Friday, November 19, 2010

Video: A Supporting Role to the Still Image

It has been said that "A picture is worth a thousand words."
In so many cases that is a very true statement.  However, in this day of advanced technology, it seems that video is adding a new dimension to that idea.
From the most sophisticated DSLR to the smallest point and shoot (including our mobile phones) most all have the capability of recording video clips- and in high definition at that!
When I purchased my Canon EOS 5DMark II, my main reason was for the coveted full size sensor.  It happened to be equipped with high definition video, which I thought I would never use.   I am a photographer, not a videographer but I am beginning to learn the value of video in addition to the still image.
Let me take you back to the Bushman village of //Nhoq'ma...
I have shared still images of the traditions of these people in my recently posted Bushman web galleriesSome of the customs witnessed at the Bushman village translate poorly in just one still image.  For example, the image below was made during a demonstration of the traditional 'Porcupine Game' played by the men of the tribe. 
But what is going on here? How could I share the experience with my viewers better?  What if I...?        

Enter the video clip! 
At times when fun or unusual action occurred during my recent travels to Namibia, as often did in the Bushman village, I chose to document the scene with footage in addtion to still images to capture the full experience of what I was seeing.
Although I was not prepared to shoot video, (i.e. actually remembering I had video mode on my camera, hand holding the camera, and using the built in microphone) I tried it anyway, and I'm so happy I did!  Please excuse the shakiness of the video- This is a new idea for me to embrace and I was simply experimenting with the medium. 
Click HERE to watch the 44 second video clip of the Porcupine Game in action.

One must admit that the footage seen here of the Porcupine Game adds much more meaning to the scene than what is observed in the still capture.  In the video, one witnesses energy, changing facial expressions, sounds, rhythm, language, action, interactions and excitement!

Will I totally change from still imagery to video?  Not likely in the near future- the learning curve of yet another intricate and powerful software program is daunting to say the least! 

I believe for now, I will continue with still photography and capture video memories for myself and for informally sharing with others. 


  1. I agree with you about the video - I see it as a training tool for teaching workshops, etc. and for informal sharing, but I am considering it beyond that professionally, despite the learning curve of the software and the shooting style. I've been intrigued with what we can do. It's just hard to be both a still and a video photographer - they require different thought processes and post-processes, too.

  2. You are so right Brenda, and I wear too many 'hats' as it is at the present time to take on being a videographer as well!! I will continue to shoot video for certain memories I want to keep. Like the Bushman trance dance, the elephants at night at the watering hole and the beautiful singing we were treated to on one of our last night's stay in Namibia...