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Video vs Stills; a different mindset


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#1 loftus

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 04:43 AM

Last week in Dominica I shot the D7000 in a Nauticam housing; an awesome setup! Great camera, great housing. But the photographer sucked!
I had great anticipation of shooting both video and stills and found that I fell into the trap of trying to do both, with the result that I did neither well. For example, I started to shoot a video sequence showing whales swimming into the frame, and then when the animals were in a great composition in the frame the temptation to shoot a still image was too great, and I shot some stills while trying to change perspective to get a better composition. Result, lousy interrupted video sequence, and lousy poorly composed still image. Came away from the experience much less excited about shooting video, as a someone with innate still photographer sensibilities. One of the guys on our trip had a GoPro fixed to his 5DMKII housing, which I thought would be a much cooler idea for me if I really wanted the option to shoot video while shooting stills. It seems you can't shoot both well at the same time with one camera - choose to shoot one or the other and stick to it.
I would be interested to hear thoughts on the differences in approach to shooting video and stills, particularly underwater, everything from exposure to composition and framing, storytelling etc, and how best to integrate them with the new VidDSLRS
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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:18 AM

It is the same as the classic conundrum many compact shooters face - those who want to shoot wide angle and macro on the same dive - and end up with mediocre shots from both.

Plus there is also a different technical requirement for many subjects underwater, when it comes to lighting.

I think the best way to handle the switch is to be disciplined and allocated passes or sections of the dive for each. In my experience it is a lot easier shooting wide angle and macro on the same dive when you have two rigs - as the swap over gives you a moment to re-set the brain.

I have to say that I have enjoyed shooting some video clips and even found markets for some (despite only having borrowed and not owned a vid capable SLR) so far. I was very pleased with a black and white sequence I shot of stingrays in January - although I have absolutely no idea what to do with it - to the point that I didn't even both backing up the clips (once I delete the Cayman images from my laptop - they will go).

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#3 Captain_Caveman

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:27 AM

Nope, I think you're spot on, it's not just underwater, I have the same problem topside, video or stills, video or stills :)

In between shooting video I'll bang off a couple of shots if the parameters are suitable (aperture, ISO etc)

I use...

Canon 5d2
Aquatica Housing
8" Dome
Sigma 15mm
Sola lights





~ Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L - Canon 70-200 IS f/2.8 L - Canon 50 f/1.8 ~

~ Canon 350D - Canon G9 - Canon 430 EX ~

#4 Drew

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 07:30 AM

A few cameras will be able to shoot high resolution stills either concurrently while capturing video or having high resolution still frames off the video capture. Red's Epic and Scarlet will. For now cameras like the NEX10 will just grab from HD but the quality/resolution isn't very high.

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#5 scorpio_fish

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:50 AM

Berkley White told me it was futile to try and do both on the same dive. I have tried it anyway. If you are trying to do it on the fly, it never works. If you decide to switch once during the middle of the dive, it may work. The switch requires mental acuity that I no longer possess or may have never possessed. Everything from ISO to white balance to aperture changes. Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc. Something usually gets messed up in the process.

I tell myself, no, no, no! But I'll still do it on occasion. It usually means I end up with nothing.
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#6 ronscuba

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

If you want to know what it is like to edit video and create a story, make a slide show with your stills. Story telling and editing are the same whether using stills or moving footage. Slide shows can contain dialog, text, titles, and you can create movement with your stills too.

Many people like to mix stills and video footage together.

I'm mainly a video guy, just starting to get into photo topside. I'm finding some shots are just better suited for video while others are for still. Moving action scenes work better for video because the viewer gets to experience the action, plus it is a lot easier to shoot acceptable action video than it is to get an acceptable action photo. On the flip side, a beautiful scene that has no movement can become a beautiful photo but makes for boring video because nothing is happening.

This is all just my humble hobbyist opinion and like anything there are always exceptions and opposite opinions.

Edited by ronscuba, 16 March 2011 - 06:52 PM.


#7 decosnapper

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:33 AM

............ I was very pleased with a black and white sequence I shot of stingrays in January - although I have absolutely no idea what to do with it - to the point that I didn't even both backing up the clips (once I delete the Cayman images from my laptop - they will go).


