Is It Time To Eliminate Stills From Your Shoot?

- - Working

Last summer I was having dinner with an Art Director who was fielding emails from a client who wanted to pull stills from the commercial video shoot to drop into the background of the commercial stills shoot he was on. He bemoaned the fact that he would probably have to show them how horrible that would look to convince them it could not be done.

Several weeks ago I was at Shoot LA talking to a ski photographer who was on a ski movie shoot in Alaska where the crews all shot with the Red camera. I asked him if he felt his job was in jeopardy since they could probably pull stills straight from the footage. He said they shot at too low of a shutter speed to pull stills for the action shots but he was surprised at how easy it was to scrub though all the footage and find images you liked. The editing process, that I had surmised might keep photographers busy, was simple and fast.

When photographer Kevin Arnold showed me his blog post about his own testing with the RED camera and pulling stills I asked him if I could reprint it in full here. It’s a topic we should all be watching closely. Here’s Kevin’s full blog post reprinted with permission from (here):

Stills, Meet Motion

Ever since the advent of HD video, we’ve all been hearing how the need for pure still photography will disappear since we’ll be able to just pull stills from video. I’ve never felt threatened by this line of thinking; I believe that there will always be a place for still photography because it has its own aesthetic. I also like embracing new technology.

This winter, I decided it was time find out for myself how close we are to that reality. I’d read about fashion photographers shooting magazine covers with the RED camera, so I called up the company to see if I could test their latest high-resolution camera, the RED EPIC in the kind of environment where I shoot. They sent me a lightweight $65,000 rig set up for handheld shooting. I was excited to get my hands on this cutting-edge gear, but I also had a commercial interest in this experiment; most of my advertising clients are asking for motion and still assets. Combining the two mediums on the same set has always been cumbersome. If I could capture both simultaneously, it could be a great solution.

The Gear

Even if this kind of shooting isn’t mainstream yet, a recent convergence of technologies has certainly made the idea more attainable. For starters, the resolution of the cameras continues to increase. The EPIC, for example, can output 5K raw video and 14-megapixel stills. It can also shoot 120 frames-a-second at full resolution – key for achieving the high enough shutter speeds for sharp stills. And because it’s a modular system, it can be set up for fast moving handheld shooting. Being chained to a tripod just isn’t my style.

Of course, the drawback of handheld shooting is shaky footage. There’s a reason why most serious cinematographers use heavy tripods, shoulder mounts, and steadycam rigs. But recent advances in post-processing stabilization software have changed the game. With new plug-ins that allow for correcting shake in post without much loss in quality, a whole realm of possibilities for fast-and-light shooting has opened up.

The timing seemed perfect for my little experiment.

The Plan

Besides shooting handheld, I also wanted to shoot with a small crew: two assistants and myself.  No focus pullers, grips, or lighting specialists that would be on a typical video shoot. I wanted the production level to match a typical still action or lifestyle shoot.

Power and storage are definitely an issue with shooting with the EPIC and we had to develop systems for both. We would be using RED’s small batteries to keep the camera light. Each battery last 20 minutes and takes 2 hours to recharge. We packed 8 batteries each day, and worked out ways to recharge on the go. We also packed hundreds of GBs of memory cards, and made sure we had the resources to upload and back up files each night.

Since we were shooting in the mountains, we had to consider how to keep the camera intact. I had no intentions of calling up my insurance company to tell them I’d just toasted a camera worth more than my car that didn’t even belong to me. While not weather sealed like my Nikons, the EPIC is built tougher than most video cameras. We got away with using a light rain cover when it was snowing heavily. Admittedly, the camera got a pretty wet a few times, but it kept working without missing a beat.

The Shoot

After testing the system for a couple of days and figuring out the best settings to attain smooth video and sharp stills, we started shooting on Whistler Mountain. I had originally budgeted for five days of shooting, but the weather didn’t agree. As seemingly endless cycle of snowstorms pounded the region that week quickly shrunk to one and a half days.

The advantage of being a fast and light crew was that we were able to adapt quickly and take advantage of the weather window without losing a lot of time or money. In the end, we easily came out with enough footage for what we needed. Working with incredible talent didn’t hurt. Matt Elliott and Austin Ross are great skiers who knew the mountain and were able to nail most shots in one take.

With the footage in the bag, we would now find out how things looked.

The Results

The video files were amazing; a no-brainer. This is what the EPIC does best, and it didn’t disappoint. Stunning resolution, accurate color, and smooth slow motion. Watching the clips at full resolution is actually a bit mesmerizing.

