What photography has made me forget…

June 7, 2011

So I’ve gotten into photography with my 60D and have learned a lot about taking pictures like f/stop, aperture, shutter speeds and depth of field. I have taken over 600 pictures in last few weeks (not really that much when you think about it). I even have a chance to have some of my work purchased! But I have to go back to my wheelhouse, video!

I recently volunteered to video tape a Business Expo put on by a friend’s church. I took both my GL2 and 60D but without another cameraman I knew I would have to decided which one to use. Ultimately I went with the GL2 (and SD over HD) because it’s shortcomings were easier to deal with than the 60D’s shortcomings. Eventually I will have the gear necessary to make the 60D the winner and then I *might* put away the GL2. (nah… it will have to be pried from my cold-dead-hands).

Along with my equipment I brought along my 10 year old as a bonding moment and to put him to work. While he really hasn’t shown a huge interest in videography I thought he would enjoy the time together. I remember fondly those instances when my father would take me to his work sites and hope for the same type of memories for my kids.

I had the idea of making him do the interviews; he was shocked when he found out what I wanted him to do. He started out rough, bad, awful but he quickly got it down and by the end seemed rather comfortable. He even gaffed for me and did a great job without even knowing what a gaffer is!

So I had my equipment set, my helper set and I started to go over my checklist:

Cameras? Check
Tripods? Check
Batteries charged? Check
Blank Tapes for the GL2? Check
Blank media for the 60D? Check
Every Audio connector known to man? Check

Now here is where I made a few mistakes: I had taken some pictures at an event the day before and was processing them through Lightroom to get them ready to send to a client. I was also getting ready for another appointment so I was a little rushed. I double checked my camera bag and didn’t double check the video bag. The video bag has 15 times more equipment in it than the camera bag. So I get to my first appointment and have no concerns. At the actual shoot as SOON as I started to get my GL2 out of its bag I realized I left the fully charged batteries on my desk. I had the charger but not the battery. It makes things a little more difficult as it will restrict my motion by being plugged in all the time but I can live with it… until I realize that I left my bag with my extension cord in the house 25 miles away. Oh joy…

Now that I’ve added a completely different set of gear to my arsenal I need to create a checklist. That will enable me to ensure I have EVERYTHING I need the night before an event. Going by memory is not enough now since most of the equipment does not work with each other like it used to. When working with a GL2 and an XL2 quite a but of the equipment (batteries, stabilizing units, lighting) will carry over between each other but with adding a DSLR has added extra equipment to the mix.

One of the most important aspects of shooting video is getting good audio which is another fact I overlooked for that shoot. I have 2 corded microphones (one handheld and one lapel) and I wanted to use the GL2’s hotshoe for my Canon XLR Adapter and then connect both microphone to it. I’d use the lapel for the interviewer (my son) and then have the interviewee use the handheld. But guess what two microphones need to connect to an XLR adapter… why XLR cables, of course. Who could have known that? In my bag I must have all type of cables and connectors but only 1 (count’em UNO) XLR connector and not even a away for me to convert a male 1/4 cable to XLR! Oh the humanity. I made do with using the one handheld. My son, the interviewer, just didn’t want to let go of the mic so it makes for some funny moments when the interviewee is trying to take the mic and the interviewer won’t let go.

With an important concert coming up and me wanting to do a 3 camera shoot I need to remember what it takes to be a videographer so that I don’t miss anything. I can get back to photography after that!



  1. Both photographs and videos capture moments of time!

  2. Indeed. But it will take me a little while longer to master both.

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