Video is now king, and all us still photographers better get on board if we hope to survive. That's what I've been told, anyway. Making the leap into video can be daunting, though, and so, a new website hopes to make that process just a little easier.
I am a still photographer. I've always been a still photographer, and if I had my way, I would continue to just be a still photographer. But, as I said above, video is taking over basically all image spaces. So, as much as I don't really want to, I'm beginning to lay the groundwork to offer video to my clients.
But, jumping into video can be daunting, even for someone with an extensive photography background. Even if you'll be using one of the many modern mirrorless cameras that also shoot video, there is a whole host of peripheral tech needed to create quality video productions. Just at the most basic level, we're talking about things like lighting, microphones, fluid heads, etc. And that only scratches the surface and doesn't get into things like cage systems, external monitors and recording media, external battery packs, specialized lenses, gimbals, follow focus rigs, and so on. Oh, and let's not forget about the post-production software! The list really is endless, and there is a learning curve for all of it.
Then, in addition to all of the technical hurdles, there are often significant creative differences between still photography and video. Beginning with framing, composition, and lighting, the way I might approach the following still image would likely be radically different if I were making a video.
And that's before I ever even get into the most important part of video: motion. Without motion in the frame, the scene is just a still image that needlessly "plays." It's still static.
So, let's say that the coffee image above will be the basis for a video clip. Now, it has to be decided how motion is going to figure in. Is the camera going to be blocked off? Or will it be moving? What about the lights? Will they move? Will there be someone interacting with the set and props? How are they going to be incorporated? All of these questions and more form the basis of video production. And, since people started making "moving pictures," myriad techniques have been developed to answer them.
In fact, there are now so many techniques (with more being developed every day it seems), it can be difficult to know where to begin. And that's where Eyecandy comes in.
Developed by my fellow University of Oregon alum, Jacobi Mehringer (Go Ducks!), whose day job is as a creative with the world-class Weiden + Kennedy agency, Eyecandy was launched with the goal of demystifying many of the techniques used in video today and house all of that information in a central location that is quick and easy to use. Because let's face it, who has time to get lost down the YouTube tutorial rabbit hole, when all you want to do is find out what the heck a dolly roll even is.
Simple and intuitive to use, when you first land on the Eyecandy, you're greeted with just the website name, a list of techniques, and a smattering of thumbnails. Clicking on one of the items in the list or on a thumbnail takes you to a page that features a brief description of the technique and more thumbnails from projects that used said technique.
For instance, this what you'll see when you click on "whip pan":
Now, some entries are more fleshed out than others, so I'm guessing this project is a work in progress, but even as it stands now, the information provided has already proven invaluable to me as I work to grow my video creation skills. And, it's all laid out in a way that respects my time, unlike a lot of the YouTube content currently out there.
Speaking of respecting time, I think here is a good place to call this review good. So, if you're getting into video and are looking for new inspiration or to learn some new techniques, go check out the Eyecandy website. Heck, even if you're not trying to create videos, you should still go check it out!