A recently shared YouTube video by Australian photographer Dillon Mak puts viewers behind the lens as he navigates rowdy crowds, police barricades, and scores of other journalists. The point-of-view setup takes you right to the front lines of the Reclaim Australia protests and counter-protests that have been taking place across Australia.
There is something ever immersive about a first-person camera angle. Maybe it's from hours of playing Golden Eye and Doom, or the unshakable feeling of watching "The Blair Witch Project" for the first time? Regardless, the point-of-view camera is always a tense, transportive experience. It's something that Mak is able to do by blending the tension of the protests on the streets with black and white snaps of his final images throughout the video.
Mak said that he was inspired by documentaries that featured a similar shared visual perspective. He went on to say that he misses seeing the camera-mounted video.
“I will be continuing to shoot a P.O.V. video at nearby protest[s] I attend,” He said. “So, if photographers want to see more videos like this, all they need to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel.”
Street photographer and photojournalist, Mak, uses a simple tripod mount adapter for his GoPro Hero4 Silver. The GoPro is mounted on top of a Canon 70D with Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art attached, and an EF 24-105 F/4 L in the bag.
While the Reclaim Australia protests are very politically and racial charged, Mak’s interests remain that of a pure documentarian.
“The video and photos I shot aren’t supposed to particularly show one side as being better than the other,” he said. “I simply stayed around the areas that were the most likely to have dramatic scenes to photograph.”
Good thing too, because his setup and calm consistent approach to journalism is fascinating. Particularly when the video takes you along for the coverage.