Getting Started with Video

PF 072: Getting Started with Video

Getting Started with Video Seems Complicated

I've spent entirely too much time thinking about video and not enough time actually recording video. However, I've still learned quite a bit about the challenges video provides and I wanted to share those in this episode of The Photo Flunky Show.

Why am I even bothering with video?

Video is an essential tool for telling stories these days.

  • We get our news on video.
  • We learn better with video.
  • We capture our memories on video.

Quite simply, I'm starting to engage with video because I can't afford to ignore it any longer.

I'm starting to record screencasts for this site to demonstrate my method for post processing. I'd also like to record some “behind the scenes” video on future photoshoots. Video is part of how I can tell the story of my photography.

In another area, I run a site geared toward visitors to Orlando. It's become very clear that more of my potential audience is watching YouTube or Facebook videos than reading blogs or listening to podcasts. We have a blog and podcast, but we still need to expand into video.

What You Need to Know about Telling Stories with Video

I think it's important to know how video can help you tell stories before you invest in it. Knowing your end result will help you decide where to spend your money.

For example, I have a couple of DSLR cameras that can do video. The downside is that they are bulky and heavy. Most of my video needs for Orlando Local will be on the go, since I have to show the point of view that a visitor will experience.

That means buying an action camera and a point & shoot style camera that vloggers use. I looked at a lot of different cameras, but ultimately decided on some very popular options.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

GoPro Hero 5 Black Canon G7X Mark II

That gives me three different styles and choices to get started. There are certainly higher end video cameras I could have considered, but mobility was actually more important than quality for my Orlando videos. The options I selected provides adequate quality for the audience without weighing me down.

Jumping In vs. Doing Research

I spent a lot of time – nearly a year – trying to decide which video systems would work best for my needs. That ranged from the GoPro to drones to something like the Canon EOS C100 camera. Spendy stuff, that.

There are some things that you won't learn until you just start doing, though. It took a long time because I was still trying to come up with a clear vision of what my audience needs, despite what I want. I thought I'd get a drone, but the areas where visitors go pretty much prohibit drones. Smooth video is a concern. I looked at some gimbals and stabilizers. Unfortunately, all of them came up short in some important areas.

So I had to modify my expectations.

The good part about spending so much time doing research is that I learned what works and what doesn't without spending a lot of money. The downside is that I learned I still had to spend more money once I captured my video.

Everything is a Compromise

I'm told that audio is 50% of video. The audio on cameras really sucks! Fortunately, I have some audio gear from the podcast and screen casting ventures. It's just not as mobile as I would like. Now I'm looking at lavaliere (lapel) and shotgun microphones to go with a portable recorder.

Video post processing is another area where I need to come up to speed. I can recommend Screenflow for Mac desktop recording. It can do more than screen casting, but it doesn't do color correction or some of the other features I desire.

So now I'm learning Premier Pro and After Effects (part of my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription). Some of the concepts are similar from Photoshop, but the application is completely different.

Why mess with all of this effort?

I'm not perfect, but I have an idea of the sort of presentation I want to make. To be brutally honest, it probably doesn't matter to some of the Orlando visitors I want to reach. However, I think it does matter to the audience here. It also matters to me.

I don't expect perfection, but I'm still going to strive to get as close to it as possible. As with anything, I'll start off with the basics and get better as I have more experience.

I may be late to the video party, but I'd love to know if you have questions or suggestions. Let me know in the comments.

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