raw footage or, more than likely, shot like a still with the same camera.  Wedding guys could be the photographer and the videographer.  More work but more money, hopefully, as well.  This is where the 5D2 is most likely working a revolution.

I'm a wedding photographer by profession. Absolute nonsense. You can shoot video or stills, you can't do both. I remember all the hype when the 5D mkII came out and everyone said that wedding photographers would be all over it for video. That died down very fast in the industry when everyone realised how unpractical it was in real world shooting. They all have mkII's but they ain't shooting video with it. The only examples around of that type of shooting are heavily stage managed, pretty much contrary to everything that wedding photography has become as it broke away from the last century. Shooting stills while doing video only works if you are controlling pretty much everything. Weddings are the opposite of that entirely. You could do it with a 2 man team but then, um, we've been doing that for years, he's called a 'videographer'.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 05:00:01 AM by pom » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2009, 10:10:23 PM »
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Quote from: digitaltechnyc
I was at the forefront of film to digital, and I heard statements like, it's not there yet, or give it time, a few more years.  Well from first hand experience, I've seen photographers lose clients!  They were too timid, or stubborn to react to a changing world, and today, they have less clients, less money.  This I have witnessed.  The transition to digital cinema, is on the move, get on, or get left.  History repeats itself over and over.

Von,

I agree, in a way. The development level of the video portion of the 5D2 reminds me in a way of that first-generation Canon D30, years ago.

But what concerns me here is: When it went from Film to Digital, it was just a transition within one craft.

But now, moving from Stills to Video, we're talking about a whole new Skill Set, and also HMI instead of Profoto. It's a MUCH bigger deal, in this new transition.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2009, 01:42:32 PM »
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Quote from: pom
I'm a wedding photographer by profession. Absolute nonsense. You can shoot video or stills, you can't do both.


I've never shot a wedding, but I have shot a lot of motion picture work and my share of stills.  

I agree.  There's no good way for one person to shoot both, especially with uncontrolled action, unless you're prepared to accept the compromise of lifting stills from the motion picture stream.  One person can, with difficulty, change from motion to stills and back again, but he or she can't do both at the same time.

That said, there's no reason why a good still photographer can't become a cameraman, or vice versa.  Many of the skills are common to both media.  

It's not easy, though.  Good cameramen also have skills as an editor, director, gaffer, grip and sound mixer.  Most of the good directors I've met have been editors and photographers first.

Director/Cameraman is the best job ever.  

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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2009, 02:52:12 PM »
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Then, there's stuff like this.  Productions like this plain blow me away.  "Zero post production", say the authors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Et7UQh1tg...ature=rec-HM-rn

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« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2009, 03:53:55 PM »
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Quote from: Peter McLennan
Then, there's stuff like this.  Productions like this plain blow me away.  "Zero post production", say the authors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Et7UQh1tg...ature=rec-HM-rn

That Olympus thing was "inspired" by this, (as they say in the legal business).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmkLlVzUBn4
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