I was looking through my Aperture library this week after uploading a few images of my kids. What I found surprised me a bit. I’ve shot very few still images since acquiring my video cameras. While I’ve made a bunch of home movies documenting the development of my kids, I’ve shot just a few dozen stills. Hours of video content greatly outweigh the number of photographs I have of my children. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it got me thinking.
I used to take a lot of pictures before discovering video. I enjoyed the hunt, the use of the gear, even the editing to a certain extent. But there’s only so many pictures you can hang around your house and somewhere along the line I stopped printing my photos. When I dipped my toe into video about three years ago,it seemed like a better medium from a consumption standpoint: I’d be much more likely to sit and watch one of my films than look at stills. The film, after all, had everything in one package, the image, sound and complete story.
I got so engrossed in video that I rarely took my still camera out, both at work and at home. It turned into an all or nothing proposition. Either set up the video camera, microphone and lights to make a video or do nothing. Of course, I missed a lot of cool stuff when I was in the “do nothing” mode. Don’t get me wrong, I find shooting video enjoyable but I don’t always want to be in production mode.
I own this great book, From Still to Motion, that helps readers bridge the gap from shooting stills to making video. It’s a treasure trove of technical information, including a lot of resources on the included DVD. Buy it, it’s worth the money. The title makes me wonder how many people went down or are going down the path I did. That is, getting so caught up in video that making still images is forgotten. I bet I’m not the only one who has missed more than a few great photographs because I was in “video mode” and not carrying a camera.
So here’s my current resolution. I’m going to work hard not to be in “video mode” and miss opportunities for great still images. I’m going to carry a still camera more often because the best camera is the one you have with you….and use. I don’t want to miss moments like the one pictured above –my son discovering the modeling light feature on my Sb800 flash–because I was thinking of my next video. For those of you on the journey from still to motion, don’t forget to go the other way: from motion to still.