When it came to pulling stills, things weren’t quite as perfect.

First the good. What I thought would be the most daunting task – editing through 120 frames per second– turned out to be relatively painless. Scrubbing through the footage using RED’s REDCINE X Pro software is pretty snappy on a decent Mac, and honing in on the right frame is actually easier than scrolling through a pile of still images in Lightroom or Aperture.

Adjusting saturation, color, and exposure was also pretty easy, and can be done at the raw stage, which is key because video files by nature are pretty flat. We still had to do a quite a bit of color-correction and retouching in Photoshop to bring the stills up to speed. A lot more than we normally would on still files from a DSLR.

What I hadn’t anticipated going into this was the advantages this style of shooting would offer in terms of capturing natural expressions and key moments. Obviously, when you’re shooting 120 frames-per-second, it’s almost impossible to miss a moment. But there’s more to it. Shooting video is comparably silent and, without the constant clicking of the shutter reminding them that their every movement was being recorded, the athletes were able to forget I was there. This is huge when you’re striving for authentic, candid images, a hallmark of my work.

The Challenges

Like I said, it wasn’t all rosy. The EPIC’s sensor, while amazing for video, just isn’t on par with top end DSLRs and certainly not even close to medium format digital cameras when it comes to still images.

The bigger challenge – especially when shooting fast moving lifestyle or sports action – is achieving fast shutter speeds. The great majority of the frames we shot were soft due to either camera movement, or subject motion blur. This is the single biggest issue with pulling stills from video. The fact is that video looks best when shot with a shutter angle of 180 degrees, or double the frame rate. Shooting at 120 frames per second, means you’re really limited to about 1/250 of a second– not nearly fast enough to achieve 100 percent sharpness on every frame. In theory, you can crank up the shutter speed on the EPIC to freeze motion, but the video will suffer as a result. Moreover, motion blur is actually what  makes video look smooth and pleasing to watch.

You could crank up the frame rate on the EPIC to 300 fps, which we considered, but to do so, you have to sacrifice even more resolution. Ultimately, until RED or someone else creates a handheld camera that can shoot full resolution on a 35mm-size sensor at 300 frames-per-second, this will be a major limitation to taking the leap.

Were there other issues? Yes, but they are mostly easily overcome. The massive amounts of power and storage, for example, were manageable in this situation, but would become a major obstacle on a more remote shoot. Achieve critical focus is also another major challenge. The EPIC’s autofocus doesn’t hold a candle to modern DLSRs. Manual focus gets easier with practice.

In the end, the dream of simultaneously grabbing stills and video for what I shoot is not quite there. It’s certainly close, and I’m convinced that it won’t be long until the dream is a reality.

In the meantime, this shoot was not a total failure. I created a few great stills that I really like. And on the video front, shooting with the EPIC was an eye opener that will change how I shoot for clients. Using a small crew, we were able to produce cinematic-quality motion in a challenging location on a very small budget. This creates whole new possibilities for my lifestyle and sports clients.

Here are some final stills from the test:

There Are 50 Comments On This Article.

  1. The Wallbanger

    There’s no question this will be standard practice in the near future, but for now photographers have a slight advantage… portrait orientation. RED’s going to need more than 5K resolution to crop portraits from a horizontally oriented, 16:9 field.

    • Here is a far superior (and lighter) way to shoot stills & video @ the same time:

      http://9shooter.com

      It also offers more redundancy, as well as different fields of view for videos and stills, and, of course, different (optimum) shutter speeds for video and stills.

  2. Hi,
    and usual thank you for all the interesting information you share with your blog.
    Just a suggestion: usually it’s not a good idea to “reprint” a whole post, for a simple technical reason. Google ranking algorithm punish sites with duplicate contents, sometimes to only one page, sometimes to the whole site. More on Google support page:
    http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66359
    People duplicate a whole page to show interesting content, but the results of your post reprint is that both A Photo Editor and Kevin Arnold sites will possibly lose traffic. And this is the last thing you both want, isn’t it?
    The best solution is to write an introduction as you did, and just link to the full article, without duplicating it. By the way your link point to the blog, not to the post. The correct link is this one:
    http://kevinarnoldphoto.tumblr.com/post/21926532349/stills-meet-motion-ever-since-the-advent-of-hd
    Hope the suggestion is useful for you
    cheers
    Fab

    • Google can go jump off a cliff for all I care. Also, that’s not entirely true, there are millions of sites that scrape the content off blogs and we don’t see any penalty from the ranking algorithm. Never have.

