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Davide DB

Videography poor relation of Photography

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I was watching WetPixel Youtube channel: about 360 videos of which only 2 are dedicated specifically to video-making (two on Keldan).Then in the bunch there is some about gear that may be of interest to videomakers but they are still products made with the photographer in mind. Evidently WP's core business is photography.  It has always been in the past but more for a physiological percentage sharing of users than for a specific editorial choice.
In fact in the past within WP survived a small but fierce base of users dedicated to underwater cinematography with many important names who used to post here. Now there is no one. The only sub-forum dedicated to video has been almost dead for quite some time now. Who knows where all the videomaker who used to frequent WP in the past have gone. Maybe they selfishly opened their own Facebook page?
Maybe there is nothing to do. Social networks have hit hard all the specialized web communities and their forums. I'm only sorry to see that WP with its new editorial line has decided to save the salvageable (photography) and consider video as a terminal patient.

Hence my rant just to share my feeling being the poor relative here ;)

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That's too bad -- especially given that the mirrorless cameras are really beginning to excel at video.

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On 3/3/2021 at 12:41 PM, Davide DB said:

I was watching WetPixel Youtube channel: about 360 videos of which only 2 are dedicated specifically to video-making (two on Keldan).Then in the bunch there is some about gear that may be of interest to videomakers but they are still products made with the photographer in mind. Evidently WP's core business is photography.  It has always been in the past but more for a physiological percentage sharing of users than for a specific editorial choice.
In fact in the past within WP survived a small but fierce base of users dedicated to underwater cinematography with many important names who used to post here. Now there is no one. The only sub-forum dedicated to video has been almost dead for quite some time now. Who knows where all the videomaker who used to frequent WP in the past have gone. Maybe they selfishly opened their own Facebook page?
Maybe there is nothing to do. Social networks have hit hard all the specialized web communities and their forums. I'm only sorry to see that WP with its new editorial line has decided to save the salvageable (photography) and consider video as a terminal patient.

Hence my rant just to share my feeling being the poor relative here ;)

There was an interesting survey on dpreview about photos and videos. Surprisingly although people like to take videos with their phones there were many people complaining about the fact the cameras are getting expensive because of video features (!)

The reality is that photos are much easier (I know am going to get a beating here) the process of taking a photo, editing and posting can be made very efficient

Video is a beast you need still pretty strong hardware but more than anything else you need to tell some story if this is not just for your personal consumption. On the field video is harder because you shoot while moving, you need to manage exposure in thousands of frames not one.

So ultimately many people do not undertake the journey at all. 

Years ago I forecasted that with faster connections video would have become more popular but in reality this has only benefitted Instagram and their 1080x608 videos and vlogging of people doing some form of affiliate business

We also need to account that many of the photographers members of a camera club or going for underwater trips are over 60s and they do not understand video at all

This does not excuse that wet pixel should make more of an effort on this in my opinion even if this mean talking about gopro

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I agree but let's keep it simple: where did all the users who were shooting videos go?
Maybe as they got older they forgot all their skills?

Regarding new users if I look at Youtube it is full of underwater videos and yet no one feels the need to come here. To name a few important names, I have never seen anyone from BTM while years ago on the forum there were so many famous names.

I think it's how WP it's perceived now: a forum dedicated (solely) to underwater photography.

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Just now, Davide DB said:

I agree but let's keep it simple: where did all the users who were shooting videos go?
Maybe as they got older they forgot all their skills?

Regarding new users if I look at Youtube it is full of underwater videos and yet no one feels the need to come here. To name a few important names, I have never seen anyone from BTM while years ago on the forum there were so many famous names.

I think it's how WP it's perceived now: a forum dedicated (solely) to underwater photography.

Yes but there is also the fact that people that like forum are older and driving traffic through your channel generates some business in a way

The videos of BTM are a good example of well executed marketing

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13 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

e videos of BTM are a good example of well executed marketing

Yes maybe I chose the worst example.

We are all becoming self-referential.

