I’ve always been a big fan of multimedia and am fascinated with the tools that make it easier to create a video report. I believe that very soon most newspapers will have a video content on their sites, not just the big ones. Below is one of my latest reports about the cancellation of the Mr Gay China event – shot entirely on the 7D, when broadcast it would have a Polish voice over track to explain everything, but I’ve left that off here.
For most of my years in the media I’ve been a news photographer for daily newspapers and also writing articles. In 2004 I obtained an MA from Warsaw University, my major was TV and Photojournalism. Then 2 years ago, right before Beijing Olympics, I was being offered a freelance job for TV.
I was using regular video cameras, the Panasonic AG DVX100, Sony PD150 and Z1. For unobtrusive field work I was carrying my small Sanyo Xacti 1010HD. But then 7D appeared. The image quality, ability to shoot in low light and portability are the things that make this camera a dream tool for me. I usually equip mine with the a LCDVF LCD loupe to make viewing the back screen easier, a small stabilizing rig and sometimes a monopod. For audio I mount a Zoom H4N audio recorder to the camera and then sync it with the camera’s audio track using PluralEyes from Singular software.
Moving pictures are rapidly taking place of stills. Generally my view is that people are bored and fed up with stills, they don’t have time or will to scroll pages full of pictures online. The video format makes it easier, especially when you add some visual devices like timelapse or maybe some stills – this makes the story visually more attractive. That kind of moving news feature or report can reach a far broader audience and the new video DSLR’s are the perfect tool to make this thing happen. For me another good thing about 7d is its price: it’s a really affordable camera for the quality it offers and that gives it potential to change our industry. Here’s another example of the street shooting I’ve been doing.
A couple more things – for me after shooting news photographs for many years I am familiar with DSLR cameras. I understand how to move around with them and the whole philosophy of being a photographer. But not I’m shooting video, I just need to wait longer to capture not just 1/250th of a second, but let’s say 10 seconds. I also need to take care with the audio (as one of my friend said: in the film the good light means good sound). The other area a photographer coming to DSLR video needs to learn and manage is the editing. It evolves more senses and more dimensions than straight stills. Take time to learn all these things.
I still take photographs though, using the 7D and also sometimes a Mamiya 7. I’d like to take the opportunity here to really encourage photographers to learn how to edit and produce a video features. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that photography is about to die; for me video is another challenge and as said before – the video story can reach the broader audience.
Anybody interested in these kind of News/Documentary features from China, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
I publish some of my stuff on my photoblog and here’s my picture’s portfolio: www.zdzarski.com
Below is CNN’s version of the Mr Gay China story – look closely and you’ll see it features Janek in action with his 7D.