July 04, 2014…Our Photographers may or may not have the ability to write articles and some are simply afraid to try. This of course is foolish since most of us can talk about the techniques we used, the subject we shot, the locations, the equipment used and other facts that you might find on the internet about the place or people we photographed.
Now we know that old saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words. In the case of those that also shoot video with their DSLR cameras, video cameras or even their smart phones, we know that a video clip or production could be worth many thousands of words. Imagine reading an article about a show, sporting event, travel destination or even an interview and in the middle of the article there is a box with an arrow to start a movie.
Another great advantage of adding a video is the added views it will get on YouTube or Vimeo. I was invited on a cruise with my wife by Royal Caribbean International on one of their larger ships the Independence of the Seas and the video has received over 150,000 views. Now if I simply published the article on IMPress, it might have been read by a thousand people, maybe. Now my work paid off and sent readers to our site to read the review.
On Assignment At Sea
We spent a week on the ship and I worked most of the time making sure to interview the senior officers and staff that run each department of this ship. Since we had visited the ports of call, the Caribbean Islands before, we decided it would be a great opportunity to do our interviews while the passengers were on shore. We were also able to get some great video footage and images too. So even though this cruise was provided by RCL, we earned it.
Learning How To Shoot Video With A DSLR
Most of our IPA members are photographers and journalists and we do have some videographer members too, but not that many. It has been my mission, these past few years, to teach myself how to shoot commercial quality video with my Nikon DSLR camera.
In the past I have shot and edited videos taken with a video camera and did shoot some video clips with my older Nikon D90 camera to add some live action in my slide shows. But as the technology kept changing and YouTube became the king of the hill for independent and amateur videos, I knew it was time to step up and learn how to use my camera to shoot videos.
I have been fortunate to have companies willing to supply me with their products and their knowledge and helped get me on my way to producing my videos. First stop was at the Nikon booth at the 2012 PhotoPlus show. I knew that I wasn’t setting up my camera properly to shoot video.
They told me how easy it was to simply set my Nikon to the Manual mode, set my shutter speed to 60 (since I was shooting at 24 fps), set my aperture to f8 for most scenes. You then look through the rear LCD screen and adjust the ISO setting for my subject.
On my Nikon I simply depress and hold the ISO button down on the back of the camera and turn the adjustment wheel on my cameras grip to the correct ISO for my subject. By doing this, I can now pan or shoot my subject and even if the light changes in the scene the exposure will not. This way the video will look the way it actually is to your eye, rather than having the exposure jump all over as you do that pan.
I had a problem filming the year before when a subject was standing in front of a large LCD TV and as the light changed on the TV, my subject became lighter or darker based on what was happening on the TV screen. That was my AhHa moment in shooting video. From that moment on, I knew exactly what settings I needed on my camera.
Capturing Sound, Lighting and Editing Your Videos
Now I won’t go into capturing sound, setting up the proper lighting, editing the videos because this article is meant to excite you about the opportunities and benefits of shooting videos and embedding them in your articles. There will be a learning curve for those making this transition, but it is not that difficult to master.
Your videos can also be slide shows and there are many programs like iMovie, iPhoto on the Mac and many other apps that will produce excellent videos. They are usually saved as a Quicktime movie file which can be uploaded to YouTube and then embedded in your article.
This is a 4 minute video shot at the International Beauty Show in New York. It is a fast paced recap of the show. In our article we did a longer interview with the shows executive VP who narrates the show review, then we produced some individual 4-5 minute videos for some of our sponsoring companies. You can see the article with all the videos here.
Slide Shows Are Easy
I tend to do all my important slide shows on my Mac which has iPhoto which enables me to edit my images quickly and if I want, I can then create a slide show, add music which I drop in from iTunes and then export it and save it as a Quicktime video. In minutes I can do the entire task and then upload my nice little video to YouTube. I then take their embed code and paste it into my profile or an article I am working on; that’s it, nice and easy.
I do slide shows when I want to display a large number of images in an exciting way. In iPhoto for Mac, I can add music, various effects, different themes and even set the number of seconds I want each slide to display. See the Slide Show Below, produced in iPhoto and uploaded to YouTube
There are a number of other ways to produce a slide show and embed it into your profile or articles. A simple method entails uploading a number of your edited and corrected images to a photo storage web site like Flickr and other sites. Sign up for a free Flickr account and begin to upload your images. Once uploaded to Flickr, you can create nice Albums, specific ones for your assignments or ones where you only include the images you want in your slide show, then you can go to this site and produce a nice slide show.
Created with flickr slideshow.
I like Flickr because their displays are beautiful and there are many options to arrange your images in Albums, put the images in the proper order and much more. The service is free and you can always link to one of your albums in your articles as well. We do have the ability to display Flickr images and slide shows on our site as well and we will have detailed instructions on that as well. Watch for another How To Article.
Now on our site, if you don’t intend on uploading a large volume of photos you can also create a nice display of your images. You can upload images to our Media Library and create a photo Gallery. Once done and sorted the way you want them to appear, it is easy using our new plugin Justified Image Grid that will let the viewer click on one of the photos, it will open in a larger window and then there are controls to watch it as a slide show or one at a time.
See our article on how to use Photo Galleries and embed videos. It is easy to do and very effective. See a number of sample galleries on our 2014 NY Auto Show article. This article has videos and galleries of photos and the page still loads quickly.
Editing Your Work
Photographers and videographer’s must learn the art of editing their work. Examples of your works on our sites should be used to display your very best photos and by asking our members to include images in their articles, slide shows and videos, means they can’t include too many images, only their very best.
Editing your videos is a bit more than editing your photos and you will need to use video editing software. On a Mac you can use their great iMovie to do simple projects of for the more advanced, Final Cut Pro X which I use for my videos. Once you go through a short learning process on some of these apps you are ready to start to upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo and then embed them in your articles.
As you can see in this image, you are presented with the proper code based on your choices. You can select the size of the video window which allows you to place your video into any spot in your articles. If you want to make a video private or public, monetize it, select a featured image for the video and other options, you can do it in the setttings at YouTube or Vimeo.
Vimeo For Videos
I signed up for a free account at Vimeo which allows me much larger uploads and offers members a free account. Vimeo doesn’t allow commercial videos on their site, so if you are looking to display a clients corporate type videos, it may not be allowed. Visit an article I did of my son’s destination wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica. You can see two videos, one a slide show and the other a 33 minute video, both uploaded to Vimeo. Great quality and fast downloads…love these guys.
Videos Receive More Views – Make Money Too
The added benefit uploading your videos and images to these sites is that they receive views from people who might not see them on our website. This means your videos will receive added exposure and if you do what I did, you can add your commercial message or web address to the end of the videos. IPA has found a number of new members as a result of all the materials we have on other sites like these.
My IPA channel now has over 170 videos, some are set as private, those I produced of my family and friends and the others are public. We now have over one million views and I earn about $150 per month on the ad revenue on my popular videos. If you want to earn money on your videos sign up for Google Adsense and when you upload the videos be sure you own all the material in the video. If you use music be sure it is Royalty Free or you won’t be able to monetize it. I love Kevin MacLeod Incompetech website where you can download tons of great music and scores for your videos. All you need to do is give him the proper attribution at the end of your production, that’s it.
So you see, adding videos and slide shows, not only helps you create a great profile on our website, but it can offer you an opportunity to earn extra dollars, be discovered and obtain credibility which usually means new clients or job opportunities.