The value of IP changes over time. Who knows? That short sequence might end up being the only record of a moment in time, and someone might need it. Hang on to it Alex, and then make sure you can find/retrieve at a future point in time. It might be your pension in disguise.

Edited by decosnapper, 17 March 2011 - 09:33 AM.

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#8 Drew

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 10:20 AM

Berkley White told me it was futile to try and do both on the same dive. I have tried it anyway. If you are trying to do it on the fly, it never works. If you decide to switch once during the middle of the dive, it may work. The switch requires mental acuity that I no longer possess or may have never possessed. Everything from ISO to white balance to aperture changes. Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc. Something usually gets messed up in the process.

Obviously there is a need to switch modes, settings etc, but that's what custom settings are for. For instance, I have one setting for video with picture style, shutter speed and shooting mode (M) all set and good to go, then I just have to adjust ISO and aperture. Then I have another setting for shooting stills with flash. All these modes aid in putting the user closest to optimal settings and reduces too much fiddling. One just has to remember to tailor the settings according to the various conditions they are shooting in.

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#9 Damo

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:49 PM

Hi folks,

While on this subject..why not check out the rig Irish Underwater photographer/videographer John Collins uses....might be something to consider for the now..;-)

http://www.johncolli...age7/page7.html
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#10 Captain_Caveman

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:21 PM

A few cameras will be able to shoot high resolution stills either concurrently while capturing video or having high resolution still frames off the video capture. Red's Epic and Scarlet will. For now cameras like the NEX10 will just grab from HD but the quality/resolution isn't very high.



Yeah, but don't you find the whole framing is completely different from stills to video. Take a shot, on video it's possible to cut close, and follow the path of the subject, this will probably not work on a still as you'd have to imply the movement in some way or shoot wider to have the subject travel through the frame.

While most of the rules to photography apply to video, in reality I think you need to set them up a little differently to allow for the lack of motion and thus doing so requires you to move position and thus completely cocking up what you were doing in the first place. I've never got Great video alongside Great Stills. Either or. Unless the subject matter is totally bang on, it's a juggling act.

I use...

Canon 5d2
Aquatica Housing
8" Dome
Sigma 15mm
Sola lights





~ Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L - Canon 70-200 IS f/2.8 L - Canon 50 f/1.8 ~

~ Canon 350D - Canon G9 - Canon 430 EX ~

#11 Drew

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:18 PM

Well Howard Hall got a mag cover using a frame from his video capture. In video, the money shot is the money shot and framing is pretty much different because of aspect ratio (16:9 or 2.21or 2.35:1) Obviously there are nuances to certain still shots like but most action actions of bigger animals will translate very well.
With the latest cameras hitting 5k resolution, each frame will be more than 12mp, albeit @ 10bit. For many kinds of scenes, it's fine.

Drew
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"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

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#12 Captain_Caveman

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 06:51 AM

Hi folks,

While on this subject..why not check out the rig Irish Underwater photographer/videographer John Collins uses....might be something to consider for the now..;-)

http://www.johncolli...age7/page7.html


That's cool!

A guy diving with us last week had a GoPro on top of his stills camera on constant record. They're great little things given enough light.

I use...

Canon 5d2
Aquatica Housing
8" Dome
Sigma 15mm
Sola lights





~ Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L - Canon 70-200 IS f/2.8 L - Canon 50 f/1.8 ~

~ Canon 350D - Canon G9 - Canon 430 EX ~

#13 John Bantin

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:05 AM

What are you trying to achieve? A good video has a beginning, a middle and an end. This usually involves a script or at least a perception of the final production. Even the 30 second commercials I directed had that! Otherwise you end up boring you viewers until their eyes roll. Of course, there is that dream that if you shoot live cation, somewhere there will be the frame that makes the perfect cover shot. Remember though that Howard Hall's camera set-up uses the whole aft deck of Undersea Hunter!

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#14 ehanauer

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 08:15 AM

I have trouble switching on a trip, so if I take my video system, I'll leave the still system at home. It's not the equipment; it's the mind set. When I tried to do both, I didn't do a good job with either.

But now I'm moving on to a D7000 system, so self discipline is going to be essential. Stay tuned.
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