Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Why No Video?

Why is there no coverage of making moving images in UK photographic magazines? Apart from a mention of the (increasing) video capabilities of cameras in reviews and comments like, clients demand video from professionals, there is nothing. No reviews of video quality, of camcorders, of editing software — nothing. Video is treated as vaguely embarrassing that no real photographer would be interested in. But with more and more people using everything from camera phones to DSLRs, why the omission?
It is not as if coverage of the techniques of film making were not needed. Look at the appalling footage uploaded to Youtube and you will see that even the most basic knowledge is lacking - keep the camera still, don’t zoom unless you have to and so on. After the demise of the devoted video and video editing magazines (which were set up when the technical aspects of capturing and editing video were cutting edge) the photographic magazines have not picked up on the demand from readers. Cinematography has a different language from still so perhaps the magazine editors know nothing about it. But, the publishers are missing a trick somewhere. 
Because of the difference in ‘language’ still photography and cine photography have tended to exist in isolation. However, this was not always the case. Amateur Photographer had a section devoted to cine many years ago.
As a still and cine photographer (standard 8 mm, Super 8, H8 video, mini DV and now HD) I see no virtue in excluding video from photographic magazines. Quite the opposite since increasing numbers of consumers are seeing still photography as being second best. Stills of wildlife (including children) no matter how good, just don’t capture the essence of a subject. They lack the fourth dimension of time and that’s where video scores. Most animals move and it is that movement, even over a very short sequence, that, to me, is essential. Even the shortest movie tells me more than a still photograph. After all, nobody would watch a BBC wildlife programme made up of still photographs, would they?