      • In the past I had duplicated content on one of my site because of a wordpress plugin and google sent me half of the traffic I was used to have, and the penality lasted several months.
        Anyway, I just wanted to help, but sure it’s your site and you do what you want. I’ll stop to bother you with off topic comments. Let’s focus on content!
        Fab

  3. “Ultimately, until RED or someone else creates a handheld camera that can shoot full resolution on a 35mm-size sensor at 300 frames-per-second, this will be a major limitation to taking the leap.”
    I would say 3 to 5 years max.

  4. Another way to sharpen up your images is to close down your shutter angle. Typically motion shoots with a 180 degree angle (or half open, half closed) for the duration of the time of one frame. Going to a 90 degree or even 45 degree angle will result in much sharper images as you’ll be sampling less time. When you over crank, you’re basically achieving the same effect by speeding up the number of frames per second. Combine both and you can really crisp it up. But, for what it’s worth, I still prefer to shoot stills on a DSLR — both for resolution (I use a D3X) and Red’s sensor isn’t full-frame yet. And I kinda prefer to pick through and store a few hundred images, not 10s of thousands. :)

  5. stanchung

    The investment is way more for video[RED]. 10x at least. If they’re doing both video and still, there’s still doubt as to whether the pics are going to be sharp and you really don’t have the time to check on the spot each still especially with a producer breathing down your neck-not withstanding fickle weather.

    There’s still the question of lenses & mount compatibility but this could be retrofitted at a cost because Photogs/DP’s love a certain look from certain lenses.

    Still a nice idea to kill two birds with one stone.

  6. An excellent post and something I’ve been trying to keep an eye on even though I don’t shoot at budgets that come anywhere close to being able to afford a Red rental, grip equipment and larger crew. Another cost in some situations will be hot lights, both the lights themselves, accessing power for them, and even more crew/gaffers to handle them (plus the extra time for them on set to do their jobs). So right now, it basically seems like pulling stills only makes sense if you’re doing motion as the main thing. But it’s definitely interesting to hear and think about where things are going, so any future posts on this topic sound like a great idea to me.

    • Donnor Party

      I’ve shot vertical with the Red One for in store motion displays where they mount the flat screen vertical. Awkward, but in a studio environment with a crew not too bad.

      Also, everything is laid out horizontal, in terms of screens.

      Personally, I don’t like getting stills this way. When I stopped shooting stills and morphed into a DP (IATSE and everything) I shot the stills seperatly. Clients THINK they want ultimate choice, but in a controlled studio environment with a crew, the stills camera is best for stills. On a lifestyle location shoot shooting handheld, pulling the stills makes sense because you can move the camera around to compose like a still shot.

  7. Red is a phenomenal 5k camera for video, especially if you use your own lenses with the appropriate lens mounts. If set up right I don’t think it is necessary for a pl mount. Everything I have seen for still pulls from a studio (not very much action) has been pretty crisp however you had the same result others have had.

    Love the two pulls though. Nice edit on the clip

  8. I just watched an interview of David Burnett where he said,

    “…There is something about a still photograph that can touch a human soul in a completely non-verbal way…”

    And that one sentence cuts this whole argument to shreds. Can you pull a technically OK image out of a video stream? Sure you can. WIll it be compelling, or more importantly, did the photographer shoot it knowing it would compelling? I dunno, but I kind of doubt it.

    I’m not saying hi-rez video ain’t gonna affect the way photography is done in the future, but just as everything around us has gotten watered down over the years, blasting away at 120 frames per seconds just sounds like a real shitty progression of the craft.

    • Donnor Party

      I agree with this, but you can use the Reds to compose and shoot like a still camera, its just taking lots of pics. On our motion shoots I always tried to shoot the stills with a stills camera, but the clients do like to pull stills. I think in a way the client pulling stills is a way for the client to have more control over the look of the shoot . Its their comp, afterall.

  9. scottRexEly

    Moving fidelity. More pixels more flexibility more pay. Bill for it.

  10. Are we talking here solely about stills photography as in the person that hangs out with a film crew?

    If so, yes, to a certain degree promotional imagery will inevitably become drawn from the movie footage. Unless every production is accompanied with a behind the scenes documentary of the making of, stills of actors between takes, directors working, etc; you will be missing out on a whole host of promotional materials.

    Think how when we truly love a film and we bother to actually purchase the DVD rather than just stream it for free, what do we look at? The bonus bits. The extras. Hell, even the stills if they’re included. Not stills taken directly from the movie, but the extra images of an actor chatting to a director or actors rehearsing their lines. Unique moments in time.