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I would say my activity is close to 50/50 photo/video. I’m no UW Roger Deakins, but I’d say i’m at a level above throwing a few clips together in GoPro studio. I’ve made a few videos recently for the various projects I’m involved in (Ghost Fishing, Project Baseline) as well as a couple of ‘fun vids’ to keep up morale in the community.

 

I (perhaps wrongly) think that people are desensitised to content in general. Even photos, which take little energy to absorb, I think most people just ‘like’ and then move on quickly. Video even worse. The analytics on a recent (popular) video I posted said that the average viewer switched off after 33 secs. It was a 7 minute video.

 

The amount of time cutting, colouring, sound designing (if needed) and trying to encode an optimal file size/quality output is totally disproportionate the reward in the amateur arena. That’s not including effort to capture the content.

 

I can not justify the obscene cost of owning and housing the hardware capable of even half decent UW video. I’m still on a d7000 UW and a d750 topside. This further leads to a feeling of disappointment at the end of the process, when all the work is let down by shitty codecs and poor dynamic range.

 

If it wasn’t for the fact I really enjoy the process, I’d probably give up on video all together. If my photos are only looked at for 3 secs then never again, at least it only took me 3 minutes to create it.

 

TL:DR

 

1) good video is time consuming for the reward, so perhaps less amateurs are doing it

2) good video equipment is hideously expensive, so perhaps less amateurs are doing it

3) social media means people have short attention spans, so perhaps video amateurs don’t bother

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Both Massimo and Owen have brought some great insights to the discussion but I think we are seeing several phenomena here at once:

  1. We have an elephant in the room that of course everyone avoids naming: generally speaking, forums are dying. They are being slowly killed by social media. WetPixel resists despite everything and that's why I care a lot.
     
  2. The level of attention of users, thanks to social networks, has decreased a lot, not to say almost nullified.
     
  3. There is a general leveling down of the photo/video product. Quoting a very nice Italian book, I called it the paradigm of low resolution:

Elaborating on the previous points:

#1 There is little to say about the death of forums. Only a few very specialized forums resist.  From what I see as a simple user, WP is holding on but it's tough. It's no mystery that most of the posts are buying and selling and WP editors are doing a huge job, even with WP live, to keep the interest high. But it's clear that users need to be chased on other channels and brought back here with difficulty. The whole point of my OP was to feel sorry to see that this editorial effort has totally forgotten videos.

#2 If I look at the stats for my Vimeo channel, I'm going to cry. As Owen writes, the percentage of users who make it to the bottom of a video, even a short one, is ridiculous. And you have to keep in mind that both Vimeo and Youtube in their statistics also take into account the simple uploads or auto play of users who scroll the timeline on social networks. But here there is little to do: it is the current mode of fruition of everything now, from news to video to photos. Studies say that that 70% of users read only headlines of articles before sharing. Twitter has recently introduced a feature that warns users to have not opened the link they are sharing. Imagine if they have time to watch a 3 minute video!

#3 Another elephant in the room is the slow agony of the photography market in general. Fewer and fewer DSRLs and mirrorless cameras are being sold. The market is slowly being eroded from the bottom by smartphones. So the photographic market is gradually moving upwards on the most sophisticated AKA profitable models. Prices of the latest models has increased a lot in an unjustified way. This is another sign of a shrinking user base. Indirectly also the underwater photo market suffers, which is an infinitesimal niche.
We all agree that underwater photography requires sophisticated equipment but how can you justify a D850 to post photos with hipster filters on Instagram? Same thing for video.

But going back to the OP I think the problem is only editorial. Probably WP editors have done analysis with data that we don't have or maybe they just care about photography and amen.

Obviously on some things I don't agree with you:

The amount of underwater videos produced does not seem to me to have decreased, quite the contrary! Youtube and Vimeo, not to mention Facebook, are full of underwater videos. There are all kinds, of course the average quality is very low and GoPro are the master. The problem is that these users don't post here. And I'm not referring to showcases that leave time to spare. I'm referring to the need to seek advice on buying and using equipment. Why does an underwater photographer come here to ask for advice on the best lens or use of flashes while a video diver does not?

