Take this short film of Swallow chicks for example. Taken right outside my office door just a few hours before they fledged from the nest, it isn't amazingly sharp or eye-poppingly bright.
But it does instantly demonstrate a number of advantages to video:
- Insight: we thought there were three chicks; studying the footage carefully showed four mouths suddenly appear at feeding time.
- Detail: this insight was possible thanks to some clever slo-mo technology applied to the video, extending the feeding episode from a couple of seconds to a more leisurely pace.
- Timing: it is incredibly hard with a still camera, even with modern burst modes, to get four chicks with their mouth open. But video makes it a doddle - simply set it running, cut it to size later, apply the slo-mo to the key part (and extract a still image as well should you so wish, see examples below).
- Quality: video simply demands less quality; for a photo to excite in this digitally perfect age it has to be pin sharp and compositionally perfect, but videos seem to engage audiences at a far lower quality.
There's undoubtedly more video to come on The Hornet's Nest, for all these reasons and more.