    Yes, if you’re filming a corporate promo, then of course stills will be ripped from footage. But if you really care about the craft of film-making then you will be selling yourself short of the fully immersive experience that it really could be.

    In other words photography and film making are entirely two different disciplines that can work hand in hand. They are two approaches at looking at our world. One does not replace the other. Much in the same way as photography did not replace painting and video didn’t kill the radio star.

    Photography is more alive, fascinating and vibrant than ever.

    As a profession it is more difficult to make a living. In my humble opinion this is mostly down to the perception that technology is a replacement for the eye. Yes, digital gives the opportunity to shoot more for free and using the saturation method will give you usable results. It’s a number game to some.

    Clients that succumb to this point of view never really appreciated the power of photography and the absolute majesty of being able to freeze a moment in time.

  11. Photographer’s face constantly behind the camera and unable to interact with subject or see other things happening around him, inability to keep best composition 100% of the time, all horizontal, etc.

    Sounds great if you’re a micromanaging photo editor who wants to do all the work himself. Just have a technician set up a camera on the scene, and pick out the best 5% of the whole frame yourself a week later. It doesn’t sound much like photography, though.

    • Donnor Party

      This is what, to a degree, they want. Its not a conscious decision. They have the idea in their head, they don’t have the skill to produce it. I think this is why commercial clients like it. Editorial and fine art are different, of course, but for commercial shooting, give the client what they want.

      Since I “retired” from shooting and DPing, and am on the client side, I am much more at peace with photography.

  12. So this is the future of photography? Making fucking awful screengrabs that nobody will remember a season later and calling them “photographs”? Spending days distilling hundreds of thousands of frames to make an “edit”? Lugging around a small BMW and hundreds of GBs of cards?

    This is not directed at whoever Rob talked to, but to all these gear-focused dudes talking about specs and other bullshit. Get some fucking talent and skill and learn how to take photographs and recognize a moment, learn how to be able to capture that. Photography and cinematography are different beasts. Just because the technology is there now doesn’t mean you need to marry them. Just as being able to press record on a 5D MKII doesn’t automatically make you a “cinematographer”. Ugh. All this technical innovation, while often fantastic, has often eclipsed any focus on making solid, wonderful, lasting visual work.

    Come at me, bros.

    • sean johnson

      Jake, you said what I was trying to say at post 16 far more eloquently. Ta :)

    • Mr. Stangel, your point does not have oiled wheels because your ‘tude is overflowing with hubris. Please tell your general to demote your ego. Comin’ at ya, brah.

  13. I read this post yesterday and then, just minutes ago, received an email from a client asking for “stills” pulled from a video that we recently shot. I “suggested” that we shoot stills during the shoot but the AD was adamant that we can “grab” what we need from the video. WOULD NOT LISTEN.

    Now a leading magazine is asking for images for an article and my client is asking to do post on these horrible grabs to submit. I cringe and tell them that a “credit” is not needed. Embarrassing!!

  14. I think that some people are missing the point of the my test and blog post. I too, strongly agree that still photography and cinematography, in their purest forms are entirely different crafts that call for different skills sets and a different approach. I love still photography and I really don’t believe that it will ever disappear because there is something about capturing a moment in time that cannot be duplicated by moving imagery.

    But the reality for commercial (and editorial) photographers is that clients are increasingly looking to come out of a shoot with still and video assets. There are dozens of ways to approach this, and all of them, as far as I’m concerned have their limitations (for what I shoot, at least). Technology has just recently allowed the possibility of taking this approach, and for me, it was a worthy avenue to travel down. Am I hoping to do away with shooting stills in favour of pulling stills from video? Of course not. But down the road, it may become an ideal solution in some situation for some clients.

    In general, I think that we all should be willing to explore new image making technology, be it an iPhone or a cinema camera. Why not?