Excluding the Gopro market, today with mirrorless cameras the equipment to shoot a video or take a picture is exactly the same: just replace strobes with lights. So the cost is the same. On the process that leads to the finalization of a video and a photo I do not want to make controversy :)  

Bye

Edited by Davide DB
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I think Massimo has it - the moderators and editors are photographers first and foremost.  I've tried my hand at video editing and realise I know enough about video to be dangerous.  I can produce what I regard as very nice still images - getting that quality in video is elusive.  I have no interest in creating clips that jump around all over the place and flit form subject to subject, sometimes framing it well, others chopping the subject in half.  It seems 90% of UW videos posted are like that.  The very good ones stand head and shoulders above the crowd and are really nice to watch - but it's a specialised skill that technology can only partly solve.  Technology can't solve the flitting around and lack of story or theme in the video. 

I certainly think WP would benefit from a stronger video presence but I think the people involved don't have the skills necessary. 

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I think Massimo has it - the moderators and editors are photographers first and foremost.  I've tried my hand at video editing and realise I know enough about video to be dangerous.  I can produce what I regard as very nice still images - getting that quality in video is elusive.  I have no interest in creating clips that jump around all over the place and flit form subject to subject, sometimes framing it well, others chopping the subject in half.  It seems 90% of UW videos posted are like that.  The very good ones stand head and shoulders above the crowd and are really nice to watch - but it's a specialised skill that technology can only partly solve.  Technology can't solve the flitting around and lack of story or theme in the video. 
I certainly think WP would benefit from a stronger video presence but I think the people involved don't have the skills necessary. 

I did volunteer at the time however the subject becomes quickly very technical and there is no substitute to a good story
Macro videos are especially challenging if there are no behaviours they can become a slide show of critter and frankly a set of pictures would be better
Video is very hard even on land it’s 2 months that am shooting a project i have terabytes of data and still lacking some scenes!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:


I did volunteer at the time however the subject becomes quickly very technical and there is no substitute to a good story
Macro videos are especially challenging if there are no behaviours they can become a slide show of critter and frankly a set of pictures would be better
Video is very hard even on land it’s 2 months that am shooting a project i have terabytes of data and still lacking some scenes!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

It takes a special kind of dedication really to do it well.

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Ok, I'll give it a rest!

R.I.P. video on WetPixel :drink:

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I would like to see more video related contents. I think the platform is given, we, video content creators should just put more effort to share our experiences and discuss video-related topics here at wetpixel. I was not that active so far, but I'm planning to start a new topic on "Low-budget underwater videography".

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1 hour ago, gobiodon said:

I would like to see more video related contents. I think the platform is given, we, video content creators should just put more effort to share our experiences and discuss video-related topics here at wetpixel. I was not that active so far, but I'm planning to start a new topic on "Low-budget underwater videography".

Super idea!

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FWIW, I do exclusively video, partly because I dive with some very, very good underwater photographers, so I would like to bring something different to the table, and also because I really enjoy the movement and behavior aspect of video.  It is very challenging and I am not all that good it, but I keep trying and maybe someday will feel proud enough to share some of it here.  This is an interesting discussion, and I appreciate your bringing this topic to the forefront.

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Just brainstorming but maybe have Adam invite some forum video makers on Wetpixel live for the youtube episodes techniques and teach in? Conscious it can be a lot of work.. !

 

 

 

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I would like to think that there are more videographers in WetPixel than you might initially observe from the postings distribution. Videographers basically consume and share any and all stills related information, apart from nitty gritty technical details of flashes. But when it comes time to ask video specific details, it is much more practical to ask those questions in camera specific, recorder specific or editing suite specific forums.

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8 hours ago, waterpixel said:

Just brainstorming but maybe have Adam invite some forum video makers on Wetpixel live for the youtube episodes techniques and teach in? Conscious it can be a lot of work.. !

 

 

 

 I would love to hear an interview with dreifish if he is available

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