    • i looked into a RED system for the same reason….W magazine often runs double page spreads shot with epic (even covers)….but steven(s) (klein and meisel) have nice retouching budgets…either way the results look great…which is what counts….
      and i don’t see anything wrong with having 5k/120fps video as a by-product….you still have to see the shot, line it up, light it and get your idea across, if the shutter stays open or you hit the button only 3 times does not make a difference to me…or makes anyone a “better” photographer (what is that anyway?)…
      i decided against investing in a RED system…the costs are too high for me and most important the stills are really not that great….and the format is horrific for stills….to utilize the video horizontal is the only option to shoot and that pretty much rules out a single full page crop (4mpix maybe?)…
      also storage,and so on….
      in order to be able to pull a full page shot (about a 10mpix file) from raw (horizontal) video we are looking at 15?k video? 4K projectors are just coming out and according to the latest peter jackson 4K adventure nobody even wants to see 4K….so i don’t see anyone even developing in that direction….
      as long as stills are shot for print, there will be need for stills and video….but for everything else (tv, iPads, computers, LCD posters….) a true 4 or 5K frame is good enough…

  15. Photography is following the paradigm set up by the very consumerism that keeps it alive; fast and cheap.

  16. Peter Orth

    As a location manager in the print and motion world in Southern California, I wonder how clients will like paying 10x more for a motion permit, and how they will like hiring signatory production companies and union crews?

    • If they are shooting a motion piece, they will have to do all of this anyway, Peter. The assumption here is that motion is already part of the shoot. If it’s not, there is no reason to even consider this solution, as a still camera works a lot better for shooting just stills.

      • Peter Orth

        Thanks for your reply Kevin. I didn’t get that initial assumption. Every print job seems to include “stealing” some motion footage, it’s gone from being occasional to being the norm. This is generally footage destined for websites, internal, etc. shot with a 5D or similar. This could continue to escalate as the equipment and shooters improve into capturing a print catalog shoot ,for example, on video for editing later to stills.
        Conversely, if the client feels like they can get usable still images from their motion shoot, that could make for more hungry photographers…thanks

  17. Michael P

    This discussion, which I’ve been following for years now, bolsters my concern that still photography will, with time, be relegated to a niche, as high-resolution video capture via devices like RED EPIC becomes more common.

    I’m an aspiring photographer interested in shooting high-end commercial and editorial still photography for clients like, Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, GQ, et al. I have literally no interest in videography or cinematography–just still photography. Is my goal even realistic and attainable if I’ve no interest in shooting video, as well? I’d be leaving behind a well-paying career as a software engineer for Fortune 100 clients which, though lucrative and stable, can be mind-numbingly boring. I understand the argument that one should do what they love, but there’s a practical side to that, too. I mean, I don’t want to earn a fraction of my current income trying to shoehorn my energies into an oversaturated and diminishing field. I’ll give 100% effort, daily working 12 to 14 hours between two jobs and another 24 hours on weekends, if there were a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (i.e., if there is high-end commercial and editorial work for still photographers). Before anyone jumps on my back, I’m not saying that I require a guaranteed payday–my effort and dedication guarantee me these things, as far as I’m concerned. What I’m saying is that there needs to be work to pursue in the first place so that I’m not chasing a phantom. That would be like me deciding to open a bricks-and-mortar bookstore when Amazon and other online vendors now dominate the bookselling industry.

    Does anyone understand me?

    Can anyone (preferably professionals in this industry) answer my questions without attitude and sarcasm?

    • “I mean, I don’t want to earn a fraction of my current income trying to shoehorn my energies into an oversaturated and diminishing field.”

      There’s always that risk in doing anything.

      Also: Asking other photographers on the internet for advice on this is sure to be a bummer. Blogs are where photographers that aren’t very busy go to complain.

      Go assist someone good and see how it really works.

    • I think there’s a future for creative problem solvers. People who the tools matter very little too. Sounds like that’s not you. And for authorities on a subject. Check out The Selby, The Satorialist or Me In My Place to see someone who’s an authority on a subject and would be a go-to in the information age.

      • Michael P

        See, this is precisely the attitude to which I was referring.

        Why do people get snarky when it comes to this topic? One can’t get an objective answer without someone peppering their response with ad hominem attacks.

        “I think there’s a future for creative problem solvers. People who the tools matter very little too. (Sounds like that’s not you.”

        Really? Was there any cause for that? How do you know I’m not a creative problem solver already?

        I said I wanted to pursue a career as a still photographer, but does that somehow mean I’m not a creative problem solver? Is still photography not without its own creative problems that require solving? When Norman Jean Roy pursued still photography as an interest and later as a career, he didn’t also pursue 3D animation. He chose to be a problem solver in a specific field of interest–still photography. If all you mean to say is that it’s no longer viable to pursue one discipline for a living, then say that. But you’ve no place telling me what I am or am not.

        • you misread my reply. when you say:
          “I’ve no interest in shooting video”
          that means you’re not willing to solve a clients problem no matter what it takes.
          and yes I’m saying it’s not possible for you to become Norman Jean Roy anymore. his career was made in another era where operating a camera mattered. nobody cares if you can operate a camera. who can’t do that.

          • Michael P

            Okay. I did misinterpret your response, and I do see your point. It saddens me that a career as only a still photographer may no longer be viable within the realm of high-end commercial and editorial shooting, but such is life. I work as a software engineer for Fortune 100 companies and know firsthand that it’s idiotic to resist expansive change; one ends up just being left in the dust. A smarter strategy is to adapt.

            If nothing else, I’d do well to reevaluate my interest in the visual arts to see whether there is a way I could meet clients’ needs using whatever means are available to me.

            Thanks for making time to respond. If anyone else has further input on the matter, do feel free to contribute.

            • Why are you focused on “high end commercial and editorial”? It’s sort of like sausage… you can enjoy sausage, but if you want to actually MAKE it, you ought to work in a sausage factory for awhile to decide if that’s really your thing.

              The ‘pot of gold’ might be better referred to as a brass ring.

              I think you have to do it more for yourself than anything else. While economics are certainly important, it can’t be your #1 priority.

              • Michael P

                Craig,

                I have tendency to put the cart before the horse. I have a studio and have been working with models from local talent agencies so as to build a portfolio that I could then pitch to higher-status agencies on the coasts (e.g., Ford, IMG, et al.) before vying for the aforesaid high-end commercial and editorial gigs.

                Yeah, I realize that everything’s like making sausage at the business end. There are certain aspects of programming that I absolutely love–they definitely require creative problem solving. But, then, there are others that are, by contrast, boring as hell. But I do it for myself.

          • One thing I have found quite surprising is how stalwartly and even violenty opposed many photographers are to trying new things, learning new technologies, and shooting stills and video together. As artists, should they not be seeking novel ways to create? As technologists with tens-of-thousands of dollars of technology at their disposal, should they not be “hackers” trying new things out? Should they not find joy in “playing” with new creative tools?

            I have been quite surprised just how many photographers seem to lack the artist’s/hacker’s & creator’s heart/spirit/mind/soul.

            • Michael P

              This is an example of the jabs people make, be they direct or indirect, when one says “I choose to do A–not B or A and B.”

              Was Richard Avedon lacking the “artist’s/hacker’s & creator’s heart/spirit/mind/soul” because he chose to shoot still photography rather than to work with some other artistic medium? Was he any less an artist because he chose not to fiddle with illustration or animation?

              Or take, for instance, Norman Jean Roy and Annie Leibowitz. Are they any less artists for as yet choosing still photography over computer-generated imagery a la Pixar? I mean, this option is available to them, and some artists can and do utilize it to good purpose. But neither Roy nor Leibowitz has, so I guess they’re not artists.

              It generally behooves one to have a core proficiency; it’s often an exercise in futility to attempt to have both deep and broad knowledge and experience if for no other reason than that the time and effort required to attain it would be all-consuming. It’s not that experimentation and the pushing of various boundaries doesn’t occur within still photography. Rather, it’s that it often occurs precisely within the realm of still photography and not simultaneously in five other disciplines.

              Anyway, for all that, I am admittedly a novice and would, for my part, be better served by applying myself in earnest to producing the best photography I can while maintaining a view to the market’s needs. There’s theory, there’s practice, and there’s the overlapping of the two where the rubber meets the road and one can make a living making art.

              I guess that’s what I’ll call the brass ring.

              It’s not enough to have the “heart/spirit/mind/soul” of the creator. One must also have a mind for business.

  18. I think most clients putting serious $$ into the shoot will not enjoy the risk that they won’t get exactly what they want because their favorite frame has motion blur, or the subject is slightly out of focus. I’ve been through this with clients before, I’m sure many others here have also.

    Also, I’m not sure it’s more economical to manage 300 FPS of 4K data to hunt for the most usable frame. Also, while that speed might get a decently sharp still, it’s not so hot for many applications…kind of a stroboscopic look.

    Of course there’s always exceptions and situations where it makes sense, but most of the time just using a properly ran still camera is best.

  19. This excellent post is a reminder of how spanking new technologies can and will create new jobs by replacing older ones. I’ve witnessed similar events in the pre-press, newspaper, and website design industries. As a professional, all that we can do is be prepared to evolve with the latest tools when they arrive. I remember when Kodak believed film would never be replaced and eventually it was!

  20. Great post, no doubt that this is the future. But I definitely think it has it’s limitations as well, craig has some good points in his post above.